News

2014 Election
8:19 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Twitter: The New Election Soap Box

On West Virginia Morning, our digital reporter Dave Mistich looks at the effect anonymous twitter users are having on political discourse.  And, from Friday’s edition of our political talk show Viewpoint, Ashton Marra talks with Nick Casey, the Democratic candidate for the state’s second congressional district.

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2014 Election
6:53 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Voter Registration Ends Tuesday

Credit WBOY

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Time is running out for West Virginians to register to vote in the Nov. 4 general election.
 
     Tuesday is the deadline to register.
 
     Early voting begins Oct. 22. Early voting hours and locations by county are posted on the Secretary of State's Office's website, www.sos.wv.gov .

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School Threats
7:07 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

Updated: Former Mussleman High Student Arrested for Making Terroristic Threats

Editor's Note: We have redacted the photo and username of the person in question due to the potential of they being a minor. The tweets included in this post are graphic in nature and have not be edited.

Updated: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.

A former student faces charges of using a hacked Twitter account to threaten a Berkeley County school.

Police arrested 21-year-old Justin Matthew Light of Kearneysville around 1:30 a.m. Monday. Light is charged with making threats of terrorist acts.

Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster Jr. announced the arrest Monday afternoon during a joint news conference with school officials.

Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon says an individual in Massachusetts alerted authorities after seeing the online threats against Musselman High School. The threats were posted on Twitter on Sunday.

The Twitter account belongs to another former student who now attends Fairmont State University.

Light is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail.

Updated: Monday, October 13, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.

Berkeley County Schools says a former student at Musselman High School was arrested Monday for making terroristic threats against the school principal, students and staff. The school system says those responsible will face criminal prosecution. 

Updated: Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 11:29 p.m.

Berkley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster says an investigation is ongoing and a person of interest has been developed after threats were made Sunday to open fire at Musselman High School on Monday morning.

Lemaster says the threats were made after a Twitter account had been hacked. He says the person whose identity was compromised is not a suspect.

Lemaster says law enforcement officials are working towards making an arrest as evidence continues to be collected.

Classes at Musselman High School are planned for Monday.

Lemaster said additional officers will be on call, and law enforcement officials will have an increased presence at Musselman High School and throughout the county to try to ease student and parents concerns.

“We are urging people not to give into their fears on this. We are working hard with so students and staff can safely go to school,” Lemaster said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Virginia State Police, Martinsburg Police and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department were involved in the investigation.

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Inside Appalachia
5:40 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Wild Pawpaws, Gourmet Salt, Wild Ginseng, and a Biscuit Bake-off

Credit Lauren Stonestreet, of Elle Effect Photography

 

In this episode, we’ll travel to Maryland to forage- and eat- wild Pawpaws

And we’ll learn about Anne Braden, one of the early advocates for social equality in Kentucky.

We'll also hear about a new company in West Virginia that’s revived a historic salt-works -and why chefs are loving it.

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CDC rankings
5:01 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

State's Immunization Efforts Receive National Honors

West Virginia is honored by the CDC for its immunization programs.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

West Virginia has received two national honors from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for its efforts to control vaccine-preventable diseases.

The CDC ranks West Virginia among the top three states in the country for having the highest number of adults immunized against the flu. 

Approximately 52% of adults in West Virginia got a flu shot in the 2013-2014 season, compared to 42% nationally.

West Virginia was also cited for being among the top five states for most improved immunization coverage of adolescents, ages 13-17.

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Both from Raleigh County
4:19 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Alpha Rescue Teams Win National Competition

Alpha Natural Resources' mine rescue teams won highest honors in national competition this week.

Mine rescue competition teams from Alpha Natural Resources took first and second place this week at the Nationwide Coal Mine Rescue Skills Championship held in Prosperity, Pennsylvania.

The contest included two days of simulated emergency exercises that involved smoke exploration and ventilation, firefighting, fire hose management, gas detection, air measurements, use of breathing apparatus and a written test.

Twenty four teams from across the country competed.

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Technology & Politics
1:12 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

These (Quasi) Anonymous Social Media Accounts Are Interjecting Themselves Into W.Va. Politics

If you’ve been watching West Virginia politics play out on social media this election season, you’ve probably noticed some pretty vitriolic rhetoric. Some of it comes from the usual suspects--like candidates and their parties. But, some of it--it’s not clear where it’s coming from. Not surprisingly, there are those who contribute to the state’s political discourse through the veil of anonymity.

Byrd's Finger: A Contractor for the Republican Party

When it comes to politics on Twitter, one of the most active accounts in West Virginia is Byrd’s Finger. It’s an obvious reference to the late Democratic senator Robert C. Byrd. But, there’s no question it’s coming from a Republican point of view.

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Viewpoint
10:40 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Candidates on the Attack: The Race for the 2nd Congressional District

The race in the 2nd Congressional District has gotten more and more ugly over the past few weeks as candidates dig in for the final push before Election Day. Democratic candidate Nick Casey talks about his view of the partisan politics in Washington and how he thinks he can make a change, as well as discusses the major issues facing the district.

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West Virginia Morning
8:12 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Is Reality TV Encouraging Ginseng Poaching?

On West Virginia Morning, a report by Glynis Board about how reality shows set in Appalachia are leading to illegal ginseng poaching.  And country music star Martina McBride is along with our Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

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Climate Change
6:34 am
Fri October 10, 2014

W. Va. Sen. Manchin Visits Rhode Island to Discuss Climate Change

Credit Courtesy Photo

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin is visiting the state of Rhode Island today.

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Natural Resouces
7:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Ginseng Reality TV: Cultivating Conservation or Encouraging Extinction?

Frame from National Geographic Channel's new ginseng reality TV show: Smoky Mountain Money, which pits teams against each other to see who can collect the most ginseng.
Credit National Geographic

A new reality TV show that features ginseng hunting premiered this week. Smoky Mountain Gold pits four teams against each other to see who can collect the most wild-ginseng. It comes in the wake of another reality show that aired in January this year, Appalachian Outlaws. Dried ginseng root sells for 400-900 dollars a pound, and these reality shows are generating a lot of new interest in the plant.  That might be a good thing for the ginseng industry… or it might not be.

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Marriage Equality
4:59 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Meet the First Gay Couples to Get Marriage Licenses In West Virginia

Chris Bostic and David Epp were the fist gay couple to get married in Kanawha County.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just a few hours after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he would no longer fight a challenge to West Virginia's gay marriage ban in court and Governor Tomblin directed state agencies to begin taking steps toward allowing the practice, Chris Bostic and David Epp of Charleston were the first couple to apply for a marriage license in Kanawha County.

Moments before, Justin Murdock and William Glavaris, as well as Casie McGee and Sarah Adkins received their licenses to marry in Cabell County.

Counties across West Virginia are issuing the licenses after orders from the state saying not to turn couples away.

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Government
1:19 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Gov. Tomblin, Attorney General Issue Statements on Same-Sex Marriage in West Virginia

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

 

  Update:   The state Department of Health and Human Resources says it expects that county clerks across the state will be able to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples by Tuesday, October 14 at the latest.

  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today issued the following statement regarding same-sex marriage in West Virginia. 

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Sports
11:52 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Worley Reinstated to WVU Mountaineers Football Team

Credit wikimedia commons

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen has reinstated cornerback Daryl Worley after the sophomore pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault in a nightclub altercation.
 
Holgorsen announced the reinstatement Wednesday, clearing the way for Worley to be in uniform for the Mountaineers when they play at Texas Tech on Saturday.
 
Monongalia County Assistant Prosecutor Cindy Scott said today that prosecutors recommended a six-month jail sentence, but a magistrate late Wednesday placed Worley on unsupervised probation until next August.
 

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Weather
10:58 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Second Tornado Confirmed by National Weather Service

Credit wikimedia commons

The National Weather Service has confirmed a second tornado touched down in southern West Virginia this week.

The weather service says the EF2 tornado traveled more than 3 miles after it touched down around 10:45 p.m. Tuesday a half mile west of Odd in Raleigh County. It had maximum winds between 120 and 125 miles per hour.

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Appalachia
8:37 am
Thu October 9, 2014

How Can We Keep Young People in Appalachia?

Appalachian Region of the United States
Credit wikimedia commons

An event being held in northwest Alabama will look at ways to keep young people in Appalachia.
 
The fall conference of the Appalachian Regional Commission will be held Thursday in Florence, Alabama.
 
The session will look at ways to keep young people in the region and prevent the loss of potential workers, community leaders and business owners.

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Arts & Culture
8:23 am
Thu October 9, 2014

W. Va. Music Hall of Famer Nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

W. Va. native Bill Withers has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Credit wikimedia commons

"Lean on Me" singer and West Virginia native Bill Withers is among the first-time nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Six of the 15 nominees for the hall's Class of 2015 are on the ballot for the first time. The new nominees were announced on Thursday.

Results of the voting will be announced in December, with the induction planned for next April in Cleveland.

Withers was born the youngest of six children in the small coal-mining town of Slab Fork, West Virginia and raised in nearby Beckley.

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West Virginia Morning
8:00 am
Thu October 9, 2014

New State Superintendent of Schools Reveals Education Priorities

On West Virginia Morning, Wednesday marked the first official state board of education meeting for West Virginia’s new superintendent of schools.  Ashton Marra will have a report.  And we’ll visit the J.Q. Dickinson Salt Works in Malden, Kanawha County.

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Appetite Appalachia
5:30 am
Thu October 9, 2014

Historic Salt Company Is Alive Again in Malden

Credit Lauren Stonestreet, of Elle Effect Photography

 

In 1851, salt from the Kanawha Valley was awarded the world's best salt at the World's Fair in London. Now, more than 160 years later, one of those old salt companies has been revived by brother and sister Nancy Bruns and Lewis Payne. Last weekend, the JQ Dickinson Salt-Works celebrated their 1-year-anniversary. I toured the salt-works and talked with Chef April Hamilton as she prepared food for the salt soiree.

 

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Public Education
11:17 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Local Control Returned to Grant County BOE

Grant County Board of Education President Scotty Miley addressed the state board before their vote Wednesday.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to return local control of the school district to the Grant County Board of Education after nearly five years of intervention.

The system was taken over in 2009 after and audit showed the county was failing in multiple areas, including curriculum, student achievement and lacked leadership.

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