Liz McCormick

Eastern Panhandle/Education Reporter

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 Dec. 2014 as the Eastern Panhandle reporter. In Aug. 2020, Liz took over education coverage for the WVPB newsroom. 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

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. 

The House of Delegates’ foster care bill was up for a vote in the Senate Friday, while the Senate's Intermediate Court of Appeals bill was up for a vote in the House. We recap that action and more in our weekly reporter roundtable.

Host Suzanne Higgins has a conversation with House Finance members for a breakdown of the budget bill that passed out of the House chamber Wednesday night – a budget with some key differences in spending priorities than that of the Senate.

Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with Interim Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission and Chancellor of the West Virginia Community and Technical College System, Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker for a discussion on higher education funding issues, secondary education attainment and financial aid requirement challenges.

We explore criminal justice reform legislation from this session, and we bring you an in-depth report and follow-up conversation on the issue. We also bring you the latest news from West Virginia’s statehouse.

We have updates on gun legislation, a renewable energy bill, and we bring you the latest on the Senate’s version of the budget bill.

Host Suzanne Higgins is joined by Brad McElhinny of West Virginia MetroNews and Steven Allen Adams of Ogden Newspapers for a reporter roundtable featuring an update on both the Senate and House proposed state budgets.

It was Arts Day at the Capitol. We spotlight the activities from the day, and we bring you a special report on an educational effort by the West Virginia Humanities Council.

It was Crossover Day at the West Virginia Legislature, which means it was the final day for bills to be read a third time in their house of origin. Host Suzanne Higgins speaks with senior reporter Dave Mistich and reporter Emily Allen for updates from both the House and Senate. We also bring you updates on several health-related bills and issues.

Ahead of Domestic and Sexual Violence Awareness Day at the Capitol this week, we bring you a special report and update on several bills aimed at helping survivors.

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