Government

The Poultry Plant That’s Changed the Face of This Appalachian Town

Aug 15, 2019
Justin Hayhurst / 100 Days in Appalachia

When Sheena Van Meter graduated from Moorefield High School in 2000, her class was mainly comprised of the children of families that had long-planted roots in West Virginia’s eastern Potomac Highlands. Some were African American. Most were white. And for the Moorefield resident, the closest exposure she had to other cultures, before leaving for college, came in the form of an occasional foreign-exchange student. 

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.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia Del. Jason Harshbarger has submitted a letter of resignation from the House’s 7th District. The two-term lawmaker is leaving to take a new role with Dominion Energy.

Harshbarger, a Republican from Ritchie County, was first elected to the House of Delegates in 2016 and has worked for Dominion Energy for 14 years. 

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West Virginia made waves in 2018 when it became the first state in the country to allow some residents to vote using a mobile phone app. 

A new study released last month by the University of Chicago finds West Virginia’s mobile voting pilot program increased voter turnout by three to five percentage points. 

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. 

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Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

West Virginia officials say the number of HIV cases in Cabell County has risen to 71.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources posted the figure on Monday, saying the virus has spread primarily among intravenous drug users.

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.”

Nearly $37 million in general revenue surplus money will be given to West Virginia’s Medicaid program as well as the state’s Rainy Day emergency reserve fund.

Back home in Iowa for the August recess, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley is making the case in this conservative state for a sweeping drug bill, even though many in his party do not support it.

"One of the few times, if it isn't the only time, that I've been chairman of various committees that I haven't had at least a majority of Republicans on my side," Grassley conceded at a town hall meeting in Aurelia this week, but he added: "It's probably more valuable to have the president on your side."

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Activist-turned-political candidate Paula Jean Swearengin has announced she’ll again run for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Swearengin made the announcement Tuesday on her campaign’s Facebook page.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is ignoring Democrats' efforts to pressure him into calling the Senate back from recess to vote on gun legislation to expand background checks following back to back mass shootings.

But there is movement among some Republican lawmakers, who are calling for action on some gun control measures.

WV State Police Cruiser
WCHS-TV

Authorities say a West Virginia state trooper has killed a man who shot him during a pursuit in the woods.

The West Virginia State Police on Tuesday says Trooper First Class J.M. Tallman was airlifted to a hospital.

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.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

Democratic U.S. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania are trying again to get support for gun control legislation.  Their bill would strengthen background checks for those purchasing guns. 

Destiny Judy / Inter-Mountain / via AP

President Donald Trump has granted a disaster declaration request for flooding in portions of West Virginia in late June.

Gov. Jim Justice says in a news release five counties can receive federal assistance for public recovery efforts.

Police have identified 24-year-old white male Connor Betts from Bellbrook, Ohio, as the shooter who claimed nine lives and injured 27 others in Dayton, Ohio, early on Sunday morning.

Among the nine dead was the shooter's sister, Megan Betts, 22, said Lt. Col. Matt Carper at a news conference Sunday.

A marijuana plant grows at Fotmer SA, an enterprise that produces cannabis for medical use, in Montevideo, Uruguay, Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019.
Matilde Campodonico / AP Photo

West Virginia’s medical cannabis industry may have a prospective banking solution to get around federal law. But exactly when that solution might be implemented is still up in the air.

A spokeswoman for the state Treasurer’s office says in an email they received four bids from businesses looking to handle deposits associated with West Virginia’s as-of-yet launched medical cannabis program.

Gov. Jim Justice during the State of the State Address in January 2018.
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Updated on Aug. 1, 2019 at 3:22 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's companies owe almost $2 million in delinquent taxes in Virginia, according to records obtained by WDBJ-TV .

The Roanoke-based station reported Wednesday that companies owned by the Republican governor owe $1.9 million in taxes to several counties in Virginia.

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.

ZngZng / wikimedia Commons

People recovering from substance abuse disorder can get rides to appointments under a project set to begin in West Virginia.

Gov. Jim Justice holds a bill signing ceremony for House Bill 207 in Pleasants County on July 30, 2019.
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has approved a tax break for a struggling coal-fired power plant whose operator says a company owned by the governor owes it $3.1 million.

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.

Michael/Flickr

The West Virginia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that the next round of Governor Jim Justice’s Secondary Roads Initiative is underway.

Dept. of Defense

About 40 percent of veterans who receive medical care through the Veterans Health Administration are now covered at urgent care clinics. This expansion of benefits for veterans is part of the Mission Act, which went into effect last month. 


Sleepy truck drivers cause hundreds of fatal crashes each year. Drivers work in an industry that rewards miles driven, not time on the clock, so many truckers push the envelope just to make a living.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration keeps drivers in check with so-called Hours of Service Regulations. The regs cap driving time at 11 hours a day. Truckers have to stop and rest for at least a half hour during that time, and no matter how much downtime they may have in between, they have to quit for the day 14 hours after they start.

A woman has been charged in connection with a hacking breach at Capital One bank that exposed information from more than 100 million credit applications over a 14-year period – what is thought to be one of the largest such attacks in recent years.

Authorities in Seattle have charged Paige A. Thompson, who also goes by the handle "erratic," with a single count of computer fraud. She appeared in court on Monday and is scheduled for a detention hearing on Thursday.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A group of West Virginia lawmakers want control of a recent $37 million opioid settlement with the drug distributor McKesson.

Bridge and construction equipment underwater on River Road in northeastern Morgan County. Sleepy Creek is backed up where it runs into the Potomac River. Photo taken on June 4, 2018.
The Morgan Messenger / Courtesy Photo

Some small businesses in two West Virginia counties are eligible to apply for economic injury disaster loans as a result of storms last year.

How a Proposed SNAP Eligibility Revision Could Affect Ohio Valley Recipients

Jul 25, 2019

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this week a proposal to tighten the rules on who qualifies for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). USDA estimates more than three million people across the country would lose SNAP benefits in an effort to prevent fraud. Anti-hunger advocates in the Ohio Valley say the more than two million people in the region who use the benefits would be impacted.

Retired Coal Miners on Capitol Hill Push for a Fix to Pension System

Jul 25, 2019
Sam Ball, a retired coal miner from Virginia, testified before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources

A rush of retired coal miners and advocates were in Washington this week, pushing members of Congress to protect their pensions.

About 40 members of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) arrived on Capitol Hill Tuesday, July 23, to meet with lawmakers and voice their concerns during a congressional hearing Wednesday.

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