LISTEN: Dr. Cathy Slemp Speaks With WVPB, Urges Precautions In Face Of COVID-19


On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from Dr. Cathy Slemp, who was recently ousted from her position as the state’s top public health official. Also, in this show, we hear a report from Marshall University as the school voted to remove the name of a Confederate soldier from a campus building; we hear about a settlement paid to a Black woman from Charleston who was forcefully arrested last year, and we hear from author Jordan Farmer on his new book Poison Flood.

The Marshall University Board of Governors voted Tuesday to remove the name of a slaveholder and Confederate soldier from the building that houses the university’s education program. As Dave Mistich reports, the change comes as other markers and monuments honoring the Confederacy have been removed by choice or by force across the nation.

The city of Charleston has agreed to pay an $80,000 settlement to a Black woman police forcefully arrested and allegedly injured last October. Emily Allen has more.

The new statewide face mask requirement is now in effect. Gov. Jim Justice has issued an order that people wear masks inside where they cannot maintain social distancing. The governor said he’s confident businesses will enforce it. Justice was reluctant to make the decision. He acknowledges it may not be a popular move but said it’s the right move. Until just recently, Dr. Cathy Slemp was the state’s commissioner of public health. Trey Kay is the host of WVPB’s Us & Them. He talked with Dr. Slemp, who said West Virginia is at a pivotal time with the COVID-19 crisis.

The new novel Poison Flood by Jordan Farmer is set against the backdrop of an environmental disaster based loosely on the 2014 West Virginia Water Crisis that poisoned the water of 300,000 West Virginia residents for more than a week. The novel includes murder, theft and riots related to the environmental disaster, but there is a deeper meaning to the work, according to Farmer. He recently discussed the book with Eric Douglas by Zoom.

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