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.

Ways To Connect

In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’re taking a road trip through the region to find people who are reviving the old recipes and bringing something fresh to our plates. This episode is also helping us kick off a new segment, called Appetite Appalachia, which features restaurants and recipes with Appalachian roots.

www.mine-engineer.com

Several federal government agencies are teaming up to send $35.5 million to help communities and workers adapt to the decline in coal jobs.  The grant is part of the  Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization  initiative, known as POWER, led by the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Agency.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection has Statement About Danny Webb waste site in Fayette County. DEP Communications Director, Kelly J. Gillenwater said in an email Friday:

Catherine Moore

If you live in Appalachia, you know that one of the most sensitive topics to talk about can be coal. In this episode of "Inside Appalachia," we'll hear liberal and conservative points of view, as we take on the complicated subject of the future of coal.

In this episode, we’re revisiting a show from the Inside Appalachia archives. Remember those Love Letters that the town of Thomas wrote for another small town back in February? Well, they were delivered. We’ll find out which town received those letters in this episode. We’ll also hear a love letter written to a famous racehorse named Zenyatta, a story about bald eagle mates who remained together till death, and other stories about our complicated love of Appalachia. 

Chris Jackson/The Register-Herald / The Register Herald

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection hosted a public hearing about two proposed waste permits in Fayette County Tuesday night. All but one of about 30 people who who spoke at the hearing opposed the permit.

Danny Webb, the owner of the waste site, stayed for the first part of the hearing, but did not speak publicly.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The West Virginia Environmental Quality Board ruled earlier this month the the Department of Environmental Protection violated state law when it allowed Danny Webb Construction to operate the injection wells in Fayette County without a permit.

After being rescheduled several times because of weather, a public hearing to discuss the permit application is scheduled for tonight at Oak Hill High School.
The public is invited to attend the public about these UIC permits. It's scheduled for tonight from six until eight at Oak Hill High School.

Robert Sharpe Productions, Before the Mountain was Moved

In honor of National Service Week and the 50th Anniversary of VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), this week we're looking back to the stories of some of the first VISTA volunteers who came to West Virginia.

Wendell Smith/Flickr

Here in Appalachia, it’s ramp season, and that means many small towns have their annual ramp feed to help raise money for their communities. This week we’ll travel to the Feast of the Ramson in Richwood, West Virginia, where we’ll meet 12-year-old ramp digger, Tyler McCune. And we’ll head to the Shenandoah Valley to hear a crowd of shape note singers. Although more and more people are leaving Appalachia, we will also hearing from some, like musician John Wyatt, who have returned home.

LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton

It’s been more than 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared the War on Poverty. During the 1960s, the Appalachian region was facing economic hardships, partly because of mechanization in the coal fields. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965, which created the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

NPS

In this episode: Appalachians who love their land and their mountain homes. But history reveals some unsettling stories about some Appalachians who were forced off their land in the 1930s to make room for the Shenandoah National Park. 

Bettmann/Corbis

The Appalachian Regional Commission was created as part of the War on Poverty, declared by Lyndon B. Johnson in Appalachia in 1964.

Earlier this week Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years. 

Senator Shelley Moore Capito, along with other federal representatives, introduced legislation that would reauthorize the Appalachian Regional Commission. The announcement comes on the heels of a report evaluating the progress of the Commission after 50 years.

Sarah P. Dalton

Concord University is the latest destination for National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Map of Europe. The map will be on display for most of the week leading up to the 2015 West Virginia Geographic Bee.


Roxy Todd

In colder regions of Appalachia, the third week in March is maple syrup season. That’s right, maple syrup isn’t just for New England farmers. This weekend marks the 31st annual maple syrup festival in Pickens, West Virginia.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

  The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection announced that a public hearing twice delayed because of bad weather is now scheduled for April 21,  from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oak Hill High School, located at 350 West Oyler Avenue in Fayette County.

Christine Cover

Appalachia has certainly been stereotyped by many people in the media. But not all storytellers are the same, and the stories that are told about Appalachia are often complicated with layers of misunderstandings. 

Federal regulators issued more than a dozen citations to a West Virginia coal mine in the week prior to an accident that killed one worker and injured two others.

According to the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s website, Murray Energy was cited several times for roof plans and protection from roof, face and rib falls.

Murray Energy's owns McElroy Mine in Marshall County near Cameron where one miner died and three others were reported injured on Sunday.

West Virginia Office of Miner’s Health Health Safety and Training spokesperson Leslie Smithson says 45-year-old Assistant Longwall Coordinator John M. Garloch of Neffs, Ohio was killed.  Initial reports indicate the cause of Sunday night's accident was a roof and rib fall.


Update March 9, 2015 8:58 a.m.

Spokesperson of the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health Safety and Training, Leslie Smithson says one miner died and two others were injured in an accident on Sunday night.

Smithson reports that the injuries happened at the McElroy Mine in Marshall County. Forty-five-year-old Assistant Longwall Coordinator John M. Garloch died in  after a roof collapsed, according to initial reports. In an email, Monday morning, Smithson said two other miners were injured and transported to local hospitals for treatment. One of those miners has been released; the other remains hospitalized.
 

Daniel Walker/WVPB

This week, Inside Appalachia is featuring some incredible stories about dogs that help people heal. Like Paca, who helps children overcome emotional trauma and even helps encourage them to read. And we'll travel to a special cemetery, reserved only for coonhound dogs.

Most of us are familiar with the concept of seeing eye dogs, but service dogs do plenty of other jobs to help people. Roxy Todd takes us on a journey with a few service dogs helping folks in unique ways.

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