Emily Allen


Emily Allen works in Charleston covering the state Legislature and public affairs throughout southern West Virginia. 

Emily came to West Virginia through Report for America, an initiative from the GroundTruth Project to place emerging journalists in newsrooms throughout the country. As an RFA corps member, Emily intends to hold decision-making bodies accountable for their impact on constituents.

Emily most recently worked for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota, covering all that falls under the purview of local government. She has written about several topics, including military issues, economic development, local elections and how international trade discussions impact regional industries.

Emily graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Journalism. As a student, she interned at the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and American Public Media’s podcast division. She also covered local arts and entertainment for the university’s student-run Radio K.

Charleston Police Car

The city of Charleston will pay an $80,000 settlement to a Black woman who police arrested and allegedly injured outside a Family Dollar on Charleston’s West Side in October 2019.


West Virginia American Water, one of the Mountain State’s largest regulated water utilities, has shared a $50 million plan for infrastructure upgrades in 2021. 

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.
West Virginia Judiciary

Attorneys representing Gov. Jim Justice filed a response Monday, requesting that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals dismiss a request from state legislators for a special legislative session.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An audit of Frontier Communications in March found that the state’s main landline phone provider isn’t doing enough preventative maintenance on its infrastructure for landline phones.

Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Pastor John Wyatt in Rainelle, Greenbrier County, had reopened his two small Baptist churches for three weeks when he got the news. The Graystone Baptist Church in Ronceverte, about 30 miles from Rainelle, had a COVID-19 outbreak.

Balana Goff / Shutterstock

For the last three months, the West Virginia Public Service Commission has urged utilities not to shut off service to people who have missed payments.

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

State and local health officials have arranged for free testing in Boone, Lincoln, McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming counties next week. 

Ric Macdowell / Courtesy of Tina Russell

The results were in on Monday, June 15 – Tina Russell of Glenwood, Mercer County, is the first black woman in West Virginia history to win a Democratic primary in her district.

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. 

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. 

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. 

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.

Courtesy of Jessica Shockey

Jessica Shockey’s problems with her water started right after she moved from Fayetteville to the small, unincorporated coal town of Laurel Creek two years ago. She gutted and remodeled an old house she bought with her husband, replacing all of the plumbing, and spending more than $15,000 on new appliances.  

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In 1998, two white police officers in Bluefield were accused of beating and dragging a young black man, paralyzing him from the neck down. He died in 2002.

His name was Robert Ellison. More than 20 years later, protestors chanted his name and those of other black men and women who have recently died at the hands of police, including George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky

Adobe Stock

A law outlining a new process for the release of pretrial defendants took effect Friday, June 5, as the state continues coronavirus testing for prisoners and staff in all of the state’s lockups.

Michael Keller / Goldenseal

Three more prisoners and one employee for the state Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation have tested positive for the coronavirus, as state officials continue collecting results from all incarcerated people in West Virginia.

Jesse Wright / 100 Days in Appalachia

West Virginia state and county health officials will host free coronavirus testing for residents of Ohio, McDowell and Harrison Counties on Friday and Saturday, June 5-6.

Jesse Wright / 100 Days in Appalachia

The West Virginia National Guard verified on Tuesday one of its members in Putnam County had made “inflammatory” remarks on social media, regarding nationwide protests against racially charged police brutality. 

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginians across the state came together in protest over the weekend, joining thousands across the country demanding action after the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, both at the hands of police. 

Dan Hensen / Shutterstock

Advocates are renewing calls to test and reduce the state’s incarcerated population, as its jails are once again overcrowded and more than 100 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in a state prison.  

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of West Virginia has charged a Pendleton County mail carrier, accusing him of tampering with eight absentee ballot applications. 

According to a criminal complaint filed on Tuesday, Thomas Cooper switched five of the applicants’ requests for a Democratic ballot to requests for a Republican ballot. He later told an investigator with the West Virginia attorney general’s office he did this “as a joke.”

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

Updated on May 26, 2020, at 10 p.m. with more recent data from the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation. 

Eighty-four people have tested positive for the coronavirus at the Huttonsville Correctional Center, as the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation awaits hundreds more results from tests conducted Monday.

Edwin L. Wriston / West Virginia National Guard

State health officials have announced more free testing in Kanawha, Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan and Mineral counties this weekend, through the state health department, local agencies and the West Virginia National Guard. 

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner said Friday that an alleged absentee voter fraud scheme will not affect the state’s 2020 primary election results. 

Adobe Stock

At least 27 people incarcerated at the Huttonsville Correctional Center and eight employees have tested positive this week for the coronavirus, according to the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety. 

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.
West Virginia Judiciary

A handful of state lawmakers filed a petition with the state’s highest court on Friday, arguing that Gov. Jim Justice didn’t have the authority to issue executive orders opening and closing state businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Adobe Stock

A health care system serving six southern West Virginia counties received more than $900,000 to enhance its telehealth services.

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

Updated Thursday, May 21 at 10:30 a.m.

The West Virginia National Guard will begin its second round of free, drive-thru and walk-up testing, to reach minority and densely-populated communities on Friday, May 22.

Perry Bennett / WV Legislative Photography

A Nicholas County delegate has announced he is leaving his seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates, months before the 2020 general election.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service has announced a flash flood watch for Cabell, Mason and Wayne counties on the western side of the state, bordering Ohio.