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 Mountain 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 has also served as an Innovator in Residence for West Virginia University's Reed College of Media, where he helped an experimental journalism course investigate water quality using sensors and data reporting.

Ways to Connect

CBS / The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders made a surprise visit to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Monday night. The late-night show also featured clips and a sketch on Donald Trump's visit to Charleston last week. 

Appearing the night before the West Virginia primary, Sanders teaches Colbert a lesson in not giving up as the comedian is distraught after not being able to get a 100 Grand candy bar from a vending machine. 

Daniel Shreve / The Media Center

West Virginia rarely makes its way onto a national spotlight in election season, but this year’s primary has been a bit of a different story. With campaign stops from three remaining presidential candidates all last week, the state felt a bit of the spotlight.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

While Senate President and unopposed Republican candidate for Governor Bill Cole has his eyes set on the state’s highest office, he still has a high task in helping pass a balanced state budget.

Cole was one of the introductory speakers at Donald Trump’s rally in Charleston Thursday after endorsing the candidate earlier this week. Before the rally, Cole called Trump the “most vocal supporter of our beleaguered coal industry.”

Donald Trump
Darron Cummings / Associated Press

A recent poll shows Donald Trump has a commanding lead in the republican primary and Bernie Sanders is edging out Hillary Clinton in the democratic race in West Virginia. Democrat Jim Justice is showing a lead in the primary and general election race for West Virginia governor.

According to a Tuesday news release from Public Policy Polling, billionaire Trump leads the state with 61 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz has 22 percent and Ohio Governor John Kasich is trailing with 14 percent.

Bill Clinton
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former President Bill Clinton made stops in West Virginia Sunday to campaign for his wife, Hillary, for president. Reactions to Clinton were noticeably different, as his stop in Logan was met with some opposition, while the crowd in Charleston was enthusiastic without criticisms or interjections from the audience.

Michael Moore
Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Filmmaker Michael Moore made a surprise visit to West Virginia this weekend for a screening at an international film festival. Moore was in the Kanawha Valley on Saturday and Sunday and spoke to crowds at the West Virginia International Film Festival, which was showing his latest film Where To Invade Next at the LaBelle Theater in South Charleston.

Moore’s visit happened mostly by chance, as he was scheduled to be out of the country for his 62nd birthday to appear at the screening of the film in Italy. However, his trip to Italy was canceled last minute.

Presidential Primary Campaign Financing
Data visualization by Dave Mistich / via Tableau

As West Virginia moves toward the May 10 primary, thousands of West Virginians are opening up their wallets and shelling out some major cash for the presidential hopefuls.

But, in terms of dollars, which candidate is winning West Virginia? We look to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission for the answer.


U.S. Senator Joe Manchin will soon introduce legislation that aims to combat the nation’s growing problems with substance abuse. Manchin took to the Senate Floor Wednesday to announce the forthcoming introduction of “Jessie’s Law.”

Don Blankenship
Tyler Evert / AP Photo

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has been sentenced to the maximum one year in prison and another year of supervised release for his role in a conspiracy at the company to skirt mine safety standards. Judge Irene Berger also imposed a maximum $250,000 fine, which is due immediately.

Blankenship was convicted in December of conspiring to willfully violate federal mine safety laws--a misdemeanor. The charge stemmed from an investigation into the April 5, 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine near Montcoal that killed 29 men.

Dinosaur Burps
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This story is featured on an upcoming episode of ​Inside Appalachia focused on hip-hop culture throughout the region. To listen to this episode and others, ​subscribe to the podcast.

If you’ve spent any length of time around the music scene in Charleston, West Virginia -- be it at the Empty Glass, the Boulevard Tavern or the Blue Parrot -- you’re bound to have come across the hip-hop act Dinosaur Burps.

Jim Justice, Joe Manchin
Steve Helber / AP

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has endorsed Jim Justice in the West Virginia gubernatorial race.

Justice's campaign announced the endorsement Wednesday.

Justice, the owner of The Greenbrier resort and several coal companies, is running in the May 10 Democratic primary against former U.S. attorney Booth Goodwin and state Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler.

“There are three extremely capable candidates in the Democratic race for Governor, but I believe that Jim Justice is uniquely qualified to handle the major challenges that West Virginia is facing," said Sen. Manchin in a Wednesday news release. 

West Virginia State Police

The West Virginia State Police says a 17-year veteran trooper died Monday morning during a physical fitness training routine.

First Sergeant Joseph G. Portaro died while jogging near the grounds of the West Virginia State Police Academy in Dunbar, according to State Police spokesperson Lieutenant Michael Baylous.  

Portaro was was transported to Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston where he was pronounced dead. 

Baylous said Portaro's exact cause of death is currently unknown. 

Martin Valent / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Editor's Note: For the latest updates on the final day of the legislative session, be sure to keep checking our live blog.

Update: Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 5:33 p.m.: 

Senate Bill 298--which would move alcohol sales in restaurants, private clubs, wineries and distilleries on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 10 a.m.--has passed the final needed approval in the House. Earlier Saturday, the Senate concurred with House amendments to the bill but had made a title amendment. The House has accepted the title amendment.

The bill would only allow for on-premise consumption and also requires each county to pass a referendum to allow for the move of the sale time. 

It now heads to Governor Tomblin's desk for possible signature. 

Live video of the floor sessions will be available via the West Virginia Channel. Also be sure to follow along with our news team on Twitter @wvpublicnews

For a look back on what's happened this session, take a look at this season's episodes of The Legislature Today.

Zika Virus, Mosquito
Rafaelgilo / wikimedia Commons

State health officials have confirmed the first case of a West Virginian with the Zika Virus.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health received laboratory confirmation Thursday, March 10, of the state’s first case of the virus.

Bureau for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Rahul Gupta says the confirmed case involves an adult male and resident of Clay County who traveled to Haiti.  He is no longer exhibiting symptoms and has made a full recovery, according to a news release.

Recently, The Center for Investigative Reporting's 'Reveal' released an episode called 'Do Not Drink: The Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan.' The producers of the show then wondered about water crises elsewhere and how communities reacted. The January 2014 Elk River chemical spill came to mind and they asked me to contribute some insight into the event and what's happened since.

JosephAdams / wikimedia Commons

A long-running and controversial music festival with deep ties to West Virginia won’t continue in its current form.

The All Good Music Festival and Campout, which was held for many years in various locations in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio and Maryland announced Wednesday on its Facebook Page that it is "retiring.”

The festival, held by Walther Productions, began in 1997 in Maryland and used various locations across the Mid-Atlantic before settling on a site known as Marvin’s Mountaintop, in Preston County, in 2003.

Water Meter
mars58 / Dollar Photo Club

A study released last week by a national non-profit found that the utility rates of West Virginia American Water’s Charleston and Huntington Districts are tied as the 11th and 12th as the most expensive rates out of the 500 largest water systems in the country. West Virginia American Water contested the results of the study based on the methodology used. 

Mat Hayward / Dollar Photo Club

A push to let West Virginia restaurants and other businesses serve alcohol on Sunday mornings has been approved by the West Virginia Senate.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A former executive of a chemical storage facility in West Virginia has been sentenced to 30 days in jail and order to pay a $20,000 fine. The charges stemmed a January 2014 chemical spill that left some 300,000 area residents without water for days.

Former Freedom Industries owner Dennis Farrell will serve time for federal pollution violations.

Four other ex-Freedom officials have been sentenced to probation and ordered to pay fines.