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The West Virginia Department of Education announced that five counties will be remote learning-only for the week of Sept. 20, 2020. State officials rolled out updated data Saturday, Sept19 at 5 p.m.

Fayette, Kanawha, Mingo, Putnam, Boone and Monongalia county schools will not be open for in-person instruction this week. 

President Trump, who called Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg "a titan of the law," will be able to pick a successor for her from a list of nearly four dozen names that he updated Sept. 9.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.

The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, D.C., surrounded by family. She was 87.

In this year like no other, Election 2020 will be unlike other elections. The coronavirus pandemic makes some of the usual in-person voting a potential health hazard. Election officials have had to create new ways to safely and fairly conduct elections. And the hyper-partisan political atmosphere can make it harder to get accurate information about how to vote.

Sourtesy West Virginia Department of Commerce

West Virginia's elk restoration project has added at least 15 new calves to its herd this year, according to the state Division of Natural Resources.

Over the summer, wildlife managers for the WVDNR were able to confirm the births of about 15 calves, bringing the state total elk population to 85. 


e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

Marshall University officials said Friday they have put a professor on administrative leave while they investigate controversial statements made in a virtual classroom setting. 

 

In a news release, Marshall University administrators said they are aware of a video in which a faculty member made an “overtly political statement.”

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This episode of Inside Appalachia is about returning home. For some people, timing and circumstance force you back. It is only then that you realize how much you missed home. Others spend decades longing to return.

There are many songs about that longing. One of the most famous is “Take Me Home, County Roads,” a song that has come to represent the feeling of homesickness that many Appalachians know so well.

Nicole Musgrave, West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the past several months, people have turned to traditional skills and practices as one way of coping with the challenges created by the Coronavirus pandemic. Many have baked bread or started a garden, while others have returned to community traditions of raising and butchering animals at home.

In a special report as part of the Inside Appalachia Folkways Project, Nicole Musgrave spoke with several people in Floyd County, Kentucky who have used the pandemic as an opportunity to teach others how to process meat at home.


Connie Kitts / For Inside Appalachia

Known for its distinct sour taste when it first ripens, and its creamy applesauce when it matures, an heirloom apple with Russian roots still grows in Appalachia. Generations of southwest Virginians and West Virginians have kept these trees alive for more than a century. The growing season, flavor and versatility of this fruit set it apart. 

“I think this is an apple that has sour powder in it,” said five-year-old Renee Halsey when she took her first bite of an Early June Transparent Apple from a neighbor’s tree in Bluefield, Virginia.

On this West Virginia Morning, we unpack the iconic song, “Country Roads.” Also, in this show, we bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week from Canadian indie-folk rockers Cowboy Junkies.

Courtesy Bill Danoff

One night in 1970, Bill Danoff and his then-girlfriend Taffy Nivert were hanging out with John Denver, and they played a few verses from a song they’d been working on. Denver immediately said he wanted to record it.

“It was sort of like an old movie,” Danoff recalled in a 2010 interview with the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. “You know, ‘why don't we all do it together?’ And I said, ‘okay, well, we got to finish it.’ He said, ‘well, let's finish it.’”

Kara Lofton / WVPB

State regulators are ordering Frontier Communications to make some changes, more than two years after initiating an investigation into the company’s infrastructure for landline phones in West Virginia.

Supreme Court
Penubag / Wikimedia Commons

A group of West Virginia doctors is asking the state attorney general to withdraw support for a federal lawsuit that seeks to throw out the Affordable Care Act, which provides medical insurance for hundreds of thousands in the state.


Police, School, High School, Safety, School Safety
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More than $800,000 has been awarded to four county school boards in West Virginia to help with school safety needs. 

Grant, Pocahontas, Upshur and Marshall County Boards of Education will see a portion of an $824,774 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.

On this West Virginia Morning, equity is a recurring theme. We hear the latest on the dismantling of homeless encampments in the Northern Panhandle, details about a Black Lives Matter event in central West Virginia, and we hear from a former white nationalist.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Our look back at some of our favorite episodes continues with this week’s look back to 2012 for a show with Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes, songwriter and now Tony-winning Playwright Anais Mitchell,  Australia’s journeyman songwriter Paul Kelly and The Cowboy Junkies.

Mount Olive Correctional Center
Michael Keller / Goldenseal

West Virginia corrections officials say they’re now linking a prisoner death in July to COVID-19, referring to newer medical records that they received Tuesday.

Bob Murray speaking at an event in October 2019.
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley Resource

Coal mining giant Murray Energy Corp. has emerged from bankruptcy with a new name and a commitment to rehire all of its former union employees, according to a news release from the United Mine Workers of America. 

Courtesy National Park Service

The‌ ‌National‌ ‌Park‌ ‌Service‌, the federal agency that oversees America’s national parks, monuments and other conservation lands, ‌got‌ ‌a‌ ‌new‌ ‌leader‌ ‌last month. West Virginia native Margaret‌ ‌Everson‌ ‌is taking the helm at the agency. Everson comes to the role with‌ ‌decades‌ ‌of‌ ‌natural‌ ‌resources‌ ‌experience.‌ ‌

In a new book titled, The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist, author Rob Simbeck explores the wonders and curiosities of wild animals you might be taking for granted, like coyotes, American Robins, or even often underappreciated earthworms. 

The book features essays on 36 animals — 12 each that inhabit land, water and air -- alongside humans throughout the southeastern United States. 

Eric Douglas spoke with him to learn more. 

This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. 

On this West Virginia Morning, the National Park Service has a new person in charge, and she’s from West Virginia. We have a conversation with Margaret Everson, the organization’s new leader. Also, in this show, we hear about a new book titled “The Southern Wildlife Watcher: Notes of a Naturalist” written by author Rob Simbek.

School Alert System Map Revised September 15, 2020
WV Department of Education

West Virginia officials are once more changing a color-coded map of coronavirus cases that determines whether it’s safe for local school boards to offer in-person learning and extracurricular activities.

In the 1950s, U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy became one of the most infamous public figures in American history and he had a unique connection to West Virginia. 

After World War II, as the Soviet Union and communist China expanded, McCarthy led what’s now known as the “Red Scare,” using unsubstantiated claims and slander to accuse U.S. government officials, and private citizens, of being traitors and spies. Many lives and careers were destroyed. 

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear how schools are using federal and state dollars to cope with COVID-19. Also, in this show, we hear about a housing complex in southern West Virginia built for teachers, a Black Lives Matter march in Kingwood, and we hear about author Larry Tye’s new biography, “Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy.”

White House Task Force Doctor Stops In Lexington To Discuss College Coronavirus Cases

Sep 14, 2020
Corinne Boyer / Ohio Valley Resource

White House-appointed Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx visited the Lexington campus of the University of Kentucky on Monday as concerns grow over an escalating number of positive cases on campuses around the region.

Birx met with students, faculty and administrators on the UK campus, which has more than 400 active COVID-19 cases, 86 of those confirmed since late last week.

She says hearing from multiple colleges to learn about their coronavirus plans will help determine what measures keep students safe. 

Emily Hilliard / West Virginia Folklife Program

COVID-19 has taken the lives of nearly 300 West Virginians, and earlier this month, the state lost one of its most powerful and vocal social activists and musicians.

Elaine Purkey passed away Sept. 2 in Ranger, West Virginia at 71 years old.


Absentee Ballot, Voting, Mail-In Ballot, Mail-In, Election
Adobe Stock

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia launched a hotline for West Virginia voters with questions or concerns about the upcoming general election. The hotline is also aimed at helping voters who may experience issues on Election Day.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has called those advising him on the state’s coronavirus response to a Monday evening meeting. The governor is hoping to strike a balance between rising cases of the virus and allowing school openings and secondary school activities — even as the state continues to see a spike in the number of new cases.  

WVPB archives

If you are listening right now across our network, or reading our stories online. If you are a sustainer or supporter of public broadcasting in West Virginia, and feel like it adds value to your community and state -- you have Ann Brotherton to thank. 

Brotherton, who is credited with helping to usher in what is now known as West Virginia Public Broadcasting, passed away Monday, Sept. 7 at the Arthur B. Hodges Center in Charleston at age 90, leaving behind decades of service and devotion to her family, her community and public media.  

In this July 19, 2020, file photo, Kanye West makes his first presidential campaign appearance, in North Charleston, S.C. West has sued the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office after being told his bid to get on the ballot for president came up short
Lauren Petracca Ipetracca / AP file Photo

A federal judge on Monday denied the latest attempt from rapper Kanye West to make the Mountain State’s ballot this November.

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