News

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Organizations in West Virginia like the Community Foundation of the Ohio Valley (CFOV) are working to address youth retention in West Virginia by exposing current college students to opportunities that exist in the region.

Vaping Ban Begins at West Virginia University

Aug 1, 2019
Courtesy of West VIrginia University

A ban on electronic cigarettes and vaping products has started at West Virginia University.

The WVU Board of Governors in February approved the ban that took effect Thursday, Aug. 1. The policy applies to WVU properties in Morgantown, Beckley and Keyser.

Zac Northup / Standwatch Academy

Earlier this year, eight girls from Lincoln County High School went on an adventure out West. The trip was made possible by a nonprofit called Standwatch Academy, a group that teaches rural high school kids about entrepreneurship. 

A marijuana plant grows at Fotmer SA, an enterprise that produces cannabis for medical use, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

West Virginia’s medical cannabis industry may have a prospective banking solution to get around federal law. But exactly when that solution might be implemented is still up in the air.

A spokeswoman for the state Treasurer’s office says in an email they received four bids from businesses looking to handle deposits associated with West Virginia’s as-of-yet launched medical cannabis program.

Gov. Jim Justice during the State of the State Address in January 2018.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated on Aug. 1, 2019 at 3:22 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's companies owe almost $2 million in delinquent taxes in Virginia, according to records obtained by WDBJ-TV .

The Roanoke-based station reported Wednesday that companies owned by the Republican governor owe $1.9 million in taxes to several counties in Virginia.

1 Dead, 5 Injured, 7 Missing in Ky. Pipeline Explosion

Aug 1, 2019
In this Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 photo provided by Naomi Hayes, a fire burns after an explosion near Junction City, Ky.
Naomi Hayes via AP

A regional gas pipeline ruptured early Thursday in Kentucky, causing a massive explosion that killed one person, hospitalized five others, destroyed railroad tracks and forced the evacuation of a nearby mobile home park, authorities said.

Some structures were completely consumed by the blaze, and five to seven people were unaccounted for when firefighters extinguished the flames hours later, Lincoln County Emergency Management Director Don Gilliam said.

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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, last week, the West Virginia Public Service Commission announced it had selected a firm to audit Frontier Communications and its copper network, which provides service to landline phones throughout the state. 

National statistics show more residents are using wireless phones exclusively. Yet, many people in rural communities don’t have that option and are still dependent on their landline phones for emergency response.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Recorded at the Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta, OH,  in 2018, this week's episode of Mountain Stage with Larry Groce features a broad array of musical styles, drawing from pop, rock, soul and folk.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


When the Grant County 911 center received a call about a house fire on Martin Road in late May, director Peggy Bobo Alt said it was already too late. 

ZngZng / wikimedia Commons

People recovering from substance abuse disorder can get rides to appointments under a project set to begin in West Virginia.

Gov. Jim Justice holds a bill signing ceremony for House Bill 207 in Pleasants County on July 30, 2019.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has approved a tax break for a struggling coal-fired power plant whose operator says a company owned by the governor owes it $3.1 million.

The Green Bank Telescope at Green Bank Observatory
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia’s Green Bank Observatory will continue operating under the National Science Foundation.

Green Bank Observatory Director Karen O’Neil announced the foundation’s decision in a statement Tuesday, July 30.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, scuba diving and West Virginia are not often used in the same sentence. But Eric Douglas, Inside Appalachia associated producer, is a scuba diver and he brings us this next story from Summersville Lake in Nicholas County.

Click on this link to see a short video Eric shot while he was on the dive.

Michael/Flickr

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the next round of Governor Jim Justice’s Secondary Roads Initiative is underway.

Some tickets remain for Sunday's Mountain Stage taping in Charleston, but thanks to WVPB and VuHaus you can watch live online.

Dept. of Defense

About 40 percent of veterans who receive medical care through the Veterans Health Administration are now covered at urgent care clinics. This expansion of benefits for veterans is part of the Mission Act, which went into effect last month. 


Sleepy truck drivers cause hundreds of fatal crashes each year. Drivers work in an industry that rewards miles driven, not time on the clock, so many truckers push the envelope just to make a living.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps drivers in check with so-called Hours of Service Regulations. The regs cap driving time at 11 hours a day. Truckers have to stop and rest for at least a half hour during that time, and no matter how much downtime they may have in between, they have to quit for the day 14 hours after they start.

Blackjewel Miners Block Railroad to Demand Pay from Bankrupt Coal Company

Jul 30, 2019
Protesting miners blocked the tracks in the morning fog.
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

Some coal miners left without pay by the bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel LLC are protesting by blocking a coal train in eastern Kentucky.

The stand-off began early Monday when five miners blocked the train from leaving the Cumberland, Kentucky, plant. Despite police asking them to leave, miners spent the night blocking the railroad to protest Blackjewel moving coal while miners have yet to be paid.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the latest episode of Inside Appalachia focuses on some of the region’s waterways.

While the Mountain State is blessed with an abundance of beautiful streams and rivers, it’s not hard to find areas littered with trash, too. And rainy weather can easily wash these remnants into the waterways, contaminating the river ecosystems, and posing a health risk to people.

One man in Morgantown has taken it upon himself to clean up the trash in his area, sometimes using unconventional methods. Folklife reporter Caitlin Tan brings us the story.

A woman has been charged in connection with a hacking breach at Capital One bank that exposed information from more than 100 million credit applications over a 14-year period – what is thought to be one of the largest such attacks in recent years.

Authorities in Seattle have charged Paige A. Thompson, who also goes by the handle "erratic," with a single count of computer fraud. She appeared in court on Monday and is scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A group of West Virginia lawmakers want control of a recent $37 million opioid settlement with the drug distributor McKesson.

Bridge and construction equipment underwater on River Road in northeastern Morgan County. Sleepy Creek is backed up where it runs into the Potomac River. Photo taken on June 4, 2018.
The Morgan Messenger / Courtesy Photo

Some small businesses in two West Virginia counties are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans as a result of storms last year.

Methamphetamine, an illegal drug that sends the body into overdrive, is surging through the United States. Federal drug data provided exclusively to NPR show seizures of meth by authorities have spiked, rising 142% between 2017 and 2018.

This Dec. 4, 2017, file photo shows the Pfizer company logo at the company's headquarters in New York.
Richard Drew / AP Photo

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals and a division of Pfizer have announced a deal that will create a new pharmaceutical company expected to bring in $19 billion-$20 billion in annual revenue. 

According to a news release, Mylan and Upjohn, the Pfizer subsidiary, hosted a Monday morning conference call with investors.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, across Appalachian coal country, people are looking for productive ways to reuse land damaged by surface mining. A 2018 study found that an area roughly the size of Delaware has been mined over the years. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer reports that some researchers see promise in fast-growing grass that can help restore damaged lands and maybe help both the economy and environment.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

A federal public health agency is launching a study this fall that will evaluate Berkeley County residents’ exposure to the PFAS group of chemicals, which includes PFOA, or C8.

 

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

A federal court has thrown out two key permits for the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

U.S. 4th Circuit Court Chief Judge Robert Gregory said in an opinion issued Friday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service didn't adhere to its mandate to protect endangered species when it fast-tracked re-issuing two permits to the natural gas project proposed to go through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.

Blackjewel coal mine
Mead Gruver / AP Photo

 

A federal bankruptcy judge has approved a plan by West Virginia-based Blackjewel LLC to begin the sale of its coal mines and other assets. 

At the heart of the proposal, Tennessee-based Contura Energy Inc. will be the “Stalking Horse Purchaser,” or initial bidder, for three of Blackjewel’s surface mines. 

Caitlin Tan / WVPB

For many people in Appalachia, the lakes, rivers and creeks are the first places we swam, played in the water or caught crawdads. For many adults, our waterways are some of the best places to get outdoors and cool off in the summer. We have whitewater rafting, swimming, boating and even scuba diving to choose from (yes, scuba diving, you read that right.)  


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