The Front Porch

About one in three West Virginia high school grads need to take remedial classes when they go to college – and that number is growing. Why are so many new college students so unprepared?

Also on this week’s podcast, we’ll break down the results of the Alabama Senate race. If a Democrat can win there, what does that mean for West Virginia’s congressional races?

Allegations about sexual harassment and assault are rocking the political and media worlds at the national level (including public media) - but what about West Virginia?

On this week's Front Porch podcast, we discuss when that shoe might drop in West Virginia. 

It's Thanksgiving week! Let's take a break from politics and talk pop culture. 

In "Game of Thrones," siblings Cersei and Jamie Lannister enjoy a loving and suportive relationship. But Front Porch host Laurie Lin can't get past the "ick" factor.

In West Virginia, a growing number of working-age adults are qualifying for federal disability benefits. But once they're receiving an SSI or SSDI check, they rarely return to work.

And that's leading to growing resentment across Appalachia of some people with disabilities.

"I did not come to Washington to hurt people."

That is how Sen. Shelley Moore Capito announced, on Twitter, she would not support the GOP effort to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses her concerns "and the needs of West Virginians."

Capito was one of a handful of GOP Senators who dealt the Obamacare repeal a serious blow this week.

Is "Trumpcare" dead? And if so, what does that mean for heathcare in West Virginia, and for Capito's political future. Listen to the Front Porch podcast to find out.

WVU Today

The state Legislature just cut $16 million from higher education, starting this month. Meanwhile, WVU announced a 5 percent tuition increase.

What’s that mean for students and the state as a whole? We have WVU Vice President for Legal, Government and Entrepreneurial Engagement Rob Alsop on The Front Porch podcast.

Yoga in Appalachia

Jul 4, 2017

Sara Limb has practiced yoga in places you might not expect- first while serving as a medic in Iraq, and now in West Virginia.

On this week's episode of the Front Porch, Sara shares how yoga helped keep her sane in a war zone, and how it continues to help veterans and others.

Molly Collins

Dozens of women marched topless through the streets of Charleston recently to protest the objectification of women, and norms that discourage breastfeeding in public.

Charleston Mayor Danny Jones called it "a naked spectacle" and asked marchers to stay clear of a street fair going on nearby.

West Virginia state law does not specifically prohibit women going topless. But the uproar around the march shows that it continues to be controversial.

WVSAO

With just days until the end of the fiscal year and no budget agreement, there’s a real possibility of a government shutdown in West Virginia.

We asked the man who pays the bills, state Auditor J.B. McCuskey, 10 questions about what he’s doing to prevent a total disaster if state government shuts down.

Canadian Press

West Virginia is one of 27 states with no firm minimum age for marriage.

Between 2000 and 2010, a total of 2,759 minors got married in West Virginia - one of the highest states per capita, according to the New York Times.

Some states are moving to bar marriage for minors. On this week's Front Porch, we debate whether this is a good idea for West Virginia and the rest of Appalachia.

With the budget fight in West Virginia and larger battles nationally over Trump, it's a good time to talk about talking with one another.

Here are five concepts from social science about how to change someone’s mind. (Hint: It’s not easy.)

1. Reframing – Use the other sides’ values when making a case for your side. For examples, liberals could reframe arguments for Medicaid around maintaining a strong defense (unhealthy Americans make poor soldiers.)

If you have a short attention span, this week's Front Porch podcast is for you!

We tackle racism, Trump, taxes, rumors and Stevie Nicks, in less time than it takes to watch "Big Bang Theory."

The Idols of Our Youth

Apr 26, 2017

Who were the idols of your youth?

That’s the subject of this week’s Front Porch podcast. Can you match the correct Front Porch host with his/her idol?

1.    Laurie Lin, lawyer, columnist and rabid "Sherlock" fan

2.    Rick Wilson, columnist, avid goat herder Rick Wilson, American Friends Service Committee worker

3.    Scott Finn, recovering reporter, bad whitewater rafting guide, WVPB CEO

A.   Alice Cooper, rock legend

B.    Jim Lippold, high school speech and drama teacher

C.    Margaret Thatcher, former U.K. Prime Minster

WVPA

This week, Eric Eyre and the Charleston Gazette-Mail won the Pulitzer Prize for their investigation into drug wholesalers flooding West Virginia with opioid pills.

On this Front Porch podcast, we talk about what drug companies did with Eyre, and to what degree they're responsible for the record number of overdose deaths in West Virginia.

Rusty Marks / The State Journal

Mayonnaise Sandwich. Nothing Burger. Knuckleheads. Poodles and Grizzly Bears.

If you've been following the 2017 Legislature, you know what we're talking about.

WARNING: this week's Front Porch podcast contains contains marijauna, mayo, Medicaid and more.

The Christian Bible is the spiritual and cultural foundation for many of us in Appalachia – but should it be taught in public schools?

The parents of a West Virginia kindergarten student are suing to stop the teaching of the Christian Bible at her elementary school. On this week’s Front Porch podcast, we discuss the role of the Bible in Appalachian society and schools.

Will Price / West Virginia Legislative Photography

GOP leaders proposing a tax overhaul that would eliminate West Virginia income tax, while increasing the sales tax and expanding it to services that are currently exempt.

Is this a good idea? Rick Wilson of the American Friends Service Committee calls it “the second-cousin of all bad ideas, because its regressive, it puts more burdens on the working class than the wealthy.”

Laurie Lin says, “It’s not a great idea for West Virginia,” – even if it works in other states. A state with so many border towns may suffer a loss of business, she said.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Change is coming to education in West Virginia, at both the state and federal levels.

At the federal level, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education is Betsy DeVos, a businesswoman and philanthropist who’s led the fight for vouchers and charter schools.

And at the state level, we have two resignations from the state school board, which will give Governor Jim Justice a majority – and the ability to reshape public education in the state.

West Virginia’s economy has a “chicken and egg” problem.

To grow more jobs here, we need better-educated, healthy employees.

But before we can afford to pay for better schools and health, we need more jobs and more businesses.

As you might imagine, liberals and conservatives have different ideas which should come first – lower taxes or higher education and health spending.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  

He bought the ax and the tackle box from a desperate woman by the side of the road.

"She was selling her life away, her memories, just to have enough money to have food," Jim Justice said in his first speech as governor, as he held the ax and the tackle box.

"She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, 'Mister, you don't have any idea how bad I'm hurting,'" Justice said.

Justice is promising big changes, now that he's governor. In his inaugural speech, he said he wanted to:

- Raise the pay of teachers

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