News

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the last two years, the number of coal mining jobs in Boone County has halved. Drive through the county now, and signs of depression are becoming evident in shuttered storefronts and homes in increasing need of repair.

Given that context, it’s somewhat startling to stumble across the brand new Boone Memorial Hospital on the edge of Madison.  

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we travel to Loudendale, West Virginia, where James Shaffer has been making brooms by hand for more than 70 years. He says the business has changed.
And we hear Andrew Bird play "Pulaski at Night," on this week’s Mountain Stage song of the week.

Fire, Forest FIre
Fæ / Wikimedia Commons

A New River Gorge National River official says a prescribed fire is planned for Friday.

The burn is to occur in an oak woodland area in the Grandview area of the park.

David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia environmental officials say coal slurry has leaked into Crooked Run near Peytona in Boone County, south of Charleston.

The Department of Environmental Protection said in a news release Thursday an imminent harm cessation order was issued for the Admiral Processing operation, which is an affiliate of Alpha Natural Resources.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators will vote on a bill Friday that will give lawmakers the authority to approve all change to education standards and aligned standardized testing to be required in West Virginia schools after an amendment to a bill on the chamber floor Thursday.

Senate Bill 18 as introduced would have required West Virginia students take the ACT and ACT Aspire standardized tests rather than the Smarter Balanced Assessment that's aligned with Common Core standards, but Republican Sen. Patricia Rucker amended the bill to require legislative oversight.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

West Virginia lawmakers have begun advancing revisions in coal mining regulation after removing provisions that would have sharply reduced safety inspections of underground mines.

The Senate Committee on Energy, Industry and Mining approved a substitute bill that would have chopped required annual state safety inspections from four to one.

needles
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

The number of reported overdose deaths that occurred last year in West Virginia has continued to rise.

Citing data released Wednesday, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that at least 844 people died in the state of drug overdoses in 2016.

AP Photo / Jeff Gentner

The state Board of Education has selected former state schools Superintendent Steve Paine for his second stint in the job.

The board approved Paine's appointment Thursday by unanimous vote after interviewing him and two other finalists in private. His appointment is effective next Monday.

On The Legislature Today, there are several pieces of legislation making their way through the statehouse to expand broadband internet access in West Virginia.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 30 percent of West Virginians do not have access to federally defined broadband internet. That's why two West Virginia groups have joined together to promote expansion in any way possible.

Chad Lovejoy
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A House Judiciary Subcommittee reconsidered a bill Thursday that barely made it through the legislative process on the final night of the 2016 session.

That bill required West Virginians to bring some form of identification with them when they go to cast a ballot at their polling place. It also set up an automatic voter registration process between the Secretary of the State’s office and the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Delegates initially intended to gut parts of that law altogether this year, but have since worked on a compromise.

Pop Up Market
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Should able-bodied West Virginia adults receive food stamps? And if so, should they be required to work or volunteer to get them?

Front Porch host Rick Wilson says no. More than 14,000 food stamp recipients participated in a 9-county pilot program, but only 259 gained employment. On the other hand, 5,417 people were cut off.

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

The West Virginia Supreme Court has disbanded Kanawha County's domestic violence court program, which had been put in place more than five years ago as a way to monitor the cases more closely.

Gary Johnson, the Supreme Court's administrative director told the Charleston Gazette-Mail in an email that the decision came Wednesday after officials received complaints about the county's program, which was launched in 2012.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

U.S. Census figures show population declines in West Virginia's southern coal-producing counties led to an overall drop in the state's population last year.

The figures released Thursday show 47 of the state's 55 counties lost population from 2015 to 2016, including 20 counties that lost more than 200 residents.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Today marks 9 months since devastating flooding in the south-central part of the state took the lives of 23 West Virginians, damaging hundreds if not thousands of homes and businesses. Many communities are still recovering from that flooding, but lawmakers in the House are attempting to take steps to make sure floods aren’t as destructive in the future.


Photo courtesey of PRX. / Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage will record episode number 899 on Sunday, June 25 as part of FestivALL Charleston.

West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad (23) goes to the basket against Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger (0) and guard Matt Farrell (5) during the first half of a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Buffalo
Bill Wippert / AP

West Virginia University’s men’s basketball team continues its NCAA Tournament journey tonight in San Jose.

The Mountaineers will tip-off in their 7th Sweet 16 game in the last 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament tonight at 7:39. The 4th seeded Mountaineers will take on No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga has lost just one game all season, that against Brigham Young University.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has filled two vacancies on the state Board of Education.

Justice announced the appointments this week of Frank Vitale of Morgantown and Jeffrey Flanagan of Charleston.

2bgr8 / http://2bgr8stock.deviantart.com/art/Money-Cash-113445826

West Virginia's Senate has begun advancing legislation to increase the maximum wager to $5 for a single video lottery game.

The bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee also would set the state share of gross profits from limited video lottery revenues at 50 percent starting July 1.

Gee delivers his 2017 State of the University address.
West Virginia University

In the midst of struggling with proposed state budget cuts, West Virginia University President E. Gordon Gee gave his State of the University address yesterday, emphasizing the university’s importance to the state as a whole as well as its dedication to free speech. 

Gee used the address on Wednesday, March 22, to emphasize his stance that the university is an investment for the state, and not an item to be cut by state lawmakers.

Flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On June 23, 2016, West Virginia experienced some of the worst flooding in the state’s storied history. During the past 52 years, 282 West Virginians have died in floods, including the 23 who perished last summer after historic water levels led to a federal disaster declaration in 12 counties.

Nine months later, communities are still recovering from the high water. 

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