Beth Vorhees

News Director, West Virginia Morning / News Host

You hear Beth Vorhees on the radio every morning and during the legislative session, you see her on TV every evening.

Beth is the producer and host of West Virginia Morning heard every weekday morning at 7:30 on West Virginia Public Radio.  You also hear her deliver the news throughout the morning on Morning Edition.

When the state legislature is in its 60 day regular session, Beth is the producer and host of The Legislature Today on West Virginia PBS.

Beth is the Director of News and Public Affairs at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, leading an 8 person news team with bureaus across the state. 

Beth received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013 from the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association, just one of many awards she has received in her nearly 30 year broadcasting career at West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Beth lives in Charleston and has been married to Rick Vorhees for 31 years.  They have one daughter, Diana of Nashville, TN.

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climate change
5:43 am
Wed April 23, 2014

What is Climate Change Doing to the Allegheny Highlands?

The conference will take place on Saturday, June 7 at Blackwater Falls State Park

How is climate change affecting the Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia?  That’s a question that will be posed at a conference at Blackwater Falls State Park in June.

Tom Rodd with the organization the Friends of Blackwater says the one day conference will highlight what is at risk from rising temperatures.

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Inside Appalachia
2:41 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Spring Kindergarten Roundup, Seed Sharing, Young W.Va. Poet

Listen here for the April 19 & 20, 2014 edition of Inside Appalachia.

On Inside Appalachia this week, a small program in Appalachia is trying to help childcare providers save for retirement.  We go to the West Virginia Pipe Trades Apprentice Contest in Wheeling and seed sharing in Pennsylvania -- it's one way to make gardening more fun and affordable.

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Technology
9:40 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Smartphone App Stops Texting While Driving

The TextLimit app makes it impossible to text while driving.
Credit courtesy Mobile Life Solutions, LLC

Texting while driving is illegal in West Virginia, but technology is being used to guarantee that you can’t text from behind the wheel. 

Mobile Life Solutions of Louisville, Kentucky has developed an app called TextLimit. It makes a phone incapable of using once the vehicle gets to a certain speed.  The app is available for free to West Virginia drivers.

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Elk River chemical spill
1:11 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Reporters Discuss How They Covered the Elk River Spill

The Mountainlair is the setting for a panel discussion about media coverage of the Elk River Chemical Spill.

West Virginia Public Radio presents a new program called "West Virginia Talks," an occasional series featuring recordings of panel discussions and lectures from colleges and universities around the state.  Tune in Monday, March 31 at 2:00 p.m. for such a discussion about the Elk River Chemical Spill. 

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Sports News
10:24 am
Fri March 28, 2014

West Liberty Hilltoppers Head to National Championship Game

The West Liberty Hilltoppers will play for an NCAA Division II men's basketball championship for the first time in school history.  The Hilltoppers knocked off South Carolina-Aiken 86-83 in Thursday night's national semifinals.

West Liberty isi now 31-3 overall.  WTOV-TV reports the 7th ranked Hilltoppers will face 20th ranked Central Missouri in the championship game Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Evansville,   Indiana. 

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Arts & Culture
1:59 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Antiques Roadshow Would Like to See More W. Va. Furniture

The producers of Antiques Roadshow would like to see more furniture from West Virginia.  The popular appraisal show will be in Charleston in August and time is running out to submit your family's furniture heirlooms.

So far, West Virginians have submitted photos of 76 pieces of furniture, but Antiques Roadshow executive producer Marsha Bemko would like to see a lot more.  

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Story of the Jews
11:12 am
Wed March 19, 2014

One Short Visit and He Knew He Found Home - Meet Rabbi Urecki

Rabbi Victor Urecki

This article is part of a special series highlighting the Jewish experience in West Virginia. It's a companion to the television series The Story of the Jews, airing March 25 and April 1 at 8 pm on West Virginia PBS.

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Charleston
2:58 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Charleston Mayor to Governor: Veto This Municipal Gun Ordinance Bill

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones
Credit City of Charleston

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones says he will meet with Governor Tomblin very soon and ask him to veto a gun bill passed by the legislature last week.

Senate Bill 317 makes gun laws uniform state wide. But the bill defines a municipally owned recreation facility as a swimming pool, recreation center, sports facility housing an after school program or other similar facility where children are regularly present.  The bill permits a person to carry a lawfully possessed weapon into such a center, as long as it is stored out of view.

Mayor Jones is pretty upset about it.

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Energy & Environment
7:17 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Climate Change, Coal, & The Thompson's Research

Credit Byrd Polar Research Center

In Washington, Senate Democrats are pulling an all-nighter on Capitol Hill. They're on the Senate floor, talking about global warming. They started Monday night and plan to go until this morning.      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who's leading the dusk-to-dawn talkathon, says climate change is "a question of our own survival."

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Politics
10:02 am
Sat March 8, 2014

The Legislature Today: Final Hours Live Blog

At midnight on Saturday, March 8, The 81st West Virginia Legislature will adjourn. This post will be the home for The Legislature Today's online coverage right up until the final moments.

News Director Beth Vorhees, Senate Reporter Ashton Marra, House Reporter Aaron Payne, and Digital Editor Dave Mistich will curate this post by aggregating tweets, posting audio of important moments on the chamber floors.

Be sure to keep refreshing this page to see the latest.

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Weather
3:14 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Red Cross Prepared for Next Storm

Through the storm today, there have been no requests for emergency shelters, but the Red Cross was ready to provide them in any case. 

Red Cross Regional CEO Erica Mani says volunteers began preparing vehicles and supplies Friday afternoon in anticipation of the storm, but they weren't needed after all.

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Chemical Leak
6:31 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Governor Tomblin Lifts State of Emergency Seven Weeks After Elk River Spill

W. Va. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has lifted the state of emergency over contaminated water.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has lifted a state of emergency for nine counties in West Virginia that were affected by a chemical spill into the Elk River by Freedom Industries that tainted the drinking water supply of 300,000 residents.

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First Lady Doll
6:32 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Joanne Jaeger Tomblin - What A Doll!

First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin poses with the doll created in her likeness.
Credit Steve Rotsch / W.Va. Governor's Office

First Lady Joanne Jaeger Tomblin today unveiled the newest commemorative doll in the First Ladies of West Virginia doll collection.   The doll  was hand-sculpted by Washington, D.C.-based artist Ping Lau and features First Lady Tomblin in her Inaugural Ball gown.

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coal slurry spill
2:56 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Investigation, Cleanup Continues in Coal Slurry Spill

Kanawha County, W.Va. is the site of a coal slurry spill.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is continuing its investigation and overseeing the cleanup of a coal slurry spill that occurred in the early morning hours of Feb. 11 at Patriot Coal’s Kanawha Eagle Prep Plant near Winifrede.

Kanawha Eagle is under an Imminent Harm Cessation Order, issued by the WVDEP soon after the spill, for creating conditions not allowable in state waters. The Order, which halts all work at the prep plant, except for cleanup activities, will remain in effect until the company has eliminated the potential for further pollution.  

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Elk River chemical spill
1:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

More Kanawha County Schools Tested for MCHM

Schools in Kanawha County W.Va. continue to smell faint chemical odors.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

A Message from Kanawha County Superintendent, Ron Duerring

Update on Water Testing at Malden Elementary

The Rapid Response Team is working with Malden Elementary School to re-flush and retest the water following a slight MCHM detection in one of the school’s water fountains.

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gas well fire
12:09 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Gas Well Fire in Greene County, P.A.

A gas well is on fire in Greene County, P.A.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

DILLINER, Pa. (AP) - One worker has been injured and another is missing after a natural gas well explosion and fire in southwestern Pennsylvania, within miles of the West Virginia border.

Chevron spokesman Trip Oliver says the fire was reported at about 6:45 a.m. at the Lanco 7H well in Dunkard Township, near Bobtown in Greene County, Pennsylvania. Oliver says one person is reported hospitalized and another is currently unaccounted for.    Oliver says Chevron personnel immediately responded to the fire and called in assistance from Wild Well Control.

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Clean-up costs
2:44 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Rockefeller's Bills Would Make Polluters Pay

Sen. Jay Rockefeller has introduced two bills to make polluters pay for clean-ups.
Credit AP

A week after Freedom Industries spilled chemical into the Elk River and tainted the water supply for more than 300,000 West Virginians, Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-WV,  has introduced a pair of bills to make those responsible pay.

Rockefeller's bills would not only make those responsible for a chemical spill pay for its cleanup, they'd provide more funding for states and agencies tasked with cleanup.

Rockefeller co-sponsored the bills with Senator Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii,  who is responding to a 233,000-gallon molasses spill that occurred in Honolulu last year.

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The Legislature Today Podcast

The Legislature Today is West Virginia's source for daily legislative news and information.  The only live television program covering the West Virginia Legislature, the broadcast features reports from the Senate, House and committee meetings with in-depth interviews and analysis of the legislative process in West Virginia.

Subscribe to the podcast for daily downloads of the program.

News
11:41 am
Thu January 2, 2014

W.Va. Dept. of Agriculture Audit Given to U.S. Attorney

State Capitol, Charleston, W.Va.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

The results of a legislative audit of the state department of Agriculture is being turned over to federal authorities.  After learning of findings of suspicious activity within a legislative audit, Senate President Jeff Kessler and House Speaker Tim Miley ordered the Legislative Auditor to turn over the information to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
 

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News
12:09 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Crews Working to Remove Huge Rock Slide

Crews are continuing to work on a huge rock slide on to a road near Sundial in Raleigh County. Three large boulders and debris fell onto the roadway. Over the weekend, crews began using explosives to blast the boulders. This process is quite difficult due to the location of the road, which is sandwiched between a hillside and the Coal River. Measures must be taken to limit the amount of debris that enters the water.
 
Blasting of the boulders will continue today. Once the debris in the roadway is taken care of, work will begin to stabilize the hillside.
 

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