News

Farragutful / wikimedia Commons

The Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has announced new efforts to improve financial transparency and accountability. The announcement this week comes in the wake of reports of excessive spending by the former Bishop Michael Bransfield.


West Virginia state Sen. Paul Hardesty, D-Logan, speaks on the floor on June 1, 2019.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

While much of the country remains focused on the ongoing controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s racist remarks targeting four Democratic congresswomen, a West Virginia state Senator is taking issue with other words from the president, which came at an event in North Carolina. 

In an open letter, Sen. Paul Hardesty of Logan County says he is “appalled” at Trump’s choice of words at a Wednesday rally in Greenville, North Carolina. 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is shown Thursday, March 3, 2016, at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va.
John Raby / AP file photo

A permanent prescription drug disposal site is being placed at the West Virginia Capitol so people wanting to dispose of medication can do so all year.

There has already been a collection site at the Capitol for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, but the new location is permanent.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / WVPB

A judge has ordered lawyers for the governor of West Virginia to respond to a request for documents in an ongoing lawsuit over his residency.

Judge Charles King rejected a dismissal motion Wednesday by Gov. Jim Justice's attorneys. King also ordered Justice to respond to Democratic Del. Isaac Sponaugle's discovery request within 30 days.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a decade ago, not many people had heard much about fracking for natural gas. Since then, the gas industry has literally changed the landscape in northern West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. 

For some people, that has meant new jobs or payments to lease their land. But the thousands of new well pads, pipelines, compressor stations, and waste injection wells haven’t been welcomed by everyone. Thousands of complaints have been filed with the state about everything from gas leaks and crumbling roads to odors and noise people blame on energy development.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Emmy-winning actor Jeff Daniels is also an accomplished singer, songwriter and guitarist, who recently appeared on Mountain Stage along with the Ben Daniels Band, led by his son Ben, which also includes Jeff's  daughter Amanda.

The House of Representatives escalated its confrontation with the executive branch Wednesday by holding two Trump administration officials in criminal contempt for not providing complete copies of subpoenaed documents related to the 2020 census.

The resolution named Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for failing to cooperate with a congressional oversight investigation.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition created the Safe Water WV initiative. The idea is simple: to strengthen a community’s connection to their drinking water and encourage them to work together to better protect it.

A couple years ago, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to build off that initiative in a unique way – using the conservation of farmland and Civil War battlefields as a model for drinking water protection.

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with a life-size projection of the Saturn V rocket on the Washington Monument on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, after the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition created the “Safe Water WV” initiative.

The idea is simple -- to strengthen a community’s connection to their drinking water and encourage people to work together to better protect it. A couple years ago, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to build off that initiative in a unique way -- using the conservation of farmland and Civil War battlefields as a model for drinking water protection. Liz McCormick explains.

Updated at 7:05 p.m. ET

The House of Representatives approved a resolution Tuesday evening condemning the president for a series of racist tweets about four Democratic lawmakers.

The vote was mostly along party lines, as the House split 240-187, with four Republicans supporting the nonbinding measure.

Peabody Energy, Inc.
Wikimedia Commons

This story was updated on 7/16/19 at 4:35 p.m. EST.

A coal company with mines in Kentucky and West Virginia has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Courtesy Photo: Sheila Redling

Best-selling author Sheila Redling, from Huntington, West Virginia, has written nine books under the pen name SG Redling. After losing her will to write, she is back on track and more books are on the way. In this interview she talks about the importance of protecting your ability to write and gives advice to writers.

Redling explained that after a fast start, writing several books, she burned out. 

Father Jim Sichko, a Catholic priest and motivational speaker based in Lexington, paid the electric bills of about 200 out-of-work coal miners in Harlan on Monday.
Will Wright / Lexington Herald-Leader

A priest in Kentucky handed out more than $20,000 on Monday to miners struggling to pay bills after the coal company they work for filed for bankruptcy protection.

People crowded Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Harlan as Father Jim Sichko signed checks for more than 100 miners who are currently out of work, news outlets reported.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, best-selling author Sheila Redling from Huntington has written nine books. After losing her will to write for a time, she is back on track and more books are on the way. Inside Appalachia associate producer Eric Douglas spoke with her about the importance of protecting your ability to write. And she has some advice for other writers.

AMA President Dr. Patrice Harris (center) stands with the immediate past president Dr. Barbara McAneny (left) and president-elect Dr. Susan Bailey.
Courtesy of AMA

Dr. Patrice Harris took the oath in June to become the first African-American woman to serve as president of the powerful American Medical Association, the largest professional association for physicians in the United States.

How a Carbon Tax Could End Some Coal Towns, or Fund a New Future

Jul 15, 2019
Kudzu grows near a coal preparation plant in eastern Kentucky.
Jeff Young / Ohio Valley ReSource

Declining coal tax revenues place coal-reliant counties in Appalachia at risk of fiscal collapse, according to new research from the centrist Brookings Institution and Columbia University. Policies designed to prevent further climate change would accelerate that decline, the report found, but could also provide a new stream of revenue to help communities rebound from coal’s demise.

Hanshaw, Harrison
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The West Virginia House of Delegates will return to the state Capitol to finish up work on their first special session of the year. 

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw sent a letter Monday to delegates, calling on them to return to Charleston next week. 

What Happened to Weirton? Part 5: Moving Forward

Jul 15, 2019
Ella Jennings

If someone had a crystal ball, they could tell you exactly what the future holds for Weirton. Sadly, there are no magic tools to make this a short story. But, with a bit of help from the gift of gab, I’ll tell you about the current trajectory of the area.

What Happened to Weirton? Part 4: Where is God Today?

Jul 15, 2019
Ella Jennings

The consequences of deindustrialization manifest in many different ways.

Sherry Linkon and John Russo, two prominent scholars in working class studies, have written several books and articles about this topic, and at this point, they find you can easily make a list of what will happen when industry leaves. Let’s run down it.

What Happened to Weirton? Part 3: As Goes the Mill...

Jul 15, 2019
West Virginia & Regional History Center

“History tells us, like it or not, as goes the mill, so goes Weirton, in good times and bad.”

This is a quote from Dr. David Javersak, a former professor and local Ohio Valley historian, from his book, "History of Weirton." There’s a lot of truth in that statement: Weirton would have never existed without the mill. And up until its fateful bankruptcy, the town fully depended on Weirton Steel, like any devoted company town. This episode will trace through some of the highlights of Weirton’s history, providing an overview of its prominence and decline.

Ella Jennings

One person’s story can change your outlook on an entire town. Unfortunately, their story can leave you with more questions than answers.

By 2018, around 10,000 people had already left Weirton in search of a better life. I wanted to find someone who had stayed in the area and could tell me about their experience with the mill’s downfall. This led me to a story written in 2006 by an Associated Press reporter, Vicki Smith.

The number of cases of children entering the foster care system due to parental drug use has more than doubled since 2000, according to research published this week in JAMA Pediatrics.

Updated at 3:35 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a tough new asylum rule in its campaign to slow the flow of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the U.S. must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the U.S. border.

The restriction will likely face court challenges, opening a new front in the battle over U.S. immigration policies.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the American Medical Association marked a milestone last month. The largest professional association for physicians in the United States inaugurated its first African American woman as its leader. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Aaron Payne recently spoke with the newly elected president, who has a unique understanding of West Virginia. And she says the organization will work for patients and physicians as they face some of the nation’s toughest health challenges.

Ella Jennings

In Appalachia, we know too well the symptoms of industry in decline. However, some aspects are much more visual than others.

On March 9, I stood anxiously with a crowd of Weirton natives and former steelworkers on a hillside in Weirton, West Virginia, overlooking Weirton Steel’s Basic Oxygen Plant, or BOP. Thousands of people contributed to the steelmaking process in the huge structure since its construction in 1967. Now, they were offering their final goodbyes.

Charles Bowers takes long, quick strides down a worn, dirt path and stops in front of a tall thicket of bushes. He lifts a hand to signal that he's spied something.

He's leading me on a tour of camps made by homeless people in wooded corners of Fayette County, Kentucky, and there, slightly up the hill, is a patch of blue. A tent.

He keeps his voice low to avoid startling those inside.

Doris Fields, also known as Lady D, West Virginia's First Lady of Soul, lead the Friday night vigil in song with 'We Shall Overcome' by Pete Seeger.
Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As Ryan Brown stood outside the West Virginia Capitol Buidling on a breezy Friday evening, her husband Ali was in Guinea, the neighboring country to Sierra Leone where Ali’s originally from. 

 

Updated at 4:32 p.m. ET

Barry reached Louisiana's central coast, near Intracoastal City, on Saturday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said, before weakening to a tropical storm.

The storm has already brought flooding to New Orleans, where tornado warnings have been issued.

Residents across other parts of Louisiana have also been bracing for flooding — forecasters predict up to 25 inches of rain across much of southern Louisiana and southwest Mississippi, leading to dangerous, life threatening flooding.

Where do we learn how to have a democratic dialog these days? Perhaps Parkersburg?
 
It’s not really a skill taught in schools, and depending on your political, religious, socio-economic status, or even favorite football team, the chances of you not wholly agreeing with your neighbor, friend, relative or city council member is high.

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