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

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.

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.

  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.

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.

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.

Marshall University

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

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: 

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

Mine Safety and Health Administration

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).

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: 

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.”

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.

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." 

Dave Mistich

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.

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. 

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.

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