Charleston

Chattman Photography / The Sea The Sea

Acoustic folk duo The Sea The Sea are coming back to the Mountain State this month to play a couple shows. If the name sounds familiar, it's probably because they've played a couple times on NPR's Mountain Stage, or because one of the band members is a Charleston native or because they just play great music. 

Decades before same-sex marriage became legal, the Reverand Jim Lewis of Charleston, West Virginia, sparked outrage by blessing the unions of gay men and lesbians. 

From West Virginia Public Broadcasting, this is "Us & Them" the podcast where we tell stories from America's cultural divides.

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Over 300 teens will be at the Capitol this weekend for a mock legislative session. Teenagers from all over the state who are part of the Youth Leadership Association: Youth in Government will travel to Charleston to hold a student led, mock legislative session for three days.

photo by Cecelia Mason

Appalachia is no stranger to industrial or environmental disasters that affect our water. Because of crumbling water infrastructure in many coalfield communities, folks often turn to bottled water for regular use.

But not all bottled water is equal. At least that’s according to judges at the 25th annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting & Competition, which took place February 19-22. The competition judges the taste of bottled water, purified water, and municipal city waters from across the world were judged.

Brynn Kusic

Racism and homophobia, love and tolerance--none of these are new to Appalachia. Today, we explore the stories of Appalachians who are moved to spread love, not hate.

In West Virginia, a racist hate crime shakes a community to spread a message of tolerance.

And a Kentucky songwriter’s high lonesome tune is inspired by a gay coal miner’s true story.

Steve Shaluta / West Virginia Division of Tourism

  A homeless man who says a Charleston policeman tossed his backpack off a bridge has agreed to a settlement in exchange for agreeing not to sue the city.

The Charleston Gazette reports that Andrew Joel Hunt settled for $1,500, according to an agreement. The newspaper said the backpack tossed into the Elk River contained a laptop and photographs of his late wife.

Patrolman Brian Lightner had been on paid leave since Sept. 9 following the August incident involving Hunt.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It was some ten days before all of the families affected by the tap water ban following Charleston’s chemical spill were able to return to life as usual within their homes. And many did just that, once again drinking, cooking and bathing with water straight from the tap. The same, however, can’t be said for every family in the valley including Lida Shepherd, who says she still won’t drink the water.

WGBH

Would you like to see the entire first episode of Masterpiece's Downton Abbey, Season 5 in a theater (and before all the spoilers start coming in?) Call your friends and make a date to join us for these special premiere events  in Beckley (December 7), Charleston (December 9), and Morgantown (December 14)!

bus service
Barons Bus Lines

A new bus service between Charleston and Morgantown is becoming a popular choice for travelers.

Cindy Fish with the state Division of Transit says ridership on the I-Ride 79 bus service is growing daily. In October, 763 passengers, or about 25 per day, rode the buses.

Fish tells The State Journal that the bus service is seeing a lot of repeat business.

The Division of Public Transit launched the I-Ride 79 service on July 1. The service includes stops in Clendenin, Flatwoods, Weston, Clarksburg and Fairmont.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Barbara Hicks Lacy remembers what it was like growing up in segregated Charleston.  And Glynis Board reports on the Division of Natural Resources' efforts to wipe out invasive species in the state.

Courtesy of the W.Va. State Archives, Bernidean Brown Collection

In Charleston, those who grew up during segregation remember a tight knit community in the downtown neighborhood known as The Block. During the 30's and 40's Barbara Hicks Lacy grew up in this neighborhood, and she's one of the remaining residents who vividly recalls The Block, which today has all but disappeared. The West Virginia Center for African-American Culture and Arts recently invited her to share her story at the West Virginia State Archives.

When she was a kid, Lacy's best friend, named Baby Sue, was white, and so they weren't allowed to attend the same school.

@yeagerairport / Twitter

  PEOPLExpress is planning to offer low-fare flights from Charleston's Yeager Airport to Orlando starting next month.

Officials on Wednesday announced the new flights that will begin on Oct. 16.

Service between Charleston and Orlando will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays with Boeing 737 aircraft. Introductory fares start at $49 each way.

Officials say Charleston is the first destination to be added outside the PEOPLExpress base at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport in Virginia.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Roxy Todd takes a tour of Charleston’s West Side Flats to see the area’s community improvement efforts.  And such efforts are the focus in Fairmont as well where native Kate Greene has returned from Montana to lead business building on Main Street. Also State Impact Pennsylvania reports on the noise from natural gas compressor stations.

http://stateimpact.npr.org/pennsylvania/

Dog Bless

Summertime is always the high season at animal shelters, and many homeless pets end up being put to sleep. The Kanawha Charleston Humane Association is trying to buck this trend. In the last 5 years the shelter has cut the number of animals it’s euthanized by almost 95%.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s National Farmers Market Week, and USDA Acting Under Secretary for Rural Development, Doug O’Brien, visited the Capitol Market in Charleston to help celebrate.

Roxy Todd

The West Side in Charleston is one of the largest urban neighborhoods in the state. Within sight of the Mary C. Snow West Side Elementary School are vacant lots and abandoned buildings. This neighborhood is besieged with many problems like childhood poverty and high crime rates. It’s also a neighborhood that suffers from negative stereotyping—a place where good people and good projects are often overlooked.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A report about The Block, a historical district in Charleston once the heart of the city’s African-American community and more state history from Hinton in Summers County.  From Wheeling,  a report on a community garden specifically designed to be tended by the visually impaired and Marshall University's football team is expected to do well this season. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A follow up to our story about the gardens on Charleston’s west side.  Publicity about the effort brought new volunteers to help maintain them.  We’ll re-visit West Virginia’s Teacher of the Year as she prepares for schools to open next month and Lori McKenna with the Mountain Stage Song of the Week. 


Roxy Todd

On a drizzling morning around 7:00, Sam Rivers has just lit the oak-wood fire for the meat smoker, and smoke is pouring over the sidewalk into the rain. The owner of Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, Adrian Wright, stands behind him. Adrian oversees the entire operation, from the time when the ribs and pork begin grilling in the early dawn, until the spicy barbecue sauce is made each night.

Patriot Coal

  Patriot Coal is relocating its West Virginia office in Charleston to Scott Depot in Putnam County.

Patriot spokeswoman Janine Orf says the St. Louis-based coal company plans to make the switch in late summer or early fall.

The Charleston office has about 100 employees.

The company has 10 active mining complexes, with eight in West Virginia and two in western Kentucky. Patriot employs about 4,000 people across the whole company.

Jocelyn and Matt Crawford

Editor's Note: Today we continue our series on how to keep young people in West Virginia. Yesterday, we looked at the struggle many people go through to find work in the state in their chosen fields. Today we examine the stereotypes young West Virginians who choose to stay in the state face from those on the outside.

Darrell Carter
West Virginia Regional Jail Authority

  West Virginia police are investigating a murder-for-hire plot against a police lieutenant in Charleston.   Darrell Carter was charged Monday with solicitation to commit murder. He was arrested over the weekend in connection with the killing of a Charleston man. Charleston Police Chief Brent Webster says Carter offered two people $15,000 to kill chief of detectives Lt. Steve Cooper. 

The producers of Antiques Roadshow would like to see more furniture from West Virginia.  The popular appraisal show will be in Charleston in August and time is running out to submit your family's furniture heirlooms.

So far, West Virginians have submitted photos of 76 pieces of furniture, but Antiques Roadshow executive producer Marsha Bemko would like to see a lot more.  

This article is part of a special series highlighting the Jewish experience in West Virginia. It's a companion to the television series The Story of the Jews, airing March 25 and April 1 at 8 pm on West Virginia PBS.

WCHS

Charleston's City Council has repealed a 1993 ordinance that limited handgun sales in the city.
 
The move is in response to state legislation that prohibits municipalities from having firearm regulations that are greater than those of the state or federal governments.
 

Danny Jones
City of Charleston

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says he will meet with Governor Tomblin very soon and ask him to veto a gun bill passed by the legislature last week.

Senate Bill 317 makes gun laws uniform state wide. But the bill defines a municipally owned recreation facility as a swimming pool, recreation center, sports facility housing an after school program or other similar facility where children are regularly present.  The bill permits a person to carry a lawfully possessed weapon into such a center, as long as it is stored out of view.

Mayor Jones is pretty upset about it.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we meet a water hero.

Also, updates from the legislature on government fraud and a bill on abortions.

Visitors are also in Charleston talking about tourism, and the water spill.

WCHS

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones is exploring the city taking on testing of hotels and homes, to "prove to folks that the water is okay if, in fact, it is."

Jones said he doesn't know how many samples would be collected because he is awaiting a report from an Ohio-based company that would outline the cost of testing. He didn't reveal the name of the company. 

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A local research group has calculated that roughly $61 million was lost by local businesses as a result of the chemical spill into the Elk River.

Steve Shaluta / West Virginia Division of Tourism

Like many others, I’m distressed and angry about the chemical leak that fouled my city’s water supply and turned off the taps for three hundred thousand taxpayers. But I can’t sustain my outrage without a dose of laughter now and then. And it occurs to me that Charleston may want to consider looking for a niche in the extreme tourism market. So, with the help of my co-writer and accompanist, George Castelle, I’ve put my thoughts into a song:

Charleston—the town inimical

Hip, historic, cool and chemical

Yes, there's sludge, and it could spill

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