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Treatment & Mistreatment, Our Complicated Relationship with Pain: Inside Appalachia

It’s been about 20 years since the opioid epidemic first exploded across Appalachia, and now doctors are shifting away from prescribing opioids for long-term pain. But this shift away from pills has met resistance from some doctors and patients. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we'll hear why addiction hit Appalachia so hard. We'll also find out what the medical community is doing to fight the pain pill epidemic.

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Tesla Supercharging
Mariordo / Wikimedia Commons

Construction has begun for a Tesla Supercharger station in Charleston, making it the second in West Virginia.

News outlets report the station, which will be exclusively for Model S and X cars, will occupy eight parking spaces of the Courtyard by Marriot hotel.

Crime Tape
Einstein2 / Wikimedia Commons

Authorities say Crime Stoppers of West Virginia are starting a new initiative that would offer up to $10,000 to help solve cold cases.

Beckley Police Sgt. Morgan Bragg says Crime Stoppers will be made up of several different southern West Virginia law enforcement agencies. The tasks force will work toward solving decades-old cases. Officials say they'll begin working on their first case by the end of the month.

Cash Money
Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

A Huntington audit has uncovered the city's fire pension board failed to properly calculate retirees' pensions, resulting in overpayments for over 25 years.

City Manager Cathy Burns says the city overpaid about 50 fire department retirees. Burns says miscalculations started in 1990 when the city moved to a "confusing" state formula.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The CEO of the nation’s biggest public utility said Tuesday that the agency isn’t going to reopen coal-fired power plants under President Donald Trump, who has promised a comeback for the downtrodden coal industry.

Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said he thinks very little will actually change for the federal utility under Trump.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, in Louisville, Kentucky reporter Erica Peterson checks out the plans to put a solar array on the site of a surface mine in Pikeville and Poet Laureate Marc Harshman is along with a poetry break.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Isabella Scafidi

As a young man Steve Scafidi hungered "for something like magnificence." Or so he explained when asked by Marc Harshman how he came to writing poetry. 

"I found it reading aloud some Walt Whitman one evening and I never quit," Scafidi said in conversation with Harshman. "I remember thinking to myself, 'my life is changing here but don't make a big deal out of this -- just follow the thread of it.' And I did."

Scafidi is a cabinet maker in the Eastern Panhandle. He encourages aspiring writers to do more than write, so that metaphors may be discovered and writing enriched with life.

He was a featured poet in the Wheeling Poetry Series. He spoke with Harshman and delivered some of his published poems. 

Huntington wins America's Best Communities comp
America's Best Communities Facebook

The city of Huntington is the first place winner of America’s Best Communities competition. The announcement came Wednesday night. Huntington officials in Denver, Colorado, received a $3 million award to be used on local revitalization efforts.

Huntington was one of the 8 finalists last April and has already received $100,000.

Canabis Oil Medical Marijuana
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Gov. Jim Justice signed a law Wednesday making West Virginia the 29th state to allow the use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.

The law lets doctors prescribe cannabis to patients who are terminally ill or have seizures, cancer, chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, AIDS and other specified conditions.

Charleston Civic Center Renovation
charlestonwvciviccenter.com

A new change order has brought costs for the Charleston Civic Center expansion project up to nearly $93.6 million.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Charleston City Council approved the $1.2 million change order Monday.

A nursery where drug-affected babies are treated at Lily’s Place in Huntington, W.Va.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Marshall University is hoping to expand Huntington's services for babies born addicted to drugs by adding a comprehensive center that would follow babies to kindergarten.

The Herald Dispatch reports that creators of the plan met Monday with Rep. Evan Jenkins to discuss the program. Jenkins pledged his support during the meeting.

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Appalachia is bleeding population; the 2015 U.S. Census showed West Virginia was losing population faster than any other state. There’s a struggle to leave, and to stay.

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