Liz McCormick

Eastern Panhandle Reporter/Producer

Elizabeth (Liz) McCormick grew up in Charleston, West Virginia with her grandmother. She graduated from Capital High School in 2010 and graduated from Shepherd University in 2014 with a B.A. in Communications: Digital Filmmaking and minor in Theater.

Liz began her work with West Virginia Public Broadcasting as an intern in the main office in Charleston in the summer of 2014. She was later hired as a freelance reporter in July of that year, and then hired fulltime in December 2014 as the Eastern Panhandle Reporter/Producer (a.k.a. the Eastern Panhandle Bureau Chief). She is based in Shepherdstown on Shepherd University's campus.

You can hear stories by Liz on West Virginia Morning and Inside Appalachia. You'll also hear her during morning and afternoon local newscasts. Liz covered the West Virginia House of Delegates for three seasons of WVPB's television program, The Legislature Today. Today, Liz is a production assistant on the show.

Liz has won awards in various categories of the Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Association. In 2016, she won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Use of Sound for her story "A Civil War Christmas." In 2018, Liz was a recipient of Shepherd University's Finest Under 40 Alumni award.

Liz is a lover of music and theater. She has performed in community theater productions since she was eight-years-old, and she studied voice for 14 years. Liz attended Interlochen: Center for the Arts summer camp in Michigan to study musical theater in 2004 and film production in 2009. In 2007, Liz was the state champion of the Poetry Out Loud: National Recitation Contest and one of the 12 national finalists that year. During her college years, Liz was involved in choir ensembles and theatrical productions in Shepherd University's Music Department. She studied abroad in Pau, France in the summer of 2012, and she completed an internship with the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Liz is also a video game enthusiast who loves Nintendo and Pokémon.

Ways to Connect

Health officials say handmade cloth face masks like these can help limit the spread of COVID-19 from the wearer to others.
Adobe Stock

The debate over whether to wear face masks to combat the spread of the coronavirus steered much of the discussion during a virtual town hall in the Eastern Panhandle Wednesday night. The Jefferson County Commission hosted the event with local medical professionals.

Downtown Shepherdstown
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh/WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)

A month after passing a resolution strongly encouraging Shepherdstown businesses to require face masks inside their establishments, the Shepherdstown Town Council is formally calling on Gov. Jim Justice to mandate face masks in public spaces across West Virginia.

Posters like this one can be seen in windows of several businesses in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Shepherdstown Town Council

Updated on July 2, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. 

Scientific evidence is mounting that wearing a mask is an effective way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But in many states, including West Virginia, officials have been reluctant to mandate mask wearing in public.

In the Eastern Panhandle, one town has passed a resolution that “strongly encourages” mask wearing and gives businesses the option to get local police involved if customers refuse to wear one inside their establishments.

On this West Virginia Morning, a group of residents in Letcher County, Kentucky confront a judge over a Facebook post in which he downplayed racism and accused protesters of heightening tensions. Also, in this show, we hear how religious leaders in West Virginia are responding to the coronavirus pandemic at their places of worship. We also visit some towns in the state to hear how the pandemic’s economic impact is affecting local tourism.

A watch glass containing microscopic spores of diverse strains of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. These beneficial fungi form spores inside and outside the roots of their plant hosts, helping plants to colonize former mining lands.
Matt Kasson / West Virginia University


Thousands of people have found themselves working from home during the coronavirus pandemic. Of course, essential workers don’t have that luxury. But that’s not the only type of work that can’t be done from home.

 

Scientists across the country have struggled to maintain access to their research, including researchers who take care of living collections — those libraries of living things, usually housed at academic institutions, and used for study or preservation. 

 

Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, W.Va.
WVU Medicine/West Virginia University

Updated on June 19, 2020 at 5:30 p.m.

As West Virginia continues to ease coronavirus-related restrictions this week under Gov. Jim Justice’s safer-at-home order, including nursing home visitations, some hospitals in the state are choosing to keep their doors shut to most visitors.

In this April 27, 2017 file photo, a police officer wears a newly-issued body camera outside in New York.
Mary Altaffer / Associated Press File Photo


The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia is investigating the treatment of several protesters recently arrested by the Martinsburg Police Department.

At least 11 people were arrested in Martinsburg the weekend of May 30 and 31 during demonstrations protesting police brutality and racism. 

Martinsburg High School Principal Trent Sherman reaches out to shake hands with a graduating senior on May 26, 2020 during Martinsburg High School’s drive-through graduation. Sherman did not wear gloves or a mask during the event.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


High schools throughout the United States and in West Virginia have had to reimagine graduation for the Class of 2020. Many have already had drive-through, or drive by, graduations, some have done virtual ones, and others hold out hope to also have some sort of traditional ceremony later this summer.

Updated on June 18, 2020 at 9:15 a.m.

 

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has settled a yearlong debate over four provisional ballots in Harpers Ferry. 

The state’s highest court voted unanimously on Monday for the Harpers Ferry Town Council to count four provisional ballots from last June’s municipal election. The council had thrown out those ballots over typographical errors.

Sam Fonda pours a beer at Weathered Ground Brewery in Cool Ridge, West Virginia.
Janet Kunicki / WVPB

People in our region have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some even say Appalachians are among the best at making whiskey and moonshine, but this history is sometimes coupled with negative stereotypes. Outsiders have long portrayed Appalachians as dangerous, lawless moonshiners.

Sgt. Amouris Cos / U.S. Army National Guard


Coronavirus cases are on the rise in the Eastern Panhandle. Berkeley County has counted 22 confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in the past three days. 

Berkeley County’s total number of positive cases, as of Friday morning, is 325 with 14 probable cases, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and it has the highest number of positive cases in the state. 

New college graduates will likely have job interviews over video conferencing programs like Zoom or Skype, a trend experts say may continue even after the coronavirus pandemic ends.
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Unemployment across the nation is at an all-time high with millions of Americans out of work. In West Virginia, more than 160,000 residents have filed for unemployment since mid-March, according to state officials on May 14

This has many new college graduates concerned as they try to navigate a now limited job market. While there may be valuable lessons new grads can learn through the pandemic, it will also be a challenging road ahead for some. 

Pilgrim's Pride in Moorefield, W.Va.
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

This is a developing story and may be udpated.

 

The West Virginia National Guard began conducting tests for COVID-19 this week at a poultry processing plant in Moorefield, Hardy County. According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the number of positive tests in the county have increased recently.

 


West Virginia Tourism Office


While the coronavirus pandemic has all but halted out-of-state travelers and tourism in West Virginia, there are ways for residents to safely leave home, enjoy some local sites, and learn a little history along the way.

Teddy Bear, Child Abuse, Abuse, Fear
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Since stay-at-home orders were issued by Gov. Jim Justice on March 24, domestic violence calls are up in West Virginia. But advocates have seen fewer referrals for child abuse cases, and they think that will change once social distancing ends.

Kay Dartt, 3D fabrication manager, and Chase Molden, theater technical director, show the West Virginia National Guard how to cast an N95 respirator mask using silicone molds. The design comes from a 3D printed model developed by Dartt and Molden.
Shepherd University


As the coronavirus continues to spread in West Virginia, the need for personal protective equipment, or PPE, has increased as well. But more than two dozen organizations across West Virginia are working to provide this critical equipment to frontline workers.

(left clockwise) Daisy, Evie, Claire and Xylon Mason play a board game together at their home in Charles Town, W.Va. Games have been a major key to learning for the Mason children who are all homeschooled.
Courtesy Amy Mason

 


Concerns over coronavirus have schools in West Virginia closed until at least April 30. And in Jefferson County, schools are closed for the rest of the academic year. As a result, thousands of kids throughout the state are staying home and attending school in new ways.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting explored some of the resources available to help West Virginia’s kids and their families succeed.

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At least three West Virginia colleges have set up emergency assistance programs to help students financially during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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West Virginia’s health centers will see $12,939,053 in federal funds to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

The state’s U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito made the announcement in a joint press release Thursday.

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
Dollar Photo Club

 


A West Virginia-based charitable foundation affiliated with the WVU Health System announced it has purchased more than $1.3 million in personal protective gear for health workers across the state.

Downtown Shepherdstown
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh/WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)


The Contemporary American Theater Festival, located in Shepherdstown, has pushed its 2020 season to next year due to coronavirus concerns. This summer was meant to be the festival’s 30th anniversary celebration.

Some of the more than 30 3D printers at Shepherd University.
Shepherd University


 

At least two universities in the Mountain State are using 3D printing technology to make much-needed personal protective gear for first responders and healthcare professionals on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. 

 

 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families announced in a news release Tuesday that recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, may be eligible for two waivers from the federal government.

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The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Child Support Enforcement is asking clients to seek help through the office online and not visit the agency’s local offices in-person during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to be the top public health concern in the nation.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported early Thursday morning 12 new cases, bringing the total positive case count in West Virginia to 51.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

As restrictions on daily activities tighten and confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise, across West Virginia many community-based food pantries report more people are using their services. 

While federal food resources are being expanded during the pandemic, some organizations operating on the ground say they are grappling with how COVID-19 is changing day-to-day operations.

A screenshot from the video game Fallout 76.
Bethesda Game Studios

 

A study done last year that found the video game Fallout 76 may help forge new emotional connections between those playing it and West Virginia, will be published in a new journal under the American Psychological Association

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Jefferson County Schools have entered a Stage 3 closure as of Monday, March 23, meaning a total shutdown of school campuses and no staff are to report to work. The county’s superintendent made the announcement on their website last week. 

Shepherd University Sign, McMurran Hall
Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Shepherd University President Mary Hendrix announced Wednesday that the remainder of the 2020 spring semester will be taught completely online.

Courtesy Berkeley County Schools

Schools across West Virginia closed Monday, March 16, for at least two weeks in an effort to help stem the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Since the shutdown was announced, West Virginians around the state have been working to make sure students are fed. According to the West Virginia Department of Education, more than two-thirds  of school-aged children, or more than 183,000, qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. 

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