Prosecutors and defense attorneys are asking for an October trial in the criminal case against former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship.

Atlanta Journal Constitution, John Harmon, October 1997

This week, we remember Jean Ritchie, who's been called the mother of Appalachian folk music.

courtesy of the artist

For those who can't make the live show, we're offering this live video webcast starting at 7pm Eastern. Make sure to send us a tweet to let us know you're watching! Use the hashtag #MountainStage to follow along.

Wikimedia Commons

A new report released this week shows students in West Virginia with disabilities are graduating from high school at a greater percentage than the national average. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A country that has already invested more than $12 billion in the United States sent its ambassador to West Virginia Friday looking for possible future investments in the Mountain State.

Qatar Ambassador to the U.S. Mohammed Al-Kuwari was invited and escorted on the visit by Sen. Joe Manchin, making stops at the Advanced Technical Center at BridgeValley Community and Technical College, Dow Chemical, and meeting with Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Al-Kuwari said his country has already made a commitment to invest more than $35 billion in the U.S. over the next several years in the energy sector as well as in technology, real estate, tourism and education, and Sen. Manchin wants at least some of those dollars to come to West Virginia.

The West Virginia University Board of Governors unanimously approved a one billion budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The new budget includes a tuition increase approved by the board last month. The proposed tuition increase of nearly 10% for in-state students still needs the final approval of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission before it can take effect.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL ( / Wikimedia Commons

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a report this week pertaining to the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The report comes after several years of analyzing literature and research, but findings were largely inconclusive.

Hemp History Week Celebrated at WVU

Jun 5, 2015
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture took a step toward cultivating Industrial Hemp production in West Virginia last week. The department posted an application “For Research and Marketing Cultivation of Industrial Hemp” which would allow growers and entrepreneurs to register industrial hemp businesses with the state, under a pilot program.

The idea is catching on in Morgantown.

The West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative and a new student group gathered at West Virginia University to spread awareness about Industrial Hemp. 

Matt Tillett /

The All Good Music Festival makes its return to West Virginia this summer after four years, but the Jefferson County’s Planning and Zoning departments are still waiting for the necessary paperwork.

Deep in eastern Kentucky, Dawn Jewell is an angry fifteen year old who lives at the foot of Blue Bear Mountain. Her mother is addicted to pills and alcohol, and her father has died in a mining accident. Dawn lives with her grandmother, but that isn’t a normal life either because her grandmother has become swept up in an anti-mountaintop removal campaign. And Dawn isn’t sure how she feels about any of this.


The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protect has closed down a mountaintop removal mine site located near a state forest in Kanawha County and is now blocking the mine operators from receiving new permits anywhere in the country. 

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

  Former Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo says he'll seek his old job following the retirement of Robert Newell.

Colombo tells the Parkersburg News and Sentinel that he plans to apply to become interim mayor because he loves the city.

@yeagerairport / Twitter

Yeager Airport police have cited a Beckley man after a handgun was found in a carry-on bag.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration said Friday that officers detected a 9mm semi-automatic handgun in the bag along a conveyor belt as the man was passing through the airport checkpoint in Charleston.

U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell is visiting surface mining and mine land reclamation projects in West Virginia.

Joining her on Friday's tour is Joseph Pizarchik, director of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The officials will receive briefings from state and industry officials on production and reclamation technologies.


Pratt Mayor Gary Fields said he will step down if re-elected in an upcoming city election.

The Charleston Gazette reports Fields was arrested by Kanawha County sheriff's deputies on Wednesday as part of a joint county and federal drug investigation into the distribution of narcotics. Fields was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on a charge of distributing oxycodone and is scheduled to appear for an arraignment June 11.

Former West Liberty University President Robin Capehart has agreed to pay $10,000 to settle a state ethics complaint regarding his film company.

The West Virginia Ethics Commission released the agreement with Capehart on Thursday.

On West Virginia Morning, Ashton Marra talks with State Board of Education President Gayle Manchin about the Board’s recent meeting with the Board of Education in Kentucky.  And Pokey LaFarge is along with today’s Mountain Stage Song of the Week.  These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

West Virginia Board of Education

On Wednesday, members of the West Virginia Board of Education traveled to Frankfort, Kentucky, to meet with their education counterparts and watch as the Kentucky BOE conducted their monthly meeting. Thursday West Virginia Board President Gayle Manchin said the two states have plenty in common.

It starts with standards. Kentucky and West Virginia are just two of forty four states that have adopted the national Common Core Standards, but in West Virginia, those standards were adapted to fit the state’s needs and titled the Next Generation Standards.

Then there’s economics. In eastern Kentucky especially where coal mining is a major part of the economy, the state is suffering the same economic downturn as West Virginia in the energy sector, but there’s much more according to Manchin.

Stephanie Petersen

Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito announced new grants for AmeriCorps programs in West Virginia totaling $5 million in public/ private partnerships. Manchin says he’s proud that West Virginia ranks close to the top in the country for its AmeriCorps program.

Office of the Governor

During the five years I have served as your governor, I have made it a priority to develop a skilled workforce, reduce our state's prison and regional jail inmate population, rehabilitate those offenders when possible, and fight the battle against substance abuse. I know there is more work to be done, and I'm pleased that additional attention is being paid to these critical issues. But I also am proud of what we have already accomplished.