News

Anne Li/ WVPB

Why is Donald Trump so popular in Appalachia? And how confident are Appalachians that Trump will change the economy and bring back thousands of coal mining jobs?

Trump won 95 percent of Appalachian counties, and 69 percent of West Virginia voters chose him - the highest percentage of any state.

But that doesn’t mean everyone here is happy with the results.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Note from WVPB News Director Jesse Wright: In the interest of avoiding a conflict of interest while also providing our audience with as much information as possible, WVPB’s newsroom is providing stories from other trusted news sources that directly affect WVPB reporters and funding.

Gov. Jim Justice has proposed continuing West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s $4.6 million state funding next year, reversing his February proposal to end it.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the far side of the Charleston Civic Center, about a thousand blue and red clad supporters scream their support.

Many are wearing shirts emblazoned with #Riverstrong on the back. For these fans, tonight is as much about showing a community of resilience as celebrating a team making history.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll check in with Dave Mistich, the editor of our digital journalism project “100 Days in Appalachia” and Johnny Staats and Robert Shafer has our Mountain Stage song of the week.

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

Michael Virtanen / AP

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said Thursday he'll oppose any legislation that takes health care away from West Virginians and urged people to "bombard" President Donald Trump with calls and emails to halt the Republican plan.

Manchin said Trump needs to be enlisted to stop the immediate Republican push to repeal former President Barack Obama's health care law. The law added coverage to about 210,000 people in West Virginia, including 25,000 getting treatment in a state ravaged by the opioid epidemic.

Randolph County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

The West Virginia Board of Education has agreed to close an elementary school in Randolph County that has 27 students.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the board voted Thursday to close Valley Head Elementary. The students will be transferred to George Ward Elementary next school year.

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Gov. Jim Justice's Office has adjusted his 2018 budget proposal and, as a result, is asking lawmakers to change some appropriations in the plan, including reinstating some previously cut programs.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Sen. Joe Manchin attended a town hall in South Charleston Thursday night, taking questions from West Virginians about anything from environmental regulations to Pres. Donald Trump’s policies on immigration. 

More than 300 people attended the town hall at the Labelle Theater in South Charleston where Manchin took audience questions for an hour and a half.

Todd Lappin / Flickr

Note: Some readers may find this subject matter disturbing.

When Beth Jacobs was 16 years old, she needed a ride home. She had missed her bus after work again after promising her father she was responsible enough not to make it a habit. She asked a man she thought was a friend to give her a lift. He offered her a drink from his car’s cup holder. She took a sip and woke up in a parking lot hours later.

Scott Brewer
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A bill that sparked some debate in the Senate has made its way to the House of Delegates. It would make changes to the West Virginia Workplace Freedom Act, or the state’s right-to-work law.

The debate over whether West Virginia should be the 26th Right-to-Work state began during last year’s Legislative session.

Right-to-work laws make it illegal to require a worker in a union shop to pay union dues and fees if he or she is not a member.

Union’s argue that worker, however, is still benefiting from the contract negotiations the union pays for, without contributing to the cost.

On The Legislature Today, education is once again debated on the Senate floor, but this time the education chair shares concerns over a bill he’s sponsoring.

In the House, delegates progress a Right-to-Work bill one that makes changes to the current law being challenged in the state’s court system.

And advocates are pushing second chance laws that they say will help felons reintegrate into their communities and keep them out of prison in the future.

Those stories and more on The Legislature Today.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the Senate were supposed to take up a bill Thursday to repeal the Common Core education standards and replace them with Math and English standards written some 20 years ago by California and Massachusetts.

The bill, however, was pushed back for the second day in a row, Thursday after the chamber’s Education chair spoke against it.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senators also debated an election bill on the floor today, one that deals with how the governor is required to fill vacancies in elected offices. The bill is the result of a 2016 resignation in the Senate, one by a former member who changed party affiliation to give Republicans a majority in the chamber.

Adobe Stock

On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released an analysis of the U.S. House of Representatives proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act.The CBO estimates that the proposed legislation would reduce federal deficits by $337 billion over the 2017-2026 period. Savings would come primarily from cutting funding to Medicaid and eliminating nongroup subsidies. A third of West Virginians are on Medicaid and such cuts could have big implications for the state.

Jail Cell
Namastesa / wikimedia commons

An information-sharing agreement between the state Supreme Court and the regional jail system will ensure that inmates pay their court-ordered fines and fees.

The Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety announced the agreement Thursday. It will allow the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority to check whether new inmates owe magistrate court costs.

Arthunter / wikimedia commons

The city of Weirton will make it a crime to appear in public under the influence of drugs.

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel reports the ordinance passed in an emergency reading on Monday by a 7-0 vote of the Weirton City Council, establishing a charge of "appearing in a public place or automobile in a drug induced condition."

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia University School of Nursing and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey are embarking on a drug abuse prevention program with eighth-graders.

The students and attorney general are trying to raise awareness about opioid abuse prevention. They will share information with students in Harrison, Marion, Marshall, Monongalia, Preston and Wetzel counties. The first stop is Thursday at Mountaineer Middle School in Morgantown.

Strawberries
Parvathisri / Wikimedia Commons

Organizers of the West Virginia Strawberry Festival are looking for local growers to stock a market with berries at this year's event.

The festival board, the city of Buckhannon and the state Department of Agriculture are working with private farmers to have fresh strawberries available for sale on May 20 and 21. This year's festival runs from May 13 through 21 in Buckhannon.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, Liz McCormick reports lawmakers are looking to reduce spending on education, but they say they will give local schools more flexibility in how they spend their money and West Virginia’s Poet Laureate Marc Harshman has won a prestigious poetry award.  We’ll hear him recite some of his work from the winning book.  

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

At the start of this legislative session, Republican leaders warned that public education could be on the chopping block, seeing reductions that the system has historically been protected from. During a recent press conference, both House Speaker Tim Armstead and Senate President Mitch Carmichael said they’ll work to mitigate the harm to classrooms and teachers, but funding will be reduced. The House’s Education Chairman says with those funding reductions, lawmakers are working to give county school systems more flexibility in how they spend their limited dollars.

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