News

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

At least six local health departments in West Virginia have now reported coronavirus outbreaks related to  churches. 

As of Wednesday, the state reported 34 positive cases of COVID-19 at the Graystone Baptist Church in Greenbrier County, four positive cases at the First Baptist Church in Ohio County and four active cases at the Church of Christ in Bloomingrose, Boone County. 

Liam Niemeyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

Ohio Valley farmers have received more than $100 million so far in federal relief payments to offset the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, with potentially more payments on the way.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance program plans to distribute up to $16 billion in direct payments to farmers, with farmers able to apply for relief through August. USDA data released Monday show 220,280 farmers across the country have already received $2,895,127,039 in total.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

Updated Wedneasday, June 17, 2020 at 10:25 p.m.

 

The Harrison County Commission voted Wednesday not to remove a statue of a Confederate general that stands in front of the county courthouse in downtown Clarksburg. Calls for the removal of monuments and markers honoring Confederate figures come amid protests against systemic racism and police brutality.

How One Old Ohio Valley Farm Is Embracing New Farming Techniques

Jun 17, 2020
Jenn Jensen / Grow Ohio Valley

According to Columbia University—a symbiotic relationship between communities and local farms will effectively ensure a more sustainable future for people. Through developing sustainable agricultural practices, many farmers and communities are working together to grow and consume nutritionally-dense food, including Drew Manko of The Ross Family Farm.


On this West Virginia Morning, we continue to hear from and about the youth in our region. In this show, we hear the perspective of a young farmer, and we also hear from one of our first place winners in this year’s West Virginia Public Broadcasting Writers Contest.

Martinsburg High School Principal Trent Sherman reaches out to shake hands with a graduating senior on May 26, 2020 during Martinsburg High School’s drive-through graduation. Sherman did not wear gloves or a mask during the event.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


High schools throughout the United States and in West Virginia have had to reimagine graduation for the Class of 2020. Many have already had drive-through, or drive by, graduations, some have done virtual ones, and others hold out hope to also have some sort of traditional ceremony later this summer.

Updated on June 18, 2020 at 9:15 a.m.

 

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has settled a yearlong debate over four provisional ballots in Harpers Ferry. 

The state’s highest court voted unanimously on Monday for the Harpers Ferry Town Council to count four provisional ballots from last June’s municipal election. The council had thrown out those ballots over typographical errors.

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

History was made in Wheeling last Tuesday with the election of West Virginia's first openly trans public official. 


Annetta Coffman

This story was updated on June 16, 2020, at 4:50 p.m. to include a statement from the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The rain poured down for hours on Sunday, slamming the valleys of Fayette County with water. As the earth became saturated, local streams swelled. 

Minden resident Marie Collins said the water washed out the underpinning of her house.

“We had to sleep in the car last night,” Collins said on Monday. 


On this West Virginia Morning, we share a youth report on an athlete’s perseverance. We also hear about what high schools in West Virginia are doing about graduation ceremonies, and we check in with communities cleaning up after flooding this weekend.

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

This story was updated on June 16, 2020, at 12 p.m. to include additional context about the Graystone Baptist Church. 

The coronavirus outbreak at the Graystone Baptist Church in Ronceverte, Greenbrier County, is now linked to at least 28 cases of COVID-19, with several hundred tests from residents still pending. 

Courtesy Photo

The high numbers of absentee ballots in West Virginia’s primary election last week have left at least a couple major races still undecided. With canvassing now underway, elections officials say those races are expected to have a declared winner in the coming days.

Johnathon Burkhart / Wheeling Nailers

If you went to a hockey game in the Nail City during 2019, there’s a good chance you saw defenseman Aaron Titcomb on the ice. Titcomb played for the Pittsburgh Penguins’ ECHL affiliate, the Wheeling Nailers.


Pipe ready for construction.
Seth Perlman / Associated Press

The Supreme Court sided with energy companies and the Trump administration Monday in reinstating a critical permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross under the Appalachian Trail.

The justices ruled 7-2 to throw out a lower court ruling that had canceled the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It would bring natural gas from West Virginia to growing markets in Virginia and North Carolina. Its supporters say the pipeline would bring economic development, thousands of jobs and reduced energy costs for consumers.

Updated at 5:52 p.m.

In a historic decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex. The ruling was 6-3, with Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump's first appointee to the court, writing the majority opinion. The opinion was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices.

On this West Virginia Morning, all this week we’ll be hearing from and about some of West Virginia’s younger residents. We hear a youth essay from Charleston where one young black West Virginian shares his vision for the future, and we also hear from young people in the Ohio Valley region.

Ohio Valley Artists Share Insight: Find Your People

Jun 14, 2020
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In a Yurt overlooking the city of Wheeling, traditional Japanese painter Hiromi Katayama showcased her portfolio book containing photographs of a vibrant spread of enormous floral paintings she’s made to a group of Ohio County School students. Some pieces spanned across twenty feet of folding screens, which left students in awe.


Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia is one of the few states where the population is dropping and life expectancy is among the lowest in the country.  Communities are shrinking, aging, and experiencing some of the highest opioid overdose rates in the country. According to the National Survey of Children’s Health, one of every four kids in West Virginia has experienced two or more adverse childhood experiences — a rate almost 20 percent higher than the national average. West Virginia Public Broadcasting has engaged with organizations in the Northern Panhandle region with an eye toward addressing these disparities.


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

West Virginia health officials are reporting the state’s fifth known COVID-19 outbreak linked to a church – this time, in Greenbrier County. 

YouTube

When John Prine died on April 7 due to complications from COVID-19, he didn't just leave behind a rich recorded legacy.

People on both sides of the Atlantic are waiting for official confirmation whether the U.S. will pull 9,500 troops out of Germany — over a third of its total 34,500 troop presence in the country.

The possible proposal was first reported June 5 by The Wall Street Journal. A U.S. official confirmed to NPR the plan exists, but no orders have been issued.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Protests against police killing unarmed black Americans continue across the country, including here in Appalachia. Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in recent weeks protesting the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor among others. These protesters seek an end to police brutality and many point to our nation’s long history with systemic racism. 

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll listen to stories about the protests and hear the voices of Appalachians who have dealt with discrimination based on the color of their skin. 

Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An annual festival that commemorates a local legend about a “Mothman” in West Virginia has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Emily Allen / WVPB

West Virginia health officials say they are noticing several small coronavirus outbreaks linked to churches and an increased potential for disease spread in the state’s southern counties, even as the governor’s office allows more businesses to reopen week by week.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Appalachian String Band Music Festival, held each year in southern West Virginia, has been canceled this year because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. 

The West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History made the announcement today.


Court In West Virginia Police Excessive Force Suit: 'This Has To Stop'

Jun 11, 2020
Onofrio Castiglia / AP Photo

A federal appeals court has vacated part of a finding that cleared five West Virginia police officers on qualified immunity grounds in an excessive force lawsuit, which was filed by the estate of a homeless black man shot 22 times.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about a long-lost piece of music written half a century ago by Phillip Glass. We also hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the country’s food supply.

COVID-19 Takes A Toll On Our Food Supply

Jun 11, 2020
Lalena Price

The coronavirus highlights many of our vulnerabilities, including the system we use to get food from the farm to the table.  Lately, the pandemic has forced U.S. farmers to face the unthinkable. They plowed under perfectly good vegetables when schools and restaurants shut down and their market vanished. Livestock producers have euthanized hogs and chickens. They couldn’t get the meat to consumers when workers got sick and packing plants closed.

Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage

Our Song of the Week is a modern-day blues original by the incomparable Adia Victoria.

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.
WV Governor's Office

West Virginia’s Board of Education voted unanimously today to name acting superintendent Clayton Burch as the permanent State Superintendent of Schools. Burch accepted the position for a salary of $230,000 and discussed plans for reopening schools in the fall. 

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