Clark Davis

Huntington Reporter/Producer

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Clark Davis can be heard throughout the week on West Virginia Morning at 7:30am during NPR's Morning Edition.

Clark works in the Huntington Bureau of West Virginia Public Broadcasting covering news and public affairs for radio and sometimes television.

Clark joined West Virginia Public Radio in 2007 as the Huntington reporter.

Clark graduated from Marshall University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Radio/TV and later in 2007 with a Masters in Public Relations.

Born in Huntington, Clark grew up an enthusiastic sports fan and has always been interested in radio.

He has been married since 2010.

Ways to Connect

Barbour County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Two people are dead in Barbour County this afternoon following an explosion at Midland Resource Recovery, according to Barbour County Emergency Management.

One other person was injured and taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown.

Morgan Zerkle
Marshall University Athletics

The Marshall University Softball program is set to make its second NCAA Tournament appearance Friday in Lexington, Kentucky.

Lexington is a familiar location for the Herd, that’s where Marshall played the last time it was in the NCAA Tournament in 2013. And Marshall was scheduled to play UK this season before it was rained out. Marshall head Coach Shonda Stanton said the familiarity should help.

City of Huntington Best Community
City of Huntington Facebook

Three years after developing an arduous redevelopment plan throughout the city, Huntington has been named America’s Best Community. The title, awarded last month comes with a $3 million grand prize.

Huntington was named America’s Best Community last month in Denver, Colorado. It was the culmination of a three-year process that inspired development of the Huntington Innovation Project. The plan outlines 4 projects that aim to revitalization communities and the improvement of broadband throughout Huntington.

But what happens now that the city has won the competition?

Morgantown
Jae120163 / wikimedia commons

Looking for an internship in the state of West Virginia? One website says you can find them in Morgantown or Charleston.

GoodCall.com ranked Morgantown first and Charleston twenty-first on a list of the top cities with summer internships in the U.S. It’s part of the 2017 Best Cities for Summer Internships report compiled by the consumer research site.

Malcolm Portera
Marshal.edu

An internationally known economic development expert told a crowd at Marshall University Wednesday that higher education institutions can be the key to growing a state's economy.

Malcolm Portera, a chancellor emeritus of the University of Alabama System, was at Marshall to outline ideas and initiatives he's headed in Mississippi and Alabama to improve the economy there.  The 71-year-old Portera has helped the southeast with programs that have driven the manufacturing back to the region resulting in $15 billion in capital investments. Portera said much of that economic investment is tied to the universities and was accomplished during his time at Mississippi State University and with the University of Alabama System.

Brad Smith, Jennifer Garner, Chad Pennington
Rick Haye / Marshall University

The president and CEO of software company Intuit was at Marshall University Wednesday to hear students' proposals for projects that could help some of the challenges West Virginia faces.

The program was modeled after the television show Shark Tank. Intuit President and Marshall alum Brad Smith joined state native and actress Jennifer Garner, and former Marshall and NFL Quarterback Chad Pennington to hear presentations from seven groups of students. They were vying for three winning spots. The contest was called the 2017 Innovating for Impact Design and Delight Innovation Challenge. Smith said he wanted to help Marshall students come up with ideas that could help the state.

Jan Rader Pinning Cermony
City of Huntington Facebook

Huntington has hired the first full time female fire chief in the state of West Virginia.

Jan Rader is the first woman in the state to lead a professional fire department. The one-time gemologist, who worked at a jewelry store in Washington, D.C. didn’t see this day coming.

Rader said one day while working in the Jewelry store, a woman had a heart attack and she couldn’t help. She said thankfully two women in the store were there and helped the woman. From there, Rader said her feelings on life changed and she wanted to help people.

Manchin Job Fair Huntington
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Several job seekers from southern West Virginia traveled to Huntington Friday to explore employment opportunities.

Nearly 150 employers were at the Big Sandy Arena  in Huntington Friday, looking to fill job vacancies. United States Senator Joe Manchin’s office organized the three-hour job fair in downtown Huntington. Employers ranging from Wendy’s to state government were on hand, as well as local colleges like Marshall University that offered assistance for education options. Senator Manchin said he wanted to present job seekers with a variety of choices all in one place.

Evan Jenkins RCBI
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

State and Federal officials were in Huntington Thursday afternoon to announce a series of grants aimed at helping create employment in the southern part of the state.

Three grants in excess of $6 million will target manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare in the southern part of the state. The grants were awarded at the Robert C. Byrd Institute in Huntington. The Appalachian Hatchery project will boost workforce training opportunities through RCBI. The Sprouting Farms program will help facilitate an agricultural industry in nine counties in southern West Virginia. 

Huntington wins America's Best Communities comp
America's Best Communities Facebook

The city of Huntington is the first place winner of America’s Best Communities competition. The announcement came Wednesday night. Huntington officials in Denver, Colorado, received a $3 million award to be used on local revitalization efforts.

Huntington was one of the 8 finalists last April and has already received $100,000.

Huntington America's Best Community FInalist
America's Best Communities Competition

The city of Huntington will find out later today (Wednesday) if it’s one of the Best Communities in the country.

Last April, Huntington was announced as a finalist for the America’s Best Communities competition. The year-long event will wrap up Wednesday with the top 8 cities giving a final presentation in Denver, Colorado. The winner will be announced at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night.

  An Ohio man who sold heroin laced with an elephant tranquilizer that caused more than two dozen overdoses in West Virginia has been sentenced to more than 18 years in federal prison.

Twenty-two-year-old Bruce Lamar Griggs, of Akron, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Huntington.

Evzio Naloxone Auto-injector
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  A new state law authorizes school nurses and other trained and authorized personnel at West Virginia schools to administer drugs to counteract opioid overdoses by students without having to first contact parents.

The bill passed unanimously by the House and Senate and signed by Gov. Jim Justice comes as West Virginia recorded 844 overdose deaths last year, more than 700 involving at least one opioid such as heroin, fentanyl or prescription painkillers.

Morgan Zerkle
Marshall University Athletics

The Marshall University softball team is on a 16-game winning streak. Much of that success has come from senior and West Virginia native Morgan Zerkle, who has been selected to play for Team USA this summer.

Team USA, Preseason Conference USA Player of the Year, Top 50 Watch List by USA softball. These are just a few of the accolades that Morgan Zerkle received before the start of the 2017 softball season. As a captain of the Thundering Herd, Zerkle has led Marshall to a 25-4 record overall and a 9-0 record in Conference USA. Zerkle said she never expected this much success.

West Virginia forward Esa Ahmad (23) goes to the basket against Notre Dame guard Rex Pflueger (0) and guard Matt Farrell (5) during the first half of a second-round men's college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2017, in Buffalo
Bill Wippert / AP

West Virginia University’s men’s basketball team continues its NCAA Tournament journey tonight in San Jose.

The Mountaineers will tip-off in their 7th Sweet 16 game in the last 11 appearances in the NCAA Tournament tonight at 7:39. The 4th seeded Mountaineers will take on No. 1 seed Gonzaga Bulldogs. Gonzaga has lost just one game all season, that against Brigham Young University.

Solar Panels, Cheryl and Corky Brown
WV Sun

A group of people in and around Huntington are joining together to try to make solar power a reality for their homes.

It’s a solar co-op. A group of residents from the Huntington community and the surrounding areas are using the power of a group to purchase solar panels. It’s not the first solar co-op in the state. Previous co-ops have been formed in Morgantown, Wheeling and Charleston. And solar co-ops are coming together in Beckley, Lewisburg and the Mid-Ohio Valley region of the state.

Bill Crouch
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

State officials were in Huntington Friday to highlight an organization that could be impacted by cuts, if budget proposals aren’t passed by the legislature.

WV has a budget crisis. Governor Jim Justice’s budget proposal includes more than $450M in tax increases to cover the majority of a $500M deficit. But still programs like the Intellectual Developmental Disabilities Waiver are at risk.

Rock Creek Development Park
Clark / WV Public Broadcasting

One of the last goals of former West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s administration, was to try to help southern West Virginia economically. Tomblin hopes he’s found a unique way to do that.

Space, that’s one of the things companies look for when they consider locating in West Virginia. They want plenty of it before they’ll commit to moving factories and warehouses to the state, but former Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the lack of flat land is often a challenge for those working to diversify West Virginia’s economy.

cityofhuntington.com

As the city of Huntington finds its way out of a budget crisis that’s caused 24 positions to be cut in just the last week, there’s only a little over two months from finding out if the city will be named America’s Best Community.

In April, Huntington will find out if it’s one of the top three cities in a year-long contest, America’s Best Communities, sponsored by Frontier. The city has been competing against 7 other towns from around the country, and each community presented different projects that were tracked. Depending on that progress, Huntington could be picked as one of the best communities in the country. Third place receives $1 million, second place receives$2 million, and the community that’s picked as the winner takes home $3 million.

Mayor Williams City Council
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

The city of Huntington is dealing with budget issues that have the police and fire departments on a pace to exceed their budget for the fiscal year.  At a city council meeting Monday night, Huntington Mayor Steve Williams updated council members on the additional cuts he's asked the two departments to make in order to assure the city can balance its budget this year. Despite the deficit, Williams and city counselors are cautiously optimistic that a budget without police or fire layoffs can occur.

Huntington Mayor Steve Williams says the city's budgetary problems are rooted in three areas. The first, police and fire departments have outspent their annual budgets with six months left in the fiscal year. Along with the overspending, health insurance costs for the city have steadily increased as well as the amount Huntington is paying into its police and fire pension funds. When you combine all three, Huntington is facing an approximate $4.8M budget deficit by the end of the fiscal year in July. 

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