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Needle Exchange, Broadband And A New Music Video On This West Virginia Morning

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On this West Virginia Morning, we learn about a new music video featuring an inspirational song by Mountain Stage bandleader Ron Sowell. Also, we have the latest news from West Virginia’s statehouse and reports on needle exchange and broadband.

A bill increasing the number of permitted brick-and-mortar public charter schools in West Virginia, as well as establishing virtual charter school options, is now on its way to the governor. Liz McCormick reports.

A former city councilman in West Virginia has been charged for taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Dave Mistich reports.

The digital revolution has created new outlets for long-form journalism, music and storytelling. One example is the website WestVirginiaVille.com. Douglas Imbrogno created the site to feature West Virginia creatives. He’ll premiere a new music video by Mountain Stage bandleader Ron Sowell called “Be The Change.” Imbrogno and Sowell spoke with Eric Douglas about the project.

Charleston is coming off a record year for new cases of HIV linked to injection drug use. Scientists agree that ramping up harm reduction programs — like needle exchanges — is the most effective way to make sure people aren’t sharing syringes and spreading the disease. But as this plays out in West Virginia’s capital city, a bill in the West Virginia Legislature would effectively outlaw all 14 needle exchanges currently operating around the state. That would include one of the state’s most effective programs in Morgantown. Mountain State Spotlight reporter Lauren Peace has more.

Across the country, the coronavirus pandemic has increased our dependence on the internet for things we’d normally do in-person – schooling, doctor’s visits, even grocery shopping. This trend doesn’t leave out West Virginia, but it has forced the state to reckon with a problem that’s plagued its people for much of the 21st century: a lack of broadband infrastructure. Emily Allen reports on a new bill that passed the House of Delegates this week, addressing some of these issues.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning