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Officials from various drugmakers answer questions on Capitol Hill Tuesday, May 8, 2018.
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

Lawmakers of both parties accused wholesale pharmaceutical distributors on Tuesday of missing signs of suspicious activity that resulted in hundreds of millions of prescription opioid pills being shipped to West Virginia, a state disproportionately ravaged by deaths caused by the addictive drugs.

Bonnie's Bus
Courtesy of West Virginia University School of Medicine

A mobile mammography center known as Bonnie’s Bus is on the road again and taking appointments in West Virginia this month.

The bus will visit Martinsburg in the Eastern Panhandle May 17 and 18.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This legislative session, thousands of teachers and other school employees walked off the job and onto the grounds of the state capital to rally for better pay and benefits. Many have wondered how the nine-school-day strike might impact the coming elections.

Depending on who you ask, you’ll get some pretty different answers.

“I don’t think it had anything to do with the teacher’s strike at all,” said WV GOP chairwoman Melody Potter.

Democratic chairwoman, Belinda Biafore, had a different take.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, more than 68,000 West Virginians cast ballots early this year, according to the secretary of state’s office. That’s about 13,000 more than voted early in the 2014 midterm primary. Kara Lofton spoke with chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties to talk about whether West Virginia’s recent teacher strike helped motivate the larger turnout.

Bob Bird / AP Photo

Having gone into effect at the beginning of this year, West Virginia's new voter identification law sees its first statewide election during the May 8  primaries. While state legislators responsible for passing the law say it strikes a balance, experts opposed to such measures -- here and elsewhere in the country -- say it is a "solution in search of a problem." Some organizations, though, are teaming with the Secretary of State's office for public outreach programs to help educate voters about the law and what they need to bring with them to the polls.

Mountain Stage with Larry Groce is about to get back into their schedule of live performances in Charleston, WV, starting this Sunday May 13 at the Culture Center Theater.

Tickets are still available online and at Taylor Books in downtown, Charleston.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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In this Nov. 21, 1968, file photo, smoke pours from the burning Llewellyn portal of the Mountaineer Coal Co., where 78 miners are trapped near Farmington, W.Va.
AP file photo

Nearly half a century after an explosion tore through the Farmington No. 9 mine in West Virginia, the families of the 78 men who died there are still looking for justice.

Many of the children of the lost miners are now grandparents and older than their fathers ever were. Some have given up hope of ever holding anyone accountable for the disaster. But others are looking to a federal appeals court for some measure of closure.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from a young girl in North Carolina who shares her story of growing up in Appalachia; we hear about the new Voter ID law that went into effect this year; and the Ohio Valley ReSource brings us an update potential tariffs of steel and aluminum manufacturers.

WVPB Graphic Illustration

West Virginians will be heading to the polls in a midterm primary election with nominations up for grabs in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House and the Legislature.

After 10 days of early voting, Election Day polls open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Independent voters can choose to vote in either the Democratic or Republican primary.

Wendy Wasserman / ARC

Not long after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky squared off with President Trump over funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, the ARC has a new federal co-chair with strong ties to McConnell.

Long-time McConnell aide Tim Thomas said he can see a day when the Appalachian Regional Commission is no longer needed. But that’s not something he expects to come any time soon.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

Regional iron and steel industry leaders say they are disappointed by the Trump administration’s delay on a decision about which countries will face new import tariffs. President Trump has postponed until June a decision on which countries will be subject to new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The decision had been due May 1.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

With sunglasses perched atop his camouflage cap, Brady Carwile filled out an application at a job fair in a community center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Carwile works at a local auto parts maker but he’s hoping for a maintenance position at Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter.

“It’s one of the best jobs you can find around there,” Carwile said

Steve Helber / AP File Photo

Updated: Monday, May 7, 2018 at 9:42 a.m.

Just a day before West Virginia's primary election, President Donald Trump has weighed in on the GOP Primary. With Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship gaining widespread attention in the lead-up to Tuesday, Trump tweeted early Monday morning -- urging West Virginians to vote against the coal baron. Monday marks the first occasion the president has publicly spoken for or against any candidate in the race.

A few months ago, Kourtnaye Sturgeon helped save someone's life. She was driving in downtown Indianapolis when she saw people gathered around a car on the side of the road. Sturgeon pulled over and a man told her there was nothing she could do: Two men had overdosed on opioids and appeared to be dead.

"I kind of recall saying, 'No man, I've got Narcan,' " she says, referring to the brand- name version of the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone. "Which sounds so silly, but I'm pretty sure that's what came out."

Courtesy Patrick Morrisey for U.S. Senate

 

Updated: May 6, 2018 at 8:20 p.m.

One GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in West Virginia says one of his opponents should be ineligible for Tuesday’s primary.

With former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship seeming to gain momentum as Election Day nears, state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey held a news conference Sunday to announce that he’s informing the former coal baron’s probation officer about illegal activity -- in April the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported Blankenship failed to file a financial disclosure with the Senate.

I-64 Charleston
Million Moments

West Virginia's Division of Highways says it will take additional steps to increase safety in the Interstate 64 work zone between Milton and Hurricane.

Media reports say the steps were spurred by a rash of at least 25 crashes, including three fatalities. State transportation officials say the action will include increased police enforcement and enhanced signage.

West Virginia's secretary of state says more than 50,000 West Virginians have taken advantage of the early voting period this election cycle.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that as of early Friday, 50,225 ballots had been cast across West Virginia.

Trump
Still from White House video

As primary season kicks into high gear, Republicans are engaged in nomination fights that are pulling the party to the right, leaving some leaders worried their candidates will be out of a step with the broader electorate in November.

Brian M. Powell / Wikimedia

Communities tasked with finding a second life for land that once housed coal-fired power plants should engage early and often and think holistically about the economic and environmental challenges and opportunities, according to a new tool.

The Chicago-based Delta Institute, which works with transitioning coal communities, released a roadmap this week aimed at helping local governments redevelop sites where coal plants once stood.


Supporters talk with former Massey CEO and West Virginia Republican Senatorial candidate, Don Blankenship, center, prior to a town hall to kick off his campaign in Logan, W.Va., Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.
Steve Helber / Associated Press file photo

Polls show former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship hovering in third place in the six-way Republican U.S Senate primary primary race. In his native Mingo County, Blankenship’s donations to the community, and a belief that he will help bring back jobs, have led some to support him.

Jim Justice
Scott Halleran / Getty Images

West Virginia tax revenue for the month of April were above estimates, putting the state on track to reach projections by the end of the fiscal year in June, according to Governor Jim Justice.

Justice said during a news conference that revenue collections for April were $23.7 million above estimates.

View of the Allegheny Front from Bear Rocks Preserve
Chad Matlick

A land donation will more than double the size of the Bear Rocks Preserve in West Virginia.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that near 2 square miles of land along the Allegheny Front, the eastern rim of the Dolly Sods plateau, has been donated to the Nature Conservancy of West Virginia. The gift was made possible through donations from the Ann C. and Robert O. Orders Jr. Family Foundation and Maryland resident Dan Montgomery.

courtesy Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education

Our region has challenges, from the economic decline of the coal industry, to the opioid epidemic, there’s work to do in our communities. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from several people who are trying to reinvigorate our region with opportunities for change. We’ll also hear from some younger voices in Appalachian, North Carolina about growing up in the mountains.

 


Ex-Coal Baron Takes Swipe at 'China People' in Political Ad

May 4, 2018
Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press

An ex-coal executive who's running for U.S. Senate after serving a prison sentence has unleashed a political ad that takes swipes at "China people" and calls the Senate majority leader "Cocaine Mitch."

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, a Republican, is seeking the West Virginia seat now held by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, but his ad disparages Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell. It's the second ad he's used to label the leader "Cocaine Mitch."

www.stmarysdoc.com/ / St. Mary's Medical Center

The acquisition of St. Mary's Medical Center by a hospital in West Virginia has been made official.

Cabell Huntington Hospital board of directors Chairman Dr. Kevin Yingling says the hospital finished the final steps of financing and paperwork to complete the acquisition of St. Mary's Medical Center.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Rep. Evan Jenkins' dream of a U.S. Senate seat has opened a door for other ambitious West Virginia politicians, prompting a rush of contenders for his congressional seat and giving Democrats their best chance for a pickup in the Mountain State.

Eleven candidates are on the ballot in Tuesday's primaries for the 3rd Congressional District seat Jenkins is vacating, including six current or former state legislators.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear the latest from the Democratic Primary Race for U.S. Senate, and we’ll hear a report on Republican U.S. Senate candidate and former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship – who’s holding third place in the Republican six-way race.

Manchin Photo: Jesse Wright / Swearengin Photo: Courtesty of the campaign

Updated: Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump won West Virginia by 42 percentage points in 2016. He’s holding on to high approval ratings in the state and conservatives paint Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin as vulnerable. Long known as a moderate Democrat, Manchin has been in West Virginia politics for three decades. With the seat up for grabs this year, the national spotlight has been on the GOP primary -- in which hopefuls are trying to align themselves with Trump.

Adobe Stock

The Commonwealth Fund released their State Health System Performance scorecard today, finding that West Virginia was fifth most improved on health performance, but still ranks as one of the least healthy states in the country.

West Virginia improved on markers such as the number of uninsured children and adults, adults smoking and the number of people dying from colorectal cancer, but worsened in the number of obese adults, deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug use and adults with mental illness who did not receive treatment.

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