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, last week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency conducted operations in the Morgantown area -- and possibly elsewhere in the state. 

As of now, the details of those operations remain mostly unknown. Senior reporter Dave Mistich is following immigration enforcement activity in the state and the community’s reaction to it.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Joseph Turner grew up in the hills and hollers of West Virginia. He went on to attend an ROTC program at then-West Virginia State College and Institute. He was one of more than a dozen generals produced by that program. He served as a pilot on the front lines in Vietnam, and then had a lifetime career with the Army Reserves serving in Atlanta and in the Pentagon, as well as being a long-haul Delta pilot.

He was recently inducted into the West Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame. Freelance reporter Douglas Imbrogno interviewed Tuner for 100daysinappalachia.com and learned about how his aviation career, including how he was inspired as a boy by a certain Daredevil, West Virginia pilot.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Migrants from central America continue to come across the U.S.-Mexico border, including many children, and many of them are seeking asylum. On this West Virginia Morning, we hear two stories about how immigration affects people in West Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as kids begin to return to school this year, many adults are unpacking new education legislation state lawmakers passed a few months ago. Among many changes, new rules will make charter schools an option for the first time in the state’s history.

Emily Schultz is the director for state advocacy and policy with the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. Lawmakers consulted her as they shaped the education reform bill. But Schultz wasn’t happy with all the aspects of the bill. Glynis Board spoke with her about West Virginia’s new law.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Health officials in Huntington, say a cluster of HIV infections has grown to 71 confirmed cases. That’s in a city that usually sees about eight HIV infections in a year. As with an earlier such cluster in northern Kentucky, the primary cause of infection is needle drug use.

Health officials say harm reduction programs are an effective tool against HIV, offering needle exchanges and health screening services. 

But as the Ohio Valley ReSource’s Mary Meehan explains, many people are wary of syringe exchanges. And in some places, that means programs are closing just when they’re most needed.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we speak with a police officer turned sociologist. He offers a researcher’s perspective on gun violence. We also hear a report from The Allegheny Front on fracking concerns in Ohio, and we hear this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Mountaineer Challenge Academy in Preston County wants to open a campus in southern West Virginia, but there’s some skepticism as to whether it will be possible. Reporter Dave Mistich also brings us the latest from the statehouse.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The protest by miners left unpaid by bankrupt coal operator Blackjewel has stretched into a second week. Their blockade of a Kentucky railroad track gained national attention and called to mind the area’s history of labor struggles.

On this West Virginia morning, we’ll hear the second of two reports by Sydney Boles, as she asks miners what they think about the future of their industry. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The blockade of a Kentucky railroad track captivated the region as miners protested lack of payment from employer BlackJewel Coal. For many, the moment called back to earlier generations of labor organizing in eastern Kentucky. In the first installment of a two-part series, reporter Sydney Boles looks at what the protest says about the state of organized labor in the mines, and how miners think about the future of coal. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we continue a series that considers how some communities in our region have been impacted by deindustrialization. We also hear the latest in our ongoing series, “Wild, Wondering West Virginia.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia lost one of its finest traditional musicians earlier this summer -- ballad singer Phyllis Marks. State folklorist Emily Hilliard reads a tribute Marks and her legacy in Appalachia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown just closed on its 29th season. The festival draws visitors from all over to West Virginia and has helped the state stand out in the professional theater scene. Liz McCormick sat down with Associate Producing Director Peggy McKowen to talk about the festival’s legacy, impact and what’s ahead for its 30th season.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, nationally, nearly a quarter of all rural hospitals are struggling to stay open. In West Virginia, almost 40 percent of rural hospitals are at risk of closure. There are several reasons for that. 

“Inability to recruit physicians to small communities, declining population base, roughly 10,000 people a day go on Medicare and Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of care in a hospital environment,” Dave Ramsey, CEO and president of Charleston Area Medical Center, said.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a plea deal means there will not be a first degree murder trial for 65-year-old William Pulliam. The Charleston man was charged with killing James Means, who was 15. The case got national attention in 2016 partly because Pulliam is white and Means was black. Trey Kay of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s show Us & Them, reports the outcome of the case was a surprise to the victim’s family.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

We continue a podcast series from the Northern Panhandle on this West Virginia Morning. The series is called What Happened to Weirton. In the third episode, titled As Goes the Mill, reporter Ella Jennings traces the town’s history as it slides from boom to bust.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, last week, the West Virginia Public Service Commission announced it had selected a firm to audit Frontier Communications and its copper network, which provides service to landline phones throughout the state. 

National statistics show more residents are using wireless phones exclusively. Yet, many people in rural communities don’t have that option and are still dependent on their landline phones for emergency response.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, scuba diving and West Virginia are not often used in the same sentence. But Eric Douglas, Inside Appalachia associated producer, is a scuba diver and he brings us this next story from Summersville Lake in Nicholas County.

Click on this link to see a short video Eric shot while he was on the dive.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the latest episode of Inside Appalachia focuses on some of the region’s waterways.

While the Mountain State is blessed with an abundance of beautiful streams and rivers, it’s not hard to find areas littered with trash, too. And rainy weather can easily wash these remnants into the waterways, contaminating the river ecosystems, and posing a health risk to people.

One man in Morgantown has taken it upon himself to clean up the trash in his area, sometimes using unconventional methods. Folklife reporter Caitlin Tan brings us the story.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, across Appalachian coal country, people are looking for productive ways to reuse land damaged by surface mining. A 2018 study found that an area roughly the size of Delaware has been mined over the years. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer reports that some researchers see promise in fast-growing grass that can help restore damaged lands and maybe help both the economy and environment.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we take a look at what Inside Appalachia has in store for us this weekend. The show explores explore some of the region’s unique aquatic destinations -- on the water, and beneath it.

About 150,000 people commercially raft a West Virginia river each year -- most on the New and Gauley rivers, which go through Fayetteville. Raft guides take most of those people down the river – professionals who are trained to know water, but also to know people.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, similar to West Virginia, Ohio has a law that can force landowners to lease their underground mineral rights to energy companies. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant takes a closer look at what happens when people there say no to fracking. It's the latest story in The Allegheny Front's series, Who’s Listening?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, one of the aspects of the opioid epidemic we don’t often hear about is what happens to the bodies of those who become overtaken by addiction. This morning, Liz McCormick takes a look at one group under strain -- the state’s forensic pathologists who are charged with performing autopsies.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a federal district judge last week ordered the release of a government database that tracks the shipments of every single prescription pain pill manufactured in the U.S. In an analysis of that data, reporters at the Charleston Gazette-Mail and The Washington Post found between 2006 and 2012, 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were shipped to pharmacies across the country.

Three reporters at The Washington Post were responsible for the analysis that shows just how concentrated the epidemic was in Appalachian communities, including database editor Steven Rich. He spoke with 100 Days in Appalachia’s Ashton Marra about the reporting.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear a segment from part two of a series that explores de-industrialization in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle.

Ella Jennings, a native of the region, produced a podcast series called What Happened to Weirton. Her second episode, titled “He Could See Everything Folding”, looks at some of the social and emotional consequences that come with losing a major industry.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday, July 18, to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour by 2025, the first wage increase in a decade. One report predicts that in large portions of eastern Kentucky, southern West Virginia, and southeast Ohio, roughly 40 percent of workers would see some increase in wages. Becca Schimmel explains.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a decade ago, not many people had heard much about fracking for natural gas. Since then, the gas industry has literally changed the landscape in northern West Virginia, southern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. 

For some people, that has meant new jobs or payments to lease their land. But the thousands of new well pads, pipelines, compressor stations, and waste injection wells haven’t been welcomed by everyone. Thousands of complaints have been filed with the state about everything from gas leaks and crumbling roads to odors and noise people blame on energy development.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, 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 people 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. Liz McCormick explains.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, best-selling author Sheila Redling from Huntington has written nine books. After losing her will to write for a time, she is back on track and more books are on the way. Inside Appalachia associate producer Eric Douglas spoke with her about the importance of protecting your ability to write. And she has some advice for other writers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, website, on average, about 14 people a day in the United States are killed while working. This weekend’s episode of Inside Appalachia explores how weak regulatory laws, and a failure to prioritize worker safety, may be contributing to more deaths, and a higher risk of workplace accidents. This morning, we’ll hear a preview of the episode.

Roxy Todd talks with investigative reporter Howard Berkes, who recently retired from NPR after working for nearly four decades reporting on worker safety.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, living in the Appalachian mountains, the nature that surrounds us often becomes a mere backdrop. We expect it to be there, so we forget about it. 

In the new book “Mountains Piled upon Mountains: Appalachian Nature Writing in the Anthropocene”, nearly 50 writers focused on the natural world of Appalachia using place-based fiction, literary nonfiction, and poetry. Glynis Board has more.

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