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.

Ways to Connect

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.

Gregory Bull / AP Photo

Updated Friday, August 16, 2019 at 4:42 p.m.

Authorities in Morgantown and Monongalia County have confirmed U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement informed them they would be operating in the area. While ICE officials have confirmed “routine targeted enforcement  operations,” information on possible arrests and detainments is still unknown. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Del. Jason Harshbarger has submitted a letter of resignation from the House’s 7th District. The two-term lawmaker is leaving to take a new role with Dominion Energy.

Harshbarger, a Republican from Ritchie County, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2016 and has worked for Dominion Energy for 14 years. 

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West Virginia made waves in 2018 when it became the first state in the country to allow some residents to vote using a mobile phone app. 

A new study released last month by the University of Chicago finds West Virginia’s mobile voting pilot program increased voter turnout by three to five percentage points. 

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Activist-turned-political candidate Paula Jean Swearengin has announced she’ll again run for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Swearengin made the announcement Tuesday on her campaign’s Facebook page.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are trying again to get support for gun control legislation.  Their bill would strengthen background checks for those purchasing guns. 

A marijuana plant grows at Fotmer SA, an enterprise that produces cannabis for medical use, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

West Virginia’s medical cannabis industry may have a prospective banking solution to get around federal law. But exactly when that solution might be implemented is still up in the air.

A spokeswoman for the state Treasurer’s office says in an email they received four bids from businesses looking to handle deposits associated with West Virginia’s as-of-yet launched medical cannabis program.

This Dec. 4, 2017, file photo shows the Pfizer company logo at the company's headquarters in New York.
Richard Drew / AP Photo

This is a developing story and may be updated.

Mylan Pharmaceuticals and a division of Pfizer have announced a deal that will create a new pharmaceutical company expected to bring in $19 billion-$20 billion in annual revenue. 

According to a news release, Mylan and Upjohn, the Pfizer subsidiary, hosted a Monday morning conference call with investors.

This Feb. 21, 2005, file photo, shows incoming bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese, W.Va, Michael Bransfield in his new office, in Wheeling, W.Va.
AP file photo

Following an investigation into a West Virginia bishop for sexual and financial misconduct, the Vatican has banned him from public ministry and handed down other sanctions. 

According to a letter from the pope’s diplomatic mission to the United States, former Bishop Michael Bransfield has been banned from presiding over or participating in public worship.

West Virginia state Sen. Paul Hardesty, D-Logan, speaks on the floor on June 1, 2019.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

While much of the country remains focused on the ongoing controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s racist remarks targeting four Democratic congresswomen, a West Virginia state Senator is taking issue with other words from the president, which came at an event in North Carolina. 

In an open letter, Sen. Paul Hardesty of Logan County says he is “appalled” at Trump’s choice of words at a Wednesday rally in Greenville, North Carolina. 

Hanshaw, Harrison
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The West Virginia House of Delegates will return to the state Capitol to finish up work on their first special session of the year. 

House Speaker Roger Hanshaw sent a letter Monday to delegates, calling on them to return to Charleston next week. 

Julio Cortez / AP Photo

Despite legislation from 2017 that allowed cannabis to be legal for medical use on July 1 of this year, West Virginia officials say they’re still years away from the first sale. That’s -- at least in part -- because of a hangup with finding a banking solution to get around federal law. State health officials say they also have to implement permitting and licensing for patients and those who want to start businesses within the industry. 

Marina Riker / AP Photo

Despite legislation that called for West Virginia’s medical cannabis program to launch this week, state health officials say they’re still years away from the first sale in the state. One reason for the delay has been the state's need for a third-party vendor to handle banking services. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

This is a developing story and may be updated.

 

Despite tornado warnings and a brief recess in which lawmakers and the public were evacuated downstairs at the Capitol, the West Virginia Senate voted Monday to pass a controversial omnibus bill that could most notably lead to the state’s first charter schools. Senators fast-tracked the bill by suspending rules that would normally require they read the bill three times on three separate days. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019 at 11:40 p.m. 

The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed its version of a long, sweeping and controversial education reform measure. The bill, which is the latest in a series of omnibus proposals, cleared the lower chamber Wednesday on a 51-47 vote after delegates considered amendments on third reading.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia House of Delegates has advanced its own omnibus education bill and is getting set for a vote on the complex and controversial measure. The measure moved forward during a Tuesday floor session in which teachers lined the galleries to watch the proceedings.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


With hundreds of teachers, school service personnel and other supporters spread across the capitol complex Monday, the West Virginia House of Delegates began its work on a special session focused on overhauling public education. Monday offered a flurry of activity in the House of Delegates, with floor sessions and committee meetings illustrating a mostly partisan divide -- and majority Republicans unveiling new proposals.

Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 4:05 p.m.

A Morgantown drag performer who told police they were attacked over Memorial Day weekend has filed paperwork to discontinue an investigation into the incident. Local police say they found inconsistencies in the alleged victim's account of the incident and are following up on the matter.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A top Republican in the West Virginia Senate is calling on Gov  Jim Justice to resign.

Sen. Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, took aim at Gov. Justice first in a paid-for column in a weekend edition of The Martinsburg Journal and then with other news media on Monday.  

The west face of the Supreme Court of the United States is seen in this general view. Monday, March 11, 2019, in Washington D.C.
Mark Tenally / AP Photo

The West Virginia House of Delegates has filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in a case attempting to overturn a decision by the state’s high court that dismissed impeachment cases last year.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Monday, June 3, 2019 at 1:40 p.m.

 

The West Virginia Senate has passed a complex and controversial education reform bill that contains anti-strike provisions that say teachers can be fired for walking off the job and allows for the state’s first charter schools. The upper chamber also passed a measure creating education savings accounts, another controversial issue touted by majority Republicans.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography


The West Virginia Senate has adopted an amendment that would allow teachers to be fired or have their pay withheld for going on strike. That change, among others, was made Sunday, June 2, to a long and controversial education reform bill that will be up for a Senate vote Monday.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Republicans in the West Virginia Senate were unable Saturday to push a long, sweeping and controversial education reform measure to a vote. Now in the middle of a special legislative session on the matter, lawmakers have toiled over the issue for months -- while public educators have voiced strong opposition to proposed bills that include charter schools and education savings accounts.

John Raby / AP Photo

West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson, held a news conference Thursday to boost support for his sweeping education reform package, but questions remain over how long the upper chamber will take to approve those proposals.

Striking West Virginia teachers and supporters rally outside the House of Delegates chambers Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019, at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Teachers rallied then to oppose a complex education bill making its way through the Legislature.
John Raby / AP Photo

With West Virginia Senate President Mitch Carmichael planning to address public education during a one-day special legislative session this weekend, leaders of teacher unions are gearing up to have their members at the Capitol.

 

A Senate spokeswoman says Carmichael and his members will begin work at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1, to consider the 144-page “Student Success Act.”

 

Ben Curtis / AP Photo

Editor's Note: The alleged victim of this incident filed paperwork on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 to discontinue the police's investigation of the incident.

 

A reported attack on a black, gay man in Morgantown over Memorial Day weekend has sparked reaction from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, as well as renewed attention on West Virginia’s hate crime laws.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Republican leaders in the West Virginia Senate have rolled out their latest plan for education reform. The 144-page bill, dubbed the “Student Success Act”, was released Friday afternoon by Senate President Mitch Carmichael, R-Jackson.

“This bill boldly incorporates many suggestions and recommendations from the education forums that were held throughout the state,” Carmichael said in a Friday statement. “It reflects the input of teachers, students, and parents. There is widespread recognition that our state’s education system can be improved.”

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Issues related to public education lingered heavily in the background -- and at times worked their way to the front -- of a Monday special session of the West Virginia Legislature.

Jay LaPrete / AP Photo

West Virginia University president E. Gordon Gee responded Friday to a report from Ohio State University that says a team doctor sexually abused students for nearly two decades.

 

Ohio State University released an investigative report Friday that says Dr. Richard Strauss sexually abused 177 male students between 1979 and 1997.

oxycontin
Toby Talbot / Associated Press

Five more state attorney generals have announced they have filed suit against the manufacturer of the highly addictive opioid OxyContin and it’s former chief executive.

 

West Virginia’s suit, announced Thursday by state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, alleges that the Purdue Pharma used unlawful marketing tactics that fueled a scourge of opioid addiction and related deaths.

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