Southern Coalfields

Sourtesy West Virginia Department of Commerce

West Virginia's elk restoration project has added at least 15 new calves to its herd this year, according to the state Division of Natural Resources.

Over the summer, wildlife managers for the WVDNR were able to confirm the births of about 15 calves, bringing the state total elk population to 85. 

Eric Douglas

Amid the rolling hills and strip-mined mountain tops that stretch through Logan County, West Virginia is Route 10 -- a newer highway that was 20 years in the making. It made road travel in southern West Virginia more accessible, but it also replaced the McDonald airfield.  

And like most airports in the coalfields, the McDonald airfield is but a faint memory, recalled only by a few who used to fly there. 

Caitlin Tan / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This time of year, the Hatfield McCoy trail system in southern West Virginia usually is buzzing with ATVs. In fact, Jeffrey Lusk, director of the Hatfield McCoy Regional Recreation Authority, said he makes almost half of his permit sales for the year from March 1 to April 30. 

But for towns and local businesses along the trail system, things are pretty quiet these days. The Hatfield McCoy trails have been closed since March 20, by an executive order from Governor Jim Justice to enforce social distancing and public health recommendations from the federal government. 

Courtesy Berkeley County Schools

Schools across West Virginia closed Monday, March 16, for at least two weeks in an effort to help stem the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Since the shutdown was announced, West Virginians around the state have been working to make sure students are fed. According to the West Virginia Department of Education, more than two-thirds  of school-aged children, or more than 183,000, qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s a new quadruped moving slowly into the coalfields of southern West Virginia. We’ll hear more about West Virginia’s elk population, and we bring you important updates about how the state and region is working to control the global COVID-19 pandemic.

West Virginia Department of Natural Resources

The West Virginia elk reintroduction program is four years in, and the project is not growing as fast as expected; however, there is a herd in the Southern Coalfields that is slowly getting bigger. 

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Officials from the West Virginia’s Department of Natural Resources announced Wednesday that an extinct species native to West Virginia were restored.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Flooding in the past week has once again consumed much of southern West Virginia, with Gov. Jim Justice signing a state of emergency proclamation for seven counties on Friday. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting added a new reporter to its news team this week. Molly Born will be in Williamson, covering the southern West Virginia and Kentucky coalfields. Molly’s position is one of three in the region made possible through a partnership with the Charleston Gazette-Mail, the Lexington Herald-Leader and the GroundTruth Project’s Report for America initiative.