Ohio Valley Resource

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a vacant hotel in Williamson, Mingo County, is set to open as a sober-living facility, run by the county’s housing authority. As Molly Born reports, the complex is likely to be a controversial addition to the southern West Virginia town hit hard by the opioid epidemic.

Brittany Greeson / The GroundTruth Project

A federal study that was examining the health impacts of mountaintop removal coal mining -- halted last fall by the Trump Administration -- is officially over.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, West Virginia Public Broadcasting is partnering with the Concord University’s Social Work and Sociology Department for the second annual Opioid Symposium and Job Fair.

Adobe Stock

Health officials in the Ohio Valley are investigating outbreaks of disease associated with needle drug use in what is emerging as a new public health threat from the region’s profound opioid addiction crisis. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice revised his revenue estimates for next year, which allows for a 5 percent pay raise for teachers and state service personnel. But schools remain closed Thursday, with thousands of state employees still concerned about ballooning insurance rates. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom spoke with Senate Finance Chairman Craig Blair about these issues. We have an excerpt from that interview.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we have the latest from the Capitol on the ongoing teacher walk-out and protest at in Charleston. With the continued approach of county school officials remaining in question, the potential of legal action to be decided by the state board of education and legislative deadlines looming, educators and school workers yet again plan to head to the Capitol in Charleston to rally lawmakers for better pay and health care benefits.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, tension continues to mount at the Statehouse over education-related issues. Thousands of teachers and public service personnel rallied on the Capitol steps over the weekend demanding change. On last night’s episode of The Legislature Today, host Andrea Lannom spoke with Senate President Mitch Carmichael and Senate Minority Leader Roman Prezioso. We have an excerpt from that interview.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, people are leaving West Virginia at an alarming rate. From 2016 to 2017, more than 15,000 people left the state, or about 41 people per day. This trend is putting a strain on local businesses, making it tough for employers to find skilled, educated workers. As part of our Appalachian Innovators Series, Roxy Todd has the story of one organization that is trying to tackle this problem in a new way.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you stories from the GOP retreat at the Greenbrier Resort and another installment of our week-long Appalachian Innovators series.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump addressed the opioid crisis affecting the Ohio Valley region in his first State of the Union address. The Ohio Valley ReSource's Aaron Payne reports that while Trump mentioned expanding addiction treatment, he and his administration are emphasizing a law-and-order approach to the crisis in the second year of his presidency.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Marshall County, Kentucky, is still reeling from the school shooting that left two students dead and another 18 injured. As with so many communities around the country, people are searching for answers, including how the shooter got the gun. As Nicole Erwin, of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports, 27 states have laws requiring safe storage of firearms to prevent child access. Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio do not.

Demonstrators targeting Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Remember the American Health Care Act, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act? They were among the many Congressional proposals to end the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “One Year, Under Trump,” looks at what the president has done on some of the region’s key issues.

As Becca Schimmel reports, despite the coal heavy rhetoric, the area’s industry has seen only minor change in employment.

Burned By Coal: Coalfield Communities Facing Electricity Price Hikes

Dec 23, 2017
Kentucky Power customers expressed frustration with proposed rate increases.
Mimi Pickering / WMMT

One evening this past November, angry customers and public officials filled a high school auditorium in Hazard, Kentucky, and took turns pleading with three members of the state’s public service commission.

Angie Hatton, a state legislator representing Letcher and Pike counties, presented the situation in historical terms. “This community that for two centuries has been powering our nation, we’re now struggling to keep our own lights on.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Trump administration announced it is reviewing an Obama-era rule that protects miners from exposure to coal dust, and that has some health and safety advocates concerned. As Benny Becker reports, the review comes amid a tide of regulatory rollbacks and at a time that the most severe form of black lung disease is on the rise.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In eastern Kentucky’s coal country jobs are scarce and many people struggle with substandard housing. Some high school students think they can help tackle those big problems by building tiny houses. As part of the series, “Changing Course,” Benny Becker of Ohio Valley ReSource reports on a project called “Building It Forward” that has vocational students designing, building and selling tiny homes.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as coal country looks for a new path forward, some communities are looking to their public schools. Many are changing not just how they prepare students but how they can help meet economic and social challenges.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear about what's being done in the Ohio Valley to fight food insecurity among veterans. Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach; troops must be fed in order to fight. But what happens when that army fights hunger back home?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, October was black walnut season in Appalachia. It’s when these green, tennis ball-sized nuts rain onto fields, roads, and sometimes, people. They can be dangerous. And their inky juice stains everything they touch.

But for some Appalachians, As Eileen Guo reports, black walnuts are proof that, sometimes, money does grow on trees.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, during a special session of the West Virginia Legislature last month, lawmakers passed a bill that makes redeveloping historic buildings in the state more viable, financially. As Liz McCormick reports, the bill had widespread support from both sides of the aisle, but some are concerned it doesn’t go far enough.

Tobacco’s Toll: New Push To Stop Smoking In Country’s Sickest States

Nov 6, 2017
High school anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post around the school.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s been more than two weeks since an industrial fire began in Parkersburg at a recycled plastics warehouse. It burned for more than eight days. It’s still largely unknown what exactly burned that week. Dave Mistich spoke with two experts about how air quality was monitored in the wake of the fire.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, now that President Trump has officially declared the opioid crisis a health emergency, many people are wondering how that will help in the nation’s hardest-hit region: The Ohio Valley. Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia collectively have an overdose death rate that is twice the national average. 
Aaron Payne reports on some potentially helpful parts of the President’s plan and one big thing that’s missing.

Trumps Cite Ohio Valley Experience In Opioid Emergency Plan

Oct 26, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

President Donald Trump outlined on Thursday his long-awaited plan to address the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. Part of that plan was based on experiences in the Ohio Valley region.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the poultry industry is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow faster work speeds at some facilities that slaughter and package chickens. The industry says a new inspection program allows them to process hundreds of birds per minute. But as Nicole Erwin reports, worker and food safety advocates worry about higher speed in an industry with an already spotty safety record.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Derek Akal, 22, grew up in the famed coalfields of Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a bit over six feet tall, he’s black, and he has an athlete’s build. Neat curls of black hair rise off the top of his head, and on his chin, he keeps a closely-trimmed mustache and goatee.

I first interviewed Derek in October 2016. At that time, he said he was trying to become a Kentucky state trooper, but also making plans to move to Texas to work on an oil rig. 


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Bruce Parsons

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in West Virginia and Kentuckyover the weekend to see some innovative ways that schools are using new technology.

Zuckerberg has been traveling the country working on his New Year’s resolution to speak with people in every state. On Sunday, he met with educators and students from across Eastern Kentucky.

photos by Kara Lofton, illustration by Jesse Wright

Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, talks on renegotiating NAFTA are set for later this month and farm country is concerned about changes to the trade agreement. Nicole Erwin reports that pork producers in the Ohio Valley could have the most to lose in a trade dispute.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, research on the benefits of breast-feeding continues to grow, with studies showing some positive health effects last into adulthood. Breast-feeding rates in the Ohio Valley, however, still lag behind the national average. Mary Meehan reports that efforts to help mothers in the region overcome breast-feeding challenges are beginning to pay off.

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