Dave Mistich

Senior Reporter

A native of Washington, W.Va., Dave Mistich joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October of 2012, as the Charleston Reporter. After bouncing around a variety of newsroom roles at WVPB, he now focuses on state-level politics and government, as well as breaking news. Dave contributes to all locally-produced news and public affairs programs, including West Virginia Morning, Inside Appalachia and The Legislature Today.

When news in West Virginia rises to a level of national interest, Dave often files stories for NPR newsmagazine programs like Morning Edition and All Things Considered or for the network's newscast unit. 

In a former life, he wrote about music and pop culture. When not banging on a keyboard, Dave plays on the world's best-worst softball team, Chico's Bail Bonds, in Morgantown.

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This story is part of an NPR nationwide analysis of states' revenue and budgets during the pandemic.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says he and his administration are “watching the numbers” as they decide next steps in the state’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. That comes as the state has set records in key infection metrics that measure the potentially deadly virus and the use of health care resources.

Courtesy Photo

Updated Friday, July 31, 2020 at 1:42 p.m.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Ben Salango says he has accepted offers to participate in five debates against Gov. Jim Justice. However, Justice's campaign has indicated that the Republican incumbent will take part in only one debate that has already been scheduled.

The one confirmed debate will be hosted by the West Virginia Broadcasters’ Association on Oct. 13. In a virtual news conference Friday, Salango challenged Justice to accept offers for the other debates. 

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

Just days after Secretary of State Mac Warner announced a voting plan for West Virginia’s November election, a coalition of voting rights groups is calling for wider access to an application for absentee ballots. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

All registered voters in West Virginia will be able to use the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a reason to get an absentee ballot for the November general election. But a tweak in the process of how voters can access those applications — and, thus, an absentee ballot — has revived a debate over voting during the pandemic in the race for West Virginia’s Secretary of State. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Tuesday, July 28 2020 at 10:52 a.m.

 

As federal lawmakers debate another coronavirus aid package, Gov. Jim Justice says he’d like a small group of state lawmakers to help shape how West Virginia would use that funding. 

 

But Justice also said Monday he might be open to a special session to let lawmakers have more input on any additional dollars that come in. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia has passed a grim milestone as health officials announced the 100th death in the state attributed to the coronavirus. 

In a Friday virtual news conference, Gov. Jim Justice reported that the average age of those who have died from COVID-19 stands at 76. 

Reta Mays, a former nursing assistant at the Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg, W.Va. Mays, pleaded guilty Tuesday to intentionally killing seven patients with fatal doses of insulin.
West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority

 

 

A West Virginia woman is behind bars after admitting to killing at least seven people at a Veterans Affairs hospital in Clarksburg where she worked as a nursing assistant. The deaths happened from 2017 to 2018 and shocked the VA that they went so long without being noticed. 

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Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Monday, July 13, 2020 at 4:25 p.m.

Lawmakers in the West Virginia House of Delegates are approaching a needed number of signatures to call themselves into a special session, but such an effort appears to be dead on arrival in the Senate. The push comes as some legislators have taken issue with Gov. Jim Justice’s spending of federal funding related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Brittany Patterson / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Friday, July 10, 2020 at 3:50 p.m.

Gov. Jim Justice says he is considering closing bars and indoor dining in Monongalia County as the Morgantown area experiences a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases. Justice said in a Friday virtual news briefing that closing some aspects of business in the county may be the only way to avoid another statewide shutdown. 

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Gov. Jim Justice says his administration expects to reopen West Virginia schools later than usual this fall because of the coronavirus. That announcement comes despite the Trump administration pushing states to reopen schools as soon as possible.

Courtesy Photo / Marshall University

Updated Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 2:45 p.m.

The Marshall University Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the name of a slaveholder and Confederate soldier from the building that houses the university’s education program. The name change comes as other markers and monuments honoring the Confederacy have been removed by choice or by force across the nation. 

 

Updated Monday, July 6, 2020 at 5:40 p.m.

 

Citing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has ordered masks to be worn in buildings outside of a resident’s home. 

 

In a virtual news conference Monday, Justice said he is issuing an order that will require anyone over 9 years old to wear a face covering in "all confined indoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained." Justice said there are exceptions for people with certain breathing conditions and those who cannot otherwise remove a mask on their own.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice is warning that he may mandate masks be worn in public beginning next week. That warning comes as West Virginia reported its highest daily number of new coronavirus cases since mid-May. 

 

In a virtual news briefing held Thursday, Justice said he is considering an order that would mandate residents wear masks in buildings outside of their homes. 

 

“I want to give you notice that, right now, I am terribly concerned about what's coming,” he said. 

 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice is defending his decision to oust the state commissioner of public health after pointing to inaccurate reporting of coronavirus cases. 

In a Monday virtual news briefing, Justice fielded questions from reporters about the resignation of Dr. Cathy Slemp, who stepped down last week from her position as West Virginia’s top public health official. 

Governor Jim Justice speaks at his virtual press briefing, June 26, 2020
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice says his office has found a way to cover what’s expected to be a $250 million budget hole. The governor rolled out the plan in a midday meeting with top lawmakers on Friday before releasing it to the general public.

In a virtual news briefing, Justice outlined the state’s financial situation, which has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. His plan routes federal aid dollars to various state agencies and pulls from the Medicaid surplus fund to cover the budget gap. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


West Virginia seceded from Virginia 157 years ago to join the Union and reject the Confederate States of America. While Confederate monuments have been toppled or ordered down elsewhere across the country, they still stand in West Virginia.

There are 21 statues, memorials and other markers honoring Confederate generals and soldiers in the state — on state park resorts, schools, elsewhere according to data compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says the state’s budget will be in good shape despite a significant hole in revenue due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

As statues of Confederate generals have been toppled or ordered down across the American South, all still stand in West Virginia, the only state born out of the American Civil War.

One hundred fifty-seven years ago Saturday, West Virginia seceded from Virginia to join the Union and reject the Confederacy.

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.

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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.

Brittany Patterson

Amid the coronavirus pandemic and worldwide protests calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality in the United States, West Virginia’s 2020 primary election Tuesday was one for the books. The election featured an unprecedented number of absentee ballots, some predictable results, and some major upsets.  

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

While the winners of Divisions 1 and 2 for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals will each serve a full 12-year term on the state’s high court, the winner of Division 3 will serve the remaining four years of an unexpired term. 

Thorney Lieberman / West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals


Candidates for the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Division 2 have expressed remarkably different ideas about what the state’s high court should focus on. The winner, who will serve a full 12-year term, will replace the seat currently held by Justice Margaret Workman.

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice is urging West Virginians to remain peaceful and nonviolent as protests against racism and police brutality continue around the country. 

Across the United States, thousands of Americans are protesting the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last week while a Minneappolis police officer held him down with a knee on Floyd’s neck. Some protests have reportedly led to destruction of property, and police in some cities have responded by using force against protesters and journalists.

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals chamber is pictured in September 2019.
J. Alex Wilson / West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals


Editor's Note: Candidates for West Virginia Supreme Court Division 1 spoke to West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the Stubblefield Institute for Civil Political Communications at Shepherd University as part of a forum featuring candidates from each of the three divisions in this year’s election. 

The June 9 primary will decide three seats on the bench of the state’s highest court. Eleven candidates across three divisions are vying for the open seats on West Virginia’s Supreme Court of Appeals. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday additional phases of the state’s reopening plan that will be rolled out over the coming weeks. 

Pool halls, spas, limited video lottery, swimming pools, bowling alleys and other places of amusement will be able to open Saturday, May 30. On Monday, June 1, movie theatres and casinos will be allowed to reopen.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice says he has ordered coronavirus testing for all inmates and guards at state corrections facilities following an outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Center. Justice and other state health officials say that spike in cases has had a significant impact on the state’s totals but won’t  alter the state’s plans to continue reopening businesses and other aspects of everyday life. 

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