Bob Powell

Radio Operations Director

Bob is West Virginia Public Broadcasting's 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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Melville Post
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Writer Melville Davisson Post was born in Harrison County on April 19, 1869. He became a popular writer, starting with his 1896 short story collection, The Strange Schemes of Randolph Mason.

With a law degree from West Virginia University and a successful writing career underway, Post married Ann Bloomfield Gamble Schoolfield. Together, they traveled the world and the East Coast before settling down at their home, known as the “Chalet,” in Harrison County.

State Justice Marmaduke Dent
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Marmaduke Dent was born at Granville in Monongalia County on April 18, 1849. During his childhood, the nation was descending into the Civil War.

His father, Marshall Mortimer Dent, as editor of Morgantown’s Virginia Weekly Star newspaper, favored compromise to save the Union, and, as a delegate to the Virginia secession convention, voted against secession.

Frank Leslie / wikimedia Commons / user: Btphelps

On April 17, 1861, Virginia politicians voted to secede from the Union. The move came just days after the Civil War had erupted at Fort Sumter and after President Abraham Lincoln had called for 75,000 volunteers. For months, Virginia and other states in the Upper South had refused to join the new Confederate States of America. But, Lincoln’s call for volunteers tipped the balance.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / via West Virginia & Regional History Collection

On April 14, 1875, Hallie Davis married Stephen Elkins, bringing together two powerful political families. Hallie Davis was the eldest child of Henry Gassaway Davis, a U.S. senator and one of West Virginia’s richest men. She grew up primarily in the Mineral County town of Piedmont and in Frederick, Maryland. When she met Stephen Elkins, he was serving as a delegate to Congress from the New Mexico Territory. They later lived in Washington and New York.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Attorney and presidential candidate John W. Davis was born in Clarksburg on April 13, 1873. The Democrat launched his political career in the West Virginia House of Delegates in 1899, and was elected to Congress in 1911. He resigned shortly into his second term to become U.S. solicitor general and later served as President Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to England.

Grave Creek Mound, Marshall County
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Archeologist Delf Norona died in Moundsville on April 12, 1974, just before his 79th birthday. Born in Hong Kong, Norona spent much of his early life in the Philippine Islands.

A British subject, he emigrated to Canada and then to the United States, where he served in the U.S. Army during World War I. In 1930, he moved to West Virginia.

Tick Ridge Fire Tower, Cabwaylingo State Forest
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On April 11, 1939, Company 1558V of the Civilian Conservation Corps wrapped up its work at Camp Anthony Wayne, now known as Cabwaylingo State Forest, in Wayne County.

Two different CCC companies had occupied Camp Anthony Wayne between 1935 and ’39. The CCC surveyed timber and game, cut weeds and brush, cleared trails, and constructed log cabins, which are still in use at Cabwaylingo.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On April 10, 1932, striptease artist Blaze Starr was born in Wayne County as Fanny Belle Fleming. At age 14, she left home for Logan, where she worked at a drive-in. After catching a bus to Washington, her life soon changed in unexpected ways.

A date took her to a burlesque club in Baltimore. She bragged to the owner that she could do a better job than his current dancers. Renamed Blaze Starr, she became the star attraction at Sol Goodman’s Two O’ Clock Club.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

A. James Manchin was born in Farmington on April 7, 1927. He’d become perhaps the most colorful politician in West Virginia history.

During his one term in the House of Delegates in the late ’40s, he fought for civil rights issues, which possibly led to his re-election defeat. After stepping away from government for a decade, he returned as state director of the Farm Home Administration in the ’60s.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Attorney and politician William T. Brotherton Jr. died on April 6, 1997, at age 70. During his long career, he’d risen to the top position in two of West Virginia’s three branches of government.

UBB Mine Disaster
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On April 5, 2010, the day after Easter, a series of explosions rocked the Upper Big Branch mine near Montcoal in Raleigh County.

Twenty-nine men died, making it West Virginia’s worst mining disaster since 78 miners were killed at Farmington in 1968.

After the Upper Big Branch explosion, an independent investigation determined that sparks from a longwall miner had ignited a pocket of methane, setting off a chain of explosions that surged more than two miles through the mine.

Singer Red Sovine
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Musician Red Sovine died in Nashville following a car crash on April 4, 1980. He was 61.

Born Woodrow Wilson Sovine in Charleston, he was influenced by local radio musicians Frank Welling and Buddy Starcher, who were known for their sentimental monologues.

Sovine’s early radio career on WCHS in Charleston and WWVA in Wheeling was slow to take off. So, he took a factory job in the Putnam County town of Eleanor while performing on radio. After World War II, he pursued a full-time musical career in Montgomery, Alabama, Shreveport and finally Nashville.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Courtesy of Ohio Historical Society

Simon Kenton was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on April 3, 1755. He left home at age 16, after he mistakenly thought he’d killed a neighbor. Kenton first traveled north through present West Virginia to Pittsburgh. Then, during the 1770s, he spent several winters trapping game along the Ohio River between the Big Sandy and Kanawha rivers.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Bishop Francis Asbury died on March 31, 1816, at age 70. Born in England in 1745, he volunteered to come to America in 1771 on behalf of the rapidly growing Methodist church. During pioneer days, Asbury was one of many Methodist circuit riders who spread the gospel from community to community. His travels often brought him into what is now West Virginia. And his diary provides some of the best early accounts of western Virginia life.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / West Virginia Division of Tourism / David Fattaleh

On March 30, 1838, Marshall Academy was incorporated in what is now Huntington. The school had been established the previous year as a private school to educate the children of farmers in the region. The first classes were held in a small log church on the knoll where Marshall’s Old Main building now stands.

In 1858, the Virginia Assembly granted college status to Marshall. However, the school closed its doors a little more than two years later when the Civil War began.

Russ Fluharty
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Musician and folk personality Russ Fluharty died on March 29, 1989, at age 82. A lifelong resident of the Mannington area in Marion County, Fluharty learned to sing and play several instruments from his large extended family. 

In 1928, an uncle gave him an antique hammered dulcimer—an ancient instrument with many strings stretched across a box and played with small mallets. Locally, the instrument was nearly unknown, so Fluharty developed a unique playing style and taught himself to play his favorite hymns, patriotic tunes, and familiar old songs.

John George Jackson
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Early Western Virginia leader John George Jackson died on March 28, 1825, at age 47. He was born near Buckhannon in 1777. He represented Harrison County in the Virginia House of Delegates and promoted the 1816 Staunton Convention—which led to some of the first political reforms benefiting Western Virginia.

Milton Humphreys
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

Milton Humphreys enlisted in the Confederate army on March 27, 1862. The Greenbrier County native served in Bryan’s Battery of the Virginia Artillery. It was only two months before he entered the annals of military history.

During a battle at Fayetteville in May 1862, Sergeant Humphreys fired his cannon at Union artillery from behind an intervening forest. When the shells rained down on a Union fort, the troops thought they’d come from the sky. This technique, known as indirect fire, was a first in battle and would become a precedent for modern warfare.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Statehood leader Francis Pierpont died on March 24, 1899, at age 85. He was born near Morgantown in 1814 and raised for part of his childhood in Marion County. As a young adult, he was as an attorney for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and a pioneer coal operator.

When the Civil War began, he helped form the pro-Union Reorganized Government of Virginia with its capital in Wheeling. In June 1861, he was unanimously elected the first and only governor of this government.

Pfc. Jessica Lynch receives the Purple Heart from Lt. Gen. James B. Peake, U.S. Army surgeon general, during a ceremony at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on July 21, 2003. Lynch also received the Bronze Star and the Prisoner of War Medal.
Brett McMillan / US Army

  

On March 23, 2003, Private Jessica Lynch of Wirt County was captured by Iraqi forces. Soon, Lynch would be a household name throughout the nation.

Two years earlier, the 18 year old had joined the Army to earn money for college. Just days after the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, her convoy was ambushed by Iraqi forces, and her Humvee was wrecked. Lynch was seriously injured and then captured.

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