The Front Porch

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

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll find out more about the investigation by The Charleston Gazette-Mail that found drug wholesalers were sending millions of painkillers to West Virginia and the New Rhythm and Blues Quartet is along with our Mountain Stage song of the week.

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

Tom Williams / Getty Images

This week on the Front Porch, U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito gives her take on what the new Trump administration means for West Virginia.

We discuss recent resurgence of black lung among coal miners, what comes after the promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, what can be done to build rural broadband networks, and more.

Last week in Charleston, a white man shot and killed a black teen, 15-year-old James Means. The accused told police, “The way I look at it, that's another piece of trash off the street."

Unlike other cities where similar things happened, Charleston did not erupt into violent protests.

This week Scott, Laurie, and Rick are joined by guest Sharif Youssef. Youssef is the child of an Egyptian immigrant who grew up in the town of West Liberty, West Virginia, who now works as a producer on the popular podcast "99% Invisible" in the San Francisco Bay area.

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?

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