News

One of the most prolific and decorated songwriters of his generation dies at 52 after contracting COVID-19

Williamson, W.Va., seen across the border from Kentucky.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

A local health center has plans to buy the Williamson Memorial Hospital in Mingo County after the hospital announced Monday plans to close at some point in April.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

State officials are reporting a second coronavirus-related death in West Virginia. 

The Department of Health and Human Resources released a press release Wednesday evening from the Jackson County Health Department confirming the state’s second fatality. 

looney ridge surface coal mine
Brittany Patterson / Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal companies owned by the family of West Virginia Governor Jim Justice have agreed to pay more than $5 million in overdue mine health and safety fines and fees.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Tuesday acknowledged that his directive to have police monitor roads and check in on travelers from coronavirus  hotspots might be unconstitutional but he said it will continue for safety reasons.

Glynis Board

With cases of the coronavirus expected to spike in West Virginia in the coming weeks, the state will delay its primary election. Gov. Jim Justice made the announcement at a Wednesday virtual news conference.

The primary election had been scheduled for May 12. But with public health concerns heightened, Justice announced the primary will instead be pushed back to June 9. 

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

On a blistering August afternoon in Cumberland, Kentucky, David Pratt, Jr. stood in the middle of a two-lane highway, holding a sign that read “COAL MINERS AND TRUCKERS AGAINST CORPORATE AMERICA.” A few yards away, his father, David Pratt Sr., who is graying but still muscular, leaned back in a lawn chair perched precariously on the crossties of a railroad. His eyes focused on the spot where the tracks disappeared around the bend and more than $1 million worth of coal idled in train cars.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from artisans from across Appalachia coping with the coronavirus. And it’s been about nine months since coal company Blackjewel suddenly declared bankruptcy. We check in on a father and son who are moving forward.

 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families announced in a news release Tuesday that recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, may be eligible for two waivers from the federal government.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice announced Tuesday additional executive orders to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The governor and other state officials continue to urge residents to stay at home as the projected onslaught of the virus remains weeks away.

New River Gorge Bridge
Chad Matlick / WVPB

Three national parks in West Virginia closed their facilities at noon on Tuesday in response to COVID-19.

Campgrounds and restrooms in New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River are closed indefinitely. 


pxhere.com

 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that older adults and people with underlying chronic health conditions are at increased risk for serious illness from the coronavirus. 

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, West Virginia has the highest percentage of at-risk adults of any state in the country

 

This is one of the reasons Gov. Jim Justice gave at a press conference on March 13, when he announced that schools would close.

Williamson, W.Va., seen across the border from Kentucky.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

The only hospital in a southern West Virginia county is closing after the coronavirus crisis disrupted attempts to sell the business, news outlets report.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a global mask shortage is putting healthcare workers on the front lines at risk. Some West Virginians are taking matters into their own hands. We also learn how grandparents are coping with the coronavirus.

Adobe Stock

Medical experts have spent years promoting telehealth as an option for rural areas with little access to in-person care.

Now, after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice issued a “stay home” order that took effect on Tuesday, March 24, some medical providers are offering telehealth as a way to keep more people healthy at home during the coronavirus. 

Cecelia Mason / WV Public Radio

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials say the state is faring well with handling the coronavirus compared to other hot spots around the globe, but that residents need to continue to stay the course by staying at home. 

At a virtual news conference held Monday, March 30, the governor announced additional executive orders to help stop the spread of the virus. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, rural hospitals are closing throughout the region and the country, and a sweeping pandemic is highlighting just how vulnerable that leaves communities.

Two weeks ago, President Trump entered the White House briefing room and announced an aggressive plan to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Stay home for 15 days, he told Americans. Avoid groups of more than 10 people. "If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes, and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus," he said.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

West Virginia health officials have reported the state’s first death resulting from the coronavirus.

In a Sunday news release just before 7 p.m., the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says an 88-year-old female from Marion County has died as a result of COVID-19.

Carolyn Vigil via Facebook

A West Virginia couple are celebrating their recovery from the new coronavirus.

James Vigil learned from health officials on Friday that he would be cleared of the virus on Saturday, while Carolyn Vigil, who became sick after her husband, was told she could expect a similar bill of health on Monday, The Journal reported.

Inside Shuttered West Virginia Hospital Is 'Pot Of Gold'

Mar 28, 2020
John Raby / AP Photo

West Virginia emergency officials found more than a dozen ventilators and other important equipment in the shuttered Ohio Valley Medical Center this week as they prepare for possible shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic.

West Virginia Mask Army

Across the country, medical professionals fighting the coronavirus pandemic are struggling to get their hands on protective gear – things as basic as goggles, gloves and masks – and without federal assistance, groups of West Virginians are handmaking face masks at their own expense.


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

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection Thursday filed a lawsuit against coal operator ERP Environmental Fund, Inc. alleging the company has racked up hundreds of violations, laid off employees, and walked away from its mining operations, leaving environmental obligations unfulfilled. 

According to documents filed with the Kanawha Circuit Court on March 26, ERP holds more than 100 permits at numerous mine sites across West Virginia. With the exception of one permit, all were acquired in 2015 from Patriot Coal Corporation during the company’s second bankruptcy. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Following a misreported death, falsely attributed to the coronavirus, West Virginia health officials on Friday said they are considering new protocols to prevent the spread of inaccurate information.

Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials spoke to the public through a virtual news conference, a practice that has become commonplace as an effort to combat the continued spread of the virus.

Caitlin Tan / WVPB

Usually this time of year marks the start of festival season. So many little communities throughout the region celebrate springtime in their own way. But things are basically on pause right now as the country holds its collective breath. 

On this week’s episode of “Inside Appalachia,” we check in with our friends and neighbors across the region, many of whom are hunkering down at home, trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Hannah Hedrick / Grow Ohio Valley

In this time of crisis West Virginia Public Broadcasting is reaching out to community leaders working on the frontlines to help their towns and regions.

Danny Swan is executive director of the nonprofit Grow Ohio Valley — an organization based in the Northern Panhandle committed to promoting regional food security.

He shared these thoughts on regional food security and ways Grow Ohio Valley is trying to improve individual and community health throughout the upper Ohio Valley and throughout the state.

Base Camp Printing Company

“Why don’t you go out and hear some live music, wherever you are, just as soon as you can.”

The words of Larry’s slogan might translate a little differently when you hear them this weekend on NPR stations across the country. He says it after the credits at the end of every episode.

Courtesy Illustration

“The Bitter Southerner Podcast” is an offshoot of an online magazine called The Bitter Southerner.  The podcast, which just completed its second season, is devoted to the culture of the South and produced with the support of Georgia Public Broadcasting. 

Host and editor Chuck Reece doesn’t shy away from topics that can be awkward to discuss. Reece himself grew up in north Georgia, in the foothills of the Appalachians, and has an affinity for the region. He has dedicated shows to controversial topics like the federally-owned power utility the Tennessee Valley Authority and the book “Appalachian Reckoning: A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy.”


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, food pantries across the state cope as the coronavirus turns life upside down – we’ll explore regional food security in the Mountain State. We also bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

President Trump has signed a historic $2 trillion economic recovery package into law Friday afternoon, shortly after the House of Representatives approved the bill.

In an Oval Office ceremony Friday, the president thanked Republicans and Democrats "for coming together, setting aside their differences and putting America first" to pass the legislation. Trump was joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. No Democrats were present at the signing.

Pages