Q&A: National Reporter Discusses Federal Opioid Data


On this West Virginia Morning, a federal district judge last week ordered the release of a government database that tracks the shipments of every single prescription pain pill manufactured in the U.S. In an analysis of that data, reporters at the Charleston Gazette-Mail and The Washington Post found between 2006 and 2012, 76 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills were shipped to pharmacies across the country.

Three reporters at The Washington Post were responsible for the analysis that shows just how concentrated the epidemic was in Appalachian communities, including database editor Steven Rich. He spoke with 100 Days in Appalachia’s Ashton Marra about the reporting.

Also on today’s show, summer is a time for camp. You know — swimming, making s’mores, telling ghost stories. A group of nine students in Pocahontas County took those ghost stories a step further, spending last week learning to make short, animated films at Monster Movie Camp. Roxy Todd was there to help a friend and filed a report.

And fireflies can make a summer night seem magical. But are you seeing fewer fireflies than you did when you were a kid?

Julie Cecchini is a self-proclaimed lover of bugs, who has fond memories of catching fireflies as a child in her grandparents’ backyard. Like many insects, fireflies or lightning bugs, are declining.

Cecchini questions led her to sign up for a recent Firefly Watch training at Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve near Pittsburgh, run by the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania. Firefly Watch is a citizen science project to help researchers figure out what’s affecting firefly populations. The Allegheny Front’s Andy Kubis went along to learn more.

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.