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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump touted the coal industry’s comeback at the rally last night. While the state has seen coal production and jobs tick upward in recent years – largely due to exports – a new federal analysis by the EPA indicates that trend is not likely to last. Brittany Patterson has more.

Kara Lofton / WVPB

At a campaign rally in Charleston for state attorney general and senate candidate Patrick Morrisey, President Donald Trump touted the coal industry’s comeback in West Virginia.

“And it is really happening -- we are back,” Trump told the cheering crowd, many of whom were sporting hard hats and carrying “Trump Digs Coal” signs. “The coal industry is back.”

Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s Rally in Charleston, W.Va.

Aug 21, 2018
President Donald Trump at his Charleston, W.Va., campaign rally on Aug. 21, 2018.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just hours after courtroom setbacks for two once-close allies, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump held a rally in Charleston, W.Va., a state he won by 42 points in the 2016 election.

Trump’s remarks, lasting about an hour and 15 minutes, did not directly address Manafort, who was found guilty by a federal jury in Virginia, and Cohen, who pled guilty to charges in a New York courtroom.

Instead, his speech covered a range of topics he frequently brings up, including his administration’s economic accomplishments, immigration and the military.

President Donald Trump greets the crowd during a rally Aug. 21, 2018, in Charleston, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

President Donald Trump confronted one of the most perilous moments of his presidency Tuesday after two onetime members of his inner circle simultaneously were labeled “guilty” of criminal charges. Although Trump largely ignored the jarring back-to-back blows at a campaign rally in West Virginia, questions mounted about his possible legal exposure and political future.

Tim Armstead.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia’s Republican House speaker resigned Tuesday to run for a vacancy on the state Supreme Court, fueling accusations by Democrats that an unprecedented move to impeach state Supreme Court justices represents a power grab by GOP lawmakers.

Speaker Tim Armstead disclosed his plans on Twitter. Though the secretary of state’s office has said he’s not required to resign, Armstead said he was doing so to make sure his candidacy is above question.

House lawmakers recently impeached four of the court’s five justices, prompting one to resign. All four were ordered Tuesday to appear in the Senate on Sept. 11 to answer accusations against them. The impeachment probe was sparked by questions involving more than $3 million in renovations to the justices’ offices and expanded to broader accusations of corruption, incompetence and neglect of duty.

Armstead had recused himself from the House debate over impeachment because he had previously expressed interest in serving on the court. More recently, he and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins, a Republican who is not seeking re-election and lost in his bid for the U.S. Senate this spring, both applied to be considered for temporary appointments to the Supreme Court by Gov. Jim Justice. Those appointments would last until the November election is certified.

Jenkins has declared himself a candidate for a different seat on the court in the November election, which is officially nonpartisan.

The West Virginia Democratic Party said on Twitter of Armstead’s resignation, “No surprise here, more self-serving moves for political gain and abandoning the people of West Virginia in his district.”

In a statement announcing his resignation, Armstead said he intends “to spend as much time as possible meeting West Virginians and earning their trust and their votes to represent them on their Supreme Court of Appeals.”

Armstead filed by Tuesday’s deadline to run in the nonpartisan race for the vacancy created last month when Menis Ketchum retired and agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud related to his personal use of a state vehicle and fuel.

Robin Davis stepped down from the court Aug. 14 after lawmakers voted to impeach her and justices Allen Loughry, Margaret Workman and Beth Walker.

Davis and at least one Democratic lawmaker have accused the Republican-led legislature of turning what they said was a legitimate pursuit of charges against Loughry into a blatant attempt to take over the court. Democratic Delegate Barbara Evans Fleischauer of Monongalia County has called impeaching the other justices “a power grab ... and using the impeachment process to take over another branch of government.”

Jenkins and six other candidates have filed to run for Davis’ seat in November. Armstead and nine other candidates have filed to run for the seat Ketchum vacated.

Loughry faces six charges related to accusations of spending $363,000 on office renovations, taking home a $42,000 antique desk owned by the state, and lying to a House committee. Loughry, Walker and Workman all face charges of abusing authority by failing to control office expenses and not maintaining policies about the use of state vehicles, office computers at home and other matters.

Workman faces two separate impeachment articles related to accusations that she allowed senior status judges to be paid higher wages than are allowed.

Armstead was appointed to a House seat from Kanawha County in 1998 to fill a vacancy and was elected later that year. He served as House minority leader and was named speaker in December 2014 after Republicans gained majority control of both the House and Senate for the first time in eight decades.

EPA Moves To Dramatically Cut Regulation of Coal Power

Aug 21, 2018
Adobe Stock

The Trump administration moved to dismantle another major piece of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy on Tuesday, proposing to dramatically scale back restrictions on climate-changing emissions from coal-fired power plants even as it acknowledged that could lead to more premature deaths and serious illnesses.

Adobe Stock

A new study found checking work email during nonwork hours may be detrimental to your health.

The report out of Virginia Tech found that when employers expect personnel to monitor work email after hours, the result was increased employee anxiety, which affected not only the worker themselves, but their families as well.

The study found that employees don’t actually need to spend time on work in their off hours to experience harmful effects – just the expectation of availability was enough to increase strain for employees and their significant other.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, professional wrestling has become a major commercial industry across the country, with WWE stars making six figure salaries. But back in the 1950s, when pro-wrestling was just getting to be popular, a small television station in Fayette County began broadcasting a show called “Saturday Nite Wrestlin’ ”. The program ran for more than two decades. Incidentally, state representative Shirley Love was an announcer for the program. West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Adam Harris interviewed writer Zack Harold about the history of WOAY Wrestling.

Steve Helber / AP File Photo

President Donald Trump is expected to use a rally in West Virginia Tuesday to roll out a replacement for a major climate regulation that sought to limit carbon pollution.

Trump will be in Charleston campaigning for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Attorney General Patrick  Morrisey. He is also expected to announce his administration’s replacement for the Clean Power Plan.

Appalachian Regional Commission

A new economic report from the Appalachian Regional Commission shows that across Appalachia, communities are starting to rebound. But in West Virginia, that’s not the case. 


Molly Born / WVPB

On a warm Friday afternoon in July, Fred Cox and his team set up shop on a gravel shoulder off the side of the road, where you might see someone selling summer vegetables. With its white tent, a table, some folding chairs, and brown paper bags piled in crates, the Wyoming County health department's mobile harm reduction unit was open for business for the next half-hour. Its signature offering: a traveling needle exchange offering clean needles to intravenous drug users.

Adobe Stock

If you are night owl struggling with your weight, you may want to consider becoming early bird instead. A new study has found people with prediabetes who have an “evening preference,” have a higher body mass index than those who do things earlier in the day.

 

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet type 2 diabetes.

 

The study compared patients with prediabetes who go to bed, eat meals, and are more active and alert later in the day with those who do things earlier in the day. 

 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Senate has begun its part in the impeachment of West Virginia Supreme Court justices. The chamber gaveled in Monday and adopted rules of procedure that will dictate the Court of Impeachment.

Thorney Lieberman / West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

This is a developing list. Please check back for more details.

Last updated on Aug. 21, 2018 at 2:46 p.m.

Two West Virginia Supreme Court seats will appear on the midterm election ballot later this fall.

West Virginians have until midnight on Aug. 21 to file for either seat. Voters will decide on Nov. 6 who fills those seats.

Rural Risk: Mobile Clinics Help Tackle Multifaceted Opioid Crisis

Aug 20, 2018
Anthony Scott Lockard / KY River Dist. Health

In a room at the Letcher County Health Department in Whitesburg, Kentucky, about 20 people are learning how to use naloxone, the opioid overdose reversal medication.

Among them is 18-year-old Morgan Hopkins. An aspiring therapist, Hopkins said she wants to be ready with naloxone if someone overdoses around her.

“You never know what you’re going to see,” she said. “If anything goes wrong, you have it, rather than you don’t have it.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, drug overdose deaths in the Ohio Valley continue to rise. And so do the risks of infectious diseases closely associated with needle drug use. Area health officials say the region’s opioid crisis is now a public health threat on multiple fronts. Aaron Payne reports that health groups with different specialties are teaming up and taking to the road to meet the challenge.

Blue Ridge Community and Technical College located in Martinsburg, Berkeley County.
John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group reviewing West Virginia's higher education system wants two-year community and technical colleges added to the study.

News outlets report the Blue Ribbon Commission on Four-Year Higher Education voted Friday to draft a response to Gov. Jim Justice's executive order that created the commission.

Don Blankenship
Tyler Evert / AP Photo

The West Virginia Republican Party is attempting to join the legal fight to keep former coal executive Don Blankenship off the ballot as a third-party candidate for the U.S. Senate.

WVU Football Entrance
Magnus Manske / wikimedia commons

West Virginia University has postponed its Fan Day following an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease among several members of the school's football program.

The school said Saturday that five cases of the highly contagious viral infection were identified within the program.

Courtesey of the Artist

Mountain Stage with Larry Groce is excited to welcome legendary acoustic guitarist Leo Kottke back to Mountain Stage for his 9th appearance. More artists have been added to our Live Show Schedule.

Emily Hilliard/ WV Folklife Program

This story is part of an episode of Inside Appalachia about Professional Wrestling in Appalachia. Click here to listen to the full episode. 

In Madison, West Virginia, All Star Wrestling draws hundreds of people to most matches. The crowd is no different than any West Virginia high school sporting event: Plenty of kids, small children to teenagers—and parents, grandparents, and others who you can tell by the skeptical  look on their faces, are not that into it. They brought their kid who loves wrestling and that’s the only reason why they are sitting in an audience surrounded by screaming fans with music blaring.


Shayla Klein

This week on Inside Appalachia, we explore the world of independent pro-wrestling.

While pro-wrestling is popular across the country and all around the world, the sport has a rich and storied history here in Appalachia. In this episode we’ll take a glimpse at the action, intensity, and drama (real-life and otherwise) that happens between the ropes.


Hazard Ahead: Ohio Valley Auto Industry Concerned About Trump Trade Policies

Aug 17, 2018
Nick Youngston CC By-SA 3.0 / Alpha Stock Images

Automotive manufacturing leaders met in Kentucky to discuss how changes in U.S. trade policy under President Trump affect the industry and its growing presence in the Ohio Valley.

Industry leaders gathered for the annual AutoVision conference and many don’t like what they see coming.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we visit the world of independent pro-wrestling in Appalachia. We shared the mic this week with one of our colleagues here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Adam Harris. He’s spent the past two years recording wrestling shows in Boone County for an episode of Inside Appalachia. In this morning’s preview of that episode, we’ll hear Adam Harris speaking with Dave Allen, who was the ring announcer at the time for All Star Wrestling.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A new economic forecast shows the recent uptick in coal production is expected to level out during the next two years and decline precipitously during the next two decades.

The annual coal production report, released today by West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, shows the recent uptick in coal production will be short-lived.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Some medications used to treat opioid use disorders can be abused if taken in large amounts or injected. Others, such as suboxone, prevent the effect of the opioids. Two WVU researchers are studying whether this drug could be used to treat pregnant women with opioid use disorders. Kara  Lofton spoke with researcher Laura Lander about the findings and the challenges of treating pregnant women.

LOFTON: Your research focuses on treating opioid use disorders in pregnant women. What are the challenges with working with this particular patient population?

Trey Kay & Randy
Joni Deutsch

Americans tend to sort themselves into tribes that share similar culture, ideas and values. Trey recalls kids at his West Virginia high school sorting themselves into different camps and how one dressed was often a defining factor, right down to the shoes.

Larry Dowling

To most folks overnight shift work would be exhausting, and the stress of paying bills at times overwhelming. But to talk to Kelly Strickler of Huntington, WV, who clocks in at a local bakery at 11pm and clocks out at 7am, you’d think she won the lottery.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting will cosponsor a screening of the documentary Recovery Boys tonight at University of Charleston’s Geary Auditorium. It’s part of WVPB's Recovery project – a focus on substance use disorder and the various paths to recovery. Part of this effort is sharing stories of those in recovery. Executive producer Suzanne Higgins recently visited with Kelly Strickler, of Huntington, to hear hers.

Copyright 2018 West Virginia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

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