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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Election 2014
4:39 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Questions Arise Whether Tennant Broke Election Law On First Day of Early Voting

Credit Sam Sepeciale / The Charleston Daily Mail

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant may have violated state law on Wednesday as she led a group to the Kanawha County Voter Registration office for early voting.

According to Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick, Tennant led a group of about 30 supporters to the courthouse Wednesday morning. She says members of the group cheered for Tennant for a brief moment and Tennant thanked them for their support. They then went inside to cast their ballots. 

State law prohibits any campaigning on the property of the county courthouse, any annex facilities or any other designated early voting locations. 

Tennant is running for the U.S. Senate seat soon to be vacated by retiring Sen. Jay Rockefeller.

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News
12:21 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

WVU: Riots Following Baylor Upset Were 'Criminal', Expulsions Possible

Credit Associated Press

Morgantown authorities are assessing damage from riots that broke out following West Virginia's 41-27 win over No. 4 Baylor.

Police Chief Ed Preston said Sunday that crowds pushed over street lights and threw rocks, beer bottles and other items at public safety personnel and their vehicles. Numerous fires were set in the student-dominated Sunnyside area and other parts of the city.

Preston says in a news release that police used pepper spray and chemical munitions to disperse the crowds. Police arrested several people on various charges.

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School Threats
7:07 pm
Sun October 12, 2014

Updated: Former Mussleman High Student Arrested for Making Terroristic Threats

Editor's Note: We have redacted the photo and username of the person in question due to the potential of they being a minor. The tweets included in this post are graphic in nature and have not be edited.

Updated: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 at 9:40 a.m.

A former student faces charges of using a hacked Twitter account to threaten a Berkeley County school.

Police arrested 21-year-old Justin Matthew Light of Kearneysville around 1:30 a.m. Monday. Light is charged with making threats of terrorist acts.

Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster Jr. announced the arrest Monday afternoon during a joint news conference with school officials.

Schools Superintendent Manny Arvon says an individual in Massachusetts alerted authorities after seeing the online threats against Musselman High School. The threats were posted on Twitter on Sunday.

The Twitter account belongs to another former student who now attends Fairmont State University.

Light is being held at the Eastern Regional Jail.

Updated: Monday, October 13, 2014 at 1:05 p.m.

Berkeley County Schools says a former student at Musselman High School was arrested Monday for making terroristic threats against the school principal, students and staff. The school system says those responsible will face criminal prosecution. 

Updated: Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 11:29 p.m.

Berkley County Sheriff Kenny Lemaster says an investigation is ongoing and a person of interest has been developed after threats were made Sunday to open fire at Musselman High School on Monday morning.

Lemaster says the threats were made after a Twitter account had been hacked. He says the person whose identity was compromised is not a suspect.

Lemaster says law enforcement officials are working towards making an arrest as evidence continues to be collected.

Classes at Musselman High School are planned for Monday.

Lemaster said additional officers will be on call, and law enforcement officials will have an increased presence at Musselman High School and throughout the county to try to ease student and parents concerns.

“We are urging people not to give into their fears on this. We are working hard with so students and staff can safely go to school,” Lemaster said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, West Virginia State Police, Martinsburg Police and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department were involved in the investigation.

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Technology & Politics
1:12 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

These (Quasi) Anonymous Social Media Accounts Are Interjecting Themselves Into W.Va. Politics

If you’ve been watching West Virginia politics play out on social media this election season, you’ve probably noticed some pretty vitriolic rhetoric. Some of it comes from the usual suspects--like candidates and their parties. But, some of it--it’s not clear where it’s coming from. Not surprisingly, there are those who contribute to the state’s political discourse through the veil of anonymity.

Byrd's Finger: A Contractor for the Republican Party

When it comes to politics on Twitter, one of the most active accounts in West Virginia is Byrd’s Finger. It’s an obvious reference to the late Democratic senator Robert C. Byrd. But, there’s no question it’s coming from a Republican point of view.

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Marriage Equality
4:59 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Meet the First Gay Couples to Get Marriage Licenses In West Virginia

Chris Bostic and David Epp were the fist gay couple to get married in Kanawha County.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Just a few hours after Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced he would no longer fight a challenge to West Virginia's gay marriage ban in court and Governor Tomblin directed state agencies to begin taking steps toward allowing the practice, Chris Bostic and David Epp of Charleston were the first couple to apply for a marriage license in Kanawha County.

Moments before, Justin Murdock and William Glavaris, as well as Casie McGee and Sarah Adkins received their licenses to marry in Cabell County.

Counties across West Virginia are issuing the licenses after orders from the state saying not to turn couples away.

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Government
1:19 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Gov. Tomblin, Attorney General Issue Statements on Same-Sex Marriage in West Virginia

Credit Flickr / davidwilson1949

 

  Update:   The state Department of Health and Human Resources says it expects that county clerks across the state will be able to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples by Tuesday, October 14 at the latest.

  Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin today issued the following statement regarding same-sex marriage in West Virginia. 

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Government
9:21 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Parkersburg Signs Discourage Helping Panhandlers

A panhandler in Parkersburg says signs posted by the city discouraging the practice give panhandlers a bad name.                                        

The signs ask people to not contribute to the drug and alcohol problem by giving to panhandlers.

Charles Kelly is a panhandler. He tells WTAP-TV that he doesn't do drugs or drink alcohol. He also says he doesn't go up to vehicles and ask for money.

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Election 2014
9:13 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Watch Capito, Tennant Square Off in U.S. Senate Debate

Credit John Hale / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

    

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Social Media
4:07 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

How a Doodle of West Virginia Became a Spontaneous Social Media Campaign (And How to Participate)

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Who knew a doodle of the state could inspire a social media campaign? Especially one that not only shows potential but has proven successful in just a short amount of time.

That's been the case with Draw West Virginia.

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Environment
5:35 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Survey: West Virginia Weighs in on Climate Change

Credit NASA

Our climate is changing. True or False ...and what else?

In light of recent climate change events, we'd like to get an idea of what our communities know and believe about the matter.

Please take and share this short survey widely to help us find out what folks in our region are thinking about climate change. We'll let you know the results in a future post.

Thanks!

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Health & Science
4:08 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

DHHR Confirms Four Cases of Enterovirus EV-D68 in West Virginia

Health officials with the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said Monday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed four cases of Enterovirus EV-D68 in West Virginia, the twenty-third state known to have the virus circulating.  The virus has caused a total of 160 people to become ill across 22 states between mid-August through September 19, and those numbers are increasing, with West Virginia being added to the list of states reporting the virus.  

The West Virginia Office of Laboratory Services and the Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) Laboratory sent 32 specimen samples from Calhoun, Greenbrier, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mercer, Raleigh, Wirt, and Wood counties to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing, according to a news release issued Monday.  The West Virginia DHHR says of the specimens submitted, four have been confirmed as cases of EV-D68 in children. 

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Documentary
1:23 pm
Sat September 20, 2014

Watch 'In Pursuit of Justice' on Ken Hechler's 100th Birthday

Credit U.S. Government

Former Secretary of State and congressman Ken Hechler is 100 years old Saturday. 

Hechler was an Army combat historian during World War II and served in the Truman White House, writing speeches among other duties.

He served in the U.S. House between 1959 and 1976 and was secretary of state from 1985 to 2001.

According to the Associated Press, Hechler and his wife Carole will celebrate the milestone with a private event on Sunday in Romney. 

West Virginia Public Broadcasting filmmakers Chip Hitchcock and Russ Barbour produced a documentary on Hechler's life and work. The 2008 film, Ken Hechler: In Pursuit of Justice, is a two-part documentary examining the role of political office throughout 20th century America.

You can begin watching The Pursuit of Justice by streaming the embedded video below. To continue with the remaining parts, visit our YouTube playlist.

Government
4:18 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

West Virginia DEP Seeks Public Input on Aboveground Storage Tank Rule

Credit AP

State environmental regulators are asking the public to be involved  in the rule-making process for the Aboveground Storage Tank (AST) Program. The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection released a rough draft of the program’s emergency rule to get feedback on ways to make it as thorough and effective as possible.

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Government
2:39 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Watch: Senator Robert C. Byrd's 2005 Speech on Constitution Day

This year, September 17th is designated as Constitution Day in the United States. The designation is a result of The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005. Senator Robert C. Byrd's leadership was instrumental in the passage of the act and, as such, the designation of the event.

As C-SPAN's website states: 

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Investigation
1:32 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

WV DEP Doesn't Know Source of Sheen on Kanawha River, Says It's Not Harmful

Credit Anthony Lewis / WSAZ

Updated on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at 5:17 p.m.

WCHS-TV reports that DEP spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater said the agency's emergency response unit checked out the sheen, and believes it is possible it came from a boat, but the agency likely will never know the source for certain.

The DEP doesn't believe the sheen poses any threat to the public, according to their report.

Gillenwater told West Virginia Public Broadcasting that the nearest public drinking water intake is in Huntington along the Ohio River.

Original Post from Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 at 1:32 p.m.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is investigating an oily substance on the Kanawha River, according to WSAZ-TV.

The Charleston television news station reports Kanawha County Emergency Management Director C.W. Sigman says the origin of the substance--and how much of it is present--is currently unknown. 

Sigman says the substance spans the length of the boat dock at Haddad Riverfront Park in Charleston and there isn't enough of the substance to require a full remediation effort. 

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Government
8:24 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Five Things West Virginia Craft Brewers Want From The Legislature (And The Opposition They Face)

Credit File photo from Uri Tours (wikimedia Commmons) / Photo Illustration by Dave Mistich

As West Virginia’s craft beer industry continues to grow, brewers are turning to the state legislature for help in expanding further. Members of the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild presented some ideas at the state Capitol Tuesday.

Blackwater Brewing Co. owner and brewer Lincoln Wilkins told the Joint Committee on Economic Development that his industry is growing, but current state law is keeping it from becoming a bigger economic force.

Craft brewers have made their wish list and hope to help draft a bill that would bring about some of these changes. Lawmakers could consider the issue when they return full time in January.

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4:06 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

Map: Where Working Women Are Most Equal

Lead in text: 
The status of working women in West Virginia is worst in all of America, according to this report from The Washington Post, which was based on analysis conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. West Virginia recieved an F overall, taking a look at four factors: median annual earnings (for full-time, year-round women workers); the earnings ratio between men and women (again, for full-time, year-round women workers); the share of women in the workforce and the share of women in managerial or professional jobs.
The status of working women is strongest in the Northeast, the region home to many of the most-equal states by employment and earnings, according to a national analysis. Massachusetts had the highest score among states, according to the analysis of four factors conducted by the Institute for Women's Policy Research.
Essay
7:50 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

On ‘Ghostbusters’, Labor & Turning 30

Credit Ghostbusters / via Facebook

This Labor Day weekend Ghostbusters was re-released in theaters to celebrate the film’s 30th anniversary. This occurrence seems monumental for me, personally, for a few reasons.

Let me explain.

Ghostbusters was originally released to American audiences on June 8, 1984. My twin brother Dan and I were born on October 24, 1984.

I’m not good at math or reading a calendar on some days, but this fact means Dan and I were still occupying our mother’s womb when the film was released. That also means Dan and I turn 30 in less than two months.

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10:57 am
Fri August 29, 2014

West Virginia Poll: Coal Is Not Top Issue for Most Voters

Lead in text: 
As Dave Boucher of The Charleston Daily Mail reports, a poll by R. L. Repass--comissioned by the newspaper--shows that unemployment and jobs, health care and the federal budget all registered as higher priorities compared to coal.
The future of the coal industry isn't the top priority for the vast majority of West Virginians likely to vote to send someone to Congress this year, according to a new West Virginia Poll.
10:55 am
Thu August 28, 2014

America’s Coal Heartland Is In Economic Freefall — But Only The Most Desperate Are Fleeing

Lead in text: 
As the coal industry continues to decline--what many say isn't a "typical bust"--The Washington Post reports on the struggles of those in southern West Virginia looking to find new job opportunities and other ways to gather an income.
LOGAN, W.Va. - For 51 years he'd lived in the same hollow and for two decades he'd performed the same job, mining coal from the underground seams of southern West Virginia. Then, on June 30, Michael Estep was jobless. His mine shut down, and its operator said "market conditions" made coal production unviable.

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