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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, last week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency conducted operations in the Morgantown area -- and possibly elsewhere in the state. 

As of now, the details of those operations remain mostly unknown. Senior reporter Dave Mistich is following immigration enforcement activity in the state and the community’s reaction to it.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has released an all-new, interactive, online map that shows every current road project across the state — for both primary and secondary roads.

Mitch Hanley

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, in the last two years, 2 million people in the United States misused prescription opioids for the first time. “Steve,” a curious kid from New Hampshire, found his mom’s oxycodone pills in the medicine cabinet and liked the way they made him feel. Before long, he wanted to see what the big deal was with heroin, and doubted that he’d become addicted. As it turns out, he got hooked on his first try. In this episode, we’ll hear Steve’s struggle to stay clean and how his addiction became a family affair.

Mines That Change Owners Have Worse Safety Record, Audit Finds

Aug 22, 2019
MSHA head David Zatezelo during a visit to West Virginia University.
Jesse Wright / WVPB file photo

A new federal government report shows that mines that changed ownership had worse safety records than mines where ownership did not change. According to an audit from the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General, mines that changed ownership during a 17-year period were nearly twice as likely to have safety violations, and five times as likely to report severe accidents in the same period.

Gee delivers his 2017 State of the University address.
West Virginia University

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich are creating a nonprofit that will fight to steer cash from any national opioid settlement to hospitals, rather than to local and state governments already sparring for control of the dollars.

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A new study has found that patients undergoing heart and lung surgery are almost twice as likely to develop an opioid dependence as patients undergoing general surgery. 

The study, published this month in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, found that about 16 percent of patients who had lung surgery and 13 percent of patients who had heart surgery became persistent opioid users. 

Persistent opioid use describes someone who was not taking opioids before surgery, but continued to use the opioid prescription after physical recovery is complete.

Coutesy of Joe Turner

The jet dropped like a silvery stone out of the sky overtop West Virginia’s capital city. It evened out just over the Kanawha River and roared down its length, water flashing in the jet’s wake. 

Crazily, the pilot charged toward a bridge over the river. Was he going to pull up?

Joseph Ellis Turner, age 11, watched in awe as the jet dashed under the bridge, not over it.


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Joseph Turner grew up in the hills and hollers of West Virginia. He went on to attend an ROTC program at then-West Virginia State College and Institute. He was one of more than a dozen generals produced by that program. He served as a pilot on the front lines in Vietnam, and then had a lifetime career with the Army Reserves serving in Atlanta and in the Pentagon, as well as being a long-haul Delta pilot.

He was recently inducted into the West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame. Freelance reporter Douglas Imbrogno interviewed Tuner for 100daysinappalachia.com and learned about how his aviation career, including how he was inspired as a boy by a certain Daredevil, West Virginia pilot.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

This week's Song of the Week is by revered Nashville-based songwriter Gretchen Peters.

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber
West Virginia Judiciary

A state legislative panel is recommending pay raises for West Virginia judges.

The West Virginia Judicial Compensation Commission released its final report on Tuesday and said the state has some of the lowest paid judges in the country.

Gov. Jim Justice, R. W.Va., delivers his annual State of the State speech on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, in Charleston, W.Va.
Tyler Evert / Associated Press

It appears that a now more-than-one-year-old case to determine where West Virginia's governor constitutionally must reside will continue, after a hearing on the matter Wednesday morning. 

US Department of Agriculture

On Monday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice shared his recommendations for the next round of Appalachian Regional Commission projects in the state. 

The ARC is a partnership between the federal government and the 13 Appalachian states. The agency awards federal dollars for infrastructure and economic development projects across the region.

Eric Douglas / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Immigration lawyer Paul Saluja represents many immigrants in West Virginia who are trying to get their citizenship. But an increased need for pro-bono lawyers nationally has inspired him to spend a few months this fall volunteering out West. He’ll be representing families and children who traveled across the Mexican border.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting spoke with Saluja about immigration across the country and here in the Mountain State.


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A regional chapter of Planned Parenthood is hosting a pair of bar crawls in West Virginia to spread the word about upcoming changes to the organization.

On Monday, national Planned Parenthood leaders announced they were stepping away from Title X funds they’ve been receiving from the federal government for roughly 50 years. The decision came after the Trump administration made some changes to Title X rules that would’ve prohibited Planned Parenthood from referring patients to abortion clinics. 

Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

 

For more than a decade, more than 100 migrant and refugee families from countries like Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, Ethiopia, Guatemala and others have come to Moorefield, West Virginia.

They’ve done so to work at Pilgrim’s Pride – a large poultry plant that is Hardy County’s biggest employer with 1,700 workers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Migrants from central America continue to come across the U.S.-Mexico border, including many children, and many of them are seeking asylum. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear two stories about how immigration affects people in West Virginia.

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Moderate to vigorous aerobic activity is associated with a lower risk of several cancers. But a new study has found that weightlifting can also help reduce risk for certain kinds of cancers.  The study, published in the most recent issue of the journal for the American College of Sports Medicine, looked at the impact of weightlifting and cancer risk in 10 common types of cancer.  Researchers found weightlifting significantly reduced risk of colon cancer. For kidney cancer, weightlifting caused risk to trend downward.

josepha / via Flickr

A court for military veterans and active service members is set to debut in West Virginia.

State Supreme Court justices are scheduled to be on hand for the launching of the program Wednesday at the Brooke County Courthouse in Wellsburg.

Gov. Jim Justice giving his 2018 State of the State address.
Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

Lawyers for the West Virginia governor have been ordered to explain motions filed in a lawsuit about the governor's residency.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as kids begin to return to school this year, many adults are unpacking new education legislation state lawmakers passed a few months ago. Among many changes, new rules will make charter schools an option for the first time in the state’s history.

Emily Schultz is the director for state advocacy and policy with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Lawmakers consulted her as they shaped the education reform bill. But Schultz wasn’t happy with all the aspects of the bill. Glynis Board spoke with her about West Virginia’s new law.

Water
Jasonanaggie / Wikimedia Commons

A West Virginia town that spent the past 17 years living under a boil water advisory finally has access to clean water.

HIV Infection ‘Clusters’ Put Focus on Harm Reduction Programs

Aug 19, 2019
needles
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Health officials in Huntington, West Virginia, say a cluster of HIV infections has grown to 71 confirmed cases. That’s in a city that usually sees about eight HIV infections in a year. As with an earlier such cluster in northern Kentucky, officials say the primary cause of infection is needle drug use.

Courtesy of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

A few details are emerging about Immigration and Customs Enforcement operations reported in West Virginia last week.

The state Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety provided West Virginia Public Broadcasting Monday with a list of inmates held in regional jails on ICE-related charges.

NYPD via AP

Bail was set at $200,000 Sunday for a homeless man from West Virginia who was charged with placing two devices that looked like pressure cookers in a New York City subway station.

Scott McCloskey / The Intelligencer via AP

West Virginia's new Roman Catholic bishop is set to be installed this week.

A ceremony is scheduled for Thursday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling for the Most Rev. Mark Brennan, who previously was auxiliary bishop of Baltimore.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Health officials in Huntington, say a cluster of HIV infections has grown to 71 confirmed cases. That’s in a city that usually sees about eight HIV infections in a year. As with an earlier such cluster in northern Kentucky, the primary cause of infection is needle drug use.

Health officials say harm reduction programs are an effective tool against HIV, offering needle exchanges and health screening services. 

But as the Ohio Valley ReSource’s Mary Meehan explains, many people are wary of syringe exchanges. And in some places, that means programs are closing just when they’re most needed.

Greenbier
Bobak Ha'Eri / Wikimedia Commons

The Greenbrier resort has announced it's giving away prizes and tickets to an upcoming golf tournament. A coal company controlled by the family of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is paying for the tickets.  

Pipe ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

Mountain Valley Pipeline this week suspended some construction activities that could affect threatened or endangered species. 

 

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A religious organization in West Virginia has issued a statement, condemning recent shootings in El Paso and Dayton, and other hate speech invoking violence against immigrants. 

The West Virginia Council of Churches released a press release Friday, calling on lawmakers to fund efforts to understand the root causes of gun violence, white supremacy, and hate crimes against immigrants. The Council also urged foundations to assist in these efforts to curb the tide against hate and violence, and asks people in power to refrain from hateful remarks against those of other faiths.


Brian Peshek/ The Allegheny Front

The economy of central Appalachia has long revolved around extractive industries: timber, coal, oil and natural gas. The jobs associated with these industries are often good paying jobs. They also can bring environmental and health issues to the region. 

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll explore how an increase in natural gas development has brought challenges and concerns, both for our health and our natural environment. But for some, the jobs and economic benefits that come with this increased activity are welcome, especially as so many jobs have left our region in recent years. 


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