News

Legislative auditors told an interim legislative committee the state's $38 million expansion of a statewide microwave communications network ignored West Virginia purchasing laws. Legislative leaders say they’re committed to reviewing the purchase process to prevent future misconduct.

Journalist and author Wil Haygood
Courtesy Photo

In most cases, a novel or biography inspires a film. But for journalist and author Wil Haygood, the sequence has been dramatically different.  A November 7th, 2008 article by Haygood in The Washington Post inspired the Lee Daniels film The Butler and then Haygood went back to write the book, The Butler: A Witness to History.            

Republican state leaders have been arguing for years that the state tax rates are preventing businesses from bringing jobs to West Virginia. Projected growth shows that while they may not come at the same rate those lawmakers want to see, jobs will come as the national economy turns around. There’s another factor, however, that’s starting to worry educators when it comes to the state’s economic future. And that’s the number of highly skilled workers ready to fill those positions.

In her first appearance before legislators, Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Karen Bowling said the department is not yet prepared to release a detailed response to a performance review completed earlier this year. Instead, she shared some generalizations about major issues the department is trying to address. The biggest of those issues is hiring and retaining the necessary personnel to run the state’s largest agency.

Beth Vorhees / WV Public Radio

June 20, 2013 · West Virginia is the only state in the Union that was created as a direct result of the Civil War. When war broke out in 1861 and Virginia seceded from the Union, some living in that state’s western regions saw it as an opportunity to break away and create a new state.

 

On this WV Morning, high school seniors are reporting feeling inadequate when it comes to college preparedness, the Great Ohio River Relay runs through Huntington, and more.

  Members of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition hosted a rally Monday morning in Huntington. 

  Their effort focuses on shedding light on the transfer of waste water on barges.

The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition hosted a group from the northern panhandle called the Wheeling Water Warriors. This group of Wheeling Warriors organized after a waste water treatment plant was proposed to be built near Wheeling. Since then they have led a charge that includes organizing The Great Ohio River Relay.

Blues fans have long looked to the Mississippi Delta or Chicago for a taste of authentic Americana, but a new compilation draws attention to another region: Appalachia. Classic Appalachian Blues, from Smithsonian Folkways, features acoustic finger-style blues assembled by music professor Barry Lee Pearson and archivist Jeff Place.

WVU Solar Decathlon Team begins California competition

Sep 23, 2013
West Virginia University

The West Virginia University Solar Decathlon team is waking up this morning in California, beginning its preparations for the 2013 Solar Decathlon competition. WVU is one of a handful of schools from around the world that’s competing.

The team is taking 29 people, including students, to spend several weeks competing in this event. The teams will be taking on Herculean tasks, so to speak, by building a home in a week, complete with several energy saving amenities, before being judged on its contents.

Lawmakers delayed hearing a report from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Monday that showed only half of the state’s graduating seniors felt academically prepared to go on to college.

Chancellor Paul Hill was scheduled to present the report to the Legislative Oversight Committee on Education Accountability Monday, but the item was pushed until next month’s legislative interims because of time.

Tim O'Brien and Larry Groce
Dave Mistich

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Mountain Stage celebrated 30 years of live performance radio at the Americana Music Association's Conference in Nashville last week. Host Larry Groce and Producer Adam Harris were joined by singer-songwriters Tim O'Brien, Kim Richey and Chip Taylor for a special panel to discuss the show's history and its impact on American music and culture.

Here are a few images taken during the hour-long panel, which featured discussion and performances: 

  A special feature on the mind behind the film A Beautiful Mind, John Nash. Also, WVU's Solar Decathlon team competes in CA. Those stories and more.

New environmental regs, coal a tourism draw in southern W.Va, an historic clock in downtown Lexington Ky. restored and Big Stone Gap Va. gets a taste of Hollywood.

WVU Professor on EPA Regulations: With the proposed regulations targeting new coal-fired power plants, one West Virginia University law professor is predicting new challenges for the region’s coal industry.

The sound of the cicada

Sep 23, 2013
A West Virginia cicada at Big Ben Campground
Jarek Tuszynski / Wikimedia

Yes, the cicada announces the season’s change like no other. I wanted to know more about cicadas and their cacophonous songs. I spoke with entomologist Dr. Tracy Leskey.

So, what exactly are cicadas?

Dr. Leskey: Well, you know cicadas are insects that belong to what we call the order Hemiptera which is the order of insects to which the true bugs belong. Not all insects are bugs, but there are a group of insects that are literally referred to by entomologists as bugs and cicadas are one of those.

Are they special in any kind of way?

 

   The American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor Museum housed in the Brook Count Public Library began when one WWII POW donated memories. Eddie Jackfert shares memories and advice.

On September 11, 1940, Jackfert enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and eventually assigned to serve as an airplane mechanic on the Philippine Islands in June 1941. He was 19 years old.

“We were sacrificed and abandoned in the Philippines. We were.  19,000 Americans. Troops in there. We were abandoned.”

Theater fans statewide mourn loss of Theatre WV

Sep 20, 2013

Some fans of the stage are already feeling the loss of one of the state's largest theaters.

EPA proposals would cap carbon emissions

Sep 20, 2013

The Environmental Protection Agency's plan to address carbon emissions, which result from burning coal, include capping the amount of emissions allowed to be released from plants.

The proposals sparked anger from most of West Virginia's federal delegation, with the exception of retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

How tough is it to start your own business in WV?

Sep 20, 2013
West Virginia Small Business Development Center
West Virginia Small Business Development Center

  The West Virginia Small Business Development Center showed a crowd of entrepreneurs and business owners how technology can help tackle small business needs.

In the third of five planned workshops throughout the state, the West Virginia Small Business Development Center walked entrepreneurs through the process of beginning their own business. This workshop focused on the necessity of technology to make it in today’s market. Justin Gaull is the Technology Commercialization manager for the Center.

West Virginia Morning - Sept. 20, 2013

Sep 20, 2013

We celebrate and remember National POW/MIA Day, listening to the story of Eddie Jackfert. Also, Theater WV closes its curtains. Those stories and more.  

Tennis greats at the Greenbrier this weekend

Sep 20, 2013
wikimedia

Tennis champion Pete Sampras returns to West Virginia this weekend for the Greenbrier Champions Tennis Classic.  This is the second annual event.  Sampras won last year's inaugural tennis exposition.
    Sampras will be joined by other tennis greats Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Tommy Haas.  Lendl and McEnroe will play the opening singles match at noon Saturday.  The Americans Sampras and McEnroe will play Europeans Lendl and Haas in a doubles match on Sunday.

WVU law professor talks expected EPA power plant rules

Sep 19, 2013
AEP's Mountaineer plant in New Haven, WV. 2009
Keri Brown

With new regulations expected to come from the Environmental Protection Agency on coal-fired power plants, one West Virginia University law professor is predicting new challenges for the state coal industry.  James Van Nostrand is a law professor at the WVU law school, who specializes in energy law. He fully expects legal challenges to be presented by the coal industry in response to the EPA’s new guidelines which are slated to be released this week.

Ashton Marra

  The U.S. Attorney for Southern West Virginia is again charging Mingo County Circuit Judge Michael Thornsbury with conspiring to deprive a resident of his constitutional rights.

Here is the news release from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin’s office:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                          Sept. 19, 2013                   

GOODWIN CHARGES MINGO JUDGE IN SECOND CONSPIRACY

West Virginia Morning - Sept. 19, 2013

Sep 19, 2013

On this WV Morning, learn about the music scene in the state, hear from a law professor about new threats to the coal industry, and hear the history of famous Omie Wise ballad.

West Virginia’s substance abuse problem is one focus of the Integrated Behavioral Health Conference in Charleston this week.  Professionals from health care, government and law enforcement are meeting to find the best ways to handle substance abuse and other mental health needs.

Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling said the idea of the conference began a couple years ago and that the goal is to combine resources in hopes of learning and progressing the field.

Kathy Kelly is an a peace activist, a pacifist, and an author. She’s been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize three times. Her life's work has been traveling to war zones around the world to be a voice for people who are endangered and trapped by the political games of governments battling over economic bones. She's visiting Morgantown this week talking with students from West Virginia University, members of the media, and community members.

    

Path of the Pacifist

INTO off to the start they hoped for at Marshall

Sep 17, 2013

  International students from all over the world are a few weeks into their first semester at Marshall 

  University through a new program called INTO.

About 160 students from the other side of the world are new to the Marshall campus this fall.

It's official; Natalie Tennant enters U.S. Senate race

Sep 17, 2013
Jessica Y. Lilly

 West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant officially entered the U.S. Senate race. The Democrat announced her candidacy in front of about 100 supporters at the Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley Tuesday. 

“I am here after serious thought intense conversations with my family and a whole lot of prayer," Tennant said, "I am here today to tell you that I’m running for the United States Senate.”
 

After walking through a crowd of democrats, Natalie Tennant took the podium to share some of her views on national political issues.

This post was last updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

The victims of the Navy Yard shootings that brought panic and tragedy to a corner of Washington, D.C., on Monday morning are in many people's thoughts as their names and other information are released. We'll collect what we know about the victims here.

West Virginia Morning - September 16, 2013

Sep 16, 2013

On this WV Morning, a West Virginia native is finding success as a game show historian, and we take a minute to remember former WV Poet Laureate Irene McKinney.

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