Ben Adducchio

Assistant News Director

Ben has worked for West Virginia Public Broadcasting since May 2009. He started out as a reporter/producer, then moved up to his current position two years later.

A Fairmont native, Ben enjoys reading, writing, hiking the beautiful West Virginia trails, and spending time with friends. He's also an actor in the Morgantown area, and in 2013, he was named one of the Morgantown's "30 Under 30" by Morgantown Magazine.


Culture and History
2:33 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

W.Va. Author Tells Stories that Come 'Out of Peel Tree'

Laura Long interacts with her audience at a recent reading of her book, Out of Peel Tree.
Credit Chip Hitchcock / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

There’s a new novel out from a West Virginia native about a place that’s very special to her. The book is a collection of family stories about life in Appalachia. 

Laura Long lives in Charlottesville, Virginia now but she grew up in West Virginia. She recalls going to visit her grandmother while traveling from Buckhannon to Clarksburg. Her grandmother lived near a place called Peel Tree. She says the image of that place stayed with her for years, until she was ready to write her first novel.

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Public Health
6:11 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Morgantown Group Wants to Restrict Downtown Truck Traffic

Credit Safe Streets Morgantown / via Facebook

There’s a growing number of people in Morgantown that want the city to do something about the industrial truck traffic moving through downtown. They are making a case to the city council.

Safe Streets Morgantown wants the council to adopt an ordinance essentially banning trucks that weigh 20,000 pounds or more, gross weight, and have three axles or more, from traveling through downtown Morgantown's business district.

Who would be exempted:

Trucks moving merchandise for downtown businesses;

Emergency or Military Vehicles;

Governmental Vehicles;

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Carbon Regulations
6:11 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

New Report Examines Morgantown's Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Coal plants and several other factors including electricity use, and vehicle travel, play a role in emitting greenhouse gases.
Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

There are a lot of things that contribute to carbon dioxide emissions that drift into the air. For the first time an inventory of how much greenhouse gas is entering the air in Morgantown has been compiled. The environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies hopes this particular study will inspire other communities to want to do the same.

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Aquatic Life
6:46 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

What The Heck is the Tandanus Tropicanus?

WVU Professor Stuart Welsh holds something very new to the eyes of the aquatic life research community.
Credit West Virginia University

It’s called the Tandanus Tropicanus. It’s a fish, a very interesting type of catfish-, discovered in a northeastern part of Australia that’s largely been ignored by aquatic life researchers. WVU Professor Stuart Welsh made the discovery on an expedition in that part of the world back in 2010, and again in 2012. And yes, you can call it a fishing expedition.

"I think it’s a very interesting experience to describe a new species, and a very rewarding experience. Biodiversity is one thing that a lot of people are interested in," said Welsh.

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Turn this Town Around
6:27 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Grant Funding Coming to 'Turn this Town Around' Communities

Restoring the Manos Theatre in downtown Grafton is one project being considered as part of the Turn this Town Around project. Grant monies are now available to both Grafton and Matewan.
Credit Flickr Image

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has announced it will give $150,000 to two West Virginia towns participating in the Turn This Town Around Project.

Leaders in Grafton and Matewan will be given the money for projects they develop to revitalize their communities.

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

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Chemical Leak
5:11 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

DEP Tank Registration Program Opens

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection recently opened its online tank registration program. Tanks meeting specific guidelines must be registered by October 1.
Credit AP

Recently, an overflow of water from a trench at the Freedom Industries tank site in Kanawha County reached the Elk River. West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection issued two notices of violation to Freedom for the incident. But while that tank site is being monitored regularly, the DEP is also beginning to focus attention on a whole bunch of other aboveground storage tanks too, that aren't receiving as much attention. Ben Adducchio has more.

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Carbon Regulations
6:52 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Will West Virginia Ever See A New Coal-Fired Power Plant?

The EPA has proposals on the table to regulate not only existing power plants, but new ones, based on carbon emission restrictions.
Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

There’s been much deliberation over the last week regarding new Environmental Protection Agency proposals for regulating coal fired power plant carbon emissions. State officials are very discouraged by the ideas. But as Ben Adducchio reports, there are also proposals on the table for how to regulate future power plants, and some are asking whether any will be built again in West Virginia.

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Arts & Culture
7:25 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

West Virginia Public Theatre Enters Its 30th Year

Ron Iannone is the founder of West Virginia Public Theatre.

West Virginia Public Theatre is getting ready to open in Morgantown, for its 30th season. This non-profit theatre has had quite a story.

It began because one man who moved to West Virginia saw a lack of professional theatre companies when he came here. Founder Ron Iannone talked to Ben Adducchio about the theatre, what it has tried to accomplish, and how he wants to be remembered when he decides to walk away.

To learn more about the season, you can find information here.

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Carbon Regulations
6:16 pm
Fri June 6, 2014

Downstream Strategies, WVU Center to Work on EPA Regulation Report

West Virginia has two years to come up with a plan, to cut its carbon emissions.
Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

West Virginia University’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development is working with Downstream Strategies on a new report, analyzing how West Virginia can best meet new Enivronmental Protection Agency proposals on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. This study will be used to advise policy makers as they draft strategies to submit to the EPA.

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Energy & Environment
4:56 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Coal Official: EPA Proposals are Overstepping Its Authority

Mike Duncan is the President and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity.
Credit Wikipedia Image

Mike Duncan is the President and CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal and Electricity. He’s disappointed in these proposals on carbon emission cuts, which call for 30 percent in carbon reductions from 2005 levels, by 2030. Duncan says his organization hopes to work with states on a continual basis to come up with solutions.

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Energy & Environment
5:03 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Downstream Strategies President on Proposed EPA Rules: 'This is A Watershed Moment'

Credit Twiter / @hansenevan

  After months of speculation, the Environmental Protection Agency finally released its new proposals on existing coal fire power plants today. The EPA wants to cut carbon dioxide emissions from these facilities by up to 30 percent in the next 15 years. This strategy means these plants will be doing  business differently.


Evan Hansen with Downstream Strategies, an environmental consulting firm in Morgantown  says West Virginia needs to get on board with a plan to cut the pollution from power plants in the state  by 20 percent by the year 2030 using new and developing technology.

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Hooked On Heroin
8:38 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

One Woman's Mission Against Heroin Addiction

Patti Barnabei (right) is the founder of Never Alone West Virginia.
Credit Stacy Cullinan

Editor's Note: This week we have been airing a series of stories concerning heroin, and the problems it’s creating in the state. Today we conclude our series by introducing you to a woman who’s fighting back against the drug’s influence in one of the hardest hit communities.

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Hooked On Heroin
8:22 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

What Are The Solutions To Solving The State's Heroin Problem?

William J. Ihlenfeld II, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District in West Virginia, says heroin is being seized more than before, and it's more available on the street than before.
Credit U.S. Attorney's Office / United States Department of Justice

There were few heroin deaths in West Virginia in 2001. That’s about the time  William Ihlenfeld started working as a prosecutor in the state’s legal system. He’s now the federal district attorney for the northern district.

Ihlenfeld’s seen the distribution of heroin increase during those years, and he’s fighting a war so to speak, against those who are bringing it here. He says there are established pipelines from Mexico that bring heroin to places like Baltimore or Chicago, where it eventually makes its way to  northern West Virginia.

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Hooked On Heroin
7:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

'It's Like Playing Russian Roulette With Your Life'---The Struggle With Heroin Addiction

Heroin is affecting more West Virginians than ever before, according to law enforcement officials.
Credit Creative Commons Photo

Editor's Note: West Virginia Public Radio is airing a four part series on heroin addiction in West Virginia. The number of deaths attributed to heroin overdoses in West Virginia is rising steadily. This story is a conversation with some of those seeking help and treatment for their addiction to the drug.

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Hooked On Heroin
5:25 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

West Virginia Fighting a War Against Heroin Addiction, Overdose Deaths

The number of deaths related to heroin overdoses, in West Virginia, continues to rise each year.
Credit Creative Commons Photo

  Editor's Note: We are airing a four part series on West Virginia Public Radio, about the drug heroin and how it is affecting West Virginia. A recent Associated Press story reported the number of heroin deaths in the state have nearly doubled since 2010. In the first story, Ben Adducchio reports on why heroin is getting into the hands of so many people.

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WVU Sports
12:44 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

WVU Gets A Golf Coach

WVU's new Head Coach, Sean Covich, with his family.
Credit WVU Sports Communications / West Virginia University

Sean Covich will be the head coach of the men’s golf program. The golf team will start competing in July 2015, according to a news release.

Covich spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach for the Mississippi State University Bulldogs, a school in the Southeastern Conference.

Men’s golf was actually a varsity sport at WVU from 1933-82.

The reintroduction of men’s golf as a varsity sport will satisfy a requirement from WVU’s Conference, the Big 12, that a school must meet a minimum of six men’s and six women’s sports.

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Energy & Environment
6:18 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

With New Regulations Coming, What's the Future for Coal?

The Environmental Protection Agency wants coal-fired power plants to emit less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

The Environmental Protection Agency is going to be releasing new rules on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants in the next few weeks. It’s an issue of great concern for many who rely on coal for work. But some also see it as an opportunity.

About 84 percent of the nation’s total greenhouse gas emissions into Earth’s atmosphere are from carbon dioxide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, and much of that carbon dioxide comes from burning fossil fuels like coal. The EPA is taking action as, under the Clean Air Act, to enforce cuts in carbon emissions for cleaner air.

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National Geographic Bee
7:42 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

He's a One Man Wrecking Crew of Geography Knowledge

Andrew Christy is West Virginia's representative in the National Geographic Bee for the third year in a row.
Credit Submitted Photo

There’s a very important competition taking place in Washington D.C. next week. It’s the National Geographic Bee and West Virginia has a competitor who thinks he has the right stuff

Andrew Christy is an 8th Grader at St. Francis de Sales Central Catholic School, in Morgantown. He’s going to represent West Virginia, for THE THIRD YEAR IN A ROW, at the National Geographic Bee. He came up short on his first two tries, but now, it’s his final chance to bring home 50 thousand dollars in college scholarships and bragging rights to the Mountain State.

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Turn this Town Around
11:09 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Grafton Community Cleans Up To Turn The Town Around

The Manos Theatre is one of the empty storefronts downtown in Grafton.
Credit Flickr Image

This morning we bring you another story in our series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around as part of a special collaboration. The transformation process for Grafton continued over the weekend with a chance for community members to not only clean up their city but to connect with one another, a crucial part of the effort.

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Fish Kill Lawsuit
4:25 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

W.Va. Supreme Court: Pa. Commission Can Sue Over Dunkard Creek Fish Kill

Dunkard Creek in Monongalia County, W.Va.
Credit Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Supreme Court has reversed a lower court’s decision and will now allow a Pennsylvania agency to sue a mining company after the 2009 fish kill at Dunkard Creek.

In a written opinion Thursday, justices reversed a ruling by Monongalia County Circuit Judge Russell Clawges. He ruled last year the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission could not sue Consol Energy in a West Virginia court after the Dunkard Creek fish kill.

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