Bob Powell

Radio Operations Director

Bob is West Virginia Public Radio's Morning Edition host and the Radio Operations director. He first worked for WV Public Radio in 1986 as a part-time announcer, and later returned to host jazz music programs and manage on-air operations in the 1990's.  A graduate of Alderson-Broaddus and Marshall Universities; he taught Speech, Broadcasting, and Rhetoric at Alderson-Broaddus University, West Virginia State University, and WV Institute of Technology of WVU. Bob served 21 years in the Army National Guard, and served oversea in Bosnia and Iraq.

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Fri February 27, 2015

February 27, 1871: Huntington Incorporated By West Virginia Legislature

A statue of Collis P. Huntington.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On February 27, 1871, the West Virginia Legislature incorporated the city of Huntington. It came into existence quite unlike any other community in the state.

It was named for Collis P. Huntington, who, in the early 1870s, was extending the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway from the Atlantic Coast to the Ohio River. For the western terminus of his railroad, he selected a plot of Ohio River farmland that was best known for a small teachers’ school known as Marshall.

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Thu February 26, 2015

February 26, 1972: Coal Mining Dam Collapses in Buffalo Creek

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / via Earl Benton

  On February 26, 1972, a coal mining dam collapsed at the head of Buffalo Creek in Logan County. Over the next three hours, 132-million gallons of black water raged down the hollow. The deluge obliterated or badly damaged 17 communities and claimed the lives of 125 people, including entire families. The disaster also injured 1000 people and left 80 percent of Buffalo Creek’s residents homeless.

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Wed February 25, 2015

February 25, 1911: Newspaperman Jim Comstock Born in Richwood

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / via Doug Chadwick / Goldenseal

  Newspaperman Jim Comstock was born in Richwood on February 25, 1911. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he returned to his hometown and established the Richwood News Leader. Then, in 1957, he founded the legendary West Virginia Hillbilly newspaper. The Hillbilly became a forum for Comstock’s conservative politics and wry wit.

A consummate practical joker, Comstock once injected ramp juice into his ink as a nod to Richwood’s annual Feast of the Ramson. After the pungent newspapers were mailed to subscribers, Comstock was reprimanded by the U.S. postmaster general for sending the offensive-smelling ink through the mail. And he founded the University of Hard Knocks, an honorary society for successful individuals who never completed college.

Comstock also published the book Pa and Ma and Mr. Kennedy and the 50-volume West Virginia Heritage Encyclopedia. 

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West Virginia History
10:52 am
Tue February 24, 2015

February 24, 1928: Black Lung Research Physician Dr. Donald Rasmussen Born

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / via Charleston Newspapers

  On February 24, 1928, physician Donald Rasmussen was born in Colorado. In 1962, he moved to Beckley to work at Miners Memorial Hospital. He quickly observed that many coal miners were suffering from severe breathing problems. As a result, he began dedicating a good portion of his time to studying black lung disease. At the time, the federal government denied the existence of black lung. But, the disease was rampant in the coalfields. And the numbers were on the rise due to the increased use of underground machines, which generated more dust than traditional hand-loading methods had. Rasmussen’s work showed that many miners had the disease, even when it didn’t show up in x-rays.

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Radio
4:32 am
Mon February 23, 2015

February 23, 1945: Woody Williams Risks Life to Neutralize Japanese in WWII

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

  On February 23, 1945, Marine Corporal Herschel “Woody” Williams perilously risked his life to neutralize Japanese positions during World II. At the time, American tanks were struggling to open a lane for infantry forces on Iwo Jima. With only four riflemen covering his movements, Williams repeatedly prepared demolition charges and rushed enemy lines. Armed with a flamethrower, he destroyed seven Japanese pillboxes, one by one, over a four-hour period. This act of individual heroism earned Williams the Medal of Honor. Eleven days later, he was wounded by shrapnel and earned a Purple Heart.

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Fri February 20, 2015

February 20, 1995: Golden Delicious Apple Named Offical State Fruit

Credit Wikimedia Commons / User Fir0002

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West Virginia History
8:05 am
Thu February 19, 2015

February 19, 1943: Aerospace Engineer and Author Homer Hickam Born

Credit Cecelia Mason / Shepherd University

Author Homer Hickam Jr. was born in Coalwood on February 19, 1943. After serving in Vietnam, he worked for NASA for 17 years as an aerospace engineer. During this time, he wrote his first book, Torpedo Junction. His second book, published in 1998, brought Hickam international acclaim.

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Wed February 18, 2015

February 18, 1969: Against UMWA Wishes, Raleigh Co. Miners Protest to Have Black Lung Recognized

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Humanities Council

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Tue February 17, 2015

February 17, 1735: Morgan Morgan Commissioned As Captain of Berkeley Co. Miliot

Morgan Morgan's cabin in Berkeley County.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism

On February 17, 1735, pioneer Morgan Morgan was commissioned a captain of militia in present Berkeley County. Nearly three centuries later, a successor to Morgan’s militia regiment is still going strong.

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West Virginia History
8:15 am
Fri February 13, 2015

February 13, 1899: Wheeling Newspaperman Archibald Campbell Dies at 65

Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Humanities Council

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Radio
8:28 am
Tue February 10, 2015

February 10, 2010: Former WVU Coach & AD Fred Schaus Died

After five years in the NBA, Schaus returned to WVU in 1954 to coach the most successful teams in school history. Led first by “Hot Rod” Hundley, then Jerry West, WVU made it to six straight NCAA Tournaments and lost the 1959 national title game by only a point.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Former West Virginia University basketball coach Fred Schaus died in Morgantown on February 10, 2010, at age 84. Before entering the coaching ranks, he was a star basketball player at WVU—being the first Mountaineer to score 1000 points in his career.

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Radio
7:22 am
Mon February 9, 2015

February 9, 1950: Senator Joe McCarthy Inflames Cold War in Wheeling

The speech was part of the Wheeling Republicans’ annual Lincoln Day celebration. Although McCarthy’s remark made national headlines, it didn’t even “cause a ripple in the room,” according to a local lawyer who attended the event.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online & The Wheeling Intelligencer / WV Humanities Council

On February 9, 1950, a speech in Wheeling given by U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy altered the course of history. During his speech at the McClure Hotel, the Wisconsin Republican held up a piece of paper that allegedly listed 205 communists who worked for the U.S. State Department.

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Radio
8:16 am
Fri February 6, 2015

February 7, 1732: General Charles Lee Born in England

Lee made a name for himself during the early months of the war, defending Boston and Charleston, South Carolina.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

General Charles Lee was born in England on February 7, 1732. As a young man, he served with distinction in the British army before immigrating to America in the early 1770s. When the Revolutionary War began, he sided with the Americans and served as a major general in the Continental Army.

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Radio
8:09 am
Thu February 5, 2015

February 5, 1890: Cam Henderson Born in Marion County

In 1947, Henderson guided Marshall’s basketball team to a national NAIB title.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

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Radio
7:53 am
Wed February 4, 2015

February 4, 1951: Fiddler "Blind Ed" Haley Dies in Ashland KY

However, just by playing on street corners, courthouse squares, and other public places, Haley became one of the most influential fiddlers of his day. Fiddle great Clark Kessinger considered him the best he’d ever heard.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Legendary fiddler “Blind Ed” Haley died in Ashland, Kentucky, on February 4, 1951. The Logan County native never made any commercial recordings during his lifetime because he feared that record companies would cheat a blind musician.

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Radio
7:46 am
Tue February 3, 2015

February 3, 1923: The Voice of the Mountaineers, Jack Fleming Born

For much of the next half-century, Fleming was a fixture at WVU, announcing football and basketball games.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

Broadcaster Jack Fleming was born in Morgantown on February 3, 1923. After serving in World War II as a navigator on a B-17, he enrolled in West Virginia University through the GI Bill. In 1947, as a 24-year-old undergrad, Fleming became the “Voice of the Mountaineers” on radio.

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Radio
8:38 am
Mon February 2, 2015

February 2, 1946: Author Hubert Skidmore Died

Hawk’s Nest is a fictionalized account of what has been described as America’s worst industrial accident. It depicts the real-life plight of laborers who built the Hawks Nest Tunnel for Union Carbide during the Great Depression.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

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Radio
8:18 am
Fri January 30, 2015

January 30, 1895: Mingo County Formed

The count stood at 54 for nearly a quarter-century. But, by the 1890s, the southern part of Logan County was booming thanks to the Norfolk & Western Railway, which was expanding through the region.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

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Radio
8:09 am
Thu January 29, 2015

January 29, 1873: Chesapeake & Ohio Completed

The southern West Virginia leg of the railroad was one of the great engineering feats of the late 19th century.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

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