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

Ron Sachs

A Morgantown woman is representing West Virginia in an international effort to fight extreme poverty in Africa. Jamie Williams was inspired by her faith and her previous volunteer work to take up the cause. 

Williams is a West Virginia University alumna. She made her first lobbying trip to Washington, D.C., in February for the ONE Campaign Summit. Co-founded by U2’s Bono, the ONE Campaign is an international group working to end extreme poverty and disease. Williams was in D.C. to urge members of Congress to take up the Electrify Africa Act.

  Studies show homeschooling is becoming more popular in the U.S. — a trend that West Virginia is following. Advocates are hoping bills recently introduced in the state Legislature will make homeschooling easier. 

  There were about 7,000 children home-schooled in West Virginia during the 2010 academic year. That number rose to about 9,000 in 2013, according to the West Virginia Department of Education. 

A study by the National Center for Education Statistics says almost two million children, or three and a half percent of the U.S. school-age population, were home-schooled in 2012. That’s up from about three percent in 2007. 

The Greenbrier Companies

One of the companies that builds the type of rail tank car involved in Monday’s train derailment in Fayette County is urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to finalize new rules for modernizing those cars.

The Greenbrier Companies based in Lake Oswego, Oregon is one of five manufacturers in North America that produce freight-rail tank cars used for transporting Class I hazardous material such as the Bakken crude oil that spilled in Fayette County. The company also retrofits older tank cars to make them safer.

Their work comes at a point when the federal-level Department of Transportation is developing regulations for phasing out older tank cars and setting increased safety standards for new ones.

Aravind Sivaraj / wikimedia Commons

Imagine you go to pull your social security card or driver's license out of your wallet, and instead find a note demanding money for its return. The digital version of that scenario played out in one business owner's computer.

Ryan Whittington owns and operates Club K-9, a dog-boarding facility in South Charleston. He was blind-sided by the Cryptolocker virus, which is a type of malicious software broadly known as ransomware.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An Eastern Panhandle distillery decided to close its doors this week because of uncertainty about regulations the owners say are making their business unprofitable.

Distilleries must sell their liquor to the state and buy it back at a 28 percent markup under a provision of the liquor law called bailment. Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery in Jefferson County says that markup has made doing business unsustainable.

U.S. Department of Energy

A Morgantown middle school will represent West Virginia at the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.

The Suncrest Middle School team won the regional Science Bowl on Saturday. The team competed against eleven others from around the state at West Virginia University. The four eighth-graders and one sixth-grader earned a spot at the national finals in April.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just took another step in helping the state cope with the threat of Ebola.

The CDC designated WVU Hospitals as one of forty-nine Ebola Treatment Centers in the U.S.

WVU Hospitals says in a news release that theirs is the only medical center in West Virginia to earn the designation. The nearest centers until now were in Washington D.C. and Cleveland.

401(K) 2012 /

A public-private partnership to identify and provide help for at-risk Medicaid patients was announced Wednesday.

The state has teamed up with the nonprofit company Partners in Health Network. Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling, with the Department of Health and Human Resources, explained the program. She said the first step is to identify Medicaid patients who visit emergency rooms often.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

State officials have decided against housing some inmates outside the state.

In 2013, West Virginia had asked national companies to bid on sending West Virginia inmates to their out-of-state facilities in the hopes of curbing the state over crowding problem. The proposal envisioned the short-term transfer of up to 400 inmates who agreed to the move to receive educational and rehabilitative programs.