RFA 2019

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Normally, Boone County Circuit Judge William Thompson holds his drug court graduation ceremonies inside the courthouse.

But on a slightly overcast August afternoon, he found himself and the first two graduating members of his family treatment court outdoors at Waterways Park in Boone County. 

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West Virginia corrections officials will test all people incarcerated at the South Central Regional Jail for the coronavirus this week, after reporting eight prisoners with COVID-19 there on Monday. 

The Charleston jail was on lockdown as of Sunday night, according to a press release from the DCR. Diagnosed prisoners were quarantined to two housing units with the 29 others they had contact with. 

The DCR reported 17 employees had COVID-19 Monday afternoon.

Nikthestoned / wikimedia Commons

The state’s topmost regulatory agency is giving a small, struggling Fayette County water utility 30 days before it forces a nationally funded, statewide provider to take over. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Counties in southern West Virginia are experiencing a significant rise in new COVID-19 cases compared to the rest of the state, which health leaders blame on residents traveling for the summer.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The United Mine Workers of America is endorsing Democratic candidate Ben Salango for West Virginia governor. 

Courtesy of Jessica Shockey

The West Virginia Public Service Commission is urging a small, struggling water utility in Fayette County to consider allowing a larger provider to take over its water assets, following requests from hundreds of customers over the last year.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that he will sign an executive order authorizing universities and colleges to reopen their campuses this fall. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Active COVID-19 outbreaks in churches have infected at least 85 people in the last couple of weeks, according to an update from the governor Wednesday afternoon.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources is now reporting an eighth church outbreak in Mason County. The DHHR’s list of outbreaks in places of worship on Monday included Kanawha, Logan, Boone, Raleigh, Wood, Taylor and Grant counties.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The most recent string of COVID-19 outbreaks linked to places of worship has led to roughly 75 West Virginians testing positive for the coronavirus over the last couple of weeks.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

You’ve heard of drive-in movies and drive-in restaurants… But how about drive-in professional wrestling? 

The All Star Wrestling company out of Madison, Boone County, held its first drive-in event Saturday night to more easily adhere to social distancing guidelines for the coronavirus pandemic.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Staff for the West Virginia House of Delegates are advising lawmakers who were in Charleston Monday to quarantine if they were in contact with the clerk’s office where an employee has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Stonewall Jackson Middle School
WCHS-TV

The Kanawha County Board of Education voted 3-2 during its meeting Thursday night to rename the former Stonewall Jackson Middle School to West Side Middle School.

“We feel the school should have a name that includes everyone that enters it,” said Camdyn Harris, who lives on Charleston’s West Side and who attends the school.

“We as students do not want to exclude any race that attends the school, both now and in the future,” Harris told school board members.

Charleston Police Car
charlestonpolice.org

Two Charleston police officers tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday, after the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department helped facilitate a mobile testing site for staff and their families. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Charleston health officials are still tracking COVID-19 cases linked to the North Charleston Apostolic Church in Charleston, after identifying more than 20 infected worshippers by Wednesday through contact tracing.

Mackenzie Spencer / City of Charleston

Charleston city leaders launched an advisory group to advocate for marginalized communities on Tuesday.

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.

Shutterstock

West Virginia American Water, one of the Mountain State’s largest regulated water utilities, has shared a $50 million plan for infrastructure upgrades in 2021. 

The West Virginia Supreme Court chamber.
West Virginia Judiciary

Attorneys representing Gov. Jim Justice filed a response Monday, requesting that the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals dismiss a request from state legislators for a special legislative session.

Balana Goff / Shutterstock

For the last three months, the West Virginia Public Service Commission has urged utilities not to shut off service to people who have missed payments.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

State and local health officials have arranged for free testing in Boone, Lincoln, McDowell, Raleigh and Wyoming counties next week. 

Ric Macdowell / Courtesy of Tina Russell

The results were in on Monday, June 15 – Tina Russell of Glenwood, Mercer County, is the first black woman in West Virginia history to win a Democratic primary in her district.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

This story was updated on June 16, 2020, at 12 p.m. to include additional context about the Graystone Baptist Church. 

The coronavirus outbreak at the Graystone Baptist Church in Ronceverte, Greenbrier County, is now linked to at least 28 cases of COVID-19, with several hundred tests from residents still pending. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

West Virginia health officials are reporting the state’s fifth known COVID-19 outbreak linked to a church – this time, in Greenbrier County. 

Emily Allen / WVPB

West Virginia health officials say they are noticing several small coronavirus outbreaks linked to churches and an increased potential for disease spread in the state’s southern counties, even as the governor’s office allows more businesses to reopen week by week.

Courtesy of Jessica Shockey

Jessica Shockey’s problems with her water started right after she moved from Fayetteville to the small, unincorporated coal town of Laurel Creek two years ago. She gutted and remodeled an old house she bought with her husband, replacing all of the plumbing, and spending more than $15,000 on new appliances.  

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In 1998, two white police officers in Bluefield were accused of beating and dragging a young black man, paralyzing him from the neck down. He died in 2002.

His name was Robert Ellison. More than 20 years later, protestors chanted his name and those of other black men and women who have recently died at the hands of police, including George Floyd in Minnesota and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky

Adobe Stock

A law outlining a new process for the release of pretrial defendants took effect Friday, June 5, as the state continues coronavirus testing for prisoners and staff in all of the state’s lockups.

Jesse Wright / 100 Days in Appalachia

West Virginia state and county health officials will host free coronavirus testing for residents of Ohio, McDowell and Harrison Counties on Friday and Saturday, June 5-6.

Jesse Wright / 100 Days in Appalachia

The West Virginia National Guard verified on Tuesday one of its members in Putnam County had made “inflammatory” remarks on social media, regarding nationwide protests against racially charged police brutality. 

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginians across the state came together in protest over the weekend, joining thousands across the country demanding action after the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, both at the hands of police. 

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