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Jim Antonini, an occupational health science researcher, fields a ball at shortstop for Chico's Bail Bonds. As team captain, Antonini is in charge of the always-entertaining game write-ups that recap the misery suffered by the Morgantown softball team.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Spring is here and that means baseball season. This week on Inside Appalachia we’re taking another look at baseball throughout the region. We’ll learn about the history of early baseball in the coal camp towns of southern West Virginia and go inside the legendary baseball bat factory — the Louisville Sluggers. And we’ll meet a man who went from living in an isolated timber town in Pocahontas County, West Virginia to being a professional umpire for the Cincinnati Reds.

Five Years Later: A Look Back at the ‘Bundy Sniper’ and America’s Patriot Militia

Apr 12, 2019

The “Bundy Sniper” photos were stark and disorienting, like wartime images from a Third World hot zone, not a blocked-off interstate highway one hour from Las Vegas.

In one of the photos, a lariat-thin white man in a heavy beard and tactical jacket lies belly flat on the concrete, his semiautomatic rifle wedged in the narrow gap between two concrete jersey barriers. Eyes concealed by dark sunglasses, the rifleman sights down on a group of federal agents who were overseeing a roundup of cattle belonging to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.

Adobe Stock

A new study has found visits to rural emergency departments increased by more than 50 percent from 2005 to 2016 with the most dramatic usage changes among non-Hispanic white patients, Medicaid beneficiaries and those without insurance. This increase is putting more pressure on already strained safety-net hospitals.

Researchers found the increase may be, at least in part, due to an increase in patients using the emergency department for illnesses that require less care or those that are chronic in nature.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a fire at a US Steel plant crippled its ability to control its air pollution in December. For three months, the Pittsburgh area was blanketed with releases of sulfur dioxide much higher than usual, and thousands reported suffering from poor air quality. Last week, the steelmaker finished repairing its pollution control equipment. For State Impact Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports that the worries about air pollution and its health impacts, remain.

classroom
Arria Belli / Wikimedia Commons

Public roundtable forums on education in West Virginia are complete and now state officials will examine the information to offer for a special legislative session to address school issues.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Historically, the coal industry has shaped the economic boom and bust cycle in our region. But major changes to the industry have created new strains on our economic system here in Appalachia, and some wonder if a radical fix is needed to support the poor or underemployed middle class. Some Democrats in Congress have pointed to an idea, called Basic Universal Income, as one possible solution. Lovey Cooper, contributing editor with 100 Days in Appalachia, co-wrote an article about Basic Universal Income, or UBI,  and about what supporters and critics of this proposed economic program have to say.


Tony Wagner / American Public Media

For this episode, Trey speaks with Caitlin Esch, a reporter for The Uncertain Hour podcast, which is produced from the Wealth and Poverty Desk at APM’s Marketplace.  They’ve produced a series that examines the history of the so-called “War on Drugs.”

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., checks out the stage before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016.
Carolyn Kaster / AP file photo

U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito is running for reelection.

The West Virginia Republican announced the 2020 bid Thursday in a radio interview and on social media.

Jesse Wright / WVPB

State and federal politicians announced initiatives this week to move forward an effort to build a major underground natural gas liquids storage facility in the Ohio Valley, an effort opposed by environmental activists who fear a petrochemical expansion in the region will threaten not only the environment, but public health.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

West Virginia is home to numerous beverage companies that brew beer, distill spirits and syrups and press cider. The state also boasts farmers who produce fruits and grains those bottlers could use.

The problem is the two groups are often disconnected.

The “Craft: Farm to Bottle Summit” in South Charleston earlier week this aimed to address that gap, bringing the two groups together and helping each understand the other’s needs. The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Huntington organized the summit. More than 100 people attended.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, an almost decade-long effort to build a major underground natural gas liquids storage facility in the Ohio Valley saw movement this week, as state and federal politicians announced initiatives to move it forward. But as Brittany Patterson reports, not everyone is on board.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Award-winning bluegrass group Balsam Range made their first appearance on Mountain Stage earlier this year with songs from their newly released album "Aeonic".

Outgoing W.Va. Senator Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha (right), shakes hands with Gov. Jim Justice on Dec. 4, 2018 as he accepts the position of Secretary of Commerce.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday he has nothing to hide and respects the federal grand jury process after a subpoena was issued targeting state commerce records related to a posh resort he owns and a PGA golf tournament held there.

Baylor's Matt Ritchey (45) stands by the Big 12 Conference logo on the field during an NCAA college football game against TCU in Waco, Texas.
Tony Gutierrez / AP file photo

The Big 12 has agreed to a deal that gives ESPN the rights to all football championship game through 2024 and makes the league the first Power Five conference to provide exclusive content to ESPN+, the cable giant’s online subscription streaming service.

Adobe Stock

West Virginia revenue collections are $191 million ahead of estimates with three months left in the fiscal year.

Gov. Jim Justice says tax collections in March were $3.8 million lower than estimates. He says the performance reflected an anticipated slowdown in winter construction.

Coal Community Residents Again Ask Congress For Health Study Of Mountaintop Removal

Apr 10, 2019
mountaintop removal
Vivian Stockman and Southwings

Residents of Appalachian coal communities told a Congressional subcommittee Tuesday that the controversial mining practice known as mountaintop removal should be halted until its health effects are better studied.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, four current and former Richwood officials were indicted and arrested earlier this month on charges they embezzled money from the city. Some of those charges are related to the misuse of public funds after a devastating flood in June 2016. Dave Mistich spoke with state Auditor John B. McCuskey about his office’s investigation into Richwood and other efforts to combat fraud around the state.

Harpers Ferry view from the hill
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, led in part by West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, have introduced a bill that would permanently fund a popular land conservation program that has provided money for conservation and recreation access in 54 of West Virginia’s 55 counties.

West Virginia American Water
Foo Conner / Flickr

Robert Burton has been named president of West Virginia American Water.

The utility announced Burton's hiring Monday. Burton most recently was senior director of operations for Pennsylvania American Water, where he oversaw operations for more than 50 water plants and 10 wastewaters systems serving 200 municipalities.

Burton replaces Brian Bruce, who recently left the company after serving as president for two years.

West Virginia American Water serves about 530,000 state residents.

Edward Kimmel / Flickr

An attorney says an Egyptian man who authorities say was falsely accused of trying to kidnap a young girl at a West Virginia shopping mall has returned home.

Public defender Michelle Protzman told The Herald-Dispatch Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan returned to his home in Alexandria, Egypt, on Sunday. The 54-year-old engineer had been in West Virginia for work.

Protzman says Barboursville police drove Zayan to the Charleston airport Saturday as a courtesy.

On Friday, Santana Renee Adams was charged with falsely reporting an emergency incident.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This is a developing story and may be updated.

 

A federal grand jury has issued a subpoena to the West Virginia Department of Commerce related to the sponsorship of a PGA golf tournament held at The Greenbrier and a non-profit offshoot of the resort. The subpoena called on the state commerce department to hand over records to the U.S. Department of Justice last week.

Gov. Jim Justice -- whose family's companies own The Greenbrier, a golf tournament that takes place there and other entities -- is named in the subpoena, along with his children and others involved in the family's businesses and organizations.

ARC Funds Addiction Treatment For Women In Rural Kentucky And Ohio

Apr 9, 2019
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

The Appalachian Regional Commission has awarded more than two million dollars to expand addiction treatment and recovery resources for women in rural regions of the Ohio Valley hit hard by the opioid crisis.

Ohio University received $1,100,000 for the Appalachian Recovery Project in Athens County, Ohio. WestCare Kentucky, Inc., received $1,136,000 for the Judi Patton Center for Families project in Pikeville, Kentucky.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This West Virginia Morning, Ken Burns joins us to talk about making the film, “Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns,” the impact it had on him, and what he has come to understand about the power of country music.

 


Courtesy of Evan Barlow

Ken Burns spoke to West Virginia Public Broadcasting about making the film, “Country Music: A Film by Ken Burns,” the impact it had on him, and what he has come to understand about the power of country music.


Valerius Tygart / Wikimedia Commons

The Appalachian Regional Commission Monday began accepting applications for a new leadership and economic training program.

Did States with Charter Schools Cluster Below W.Va. in ACT Scores?

Apr 8, 2019
An ACT Assessment test in Springfield, Ill.
Seth Perlman / AP file photo

West Virginia state Sen. Mike Romano, a Democrat, recently took a swipe at charter schools.

A Feb. 2 tweet by the West Virginia Senate Democrats quoted Romano criticizing a low ranking for the state in a report published by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group. Romano sought to turn the tables by offering a more favorable ranking for West Virginia -- the state’s test scores for the ACT, a major college entrance exam -- and by taking a shot at charter schools, which West Virginia doesn’t allow.

How Many Oil and Gas Jobs Are There in W.Va.? It’s Surprisingly Hard to Say

Apr 8, 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

West Virginia Del. Joshua Higginbotham, a Republican, touted the number of jobs created by the gas and oil industry in West Virginia during a Jan. 23 interview with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

“Tens of thousands of jobs (are) created in West Virginia by the natural gas and oil industries,” Higginbotham said.

Have that many jobs been created by the industry within West Virginia? The answer is more complicated than we initially expected -- so much so that we’re not providing a Truth-O-Meter rating for his statement. Instead, we’ll look at a few different ways of measuring this statistic, each of which have their own benefits and drawbacks.

Mine Safety Debt For WV Gov. Justice’s Family Companies Grows to $4M

Apr 8, 2019
Courtesy WV Governor's Office

An Ohio Valley ReSource analysis of federal mine safety data shows that the companies belonging to the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owe $4.3 million in delinquent debt for mine safety violations. That is far more than the companies owed when Justice ran for governor in 2016, when he pledged to make good on such debts.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An Ohio Valley ReSource analysis of federal mine safety data shows that the companies belonging to the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice owe $4.3 million in unpaid mine safety violations. That is far more than the companies owed when Justice ran for governor in 2016, when he pledged to make good on such debts. As Brittany Patterson reports, the Justice companies continue to have the highest unpaid mine safety debt in the nation.

Allen Loughry
Steve Helber / AP Photo

A former West Virginia Supreme Court justice at the center of an impeachment scandal has reported to federal prison for his two-year sentence.

The Bureau of Prisons says Allen Loughry reported to a South Carolina prison on Friday.

Loughry was sentenced earlier this year after being found guilty on charges including mail and wire fraud connected to his personal use of state cars and fuel cards.

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