Emily Allen

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA/ STATEHOUSE REPORTER

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.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates on the West Virginia House Judiciary Committee passed a bill to create a foster child’s bill of rights Tuesday morning.

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting file photo

The West Virginia House of Delegates unanimously passed a bill Tuesday, Jan. 21, from members of its interim committee on flooding, hoping to speed up the process for rebuilding homes after natural disasters. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The area outside the West Virginia House of Delegates chamber was filled Saturday morning with t-shirts and buttons from various election campaigns throughout the state. Several people wore red bandanas, symbolic of the West Virginia miner strikes and the state’s rich labor history.  

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Lawmakers highlighted both a potential conflict of interest and staffing concerns in a bill establishing responsibilities for a newly created and appointed foster care ombudsman. 

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

It’s the 21st century, and West Virginia officials in charge of combating drug crimes say trafficking and other offenses are more sophisticated and elusive than ever before. 

Senate President Mitch Carmichael from his appearance on The Legislature Today on Monday, January 13, 2020
WVPB

Senate President Mitch Carmichael issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying he’s against Senate Bill 270 to prohibit discrimination against members of West Virginia’s LGBTQ community. In the statement, he argues the bill risks usurping religious liberties.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Department of Education shared a $2.59 billion budget proposal for 2021 with the House Finance Committee Monday morning. 

West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue
West Virginia Treasurer's Office

West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue said Monday his office plans to transfer an additional $20 million into the state’s general revenue fund this fiscal year. 

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislature

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed state efforts to improve roads, his opposition to sanctuary cities and his administration’s work to combat addiction at his annual State of the State Address Wednesday evening

One thing Democrats said they didn’t hear?

“West Virginia is hemorrhaging population,” Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, said. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Senate President Mitch Carmichael is slated to introduce a bill to prohibit healthcare companies from denying service to people with pre-existing conditions in the event the Affordable Care Act — which currently prohibits such discrimination — is repealed. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / WVPB

This story was updated on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020, to include the most up-to-date information on Justice's other ongoing legal affairs. 

A criminal defense attorney representing West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced a federal investigation into his client’s annual golf charity was concluded earlier this week without any findings of wrongdoing.

Mount Olive Correctional Complex
Michael Keller / Goldenseal

It’s no secret West Virginia lawmakers are concerned about the state’s large incarcerated population. The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety reports there are 5,300 people occupying the state’s 11 at-capacity prison facilities, and 4,980 people occupying its 10 regional jails, which on Monday were 19% overcapacity.

West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety

Gov. Jim Justice has announced additional firings following an investigation  into a class photo of West Virginia corrections officer trainees giving an apparent Nazi salute. Those firings, which include a class trainer and the entire cadet class, come after initial firings and suspensions were announced earlier this month.

Voting
WBOY

Members of the Joint Judiciary Committees voted Monday to recommend a bill to their respective chambers, allowing voters with certain physical disabilities to cast absentee ballots electronically.  

William R. Sharpe Jr. Hospital
West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

State staffers and advocates for people with disabilities say the state likely is spending “millions of dollars” on involuntarily committing people to inpatient mental health facilities for unnecessarily long periods of time.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia House of Delegates voted during a brief special session on Monday to extend an application deadline for a tourism development tax credit. 

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / WVPB

Lawyers representing West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice filed a brief with the state Supreme Court of Appeals on Friday, regarding accusations Justice is violating a state constitutional provision by not taking up the governor’s mansion as his primary residence.  

Del. Mike Caputo speaks on the House floor.
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An attorney for Del. Mike Caputo, D-Marion, filed a motion on Thursday requesting the court dismiss a criminal complaint accusing Caputo of misdemeanor battery stemming from from an incident during the 2019 legislative session.

Capitol, West Virginia State Capitol
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Fairness West Virginia, an advocacy group for the state’s LGBTQ+ population, held a panel for the press Tuesday morning to discuss its proposed ‘Fairness Act’ for the 2020 legislative session.  

 

If passed, the bill would prohibit discrimination that’s based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The Five Loaves and Two Fishes Foodbank has 24 hydro-panels for water-gathering in Kimball, West Virginia.
Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In McDowell County, access to clean water can be a challenge. Aging infrastructure, a shrinking tax base and lack of oversight affect the region’s water quality. That is why one community food bank is trying something different, to provide cleaner water to some who are in need.

Frontier Communications

As independent auditors continue their six-month review into Frontier Communications’ landline phone operations in West Virginia, staff working for the state Public Service Commission have noted some significant delays on the part of the telecommunications company. 

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On a cool day in August, about 30 people were gathered in the front yard of a farm in Pickens, Randolph County, for a late-summer family reunion. While ATVs rumbled in the background, four family members sat in a circle made of lawn chairs, near a large tree in the middle of the yard.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

At the Crossroads Recovery Home in Gilbert, West Virginia, the residents — all women — can have as much of a leadership role as the case managers and other staffers helping them.

Adobe Stock

West Virginia’s Attorney General filed two lawsuits against a pair of opioid-manufacturers in Boone County Circuit Court on Monday, alleging the internationally operating companies have illegally misrepresented their products and downplayed the risks associated with opioid painkillers.  

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) released a study this week about the barriers kinship foster care families face, and what the state can do to support them. 

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

In about a month, medical cannabis growers, processors, dispensaries and laboratories will have the option of applying for permit applications from the state. 

Charleston Police Car
charlestonpolice.org

The Charleston Police Department has referred an incident involving two of its officers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for independent review, according to an announcement from the mayor’s office on Thursday.  

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A decades-old policy regarding the Charleston Police Department’s permitted use of force was under fire Tuesday night as city leaders and their constituents gathered to discuss a recent and controversial incident involving two local officers. 

Emily Allen / WVPB

When in the late 1990’s a group of recreational-vehicle enthusiasts began developing a network of riding trails in Southern West Virginia, it didn’t take them long to pick a title that would immediately garner name recognition for the region.


Adobe Stock

A group of state leaders working on a three-year plan to address substance use in West Virginia are traveling the state to share what they’ve come up with, and they say they need help deciding which issues to address first, and how. 

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