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 (2015-2017) of WVPB's nightly television program, The Legislature Today. Today, Liz is a production assistant for the show, and her main duty is to produce video roll-ins from the House and Senate floor sessions. She is also in charge of posting the show's podcast and web post.

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’s 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 (2004) and film production (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 frequently involved in choir ensembles and theatrical productions in Shepherd University's Music Department. She studied abroad in Pau, France (2012), and she completed an internship with the Cannes Film Festival (2013). Liz is also a video game enthusiast who loves Nintendo and Pokémon.

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Fayette County has been designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA. The designation allows for more resources to combat the opioid epidemic.

The MARC train's Brunswick Line parked at the Martinsburg Train Station. Photo taken in Apr. 2018.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


A few hundred people attended a public hearing in Charles Town over the weekend regarding the future of the MARC train service, or Maryland Area Regional Commuter, in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. Maryland is asking West Virginia to either foot the bill or see a reduction in service.

The Appalachian Regional Commission held six recovery-to-work listening sessions throughout the region, including this session in March in Pineville, Kentucky.
Courtesy Appalachian Regional Commission

 


The Appalachian Regional Commission put the stamp of approval this week on recommendations to help people struggling with substance use disorder get back into the workforce.

Heart Disease, Cholesterol, American Heart Association, Heart, Heart Health, Body, Veins, Blood, Health, Appalachia Health News
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A new report shows that West Virginia is one of five states with the highest death rates in the country. The leading cause is heart disease.

The Axis 1 is an adaptive controller that was created by BlueTip Gaming. Adaptive controllers like this one help people with disabilities play video games.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


For people with disabilities, video games can help them feel more included and accepted in social circles. 

“In a video game, you don't know that I have a disability,” Mark Barlet, the founder of The AbleGamers Charity in Kearneysville, Jefferson County, explained. But not everyone with a disability can play video games with a traditional controller. 

Trish Hatfield with her husband Jim and their son Ben. Trish’s question “Where does the phrase, ‘West by God Virginia’ come from?” won our latest Wild, Wondering West Virginia poll.
Courtesy of Trish Hatfield

Here at West Virginia Public Broadcasting we’ve been asking listeners what they wonder most about West Virginia.

The latest question that won out in an online poll came to us from St. Albans resident Trish Hatfield. She asked “Where does the phrase ‘West by God Virginia’ come from?” WVPB reached out to experts across the state and discovered one of the first times the phrase was found in a publication — and we have a good idea why it has stuck around.

U.S. Air Force

 


Residents and businesses in the southern part of Martinsburg were encouraged to evacuate Monday afternoon, after a resident brought an explosive device to the 167th Airlift Wing in Martinsburg.

Roads, Road, Highway, Turnpike
Seicer / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Department of Transportation has released an all-new, interactive, online map that shows every current road project across the state — for both primary and secondary roads.

Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

 

For more than a decade, more than 100 migrant and refugee families from countries like Myanmar (formerly Burma), Vietnam, Ethiopia, Guatemala and others have come to Moorefield, West Virginia.

They’ve done so to work at Pilgrim’s Pride – a large poultry plant that is Hardy County’s biggest employer with 1,700 workers.

The train bridge across the New River as seen from Hawk's Nest in Fayette County, W.Va.
Eric Douglas / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Our next Wild, Wondering West Virginia question comes to us from Trish Hatfield of St. Albans, West Virginia. Her question won the latest voting round of popular questions.

Trish asks, “Where does the phrase, ‘West By God Virginia’ come from?” West Virginia Public Broadcasting got in touch with her to learn more about her curiosity. 

Nearly $37 million in general revenue surplus money will be given to West Virginia’s Medicaid program as well as the state’s Rainy Day emergency reserve fund.

Associate Producing Director Peggy McKowen and Founder and Producing Director Ed Herendeen speak at an event for the 2019 season of CATF. Photo taken May 2019.
Contemporary American Theater Festival / catf.org

The Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia just closed on its 29th season. The festival draws visitors from all over the world to West Virginia and has helped the state stand out in the professional theater scene.

Michael/Flickr

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the next round of Governor Jim Justice’s Secondary Roads Initiative is underway.

This van is used by the JCESA to transport deceased who are non-medical examiner cases and who have no prior death arrangements. JCESA purchased this van in 2017 to tackle an increase in calls and manage a loss in local resources.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

One of the angles of the opioid epidemic we don’t often hear about is what happens to the bodies of those who become overtaken by addiction. West Virginia Public Broadcasting looks at one group under strain – the state’s forensic pathologists who are charged with performing autopsies.

We also explore one West Virginia community’s efforts to efficiently transport the dead.

W.Va. House of Delegates Majority Whip Paul Espinosa, R-Jefferson, speaking during a floor session.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House of Delegates Majority Whip Del. Paul Espinosa has been hired as the Public Affairs Manager for the controversial Rockwool insulation plant in Jefferson County.

Rockwool made the announcement in a press release Tuesday.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After the 2014 Elk River chemical spill in the Kanawha Valley, the West Virginia Rivers Coalition created the Safe Water WV initiative. The idea is simple: to strengthen a community’s connection to their drinking water and encourage them to work together to better protect it.

A couple years ago, Jefferson and Berkeley Counties decided to build off that initiative in a unique way – using the conservation of farmland and Civil War battlefields as a model for drinking water protection.

A young voter exits a polling place.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More than 15,600 high school seniors in West Virginia registered to vote during the 2018-2019 school year.

West Virginia's now-defunct film tax credit was around for ten years before being eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018. A legislative audit report found it provided "minimal economic impact" to the state.
Daniel Walker

West Virginia’s film tax credit was eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018 after a legislative audit report deemed the credit as providing only “minimal economic impact.” But people who work in the film industry don’t agree. An attempt to resurrect the credit failed this past session, but supporters are hopeful it will make it through the next legislative session.

Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Not everyone looks at the increased availability of alcoholic beverages quite the same way. Some people struggle with it. Alcohol is, after all, a socially acceptable, legal drug.

Inside one section of the Entsorga facility in Martinsburg. Most of this garbage could become fuel.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Today, most of our trash ends up in landfills. In the United States, we produce more than 200 million tons of trash every single year. But what if we could turn some of that trash into fuel? Well, it turns out a large portion of Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan County residents’ garbage is being turned into fuel as we speak – even if they may not realize it.

Students at Computers
Flickr upload bot / wikimedia commons

It’s not uncommon for tuition rates at universities and colleges to fluctuate in price from year-to-year. But this year, at West Virginia’s colleges and universities, the average tuition increase is the lowest for the state in almost a decade.

Caitlin Tan / WVPB

People in Appalachia have made spirits for hundreds of years. Some people 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.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice and officials from the state Department of Revenue say West Virginia has hit a historic moment in general revenue collections.

An X-ray image of an Appalachian coal miner with black lung lesions.
Adelina Lancianese / NPR

Nearly $2 million in federal funds will be awarded to West Virginia to help support the state’s black lung clinics.

A handful of health science students from across West Virginia are receiving help to pay for their final year in graduate education.

Del. Sammi Brown, D-Jefferson, speaks on the House floor during the 2019 regular West Virginia Legislative session.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Rockwool has become a household name in the Eastern Panhandle, and it sparks a flurry of discussion and debate.

Steve Herber / Associated Press

A disaster relief package that would send more than $100 million to West Virginia is on its way to the president’s desk.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After almost 15 years doing without, revenue dollars are flowing back into West Virginia’s horse and dog racing industries. The legislature came through on a promise made more than a decade ago, and men and women within the racing industry are excited at the possibility of a boom in business. As part of our occasional series, “Effective from Passage,” we explore the potential effects of Senate Bill 13 (SB 13), which went into effect last week.

U.S. Department of State

On Monday, Americans will celebrate Memorial Day. The holiday came to represent the unofficial start to summer. But for many, the day also reminds us to take a few moments to stop and remember a loved one who fought and died for our country on the battlefield. The holiday is steeped in rich history dating back to the American Civil War.

Anti-Rockwool posters lean against a bridge connecting Old Route 9 in Jefferson County to the Rockwool construction site beyond. North Jefferson Elementary School is half a mile down the road. Photo taken May 16, 2019.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More than 200 protesters rallied at the construction site of the Rockwool plant in Ranson, Jefferson County.

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