News

Arbuckle Creek, Minden
Brittany Patterson, WVPB

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday added the site of a former mining equipment operation in West Virginia to its National Priorities List of Superfund sites.

The EPA announced in a news release the addition of the Shaffer Equipment/Arbuckle Creek Area Site in Minden to the list. That would make it a federal priority for cleanup, enforcement and funding. The EPA had proposed the move in September.

courtesy of Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig is a special education teacher in Ohio County, the president of the Ohio County Education Association, and steering committee member for the West Virginia United Caucus. She offered reactions to the state Department of Education's 33-page report titled West Virginia’s Voice that was released last week.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the department of education released a 33-page report titled West Virginia’s Voice last week. It presents education reform ideas collected from a series of forums held around the state.

The department concludes that “West Virginia’s education system is not broken,” but identifies four priorities for improving public education: increasing pay for all school employees, increasing funding for mental health professionals, incentivizing high-performing schools by providing local flexibility to explore educational innovations, and funding supplemental pay for shortage areas, especially math instruction.

A West Virginia town of roughly 400 people isn't an obvious place for a progressive Democrat to campaign for president. But nevertheless, there was Elizabeth Warren rallying her supporters in the town of Kermit last Friday.

Warren spoke to a small crowd in the town firehouse about the opioid crisis, while Trump supporters demonstrated by the highway just outside.

"It's time to talk about personal responsibility, and that means the people who helped create this problem. And I've got a plan for that," Warren said, to loud cheers.

West Virginia Senate Education Committee chairwoman Patricia Rucker, left, and Senate President Mitch Carmichael speak in the Senate chambers at the state Capitol Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
John Raby / AP Photo

West Virginia lawmakers will reconvene next week in a special session on education.

 

House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw and Senate President Mitch Carmichael announced Monday that the special session will resume at 2 p.m. May 20.

In this Jan. 28, 1989 file photo, actress and animal rights activist Doris Day poses for photos after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award she was presented with at the annual Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Los Angeles.
AP file photo

Doris Day, the honey-voiced singer and actress whose film dramas, musicals and innocent sex comedies made her a top star in the 1950s and ‘60s and among the most popular screen actresses in history, has died. She was 97.

Ky. Aluminum Company’s New Russian Partner Raises Concerns

May 13, 2019
The site near Ashland, Ky., where Braidy plans a new aluminum facility.
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, just on the other side of the Ohio River, in Ashland, Kentucky, aluminum company Braidy Industries got a big financial boost recently when it announced a partnership with a massive Russian supplier. However, that Russian company was until recently under U.S. sanctions. The deal has raised further questions about Braidy’s financing, which already included millions from Kentucky taxpayers. The Ohio Valley ReSource's Sydney Boles has more.

Wheeling Country Day School

Kids, parents, grandparents, and educators are getting together around West Virginia this week to celebrate non-traditional learning. It’s part of a growing initiative to demonstrate and practice innovative education models.


U.S. Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren speaks to a crowd in Kermit, West Virginia on Friday, May 10, 2019.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke to a crowd of about 150 people in Mingo County Friday. The Democratic presidential candidate mostly spoke to the opioid epidemic, rather than her campaign agenda.

 

Warren spoke at the fire station in the small town of Kermit. She focused on her plan to tackle the opioid crisis.

The 1981 Northfork Blue Demons after winning their 8th state championship title.
Courtesy of Patricia Boyd

Coal was king in McDowell County in the 1960s and 70s. At one point, it was one of the richest counties in the country due to coal production. There were more than 53 communities that either had their own mines or housed miners who worked in the area. Because the coal mines attracted workers from all over the country, even the world, there was a pretty diverse group of people in McDowell.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

He's a billionaire who owns mines, farms and the swankiest resort in all of West Virginia. But how Jim Justice spends his time as the state's 36th governor has largely been a mystery.

Jeff Young / Ohio Valley ReSource

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is holding a public meeting Tuesday to collect and share information about the revision of human health criteria in the state's water quality standards.

Courtesy of the Artist

The live show is sold out, but thanks to West Virginia Public Broadcasting and VuHaus you can experience this Sunday's Mountain Stage, with guest-host Kathy Mattea, from anywhere.

Courtesy of Patricia Boyd

This week on Inside Appalachia, basketball was a big deal for the small town of Northfork, in McDowell County, West Virginia. The high school team won the state championship eight years in a row.

Courtesy / Marshall University

Dan D’Antoni never got far from his roots, even though basketball took him away from his home in Mullens, West Virginia for nearly 50 years. He continued to be a proud son of the Mountain State while teaching the world about the unique style of basketball that he says came from the courts he grew up on.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s only one high school in Preston County. But there used to be many, and the sports rivalry and team spirit at each school were strong.

Former students from the original schools banded together to create the Preston County Sports Museum, to help memorialize the sports league of years past. It’s the only one of its kind in the state.

Inside Appalachia folklife reporter Caitlin Tan visited the museum and spoke with a brother and sister who graduated from one of the schools in the 1950s.

Peabody Energy, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

U.S. demand for coal to generate electricity will continue its slide in coming months despite efforts by the Trump administration to prop up the struggling industry, federal officials said Thursday.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

A top adviser to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is stepping down from the board of directors of the second-largest natural gas producer in the state.

Pittsburgh-based EQT announced Wednesday that Bray Cary will not seek reelection to the company's board.

Jesse Wright

The tall, red brick building that was once home to Rowlesburg High School still stands after surviving the historic 1985 flood.

After the flood it was no longer used as a school, but today it remains the heart of the community of Rowlesburg – it's where people meet, festivities are held, weekly dinners are made, etc.

In this April 9, 2019 file photo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is capitalizing on a fellow Republican's attack by selling "Cocaine Mitch" shirts on his campaign's website.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, two years ago, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources published a report stating that much of the state is at risk of outbreaks of bloodborne diseases such as HIV, and hepatitis C. The agency concluded that one of the most effective means of preventing the spread of these diseases is through harm reduction programs. 

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After West Virginia’s voter ID law went into effect last year an organization focused on increasing voter registration and voter turnout launched a new initiative in the state to help people gain proper identification. Spread the Vote now operates in nine states, and aims not only to give people a chance to vote, but also a better chance in life.

Still Waiting For Justice

May 8, 2019
Charleston Gazette

For the past two and a half years, a first-degree murder case has worked its way through the courts in Charleston. A 15-year-old boy, James Means, was shot and killed in the city's East End back in 2016.

Adobe Stock

A California advocacy organization is trying to reinvent America’s approach to children’s mental health. The idea is to remove mental health care from the traditional medical system and instead integrate resilience and community supports into the very fabric of society.

 

Adobe Stock

A new study found that very few patients at high risk of an opioid overdose are being prescribed the opioid reversal drug Naloxone when seen in a health care setting.

Brian Turner / Wikimedia Commons

Two county magistrates in West Virginia have been indicted on federal fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from use of a bonding company operated by the family of one of the magistrates.

 

Prosecutors said in a news release that 47-year-old Lewis County Magistrate Roger D. Clem Jr., of Weston, and 57-year-old Gilmer County Magistrate Alton L. Skinner II, of Sand Fork, were indicted Tuesday.

 

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after the Trump administration invoked executive privilege over the contents of the Mueller report.

The developments Wednesday escalated the confrontation between congressional Democrats and the White House over documents related to the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"We are now in a constitutional crisis," said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., after the vote.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a civil lawsuit against 23 coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. As Brittany Patterson reports, the DOJ is seeking over $4.7 million in unpaid fines and fees for mine health and safety violations.

Bob Murray
Glynis Board / Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal mining executive Bob Murray has lost an appeal in a yearslong case regarding coal miner intimidation.

 

In an opinion issued Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed with a previous decision that Murray Energy's president and CEO intimidated workers and interfered with miners’ rights to report unsafe working conditions. The appeals court denied Murray's petition to revist the earlier ruling.

 

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