Suzanne Higgins

Senior Producer

Suzanne Higgins is the news department’s Senior Producer, headquartered at WSWP-TV in Beckley.

She's currently producing Jay: A Rockefeller's Journey, a program focusing on the life and career of John D. Rockefeller, IV as the senator retires following 50 years of public service. 

Other current projects include the Inspiring West Virginians web series for middle school students, and contributions to radio newscasts.

One of Suzanne's recent projects was The Story of the Jews radio series. She also co-produced West Virginia 150: Commemorating Statehood, an hour-long program celebrating the state's sesquicentennial, which was awarded Best Documentary in 2014 by The Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Association.

Suzanne's other ongoing projects include the Inspiring West Virginians documentary series, the McDowell County: Rebirth and Resilience radio series, the Aging with Grace & Dignity series, and contributions to West Virginia Morning, Inside Appalachia, and The Legislature Today.

Her past projects have included producing and hosting nightly television legislative coverage, producing West Virginia Music Hall of Fame specials, the Legacy series, the Mountain State Science series and the Healing in the Hills series.

Suzanne is the recipient of the national Pew Charitable Trust’s Batten Award for Excellence in Civic Journalism, the Edward R. Murrow Award for Investigative Reporting, an Emmy Award, and several West Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters Association awards.

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Degree in Bible
3:37 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Mount Olive Inmates Begin Moral Rehab Program

Inmates at Mt. Olive begin new Moral Rehabilitation program.
Credit Schavda / wikimedia Commons

Inmates at Mount Olive Correctional Complex can now pursue a four-year college degree that officials believe will reduce violence inside and outside of prison.

According to WV Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein, the new Moral Rehabilitation program that launched this week will change prison culture, save lives, reduce victims, reduce violence, and save money.

In a release the commissioner said the program will operate as an extension campus of Appalachian Bible College, an accredited Raleigh County institution.

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Lecture
3:32 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

West Virginia Native, Renowned Cancer Scientist, Speaking At WVU

Dr. Lewis Cantley, renowned cancer researcher, will speak at WVU Monday, Sept. 8.
Credit Jean Snedegar

Internationally renowned cancer scientist Lewis Cantley, a West Virginia native,  will deliver the 2014 Laurence and Jean DeLynn Lecture at West Virginia University Monday.

Cantley grew up in Big Chimney in Kanawha County, graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan and then went on to Harvard.

The biochemist discovered a family of enzymes fundamental to understanding cancer biology.

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Health & Science
11:09 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Tipping The Scale Again, West Virginia Is The Most Obese State

Report on obesity warns this generation of children will die sooner than their parents if rates are not brought down.
Credit wikimedia commons

According to the latest data, West Virginia's adult obesity rate is tied with Mississippi for the highest in the country at 35.1%.  Colorado has the lowest rate at 21.3 percent.

The annual report is produced by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Trust for America's Health.

In addition to being the most obese state, West Virginia is also the state with the highest percentage of people who do not exercise.

Among high schoolers,  West Virginia ranks sixth, with 13 percent of those students obese.

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Economy
12:04 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Thousands Will Ride the World Class Gauley Rapids Beginning This Weekend

White water rafting on the Gauley RIver begins this weekend.
Credit Ken Thomas / wikimedia Commons

Five thousand people on some 500 boats are expected on the Gauley River beginning Friday as the U.S. Corp of Engineers begins drawing down the water levels on Summersville Lake, releasing a thunderous amount of water into the Upper and Lower sections of the Gauley.

The releases will occur during the next 7 consecutive weekends, supporting the local rafting industry and ensuring the river maintains its world class rafting status.

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300 jobs available
2:54 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

WVU Healthcare To Hold Open Interview Session Wednesday

WVU Healthcare is holding interviews for 300 jobs Wednesday.
Credit West Virginia University

Open interview sessions for approximately 300 positions at WVU Healthcare will be held Wednesday.

WUV Healthcare includes the teaching hospitals and clinics for WVU’s health professions schools.

The job interviews will be held from 10 am to 6 pm at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center.

Per diem, casual, part-time, and full-time positions are available, including management, direct patient care, support services, and administrative.

 

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News
4:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

$1 Million for Four W.Va. Health Centers From Obamacare

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced funds for 4 WV health centers Thursday.
Credit wikimedia commons

Four health centers in West Virginia will expand behavioral health services using funds from the Affordable Care Act.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell announced almost a million dollars in funds from the federal health care act will support and expand services for about 29,000 West Virginians  that seek treatment from those 4 health centers.

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Reverses recent decline
4:13 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Overall Mining Deaths Up First Half of 2014

Mining deaths across the country are up compared to this time last year.
Credit AllVoices.com

Twenty-two miners were killed in accidents in the mining industry during the first half of 2014, including 8 coal miners, according to a summary by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration.

 

That's compared to 18 miners who were killed in the first half of 2013.

In the second quarter of this year alone, 14 miners died – five in coal mining and nine in metal and nonmetal mining.

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Tourism
11:47 am
Tue July 22, 2014

National Park Visitors Spent $51 Million in Southern W.Va. last year

National Park visitors spend millions in southern West Virginia communities.
Credit National Park Service

A new National Park Service report shows that visitors to national park areas in southern West Virginia spent $51 million in nearby communities in 2013.

The report says a little more than 1,243,000 people from around the world visited the New River Gorge National River, the Bluestone National Scenic River, and the Gauley River National Recreation Area in 2013.

In a release today NPS Superintendent Trish Kicklighter said that in addition to providing visitors remarkable experiences in America's outdoors, National Park  Tourism is a significant driver in the national economy.

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Completion July 2015
2:25 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Bridge Replacement Means New River Closures and Detours

Closures and detours scheduled over the next year as Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge in Fayette County is replaced.
Credit Google Earth

A bridge closing in Fayette County means long-term disruption for river
traffic as well.

The West Virginia Department of Highways and the Federal Highways Administration are replacing the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge on Route 41 in the town of Prince.

Construction of the new bridge will require temporary full river traffic closures and long term river detours between Prince and the town of McCreery on the New River.

Construction is scheduled to begin this month and the detour will remain in effect until the project is completed  next July.

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Affordable Care Act Funds
4:44 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Rural Clinic in Beckley Will Receive $1.65 Million Grant

Community Health Systems of Beckley is one of 60 clinics in the nation to receive a training grant through the Affordable Care Act.

Community Health Systems of Beckley is one of 60 clinics across the country that will share more than 80 million dollars in Affordable Care Act money.
 

The rural clinic  will receive a $1.65 million grant to help train primary care providers.

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Pediatric specialties
4:07 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

WVU Children's Hospital Opens Summersville Clinic

Kids in 9-county region now have access to WVU pediatric specialists at Summersville Regional Medical Center.
Credit Kate Long

West Virgina University Children’s Hospital opened today a new WVU Healthcare clinic located at the Summersville Regional Medical Center.

Larry Rhodes, M.D., physician-in-chief at WVU Children’s Hospital and chair of the WVU Department of Pediatrics, said in a news release that pediatric clinics have been held along the borders of the state for several years, but the new Summersville clinic will provide a more central location in the state and has the potential to serve a nine-county region.

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PGA Tour FedEx Cup
4:34 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

West Virginia Teens Play At Greenbrier Classic

PGA Tour FedEx Cup begins at the Greenbrier Resort Monday.
Credit Bobak Ha'Eri / wikimedia Commons

Cole Hand and Alston Spears, two West Virginia junior golfers, will participate alongside professional golfers at this year's Greenbrier Classic, which began Monday.

Hand and Spears were invited to play in the practice rounds and Pro-Am of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup event at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, according to a release from the Governor's office.

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Findings consistent
2:29 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Bureau of Public Health Releases Chemical Spill Data

WV Bureau of Public Health releases findings on patients affected by Jan. 9's chemical spill into the Elk River.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health released Friday information from physicians who reported seeing patients outside of the ER for symptoms possibly associated with the Elk River Chemical Spill.

 

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pressure to resign
1:44 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

West Virginia's Congressional Delegation Split on Shinseki

The Veterans Affairs health system scandal has split WV's Congressional delegation.
Credit Dept. of Defense

While Senator Jay Rockefeller is standing by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, Congressman Nick Rahall and Congresswoman Shelly Capito are calling for his resignation amid the scandal that has embroiled the Veterans Administration for weeks.

Rahall added his name Friday to the growing list of Democrats joining Republicans calling for Shinseki to step down, signaling mounting pressure on the Secretary.

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Housing construction
10:17 am
Tue May 13, 2014

McDowell Property Bought For Teacher Village

A Teacher Village will be constructed in downtown Welch.
Credit Suzanne Higgins

A long-abandoned property in downtown Welch has been purchased for the construction of apartment-style housing for teachers and other professionals.

Reconnecting McDowell, the public-private partnership focused on improving McDowell County's education system and economy, has purchased the former Best Furniture and Katzen buildings and the attached parking lots for $92,000.

The group intends to build a Teachers Village - which will include about 30 housing units, areas for residents to collaborate and relax, and community amenities such as a street-level coffee shop.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
11:23 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Ice Hunters

Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie Thompson
Credit Ellen Mosley-Thompson

Follow two of the world's leading paleoclimatologists to the top of the world and both poles!

Using ice cores they drill themselves, Marshall graduates Lonnie Thompson, from Gassaway, and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, from Charleston, study the history of climate at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University.  Lonnie was the first scientist in the world to drill ice cores on glaciers in tropical regions.  And he has spent more time above 20,000 feet than anyone in history.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
11:12 am
Fri May 2, 2014

In Search of Meaningful Work

Caroline and Holmes Morton
Credit Jean Snedegar

Travel to Amish country to hear about one of the most unusual medical clinics in the United States -- the Clinic for Special Children in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, founded by Dr. D. Holmes Morton, of Fayetteville, and his wife, Caroline, from Beckley.  Here doctors and scientists diagnose and treat rare genetic disorders in children from Old Order Amish and Mennonite communities.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
10:45 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Credit Jean Snedegar

Meet Hinton-native Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the new Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Washington.

Burwell is the past President of Global Development at the Bill & Linda Gates Foundation in Seattle, the world's largest charitable organization. At the Foundation Mathews Burwell was responsible for giving away $750 billion a year to help some of the world's poorest people have access to better agricultural techniques, financial services and clean water and sanitation.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 1
10:08 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Brad Smith – Using a Moral Compass

Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit
Credit Brad Smith

Hear why co-workers of Brad Smith, President & CEO of the global financial software giant, Intuit, say he's the best ambassador West Virginia could ever have.

With Marshall memorabilia in abundance in his office, this Wayne County native boldly declares that everyone in the company knows about his alma mater, Marshall University, and his hometown, Kenova, West Virginia.

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Inspiring West Virginians Season 2
1:07 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

John Ochsendorf – The Accidental Professor

M.I.T. professor John Ochsendorf
Credit Jean Snedegar

Elkins-native John Ochsendorf, 36, is a professor of structural engineering and architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  At 26 – eight years after he graduated from Elkins High School – he became one of the youngest professors ever appointed at the world’s top technical university.

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