West Virginia Morning

Weekdays at 7:43 a.m.

Whether it's important news events, interesting features about people and places, the latest in environmental news, stories about education or the economy, West Virginia Public Broadcasting's team of experienced reporters bring listeners in-depth stories and interviews from around the state.    

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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, earlier this fall, Bob Hansen, director of the Office of Drug Control Policy, said the state looks forward to creating new job opportunities for West Virginians in recovery from addiction. For some of these opportunities, being in recovery is actually a qualification.

The state has been certifying and paying peer recovery support specialists through its Bureau for Medical Services since July 2018. As Report for America corps member Emily Allen reports, this is just one example of the state’s recent investments in peer support.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, with coal mining on the decline and people relocating, some towns in southern West Virginia are trying to find other ways to spur their economies. In Fayetteville, that has meant leaning into tourism.

There’s a large river-rafting, mountain-biking and rock-climbing scene in the area, but much of those activities are limited to the warmer months. So, the town has started a unique tourism campaign to get people to come visit in the off-season. Folkways reporter Caitlin Tan has the story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’re hearing stories this week that explore the benefits of going outside.

People from all over the state and region converged in Terra Alta, West Virginia, earlier this year to celebrate nine decades of Mountain Nature Camp. It’s a camp where adults go to study pristine Appalachian corners of the world.

Many folks came to celebrate community and traditions that have been going since 1929. But they also go to get their nature fix, which, as Glynis Board reports, an increasing number of researchers say is critical for both human health and maybe even life on the planet.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the combination of climbing medical costs and stagnant wages can make it hard for many working people struggling with chronic health problems. Statistics show medical bills contribute to more than 60 percent of personal bankruptcies in the country. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Mary Meehan has the story of one woman who lost her home while fighting cancer. It’s a story becoming all too common as medical bankruptcy threatens people’s ability to keep a home.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’re taking a look at outdoor education. It’s the theme of this weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia because more and more educators are finding that time in nature with their students is essential to learning. 

One organization called Experience Learning in Pendleton County has been leading kids into pristine mountain landscapes for 50 years. Glynis Board spent some time there to find out more about how the program impacts kids and communities.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the future of the MARC commuter train service in the Eastern Panhandle is still uncertain. Local municipalities have come together to provide funding – but it’s unclear if it will be enough to keep the service in West Virginia. Liz McCormick explains.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Appalachian women face some of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the country. They’re also among the groups of women least likely to receive cancer screenings. Ohio University Professor Electra Paskett has dedicated much of her career to understanding why. 

This year, she and her colleagues received a multi-million-dollar grant aimed at cervical cancer prevention. Paskett recently presented her work at West Virginia University’s School of Public Health. Reporter Brittany Patterson talked with Paskett about her research.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the federal Abandoned Mine Land program puts millions toward cleaning up old mine sites. Now, coal country officials are putting some of that money toward broader economic development as well.

Reporter Brittany Patterson visited one unusual project in the mining town of Lynch, Kentucky.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, for some, The Hatfield and McCoy Feud has become synonymous with the type of mischaracterization of Appalachians that we’d like to leave behind. Full of bloodshed and revenge, a New York Times article in 1896 referred to the Hatfields and McCoys as having an “utter disregard of human life.” The fact that the families got their income from illegal moonshining has also been used to discredit them as outlaws.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Jim Dahlman set out to learn more about Appalachia in 2013 by walking Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road from Tennessee into Kentucky. He is a journalist and professor of Communications at Milligan College in Tennessee, and decided to document his walk. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Hatfield and McCoy ATV trail system that runs through southern West Virginia is an example of how people are using the well-known history of the infamous feud to boost the economy.

Other businesses in the region have cropped up in recent years with the name -- most of them catering to trail riders. Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly met one family in Gilbert who are attracting visitors by sharing a piece of their tradition, craft, and even their story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, for many West Virginia residents, immigration is an issue that’s mostly only encountered in the abstract -- through news reports and from behind screens. But a group from Marshall County recently felt compelled to take a trip to the border, to see if they could do something to help asylum seekers. Glynis Board followed the group to learn more about the realities of the crisis at the southern U.S. border, and the people who would try to help.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, some communities are trying to think outside the box to help people struggling with addiction. In the Potomac Highlands of the Eastern Panhandle, law enforcement, faith-based organizations and community members want to create one robust network of support. As Liz McCormick reports, the network strives to fight the stigma associated with substance abuse disorder and offer a safety net that some say feels like a family.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Ohio Valley coal giant Murray Energy’s bankruptcy renewed fears about the already shaky pension plan that tens of thousands of retired miners depend upon. As the Ohio Valley ReSource’s Becca Schimmel reports, some regional lawmakers are renewing their push to fix the United Mine Workers’ pension fund.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Inside Appalachia takes a ride along the Hatfield and McCoy ATV trail this weekend. It’s an extensive trail system built out in a place where the job market has been hit hard by downturns in the coal industry. It’s one way the region is pumping new life into the economy, using a familiar family feud name, and ATVs, to draw people to the region. The Hatfield & McCoy ATV Trail system has been up and running in southern West Virginia since the early 2000’s. Emily Allen reports.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Halloween Morning, we’d like to remind West Virginians of the many creatures featured in the state’s folklore – such as Big Foot and Mothman. And there’s another one that’s often described as an alien or a monster. Over the years, it’s become a part of the state’s pop culture. It's even made a larger resurgence just in the past four years through a tourism campaign and a new museum.

Our folklife reporter Caitlin Tan brings us the story from Braxton County.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, beginning in the late 1970s, shelters and other resources began to become available for survivors of domestic violence in West Virginia. But navigating those resources and legal processes that can go with it isn’t easy. As Liz McCormick reports, work continues to broaden and improve what’s available to survivors.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This past summer, the executive director of a nonprofit called Coalfield Development was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Heinz Family Foundation. 

That director -- Brandon Dennison, who helped found Coalfield Development almost 10 years ago -- says the money will go toward a lifelong learning fund for his employees.

The group operates mostly in southern West Virginia. It has about 60 full-time workers now, all working on different enterprises meant to diversify West Virginia’s economy. Emily Allen spoke with Dennison. We hear some of their conversation.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kentucky and West Virginia are among the states with the highest emissions of carbon dioxide per person. They also helped to block the federal government’s most ambitious effort to fight climate change.

Now, an analysis from the Center for Public Integrity finds that those two states were among the ones most often hit by natural disasters during the past decade. Scientists warn that a warming climate makes extreme weather – and disasters such as flash flooding – more likely.

Reporter Sydney Boles takes us to Pike County, in Kentucky’s coal country, where vulnerable communities have suffered repeated flooding. It’s a place where coal politics, climate policy and catastrophe all connect.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Mothman, the Flatwoods Monster, Civil War ghosts — for those who enjoy getting a bit spooked, West Virginia is one of the best places to find a Halloween-themed adventure. This weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia features stories about spooky legends and ghost tales.

We sent one reporter -- a self-proclaimed scaredy cat -- to a Halloween-themed event “light” on the scares, but heavy on the spooky creatures. Brittany Patterson reports from the West Virginia State Wildlife Center in north-central West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Last week, the family of a Navy veteran John Hallman filed a notice of a wrongful death suit against the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs. Hallman’s death is being investigated as one in a string of suspicious deaths at the Louis A. Johnson V-A Medical Center in Clarksburg. Senior reporter Dave Mistich spoke with Tony O’Dell -- the attorney representing Hallman’s family and others in the case. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, foster families are in high demand in many states. West Virginia has the highest rate in the country for the number of children who are removed from their homes and put into state care. There are a lot of families who are stepping up to take them in, but many say they feel unprepared for the looming task of taking care of the children who are placed in their homes. Roxy Todd reports.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in rural Appalachia, if you face homelessness, it can be challenging to find resources to help get back on your feet.

A pastor in St. Albans, Kanawha County, saw that a homeless encampment consisting of about 10 tents in his community was being pushed out. People were being told they had to leave. So, he decided to help.

But not everyone in the town approves of the work he’s doing.

Independent producer Kyle Vass spent some time this summer looking into what’s been happening with the “tent city.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Republican candidates in West Virginia’s 2020 congressional races appear to be significantly out-fundraising Democrats, according to third quarter campaign finance reports. Dave Mistich has more.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Dr. Steven Paine serves as West Virginia’s 31st state superintendent.

When asked what he’s most excited about in education spheres throughout the state, he says there are promising indications of improved student academic achievement, and he points to the state’s impressive graduation rates. He also highlights the career and technical education programs throughout the state. 

Education reporter Glynis Board spoke with Paine in depth about these and other issues. We hear some of that conversation.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we can learn a lot from the natural world -- things our ancestors knew that many of us have forgotten. A program in Pocahontas County wants to teach about those things -- and use nature as a classroom as well. Eric Douglas has the story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, some Ohio Valley farmers are reaping their first hemp harvest since federal law changed to legalize hemp. With some 27,000 acres under production in the region, hemp is booming. But it remains a risky crop, with uncertainty about markets, growing practices, and concern that larger players might squeeze out small growers.

The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer reports some hemp farmers are forming new cooperatives to reduce that risk and protect small farmers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Inside Appalachia is looking at some of the ways artists are challenging stereotypes in Appalachia in a new episode out today. People on the outside looking in often misunderstand Appalachia’s cultural ways and traditions. This may come as a surprise, but those same attitudes are often leveled at people from the Middle East.

Eric Douglas brings us the story of a podcast that wants to connect the people of Appalachia and those of the Arabic World.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from WVPB’s podcast Us & Them. Host Trey Kay speaks with journalist Timothy Pratt, who produced an investigative series for 100 Days in Appalachia about undocumented seasonal workers who’ve struggled to recover from Hurricane Florence. That storm hit the Carolina coast in the fall of 2018.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s been a year since the Paloma Crisis Stabilization and Detox Center opened in Martinsburg. The facility offers in-patient, or overnight services for people suffering from substance use disorder. As Liz McCormick reports, the launch of the new facility hit some bumps in the beginning, but it’s remained open and helps many find recovery.

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