Public Health
12:03 am
Fri November 14, 2014

WVU Public Health Dialogue: Does Being Poor Mean Being Sick?

Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and Director of the Center of Social Disparities and Health and the University of California, San Fransisco, Paula Braveman. She’s been studying and publishing extensively on health equity and the social determinants of health for over 25 years.
Credit UCSF

Stress. We all live with it, but at what point does it become toxic? When do social pressures turn from a healthy challenge to a source of poison? These are some of the ideas turned over in a public health dialogue at West Virginia University last week that explored the "social determinants of health." Guest-speaker Dr. Paula Braveman spoke about how social factors in our lives play a role in our health.

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Upper Big Branch
11:37 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

UBB Victim's Father Reacts to Blankenship Indictment

Gary Quarles

Gary Quarles lost his son in the Upper Big Branch disaster. Since then, he's looked for peace, understanding and justice.

Quarles wanted to see Don Blankenship held accountable for the conditions at the mine and the death of his son.

Blankenship's Reputation

Quarles worked for Massey Energy as buggy operator for nine years and he knows first hand what kind of operation Blankenship was running.

“Don Blankenship’s name was known throughout Massey," he said.

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8:15 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Parkersburg's Panhandlers Say Signs Calling Them Addicts Are Insulting and Defamatory

A month ago the city of Parkersburg posted signs around town asking the public not to give to panhandlers. But some people still do. And some panhandlers say the signs aren’t just ineffective. They’re insulting. Even defamatory.

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Higher Education
7:13 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

WVU Suspends Fraternity and Sorority Activities, Student Dies

Credit Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

An 18-year-old student at the center of an investigation into the conduct at fraternities and sororities at WVU has died.

Late Wednesday night, police were called to the Kappa Sigma fraternity. They found someone performing CPR on Michael Nolan Burch. Preston said Burch had no pulse and wasn't breathing. He was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital, where he died today.  

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Chemical Spill
5:29 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Freedom Industries May Clean Less of River Site

Credit AP

  The bankrupt company that leaked a coal processing chemical into Charleston's Elk River in January could reduce the amount of contaminated material it needs to clean from its polluted storage site.

The Charleston Gazette reports that West Virginia state environmental regulators revealed a proposed agreement Thursday in which Freedom Industries would enter a voluntary toxic cleanup program to remediate the site.

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UBB Investigation
4:31 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship Indicted on Four Federal Charges

Credit Brianhayden1980 / wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted on four federal charges Thursday. The charges stem from a years-long investigation led by the FBI and the United States Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General into an April 5, 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine owned by Massey that killed 29 miners. 

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4:14 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Longtime Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship Indicted

Lead in text: 
As The Charleston Gazete's Ken Ward reports, former Massey Enegry CEO Don Blankenship was indicted Thursday on federal charges that he violated mine safety laws at the Upper Big Mine before an April 2010 explosion killed 29 miners. The indictident comes from a years-long investigation from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office in West Virginia's Southern Distict.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive of Massey Energy, was indicted today on charges that he violated federal mine safety laws at the company's Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. U.S.
Same Sex Marriage
12:27 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

W.Va. Revising Tax Forms to Include Gay Marriages

Credit Palosirkka / wikimedia Commons

  West Virginia is updating its tax forms to reflect court rulings overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage.

A recent administrative notice filed by the state Tax Department says gender will no longer be considered when married couples' personal income tax filings are processed.

Tax Department spokeswoman Lalena Price tells The Charleston Daily Mail that the agency is updating language used in all of its materials, including forms and brochures, to remove terms such as "husband" and "wife."

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12:23 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Cabell Co. School Scare Prompts FEMA Site Visit Review

  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is reviewing its site visit procedures after a staff member's appearance at two West Virginia elementary schools caused a scare.

Cabell County Schools spokesman Jedd Flowers said Thursday that school officials weren't notified prior to the worker's visit on Monday.

Flowers says the worker showed one school's principal his identification badge. But she didn't think the badge was legitimate. The man left and the principal notified county school officials, who contacted police.

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Memorial Fountain Ceremony
11:32 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Marshall University Set to Remember Those Lost in Crash with Fountain Ceremony

The 1970 team lost in the crash.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Marshall University, Wayne County, Tri-State Airport, Marshall University Student Center

The Marshall University community will recognize the 44th anniversary of the 1970 plane crash Friday at noon with the annual fountain ceremony.

Each year on the anniversary of the plane crash, November 14th, a ceremony is held around the memorial fountain in the middle of Marshall’s campus.

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West Virginia Morning
8:22 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Mine Safety Threatened by Deliquent Fines

On West Virginia Morning, Jessica Lilly talks with NPR’s Howard Berkes about his investigation that links delinquent fines for mine safety violations to more injured coal miners.  And schools in Mingo County are no longer under state control after the state board of education gave back control to the local school board yesterday, but the board remains concerned about educational conditions in Fayette County.

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Local Control
11:25 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

State BOE Updated on Fayette County Intervention

West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin and state Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano receive a report during the board's November meeting.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

During the West Virginia Board of Education's November meeting Wednesday, Fayette County Superintendent Serena Starcher presented board members with the results of a survey and analysis of the performance of the county's secondary schools.

In October 2013, the state board directed the county to conduct the study specific to Meadow Bridge High School, a school a proposed facilities plan for the county would have consolidated if approved. Starcher said Wednesday, however, the county decided to expand the study to all middle and high schools.

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Investigating Delinquent Mine Fines
6:01 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Investigating Delinquent Mines: The Story Behind The Story

Anna Boiko-Weyrauch and Howard Berkes at Southern Coal's Tams No. 1 Surface Mine near Beckley.
Credit Patrick Graham

Another West Virginia coal miner died this week, the fifth death this year. It's a tough reality in the coalfields where families regularly pray that loved ones will come home from a day's work, as they have for decades.

As incidents are reported, media outlets often share the amount of citations or delinquent fines of the mine where the accident occurred. But to what end?

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5:36 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Senate President: W.Va. Senate Coalfields Initiative Will Continue

Credit West Virginia Legislature

  Democratic Senate President Jeff Kessler says an initiative to revitalize the struggling southern coalfields will continue.

In a news release Wednesday, Kessler said a second listening tour stop is set for the evening of Nov. 18 in Oak Hill.

The Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE, aims to diversify southern West Virginia. The panel plans to make recommendations before the January legislative session.

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Impersonation of Federal Officer
4:09 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Charleston Man Pleads Guilty to Impersonation

Credit Chasingsol/Wikimedia Commons

A Charleston man has pleaded guilty to impersonating a federal law enforcement officer.

The U.S. attorney's office says 52-year-old John E. Swain II entered his guilty plea Wednesday in federal court in Charleston. Swain faces up to three years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 23.

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Public Education
11:42 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Mingo County Schools Returned to Local Control

The West Virginia Board of Education at their November meeting in Mingo County.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education returned local control to Mingo County Schools after nearly 10 years of intervention. 

Board members voted unanimously Wednesday during their November meeting at Mingo Central High School in Delbarton.

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West Virginia Morning
8:16 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Race Matters in Appalachia

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra reports from the Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia held yesterday in Charleston.  And on the heels of a new agreement between the United States and China to limit greenhouse gases, Glynis Board explores a new report about ways to reduce emissions in West Virginia. 

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1:30 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Four Ways West Virginia Can Reduce CO2 Emissions

Credit Dave Mistich / Data From U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Can West Virginia reduce CO2 emissions? The short answer, according to a new report, is yes. Will West Virginia reduce CO2 emissions? That's another question...

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Race Issues
8:03 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Summit Brings Racial Issues to Forefront

The Summit on Race Matters in Appalachian opened Monday night with a panel discussion in the Culture Center Theater.
Ashton Marra West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Over the past two days, dozens of people gathered in Charleston to have conversations organizers appropriately refer to as “racy.” The Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia pulled West Virginians from all areas, all backgrounds into the capital city to discuss how national racial tensions seen in places like Ferguson, Missouri, materialize right here at home. 

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1:36 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Coal Miner Killed Monday in Monongalia Co. Mining Accident

State regulators say a coal miner is dead following an accident at a Monongalia County mine.

The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training said Tuesday that 49-year-old Raymond Scott Savage of Maidsville was killed Monday night at Redbone Mining Company's Crawdad No. 1 Mine.

The office says in a news release that Savage was struck by a piece of rock while operating a roof bolting machine. He was a section foreman.

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