Glynis Board

Northen Panhandle Bureau Chief

Glynis Board hails from the Northern Panhandle of West Virginia and is based in Wheeling at the First State Capital Building. She’s been reporting for West Virginia Public Broadcasting since 2012. She covers a broad range of topics including arts and culture, women’s issues, and developments in the oil and gas industry, as well as a variety of significant happening in northern West Virginia.

Before reporting the news, Glynis worked in the production department at WV PBS since 2004, contributing with video editing and film making skills to such documentaries as Frank Kearns: American Correspondent, The Last Mission: Establishing the Rule of Law in Iraq, and Ken Hechler: In Pursuit of Justice.

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Hundreds of people will converge this weekend at Big Bear Lake Trail Center in northern West Virginia for an annual endurance mountain bike race.

“This is our 6th year of doing the Big Bear Lake 2 x 12, which  is a two-person team relay race racing on 12-mile, single-track loops,” said Jeff Simcoe, the race promoter and the recreation land manager at the Big Bear Lake Trail Center.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

  Solar coops in Wheeling and Morgantown are looking for proposals from solar companies to install panels on their homes.

Residents in Wheeling and Morgantown are banding together to buy solar panels in bulk discounts for their homes and businesses. So far there have been 73 sign ups into the Wheeling coop and 86 in Morgantown. Ben Delman from the organization that is facilitating the coops, Community Power Network,  reports that of those interested, about 24 homes in Wheeling and 50 in Morgantown are suitable for solar panels. Both co-ops will be open to new members through the summer.

Wikimedia Commons

A new report released this week shows students in West Virginia with disabilities are graduating from high school at a greater percentage than the national average. 

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a report this week pertaining to the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The report comes after several years of analyzing literature and research, but findings were largely inconclusive.

(Left to Right) Dr. James Brick, James Ohliger, WVU President Gordon Gee, Audrey Jajosky, Dr. John Brick
Glynis Board

Managing chronic diseases is the public health challenge of the 21st century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organization reports that 7 of 10 Americans die every year from chronic diseases, like heart disease and stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, respiratory diseases, and oral conditions. But that burden is worse for aging and low-income populations, like those found in Mingo County.

Wikimedia Commons

The opium poppy is a source of beauty in gardens and fields all over the country and the world. But it’s also a source of pain relief and when abused, death.  In recent years death tolls from heroin, a derivative of the poppy, have tripled nationwide, and the numbers are just as stark here in West Virginia.

Frontline PBS recently tackled the poppy’s intimate connection to humans, tracing it back thousands of years. It started with the Sumerians in 3400 B.C., who passed it to the Assyrians, to the Babylonians, to the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Persians, the Chinese, British, and in 1905 Congress banned U.S. imports of opium - the derivative of poppy seeds and base of heroin. Little good it did. A black market bloomed thereafter and of course, the 5,000-year-old obsession with the opium poppy continues.

But today our region of the world is in the grips of an especially nasty resurgence of heroin addiction.

The 3,000-pound drop forge (the biggest in the factory) in full downward plunge onto a piece of steal as it's pounded into a new reality.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In an age of globalization and a shrinking manufacturing sector, two young men in Wheeling are hedging their bets and running with a business idea that first took off in 1854. Hand-forged tools actually took off much earlier, but Warwood Tool has been in the tool-forging business for over 160 years now: hammers, crow-bars, pick-axes, you name it.

West Liberty University
West Liberty University

  West Liberty University is a four-year public university. Established in 1837, it’s one of the oldest higher education institutions in West Virginia. But lately the university has been charting some choppy waters.

Glynis Board / WVPB

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee kicked off a 55-county tour this week with a visit to Mingo and Logan counties. He traveled with doctors and medical students from WVU who were making rounds to a clinic in Gilbert, and then split off to visit other areas of the counties as well. 

Davis & Elkins College

Davis & Elkins College is officially looking for a new president. After a two-year stint, the current president of the four-year private institution has resigned to accept another job as president of the Appalachian College Association – a non-profit consortium of 35 private four-year colleges and universities.

Michael Sherwin

Remnants of former prehistoric societies exist throughout Appalachia. One photographer is trying to capture glimpses of those ancient times in a series he has dubbed “Vanishing Points.”

West Virginia Cancer Clinical Trials Network

There’s a new nonprofit in West Virginia that wants to provide residents with greater access to cutting-edge cancer care. The West Virginia Cancer Clinical Trials Network officially launched today. The nonprofit is a growing collaboration of cancer physicians and healthcare organizations from across the state. The organization hopes to make more clinical cancer trials available to patients throughout West Virginia.

WVU Photo by Brian Persinger

A direct descendent of the tree that inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s Theory of Gravity has just been planted in Morgantown. It was a gift to retired Sen. Jay Rockefeller by the National Institute of Standards and Technology earlier this month in honor of his science policy leadership during a 30-year career in the United States Senate.

  A new study of a radioactive, carcinogenic gas has grabbed the attention of news outlets and both pro and anti-fracking groups alike. The study published earlier this month says increases of radon gas in people’s homes in Pennsylvania coincide with the horizontal drilling boom. Some geological researchers in the region are skeptical while others aren’t at all surprised.

Wikimedia Commons

  When we hear about the danger of dust exposure, we are usually talking about coal dust underground, or silica dust. But that’s not the only dust that can make people sick. Apparently almost any dust can, if it’s fine enough.

Equal Pay Day fell this year on April 14. It’s the day that women’s wages catch up to men’s wages from last year, according to national rates. Of course, if it were a state holiday, we would have to celebrate in May or June. Women in West Virginia face some of the largest gender wage gaps in the country.

Keep Your Promises Campaign

  The community-based organization Keep Your Promises Dupont released an open letter the C-8 Medical Panel asking for oversight in the court-mandated C-8 Medical Monitoring Program.

The WVU College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development hosted their 4th annual National Energy Conference last week in Morgantown. The day-long conference examined issues affecting water in energy production. 

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

  A new report was published this month that looks at how states are dealing with dangerous waste produced during shale gas development. Not well, according to the report.

Sweetness46 at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

  Ohio County Board of Education members want to change a policy that would limit the ability of board members to teleconference into meetings. Currently, the policy allows members to call in from wherever they are. The five-member board is set to discuss whether or not meeting participation is overly restricted by distance and technology, at the next board meeting.