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!

Pages

10:03 am
Tue December 9, 2014

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

Lead in text: 
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.)

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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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UBB Investigation
4:31 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Former Massey CEO Don Blankenship Indicted on Four Federal Charges

Credit Brianhayden1980 / wikimedia Commons

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship was indicted on four federal charges Thursday. The charges stem from a years-long investigation led by the FBI and the United States Department of Labor's Office of Inspector General into an April 5, 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine owned by Massey that killed 29 miners. 

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4:14 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Longtime Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship Indicted

Lead in text: 
As The Charleston Gazete's Ken Ward reports, former Massey Enegry CEO Don Blankenship was indicted Thursday on federal charges that he violated mine safety laws at the Upper Big Mine before an April 2010 explosion killed 29 miners. The indictident comes from a years-long investigation from U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin's office in West Virginia's Southern Distict.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
Don Blankenship, the longtime chief executive of Massey Energy, was indicted today on charges that he violated federal mine safety laws at the company's Upper Big Branch Mine prior to an April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners. U.S.
9:24 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly: John Unger

Lead in text: 
PBS features West Virginia State Senator John Unger, who also serves as a pastor at three churches in the Eastern Panhandle. Unger says being a pastor allows him to better understand "the human condition" and helps him become a better legislator.
  • Source: Pbs
  • | Via: PBS
BOB ABERNETHY, correspondent: John Unger is a 45-year-old West Virginia native who has pastored St. John Lutheran Church in Harper's Ferry for four-and-a-half years. He says when he started the congregation consisted of six people and a dog. Today, about fifty people worship here on the average Sunday.
Culture
4:25 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Live Event: Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia

Credit West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy

The Summit will offer a unique opportunity for people from throughout West Virginia to participate in a constructive, in-depth conversation about the complicated history of race relations and racial inequality in the state. Participants will examine the causes and consequences of structural inequities that exist across social, political, education and financial systems and how those inequities negatively affect everyone. It will encourage strong leaders, working together, to commit themselves to building a community that improves the well-being of all West Virginians.

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2:39 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

NBC News' Exit Polling for U.S. Senate Race

Lead in text: 
Exit polling data from MSNBC reveals quite a lot about the motivation of voters in the Capito-Tennant race for U.S. Senate. For example, 47 percent of voters polled say their vote "expressed opposition" to President Obama, with 90 percent of those voters punching the ticket for Capito.
Go to NBCNews.com for the latest news about the 2014 West Virginia Senate elections and up-to-the-minute West Virginia Senate election results.
Politics
7:33 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Hall Switches Parties, GOP Will Control Both Chambers of West Virginia Legislature

Credit West Virginia Legislature

Senator Daniel Hall has left the Democratic Party, flipping the West Virginia Legislature entirely into the hands of the GOP, according to a source in the state's Republican Party office. 

The party affiliation change comes after a deadlock in the state Senate where Republicans and Democrats each had 17 members as a result of Tuesday's election.

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Election 2014
2:17 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Five Ways the West Virginia GOP Made History in the 2014 Election

Credit West Virginia Public Broadcasting / Google Fusion Tables

The story of the 2014 Midterm Elections in West Virginia is all about the Republican Party.

Calling Tuesday's election a statement that the President's polices were on the ballot, Republicans won big in federal races and dramatically shifted the power of the state legislature.

Here are the five biggest stories of the night:

1. The House of Delegates is now in the hands of the GOP for the first time in 83 years.

The state Republican Party's main focus this year was changing the balance of power in the House of Delegates. Running on a campaign of "83 years is enough" and pointing to the longtime control of Democrats, the GOP pulled 64 of 100 seats in the state legislature's lower house. 

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Developing
2:55 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Live Coverage: Election 2014

Editor's Note: Keep refreshing this page for the latest. For real time results, choose the races you would like to view with the links below or the ballot at the bottom of the page.

West Virginia State Senate  | U.S. Senate & House  |  West Virginia House of Delegates

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Election 2014
2:55 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

West Virginia House of Delegates Results

U.S. Senate & House  |  Live Blog  | West Virginia State Senate

Click on each district for more information. Also, be sure to refresh the page for the latest results.

Election 2014
2:55 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

West Virginia State Senate Results

U.S. Senate & House   | Live Blog  |  West Virginia House of Delegates

Click on each district for more information. Also, be sure to refresh the page for the latest results.

Election 2014
12:52 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

West Virginia Politics: Twitter Index

Twitter is an increasingly powerful tool for communication and news gathering. This election, the company has provided an analytical look at the political conversation in each state leading up to Tuesday, November 4.

So take a look at who's tweeting about politics in West Virginia and what they have to say:  

2014 Elections
3:03 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Does Independent Ed Rabel Embody Howard Beale from 'Network'?

Charleston-area native Ed Rabel spent more than three decades as a television news reporter, working for CBS and NBC. During his time at the networks, Rabel reported from around the world--stopping in locations like Cuba, Laos and Cambodia.

But in life after journalism and as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in West Virginia's 2nd Congressional District, Rabel seems to embody fictional television news anchor Howard Beale, portrayed by Peter Finch in the 1976 film Network.

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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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