The Front Porch

Why did so much of middle America vote Trump? J.B. Akers says it’s too simple to write it off to racism and misogyny.

Akers is a West Virginia lawyer whose blog post on the Trump election went viral. It’s called, “Trump Won and I Don't Understand Why You Don't Understand.”

Akers said he was motivated to write the essay after reading the reaction of his more cosmopolitan friends on social media.

Spencer Platt/Scott Halleran / Getty Images

Jim Justice and Donald Trump both won big in West Virginia, and now it's time to get down to the real challenge of governing.

Steve Helber / AP Photo

If the new President Trump repeals the Affordable Care Act, what would happen to West Virginians? If Clinton wins, what does that mean for coal?

Are Elections in West Virginia Rigged?

Oct 21, 2016
Spencer Platt / Getty Images

On this episode of the Front Porch, we deal with Donald Trump's claim that the race is rigged.

West Virginia had its share of election fraud in the past, but is it really at work today?

Also, what about another type of rigging - media bias?

Justice or Cole, Who Won the WV Governor Debate?

Oct 14, 2016
Associated Press

The two leading candidates for governor attacked each other over unpaid bills and Donald Trump at the last major party debate. Who won, and will it matter?

Battling Big Sugar in West Virginia

Oct 7, 2016
Roman Behar / Wikimedia Commons

The sugar industry spent years denying the harm it does to the nation's health, according to investigative reports.  

This week on the Front Porch, Laurie and Rick speak with Mandy Curry, co-founder of Healthy Kids, Inc.

They discuss the sugar industry's attempt to downplay health risks associated with sugar consumption, and the effects this has had on the sugar content of the food we all eat.

West Virginia Press Association

Does our focus on revitalizing the coal industry hinder the state from diversifying its economy?

A majority of West Virginians want the focus to be on diversification over protecting the coal industry, according to a new survey.

Twitter

The working class is in trouble - especially the part with roots in Appalachia.

In his best-selling memoir "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance tells how he escaped the chaos of his mother's drug abuse and serial boyfriends/husbands.

In an interview with "Inside Appalachia," Vance acknowledges the role de-industrialization plays in working-class decline. But he says cultural decline may be even more important.

This week, we talk to musician, cab driver and state Delegate Mike Pushkin, who sponsored a failed bill to legalize marijuana use.

We discuss the medical, economic, and social benefits and pitfalls of marijuana legalization.

Do the benefits outweigh the risks, or is it simply more trouble than it's worth?

West Virginia University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Often in times like these, you hear about the need for a "national conversation about race." But what exactly does this conversation sound like?

This week on The Front Porch, Rick and Laurie talk to David M. Fryson, West Virginia University Vice President and Director of WVU's Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, about "the conversation," and why it's important to have one when there isn't a crisis.

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West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, 35 schools were damaged in last month’s historic flooding.  With some schools set to open in just over a month, school officials are on a tight deadline to fix them.  Also, State Senator Chris Walters has been volunteering in his district since flooding began.  He talks about the need for more volunteers to assist our flooded neighbors. 

These stories on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Chris Walters

If you think there’s no longer a need for volunteers or donations for flood victims – state Senator Chris Walters wants to set you straight.

Walters represents the flood-damaged communities of Clendenin and Elkview. Shortly after the flood, he helped set up a staging area for volunteers and donations.

Downtown Richwood, WV, at dawn after hours of heavy rain flooded the little town.
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Did you know West Virginia has a plan, more than a decade in the making, designed to save lives and prevent damage from floods?

And what if you found out this plan is mostly gathering dust on a shelf?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear the latest on the flood relief efforts in the southern and central regions of the state.

We also hear from Jessica Moore, senior geologist with the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey, about how the devastating floods last week may not be connected to climate change.

NOAA

    

What role did climate change play in the 2016 West Virginia floods?

Climate scientists say they expect more intense rainstorms, like the one that dumped up to 10 inches on some West Virginia towns.

But Jessica Moore says not so fast. Moore is a senior geologist with the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey. She points to studies showing such extreme rainfall events were more common in our history that you may think. 

Listen to the full discussion on The Front Porch.

Garret Matthews says he is not a parachuting journalist who did a drive-by assessment of McDowell County.

Just how much government can West Virginians afford?

That's the issue we're debating on The Front Porch podcast this week.

Charleston Gazette-Mail

This week, Rick and Laurie are speaking with state folklorist Emily Hilliard from the West Virginia Humanities Council.

They discuss the definition of folklore, the importance and process of collecting it, and the benefits it can provide to the state.

If you have a tip for Emily, call the West Virginia Folklife Program's Hotline at 1(844)618-3747

The West Virginia Humanities Council website is
http://wvhumanities.org/

Roxy Todd / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on The Front Porch, we revisit one of our most popular podcasts - how West Virginia became ground zero for the opioid drug epidemic.

West Virginia has the nation's worst rate of drug overdose deaths. It started with prescription painkillers, and now is increasingly fueled by heroin.

On this week's "The Front Porch," we debate what's causing the epidemic, and what might actually work in curbing it.

Daniel Shreve / The Media Center

The Governor’s race has begun in earnest, and Republican Bill Cole is challenging Democrat Jim Justice to a series of debates.

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