Jesse Wright

News Director

Jesse was born in Swaziland and grew up in South Africa. During his high school years, he witnessed the end of Apartheid and South Africa's transition to democracy.

Jesse moved to West Virginia in 1996 to attend WVU. He earned a bachelor's in journalism and met his wife, a West Virginia native, in the process.

He came to West Virginia Public Broadcasting from The Dominion Post newspaper in Morgantown, where he served as copy desk chief and worked on almost every aspect of the newspaper's production. Before that, he worked as a graduate assistant at WVU's journalism school, focusing on multimedia storytelling.

Jesse is interested in public affairs, education and the effects of government policy on West Virginia citizens' lives.

Based in Morgantown, he has developed a great passion for West Virginia and its unique history.

Jesse lives in the Cheat Lake area of Morgantown, along with his wife, Clover, and his three sons - Arden, Logan and Callan.

Ways to Connect

Mountain Valley Pipileine, LLC.

A judge has ruled that the developer of a proposed natural gas pipeline can’t survey a West Virginia couple’s property without their permission.

Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Robert Irons said Mountain Valley Pipeline failed to show that the project would provide sufficient public use to justify entering private property without an owner’s permission.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Things got heated on Capitol Hill Wednesday when a committee met to debate the ARENA Act -- a bill West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito introduced in May in anticipation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

Capito’s bill is an attempt to scale back the EPA’s new rule. The bill passed through the committee, but not before all the Democrats got up and walked out in protest. 

West Virginia University

West Virginia University is teaming up once again with the University of Rome Tor Vergata for this year’s 2015 Solar Decathlon home-building competition.

The team is tasked with designing, building and operating an energy-efficient, solar-powered house. The winning entry must produce as much or more energy than it consumes, and must be attractive and environmentally friendly.

James Wickline
Photo courtesy of Maarten Vossen

Seventy years ago, a soldier from West Virginia died trying to liberate the Netherlands from the Nazis. A Dutch man has been tending the soldier’s grave and trying to find out more about him for half his life. Now the story has caught the attention of a filmmaker.

An annual summer concert series held in the mountains outside Morgantown has become a favorite destination for musicians and fans alike. The venue’s high elevation often provides a respite from hot and humid weather, making it a fun, family-friendly experience.

A study released earlier this week about the potential of the Utica Shale formation was met with praise from the Consumer Energy Alliance. But the West Virginia Sierra Club doesn’t share that enthusiasm.

 

The Utica Shale Play Book Study released on Tuesday says there may be 20 times as much recoverable gas and twice as much recoverable oil in the Utica Shale formation as was previously thought.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A study released Tuesday, July 14, at a workshop in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, shows there may be 20 times more recoverable natural gas in the Utica Shale and surrounding hydrocarbon-rich formations than previously thought.

 

While a 2012 study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey estimated that 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas could be extracted from the Utica Shale reservoir using existing technology, Tuesday’s study puts that number at 782 Tcf.

Elkinite.com

  Since its launch in November, the online community portal Weelunk has attracted web traffic from all 50 states in the U.S. and around the globe. The website serves as a platform for in-depth stories about Wheeling and also provides a forum for new ideas and community events.

 

Now the site’s creators have taken that formula and applied it to a similar project in Randolph County, called Elkinite.

Downstream Strategies, Leonardo Technologies, Inc.

Businesses and homeowners in Morgantown have a variety of inexpensive options to significantly reduce their energy costs while also cutting greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report released on Monday, June 29.

 

Morgantown-based environmental consulting company Downstream Strategies compiled the report as part of a three-phase project. Commissioned by the Morgantown City Council’s Green Team, the project is funded by the Appalachian Stewardship Foundation and aims to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate the West Virginia Black Bears opened their first season Friday, June 19, to a crowd of 3,019 fans.

 

“Good evening and welcome to Monongalia County Ballpark for the first ever professional baseball game here, in north-central West Virginia,” Black Bears General Manager Matthew Drayer boomed over the ballpark’s PA system.

Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

In the world of medication-assisted substance abuse treatment, there are three prescription drugs that are the most widely known: methadone, Suboxone and Vivitrol.

Traditional Opioid Agonists

Methadone and Suboxone have been the most widely used drugs in addiction therapy in West Virginia. Both are synthetic opioid-based medications that react with opioid receptors in the brain just as heroin or prescription narcotics would. These drugs are often used to wean people off of illicit drugs like heroin or prescription painkillers like oxycodone.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 150 people from six states gathered in Morgantown Tuesday, June 16, to tell the Appalachian Regional Commission what they think the organization can do to help the region take advantage of emerging opportunities. The ARC will use the information collected at the Morgantown listening session and four others to develop a plan to guide its economic and community development efforts during the next five years.

 

The Appalachian Regional Commission was created as an economic development agency in 1964 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty. The ARC partners with federal, state and local government to advocate for sustainable community and economic development across the region.

Tim Kiser / Wikimedia Commons

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed a bill this week that calls for the creation of 10 natural gas pipeline corridors through federal lands within 2 years of the bill’s passage.

The committee passed HR 2295, also known as the National Energy Security Corridors Act, on a vote of 21-15, essentially along party lines. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., sits on the Natural Resources Committee and voted for the bill. Rep. David McKinley, also R-W.Va., co-sponsored the bill.

Keep Your Promises Campaign
KeepYourPromisesDupont.com

An advocacy group has called for closer federal scrutiny of DuPont Chemicals’ plan to spin off its performance chemicals unit.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts rallied members at a meeting on Wednesday, June 3, in Morgantown. Roberts says the union will fight the Federal Environmental Protection Agency to keep miners employed. 

Joe Ravi / wikimedia Commons

Several provisions of the USA Patriot Act expired at midnight on Sunday, May 31, including the National Security Agency’s ability to indiscriminately collect data about U.S. citizens’ phone calls.

The U.S. Senate voted to begin debate on a House bill that would renew some of those provisions and alter the phone data collection program.

West Virginia sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., were among those who voted to take up the House bill.

Concerns Raised About W.Va. Naloxone Bill

May 25, 2015

A law that goes into effect on May 27 allows police officers and those close to addicts to carry the opioid overdose antidote drug Naloxone. While law enforcement officials generally agree that it’s a good idea to carry the drug, there are some questions about safety, training and exactly how the new law will be implemented.

“I totally agree with trying to address the problem at its root but there are a lot of other issues that have to be overcome along the way,” Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston said. 

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Even if Backbone Food Farm didn’t sit below Backbone Mountain, its name still would be very appropriate. That’s because Max Dubansky and his family farm the way he learned from the old folks, letting pigs turn the soil and using horses to work the land. 

 

Max Dubansky and his family farm 50 acres in Pleasant Valley outside Oakland, Maryland, on the edge of the Allegheny Mountains.

Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin joined four other U.S. senators to unveil new legislation aimed at pushing back on proposed federal clean air regulations.

 

Standing beside four other Republican senators and Democrat Joe Manchin, Shelley Moore Capito introduced the The Affordable Reliable Energy Now Act on Wednesday, May 13, at a press conference in Washington, D.C. 

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC as it’s known, held an environmental scoping meeting for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) on Tuesday, May 12, at Jackson’s Mill in Lewis County. The vast majority of those who spoke said they don’t want to see the pipeline built.

 

Harrison County landowner Autumn Long said she’s concerned about several aspects of the project, including potential environmental damage. But she also spoke against the idea that the project might supply West Virginian homes and businesses with gas, as she says has been suggested in a report the pipeline company filed about the project.

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