Data Viz

voting
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Early voting in West Virginia has broken records in the 2016 election cycle with numbers surpassing historical data for both the primary and general elections in years past.

According to data provided by the Secretary of State’s office, 220,275 voters cast early ballots in the 2016 general election. The early voting period ended Saturday, Nov. 5.

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

  On the morning of April 29, a natural gas transmission line exploded in a field in Salem Township in western Pennsylvania. The blast was so powerful it ripped a 12-foot crater into the landscape, burned a section of the field with a quarter-mile radius and threw a 25-foot section of the 30-inch steel pipeline 100 feet away. At the time of the explosion, a 26-year-old man was in his house, a few hundred feet away. He was badly burned, and his home destroyed.

Tour W.Va. Communities Hit Hardest By Floods

Jun 27, 2016

Heavy flooding in West Virginia has claimed tens of lives in the state, and Governor Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in 44 of the 55 counties. Use our map to discover some of the communities that were most affected by the storms.

View the Full-Screen version of the map

Presidential Primary Campaign Financing
Data visualization by Dave Mistich / via Tableau

As West Virginia moves toward the May 10 primary, thousands of West Virginians are opening up their wallets and shelling out some major cash for the presidential hopefuls.

But, in terms of dollars, which candidate is winning West Virginia? We look to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission for the answer.

School spending
NPR

A report released Monday by NPR tracks the amount of money spent on each student across the country by county. But representatives of the West Virginia Department of Education say the data reported doesn’t add up in West Virginia.

NPR and the national publication Education Week attribute their spending numbers to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their map says in West Virginia, McDowell County spent the most at $14,000 per student in 2013. Jefferson County, according to the map, spent the least per pupil at around $8,000.

But Amy Willard, Executive Director of School Finance for the West Virginia Department of Education, says the numbers don’t match state spending records.

Lyme, tick, Lyme disease, IDSA, infectious disease, WVU
Dollar Photo Club

In June of 2007, Victoria Snyder, then age-nine, attended a week-long church camp. During the week she began to feel sick – muscle aches, lethargy, headaches. A doctor at the camp thought it might be the flu, but she didn’t get better. So after camp, her mother, Christine, took her to see a pediatrician.

“The pediatrician found a bullseye ring on her stomach,” said Christine. “I felt a lot of relief when they put her on antibiotics because with Lyme disease, we knew what we were dealing with.”

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

From the trial of former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship to a visit from President Barack Obama highlighting issues surrounding substance abuse and addiction, headlines about events from West Virginia in 2015 often pushed into the national spotlight.

But despite the national appeal of Blankenship and Obama, the metrics tell a different story as to the most popular stories on our website this year.

Photo: AP Photo / Jeff Gentner / Photo Illustration: Dave Mistich

As former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship stands trial in Charleston, federal prosecutors continue to present evidence that he conspired to violate federal mine safety standards leading up to the April 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine.

Tax Reform Committee Campaign Contributions
Data Source: Institute on Money in State Politics / / Data Visualization by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When Republican lawmakers took control of the state Legislature for the first time in some 80 years in 2015, party leaders maintained their legislative priorities wouldn’t change. 

pills
Wikimedia Commons

Despite taking many steps to prevent injuries, West Virginia ranks highest for the number of injury-related deaths in the United States. That’s according to a new report published this week that looks state-by-state at injury prevention policy.

Many of the injury-related deaths that put West Virginia in the lead nationally are attributed to drug overdoses, according to data compiled by Trust for America's Health (TFAH). The organization published the new report along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its title: The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report

Data by SNL Energy / Data Visualizations by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The following data and article is the result of collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and SNL Energy. To see related stories from SNL Energy on this topic, please click here. 

(Left to Right) Dr. James Brick, James Ohliger, WVU President Gordon Gee, Audrey Jajosky, Dr. John Brick
Glynis Board

Managing chronic diseases is the public health challenge of the 21st century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organization reports that 7 of 10 Americans die every year from chronic diseases, like heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory diseases, and oral conditions. But that burden is worse for aging and low-income populations, like those found in Mingo County.


Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting / via Tableau

A bill aiming to stave off West Virginia's problems with heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths goes into effect Wednesday. The Opioid Antagonist Act expands access to the life saving drug Naloxone, allowing addicts and family members the ability to purchase the medicine through a prescription.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting / via Tableau

As the stories airing this week on West Virginia Morning illustrate, West Virginia is in the midst of a heroin epidemic. According to  the state Department of Health and Human Resources'  Drug Overdose Database, heroin has claimed the lives of more than 600 West Virginians since 2001. 

But what else can we glean from this information? When did it all begin? And which counties are seeing the highest rate of deaths related to heroin overdoses?  

The interactive map below paints a dark picture of the state's problem with the drug in recent years and also shows other key facts as medical professionals, emergency officials, law enforcement officers and lawmakers all attempt to find solutions. 

The State Of The Cancer Nation

Apr 17, 2015

While a cure for cancer remains elusive, we already know how to keep many cases of the disease from developing in the first place.

People can reduce cancer risks by keeping a healthful weight and avoiding cigarettes.

But smoking, obesity and other major cancer risk factors remain common, and they still vary widely across the country.

Dave Mistich / via Tableau Public (Data from MSHA)

Sunday marked five years since a tragedy in southern West Virginia that still fills headlines across the state. Five years ago, April 5, 2010, an explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal in Raleigh County killed 29 men.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Overall, West Virginia continues to see a decline in population since 2012. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, while the state's population grew from 2010 (1,854,176)  to 2012 (1,856,313) the state has seen a drop-off in consecutive years since--with the last estimate from July 1, 2014 putting West Virginia's population at 1,850,326.

December 2012 Sissonville Pipeline Explosion
Associated Press

Two major interstate projects have been proposed for West Virginia: The Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. The goal is to create infrastructure that can carry natural gas from hydraulic fracturing operations in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas to markets in the East and South East.  

Mine Safety and Health Administration

A recent investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News revealed thousands of delinquent fines by mine operators across the county. Those fines, which are handed down by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, range in their delinquency from months to decades--sometimes adding up to millions of dollars worth of fines. West Virginia mine operators had nearly $10.8 million in delinquent mine safety penalties at 312 mines (as of March 31, 2014).

Grippenn / wikimedia Commons

Over 500 weapons and hundreds more pieces of military-grade tactical equipment have been transferred to the state of West Virginia since 2006 through a Department of Defense program known as the 1033 program. The transfers came through the Defense Logistics Agency's Law Enforcement Support Office, or LESO.

An investigation released Tuesday by The New York Times outlines transfers from the program to states, who coordinate with local law enforcement to acquire and distribute the weapons and equipment.