Mountain Stage After Midnight
7:13 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Mountain Stage After Midnight: October 25 & 26

Wanda Jackson on Mountain Stage in 2011.
Credit Brian Blauser / Mountain Stage

Why not celebrate two legendary singers' birthdays with two great Mountain Stage performances? Broadcast from 1am-5am Saturday and Sunday mornings here on West Virginia Public Radio, "Mountain Stage After Midnight" takes the best episodes from the show's 31 year history and shares their memories and songs with our late-night listeners. Each week we'll hand-pick two of our favorite episodes and they'll alternate order each night.

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Inside Appalachia
4:55 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Celebrate Appalachian Storytelling with Tales of a Ghost Train, Wizard Clip & More

Credit Published by Constructive Publishing (Scanned cover of pulp magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, as we approach All Hallows Eve, we have dedicated the next hour to ghost tales and dark legends. Award winning writer, Scott McClanahan, remembers hearing scary tales while growing up in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

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West Virginia History
10:22 am
Fri October 24, 2014

October 24, 1861: Voters Approve State of West Virginia

Waitman Willey would argue eloquently for suffrage for African-Americans at the 1872 Constitutional Convention that produced West Virginia’s current constitution.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / 1872, Western Virgnia, Reorganized Government of Virginia

Voters formally approved the formation of West Virginia on October 24, 1861. Many western Virginia residents had been frustrated with the Virginia state government for years. But, they had few options at their disposal because the U.S.

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10:18 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Rahall Says Ugly Ads Will Hurt Turnout; What is Amendment One?

  Congressman Nick Rahall's race against state Sen. Evan Jenkins has been focused on the declining coal industry in southern West Virginia.

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West Virginia Morning
8:42 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Lung Transplant Approved for Black Lung Victim

On West Virginia Morning, Jessica Lilly checks in with a victim of black lung whose lung transplant was approved after his story aired on West Virginia Public Radio in June.  And Chris Smithers sings the Mountain Stage Song of the Week.

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Oil and Gas Industry
10:49 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

“Fracking’s Toxic Loophole”: Report Calls for Repeal of Halliburton’s Loophole

Credit Environmental Integrity Project

A new report has just been published that identifies large amounts of toxic chemicals legally used in the oil and gas industry—such chemical-use in any other industrial application is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Not so for the gas industry.

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Public Education
10:00 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

W.Va. Education Committee Exploring Realignment of Regional Education

Credit West Virginia Department of Education

For the past 20 months, the West Virginia Board of Education’s Commission on School District Governance and Administration has been discussing ways the state can restructure at the regional level to provide better service to the local school districts. At a meeting Thursday, members finalized their recommendations for the full board who will vote on them in November.

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Claiming Benefits
9:16 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Retired Miner with Black Lung Approved for Transplant

Credit Jessica Lilly

Former coal miner Robert Bailey was recently approved for a double lung transplant after waiting months for a black lung medical benefits claim to be approved. We spoke with Robert Bailey in June when he was waiting to hear if Patriot Coal’s insurance company would approve his appointment for a medical evaluation. 

Bailey’s doctor told him he needed a lung transplant in February of this year. Since then, he’s been working towards the waiting list. As we reported in June, Bailey had to cancel an evaluation appointment as Patriot Coal’s insurance company, Underwriters Safety and Claims, evaluated his request for coverage.  We caught up with Bailey at his kitchen table in Princeton about three months later to recap his journey.

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2:30 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Shepherdstown Kicks-Off Second Annual Boo!Fest

Credit Shepherdstown Visitors Center

Just in time for Halloween, the second annual Boo!Fest in Shepherdstown kicks off tomorrow night starting with a Vampire Ball.

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2:02 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Bethany College Suing U.S. Government

Bethany College
Credit Nyttend / wikimedia commons

A private West Virginia college is suing the U.S. government over funds seized during a theft investigation.

Bethany College is seeking $262,020 in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in West Virginia's Northern District. The complaint alleges the cash was forfeited to investigators from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

The complaint says the money should be set aside for the college.

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1:19 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

W.Va. Coalfields Senate Panel Sets First Meeting

A state Senate panel studying how to revitalize West Virginia's struggling southern coalfields has scheduled its first meeting.

The Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE, group will meet Wednesday evening. The meeting will take place at the Raleigh County Commission on Aging in Beckley.

It's the first in a series of regional listening sessions. The group will then present recommendations for consideration in the 60-day legislative session starting in January.

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Higher Education
12:58 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

West Virginia University Expels Three Students for Riots

Credit Twitter

  Three West Virginia University students were expelled from campus Thursday for various acts of misconduct following Saturday's WVU-Baylor football game. 

Other students may also face University sanctions as various law enforcement agencies complete their investigations and reports and provide that information to the University. These cases are independent of any state or local criminal penalties and fines the students may face.

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12:29 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

West Virginia DEP Ordered to Release Pollution Data

Credit Department of Environmental Protection

  A judge says the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection violated the state's Freedom of Information Act when it denied a law firm's request for water pollution data.

Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Charles King ordered the DEP this week to provide the data to Appalachian Mountain Advocates.

The law firm sued the DEP after the agency denied its 2013 request for the most recent quarterly data showing water pollution levels at coal mines statewide. In the past, the DEP provided similar data in a spreadsheet format.

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City Government
10:24 am
Thu October 23, 2014

ACLU Criticizes Parkersburg's Panhandling Signs

  Parkersburg's panhandling signs are drawing criticism from the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia.

The signs discourage people from giving to panhandlers, saying it contributes to drug and alcohol abuse.

ACLU of West Virginia executive director Jennifer Meinig tells The Parkersburg News and Sentinel that the signs are defamatory. She says they suggest that all panhandlers suffer from drug and alcohol issues.

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West Virginia History
10:20 am
Thu October 23, 2014

October 23, 1943: German POWs Arrive at Camp Ashford

Camp Ashford was built in the summer of 1942 by Italian POWs, who stayed at the camp until the German prisoners arrived the following year.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online; The Greenbrier / The Greenbrier, Camp Ashford, White Sulphur Springs, World War II

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Arts & Culture
9:45 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Is It OK to Use That Word?

There's a new film festival being held this weekend in Lewisburg.  It will feature two films making their West Virginia premieres.  "Skeleton Twins" starring former Saturday Night Live stars Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig and "To Be Takei," featuring George Takei who played Mr. Sulu in the original TV "Star Trek" series but is now known for his gay and civil rights activism.
But the title of this film festival contains a certain word. For an explanation into the use of that word, Beth Vorhees went right to the film festival's director Tim Ward.

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9:09 am
Thu October 23, 2014

All W.Va. Counties See Jobless Rate Decrease in September

  Unemployment rates fell in all 55 of West Virginia's counties in September.

WorkForce West Virginia says that at 11 percent, Mingo County was the only one with a jobless rate in the double digits.

Counties with an unemployment rate below 5 percent included Harrison (4.9), Putnam (4.9), Preston (4.7), Jefferson (4.6), Pendleton (4.3) and Monongalia (4.1).

The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate in September was 6.6 percent.

West Virginia Morning
8:15 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Lawmakers Told WVOASIS Has More Problems, Group Prepares for Queer Film Festival

The director of WVOASIS, West Virginia's new integrated software platform, told lawmakers the fourth phase of the system will be delayed by at least three months after testing did not meet the required milestones. The opening of an expeditionary learning school in Huntington will also be delayed as crews work to renovate an old middle school into a facility equiped for a new style of learning.

The Appalachian Queer Film Festival begins this weekend in Lewisburg and it's director says it's okay to use that word.  

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State Government
7:22 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Official: WVOASIS Not Ready for Next Phase

WVOASIS Director Rick Pickens spoke to members of the Joint Committee on Government Organization on the House floor.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Lawmakers were updated Wednesday on the roll out process of the state's new software system designed to integrate almost every function in government. 

The first phase of WVOASIS, or 'Our Advanced Solution with Integrated Systems, was implemented in August of 2013. It's latest phase took effect July of this year, but wasn't necessarily the smooth transition many state officials had hoped for.

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Mountain Stage Song of the Week
5:10 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Hear Chris Smither Play "Get a Better One" Live on Mountain Stage

Chris Smither, live on Mountain Stage
Credit Josh Saul

An undisputed master of acoustic blues guitar,  Chris Smither's  songwriting often draws on the influences of poets, folk singers, philosophers and humorists. Now in his 5th decade of making music, Smither made his 13th appearance on Mountain Stage this year, when the show visited the lakeside town of Grand Marais, Minnesota. Here he performs "Get a Better One," recorded live on the campus of the North House Folk School.

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