News

Flynn Larsen/Sesame Workshop/AP

Sesame Street has a history of tackling big issues.

Last week, they launched a new short film to help kids going through tough times when their parents are struggling with addiction.

New Kentucky Memorial Honors Miners Who Died From Black Lung

8 hours ago
The memorial lists hundreds of local miners who have died from black lung.
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal miners and family members of miners who have died from black lung disease gathered Sunday in Whitesburg, Kentucky, to dedicate a new memorial to miners who perished from the workplace disease.

While Appalachian coal country has several memorials to mining disasters, this is believed to be the first memorial to remember the thousands of men and women who died from black lung.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

A large wooden sign that says “Yew Here” greets visitors as they drive into the Yew Mountain Center. Nestled in the woods of Pocahontas County, West Virginia, the property for years operated as a farm. A few years ago, a group of community members sought to repurpose the land to create a place for outdoor education. 

“It was really a neighborhood effort to turn this property into something that would preserve the land and also serve the community,” said Erica Marks, the center’s director.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we can learn a lot from the natural world -- things our ancestors knew that many of us have forgotten. A program in Pocahontas County wants to teach about those things -- and use nature as a classroom as well. Eric Douglas has the story.

Adobe Stock

Public forums will be held starting this week on a statewide response to substance abuse in West Virginia.

Hemp Farmers Form Cooperatives Amid Growth And Uncertainty

Oct 14, 2019
Tony Silvernail (left) and Shawn Lucas (right) inside their high tunnel where hemp is drying.
Liam Niemeyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

Tony Silvernail swings a heavy machete at a stalk of bushy hemp and chops the plant near the root, grabbing the five-foot-tall shoot with his sun-weathered hand. 

It’s an unusually hot October day on his farm, Beyond The Bridge LLC, tucked in the hills outside of Frankfort, Kentucky. But the heat doesn’t faze Silvernail, sporting a sweat-soaked shirt, a huge smile, and a fat cigar between his teeth.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, some Ohio Valley farmers are reaping their first hemp harvest since federal law changed to legalize hemp. With some 27,000 acres under production in the region, hemp is booming. But it remains a risky crop, with uncertainty about markets, growing practices, and concern that larger players might squeeze out small growers.

The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer reports some hemp farmers are forming new cooperatives to reduce that risk and protect small farmers.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Department of Education data says more than half of the state's teachers missed more than 10 days of school last year.

WSAZ-TV reports that 52.75 percent of teachers missed more than 10 days, according to research of data from the education department.

Credit Steve Helber/ AP

Think back to the last time you saw an Appalachian portrayed on TV, in the national media, in a book or a cartoon. Often, when people talk about Appalachians, they portray us as white, or poor, or ignorant -- or all three. But when you dig beneath the surface, and challenge the stereotypes that are often used to misrepresent people who live in our region, the story becomes much more honest, and interesting.

Courtesy image Clara Haizlett

People on the outside looking in often misunderstand Appalachia’s cultural ways and traditions. Those same attitudes are often leveled at people from the Middle East. 

The new student podcast Sandstone, by Clara Haizlett, seeks to introduce people from both cultures, with the aim of developing greater understanding between them. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Inside Appalachia is looking at some of the ways artists are challenging stereotypes in Appalachia in a new episode out today. People on the outside looking in often misunderstand Appalachia’s cultural ways and traditions. This may come as a surprise, but those same attitudes are often leveled at people from the Middle East.

Eric Douglas brings us the story of a podcast that wants to connect the people of Appalachia and those of the Arabic World.

Senate Candidate Patrick Morrisey speaks during a rally with President Donald Trump at a rally, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018 at the Tri-State Airport in Huntington, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / AP Photo

Updated Thursday, October 10 at 9:00 p.m.

The indictment of Rudy Giuliani's associates has a connection to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.

Global Energy Producers, the company owned by Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, made a donation to a Morrisey-focused political action committee in his failed U.S. Senate bid last year. NPR reports the two foreign-born Florida businessmen helped Giuliani dig up dirt on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son in Ukraine -- a scandal at the core of House Democrats' ongoing impeachment inquiry.

Courtesy photo

Kanawha County Commissioner and Charleston attorney Ben Salango has announced he is running for governor of West Virginia as a Democrat.

In a Thursday speech announcing his campaign, Salango repeatedly took aim at incumbent Republican Gov. Jim Justice for legal woes involving his businesses. 

U.S. Forest Service

West Virginia's ban on outdoor burning is officially over.

Gov. Jim Justice rescinded the ban on Wednesday after the state received sufficient rainfall over the past several days.

Scott Allen, who runs Pettit Creek Farms in bone-dry Bartow County, Ga., poses for a photo Oct. 7, 2019.
Jeff Martin / Associated Press

— Across a vast expanse of the South stretching from Texas to Maryland, there are growing concerns for the cattle, cotton and corn amid a worsening drought fueled by this summer’s record high temperatures.

One of the bullseyes marking the nation’s driest areas is Bartow County, Georgia, where extreme drought has kicked up buckets of dust and left cattle pastures bare. The farm country northwest of Atlanta is among the hardest hit spots in a dozen Southern states where more than 45 million residents are now living in some type of drought conditions, the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor report shows.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from WVPB’s podcast Us & Them. Host Trey Kay speaks with journalist Timothy Pratt, who produced an investigative series for 100 Days in Appalachia about undocumented seasonal workers who’ve struggled to recover from Hurricane Florence. That storm hit the Carolina coast in the fall of 2018.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

With unmatched musicianship and a good dose of humor, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn are featured on this week's episode of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce.
 

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Five out of every 100 babies born in West Virginia are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, the physical effects experienced during withdrawal from drugs. Many of these babies are put into foster care.

There are a lot of families stepping up to take them in, but many in West Virginia  — which has the highest rate of children taken into state care in the U.S. — say they feel unprepared for the task of taking care of the children with this group of conditions.


Adobe Stock

As many American parents struggle with opioid addiction, the number of children put into foster care in the U.S. is steadily increasing. 

In West Virginia, the foster care system has been hit particularly hard; roughly 6,700 children in the state are in foster care, an increase of almost 70% in six years. 


Jesse Pratt Lopez/100 Days in Appalachia

We’re in the midst of the 2019 hurricane season, and people in the Bahamas are still digging out from Hurricane Dorian. In 2018 hurricane Florence hit the coast of North Carolina, which left 51 people dead and caused $24 billion in damage in the state. 

Blackhawk Mining says it's closing three mines and two preparation plants in West Virginia amid weak global coal markets.

The Kentucky-based coal company on Tuesday announced the idling of its facilities in Logan and Mingo counties.

Magnus Manske / wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia mayor is asking state officials to reopen a suspension bridge.

Officials closed the Wheeling Suspension Bridge indefinitely last month due to vehicles crossing that exceeded the weight limit.

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.
West Virginia Judiciary

A former West Virginia Supreme Court justice who once joked that he was "America's laziest and dumbest judge" announced Wednesday that he'll seek a seat on the court again next year.

The Paloma Crisis Stabilization & Detox Center is located on Wilson Street in Martinsburg, W.Va. It opened in October 2018. Paloma is the first facility to offer overnight services in the Eastern Panhandle since the 1990s.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


It’s been one year since the Paloma Crisis Stabilization & Detox Center opened in Martinsburg. The facility is the first of its kind in the Eastern Panhandle in more than two decades. 

The Center is open 24/7 and offers in-patient, or overnight services for people suffering from substance use disorder. The launch of the 16-bed facility hit some bumps in the beginning, but it’s remained open and has helped more than 250 people find recovery.

Christy Salters, who hails from Itmann, Wyoming County, speaks at the 10th anniversary gala for Fairness WV on Sept. 28 in Charleston.
Courtesy of David Whittaker

It’s 1996. We’re in Las Vegas. Wyoming County native Christy Martin is in the ring, fighting the Irish boxer Deirdre Gogarty.  

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s been a year since the Paloma Crisis Stabilization and Detox Center opened in Martinsburg. The facility offers in-patient, or overnight services for people suffering from substance use disorder. As Liz McCormick reports, the launch of the new facility hit some bumps in the beginning, but it’s remained open and helps many find recovery.

Fat Bear Week 2019 officially ended Tuesday night. And the winner is ...

No. 435, or if you prefer a name, Holly.

Fat Bear Week has been an annual event for the past five years in Katmai National Park and Preserve in southwestern Alaska. The idea is to publicize and celebrate the process of bears eating as much as they can to build up crucial fat reserves in advance of winter hibernation.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The White House will not participate in Congress' ongoing impeachment inquiry, it said Tuesday, stepping up a political and legal standoff between the executive and legislative branches of government.

In a blistering eight-page letter to Democratic congressional leaders, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, White House counsel Pat Cipollone repeatedly mocked the Democrats' process.

Why Worker Training Programs Alone Won’t Save Coal Country

Oct 8, 2019
Participants in a West Virginia worker training program offered by Coalfield Development Corporation.
Rebecca Kiger / Ohio Valley ReSource

Bobby Bowman mined coal in West Virginia for 12 years before his employer shut down.

“I don’t think that mine will ever open again,” he said.

Bowman lives in Welch, in the south of the state, where he worked at the Pinnacle Mine, which shut down almost exactly one year ago, putting him and about 400 others out of work. After waiting a month in hopes someone would buy Pinnacle and the mine would reopen, Bowman decided to do a four-week training program offered by the United Mine Workers Career Center. He enjoyed it and earned a certification in heavy equipment operation. But when he came back home, he struggled to find a job in the field. So Bowman took matters into his own hands.

WV State Police Cruiser
WCHS-TV

A trial has started for a West Virginia trooper federally charged in the beating of a teenager who led authorities on a high-speed chase after rear-ending a deputy.

Pages