Government

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. 


Governor Jim Justice speaks at his virtual press briefing, June 26, 2020
Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Gov. Jim Justice says his office has found a way to cover what’s expected to be a $250 million budget hole. The governor rolled out the plan in a midday meeting with top lawmakers on Friday before releasing it to the general public.

In a virtual news briefing, Justice outlined the state’s financial situation, which has been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. His plan routes federal aid dollars to various state agencies and pulls from the Medicaid surplus fund to cover the budget gap. 

Mason Adams / For Inside Appalachia

Culture can connect us to our kindred spirits across great distances, even during a global pandemic. It helps build bridges in other ways, too. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear stories about cultural ties that bind us to people across the globe.

On this West Virginia Morning, while some statues of confederate generals have been toppled or ordered down in some cities and towns, the debate carries on in other places. We hear about one man’s mission to bring down a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee in Murray, Kentucky. Also, we hear about Appalachia’s connection to Wales through music, and we listen to this week’s Mountain Stage song of the week.

Formerly Disenfranchised Kentucky Voters Cast Their Ballots

Jun 25, 2020
WFPL

 

For many in the Ohio Valley, voting is a choice, a right they are free to exercise if they want to. But for Jackie McGranahan and the more than 175,000 other formerly disenfranchised Kentuckians, this primary election is special. It’s her first chance to vote since 2008. 

She won’t be going to a voting booth. Elections are a bit different this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and most voting in Kentucky is happening by mail. But even though she couldn’t go to the polls with her friends or be handed her ‘I Voted’ sticker, that didn’t stop McGranahan from savoring the moment of voting.

 

On this West Virginia Morning, health officials in the state are concerned that people are becoming too relaxed about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, making outbreaks more likely. Also, one of the state’s top health officials has resigned. And if the state were to tighten restrictions, what might that mean for our friends in recovery from substance abuse?

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


West Virginia seceded from Virginia 157 years ago to join the Union and reject the Confederate States of America. While Confederate monuments have been toppled or ordered down elsewhere across the country, they still stand in West Virginia.

There are 21 statues, memorials and other markers honoring Confederate generals and soldiers in the state — on state park resorts, schools, elsewhere according to data compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center

On this West Virginia Morning, we have stories about an award-winning fiddler, a special kind of fungi housed at West Virginia University, and we hear from a Kentucky voter who previously had her voting rights taken away due to a felony charge.

Flickr / davidwilson1949

Isaac Sponaugle conceded the Democratic primary for West Virginia attorney general to labor lawyer Sam Petsonk on Tuesday, capping a close race decided by fewer than 200 votes weeks after election day. 

On this West Virginia Morning, in the only state born of the American Civil War, we explore the discussion of whether to remove statues that celebrate confederate civil war heroes. Also, an update on where pipelines and hiking trails intersect.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says the state’s budget will be in good shape despite a significant hole in revenue due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

On this West Virginia Morning, we’re still celebrating Father’s Day. We hear from some new dads who became fathers during the coronavirus pandemic. Also, we meet Tina Russell, the first Black woman in West Virginia’s history to win a democratic primary in Mercer County.

As statues of Confederate generals have been toppled or ordered down across the American South, all still stand in West Virginia, the only state born out of the American Civil War.

One hundred fifty-seven years ago Saturday, West Virginia seceded from Virginia to join the Union and reject the Confederacy.

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