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 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.

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!

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The Legislature Today
7:02 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Transferring Drilling Permits Between Companies, Profiling Sen. Boley, A Reporter Roundtable & More

As the first full week of the session comes to a close, bills are slowly moving through the legislative process. 

We’ll review the week with Jon Mattise of the AP and Mandi Cardosi of The State Journal, who are also covering the issues around the Rotunda.

And, we’ll profile Senator Donna Boley of Pleasants County.  A veteran lawmaker she has gone from the only Republican in the Senate to now, the only woman there.  

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Water
6:18 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

DHHR & DEP Investigating Foam on Coal River, Lincoln Co. and St. Albans Water Intakes Closed

  The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health, along with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, is investigating foam observed on the surface of the Coal River. 

According to a news release from DHHR Friday evening,  intakes at both Lincoln County Public Service District and City of St. Albans water systems have been closed. 

The DHHR says foam samples have been collected by Lincoln PSD and the Department of Environmental Protection. Testing of the samples is ongoing and initial results are expected this evening.

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The Legislature Today
8:52 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Energy Portfolio Repeal Passes, A Rally for Abortion Rights & BOE Pres. Gayle Manchin

High drama in the House of Delegates as tempers flare over the repeal of a bill regarding alternative fuels and renewable energy, even though the bill passed overwhelmingly.

Pro-choice advocates rallied at the state capitol today over the newly introduced bill to restrict abortions in West Virginia.

And we’ll talk about the public education system with state Board of Education president Gayle Manchin.

Politics
10:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

State Democratic Party Chair Resigning to Lead Manchin's PAC

Credit www.huntingtonnews.net

West Virginia Democratic party chair Larry Puccio is resigning to serve as the leader of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin’s political action committee.

According to a news release Thursday, Puccio will become chairman of Manchin’s Country Roads PAC. 

Federal Election Commission filings indicate that the Country Roads PAC contributed $26,000 to U.S. House candidates in West Virginia and Ohio during the 2014 election campaign. The group contributed $86,500 to U.S. Senate candidates from 19 states in that election cycle.

The Country Roads PAC was established in 2011 by Jack Rossi, with Manchin acting as its Leadership PAC Sponsor. As a former chief of staff to then-Governor Manchin, Puccio will serve as liaison to elected officials and political leaders. 

“From my time as Governor and now to my time in the Senate, Larry has always been a trusted advisor and someone who has always been connected to the political and legislative workings of West Virginia,” Manchin said in the release.

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The Legislature Today
10:36 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Speaker Tim Armstead, The Department of Transportation's House Budget Hearing & More

  Speaker Tim Armstead takes over as the first Republican to fill the top role in the House of Delegates for the first time since the Capitol has been in its current location. But what are his and his party's plans?

The Department of Transportation gives a budget presentation in the House Finance Committee and concerns remain over the quality of roads affected by drilling the Marcellus Shale.

That and more on this episode of The Legislature Today.

The Legislature Today
7:50 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

Sen. Bill Cole, Unexcused School Absences, The Prevailing Wage & Hog Farming on MTR Sites

Senate President Bill Cole joins us to talk about legislative priorities after the Republican takeover following November's midterm election. 

The chair of the Senate Committee on Labor pulled a bill from the committee's agenda Tuesday, Senate Bill 245, a bill that aims to repeal the state's prevailing wage requirement.   

Also, members of the House Agriculture committee handle a bill that looks to use old mountaintop removal sites for hog farming.

The Legislature Today
7:42 pm
Mon January 19, 2015

Gov. Tomblin Discusses Budget Shortfall, Legislative Priorities with GOP Control

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin joined us to speak about another tight budget year and how his legislative agenda will play out in a GOP-controlled statehouse.

A piece of legislation that would repeal a 2009 energy bill progressed through both chambers at the state house Monday, but that bill is changing shape as it makes its way through both chambers. 

Also, as session began last week there were some tense moments during a discussion of rules in the House of Delegates.

Higher Education
1:08 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

Live Stream: Memorial for Marshall University President Stephen Kopp

Credit Marshall University

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, Marshall University will hold a memorial for President Stephen Kopp, who died suddenly on December 18. 

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Chemical Spill
2:34 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

One Year Later: Events Held to Remember Elk River Chemical Spill

Actors Nathan Mohebbi and Nicole Perrone rehearse [glug] at Marshall University.
Credit Provided

Environmentalists, activists and artists of all sorts are commemorating the one year anniversary of a chemical spill into the Elk River near Charleston. The spill of MCHM by Freedom Industries tainted the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians across nine counties and left them without usable tap water for days. 

Here's a list of some of the events happening around Charleston and elsewhere to mark one year since the spill: 

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Obituary
8:59 pm
Wed January 7, 2015

Former Gov. Arch Moore Passes Away at 91

Credit U.S. Government Printing Office / wikimedia Commons

Former West Virginia Governor Arch A. Moore, Jr. has passed away. He was 91.

His death comes just one day after the swearing in of his daughter, Shelley Moore Capito, as West Virginia's first woman to serve in the U.S. Senate. 

Moore served as West Virginia's Governor for three terms. First from 1969 to 1977 and again from 1985 to 1989. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1969.

According to a news release from Capito and her siblings, Moore passed away Wednesday evening in Charleston while surrounded by family.

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Arts & Culture
8:04 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

West Virginia Native, Country Music Legend "Little" Jimmy Dickens Dies at 94

Credit Flickr bot / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia native and country music legend "Little" Jimmy Dickens has died at the age of 94. According to a press release from The Grand Ole Opry, Dickens passed away Friday afternoon as a result of cardiac arrest following a stroke he suffered on Christmas Day.

Born in Bolt, West Virginia on December 19, 1920, Dickens would go on to be the longest running member of The Grand Ole Opry. He first performed on the show in 1948 and last played on December 20, 2014--just a day after his 94th birthday.

"The Grand Ole Opry did not have a better friend than Little Jimmy Dickens,” said Pete Fisher, Opry Vice President & General Manager through a news release on the show's website Friday evening.  “He loved the audience and his Opry family, and all of us loved him back. He was a one-of-kind entertainer and a great soul whose spirit will live on for years to come."

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Heath & Science
3:00 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

W.Va. Health Officials Urge Precautions to Prevent Flu Outbreak

Credit CDC / Dr. Erskine Palmer / wikimedia Commons

  State health officials are urging the public to take extra precautions before school starts next week to prevent the spread of the flu.

“As children return to school, West Virginia could see further increases in flu activity and influenza outbreaks in schools,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health.

Gupta was appointed to the position in late December and assumed the role at the beginning of the New Year.

Read more
11:33 am
Tue December 30, 2014

The Politics of Drinking Water

In this piece from The Atlantic, Anya Groner uses January's chemical spill of MCHM into the Elk River to set the stage to discuss the history and future of issues surrounding safe drinking water.
On January 9, 2014, American Water warned 300,000 customers in and around Charleston, West Virginia, that local tap water was no longer safe. Ten thousand gallons of 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol (MCHM), a chemical used to clean coal, had leaked from a rusty holding tank into the Elk River, upstream of the water treatment facility.
10:03 am
Tue December 9, 2014

FBI: Former Freedom President Devised Scheme to Distance Himself from Company

The former president of the company responsible for January's chemical spill that tainted the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians has been arrested on federal fraud charges. As the Charleston Gazette reports, Gary Southern has been charged with bankruptcy fraud, false oath in a bankruptcy case and wire fraud.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
The former president of Freedom Industries, the bankrupt company responsible for the Jan. 9 chemical spill that contaminated the tap water for 300,000 people, is facing federal charges, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
Mine Safety
3:26 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Map: Where West Virginia Mine Operators Owe Millions in Delinquent Fines

Credit Mine Safety and Health Administration / U.S. Department of Labor

A recent investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News revealed thousands of delinquent fines by mine operators across the county. Those fines, which are handed down by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, range in their delinquency from months to decades--sometimes adding up to millions of dollars worth of fines. West Virginia mine operators had nearly $10.8 million in delinquent mine safety penalties at 312 mines (as of March 31, 2014).

Three West Virginia-based mine controllers are among the mine owners with the ten highest delinquent penalty amounts, according to the investigation by NPR and Mine Safety and Health News:

  1. James C. Justice II, Southern Coal Corp.: $1,995,327  (Justice's delinquencies are in multiple states. He began paying delinquent penalties at the rate of $100,000 a month after being contacted by NPR.)
  2. Brandy M. Horvath, New West Virginia Mining Company: $1,369,224 (Horvath was involved in a federal criminal case for tax charges that resulted in a 2013 plea agreement and prison sentence.  The court ultimately ruled that Horvath was not the actual controller.)
  3. Richard H. Abraham, Rio Group: $ 982,252 (After NPR series aired, MSHA revealed that Abraham is engaged in negotiations.)

Read more
Government
12:14 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Watch: Rockefeller Delivers Final Speech as U.S. Senator

U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller delivered his farewell address on the floor Thursday. You can view the entire speech below: 

A transcript of the speech as prepared for delivery is also available below: 

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Energy & Environment
9:02 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

State Environmental Regulators, Coal and Power Industries Submit Comments on EPA Carbon Rules

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

State environmental regulators and leaders of the coal and power industries announced yesterday they’d filed comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules that aim to reduce carbon emissions.

Governor Tomblin said the Department of Environmental protection worked with the West Virginia Division of Energy and the state Public Service Commission in filing a nearly 70 page document responding to the proposed rules . At a news conference Monday, Tomblin called those rules “unprecedented” and “illegal.”

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Investigation
2:02 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Motives Behind Mon. Co. Shootings Unfolding, Victims Identified

Thirty-nine year old Jody Hunt of Westover has been identified as a suspect in the shootings.
Credit West Virginia State Police

UPDATED: 1:36 p.m. Tuesday December 2, 2014 

Police say a towing company owner killed his ex-girlfriend, two men she was having a relationship with and the owner of a rival tow truck firm in West Virginia.

Police say the shooter, Jody Lee Hunt, killed himself after about a 12-hour manhunt Monday. State Police Lt. Michael Baylous and Monongalia County Sheriff Kenneth "Al" Kisner on Tuesday revealed the motive for the rampage during a radio interview on West Virginia MetroNews.

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Environment
12:46 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

DEP: Yellow Liquid On Elk River A Result of A Broken Sewer Line, Water Intake Restored

The grey area highlighted is the approximate location where the yellow substance was spotted.

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 4:38 p.m.

West Virginia American Water is returning service to its Kanawha Valley water treatment plant following a sewer line break Thursday on the Elk River above the plant intake. A yellow substance was reported shortly after noon and the company shut down the plant following notification from Metro 911. 

The company says they've consulted with the West Virginia West Virginia Bureau for Public Health about the decision to return service and they continue to work with the state Department of Environmental Protection and first responders. 

West Virginia American Water says the treatment process will be augmented with additional powdered activated carbon.

According to a news release, the company says plant operators have increased  the frequency of testing for: 

  •  total coliform (an indicator of bacteria),
  • pH, conductivity
  • and are continuously monitoring for free chlorine (disinfection).  

The company says they were notified that approximately three gallons of water-based road paint in the sewer system likely caused the yellow color at the site of the sewer line break. The Bureau for Public Health and water quality experts reviewed a MSDS sheet of the paint provided by the City of Charleston and determined it did not pose any threats.

Updated on Friday, November, 14 at 2:46 p.m.

West Virginia American Water spokeswoman Laura Jordan said the shut down their Elk River intake around noon after being notified about the situation.  She says company officials are working with the DEP, first responders and other agencies.

Ongoing testing at the treatment plant shows no change in water quality, according to West Virginia American Water.  

Original Post from Friday, November, 14 at 12:46 p.m.

West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said  that, after consultation with Charleston City officials, it was determined the yellow sheen came from a broken sewer line and the spill "has been contained."

She says West Virginia American  has been notified.

Metro 911 called the report in to the DEP spill line around noon today. A distpatcher there says West Virginia American Water has shut down their Elk River intake.

According to the Charleston Gazette, "the liquid, in a geyser a few feet tall, was on the west side of the river." 

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Poverty
8:15 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Parkersburg's Panhandlers Say Signs Calling Them Addicts Are Insulting and Defamatory

A month ago the city of Parkersburg posted signs around town asking the public not to give to panhandlers. But some people still do. And some panhandlers say the signs aren’t just ineffective. They’re insulting. Even defamatory.

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