West Virginia Morning

Congress will return to session after Labor Day to a full schedule. They will consider long term funding for the nation’s roadways, the Iran nuclear deal and an education bill replacing No Child Left Behind.

The full schedule has the conservation community worried about the impending expiration of a little-known program for buying park and forest land. The Land and Water Conservation Fund has generated almost $17 billion during its 50-year history.

About $10.5 billion of that has been spent to buy 5 million acres of public land, mainly out West, but West Virginia has also benefited from the fund. Think Harpers Ferry, the New River Gorge and the Monongahela National Forest. 

As the price of coal has declined over the past four years, no one state may be feeling the financial impact more than our own. West Virginia once relied heavily on coal and related industries for jobs, but now has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. As part of our partnership with Pittsburgh’s the Allegheny Front looking at the future of coal in Appalachia, we zero in on how the decline of coal prices are impacting how West Virginia governments pay the bills.

The federal Environmental Protection Agency proposed a new rule this week that would regulate methane gas pollution in the oil and gas industry. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and the Obama administration wants to see emissions cut in half over the next decade. 

It's pretty much taken for granted that riding a bike is good for you. Studies have shown that biking not only benefits your physical health; it's also good for your mental health. But cycling also carries some potential risks in big cities. And we're not just talking about a car door opening into your bike lane. 

Honey bees pollinate about a third of the crops in the U.S. - that's about $15 billion of the agricultural economy. But honeybees have had a tough time lately: a combination of diseases, stress, parasites and pesticides have all hurt the honeybee population. Now, scientists are starting to look at how other species of bees could help pick up the slack.

The Berkeley County Fire Service Board received a federal grant last week to help recruit and train more volunteer firefighters, who protect a majority of the state.

Jefferson County held its 23rd annual African American Heritage and Culture Festival over the weekend with parades, live music and a memorial walk to the original site of John Brown's raid. Organized by the NAACP of the county, the weekend was meant to bring people together to remember the history of the area that helped shape the country.

The City of Morgantown has teamed up with environmental consulting firm Downstream Strategies to create an innovative way to cut carbon emissions while making a profit. 

Producer/Host Jessica Lilly and producer Roxy Todd have pulled together a lot of voices on the subject of outsiders photographing Appalachians so we can get a better understanding of the question of who gets to tell our stories as Appalachians, why we are asking that question to begin with and hearing from folks who suggest it's not necessary to ask the question at all.


  On West Virginia Morning, signing up for Americorps is very popular among citizens here.  Today, we meet a member who helps veterans find housing, education and employment.  The story on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Radio news – telling West Virginia’s story. 

In an age of globalization and a shrinking manufacturing sector, two young men in Wheeling are hedging their bets and running with a business idea that first took off in 1854.  

And as we prepare for a special week long series on heroin addiction in West Virginia, Digital Editor Dave Mistich discusses the digital components that supplement the series "The Needle and the Damage Done: West Virginia's Heroin Epidemic."

The Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission on Highways released their final report this week, finding West Virginia needs an additional $1 billion annually to both maintain and expand the state's highway system.

The commission recommends keeping the tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike in order to leverage the road for a $1 billion road bond. The bond would be one time funds. Commissioners also recommend increases in some vehicle fees and taxes to create $141 million in new revenue.

A national report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says West Virginia is one of just three states that has consecutively cut higher education funding in the past two years. The report focused on the cuts state lawmakers approved for colleges and universities across the country after the 2008 economic downturn.

Members of the Joint Committee on Tax Reform continued their work at the Capitol this week reviewing the state's current tax code and looking for ways to improve it. The Monday session brought national policy and tax experts to Charleston to review what other states have done in the areas of reform.

On this episode of West Virginia Morning, we preview the latest episode of 'Us & Them,' a newly released podcast from West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The episode focuses on the conflicts between panhandlers and the cities in which they live. Trey Kay discusses the research he did into the topic.

Also, the 30 Mile Meal program is working to connect farmers in the tri-state area with chefs in the Huntington to promote the farm to table movement. And so far, it's having success.

And the Drive-By Truckers are featured on the Mountain Stage Song of the week. 

On West Virginia Morning, Glynis Board reports geological researchers are split on whether fracking causes radon in homes near drilling sites. The story on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.


On this West Virginia Morning have the latest on several controversial bills that Governor Tomblin has signed into law as well as an update on Senate Bill 347 that allows citizens to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

On this West Virginia Morning, We bring you the latest developments from the House as well as an update on the rollback of regulations for above-ground storage tanks that were a result of the chemical spill last year.

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll bring you the latest developments in the Senate and the House, including a public hearing that was held yesterday on Charter Schools

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll bring you up to date on major changes to the conversation over common core education standards in the senate, and we’ll have the latest on house bill that aims to amend the concealed carry law in the house

On this West Virginia Morning, We’ll bring you information on a large pro-union rally that took place over the weekend at the capital, and Catherine Moore brings us the story of a community organization from Clay County that is fighting for a better future.

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you the latest on developments in the House and a public hearing that took place yesterday about Senate Bill 347, the West Virginia Firearms Act of 2015, which would allow adults to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

On this West Virginia Morning, we bring you the latest from the House and the Senate including a move by Delegates to overturn Governor Tomblin's veto of the 22-week abortion ban.

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