Jessica Lilly

Host & Co-Producer of Inside Appalachia - Southern West Virginia Bureau Chief

Jessica Lilly covers southern West Virginia for West Virginia Public Broadcasting and is the host and co-producer of Inside Appalachia. The show airs Sunday at 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and is also available as a podcast. Jessica can also be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program.

Jessica joined West Virginia Public Broadcasting in 2008 as the Southern West Virginia Bureau Chief. She’s committed to reporting stories of the people in her region and across Appalachia. She's passionate about following issues and developments in worker safety, community tap water, and more.

Inside Appalachia won a Regional Murrow in 2016 for the Inside Appalachia show called, "What Happens When Strangers with Cameras Travel Inside Appalachia?" Jessica was named "Best Radio News Anchor" two years in a row by the Virginias Associated Press beginning in 2016.

Concord University chose Jessica as, "Alumnus of the Year" in 2015. Jessica was instrumental in launching Concord University's first FM station, WVCU-LP FM in 2015.

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 among other awards throughout her career.

While studying broadcasting and journalism, public relations and business administration at Concord University, Jessica worked as the weekend producer and fill in reporter for WVNS-TV in Raleigh County, West Virginia. 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, W.Va., 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 is the faculty advisor at Concord University's radio station, WVCU LP-FM "Mt. Lion Radio".

She recently took on the role of Concord University cheerleading coach.

In her spare time, she enjoys attending sporting events and theatre productions, singing, antiquing, skiing, riding ATV’s, and traveling with family.

Ways to Connect

United Miner Workers of America

This New Year’s Eve marks the 44th anniversary of the murder of Union presidential candidate Joseph “Jock” Yablonski.

Earlier this month the trigger-man in the 1969 murder, Paul Gilly, petitioned the court asking to be released from prison.  But the union believes Gilly should stay behind bars.

Dark time in United Mine Workers of America history

Jock Yablonski, his wife and daughter were murdered December 31, 1969. It was just over a year after the Farmington Disaster, where an explosion killed 78 men, underground.

Paul Hess, WVVA-TV News

A national Muslim civil rights organization is calling on state and federal law enforcement to investigate the vandalism of a West Virginia mosque as a possible hate crime.

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Department is looking for vandals after the Islamic Society of Appalachian Region near Princeton was spray painted earlier this week.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, wants the FBI to join investigators.

Facebook.com

A public transit service in southern West Virginia has a new location. An official opening ceremony is planned for Friday morning.

The vehicles of the Bluefield Area Transit, or “B.A.T.” buses, now have a new ‘cave’ to call home… of a sort.

The construction of the administrative and maintenance facilities for BAT is now complete. The public transit program serves Mercer and McDowell counties with routes into Bluefield, Princeton, Athens and Welch.

Facebook.com

Often referred to as, ‘the greatest job in the world’, taking care of a child with special needs can be challenging for parent. Parents of children in Mercer County have formed their own support group. 

Living in rural areas often means living significant distances from medical specialists, and sometimes treatment. For example the best form of treatment for Autism is applied behavioral analysis. While there are limited specialists across the state, there is not a single specialist south of Charleston in West Virginia.

Provided

Concord University is looking for a new leader. The Presidential Search Committee has officially launched the search for the University’s 12th President. 

Concord University is looking for a creative, energetic leader to continue academic excellence, quality campus life, and community service, according to a recent job posting.

The search committee and Board of Governors recently approved the  advertisement.

The life expectancy for American females is 81 years.

In West Virginia, Marshall County has the longest life expectancy for women, with 80 years, while those in McDowell deal with about 6 years shorter life span.

The life expectancy for American males is about 76 years.

Provided

Colleges and technical schools in southern West Virginia are teaming up to encourage entrepreneurs.

Concord University, Marshall University, the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI), the Natural Capital Investment Fund and TechConnect West Virginia are collaborating to encourage tourism and advanced manufacturing across southern West Virginia.

A mine in Lincoln County has been put on notice of a pattern of violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today that Coal River Mining LLC’s Fork Creek No. 1 Mine is a pattern violator.

A POV notice, one of the agency’s toughest enforcement actions, is reserved for the mines that pose the greatest risk to the safety of miners.

An MSHA audit revealed that the mine operator failed to report miner injuries equivalent to 239 days of lost time during the review period.

Lance McDaniel

This is the first semester Concord University has offered a Master of Social Work.

It's one of four programs Concord has developed since becoming a University in 2004.

  • Master of Education (five content specializations)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Health Promotion
  • Master of Social Work

The programs have the potential to help improve overall public health in the area.

USPS

The United States Postal Service is preparing for the busiest shipping season. The delivery service says online shopping is continuing to increase deliveries.

This year, USPS expects volume to increase by 12 percent.USPS is projecting 14.7 billion cards will be delivered from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve.

The Postal Service is suggesting these mail-by dates and tips to help customers mail and ship conveniently for the holidays:

For Dec. 25 Arrival

Jessica Lilly

A town in Southern West Virginia is rolling up its sleeves to revitalize downtown. The goal is to turn the main street in Princeton into a safe place to socialize, shop, and grow. Residents basically decided to stop complaining about the rundown reality, and do something to change it.

Christopher Ziemnowicz / CZmarlin / wikimedia Commons

Concord University was recently named as one of the top institutions for veterans, according to Military Times EDGE magazine. Concord is ranked third in the nation among four-year colleges in the Best for Vets: College 2014 rankings released earlier this week.

Concord was named the best college for vets in 2011.

Winners are determined with 150-question analysis of a school’s complete offerings for veterans. 

Rahall.house.gov/

Another county in Southern West Virginia is now recognized as a high drug trafficking area. Congressman Nick Rahall announced the federal label today. The title means the County is eligible to receive additional Federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts.

wvdanceco.com

A concert of modern dance that explores the history of the coal mining industry in Appalachia is touring Southern West Virginia. 

Two groups are working together to tell the story of the coal industry in Appalachia from the turn of the century to the 1920’s. 

Jessica Lilly

Some miners are looking for new occupations because they worry this current down swing in coal production won’t be an ordinary ‘bust’. Workforce West Virginia is reporting that more than 4,200 West Virginia coal miners have lost their jobs since March 2012. Although mining jobs were created during that same, the agency couldn't quantify the number. 

Concord University is hosting a special one-time screening of the story about two average working people with a passion for contemporary art. “Herb & Dorothy 50x50” tells how Herb and Dorothy Vogel and the ‘road trip’ process of donating their art to museums across the country.

The documentary, “Herb & Dorothy 50x50” details the Vogel’s gift to this country and the final chapter of their extraordinary lives. It’s a follow-up to the award-winning “Herb & Dorothy (2008) by Megumi Sasaki.

AllVoices.com

Hundreds of coal miners are expected to lose their jobs in West Virginia this month. The federal government announced yesterday that the State was given a nearly two million dollar emergency grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal dollars will provide retraining and reemployment services to dislocated coal miners and their families.

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A study released Wednesday says minable coal will run out much sooner than expected. The report comes from an environmental organization and the author claims it’s science based and not politically driven.

The report is published by Clean Energy Action, Colorado based environmental organization that works to push the transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources.  

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

A widow is battling for black lung benefits of her dead husband.  Mary Fox filed an appeal on behalf of her late husband Gary Fox last year. Testimony before a federal appeals court began today in Virginia.

The hearing comes the same day stories from a yearlong investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed lawyers with the Jackson Kelly law firm submitted only favorable evidence in court.

Kings Dominion does not plan to host the attraction in 2014.
KingsDominion.com

Kings Dominion does not plan to host a Halloween themed attraction called, Miner's Revenge next year.

The Virginia-based amusement park does not plan to host a Halloween themed attraction called, Miner's Revenge next year. The  park charged more than $32 for admission during the weekends in October. The haunted attraction's similarities to the Upper Big Branch disaster similarities infuriated the families of the victims. Some have said it’s eerily similar to their real life nightmare.

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