HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia is seeking volunteer drivers for a partnership to transport disabled veterans to hospital medical appointments.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota philanthropist Denny Sanford is donating $25 million to help fund a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs genetics study to determine which medications are most...
Art competition brings in diverse collection of artists
MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — Lucille Brisson-Dickinson studies her work with a critical eye.
The 70-year-old Wagoner resident dabs a paintbrush into color and then applies it to the canvas. A...
NORTH OGDEN, Utah (AP) — A Utah veterans' facility is set to be renamed after Maj. Brent Taylor, the former North Ogden mayor who was killed while serving in Afghanistan.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A nurse has been sentenced to probation for stealing fentanyl from the Veterans Hospital in Madison.
Forty-nine-year-old Todd Mehrhoff, of Waunakee, assisted with...
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday aimed at stemming a persistently high number of veteran suicides, urging expanded outreach by awarding grants to...
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that President Donald Trump has personally assured him the money needed to fully fund a new Veterans Affairs hospital in...
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — An emergency room doctor says he created a distraction to tackle a double-amputee Army veteran who opened fire inside a Florida hospital.
FBI: Vet shoots, wounds doctor before mental health check
RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A double-amputee Army veteran shot and wounded a doctor just before a mental health evaluation at a veterans' hospital in Florida, authorities said.
Lawmakers back tighter rules on Indiana veterans fund grants
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A bill aimed at tightening management of an Indiana grant program for struggling military veterans has been approved by the Indiana House following news reports that a state...
The Emporia VA clinic to be decommissioned by summer
EMPORIA, Kan. (AP) — The Veterans Affairs clinic in Emporia will be closed by mid-June.
Joe Burks, spokesman for Kansas VA, says the organization plans to move veteran care from the clinic...
Bill to tighten management of Indiana veterans fund advances
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A bill that would tighten management of an Indiana grant program meant to help struggling veterans is advancing in the Legislature, thanks to broad bipartisan support following...
Oklahoma governor appoints Keating, Brurud to cabinet
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt has filled two positions in his executive cabinet, including Chip Keating as secretary of public safety and Brian Brurud as secretary of veterans...
Pritzker names secnd Veterans Affairs director in 2 weeks
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker has appointed a state lawmaker as director of the state's Veterans Affairs department after his first choice stepped down.
The Democrat on Friday named state Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia. The former Army officer was named in place of Army Lt. Col. Jaime Martinez.
Pritzker tabbed Martinez for the job Jan. 31 . The governor's office did not say why Martinez withdrew from consideration.
Newspaper: Indiana lawmaker may have violated lobbying laws
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Indiana lawmaker's contract with the state's Department of Veterans Affairs may have violated state lobbying laws, according to a newspaper investigation.
Gov reveals plan to outfit every college with veteran center
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state leaders have announced a plan to put a veteran center on every college campus in the state by fall 2019.
New director named for Roseburg Veterans Affairs center
ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — An interim director for the Walla Walla Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington has been named as the new permanent director for the Roseburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oregon.
The News-Review reports Keith Allen will take over from interim director Kevin Forrest on March 17.
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VA buys land to expand western Nebraska cemetery
MAXWELL, Neb. (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs says it's bought land to expand a national veterans cemetery in western Nebraska.
The VA announced Monday that Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell will be expanded to nearly double its current size. The VA says it bought 18 acres (7.3 hectares) on the north side of the 20-acre cemetery, providing room for at least 15,000 more graves.
The VA says it paid Donna Sundstrom nearly $116,000 for the land.
Veterans being kicked out of transitional housing facility
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than a dozen military veterans have been given a 30-day notice to leave a transitional housing facility in Des Moines.
Station KCCI reports that a Department of Veterans Affairs official dropped off the notice at the 180 Degrees facility last week, but VA officials have declined to discuss the issue.
Trump names former doctor as assistant and medical adviser
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump has appointed his former doctor to be his assistant and chief medical adviser.
Saturday's announcement by the White House follows Trump's decision to re-nominate Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson for a second star due to inaction by the previous Congress. Jackson's original nomination was put on hold last year after Trump nominated him to head the Veterans Affairs Department.
Review finds more cases handled by impaired pathologist
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — A pathologist accused of working while impaired at an Arkansas Veterans Affairs hospital handled 96 cases as a private consultant before he was hired, according to an independent review.
Dr. Robert Morris Levy has acknowledged that he once showed up to work at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks drunk in 2016, but he denies working while impaired.
Officials: Man threatened doctor for failing to find illness
OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Court documents say a Mississippi man threatened to kill a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs physician for failing to detect a deadly illness.
VA Office of Inspector General Agent John Ramsey says Edward Steve McNatt of Tishomingo County called a VA hotline Friday threatening to kill a doctor at his next appointment at a Tupelo VA clinic.
State: No medical marijuana at veterans’ nursing homes
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Residents and employees of Missouri's seven nursing homes for veterans will not be allowed to use medical marijuana.
Missouri Veterans Commission Executive Director Grace Link said Monday the state must prohibit the use of medical marijuana at the homes in order to comply with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which considers pot an illegal drug.
Louisiana has fragmented response to elderly financial abuse
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana's legislative auditor says the state doesn't coordinate its work to combat and respond to financial abuse of the elderly.
The auditor's office released a report Monday showing a half-dozen state agencies with oversight and investigative authority involving allegations that someone has stolen from or financially exploited an elderly person.
Nominees picked for open Pennsylvania state Senate seat
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Navy veteran and former Veterans Affairs official will compete with an information technology consulting firm owner for an open state Senate seat in suburban Pittsburgh.
Republican delegates chose D. Raja and Democrats chose Pam Iovino in Sunday's votes.
April 2's special election will fill the remaining two years in Republican Guy Reschenthaler's Senate term in the politically divided district.
Q&A: Feds tackle opioid epidemic, but is it helping?
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency and urged prosecutors to seek the death penalty against drug dealers. Congress has provided targeted grants for treatment, recovery and prevention and made numerous policy changes to help people struggling with addiction get access to services. From the National Institutes of Health to Veterans Affairs and the Agriculture Department, government agencies are deploying their own specialized skills. Still, the addiction crisis will not easily release its grip on the nation, even as progress is made providing resources and improving coordination.
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Legislators push for better access to the state Capitol
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota legislative committee has pressed for upgrades at the state Capitol to make the building more accessible to people with disabilities.
Navy denies claims linked to contaminated water
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy is denying thousands of claims from service members and their families who were exposed to contaminated drinking water decades ago at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer told reporters Thursday that at least 4,400 claims totaling $963 billion are being denied because there is no legal basis for paying them. He said it was a difficult decision but suggested that claimants could go to Capitol Hill to seek legislation providing restitution.
Manchester VA to host town hall to discuss health care
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's Veterans Affairs medical center is holding a town hall meeting to hear the concerns from military veterans regarding their health care and benefits.
The Jan. 29 event in Manchester comes in the wake of efforts to improve services at New Hampshire's only veterans hospital. Top officials were removed in 2017 after the Boston Globe reported whistleblower complaints about substandard treatment and unsafe conditions.
Prosecutors: Woman collected federal benefits for fake son
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A military widow has been sentenced to 14 months in prison for falsely claiming to have a son so she could collect more than $100,000 in veterans and Social Security benefits, federal prosecutors say.
East Tennessee State University expands military student aid
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (AP) — East Tennessee State University is expanding scholarships and waiving out-of-state tuition for military service members, their families and veterans.
According to the school, beginning in the spring it will offer 15 $1,000 scholarships each semester to military spouses or children. An additional 10 scholarships of $1,500 each will go to veterans who no longer receive GI Bill benefits.
Incoming military-affiliated students can also waive out-of-state tuition.
Lamont to keep 9 of Malloy’s agency commissioners
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov.-elect Ned Lamont says he's keeping nine of outgoing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's state agency heads.
Lamont, who will be sworn in Wednesday, announced the list Monday. He says his remaining appointments will be announced on a rolling basis over the coming weeks.
Clinic helps veterans, first responders with free care
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — They are there to protect and serve. They are Army Strong. They do whatever it takes and are exposed to trauma most people can't fathom.
But what about when the shift, deployment or career ends?
Evers picks former Navy captain to lead veterans agency
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers announced Friday that he has appointed a former U.S. Navy captain to head the state's troubled Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Latest: Evers names vets, financial secretaries
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Latest on Gov.-elect Tony Evers' cabinet appointments (all times local):
Democratic Gov.-elect Tony Evers has appointed two new cabinet secretaries.
Evers announced that Mary Kolar, a retired U.S. Navy captain, will serve as the new state Department of Veterans Affairs secretary. Kathy Blumenfeld, a vice president of a Madison-based benefits administration company, will serve as Department of Financial Institutions secretary.
Dunleavy names Saxe as Alaska military affairs commissioner
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Mike Dunleavy has named Col. Torrence Saxe commissioner of the Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Saxe will also be adjutant general of the Alaska National Guard.
He will replace Maj. General Laurie Hummel in those roles.
Saxe most recently served as an assistant adjutant general and as commander of the Alaska Air National Guard. He served in the Air Force and joined the Alaska Air National Guard in 2004.
North Dakota’s Cramer named to 5 US Senate committees
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Sen.-elect Kevin Cramer has been named to five committees.
Cramer will work on the Armed Services, Environment and Public Works, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Veterans Affairs and Budget committees.
Cramer says he is grateful that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accommodated his requests. Cramer says he wanted his work to complement fellow Sen. John Hoeven's assignments to "maximize our collaborative influence" for North Dakota.
Noem names Veterans Affairs secretary for new administration
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Gov.-elect Kristi Noem has named a military and veterans official in her congressional office to serve as South Dakota's Veterans Affairs secretary.
Noem announced Tuesday that Greg Whitlock, of Watertown, will be appointed to the post. Noem will be sworn in Jan. 5.
Whitlock has served since 1975 in the South Dakota Army National Guard and now works as military and veterans service representative in Noem's congressional office.
AP Explains: What happens in a partial government shutdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — As President Donald Trump and Congress bicker over Trump's call for $5 billion to build a border wall with Mexico, government agencies are preparing for a partial government shutdown set to begin at midnight Friday.
Many agencies, including the Pentagon and the departments of Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services, are already funded for the year and will continue to operate as usual, regardless of whether Congress and the president reach agreement this week.
DeSantis picks Army reservist to lead veterans affairs
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Incoming Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has named a state representative who is a member of the Army Reserves to be his veterans' affairs director.
Republican state Rep. Danny Burgess became Saturday the third sitting legislator DeSantis has named to his administration.
The 32-year-old represents a district north of Tampa Bay, recently winning a third term. He will have to resign.
Head of Michigan veterans agency will become appellate judge
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder has appointed a former Kent County judge to fill a vacancy on the Michigan appeals court.
James Redford now serves as director of the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency. He joined the Snyder administration in 2015 as chief legal counsel after losing a 2014 race for the state Supreme Court.
Redford was a Kent County judge for more than a decade. He's also a former federal prosecutor. Snyder says Redford has had a "distinguished career as a public servant."
Mississippi man gets 3 years for stealing veteran’s ID
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi man has been sentenced to three years in prison for stealing the identity of a U.S. military veteran and using it to get more than $130,000 in benefits.
News outlets reported Senior U.S. District Judge Tom S. Lee on Thursday also ordered 56-year-old Tierun Bush of Jackson to pay full restitution to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst says Bush was convicted of aggravated identity theft and theft of government funds and property.
Nurse pleads guilty to stealing drugs from Denver VA
DENVER (AP) — A registered nurse accused of stealing drugs from the Denver Veterans Affairs Hospital has pleaded guilty.
KMGH-TV reports 46-year-old Erick Lee Tombre pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges of acquiring and trying to obtain controlled substances by deception and subterfuge.
Standing Rock veterans cemetery getting more federal money
FORT YATES, N.D. (AP) — The Standing Rock Sioux tribe is getting $291,000 from the federal government to expand and improve the All Nations Veterans Cemetery in Fort Yates.
The money is through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The agency last year gave the tribe nearly $5 million to build the cemetery.
The 8-acre cemetery is expected to serve more than 2,200 tribal veterans and their families.
NY lawmakers return to Albany to get ready for 2019
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Members of the New York state Assembly are getting an early start to 2019.
Members of the Assembly's Democratic majority will gather Wednesday for the first of a few days of meetings. Senate Democrats are also meeting this week to prepare for 2019, when they will have the majority in the Senate.
The Assembly Committee on Veterans Affairs will also hold a hearing Wednesday on veteran employment programs.
Man ordered to pay back disability money to 2 US agencies
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A man convicted in Omaha of embezzling government funds has been ordered to make restitution to two federal agencies.
Federal prosecutors say 62-year-old Michael Basile was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Omaha to five years of probation and 150 hours of community service. He also was told to pay the Department of Veterans Affairs more than $62,000 and the Railroad Retirement Board more than $108,000.
Nurse at VA hospital admits he stole liquid opioids
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A nurse at the Providence VA Medical Center has admitted that he removed liquid opioids from vials at the hospital for his own personal use and filled the vials back up with saline.
Thirty-five-year-old Jared Scott, of West Warwick, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court to charges of tampering with a consumer product and acquiring a controlled substance by deception and subterfuge. The two charges carry a combined total of 14 years in prison upon conviction.
Indiana veterans affairs head resigns after grants scrutiny
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The leader of Indiana's veterans affairs agency resigned Friday following reports that he had awarded money to veterans who worked under him at the agency that was intended to go to veterans struggling to make ends meet.
Gov. Eric Holcomb accepted James Brown's resignation as director of the Indiana Department of Veterans' Affairs, and in a statement he praised the decorated Vietnam veteran, who had led the agency since 2013.