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Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This story was updated on Tuesday, Oct. 8, to include more recent information on the estimated cost of the 2019 West Virginia Book Festival, and what organizers estimate they spent on speakers.

A long-anticipated speech from a controversial author at the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend left some participants wanting to find ways to make the event more inclusive. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The United States Supreme Court has declined to hear a case involving the 2018 impeachment of West Virginia Supreme Court justices. State lawmakers petitioned the nation’s highest court for a review after a ruling by an ad hoc bench of the state Supreme Court halted impeachment proceedings in October 2018.

Updated at 10:59 a.m. ET

A federal appeals court has granted President Trump a temporary stay of decision, and he will not have to turn over his tax returns to the Manhattan district attorney.

Earlier on Monday, a federal judge in New York ruled that Trump's longtime accounting firm must turn over eight years of tax returns as part of a criminal probe of his business dealings. The president's personal attorneys immediately filed a notice of appeal.

On a recent Friday afternoon, Sandra Hill leads a painting class at an arts center nestled amid rolling Virginia hills, about an hour and a half drive northwest of Washington, D.C.

Each of the 10 adult students has a canvas balanced on an easel in front of them. They're dabbing paintbrushes loaded with dark green paint along the edge of a lake, the beginnings of a glowing sunset in the background.

"And think tree! Don't just go tap, tap, tap any old place. Remember, trees have depth to them!" she reminds the class.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Charleston hosted the annual West Virginia Book Festival during the weekend. Organizers estimate the event draws between 3,000 to 5,000 attendees each year.

But some would-be attendees promised not to show up and others came to protest this year. Emily Allen has more about the event and the conservative sci-fi author in this year’s speaker line up, Orson Scott Card, whose presence created the stir.

Updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

The White House announced late Sunday that Turkey is ready to launch an offensive in northern Syria and that U.S. forces will stand aside, renewing fears that America is abandoning Kurdish allies who stood on the front line in the years-long fight against ISIS.

A two-paragraph statement released by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that President Trump and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had spoken by telephone and that "Turkey will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation in northern Syria."

William Ronald Pulliam, 65, in court as he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting 15-year-old James Means to death in Charleston’s East End.
Kenny Kemp / Charleston Gazette-Mail

For the past three years, the Us & Them team has tracked the case of James Means, the 15-year-old boy who was shot and killed by 62-year-old William Pulliam on the East End of Charleston, W.Va.

The case got national attention partly because Pulliam is white and Means was black. This week, the story came to a sad unexpected conclusion.

Has West Virginia’s Economy Boomed Since Trump, Justice Took Office?

Oct 4, 2019
Gov. Jim Justice embraces President Donald Trump Jr. before announcing he'd switched parties during a 2017 political rally in Huntington, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

President Trump has established a close relationship with West Virginia, the state that gave him his second-widest margin of victory in 2016. 

On July 21, Trump tweeted a boast about the state’s recent economic success:

“The Great State of West Virginia is producing record setting numbers and doing really well. When I became President, it was practically shut down and closed for business. Not anymore!”

Court To Weigh Fight Over Pipeline Across Appalachian Trail

Oct 4, 2019
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

The Supreme Court will consider reinstating a permit that was tossed out by a lower court that would allow construction of a natural gas pipeline through two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail.

The justices said Friday they will hear appeals filed by energy companies that want to build the 605-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Trump administration, which initially approved the project.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Mountain State opera lovers can purchase tickets now for The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD movie theater transmissions for the 2019-20 season.

Three West Virginia cinemas will show the productions live including Regal Nitro Theatre, Nitro, Cinemark Huntington Mall, Barboursville, and Regal Morgantown Theatre, Morgantown.

The Live in HD lineup includes all five of this season’s new productions alongside five thrilling revivals.

Roxy Todd / WVPB

What foods did your parents and grandparents cook when you were growing up? What memories of food do you hold onto after all these years?

This week on Inside Appalachia, we'll talk about food from our region. We'll explore what happens when fancy chefs start cooking up our traditional fare, and we discuss how what we consider to be staples are called "trash food" by others.

Annie E. Casey Foundation

West Virginia is one of ten states where the number of children living in areas of concentrated poverty is increasing. That’s according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s “Data Snapshot on High-Poverty Communities.” 


William Ronald Pulliam, 65, in court as he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for shooting 15-year-old James Means to death in Charleston’s East End.
Kenny Kemp / Charleston Gazette-Mail

William Pulliam, the man who shot and killed 15-year-old James Means in Charleston, in November 2016, has died of an apparent suicide.

Kanawha County Prosecutors alerted James Means’ mother Thursday that William Pulliam had hung himself while in custody at Carter County Detention Center in Grayson, Kentucky.  

City of Charleston

The mayor of West Virginia’s capital city has canceled her upcoming appearance at the West Virginia Book Festival over a presentation by an author with homophobic views.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, growing up in poverty makes it difficult to access good opportunities and to succeed in our society. But when you live in an area of concentrated poverty, the struggles intensify. That’s according to new information from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Eric Douglas brings us the story.

National Integrated Drought Information System

Federal officials say drought conditions in West Virginia are worsening as unusually high heat continues to beat down on the region.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the best-selling author of all time will be at the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend. James Patterson has sold more than 100 million books. He told Eric Douglas by phone he will be telling stories, but he also has a greater purpose.

Blackjewel Miners Likely To Receive Pay In DOL Deal

Oct 3, 2019
An attorney briefs miners attending the Blackjewel bankruptcy hearing.
Courtesy of Ned Pillersdorf

The U.S. Department of Labor and a company associated with Blackjewel agreed this week to put nearly $5.75 million toward coal miners left unpaid in the company’s chaotic bankruptcy.

The July 1 bankruptcy of one of the nation’s largest coal companies left 1,100 coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia out of work and without weeks of pay.

Courtesy Photo

The best-selling author of all time will be at the West Virginia Book Festival this weekend. 


Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Percussive dance blends with old-time instruments for a fresh take on traditional music by the trio called T-Mart Rounders, who have our Song of the Week.

House Democrats are set to launch a new phase of their impeachment inquiry on Thursday when former Ambassador Kurt Volker, until recently a top State Department representative to Ukraine, is scheduled to meet with investigators.

Then, on Friday, the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, is due on the Hill.

More witnesses are expected next week, all for depositions behind closed doors with members of Congress and their staff.

A Virginia doctor received a 40-year prison sentence on Wednesday for illegally prescribing more than half a million doses of oxycodone, hydromorphone, fentanyl and other opioids to patients for years.

Authorities say Dr. Joel Smithers operated a "pill mill" out of Martinsville, Va., located about 15 miles north of the Virginia-North Carolina border and about 175 miles southwest of Richmond.

Something odd is happening to streams and rivers on the high plains of Kansas and Colorado. Some have disappeared.

"We would go and visit these streams, and in many cases it's like a dirt bike channel. It's no longer functioning as a stream," says Joshuah Perkin, a biologist at Texas A&M University who studies the fish that live in these streams.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s chief elections officer and a federal prosecutor announced they are looking into an possible attempted intrusion into the state’s election system last year. The two officials held a news conference Tuesday to make note of the incident and to promote election security as part of October's designation as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

Author Crystal Wilkinson.
Courtesy Crystal Wilkinson

Author Crystal Wilkinson is the 2019 Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University.

Wilkinson’s second book Water Street was chosen by the West Virginia Library Commission as this year’s One Book One West Virginia common read.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, author Crystal Wilkinson is this year’s Appalachian Heritage Writer-in-Residence at Shepherd University.

Wilkinson grew up in Kentucky with her grandparents. Her work celebrates being black in Appalachia. Liz McCormick spoke to Wilkinson last week. Here’s an excerpt from the interview beginning with Wilkinson sharing one of her short stories from her book, "Blackberries, Blackberries".

Johnson & Johnson and two Ohio counties have reached a tentative $20.4 million settlement that removes the corporation from the first federal lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, scheduled to begin later this month.

Energy, heat, money, thermostat, heat pump, furnace
Dave Mistich via Tableau Public

While many states are adopting policies to make homes, cars and appliances more energy efficient, a new report finds states in the Ohio Valley are moving in the opposite direction.

 

Are 1,600 New Coal-Fired Power Plants Being Constructed Today?

Oct 1, 2019
Conesville coal plant
Brittany Patterson / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The president of the United Mine Workers of America  -- a union representing coal miners, many of them in West Virginia -- sees a future for coal in electricity generation despite concern that coal’s carbon emissions could bring about climate change. 

In a Sept. 4 speech at the National Press Club in Washington, the union’s president, Cecil E. Roberts, touted the number of coal-fired power plants being constructed internationally.

Is Unemployment For Women At Lowest Point In Almost 70 Years?

Oct 1, 2019
In this Thursday, March 3, 2016, file photo, Georgia Department of Labor services specialist Louis Holliday, right, helps a woman with a job search on a computer at an unemployment office in Atlanta.
David Goldman / Associated Press file photo

The West Virginia Republican Party recently tweeted praise for President Donald Trump’s handling of the economy, particularly as it relates to women.

On Aug. 27, the state party tweeted, "Women’s unemployment has been lower under President Trump than it’s been in nearly 70 years. #WVGOP #WomenforTrump #WV4Trump."

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