News

Updated at 10:02 a.m. ET

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday morning, charging him with abuse of power in the Ukraine affair and obstruction of Congress.

The announcement came 77 days after the House launched a formal inquiry into Trump's freezing of assistance to Ukraine and request to investigate his political rival. It marked only the fourth time in U.S. history that articles of impeachment have been introduced against a president.

Mountain Air: Youth Help Identify Causes Of Ohio Valley’s High Lung Disease Rates

15 hours ago
Participants documented many exposures to cigarette smoke. Kentucky and West Virginia have the nation’s highest smoking rates.
Photo courtesy of the Mountain Air Project

Isabella Back, 18, pulls her jacket tight around herself as she crosses the gravel driveway. “So we’re going about 10 feet from my house to my dad’s workshop,” she says, and pushes through a door in a big, red barn.

The Kona, Kentucky, shop is crowded with cluttered work tables and hulking machines, and the sound of whirring and grinding fills the air. The shop smells of paint and other chemicals. Back’s dad, Rod, started this metal fabrication shop after he got laid off from coal mining. He mostly makes signs for local businesses. He waves a friendly hello.

Natural gas pipe for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline sits in a yard Feb. 27, 2019, near Morgantown, W.Va.
Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

A group of 18 states, led by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that blocked construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline under the Appalachian Trail. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, flea markets are a common feature across Appalachian landscapes. Maybe you even remember going as a kid with your family. There’s usually something for just about everyone. 

Well, one West Virginian artist mines flea markets regularly to find material for his work. Old photographs, children’s toys and tin cans of all kinds become elements in his abstract art -- art that is uniquely Appalachian. Our folklife reporter, Caitlin Tan, brings us the story.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story and will be updated -- following a news conference with Gov. Jim Justice and DMAPS Secretary Jeff Sandy.

West Virginia officials have announced that three individuals have been fired and 34 others have been suspended without pay as a result of an investigation into a photo of corrections trainees giving the Nazi salute. However, the governor's office and the agency in charge of the state's corrections' program isn't yet releasing the identities of those involved or the original photo in question. 

Courtesy photo

West Virginia author Mesha Maren’s debut novel “Sugar Run” is set in a fictional version of Greenbrier County. Maren is from Alderson and currently splits her time between North Carolina and West Virginia. 

“Sugar Run” tells the story of a woman named Jodi McCarty. The story begins as she is being released from prison. She wants to head back to where she grew up in southern West Virginia, to live on land owned by her grandmother. But before she does that, she wants to make good on a promise she made before prison.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

For many people in Appalachia, the lakes, rivers and creeks are the first places we swam, played in the water or caught crawdads. For many adults, our waterways are some of the best places to get outdoors and cool off in the summer. We have whitewater rafting, swimming, boating and even scuba diving to choose from (yes, scuba diving, you read that right.)  

It may be December, but we wanted to take another listen to this episode to imagine the fun we will have this summer. And as a reminder that the rivers and waters of Appalachia are an important, vital resource all year long.


Courtesy of the Artist

Two shows in Charleston and one in Morgantown have been added to the live show schedule. Guests include J2B2, Karan Casey, Marc Cohn, Amy Speace, The Haden Triplets, Kat Edmonson and Ranky Tanky.

New SNAP Rule Could Hit Ohio Valley Hardest

Dec 6, 2019
Food is ready for loading and distribution the Facing Hunger Food Bank in Huntington, West Virginia..
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates almost 700,000 people across the country will lose food stamps in a new Trump Administration rule announced Wednesday. Regional anti-hunger advocates and policy analysts say the Ohio Valley — and Appalachia in particular — could be disproportionately affected by this rule.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear another in our occasional series focusing on authors in the region. West Virginia author Mesha Maren’s debut novel Sugar Run is set in a fictional version of Greenbrier County and was described in the New York Times Book Review as “southern noir.”

Maren splits her time between North Carolina and West Virginia. She spoke to Eric Douglas via Skype to discuss the book.

West Virginia Department of Militart Affairs and Public Safety

Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 11:18 p.m. 

The West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety is opening an investigation into an offensive photo depicting state corrections trainees giving a well-recognized Nazi hand signal. State officials announced that suspsensions related to the photo have taken place.

Del. Mike Caputo speaks on the House floor.
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An attorney for Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, filed a motion on Thursday requesting the court dismiss a criminal complaint accusing Caputo of misdemeanor battery stemming from from an incident during the 2019 legislative session.

Updated at 12:43 p.m. ET

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Thursday morning that House Democrats will move ahead with drafting articles of impeachment against President Trump, though she did not define the scope of those articles.

"His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution," Pelosi said, referring to Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate political rivals while hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid were on hold earlier this year.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Ohio based duo Cave Twins, featuring David Mayfield on mandolin and Abby Rose on guitar, sing beautiful harmony on a heart felt dose of encouragment for our Song of the Week, "Keep on Singing."

Courtesy Doris Fields

The West Virginia Humanities Council is accepting applications for their 2020 Folklife Apprenticeship Program

This will be the second year the West Virginia Folklife Program is sponsoring the apprenticeship program. The Humanities Council offers up to $3,000 to highly skilled, traditional artists who agree to work with a qualified apprentice.

The MARC train's Brunswick Line parked at the Martinsburg Train Station. Photo taken in Apr. 2018.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Nov. 30 was the deadline for West Virginia to provide $2.3 million to the Maryland Department of Transportation to keep the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) at its current service. Otherwise, the service in West Virginia would be reduced from six trains per weekday to two. 

But it’s unclear if an agreement was reached.

Brittany Patterson/ WVPB

Adding plants and trees to the landscape could reduce air pollution by an average of 27 percent, according to a new study. Specialists in environmental science, engineering and geography spent three years analyzing thousands of counties across the country. They found that adding more plants is cheaper than most technologies at reducing air pollution. One of the lead researchers is an engineering professor at Ohio State University named Bhavik Bakshi.


Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Fairness West Virginia, an advocacy group for the state’s LGBTQ+ population, held a panel for the press Tuesday morning to discuss its proposed ‘Fairness Act’ for the 2020 legislative session.  

 

If passed, the bill would prohibit discrimination that’s based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The High Cost Of Living Rural: A Q&A With A Journalist Covering Healthcare In Appalachia

Dec 3, 2019
Adobe Stock

Rural hospitals across the country are closing in large numbers, making emergency and speciality services harder and harder to come by for Americans who don’t live in urban centers. One hundred and thirteen rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and about a third of the remaining, some 670, were at risk of closing in 2016.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Longtime Democratic West Virginia House of Delegates member Mike Caputo has announced he’ll run for a seat in the state Senate. He made the announcement Tuesday at an event in Fairmont.

Farragutful / wikimedia Commons

The Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston released a “list of amends” last week for the former bishop Michael Bransfield to consider. That list comes in the wake of multiple investigations revealing sexual and financial misconduct. The diocese wants Bransfield to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and to apologize. 

Former seminarian, Wheeling resident and Morgantown native Vincent DeGeorge has spoken out about abuse, saying he was among those targeted by Bransfield. He offered these thoughts on the Diocese's list.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the abundant drilling of our region's Marcellus and Utica shales has created a glut of natural gas. That means prices are at an all-time low. Producers eager to find new markets now ship gas overseas.  StateImpact Pennsylvania’s Susan Phillips traces the path of natural gas from the forests of northern Appalachia to Japan, where cheap Pennsylvania shale gas provides energy in the wake of a disaster.

InciWeb / Monongahela National Forest

Wet, cool conditions are helping to slow a wildfire in Pendleton County that broke out on Thanksgiving.

The Dry Hollow Fire was first reported early Thursday in the Monongahela National Forest near the community of Upper Tract. 

Flight cancellations and delays continued Monday as the winter storm that tore across the United States reached the Northeast, bringing several inches of snow and coastal floods. Travel disruptions are likely, with the National Weather Service warning of hazardous driving conditions.

Neville Island, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Ohio River
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Ohio River is an important ecological and economic force in the region. It provides drinking water for 5 million people, but it’s also one of the most polluted rivers in the U.S. A new regional journalism collaborative is digging into what it means to live in the Ohio River watershed. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, across Appalachia, and even rural America more broadly, hospitals are closing. Faced with increasing costs and aging, sicker and poorer patients, health care systems are consolidating their services, and in the process, increasing travel times for patients seeking specialized and emergency care. Freelance reporter Mason Adams recently dug into the impacts these changes are having on Appalachian communities in a story for In These Times. He spoke with 100 Days in Appalachia’s student editor Kristen Uppercue about his reporting.

Updated at 8:01 p.m. ET

As the House impeachment inquiry moves this week from the fact-gathering stage in the Intelligence Committee to considerations of law in the Judiciary Committee, the White House says President Trump does not intend to participate in a Wednesday hearing.

The world is getting windier, according to a new study in the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers analyzed decades of weather data and determined global wind speeds have risen dramatically over the past 10 years.

The study says wind farm operators are likely to benefit from the uptick in wind speeds since faster wind means more efficient wind turbines.

Certain fictional mansions exist only so their owners can mysteriously die in them. The gothic revival abode of famous novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) in Rian Johnson's Knives Out is one of them. All brick turrets and spindly spires on the outside, all dark wood and winding staircases on the inside, it's a perfect place to throw a party — especially one in which all the suspects in a death are gathered at the request of law enforcement.

Ella Jennings

Our region has faced major economic changes and challenges in the past decade. But if you know our region’s history, this story of boom and bust, renewal and recession, is an all too familiar story. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore how these economic changes affect people, our friends, our neighbors, and how entire communities can be uprooted by the closing of a local factory, or coal-mine layoffs. 


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