Dave Mistich

Digital Editor/Coordinator

A native of Washington, W.Va., Dave Mistich joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in October of 2012, as the Charleston Reporter. He covered stories that ranged from the 2012 general election, the effects of Superstorm Sandy on Nicholas County and a feature on the burgeoning craft beer industry in the state. Dave has contributed to all locally-produced news and public affairs programs at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, including West Virginia Morning and Inside Appalachia, as well as The Legislature Today.

Dave has also contributed to NPR newscasts  and newsmagazine programs, including All Thing Considered, upon multiple occasions--covering the major gas line explosion in Sissionville in December 2012, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller's announcement in January 2013 that he won't run for reelection in 2014, the murder of Mingo Co. sheriff Eugene Crum in April of 2013,  a set of new lawsuits against DuPont for their production of C8, and the January 2014 water crisis that affected 300,000 West Virginians across nine counties. He also covered the February 2015 CSX oil train derailment in Fayette County. 

In June 2013, his coverage of the Sissionville gas line explosion won an award for Best Breaking News from the West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

When West Virginia Public Broadcasting launched its new web presence in October 2013, Dave became Digital Editor / Coordinator. In this role, Dave oversees news coverage online and works with the rest of the news staff in developing new and unique ways of telling stories on the web.

On Thanksgiving night 2013, West Virginia Public Radio premiered Mountain Stage at 30: A Radio Retrospective, an hour-long radio special/documentary that Dave produced on the history of the live performance radio show. Dave also took part in Moutain Stage's 30th Anniversary Celebration show and interviewed guests and former staff and crew during a live broadcast.

Before coming to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Dave worked as a freelancer for various newspapers and magazines locally and around the country, including The Charleston Daily Mail,  Relix, and PopMatters, where he focused exclusively on critiquing and writing about popular music. 

A graduate of Marshall University’s W. Page Pitt School of Journalism & Mass Communications, Dave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Radio-Television Production & Management.  He is also finishing a Master of Arts Journalism degree there and is hopelessly trying to complete a thesis which focuses on America’s first critically-oriented rock magazine, Crawdaddy!

Ways To Connect

Wikimedia Commons

Despite taking many steps to prevent injuries, West Virginia ranks highest for the number of injury-related deaths in the United States. That’s according to a new report published this week that looks state-by-state at injury prevention policy.

Many of the injury-related deaths that put West Virginia in the lead nationally are attributed to drug overdoses, according to data compiled by Trust for America's Health (TFAH). The organization published the new report along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its title: The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report

Data by SNL Energy / Data Visualizations by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The following data and article is the result of collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and SNL Energy. To see related stories from SNL Energy on this topic, please click here. 

Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Step into any of West Virginia’s 11 craft breweries Friday and you’re bound to feel a bit of a celebratory vibe. That’s because a new law goes into effect that brewers hope will drive more business their way and expand the state’s growing craft beer industry even further.

 

Princeton University Press

Us & Them tackles an extremely hot topic in their latest episode, The Talk: the battle over whether or not (and how) sexual education should be taught in American schools.

In addition to taking a look at recent controversies, host and producer Trey Kay interviewed historian and New York University Steinhardt School of Culture professor Jonathan Zimmerman about the history of sexual education in the episode.

Zimmerman's latest book, Too Hot to Handle: A Global History of Sexual Education, explores the issue in-depth and concludes that despite all the fuss, children in American schools rarely get exposed to much about sexuality in the classroom.

    

A federal investigation of West Virginia’s system of care for children in need of mental health services shows the state fails to comply with federal law.

In a 30-page letter to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin dated Monday,  June  1, the U.S. Department of Justice said their investigation shows the state's mental health care system for children “fails to provide services to children with significant mental health conditions in the most integrated settings appropriate to their needs in violation” of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Title II of the ADA requires that “individuals with disabilities, including children with mental illness, receive supports and services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs,” according to the letter from the Department of Justice.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


While law enforcement officials, lawmakers and medical professionals are all scrambling to find solutions to West Virginia’s heroin epidemic, EMTs and paramedics across the state are receiving calls almost daily, rushing to the homes of those who’ve made it to the very edge with their addiction.

“Most people, they hear about the problem with heroin. But, I don’t know that they fully understand and can fathom how much of an epidemic it truly is and how many lives are affected by it so adversely,” said Captain Chad Jones, a paramedic and shift supervisor for the Charleston Fire Department.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting / via Tableau

A bill aiming to stave off West Virginia's problems with heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths goes into effect Wednesday. The Opioid Antagonist Act expands access to the life saving drug Naloxone, allowing addicts and family members the ability to purchase the medicine through a prescription.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting / via Tableau

As the stories airing this week on West Virginia Morning illustrate, West Virginia is in the midst of a heroin epidemic. According to  the state Department of Health and Human Resources'  Drug Overdose Database, heroin has claimed the lives of more than 600 West Virginians since 2001. 

But what else can we glean from this information? When did it all begin? And which counties are seeing the highest rate of deaths related to heroin overdoses?  

The interactive map below paints a dark picture of the state's problem with the drug in recent years and also shows other key facts as medical professionals, emergency officials, law enforcement officers and lawmakers all attempt to find solutions. 

  Seemingly everyone in West Virginia has been affected by the heroin epidemic in the state. There are addicts themselves, family members struggling to find them help, the doctors, nurses and paramedics on the front lines trying to save lives and lawmakers and law enforcement officials trying to put a stop to it all--no one seems to be spared.

On Friday, May 1, West Virginia Public Broadcasting debuts its new podcast, Us & Them. The program, hosted by Peabody Award-winner and Charleston native Trey Kay, seeks to explore the issues that create vast cultural divides. 

We spoke with Kay about the origins of the podcast, as well as the dialogue he hopes to create between people of widely different ideological beliefs.

NASA

Satellite images from NASA and other government agencies can tell us a lot about the changing of the climate as well as the environment. Their photo series State of Flux: Images of Change depicts noticeable differences in our world over various spans of time--looking at everything from water, air, natural disasters, as well as the impact of industry.

Dave Mistich / via Tableau Public (Data from MSHA)

Sunday marked five years since a tragedy in southern West Virginia that still fills headlines across the state. Five years ago, April 5, 2010, an explosion at Massey’s Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal in Raleigh County killed 29 men.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries has signed a Voluntary Remediation Agreement with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection following the January 2014 spill of crude MCHM that tainted the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians for days. The agreement is part of the Freedom’s acceptance into the DEP’s Voluntary Remediation Program, including clean up the site.

Data analyzed by SNL Energy's Taylor Kuykendall and Hira Fawad suggests underground coal mines in Appalachia that have unionized are not only safer, but also more productive.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Overall, West Virginia continues to see a decline in population since 2012. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that, while the state's population grew from 2010 (1,854,176)  to 2012 (1,856,313) the state has seen a drop-off in consecutive years since--with the last estimate from July 1, 2014 putting West Virginia's population at 1,850,326.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries hosted a public meeting Tuesday night in a small room in the Charleston Civic Center to provide updates on the remediation of the site of the spill. Last January a coal-scrubbing chemical leaked from a 40,000 gallon storage tank next to the Elk River contaminated the drinking water of 300,000 West Virginians.  

December 2012 Sissonville Pipeline Explosion
Associated Press

Two major interstate projects have been proposed for West Virginia: The Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines. The goal is to create infrastructure that can carry natural gas from hydraulic fracturing operations in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas to markets in the East and South East.  

Office of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin

A massive landslide below Yeager Airport's runway has destroyed a church, caused flooding and block Keystone Road.

Residents were forced to evacuate the area and have relocated to nearby hotels.

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin visited the site Friday with Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito. 

Tomblin said contractors are on site trying to remove dirt in the area. He also said the Federal Aviation Administration is in contact with the airport and that no flights have been disrupted. 

Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia lawmakers have cleared a bill to help the state's craft beer industry.

On Friday, the House of Delegates voted 86-11 to approve a bill letting brewers give out samples at their breweries. Many more businesses could sell up to four growlers of beer a day, including brewers, brewpubs, retailers and bars.

The bill also lowers licensing fees for brewpubs, and sets up a tiered fee system for brewers, instead of the current $1,500 flat fee.

At midnight on Saturday, March 14, the West Virginia Legislature adjourned its 2015 session. This post is the home for The Legislature Today's online coverage of the final day of the regular session.

We've curated this post by aggregating tweets and posting audio of important moments on the chamber floors.

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