Jessica Lilly

Southern West Virginia Bureau Chief

Jessica Lilly covers southern West Virginia for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program, and during afternoon newscasts.

Jessica joined WV PBS in 2008 as the Southern West Virginia Bureau Chief. She’s committed to reporting stories from the people in her region and across the state and is passionate about following issues and developments in mine and worker safety.

Jessica was chosen by the West Virginia Associated Press in 2013 as the winner of the Significant Impact Award for her influence on broadcasting in the state. She was also the winner of the 2013 Associated Press Best Reporter, Best Enterprise Reporting and Best Feature Runner-Up.

In 2011 Jessica was recognized by the Associated Press as Runner-Up for Best Reporter and in 2012 was recognized for Best Breaking News Coverage.

While studying broadcasting, public relations and business administration at Concord University, Jessica worked as the weekend producer and fill in reporter for WVNS-TV in Raleigh County. She went on to work as a full time reporter for WVNS-TV for about a year.  

Jessica graduated from Concord University in 2007, where she was named Concord University’s Reporter of the Year and Producer of the Year.

Born in Bluefield, WV Jessica grew up in the coalfields of West Virginia and Wyoming County. She was always busy with activities such as cheerleading, or theatre.

When she’s not reporting, Jessica advises Concord University's online radio webstream and teaches communications classes at the school. She enjoys attending sporting events and theatre productions, singing, antiquing, skiing, riding ATV’s, and traveling with family.

Pages

Inside Appalachia
4:55 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Celebrate Appalachian Storytelling with Tales of a Ghost Train, Wizard Clip & More

Credit Published by Constructive Publishing (Scanned cover of pulp magazine) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

This week, as we approach All Hallows Eve, we have dedicated the next hour to ghost tales and dark legends. Award winning writer, Scott McClanahan, remembers hearing scary tales while growing up in Greenbrier County, West Virginia.

Read more
Claiming Benefits
9:16 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Retired Miner with Black Lung Approved for Transplant

Credit Jessica Lilly

Former coal miner Robert Bailey was recently approved for a double lung transplant after waiting months for a black lung medical benefits claim to be approved. We spoke with Robert Bailey in June when he was waiting to hear if Patriot Coal’s insurance company would approve his appointment for a medical evaluation. 

Bailey’s doctor told him he needed a lung transplant in February of this year. Since then, he’s been working towards the waiting list. As we reported in June, Bailey had to cancel an evaluation appointment as Patriot Coal’s insurance company, Underwriters Safety and Claims, evaluated his request for coverage.  We caught up with Bailey at his kitchen table in Princeton about three months later to recap his journey.

Read more
Inside Appalachia
5:45 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

W.Va. Coal Miner, Ky Distiller, Former NASA Astronaut, Mill Operator, Chef and more

In this episode, we hear from Larry Mustain, who grinds heirloom corn at his family’s mill in West Virginia.

And we'll learn more about traveling along the Bourbon Whiskey Trail in Kentucky?

We'll also talk with, Jordan Bridges, a coal miner in southern West Virginia who is worried as more and more mines are laying off workers.


Read more
Inside Appalachia
5:37 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

How Appalachian Culture Is Connected to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Romania

'Thistle and Shamrock' host Fiona Ritchie and Warren Wilson president emeritus Doug Orr.
Credit University of North Carolina Press

This week we have a special episode of Inside Appalachia as we explore Appalachia through a multi-cultural lens, looking at how our culture connects to Ireland, Scotland, Wales and even Romania. We'll even visit a Hare Krishna Temple in West Virginia. And do you want to find out what Irish Road Bowling is and where you can go to see a game? Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Read more
Repeat Violators
4:21 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Number of Repeat Mine Safety Violators Down

The government says that the number of chronic safety violators among mine operators has fallen sharply in recent years.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration says the number has dropped in response to reforms the agency has taken to rein in mines cited frequently for safety violations.

Prior to 2010 no mine had ever been placed on a pattern of violations, or POV status. Safety reforms aligned the POV regulatory rule, with Congress’s original intent in enacting the Mine Act.
 

Read more
Transportation Plan
12:06 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Organization Looking at Ways to Improve Transportation in Fayette & Raleigh Counties

A group is working to create a transportation plan for Raleigh and Fayette Counties. The Metropolitan   Planning Organization, or MPO, is working to identify transportation investments needed to move the region forward.

The MPO office is federally and state funded but it’s made up of local governments, business leaders, and others. The group is responsible for long range transportation planning.

Read more
Heritage Day
10:49 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

Mercer Co. School Celebrates Appalachian Heritage

Students listen to a monologue about the first settlers of Mercer County.

An event in Southern West Virginia was designed to give students a sense of place and pride. Athens Elementary hosted Appalachian Heritage Day on Friday.

Some presentations included home remedies, historical monologs, and more.

Read more
Inside Appalachia
6:04 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Rising Above Appalachian Stereotypes, Hiking the Appalachian Trail, African-American History in W.Va

Grandma Gatewood, the first woman to hike the Appalachian Trail
Credit wikimedia commons

 


Rising Above Appalachian Stereotypes: While it’s no longer politically correct to use racial, or gender-related remarks that stereotype groups of people, what about negative Appalachian stereotypes? And how do these stereotypes influence the pursuit of an education?

Read more
Bud/Alpoca Water
11:53 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Officials Celebrate New Step Towards Consistant Safe Water in Wyoming Co.

Back Row: Jason Mullins, President County Commission, Larrry Mathis, County Commission and Silas Mullins, County Commission, Front Row: Michael Browning-Senator Manchin's Office, Kimberly Gross-Governor Tomblin's office, LTC William Reding-US Army Corps of Engineers Huntington, Virgil Shrewsbury-Eastern Wyoming PSD, Congressman Rahall, David Cole, Region One Planning and Development Council, Linda Murphy, WV Delegate, and William Basiden-Logan PSD.

A ceremony celebrating the effort to ensure quality drinking water for a community in Southern West Virginia was hosted on Tuesday.

The ceremony marked a milestone for the Bud/Alpoca Water System Upgrade Project. The upgrade ensures that an estimated 170 residential and commercial customers in the communities of Bud and Alpoca, in Wyoming County will have safe drinking water.

Read more
Stereotypes
9:35 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Rising Above Appalachian Stereotypes for a Higher Education

Dr. Sarah Beasley, Concord University Director of Retention

While it’s no longer politically correct to use racist, or gender-related remarks that stereotype groups of people, what about negative West Virginian or Appalachian stereotypes?

Appalachians are commonly stereotyped as white, lazy, tobacco smoking, overall-wearing, poor farmers with poor dental hygiene, no indoor plumbing, and no shoes.

So how does that influence the pursuit of an education? Well it depends on the individual Appalachian mindset. The conversation about the connection and possible impact continues with this second report.

Read more
Arts & Culture
4:15 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Concord University Celebrates Banned Books Week

Concord University is participating in banned books week. Library officials released a list of books that have been “identified as morally, visually or otherwise unsuitable to read” at one time.

Banned books week is celebrated in libraries across the country to commemorated the freedom to read unorthodox material. It’s considered a way to fight censorship and share ideas.

Read more
Inside Appalachia
5:15 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Mixed Feelings About Gas Industry Growth in West Virginia, Exploring What's in a Virginia Name

WVDEP's drilling map
Credit Department of Environmental Protection

  

Read more
Black Lung
4:09 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Sen. Rockefeller Works on Black Lung Bill With Pa. Senator Casey

Credit Department of Labor

Sens. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Jay Rockefeller and plan to introduce legislation aimed at ensuring more fair treatment for coal miners with black lung disease as they pursue benefits claims.

The bill by the two coal-state senators comes after an investigation examined how doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, helped defeat the benefits claims of sick miners. The investigation was done by the Center for Public Integrity and ABC News.

Senator Rockefeller introduced the Black Lung Health Improvements Act last year, but the new bill is expected to address issues uncovered in the investigation.

Read more
Higher Education
3:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Concord University Welcomes Dr. Kendra Boggess as President

Credit April Amodeo / Amodeo Photography

Concord University is marking a new era with the inauguration of the 12th president. 

Dr. Kendra Boggess is a former Business Division Chair with more than three decades of service at Concord in academics and administration. 

Boggess was born in Iowa but grew up in Florida. She’s a first generation college graduate who’s worked since the age of 15.

Read more
Science Behind the Art
3:37 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Youth Program Combines Science and Art

A new after school program in Beckley is bringing Science and Art together. The program is made possible by a grant from the Beckley Area Foundation with the help from the Benedum Foundation and West Virginia Division of Culture and History. 

Dr. Aida Jimenez is the Assistant Professor of Biology in the Department of Natural Science and Mathematics at the University of Charleston in Beckley and director of the after school program.


Read more
Inside Appalachia
8:09 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Old Fashioned Apple Cider, Craft Beer, Exploring Economic Opportunities and More

In West Virginia, Executive Director of Main Street Fairmont, Kate Greene, sees a city on the move.

The Clinch River region of Southwestern Virginia is looking for new economic opportunity.

And Tennessee State Park Ranger, Bobby Fulcher, has spent the last three decades traveling the Tennessee hills to record folk-music. These stories and more on this week's Inside Appalachia.

Read more
U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges
10:44 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Concord University Among the Best, Influential Report Says

Credit Lance McDaniel

Concord University was once again named among the best colleges in the region by an influential report.

U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges annual report was released earlier this week. Concord University was ranked in more than one area.

Concord University ranked fifth in the Best Regional Colleges South. The Regional Colleges category focuses on schools that focus primarily on undergraduate study.

The rankings are based on criteria that measure academic quality.


Read more
Footgolf at Pipestem
4:36 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Concord Soccer Teams Set to Test FootGolf Course

FootGolf is the newest outdoor recreation activity available at Pipestem Resort State Park.
Credit West Virginia Department of Commerce

There is American football, there is golf, and there is the original football, which Americans call soccer. Now there is FootGolf – a combination of soccer and golf. Pipestem Resort State Park is the only place to play it in West Virginia

Soccer teams from Concord University plan to use the course on Thursday, but according to a release, they won’t be playing soccer.


Read more
Lilly Bridge
9:42 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Construction Project Bridges Lilly History

The Lilly Bridge in Summers County was built around 1950.
Credit Jessica Lilly

A bridge commemorating a village settled in Summers County in 1772, is being replaced. But the project is providing more than just a new bridge for vehicle traffic.


Read more
Possible Job Loss
9:28 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Patriot Coal Gives Possible Layoff Notice to Miners, Again

Credit Patriot Coal

Patriot Coal is warning hundreds of miners at a Southern West Virginia mine operation that they could lose their jobs. According to a release, Patriot issued the WARN notices at the Corridor G mining complex near Danville.

Pursuant to the WARN Act, the Company gave 60-day notice of potential layoffs to all employees that could be affected.  Patriot warned miners at the same mine, along with others, of possible layoffs back in April 2014.

Read more

Pages