News

A view of the Dolly Sods Wilderness Area, which is part of the Monongahela National Forest in eastern West VIrginia.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The largest national forest in West Virginia announced Wednesday it is shutting down its campgrounds in an attempt to encourage people to social distance.

The Monongahela National Forest has closed all of its 24 developed campgrounds and campsites effective immediately. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as detection of coronavirus expands throughout the state, other health challenges remain. We’ll check in with a health expert in the Eastern Panhandle, and we’ll also take a break from virus coverage and hear from kids corresponding between Wales and West Virginia.  

Updated at 11:47 p.m. ET

The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a $2 trillion relief package Wednesday night designed to alleviate some of the worst effects of the swift economic downturn currently underway as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the 96-0 vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told lawmakers, "Our nation obviously is going through a kind of crisis that is totally unprecedented in living memory."

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Three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for governor of West Virginia debated Tuesday night, as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread globally and across the Mountain State.  

The virus loomed large throughout the hour-long debate hosted by WVVA between attorney and Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango, physician and Boone County state Sen. Ron Stollings and child advocate Stephen Smith.

Danny Swan

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s latest executive order reacting to COVID-19 means non-essential workers need to stay home, but some small businesses are able to remain open — including an European-style bakery that sells wine and other products in the Northern Panhandle.

Gov. Jim Justice gives an update on coronavirus response and alerts in a virtual briefing with media and citizens on March 24, 2020.
WV Governor's Office

In Gov. Jim Justice’s daily briefing on the coronavirus, he announced three more residents and several nursing home staffers have tested positive for the disease. 

In an interview with WV MetroNews earlier Tuesday, the governor said he isn’t sure how coronavirus got into the Sundale nursing home in Morgantown, but that the instance of community transmission is "worrisome."

The nomination period for the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting Board of Directors is open until 11:59 p.m. on April 17, 2020.

Every individual contribution gives supporters membership in the Friends of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Inc., and entitles them to vote for members of its Board of Directors.

Courtesy of the Artist

Two Mountain Stage events scheduled for May have been canceled to comply with CDC guidelines regarding public gatherings. Refund details are below. We will work to reschedule each of the artists as soon as possible.

 

During the 2020 state legislative session, we asked you what energy and environment issues were on your mind. We got a lot of great responses, but one area in particular stood out —  many of you had questions about West Virginia's renewable energy policies. 

Like Huntington, West Virginia, resident Jennifer Leist. She asked: “What are the obstacles keeping West Virginia from advancing with more renewable energy in our state? What can we do to help with the problem?”

This year, West Virginia lawmakers debated a handful of different bills related to solar energy. One proposal that could exponentially increase the amount of solar installed across the Mountain State passed. 

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

As the economic fallout from the coronavirus continues to reshape our lives, small-town business owners are worried about the future. Whitesburg, Kentucky —  a town already struggling from the decline in the coal industry — is grappling with a new and serious challenge as the effort to contain the disease brings deep economic pain. 

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, during this year’s legislative session, we asked you what energy and environment issues were on your mind. We got some great responses. But many questions were about West Virginia's renewable energy policies.

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — West Virginia Public Broadcasting will continue to provide essential news and entertainment across WVPB’s statewide television, radio and digital network throughout the duration of the stay-at-home directive from Governor Justice.

coal
Mead Gruver / AP Photo

As states across the Ohio Valley order the closure of non-essential businesses to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, coal mines will remain open. But as with many industries, the global pandemic is straining the coal sector, and some experts say the already struggling industry could face intense challenges in the months ahead as electricity demand flags and international exports stall. 

West Liberty University
West Liberty University

A college in the Northern Panhandle is postponing its search for its next president amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

West Liberty University has suspended its presidential selection process until early August in response to the coronavirus crisis, the college announced in a release on Monday.

Adobe Stock


Jefferson County Schools have entered a Stage 3 closure as of Monday, March 23, meaning a total shutdown of school campuses and no staff are to report to work. The county’s superintendent made the announcement on their website last week. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice


Gov. Jim Justice issued a “stay home” order Monday and shut down all nonessential businesses, including cabins and restrooms at state parks. State and local park trails will stay open as well as golf courses. 

As of Monday, March 23, there are 16 confirmed cases of coronavirus in West Virginia. Medical professionals are worried about what may happen if an outbreak occurs amongst one of the state’s most vulnerable communities: those experiencing homelessness.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, where homelessness has been an often-overlooked social challenge in the past, during a pandemic, it’s becoming a matter of increasing significance.

The Federal Reserve says it will buy bonds and mortgage-backed securities "in the amounts needed" to keep markets working smoothly, unveiling a plan that also includes measures to make sure credit is available to businesses and consumers.

West Virginia tourism officials are letting the public know the services that restaurants are offering during the coronavirus scare.

Gov. Jim Justice held a statewide address Saturday, urging West Virginians to take the coronavirus seriously, stay home and take care of the elderly. The governor announced the number of confirmed cases in the state is now 12 but the address did not include any other major updates.

When Jennifer Haller heard that researchers were looking for volunteers to be injected with an experimental coronavirus vaccine, the Seattle mother of two rolled up her sleeve.

Well, not literally. Haller, 43, the first person to receive the vaccine, was wearing a tank top when a pharmacist, sheathed in gloves, a mask and protective eye gear, injected her with an experimental vaccine named mRNA-1273. It made her arm a bit sore, "but besides that, no, no side effects," she says.

Country music icon Kenny Rogers, whose hits included "Lucille," "Lady" and "The Gambler," died late Friday at his home in Sandy Springs, Ga., his family said in a statement. He was 81.

The Houston-born country star had 20 No.-1 hits and three Grammys and performed for some 60 years before retiring from touring in 2017 at age 79, according to the Associated Press.

Rogers didn't write most of his hits and often said he didn't consider himself much of a songwriter. But he told NPR in 2012 that he had a knack for picking songs that could draw in the listener.

Kara Lofton/ WVPB

 

On this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we are taking a much-needed break from the news. We’ll explore ways we can continue to stay connected with each other, even when we’re self-isolating for health reasons.

Thoroughbred horses participating in a race at the Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, W.Va.
Courtesy Photo / Coady Photography

Live horse racing is back on without the fans at a West Virginia track a few days after the facility was shut down due to the new coronavirus.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For the past few months, West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Inside Appalachia Folkways Project has cultivated a connection between two groups of people thousands of miles away — high schools in Lincoln County, West Virginia and in Merthyr Tydfill, Wales.


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

This story was updated at 5 p.m. EST with the latest positive case count.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced new tourism-related restrictions Friday, March 20. By Friday afternoon, the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported eight positive cases of the coronavirus in the Mountain State. 

Cameron Donohue

Trey Kay, host of WVPB’s program Us & Them, was a part of Marshall University’s 2nd annual TEDxMarshallU event on Saturday, March 14.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a few stories about how best to cope with anxiety – both for kids, and adults. We also bring you this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

photo courtesy of WVU Medicine

Testing for the coronavirus is beginning to ramp up in West Virginia. On Thursday, the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported 224 people have been tested total, between the state public health lab and commercial labs.  

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