Family Treatment Court, Airplanes And Recovering From Coronavirus This West Virginia Morning


On this West Virginia Morning, a Wheeling-based artist is on the road to recovery after being diagnosed with the coronavirus. We hear about his experience. Also, in this show, we hear about the first graduation from a new family treatment court in West Virginia, and we learn about West Virginia’s fifth major export – airplane parts.

Less than a year after a Boone County circuit judge launched the state’s first family treatment court for parents dealing with addiction, a couple in the program has graduated. This couple overcame all odds – including a pandemic. Emily Allen brings us this story.

Last year, we brought you a story about a Wheeling-based artist who salvages metal at flea markets for his artwork. And now, we bring him back, but for different reasons. Robert Villamagna has COVID-19 and is still in recovery, he spoke with our folkways reporter Caitlin Tan about his experience.

Airplane manufacturing is one of West Virginia’s biggest industries. In fact, West Virginia exports more than $150 million worth of airplane parts every year. It’s the state’s fifth major export. West Virginia Public Broadcasting did a little digging and found out that while West Virginians aren’t making brand new airplanes, the state is doing something innovative. West Virginia is repurposing parts from planes that have been decommissioned and recycling older jet engines.  

But now, the global pandemic has meant less travel, and airplane companies are facing major economic challenges. But as Eric Douglas found out, West Virginia’s role in the aviation economy may stand to be more resilient. 

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

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