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

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Republican Del. Sharon Lewis Malcolm of Kanawha County died over the weekend. 

 

According to a news release from the West Virginia House of Delegates, Malcolm passed away peacefully in her sleep at the age of 72. 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Updated Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at 2:40 p.m.

West Virginia’s congressional delegation has weighed in on a formal impeachment inquiry launched against President Trump and the contents of a phone call between Trump and Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia state Sen. Greg Boso announced Monday he is stepping away from his seat in the 11th District. 

The Nicholas County Republican says he is leaving to pursue an opportunity with the Alabama-based engineering firm Forensic Consulting Group. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A longtime state senator from Boone County has announced he is running for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2020. 

Sen. Ron Stollings filed pre-candidacy paperwork Monday at the Secretary of State’s office.

James "Whitey" Bulger is seen in two booking photos, decades apart -- 1959 and after his capture in 2011. The convicted mobster and murderer was killed in prison.
U.S. Marshals Sevice

The family of slain Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger is filing a wrongful death claim against the federal government following his death in prison last year.

A fourth person has been named as a potential victim in the ongoing investigation of suspicious deaths at a Clarksburg, West Virginia veteran’s hospital. 

Attorney Dino Colombo said Thursday an autopsy has revealed Army veteran Archie D. Edgell died in March 2018 as a result of an unneeded insulin injection. 

Courtesy photo / Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice announced today [Tuesday] that he has appointed Trenton C. Barnhart to the House of Delegates to represent the 7th District. 

Barnhart fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Del. Jason Harshbarger, who resigned from the seat last month.

Courtesy Doug Smith

A southern district that includes a controversial House delegate will have another GOP candidate in next year’s primary election. The 27th House District currently includes Del. Eric Porterfield, who made anti-gay comments during the 2019 legislative session.

Morgantown native J. Marinelli poses with Daniel Johnston in Louisville, Kentucky in November 2008.
Eir-Anne Edgar / Courtesy Photo

West Virginia-raised musician and artist Daniel Johnston died this week at the age of 58. Known best for his earnest and harrowing lo-fi pop songs, Johnston remained an underground hero for most of his life. His influence, though, continues to stretch across musical and artistic genres -- and around the world.

Whether you’ve heard of Daniel Johnston or not, here’s a quick warning: There’s really no way to fully condense his life and work into a few minutes worth of radio or a short written article. 

There are full-length documentaries for that -- films that show a brilliant, yet tortured person. There are flashes of genius interspersed with dark stories about psychotic episodes, bad hallucinogenic trips, and unrequited love.

In the backdrop, of course, are songs that have inspired countless people.

Harry Cabluck / AP Photo

Musician and artist Daniel Johnston was known for eccentric and sometimes harrowing pop songs colored by childlike innocence and romantic longing.  His life and work have been seen as an inspiration to many artists and musicians.

Johnston was found dead at home Wednesday morning at the age of 58. According to a statement from his family, he died of natural causes. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two deaths have been ruled homicides at a Veteran’s Affairs hospital in Clarksburg and an ongoing investigation is leaving families of the victims desperate for answers.

In this July 8, 2019, photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers detain a man during an operation in Escondido, Calif.
Gregory Bull / AP Photo

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. 

During this week’s regular Morgantown City Council meeting, Police Chief Ed Preston briefly outlined how his department was alerted ICE operations were about to take place. 

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. 

Adobe Stock

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. 

Netflix

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.
Dale Sparks / AP 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

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.

Pages