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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An outbreak of hepatitis A that started in California is now barreling through seven states, and the Ohio Valley has the nation’s highest rate of infections. More than 1,800 cases have been confirmed in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, and health officials say the number of undiagnosed infections is far higher. 
Mary Meehan reports on the response from the food industry and some of those working with populations at highest risk of hepatitis A infection.

Updated at 10:06 a.m. ET

A hot, newly released document offers a sliver of new understanding to the Russia imbroglio — but has not dislodged warring partisans from their long-term deadlock about evidence and surveillance in the case.

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courtesy baberforoffice.com

A three-judge panel in West Virginia has approved a city council's request to remove Richwood Mayor Bob Henry Baber from office.

News outlets report the judges dismissed several of the Richwood council's allegations, but agreed Baber used city funds to reimburse personal power and cellphone bills and misused his city purchasing card.

Steve Helber / Associated Press

The West Virginia National Guard’s Quality Assurance and Control team have inspected and approved eight more new homes this week built for families affected by major flooding in June 2016.

In a press release, the Guard said the homes meet building standards.

West Virginia University

Between 1999 and 2015, roughly 300,000 people in the United States died from opioid overdoses. And of the five states with the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in 2016, four were in Appalachia. 

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear a special report from The Uncertain Hour, a podcast from American Public Media's Marketplace. Their investigation, which first aired in December, centered on a lesser-known but significant aspect of the opioid crisis: how Purdue Pharma marketed OxyContin, its highly addictive pain medication.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Personnel Board has voted to eliminate civil service protection for the state Budget Office director.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the vote Thursday will take effect Saturday, as the Budget Director Mike McKown's joins the State Auditor's Office as a deputy auditor.

WVPB

You know those historic metal plaques that sit along West Virginia roadways and describe historic events or the stories behind small towns? Imagine the same idea -- but in a digital version.

Five years ago, David Trowbridge, a history professor at Marshall University, created Clio, a digital history guide with more than 30,000 original entries from sites across the country. The app and website were recently honored by the National Humanities Alliance in Washington D.C.

courtesy Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton Virginia

More than 40 West Virginians traveled to Staunton, Virginia earlier this week to hold a protest at a juvenile detention center. The center housed migrant children who filed child abuse reports against the facility. The protest was organized by the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center in Staunton Virginia (WVIRM), a group of religious leaders and activists from the Kanawha Valley. 


Freedom Industries
AP

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito say the state is receiving $1.2 million in funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to battle surface water pollution.

A release from the two U.S. senators says the grant will also help West Virginia implement an "effective underground storage tank state regulatory program."

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A tour of Supreme Court offices has been delayed following concerns about press freedom and potential violations of West Virginia’s open meetings laws as some state delegates push for court transparency. Members of the House Judiciary Committee also agreed to make their tour of the court conditional upon media access being granted to three pool reporters from the press corps covering potential impeachment proceedings of one or more state Supreme Court justices.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, state lawmakers have resumed hearings on the possible impeachment of one or more state Supreme Court justices. Members of the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony Thursday from four current employees of the court -- focused mainly on suspended Justice Allen Loughry. Senior reporter Dave Mistich talks about the third day of testimony in these impeachment investigations.

Adobe Stock

One recent evening at Blackwater State Park, naturalist Paulita Cousins was leading about two dozen visitors on a night hike by the lake.

“When it’s dark we’re naturally supposed to be ...?” she asked.

“Sleeping,” the group responded in unison.  

“And light,” she warned, “is actually messing up a chemical in our body to make us be healthy individuals.”

One in five working coal miners in central Appalachia who have worked at least 25 years now suffer from the coal miners' disease black lung. That's the finding from the latest study tracking an epidemic of the incurable and fatal sickness.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

For more information on the potential Supreme Court impeachments, see this explainer.

West Virginia lawmakers have resumed hearings on the possible impeachment of one or more state Supreme Court justices. Members of the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony Thursday from four current employees of the court -- focused mainly on suspended Justice Allen Loughry.

Sandstone Falls along the New River
New River Gateway

The New River Gorge National River in West Virginia will receive a grant to bolster a partnership aimed at getting local residents involved in recreational activities. 


Office of the Governor / via Twitter

A staffer who resigned from a housing program aimed at helping West Virginia flood victims now has a job with its largest contractor.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Wednesday that Russell Tarry left his job in the state Department of Commerce administrating RISE West Virginia in June as scandal arose around the $150 million federally funded program.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, with thousands of miles of new natural gas pipelines going in the ground in Appalachia and other regions, the government agency in charge of gas line infrastructure recently asked for input on how to improve the pipeline approval process. The comment period has been open since late April. As Nancy Andrews reports, hundreds of people and organizations have submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or FERC.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

A pilot-scale facility that extracts valuable rare earth elements from coal waste byproducts officially opened its doors this week at West Virginia University.

Advocates of the project are hopeful that environmental waste left by Appalachia’s coal mining legacy could one day fuel an economic boom in the region while also providing some national security.

Nancy Andrews

Seventy-five-year-old farmer Curtis Johnson doesn’t object to pipelines, but does take issue with some of their construction practices.

Johnson sold easements to the nearly completed 713-mile Rover Pipeline, which originates in the Ohio Valley and is designed to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas to Michigan and Canada.

Gabriela Arp

Things have changed in the old neighborhood. There are cool little restaurants and cafes, funky little shops and a vibrant art and music scene. On one side, you have the newcomers— people who came here to open new businesses and live in this trendy neighborhood. On the other side you have the old guard — the people who grew up here, before it was trendy, and have been watching the place they call home rapidly dissolve all around them.

Thoroughbred horses participating in a race at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va.
Courtesy Photo / Coady Photography

The dog and horse racing industries have played a major role in West Virginia’s economy since the mid-1930s. But in recent years, lawmakers at the statehouse have debated whether these industries fit into the state’s economic future. Those who support the racing industry are fighting to see it survive, while others say it doesn’t bring in revenue like it once did.

Lawmakers Warn Of Economic Fallout From Failing Pensions

Jul 18, 2018
A union miner at an Ohio rally for pension protection.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts fired up a crowd of thousands of union workers in Columbus, Ohio, with a simple chant: “Fix it!”

The rally last week came on the eve of a congressional field hearing on problems plaguing multi-employer pension programs like the one retired miners depend upon.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Monring, the dog and horse racing industries have played a major role in West Virginia’s economy since the mid-1930s. But in recent years, whether these industries fit into the state’s economic future is something that’s been debated at the statehouse. As Liz McCormick reports, those who support the racing industry are fighting to see it survive, while others say it doesn’t bring in the revenue it once did.

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

A federal prosecutor in West Virginia has tacked on an additional charge against a state Supreme Court Justice who was indicted last month on charges of fraud, witness tampering and making false statements.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern Distict of West Virginia Mike Stuart announced that a superseding indictment against West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Allen Loughry was unsealed Tuesday, adding the charge of obstruction of justice to 22 other counts that have been mounted against the embattled judg

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael is criticizing a teachers union that won a pay raise earlier this year over what he called its "Obama style socialist agenda."

courtesy photo

A new scholarship at Marshall University has been created to support students earning their master’s degree in counseling.

According to a news release from Marshall, the scholarship is named in honor of John Hunsley, an activist for cystic fibrosis who received his bachelor’s degree in counseling from Marshall University in 1996. 


Adobe Stock

The West Virginia University School of Medicine has launched a new accelerated program for medical students.

In a press release, WVU said the Mountaineer Accelerated Track to Enter Residency program will shave a semester off of the four-year medical degree program. This move, they said, is to give students an option to graduate with less debt and try and get medical professionals into patient care sooner to meet the state’s health needs.

Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP Photo

A day after President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, most of West Virginia’s congressional delegation has weighed in on what many critics saw as a lost opportunity to condemn the foreign leader for his country’s role in interfering with the United States' 2016 election.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Moring, we hear a piece from our most recent episode of Inside Appalachia. The episode features one story about why pipeline protesters began scaling trees to block the Mountain Valley Pipeline.

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