Jail Overcrowding, W.Va. Gov Gets Vaccinated, And A Conversation About Virgin Hyperloop


On this West Virginia Morning, Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials leading the state’s coronavirus response received Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. Also, in this show, we hear from criminal justice advocates who share their concerns on jail overcrowding during the pandemic, and we explore what the future of transportation holds for America and the rest of the world as Virgin Hyperloop gets set to develop its first test track and certification center right here in West Virginia.

Justice and others leading the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic got some of the state’s first doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The state leaders got the vaccine on camera — hoping to boost public confidence in the drug. WVPB shares the latest.

West Virginia jails are overcrowded. In a pandemic, with little room for social distancing in facilities, and difficulty enforcing the governor’s face mask order, this creates a public health nightmare. Advocates for criminal justice reform have a handful of requests for the governor’s office, as outbreaks in jails and prisons are on the rise. Emily Allen reports.

In October, Justice and Virgin Hyperloop made a major announcement. West Virginia would be home to the first hyperloop certification center ever in the country. A hyperloop is a new concept for transportation that can move people and goods through pods in a vacuum at roughly 600 miles per hour. The idea was first proposed by Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

Virgin Hyperloop’s new certification center will include a six to seven-mile test tube, in the Canaan Valley covering parts of Tucker and Grant Counties. Liz McCormick sat down with Mike Schneider, vice president of project development at Virgin Hyperloop, over Skype to learn more about the certification center, hyperloop technology and what this could mean for West Virginia and the world.

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

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