Roger May

What the History of Salt, Slaves & Coal Can Teach us about Appalachia's Future

This week on Inside Appalachia, we travel to Cedar Grove, West Virginia, home of renowned novelist Mary Lee Settle. On this episode, we explore surprising, hidden histories through the work of Settle and the voices of women from Cedar Grove. Settle, who passed away in 2005, spent three decades on a series of books called the Beulah Quintet . The five books are each set in a different moment in West Virginia's history when a revolutionary change was at stake. Today's economic uncertainty here...

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Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Should West Virginia Eliminate the Income Tax?

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

House Moves to Terminate the W.Va. Women's Commission

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Learn About WVPB's Value to West Virginia

Jennifer Garner
Cliff Owen / AP

Actress Jennifer Garner says growing up "surrounded by generational, rural poverty" in West Virginia inspired her to become an advocate for early-childhood education.

Garner spoke at a meeting of the National Governors Association on Saturday about programs that bring educators into the homes of low-income parents to help them get their kids ready for kindergarten. At one point, her microphone was cut off and she said, "It's like the Oscars!"

Cynthia Goldsmith / CDC/ Dr. Terrence Tumpey

West Virginia's health officer says the flu outbreak has increased statewide and is expected to peak in a few weeks.

Dr. Rahul Gupta, state health officer and commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, says flu activity is widespread in the state.

On The Legislature Today, Gov. Jim Justice has presented lawmakers with several legislative proposals, including an overhaul of the state's education system aimed at pushing control back to the local level. 

Although he said he hasn't worked through the full proposal, Senate President Mitch Carmichael supports the overarching plan of more flexibility.

"That’s what his initiative in broad terms does," he said. "We support that and we’ll reserve right to comment on the details, but I’m very anxious to work with him on that goal of returning control to the local entities.”

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Delegates are beginning to consider bills that would cut some state agencies, no matter how big or how small they are. Members of one committee Friday looked at a bill that would put an end to an agency that receives about $150,000 in annual funding.

House Bill 2646 would get rid of the West Virginia Women’s Commission. It’s a small state agency with just two employees, one of whom works part-time. The House Government Organization Committee considered the bill Friday morning – where its sponsors defended the proposal.

Bill Crouch
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

State officials were in Huntington Friday to highlight an organization that could be impacted by cuts, if budget proposals aren’t passed by the legislature.

WV has a budget crisis. Governor Jim Justice’s budget proposal includes more than $450M in tax increases to cover the majority of a $500M deficit. But still programs like the Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Waiver are at risk.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

GOP leaders proposing a tax overhaul that would eliminate West Virginia income tax, while increasing the sales tax and expanding it to services that are currently exempt.

Is this a good idea? Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service Committee calls it “the second-cousin of all bad ideas, because its regressive, it puts more burdens on the working class than the wealthy.”

Laurie Lin says, “It’s not a great idea for West Virginia,” – even if it works in other states. A state with so many border towns may suffer a loss of business, she said.

Adobe Stock

If you are overweight and struggling with pain, eating a Mediterranean diet could help, a new study suggests. 

Researchers at Ohio State University looked at the relationship between weight, inflammation and pain. They found that eating anti-inflammatory foods, including seafood, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats, helped relieve pain, regardless of how heavy someone was. 

Adobe Stock

New research out of Johns Hopkins University has found that more than forty percent of people receiving medication for opioid addiction were also given prescriptions for other opioid painkillers during the time of treatment.

The researchers looked at pharmacy claims for more than 38,000 new buprenorphine users who filled prescriptions between 2006 and 2013 in 11 states. Buprenorphine is a drug used to treat opioid addiction.

Rock Creek Development Park
Clark / WV Public Broadcasting

One of the last goals of former West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration, was to try to help southern West Virginia economically. Tomblin hopes he’s found a unique way to do that.

Space, that’s one of the things companies look for when they consider locating in West Virginia. They want plenty of it before they’ll commit to moving factories and warehouses to the state, but former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the lack of flat land is often a challenge for those working to diversify West Virginia’s economy.

Governor's Office

Former state tourism commissioner Amy Shuler Goodwin is running for mayor of Charleston.

Goodwin announced her candidacy at a news conference Thursday.

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