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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Politics
4:02 am
Wed August 13, 2014

In The Supposed 'War on Coal', West Virginia and Kentucky Parallel on Mining Jobs, Politics

Credit AllVoices.com

The "war on coal" is a phrase that's increasingly popular in Central Appalachia politics. With declines in coal jobs and new rules from the EPA to target carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the words become hugely political--especially during an election year.

But the phrase's validity certainly begs question, at least according to a recent article by Erica Peterson of WFPL in Louisville.

Just last week, Peterson--who began her career as a reporter at West Virginia Public Broadcasting--detailed the ups and downs of Kentucky's coal jobs back to the Reagan administration beginning in 1981, examining the loss or gain of coal mining employment within that state across presidencies. What she found was, that if a war on coal exists in Kentucky, the blame goes farther back than President Barack Obama. 

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Politics
11:55 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Delegate Raines to Withdraw from House 35th District Race

Credit West Virginia Legislature

A member of the House of Delegates will withdraw from the race for the 35th district amidst recent legal troubles and allegations related to her living situation.

Republican Kanawha County Delegate Suzette Raines was accused by the state Democratic Executive Committee for lying about where she lives. The committee also accused her of not filing campaign finance reports with the Secretary of State’s office or campaign disclosures with the state Ethics Commission.

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Politics
12:47 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

W.Va. GOP Nixes Speaker Facing Federal Sentencing

Dinesh D'Souza
Credit DineshDSouza1961 / en.wikipedia.org

Updated: August 6, 2014 at 5:58 p.m. The West Virginia GOP has canceled an event where a conservative scholar would have spoken four days before his sentencing for federal campaign finance violations. State Republican Party Chairman Conrad Lucas says the September 19 Victory Dinner featuring Dinesh D'Souza in Charleston is canceled. He says the event will be rebooked.

Original Post Published: August 6, 2014 at 12:47 p.m.

A conservative scholar and author will headline a West Virginia GOP event four days before his sentencing for federal campaign finance violations.

A state Republican Party news release says Dinesh D'Souza will speak at the party's annual Victory Dinner on September 19 in Charleston.

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9:40 am
Mon August 4, 2014

A Statistical Analysis of the Work of Bob Ross

The stats gurus at FiveThirtyEight have broken down Bob Ross' artistic output. Want to know what percentage of his paintings have at least one tree? What about what percentage has a mountain?
Bob Ross was a consummate teacher. He guided fans along as he painted "happy trees," "almighty mountains" and "fluffy clouds" over the course of his 11-year television career on his PBS show, "The Joy of Painting." In total, Ross painted 381 works on the show, relying on a distinct set of elements, scenes and themes, and thereby providing thousands of data points.
Summer Reads
10:45 pm
Sun August 3, 2014

Marie Manilla's 'The Patron Saint of Ugly'

Credit Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

 

For many people, summer is a time to get lost in literature. And this year, Huntington author Marie Manilla’s new book, The Patron Saint of Ugly is ending up on many summer reading lists. The story is set in a fictional West Virginia town, and most of it is told in the form of transcripts of archived tapes.

Manilla's lead character, Garnet Ferrari, is believed to possess magical healing powers. Her bright red hair and port-wine stains all over her body lead pilgrims from all over the world to seek help through her supposed powers. Yet, Garnet is dead set on dispelling rumors of her abilities, blurring the lines between fact and fiction--furthering the mystery of who she might be.

12:48 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

EPA Hearing Puts Pittsburgh in Crosshairs of Climate Wars

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in is Pittsburgh for two days, holding a public hearing on climate change and proposed rules to reduce carbon emissions. As The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier reports, the hearing proves the climate change debate is a divisive one in this region.
July 31, 2014 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held hearings Thursday and Friday in Pittsburgh on a proposed rule to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The plan is up against serious opposition from the coal industry, but environmental groups say it doesn't go far enough.
11:16 am
Thu July 31, 2014

In West Virginia, Whitewater Rafting and the Long Tail of a Chemical Spill

The economic impact of January's chemical spill from Freedom Industries into the Elk River is still not fully known. But, as The Washington Post reports, rafting companies on the New and Gauley Rivers say they are hurting even though the Elk doesn't flow into the rafting region.
FAYETTEVILLE, W.Va. - Dave Arnold stares at the giant whiteboard, searching for clues that his slow summer may finally be picking up, lifting like the New River Gorge's morning fog. The whiteboard hangs inside the storefront of a local photo studio. It lists every commercial whitewater rafting trip for the coming week on the New and Gauley rivers.
NPR
8:23 am
Thu July 31, 2014

New NPR Chief Visits West Virginia Public Broadcasting, Talks Future of Public Radio

West Virginia Public Broadcasting executive director Scott Finn (left) looks on as NPR President and CEO Jarl Mohn speaks to employees, board members, and others.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

NPR has a new president and CEO.  Jarl Mohn was once a music DJ, but he says he has a passion for  public radio. That's why he chaired Southern California Public Radio after making his career in cable TV as President and CEO of E-Entertainment Television.

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Energy & Environment
12:50 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

West Virginia, Coal Industry Leaders Attend Pittsburgh Energy Rally

Credit Marcus Constantino (@AMTino) / Charleston Daily Mail

   West Virginia officials joined hundreds of coal miners and coal supporters at an electricity and energy jobs rally.

The Wednesday event at Pittsburgh's Highmark Stadium included Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Ohio Lt. Governor Mary Taylor, labor leaders and others.

Officials say the rally is aimed at raising awareness over proposed changed to federal rules about pollution discharged by coal-fired power plants.

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Bankruptcy
11:22 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Deadline Approaches for Claims in W.Va. Chemical Spill

Credit AP

    

Time is running out for residents and businesses affected by a January chemical spill in Charleston to file claims in federal bankruptcy court.

Claims against Freedom Industries, the company responsible for the spill, must be filed by Friday. Forms can be obtained and completed on the court's website.

According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Charleston, roughly 850 claims were on the register as of Wednesday morning. The total amount listed for those claims is more than $21 million.

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Tank Demolition
8:49 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

The Final Moments of Freedom Industries' Tank 396

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The storage tank that was the source of a chemical spill that contaminated the drinking water supply for 300,000 West Virginians on January 9 has been demolished. Tank 396, which housed the coal-scrubbing compound MCHM, was demolished Tuesday afternoon. Contractors began demolition of the tank farm on July 15.

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Health & Science
12:32 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Feds Commit to Health Studies on Elk River Chemical Spill

Credit AP

Federal, state, and Kanawha county officials met Wednesday in U.S. Senator Joe  Manchin’s Washington D.C. office to pin down plans for more studies on the January 9 chemical spill at Freedom Industries. The announcement comes as a relief to those who’ve been pressing for this development since almost day one. 

Members of the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Health, and the West Virginia Department and Health and Human Resources were part of the meeting.

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Tank Demolition
6:22 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Photos & Video: Demolition of Freedom Industries Site Begins

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Freedom Industries contractors began the demolition process  at the site of a January chemical leak that tainted the water supply of 300,000 West Virginians. Contractors knocked out a wall and ripped piping materials from the tanks Tuesday.

Freedom Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Welch said four tanks will remain up to store stormwater and waste at the site until their contents are removed.  He said, at that point, the contents will be removed and those tanks will be torn down at the end of the process.  

Welch says Tank No. 396, which is the tank that stored MCHM and leaked into the river on January 9, will be demolished sometime next week. 

Here are some images of the site just before and during the initial phases of the demolition process:

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Chemical Spill
5:06 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Tank Demolition Underway at Freedom Site

Credit Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Demolition has started on at the site of a January chemical spill in Charleston that contaminated public drinking water for 300,000 West Virginians.

Independence Excavating began the demolition process Tuesday by knocking down a brick wall, tearing out piping, and removing materials connected to the tanks. Freedom Chief Restructuring Officer Mark Welch says the first cuts to the tanks will come Wednesday.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

DEP Approves Stormwater Management Plan for Freedom Tank Demolition

Credit AP

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has approved a stormwater management plan for the demolition of the Charleston Freedom Industries site. The tanks there were involved in the contamination of the drinking water for some 300,000 West Virginians in January.

According to the plan approved Monday, Freedom Industries contractors will place liners over the footprint of the tanks to prevent stormwater from unintentionally entering the ground.

Contractors will also halt the demolition process if more than two inches of rain falls within a six-hour period.

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West Virginia Morning
9:49 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Retailers Ban Pseudoephedrine, New Cancer Research, Shepherdstown Theater Festival & Bottle Rockets

Ashton Marra speaks with Senator Greg Tucker--who backed a bill to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine--about major retail pharmacies announcing plans to stop selling the drugs. Marshall University professor Vincent Sollars recently received a nearly $500,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute for his unique cancer research involving canalization. The 24th season of the Contemporary American Theater Festival at Shepherd University  features plays exploring the topics of our day. Also, The Bottle Rockets perform "Big Lots of Love" on this Mountain Stage song of the week.

Chemical Spill
1:27 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Study: MCHM Could Be More Toxic Than Previously Thought

Credit AP

  A new study shows a chemical that spilled into West Virginia's biggest drinking water supply in January could be more toxic than a previous test indicated. But the researcher behind the study cautions there are differences between his tests and earlier studies.

University of South Alabama researcher Dr. Andrew Whelton released the findings Thursday from crude MCHM toxicity tests on freshwater fleas.

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West Virginia Morning
9:56 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Preston County Schools Regain Control, Revitalizing a Princeton Theatre & A Museum for John Henry

The West Virginia Board of Education voted Wednesday to return control to Preston County Schools but, the return of control comes with some conditions. A non-profit organization in Princeton is working to improve the community by renovating a theatre.  The legend of the steel-driving man John Henry will soon have a home at a museum in the folklore hero's hometown of Talcott.

West Virginia Morning
11:30 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Meeting Dr. Martirano, Fasting for Climate Change, Mountaintop Mining's Effect on Fish & More

 West Virginia got a glimpse of its newly appointed superintendent of schools yesterday when Dr. Michael Martirano was introduced to a crowd of state employees and members of the media. 85-year-old veteran, Roland Micklem, says he’s organized the fast as a way to express his sadness over the deteriorating natural environment that he has witnessed in Appalachia. A newly released study shows that mountaintop removal mining affects fish populations downstream from the mining site. Also, Marshall University will open a new visual arts center in the fall in downtown Huntington. 

West Virginia Morning
9:01 am
Tue July 8, 2014

WVOASIS Integrates State Business Procedures & The Appalachian Project Seeks Stories

Tuesday marks a major change in the way state government does business but, unless you're a state employee that handles business procedures, it’s a change you likely won’t even notice. Two friends--one  in Johnson City, Tennessee and the other in Dickinson County, Virginia--are hoping to make a documentary showing a truer side of the Appalachian Region.

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