News

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear about U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions's visit to Charleston. We also spend time with photographer Roger May, interviewed by Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly as part of this week's episode about music, religion and the song Amazing Grace.

We also feature a new tune from Mountain Stage's Song of the Week.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

The fire was rough on Colt. He didn’t hear from his mother for weeks at a time, and he lost a lot of sleep worrying about where she was staying, and what would happen to her, now that she was homeless. He and his mom drifted apart again, and they haven’t spoken much over the past few months.

But winter was, in many ways, a turning point for Colt.

HHS Sec. Tom Price speaking at a press conference at the state Capitol.
Ashton Marra / WVPB

All three West Virginia Congressmen voted for the American Health Care Act – the bill to repeal Obamacare.

Critics say it would hurt low-income and older people, both of which are found in abundance in West Virginia. Supporters say Obamacare has failed to offer affordable health care options to many. We debate who’s right.

Also, should pets be allowed in the workplace? And if so, under what conditions?

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is marking his release from federal custody with an appeal for vindication by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Blankenship served a one-year federal prison sentence after being convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws. The charges stemmed from the disaster at a Massey Energy mine in West Virginia in 2010 that left 29 coal miners dead.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

Can coal make a comeback? That’s the title of a new report from Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. Researchers there analyzed the factors leading to the coal industry’s sharp decline over the past six years and assessed the Trump administration’s efforts to revive it.

Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs / http://www.clarksburg.va.gov/

Veterans who receive care from the Clarksburg VA medical center lead the nation in a program that prevents drug overdose deaths. The program distributes Naloxone rescue kits to veterans who are at risk of overdose. Many of the kits have been used by veterans to save civilians who may have otherwise overdosed from opioids.

Veterans returning from combat often struggle with chronic pain and/or mental illness, and many are taking multiple medications. When combined… or when alcohol or non-prescribed drugs are also taken, these drugs can lead to a deadly overdose.

Sam Owens / Associated Press

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions highlighted the importance of prevention at a stop in Charleston Thursday before a summit on the opioid epidemic. 

Sessions gave the opening remarks at the West Virginia Opioid Summit at the University of Charleston Thursday morning. 

Perry Bennet / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Senate President Mitch Carmichael believes lawmakers are getting close to a budget deal after taking a 10-day recess from the special budget session called by Gov. Jim Justice at the beginning of the month.

The Legislature returned to session May 4 for two days, but when they were unable to reach a compromise, recessed and will return Monday, May 15.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Senate President Mitch Carmichael says legislative leaders and the Governor are inching closer to a budget deal that he's "optimistic" can be approved by next week.

Carmichael says that budget deal will be based on a tax reform plan approved in the Senate last week that was voted down twice in the House.

Dan Heyman
John Raby / AP

A West Virginia journalist arrested after repeatedly asking U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price a question said he did nothing wrong, and his attorney and the media outlet's founder want the charge dropped.

Reporter Daniel Ralph Heyman, who works for the independent Public News Service, was arrested by police at the state Capitol in Charleston during Price's visit Tuesday.

President Edwin Welch
ucwv.edu

University of Charleston President Edwin H. Welch has announced his retirement, effective in June 2018.

Welch has been president of the school since 1989, when it had 736 full-time students. Last fall, full-time enrollment reached a record 1,848.

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives approved a Trump-backed healthcare bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Sen. Joe Manchin believes the bill has major issues and will likely move slowly through the U.S. Senate.

Malcolm Portera
Marshal.edu

An internationally known economic development expert told a crowd at Marshall University Wednesday that higher education institutions can be the key to growing a state's economy.

Malcolm Portera, a chancellor emeritus of the University of Alabama System, was at Marshall to outline ideas and initiatives he's headed in Mississippi and Alabama to improve the economy there.  The 71-year-old Portera has helped the southeast with programs that have driven the manufacturing back to the region resulting in $15 billion in capital investments. Portera said much of that economic investment is tied to the universities and was accomplished during his time at Mississippi State University and with the University of Alabama System.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP Images

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin is calling on the president to appoint a special prosecutor in the investigation into Russia’s potential tampering in the 2016 presidential race.

The call comes after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey Wednesday.

West Virginia Governor's Office

As lawmakers continue negotiating a budget deal at the state Capitol, Gov. Jim Justice took a trip to Greenbrier and Monroe counties this week to host President Donald Trump's son, Don Jr., for a hunting and fishing excursion.

According to a press release issued by the Governor's Office Wednesday, the pair hunted turkey and fished for trout while discussing “the pressing issues facing West Virginia and the United States.”

A reporter in West Virginia was arrested and charged with a crime Tuesday after he repeatedly attempted to question Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Price was walking through a hallway in the state Capitol, which he was visiting with Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway as part of a "listening tour" on the opioid crisis. Several protesters were gathered in the hallway, as was Dan Heyman, a reporter for the Public News Service.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, U.S. Health and Human Resources Secretary Tom Price talks with West Virginia officials about the state's opioid addiction crisis during a stop on a Trump Administration listening tour.

We also hear from two West Virginia University addiction specialists about the language of addiction and how it affects treatment outcomes.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is finishing up a one-year federal prison sentence arising from the deadliest U.S. mine explosion in four decades.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons website, Blankenship was set to be released Wednesday from a halfway house in Phoenix, Arizona. He must serve one year of supervised release.

Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

"A voice that's part Memphis, part Chicago and all woman," Shemekia Copeland returns to the Mountain Stage with a fiery performance of "The Battle is Over (But the War Goes On). Catch it on over 200+ NPR stations during this week's all-new Mountain Stage broadcast.

West Virginia Legislative Photography

A West Virginia reporter was arrested at the state Capitol Tuesday before a meeting held by U.S. Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price.

Dan Heyman of the Public News Service was charged with a misdemeanor offense of willfully disrupting a governmental process.

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