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. He covered stories that ranged from the 2012 general election, the effects of Superstorm Sandy on Nicholas County and a feature on the burgeoning craft beer industry in the state. Dave has contributed to all locally-produced news and public affairs programs at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, including West Virginia Morning and Inside Appalachia, as well as The Legislature Today.

Dave has also contributed to NPR newscasts  and newsmagazine programs, including All Thing Considered, upon multiple occasions--covering the major gas line explosion in Sissionville in December 2012, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller's announcement in January 2013 that he won't run for reelection in 2014, the murder of Mingo Co. sheriff Eugene Crum in April of 2013,  a set of new lawsuits against DuPont for their production of C8, and the January 2014 water crisis that affected 300,000 West Virginians across nine counties. He also covered the February 2015 CSX oil train derailment in Fayette County. 

In June 2013, his coverage of the Sissionville gas line explosion won an award for Best Breaking News from the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

When West Virginia Public Broadcasting launched its new web presence in October 2013, Dave became Digital Editor / Coordinator. In this role, Dave oversees news coverage online and works with the rest of the news staff in developing new and unique ways of telling stories on the web.

On Thanksgiving night 2013, West Virginia Public Radio premiered Mountain Stage at 30: A Radio Retrospective, an hour-long radio special/documentary that Dave produced on the history of the live performance radio show. Dave also took part in Mountain Stage's 30th Anniversary Celebration show and interviewed guests and former staff and crew during a live broadcast.

Before coming to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Dave worked as a freelancer for various newspapers and magazines locally and around the country, including The Charleston Daily Mail,  Relix, and PopMatters, where he focused exclusively on critiquing and writing about popular music. 

A graduate of Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism & Mass Communications, Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television Production & Management.  He has also served as an Innovator in Residence for West Virginia University's Reed College of Media, where he helped an experimental journalism course investigate water quality using sensors and data reporting.

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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 bars and indoor dining 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.

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.

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. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Before the coronavirus made its way to West Virginia and delayed the state’s primary, the upcoming election was already shaping up to be one of the most closely watched in recent years. 

With the election now moved to Tuesday, June 9, the spotlight has remained on some races, while each party has taken strong positions when it comes to absentee mail-in voting. 

Gov. Jim Justice gives an update to the public regarding West Virginia's continued response to the coronavirus on Thursday, May 21, 2020.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Thursday, May 21, 2020 at 5:40 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says the National Guard is en route to the state’s Eastern Panhandle following a spike in coronavirus cases in that region. In a virtual news conference Thursday, Justice said Berkeley and Jefferson counties each saw an increase in positive cases Wednesday. 

Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials give an update to the public regarding West Virginia's continued response to the coronavirus on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 4:30 p.m.

The head of West Virginia’s corrections system says more cases of the coronavirus have been found at Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County.

Speaking at a virtual news briefing Wednesday, Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation commissioner Betsy Jividen said another staff member and another inmate at the Huttonsville Correctional Center have tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Gov. Jim Justice and his general counsel, Brian Abraham, give an update to the public regarding West Virginia's continued response to the coronavirus on Tuesday, May 19, 2020.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice has announced the first positive case of the coronavirus in an inmate in the state’s jails and prisons. 

During a virtual news briefing held Tuesday, Justice said a 62-year-old male inmate at the Huttonsville Correctional Center in Randolph County tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has announced additional reopening plans, but state public health officials are urging residents to remain cautious of more potential coronavirus outbreaks. 

The latest round of reopenings come as the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Monday that 67 residents have died as a result of COVID-19. To date, the DHHR has reported 1,491 positive cases of the virus that causes the disease.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice is pushing back on criticism that he has buckled to pressure in reopening the state. In a Friday virtual briefing, the governor also addressed criticisms related to the spending of federal relief funds, as well as his approach for interacting with the news media. 

Steven Senne / AP Photo

As West Virginia continues to reopen its economy, Gov. Jim Justice and public health officials have called for more personal protective equipment, more testing and a plan for contact tracing. 

Contact tracing is an important part of making sure highly contagious diseases like the coronavirus don’t spread. The practice helps tell people whether they have come in contact with an infected person, which in turn, can help guide treatments and reduce further exposure.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 4:55 p.m.

Four people working in Kanawha County day care facilities have tested positive for the coronavirus. The ongoing testing of day care staff is part of an effort to reopen West Virginia’s economy, but will now be mandated under an executive order. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said he is once again revising the list of COVID-19 “hot spot” counties. Those changes come as state officials relax a stay-at home order and businesses begin to reopen under Justice’s plan. 

Jesse Wright / 100 Days in Appalachia

A federal inmate has tested positive for the coronavirus after being transferred to a facility in West Virginia. The transfer of federal prisoners during the COVID-19 pandemic has been increasingly criticized as those facilities have seen outbreaks across the country. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice clarified some aspects of his plan to reopen the state and addressed concerns over what capabilities the state might have to trace a second wave of the coronavirus should it reappear. Justice said that the state will need to “find a way to live with the virus” as the economy reopens.

In a Tuesday virtual briefing, Justice said Week One of his reopening plan — which allows professional medical boards to reopen outpatient health care — is already underway. He also said Week Two would begin early next week.

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