News

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For decades, communities in the Ohio Valley have grappled with water contaminated with toxic fluorinated chemicals, sometimes called PFOA or C-8 that are often used to make non-stick pans and other items, but this type of contamination isn’t limited to the region.

A newly-updated map shows the number of contaminated sites that are known to exist around the country has nearly doubled in the past year.

Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a petition April 18 with the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency for a new rule that would reduce the permitting burden for American steel producers.

The proposal asks EPA to modify the New Source Review, a program under the Clean Air Act that requires factories, industrial boilers and power plants to install emissions-control technologies or reduce air pollution when new plants are built or current ones modified.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a year ago this week, white supremacist groups descended on Pikeville, Kentucky, aiming to rally “white working families,” where they were met by anti-fascist groups from across Appalachia and elsewhere in the country. After a deadly incident in Charlottesville, Virginia in August, many of these white supremacist groups fractured as a result of increased scrutiny and internal power struggles.

There is evidence that remnants of those groups have recently sprung up in north-central West Virginia. Dave Mistich takes a look some incidents where the groups have been active, the community reaction and how to identify such messages if you find them in your own neighborhood.

Ranky Tanky are a South Carolina based band that specializes in "Gullah" music- a style born out of the coastal region and influenced by West African traditions. Here's the band's take on the American folk song, "O Death," for our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

Doctor, Health, Doctor with tablet, Doctor with iPad
Public Domain Pictures

A health department spokesman in West Virginia says more than 20 cases of acute Hepatitis A have been confirmed in Kanawha and Putnam counties since January.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department says in a news release that the recent cases are linked to a multistate outbreak.

A surface mine in Letcher County, Kentucky. The reclaimed part of the mine is seeded with grass.
Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Abandoned Mine Lands and Reclamation is accepting applications for a portion of $25 million in grant funding for economic development projects.

Applicants have until June 15 to apply.

Adobe Stock

The National Institute for Early Education Research released its annual State of Preschool report today.

The report found that more young children in the United States are enrolled in public pre-K programs than were in 2002, but that not all of those programs are preparing young learners for kindergarten.

West Virginia, though, is one of 10 states that the report said has both expanded access to pre-K while maintaining high quality standards. West Virginia is also one of 10 states with the highest number of 3- and 4-year-olds enrolled in preschool.

Blankenship Trial
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

Attorneys for former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship are seeking to erase his misdemeanor conviction related to the deadliest U.S. mine disaster in four decades. A former lead prosecutor called it a desperate act.

A motion filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Charleston claims federal prosecutors withheld information that would have assisted in Blankenship's defense at his lengthy 2015 trial. It said the government produced reports and other information after the trial's completion.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

Marshall University's Sustainability Department is again hosting an Earth Day celebration on Wednesday.

The event promotes sustainable living practices and works to educate Marshall students and the public about local programs and activities.

AP Photo

Convicted former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship claims documents that would have assisted his defense weren't made available to his attorneys before his trial and he's asking a federal court to vacate his misdemeanor conviction.

Blankenship made the claim in a news release through his U.S. Senate campaign to announce a planned motion to vacate the conviction. No motion was listed on a federal court website Tuesday night.

Health, doctor, nurse, mask, breathing
Dollar Photo Club

Air quality across West Virginia is improving, with levels of fine particle air pollution some of the best ever measured, but smog levels have increased, according to the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report released today.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the latest episode of WVPB’s podcast Us & Them, host Trey Kay puts an episode they produced back in 2015 under the microscope. The episode featured a conversation between West Virginian Karl Priest, a retired public school teacher, and physicist Christopher Keating.

When this show was originally released, some listeners thought Trey handled the whole thing badly. So he went back to see where things went off the rails.

Rick Perry at Longview Power Plant
Glynis Board

Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy Solutions made waves last month when it asked the Department of Energy to grant it an emergency order to help keep coal and nuclear plants operating across the Ohio Valley.

Adobe Stock images/WVPB grpahic illustration

West Virginia Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher said he is hopeful the first project associated with the China Energy deal will be announced soon.

Prescriptions, Pills, Drugs, Prescription
U.S. Air Force

Drugmakers would be required to identify the legitimate need for controlled substances to justify their production under a proposed rule intended to rein in the diversion of drugs for illicit purposes.

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced the proposed rule change Tuesday.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

Tax filers have little longer to get their paperwork in to the Internal Revenue Service.

In a statement, the IRS announced it is giving taxpayers an additional day to file and pay their taxes after technical issues on the agency's website made it impossible for people to view their tax record or make payments for much of the day on Tuesday.

West Virginia Secretary of State's Office

The deadline to register to vote in next month's primary election in West Virginia has arrived.

Tuesday, April 17 is the last day for state residents to register if they want to vote on May 8.

Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose
Pixabay

Cabell County is leading West Virginia in the number of fatal overdoses for the second year in a row.

Citing state data, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports 909 people died of drug overdoses in West Virginia in 2017, an increase from the previous record of 887, set in 2016. Overdose deaths seemed to slow during late 2017, though the state Health Statistics Center says that could be due to reporting delays.

Dollar Photo Club


More than 40 people were arrested in Huntington this week on drug and gun charges in a sweeping joint investigation targeting accused interstate drug traffickers in what officials called a "turning point" for the city -- and "in the war against the opiate nightmare." 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Kentucky ranks in the top five highest number of drug overdoses in the country. It also has one of the highest of Hepatitis C, and while HIV/AIDS cases are declining the U.S., Kentucky holds steady with new cases. Much of this can be traced back to people who use IV drugs, using needles or syringes to inject opioids.

Ten West Virginia counties are under a State of Emergency due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall.

Governor Jim Justice made the declaration in an emailed statement to reporters Monday afternoon.

CSX train derailment, April 16, 2018, Fayette County.
Courtesy Photo

This is a developing story. Please check back for more details.

Updated Tuesday, April 17 at 12:06 p.m.

New River Gorge National River spokeswoman Julena Campbell said in a news release the engine that derailed landed on its side near the New River.

She said no diesel fuel spilled and that crews are working to remove 5,000 gallons of fuel from the locomotive. CSX stated the ten derailed cars remained upright.

Marshall University is launching a joint project with West Virginia University College of Law to provide consumer-related information for people in West Virginia.

Amtrak, Train
Daniel Holth / Wikimedia Commons

A meeting is set with Amtrak officials to work toward keeping the New River Train service going in southern West Virginia this fall.

Congressman Evan Jenkins and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin say they've arranged the meeting on Tuesday. Media outlets report it will be held at Amtrak's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

An audit of the West Virginia Supreme Court has found two justices may have violated state Ethics Act provisions that prohibit using public office for private gain.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When Oklahoma teacher Sally Salmons saw momentum building toward teacher protests in her state, she immediately reached out to family ties and educators in West Virginia. She said teacher walkouts in the Mountain State provided her and colleagues across the state with the courage they needed to take a stand.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a new investigative documentary dissects how public health officials and environmental regulators at both the state and federal level handled the 2014 chemical spill, which left hundreds of thousands of people without potable water.

In many parts of the country, President Trump and his unpopularity is a liability for Republicans in 2018, but not in West Virginia.

In the 2016 election, West Virginia supported the president more than any other state. Trump carried the state with 69 percent of the vote.

Updated at 2:03 a.m. ET Saturday

The U.S., Britain and France carried out airstrikes early Saturday against three sites in Syria in response to a suspected chemical weapons attack last week by President Bashar Assad's regime.

Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A federal report says the wall that crushed a miner to death in West Virginia earlier this year wasn't properly supported.

Pages