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The Center for Disease Control’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health released a study on the largest cluster of complicated black lung cases ever reported. Kara Lofton spoke with WVU School of Public Health physicians Carl Werntz and Anna Allen about the study and what it means for West Virginia.

ALLEN: We actually have been noticing this trend over the last, about 18 years, that it has been going back up. And I think this might have just been the study that captured it in a, in the big picture.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Frontier telecommunications says acts of vandalism disrupted service in three West Virginia cities, including interruptions to 911 centers.

Frontier announced a $10,000 reward for information on the alleged theft or intentional damage to infrastructure. The company says vandalism led to service interruptions in Hedgesville, Oceana and Fairmont this Saturday.


Daniel Walker / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


For more than 85 years, the West Virginia Capitol building has housed the iconic crystal chandelier, illuminating the rotunda for generations of lawmakers and visitors who pass below -- its presence a fixture in the statehouse.

 

But now, it’s been taken down.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump walk from Marine One towards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, March 19, 2018.
Susan Walsh / Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s plan to combat opioid drug addiction calls for stiffer penalties for drug traffickers, including the death penalty where appropriate under current law, a top administration official said. It’s a fate for drug dealers that Trump has been highlighting publicly in recent weeks.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting had the chance to interview our U.S. senators about the issues facing Congress and the nation. Usually, our reporters come up with the questions, but this time, we asked you, our audience, to come up with questions to ask Sen. Shelley Moore Capito.

Concord University
Sterling Snyder

UPDATE 3/20 5:30 PM - CANCELED: The symposium has been canceled due to weather. Organizers hope to reschedule this summer. 

WVU forward Teddy Allen gestures during the first half of the team's second-round NCAA college basketball tournament game against Marshall on Sunday, March 18, 2018, in San Diego.
Denis Poroy / Associated Press

Jevon Carter scored 28 points, Lamont West added 18 off the bench and West Virginia overwhelmed its in-state rival beating Marshall 94-71 on Sunday night in the second-round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Mountain State showdown more than 2,000 miles from home was a one-sided celebration for the fifth-seeded Mountaineers.

We asked you which questions to ask Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and you came through. Our news team selected these five to ask.

We encourage you to listen to the entire interview, and let us and Senator Capito know what you think through social media - @wvpublicnews, @radiofinn and @SenCapito on twitter, of Senator Capito’s or WVPB’s Facebook pages.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Since late February tree sitters have been perched in two trees atop Peters Mountain in Monroe County. They are so remote, few have seen or heard directly from the protestors, but still there’s plenty of people noticing. Nancy Andrews reports. 

And we’ll hear a preview of this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, which explores the lessons of the recent W.Va. Teacher Strike.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated March 17, 2018 12:00 p.m.:

A West Virginia judge has granted Frontier Communications a temporary restraining order against its protesting employees. Roughly 1,400 Frontier Communications employees in West Virginia and Ashburn, Virginia, represented by the Communication Workers of America have been striking since March 4 after union leaders and the company failed to reach a contract agreement.

Iraq War Veteran Finds Peace Through Maple Farming

Mar 16, 2018
West Virginia Department of Agriculture

This story was produced by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as part of a collaboration among the agency, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Inside Appalachia.

Iraq War veteran Jeremy Ray was looking for a hobby to help fill his time. What he found was a way to heal his wounds. Ray is the proud owner of Gauley River Maple, and this year is his first season as a maple producer. He heard about maple syrup through the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program, aimed at retraining veterans for careers in agriculture. 


TYLER EVERT / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The nine-day teachers’ strike in West Virginia made headlines across the country, and some are wondering what the events mean for state’s political landscape. How did a widespread labor strike, a practice normally associated with Democrats, happen in a state that voted so heavily for Donald Trump?

We wanted to take a step back to explore how politics have been changing here over the past generation. West Virginia has been dubbed the heart of Trump Country, but politics here are anything but straightforward.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Now that thousands of striking teachers across West Virginia have returned to work with a pay raise and a promise to fix their health care plan, how might their actions inspire others? It’s one of the questions we’ll explore on this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia.


Adobe Stock

A new study has found that women with high physical fitness at middle age were nearly 90 percent less likely to develop dementia decades later, compared to women who were moderately fit.

 

The study measured women’s cardiovascular fitness based on an exercise test. When the highly fit women did develop dementia, they developed it an average of 11 years later than women who were moderately fit, or at age 90 rather than 79.

 

Nancy Andrews

Since late February, a small group of people have been quietly perched in two trees atop Peters Mountain in Monroe County. They are so remote, few have seen or heard directly from the protesters, but still there’s plenty of people noticing.


Courtesy WVHEPC

More than 150 employers, including Facebook, are looking for workers in West Virginia. College students, graduates and area residents who are interested in work opportunities in West Virginia are encouraged to attend a job fair in Raleigh County.

Mountain Stage with Larry Groce is pleased to be a part of this summer's FestivALL Charleston, the city-wide arts and entertainment festival that turns our hometown of Charleston, WV into a work of art.

Brad McElhinny / WV Metronews

Brad McElhinny almost missed the first rumblings of the teacher's strike.

This issue was on almost nobody's radar screen until MLK Day, when Brad stumbled into West Virginia Education Association president Dale Lee at a teacher's rally at the Capitol.

Auschwitz Birkenau Under a Gitmo Sky
C.Puisney

For a little more than a century, there’s been at least one concentration camp somewhere on earth. The fact that camps still exist and that humans can justify forcing other humans into such inhumane living conditions is the “us and them” dynamic taken to the most vile extreme.

Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, speaking on the Senate floor on March 10, 2018.
Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A Twitter spat has broken out between the West Virginia Republican Party chairwoman and a Democratic candidate for Congress that ended up with her questioning him for collecting a military pension.

The disagreement started Wednesday night when Melody Potter criticized U.S. House 3rd District candidate Richard Ojeda (oh-JED'-ah) for engaging with "liberal buddy" Michael Moore. Potter called the meeting with the filmmaker "a slap in the face to every hardworking West Virginian."

West Virginia Department of Agriculture

This story was produced by the West Virginia Department of Agriculture as part of a collaboration among the agency, West Virginia Public Broadcasting and Inside Appalachia.

This Saturday is "Mountain State Maple Day" in West Virginia. Sugar shacks and maple operations around the state will open their doors to the public. Maple syrup has a long tradition in the high mountain regions of our state, and the industry is growing. As part of our ongoing series called "Appetite Appalachia," this week we're highlighting two stories about maple syrup farmers in the Mountain State. It’s part of a new collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture


Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors, narcotics
Dollar Photo Club

Two West Virginia counties have joined numerous others in suing pharmaceutical companies, drugstores and the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy over the state's opioid crisis.

WVU

LOFTON: So, you are the new director of the Drug Control Policy Office. Previously, you were executive director and health officer of the Kanwaha-Charleston Health Department. You did deal with a lot of opioid issues at the Health Department previously. Will your strategy change in this new position?

cityofhuntington.com

More federal prosecutors will be used in a crackdown on gun and violent crime and drug trafficking in one West Virginia city. 

The number of prosecutors focusing on those cases in Huntington will be doubled immediately and tripled within weeks, U.S. Attorney Mike Stuart said Thursday. He didn't provide specific numbers.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Saturday March 17th is “Mountain State Maple Day” in West Virginia. Sugar shacks and maple operations around the state will open their doors to the public. Maple syrup has a long tradition in the high mountain regions of our state, and the industry is growing. As part of our ongoing series called “Appetite Appalachia”, this morning, we’ll hear two stories about maple syrup farmers in the Mountain State. It’s part of a new collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Department of Agriculture. In this episode of West Virginia Morning, we meet Brandon Daniels, a producer who has been making maple syrup for nearly 30 years.   


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers discussed several bills around opioid abuse and prevention this session, including the Opioid Reduction Act and have re-examined the state's medical marijuana law. Michael Brumage is the new director of the WV office of Drug Control Policy. Health reporter Kara Lofton talked to him last week about the role his office plays in implementing legislative policy. 


Tickets are on sale now for Sunday April 8 when Mountain Stage with Larry Groce makes its first trip to Radford University, in Radford, VA.

Adobe Stock

The 2018 County Health Rankings report was released today. It found significant health disparities across the state, particularly between the north and south.

Kara Lofton

The new Public Employee’s Insurance Agency task force met today at the Capitol. The task force was mandated by the governor in response to recent striking by teachers who demanded the state Legislature to “fix PEIA.” Teachers protested increased premiums and health costs, as well as a pay raise.

needle exchange sign
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Local outcry has scuttled plans to bring a needle exchange program to a West Virginia town.

News outlets report that Kanawha County Communities That Care spokesman Scott Burton said at a Monday night public meeting in Rand that communities that don't want the harm reduction program won't get it.

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