News

Updated at 9:18 a.m. ET Wednesday

Hurricane Dorian is crawling along as a Category 2 storm after spending more than a day thrashing Grand Bahama Island, where at least seven people are reported dead.

The core of the storm will "move dangerously close" to the coasts of Florida and Georgia throughout the night and into Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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A commercial satellite image shows just how much of Grand Bahama Island is underwater following days of torrential rain and massive storm surge from Hurricane Dorian.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, video games can help who have disabilities feel more included and accepted among their peers in social circles. But not everyone with a disability can play video games with a traditional controller. As Liz McCormick reports, one nonprofit organization in Kearneysville, West Virginia, has been trying to change that.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This Labor Day, members of the United Mine Workers of America marched eleven miles from the town of Marmet in West Virginia to Racine. As Emily Allen reports, the route traces part of a much longer journey miners made almost a century ago. 


Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said Tuesday he will not run for governor. The announcement came after months of speculation as to whether he’d join the race. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


It's been nearly a century since thousands of pro-union miners marched into Logan County, West Virginia, to protest abuses by coal operators in what used to be largely anti-union territory.

Updated at 2:15 a.m. ET Tuesday

Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says at least five people have died in the Abaco Islands, where Hurricane Dorian made landfall Sunday as "the strongest hurricane in modern records" to hit the archipelago.

Minnis described the hurricane as a "historic tragedy" that's brought "unprecedented and expensive" devastation to Abaco.

The shooter who opened fire after a routine traffic stop Saturday in Texas, killing seven people and injuring 22, was fired just hours before the deadly shooting.

Seth Aaron Ator, 36, who lived in the Odessa area, had been fired from his job at Journey Oilfield Services after a disagreement, according to Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke. The shooting rampage, which appears to have been random, ended when Ator was killed by police.

Labor Day has long been an unofficial start to election season. So far, two rounds of Democratic debates, and two fundraising deadlines have revealed a lot about where the Democratic primary stands.

Updated at 11:30 p.m. ET

Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a catastrophic Category 5 storm on Sunday, reaching the Bahamas as "the strongest hurricane in modern records" to ever hit the archipelago, according to the National Hurricane Center, based on its sustained winds of 185 mph.

Joe Manchin
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Joe Manchin is once again at a career crossroads that says as much about the West Virginia politician as it does the state of American politics.

The Democrat says he'll decide right after Labor Day whether to stick with being in the U.S. Senate, where he was just reelected for a six-year term, or make a run for West Virginia governor in 2020.

Police say a man hijacked a postal truck and began shooting people at random in the Midland and Odessa areas of Texas on Saturday, leaving at least five people dead and 21 others injured.

The chaotic afternoon began with a traffic stop and ended with police shooting the gunman dead. Odessa Police Department officials say three law enforcement officers were shot: an Odessa police officer, a Midland police officer and a state police officer.

Updated at 9:54 a.m. ET

Hurricane Dorian has grown even more powerful, strengthening to a Category 5 storm as it approaches the Bahamas with what the National Hurricane Center warned would be "devastating winds" and a "life-threatening storm surge."

Maximum sustained winds for Dorian increased to 175 mph, with gusts above 200 mph, and further intensification is possible according to the NHC.

Updated at 8:08 p.m. ET

One of TV's most beloved sidekicks has died. Valerie Harper, best known for playing Rhoda Morgenstern on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, died Friday in Los Angeles. She was 80.

As the blunt, self-deprecating Rhoda, Harper created one of the most beloved sitcom characters of the 1970s. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a ratings powerhouse, centered on best friends Rhoda and Mary Richards, two single women making their way through life, love and career.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Spend a Monday at the Boone County courthouse, and you’ll see judges and public attorneys overwhelmed with a surging number of child abuse and neglect cases.   

Some of the crew aboard a tow boat operated by Amherst Madison in W.Va.
Eric Douglas/ WVPB

A decline in coal production over the past decade affected more than just coal miners. It also impacted the riverboat industry. Amherst Madison is a riverboat company based outside Charleston, West Virginia. For decades, the company has made most of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal meant the company had to look for other ways to stay afloat. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting spent some time with these folks inside the river industry, and we asked them what the future of the industry looks like.

President Trump has tweeted what experts say is almost certainly an image from a classified satellite or drone, showing the aftermath of an accident at an Iranian space facility.

"The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir [Space Launch Vehicle] Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran," the president said in a tweet that accompanied the image on Friday. "I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One."

Glynis Board

Representatives from WVU and WVU Medicine say they are “very close” to announcing a solution to some of the job and health care losses projected in the northern panhandle after two hospitals announced they were closing earlier this month.

 

In an interview with WV Metro News Thursday, WVU President Gordon Gee said there are plans to expand on what WVU Medicine is already doing in the northern panhandle.

 

Jan Rader - Huntington Fire Chief
City of Huntington Facebook

The chief of the Huntington, West Virginia, Fire Department has been named as the American Legion's national firefighter of the year.

Chief Jan K. Rader received the award at the American Legion's 101st National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Wednesday night.

Scale of Justice
Wikimedia Commons

A U.S attorney is confirming that federal authorities are investigating suspicious deaths at a Veterans Affairs hospital in West Virginia, as more federal officials demand answers.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is moving to take a rare species of plant found in the Ohio Valley off of the endangered species list. Amid controversial proposals to change the law protecting rare species, the Running Buffalo Clover is an example of a successful recovery. It would join about 2.5 percent of threatened and endangered species (42 species) that have been taken off the list, or delisted, due to recovery. There are still 1,663  U.S. plants and animals on the endangered species list.

Eric Douglas / WVPB

Eric Gardner has a different perspective than most about the rivers in central Appalachia. That’s because he spends most of his time in them. 

Gardner is a commercial diver. He works in the Kanawha and Ohio rivers, maintaining tow boats, barges, pipelines and spillways. 

“I started out with some older gentleman that ran the company. [They]  took a liking to me and taught me a lot of the trades that I still use to this day,” he said. 

Captain Marvin Wooten pushes five loads of coal along the Kanawha River. He has worked for Amherst Madison since 1979.
Eric Douglas/ WVPB

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re looking at how water shapes us ⁠— and how we’re impacting our waterways. Our rivers are a vital part of our identity as Appalachians. We depend them for survival, recreation and transportation. And we depend on rivers for economic reasons, too. 

 

The handful of riverboat companies that still operate in Appalachia have primarily made the majority of their money towing coal barges. But a downturn in coal production meant many of these companies had to look to other ways to stay afloat.

How Fly Fishing Saved a Veteran's Life

Aug 30, 2019
Kyle Chanitz ties a fly at his home studio in Roanoke, Virginia.
Mason Adams/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Army veteran Kyle Chanitz spent two and a half years deployed in Afghanistan, where he saw intense fighting and suffered concussions that led to seizures. When he returned to the U.S., he started taking college classes, but then dropped out to follow the jam band Phish around the country.

He spent 18 months on the road, got into drugs and spiraled out of control. 

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Earlier this month, two rural hospitals -- one in Wheeling, one just across the river in Ohio -- announced they were closing. Since then, stakeholders have been meeting to discuss strategies for maintaining at least some of the services the hospitals provided -- especially mental health care. Because in rural states like West Virginia, losing a facility doesn’t just impact the community but can have ripple effects across the state. 

 

Adobe Stock

West Virginia has the highest rate of heart disease in the nation. But a new study has found eating healthy foods -- regardless of specific diet -- can help reduce the risk for heart disease. 

DAN SCHULTZ/ TRAVELING 219

The Tygart Valley Homestead Association in Randolph County is celebrating the opening of a new community center inside their historic school building that first opened in 1939. The school was originally part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal Homestead projects.


Updated at 9:15 a.m. ET

Hurricane Dorian, now a category 4 storm, was heading across the Atlantic toward the Bahamas and the Florida coast on Saturday — and the National Hurricane Center predicts tropical storm winds could reach the Bahamas as soon as Saturday night.

The NHC says "life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds" are possible in the northwestern Bahamas.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a few counties throughout the state are implementing a new kind of court for families dealing with abuse and neglect cases. We also bring you a preview of this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia on waterways and this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On Thursday, a group of West Virginians rallied at the steps of the state Capitol, voicing concerns about what some say are human rights violations in Kashmir.  

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