Government

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of 30 organizations across West Virginia is calling on the Capitol Building Commission and Gov. Jim Justice to take down a statue of Stonewall Jackson from the state Capitol grounds.

National Park Service

The Appalachian Regional Commission is awarding $6 million to several programs across West Virginia. This money is meant to help support small businesses that were impacted by COVID-19.

According to the SBA, more than 113,000 businesses in West Virginia are considered small businesses —  almost 99 percent of businesses within the state. 


Ex-W.Va. Health Chief: Cuts Hurt Virus Response

Jul 10, 2020
West Virginia Governor's Office

The former West Virginia public health leader forced out by the governor says decades-old computer systems and cuts to staff over a period of years had made a challenging job even harder during a once-in-a-century pandemic.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice demanded Dr. Cathy Slemp’s resignation on June 24. He complained about discrepancies in the number of active cases and accused Slemp of not doing her job. He has refused to elaborate.

Brittany Patterson / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated Friday, July 10, 2020 at 3:50 p.m.

Gov. Jim Justice says he is considering closing bars and indoor dining in Monongalia County as the Morgantown area experiences a spike in the number of new coronavirus cases. Justice said in a Friday virtual news briefing that closing some aspects of business in the county may be the only way to avoid another statewide shutdown. 

Diocesan officials

The U.S. Roman Catholic Church used a special and unprecedented exemption from federal rules to amass at least $1.4 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus aid, with many millions going to dioceses that have paid huge settlements or sought bankruptcy protection because of clergy sexual abuse cover-ups.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

ELKINS, W.Va. (AP) — A West Virginia postal carrier pleaded guilty Thursday to altering mail-in requests for absentee voter ballots.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from a pediatrician who weighs in on whether children should return to public school in the fall. Also, in this show, we hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them about the challenges of receiving mental health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated at 8:15 p.m. ET

In a pair of historic rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected President Trump's claim of absolute immunity under the law. The vote was 7 to 2 in two decisions Thursday involving grand jury and congressional subpoenas for Trump's pre-presidential financial records.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the court's two decisions, declaring, "In our system, the public has a right to every man's evidence," and "since the founding of the Republic, every man has included the President of the United States."

Adobe Stock

Gov. Jim Justice says his administration expects to reopen West Virginia schools later than usual this fall because of the coronavirus. That announcement comes despite the Trump administration pushing states to reopen schools as soon as possible.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Dr. Cathy Slemp, who was recently ousted from her position as the state’s top public health official. Also, in this show, we hear a report from Marshall University as the school voted to remove the name of a Confederate soldier from a campus building; we hear about a settlement paid to a Black woman from Charleston who was forcefully arrested last year, and we hear from author Jordan Farmer on his new book Poison Flood.

Charleston Police Car
charlestonpolice.org

The city of Charleston will pay an $80,000 settlement to a Black woman who police arrested and allegedly injured outside a Family Dollar on Charleston’s West Side in October 2019.

Courtesy Photo / Marshall University

Updated Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 2:45 p.m.

The Marshall University Board of Governors voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the name of a slaveholder and Confederate soldier from the building that houses the university’s education program. The name change comes as other markers and monuments honoring the Confederacy have been removed by choice or by force across the nation. 

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice has ordered the wearing of face masks inside public buildings in West Virginia. Also, in this show, a middle school on Charleston’s west side will change its name after the Kanawha County Board of Education voted unanimously to remove an association with Confederate General Stonewall Jackson, and we hear a story about modern dance from our Appalachia Folkways Project.

Stonewall Jackson Middle School
WCHS-TV

The Kanawha County school board voted unanimously to remove Stonewall Jackson’s name from a Charleston middle school.  

Before the 5-0 vote Monday, more than a dozen speakers asked the Board of Education to change the school’s name, including middle school student Camdyn Harris.

 

 

Updated Monday, July 6, 2020 at 5:40 p.m.

 

Citing a spike in the number of coronavirus cases, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has ordered masks to be worn in buildings outside of a resident’s home. 

 

In a virtual news conference Monday, Justice said he is issuing an order that will require anyone over 9 years old to wear a face covering in "all confined indoor spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained." Justice said there are exceptions for people with certain breathing conditions and those who cannot otherwise remove a mask on their own.

Dave Evans of Cabin Creek, WV and a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, passed away Saturday at age 68.
WVPB

Dave Evans, a native of Cabin Creek, WV and a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, passed away Saturday, July 3 at the age of 68.

Evans enlisted at age 17, at the height of the Vietnam war. He was featured in West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s 2017 documentary, Vietnam: West Virginians Remember.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gives a speech during a Department of Tourism conference Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at the Morgantown Event Center.
Jesse Wright / WVPB

Billionaire West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's family companies received at least $6.3 million from a federal rescue package meant to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released by the Treasury Department on Monday.

On this West Virginia Morning, Dave Mistich speaks with Report for America fellow Chris Jones about his recent story looking at and defining two movements: Antifa and Boogaloo Boys. Also, in this show, we remember Vietnam veteran Dave Evans who touched the lives of not just West Virginians, but many people around the world. Evans spent his life after the military helping those ravaged by war. We also hear an interview with a man who worked to tackle challenges faced by Charleston, West Virginia’s Black community during a time when some say urban renewal forced many Black residents in the city to leave their neighborhood.

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear an update from Gov. Jim Justice who is warning of mandating face masks in public. Also, in this show, we hear how colleges and universities in the state are reacting to financial challenges brought on by COVID-19; we hear the latest on the unprecedented numbers of unemployment claims in the region; we hear about a federal spending bill that may help improve infrastructure in coal-reliant communities, and we hear this week’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Courtesy Photo

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has agreed to debate Democratic challenger Ben Salango before they face off in the November elections, the incumbent Republican's campaign said Wednesday. 

The announcement comes after Justice declined to debate his GOP opponents ahead of the June primary elections, calling it a “waste of time." 

West Virginia Department of Education

 West Virginia Department of Education Associate Superintendent Kathy D’Antoni is retiring.

The department announced her retirement Wednesday. D'Antoni spent her entire career serving students, including a decade in leadership roles with the department.

On this West Virginia Morning, we learn about a family-owned Black newspaper in Virginia that just celebrated its 80th anniversary. The publisher, Claudia Whitworth, is rejecting the idea that people only want to hear negative stories. Also, in this show, we hear an excerpt from the latest episode of Us & Them exploring whether the topic of abortion has become too heavily divided to discuss differences civilly.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear from a veteran reporter who covers the environment about the struggling system that makes sure that mining sites are cleaned up. Also, in this show, we hear about a resolution passed Tuesday in Shepherdstown calling on Gov. Jim Justice to require face masks across the state, and we hear how COVID-19 has affected worship for Muslims.

Downtown Shepherdstown
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / David Fattaleh/WV Division of Tourism (WVDT)

A month after passing a resolution strongly encouraging Shepherdstown businesses to require face masks inside their establishments, the Shepherdstown Town Council is formally calling on Gov. Jim Justice to mandate face masks in public spaces across West Virginia.

Posters like this one can be seen in windows of several businesses in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Shepherdstown Town Council

Updated on July 2, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. 

Scientific evidence is mounting that wearing a mask is an effective way to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But in many states, including West Virginia, officials have been reluctant to mandate mask wearing in public.

In the Eastern Panhandle, one town has passed a resolution that “strongly encourages” mask wearing and gives businesses the option to get local police involved if customers refuse to wear one inside their establishments.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear a conversation about the coronavirus, antibodies and what medical researchers are trying to learn about immunity as it relates to the ongoing pandemic. Also, in this show, we hear about a resolution passed in Shepherdstown that “strongly encourages” businesses there to require customers to wear face masks.

Eric Douglas/ WVPB

The City of Charleston quietly removed part of a Confederate memorial Monday, joining other cities and states across the country who are taking a closer look at structures honoring Confederate soldiers and generals.


Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice is defending his decision to oust the state commissioner of public health after pointing to inaccurate reporting of coronavirus cases. 

In a Monday virtual news briefing, Justice fielded questions from reporters about the resignation of Dr. Cathy Slemp, who stepped down last week from her position as West Virginia’s top public health official. 

On this West Virginia Morning, a group of residents in Letcher County, Kentucky confront a judge over a Facebook post in which he downplayed racism and accused protesters of heightening tensions. Also, in this show, we hear how religious leaders in West Virginia are responding to the coronavirus pandemic at their places of worship. We also visit some towns in the state to hear how the pandemic’s economic impact is affecting local tourism.

Liam Niemeyer/ Ohio Valley ReSource

Toddlers yelling, running around the hardwood floors and leaving cracker crumbs on the ground. A laptop screen dented by a soup can dropped by a kid. At one point, a room covered from ceiling to floor with hand prints after kids were left alone with a paint can. 

But for the moment, Sherman Neal’s kids — two-year-old Skyler and three-year-old Jett — are on the leather couch, fixated on another "Max & Ruby" cartoon. 


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