News

West Virginia Morning
8:01 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Mountain Top Removal Mining Near Kanawha State Forest, Climate Change on Brook Trout & More

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports from the Kanawha State Forest where some residents are concerned about a mountain top removal mine site close by.  A West Virginia scientistsis experimenting how an Appalachian fish will adapt to climate change and we’ll visit with 81 year old Tom Toliver who has been creating community gardens on Charleston’s west side.

Read more
Agriculture
12:03 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Something New is Sprouting on Charleston's West Side

Stephanie Hysmith and Tom Toliver building the raised beds this spring
Credit Jaime Rinehart, of the WVSU EDC.

The first of Tom Toliver’s gardens is in what looks like an unlikely place—there’s a lumber mill across the street, a busy road without sidewalks, and the garden itself is nudged in between a pawn shop and a DeWalt tool center. Along 6th street, a mom and her two kids walk by carrying groceries from the nearby Family Dollar. Toliver also lives down the street. He believes that putting gardens in urban areas, like Charleston’s West Side, helps reduce crime and revitalize the neighborhood.

Read more
Mountaintop Removal
10:16 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

New Coalition Battles Mine Site Near State Forest

Kanawha County resident Doug Woods points out Middle Lick Mountain just over his shoulder, a site that has been approved for mountaintop removal mining near the Kanawha State Forest.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 7 miles outside of Charleston sits 9,300 acres of protected land. The Kanawha State Forest is home to hiking and biking trails, campsites and a shooting range, but just a few hundred acres away, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved a mountain top removal mine site.

The Kanawha State Forest Coalition, a group of concerned Kanawha County residents, formed to fight the site and get the administration to withdraw the permit, saving hundreds of plant and animal species on Middle Lick Mountain where mining is set to begin.

Read more
LGBT
4:50 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Transgender Women Claim Mistreatment at W.Va. DMVs

Credit West Virginia Department of Transportation

 Two transgender women say they were ordered to remove their makeup, jewelry and wigs at West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles offices if they wanted new driver's license photos.

Trudy Kitzmiller says employees at offices in Martinsburg belittled her, calling her a genderless "it." Kristen Skinner described similar treatment in Charles Town.

The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund last month wrote state transportation officials to ask for new photos for the women. The letter said denying them a new photo would violate constitutional free speech rights.

Read more
Politics
4:45 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

West Virginia GOP Re-Elects Chairman

Credit Courtesy Photo

  Conrad Lucas of Huntington has been re-elected to a full four-year term as chairman of the West Virginia Republican Party.

The state GOP says in a news release Saturday that its Executive Committee unanimously re-elected Lucas at its annual summer meeting in Huntington.

Lucas served as the state party's general counsel and chairman of the West Virginia Young Republicans before being chosen chairman in 2012. He succeeded Mike Stewart, who resigned to focus on career and family.

Read more
Medical Examinations
2:59 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Understaffing Delays West Virginia Autopsy Reports

Credit Ralf Roletschek / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

  Law enforcement officials say understaffing is delaying autopsy reports from the West Virginia Medical Examiner's Office.

The Charleston Gazette reports that three of the office's six medical examiner's positions are vacant.

Putnam County prosecutor Mark Sorsaia says waiting for autopsy reports can delay cases.

Regional Jail Authority director Joe DeLong also is concerned. In cases involving inmate deaths, DeLong says there's only so much that corrections officials can do until they have records from the Medical Examiner's Office.

Read more
Scientific Research
12:07 am
Sun July 13, 2014

How Will Brook Trout Respond To Climate Change?

Scientist Than Hitt is researching how brook trout might respond to climate change in this lab in Leetown, West Virginia.
Credit Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As the climate changes, scientists around the world are trying to figure out how plants, animals and even people will be affected. One scientist in West Virginia is conducting an experiment to find out how well a fish native to Appalachian streams might survive.

This audio is pending

Biologist Than Hitt works at the U.S. Geological Survey Leetown Science Center in Jefferson County, West Virginia, where scientists explore everything from declining fish and mussel populations to the increasing presence of intersex fish in the nation’s waterways. Hitt has just started a new research project: trying to determine how climate change might affect the brook trout.

Read more
Inside Appalachia Podcast
12:06 am
Sat July 12, 2014

How Mountaintop Removal Affects Fish, Tourism Along the Clinch River, An Appalachian Opera and More

Research shows mountaintop removal mining does impact fish populations.

Southwestern Virginia is trying to boost its economy using culture and nature.

Appalachian food is the topic of a summit in Kentucky.

And a new play delves into the issue of sexual assault in the military.

Read more
Carbon Rules
4:04 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

U.S. Appeals Panel Stands by EPA in Coal Ruling

Credit epa.gov

A federal appeals court is declining to stand in the way of the Obama administration's efforts to block water pollution from mountaintop removal coal mining.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued the ruling Friday, according to The Charleston Gazette.

It concluded that the Environmental Protection Agency was within its authority to consult with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers about Clean Water Act permits for mining operations.

Read more
Health
12:49 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

With School Starting Soon, It's Time to Boost Vaccinations

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources urges parents to take action to ensure children have the proper vaccinations before school starts.  

Read more
Health
12:25 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

W.Va. Officials Launch Behavioral Health Program

  West Virginia officials are launching an initiative to help Medicaid members with behavioral health diagnoses live healthier and happier lives.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Medical Services said it launched the Health Homes initiative for behavioral health on July 1.

Read more
Environment
11:29 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Air Checks Not Planned During Freedom Industries Tank Removal

Credit AP

  State and federal environmental officials say they don't have a way to monitor air quality as chemical storage tanks are taken down at the industrial site that fouled public drinking supplies for 300,000 West Virginia water customers.

The work is scheduled to begin next week at the former Freedom Industries site on the Elk River.

A spokeswoman for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection told The Charleston Gazette the state lacks the technology to perform the air testing for traces of the toxic chemical MCHM. She also said there are no established screening values for safe inhalation levels.

Read more
Investigation
10:37 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Chemical Safety Board to Discuss West Virginia Explosion, Spill

  The federal Chemical Safety Board is coming to Charleston next week to release findings about a New Cumberland metal recycling plant explosion that killed three workers in December 2010.

The board said Thursday that it also will update the public on its investigation of a January chemical spill at the July 16 meeting. The Freedom Industries tank leak contaminated drinking in the Kanawha Valley for days.

Read more
Energy & Environment
10:30 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Manchin Wants Public to Speak Out on EPA Carbon Rules

  U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin is encouraging West Virginia residents to speak out on new pollution limits.

Manchin is directing state residents to the Federal Register to voice their concerns regarding the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired plants. The Federal Register serves as a federal portal where all Americans can voice their comments before any federal government agency's proposed rule can be implemented.

Read more
West Virginia Morning
9:49 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Retailers Ban Pseudoephedrine, New Cancer Research, Shepherdstown Theater Festival & Bottle Rockets

Ashton Marra speaks with Senator Greg Tucker--who backed a bill to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine--about major retail pharmacies announcing plans to stop selling the drugs. Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a nearly $500,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research involving canalization. The 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University  features plays exploring the topics of our day. Also, The Bottle Rockets perform "Big Lots of Love" on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

Meth Labs
4:48 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Senator Who Backed Pseudoephedrine Restrictions Reacts to CVS Ban

Sen. Greg Tucker
Credit West Virginia Legislature

Two major retailers in West Virginia announced this week they would no longer be selling some over the counter cold medications in their stores. CVS Pharmacies stopped selling single-ingredient pseudoephedrine medicines in late June and Walgreens intends to follow suit.

Senator Greg Tucker of Nicholas County sponsored legislation this year intended to curb the meth problem by making psuedoephedrine—meth’s main ingredient—available only by a doctor’s prescription. The bill, however, died in the final hours of the session.

Read more
Theater Festival
4:41 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Contemporary Plays Take the Stage in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Kaliswa Brewster as "Alicia G." in One Night by Charles Fuller.
Credit Seth Freeman / Contemporary American Theater Festival

Starting this weekend in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, theater lovers will be able to explore such topics of the day as: how the country treats its veterans, artificial intelligence and the ethics of assisted suicide.

The line up for the 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at
Shepherd University features a play by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Charles Fuller that focuses on sexual assault in the U.S. military.

Read more
Cancer Research
3:17 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

What Is Canalization?

Credit Marshall University

Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a $432,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research. It involves something called canalization.

Dr. Sollars is an associate professor in the Marshall University School of Medicine. He’s taking an unusual approach to find better treatments for cancer.

“In the end what we’re looking at is making life better for people that have this deadly disease, that’s the main reason I became a scientist,” Sollars said.

Read more
Law & Order
1:44 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Second Guilty Plea Comes in Arch Coal Kickback Case

A second Logan County man has pleaded guilty in connection to a kickback scheme at an Arch Coal mine.

In U.S. District Court in Charleston, Alvis Porter pleaded guilty Thursday to failing to pay employment taxes. He faces up to five years in prison.

The 61-year-old admitted to paying $400,000 in kickbacks to the manager at Arch's Mountain Laurel Mining complex in Logan County.

Porter, formerly Logan's circuit clerk, will be sentenced Oct. 16.

Read more
Chemical Spill
1:27 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Study: MCHM Could Be More Toxic Than Previously Thought

Credit AP

  A new study shows a chemical that spilled into West Virginia's biggest drinking water supply in January could be more toxic than a previous test indicated. But the researcher behind the study cautions there are differences between his tests and earlier studies.

University of South Alabama researcher Dr. Andrew Whelton released the findings Thursday from crude MCHM toxicity tests on freshwater fleas.

Read more

Pages