Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:51:20 GMT
The downtown of this town of 600 sat nearly vacant until a music venue and artists began to create a new economic future for the former coal town. A new guide from the National Association of Governors says arts and culture can be part of rebuilding economies in rural communities. The city of Thomas, West Virginia, like a lot of municipalities in the Mountain State, owes its initial development to coal. Today, however, the downtown of the small town in eastern West Virginia has redeveloped in response to another economic sector – arts and culture. “All over West Virginia the arts and culture economy, coupled with outdoor recreation and tourism, are just growing,” said Emily Wilson-Hauger, program director of Woodlands Development Group . The trend is national, according to a National Governor’s Association “action guide” that describes how rural communities can build on culture and art to renew distressed economies. In Thomas, the downtown was nearly lifeless before artists started
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:43:37 GMT
Have West Virginia exports been on fire recently? A tweet by the West Virginia Republican Party suggests so. In an April 2 tweet , the state party said, "West Virginia’s exports increased for the second year in a row in 2018, reaching $8.1 billion. Additionally, West Virginia’s export growth rate was 14.2%, nearly double the national average of 7.6%." West Virginia’s exports increased for the second year in a row in 2018, reaching $8.1 billion. Additionally, West Virginia’s export growth rate was 14.2%, nearly double the national average of 7.6%. — WVGOP (@WVGOP) April 2, 2019 Did West Virginia really outpace the national average of export growth rates? The tweet linked to a March 17 article in WVNews. In turn, the article cites a March 15 news release by the West Virginia Department of Commerce that reported data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Caitlin Ashley-Lizarraga, an international trade specialist at the West Virginia Department of Commerce, pointed us to detailed Census Bureau
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 20:30:18 GMT
For decades, majority leaders in the U.S. Senate have threatened to use the "nuclear option" to change senators’ ability to filibuster, a maneuver that blocks bills from coming to a vote unless a supermajority of the chamber votes to proceed. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is one member of the body who has fought to protect the status quo. In a recent tweet , Manchin said, "I was the only member of the Senate – Republican or Democrat – who has consistently voted against efforts to use the so called ‘nuclear option’ to change the rules of the Senate. This move is a betrayal of the people we represent." #ICYMI : I was the only member of the Senate – Republican or Democrat – who has consistently voted against efforts to use the so called “nuclear option” to change the rules of the Senate. This move is a betrayal of the people we represent. MORE: — Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) April 5, 2019 We wondered whether Manchin was right that he had a uniquely consistent record on such votes.
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 19:17:39 GMT
West Virginia's attorney general discounted an effort Thursday by the state's Catholic diocese and its former bishop to quash his lawsuit claiming they knowingly employed pedophiles. The motion to dismiss the lawsuit was filed last week by the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and Bishop Michael Bransfield. Morrisey brought the suit last month under the state's consumer credit and protection act. The lawsuit alleges that the diocese employed admitted sexual abusers and priests credibly accused of child sexual abuse without adequate background checks. Lawyers for the diocese and Bransfield argued in their dismissal motion that the attorney general failed to show they violated the consumer credit and protection act.
Thu, 25 Apr 2019 12:00:00 GMT
On this West Virginia Morning, an NPR investigation found that despite mounting evidence, and a stream of dire warnings, federal regulators and mining companies failed to protect coal miners from toxic dust. Now at least 2,000 miners are dying from an epidemic of severe black lung linked to that toxic dust. This morning, we hear a conversation between Inside Appalachia host Jessica Lilly and Becca Schimel, one of the reporters with the Ohio Valley ReSource who has followed how the medical costs for black lung may soon fall increasingly to taxpayers.
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 18:52:22 GMT
A family in Charleston lost their 15-year-old almost two years ago. The man accused of killing him hasn’t been convicted or gone to trial yet. We'll explore why on this West Virginia Morning.
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 10:00:00 GMT
A new report released today by the American Lung Association finds fine particle, or soot, pollution continues to improve across West Virginia, but smog pollution remains a challenge.
Wed, 24 Apr 2019 04:27:00 GMT
In Charleston, WV back in November 2016, William Pulliam, a 62-year-old white man, shot and killed James Means, a 15-year-old African-American boy. The case made national headlines. Reports say during his confession, Pulliam told police, “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off of the street.” Trey has met with lawyers and others grieving such a loss. Multiple delays have pushed back Pulliam’s trial. One delay was to assess Pulliam’s mental competency, a move the Means’ family just doesn’t understand. In December 2018, Pulliam was finally declared mentally competent, and his trial is scheduled to start in early May 2019. With so many delays, the Means family, has little confidence in the legal system. As the trial date approaches, they’re waiting for justice.
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 22:05:48 GMT
A special session to address education in West Virginia is just around the corner, and lawmakers from the Eastern Panhandle are making plans to reintroduce controversial legislation next month.
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 20:18:44 GMT
A conservation group chose Earth Day, April 22, to announce the purchase of a massive property in Appalachian forest to protect habitat and help wildlife adapt to the challenges of climate change. The property covers 100,000 acres of forest straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border. The Nature Conservancy, the nonprofit that made the purchase, said it plans to restore forest health, lease land for sustainable forestry, and provide opportunities for locals to enjoy the wilderness. “These lands are globally important as hardwood forests, globally important in terms of their wildlife diversity, and they’re increasingly important as a wildlife corridor, especially with a changing climate,” said Nature Conservancy Kentucky Chapter Director David Phemister. The property, which previous owners had named the Ataya, is intended to preserve a wildlife corridor in the Appalachian Mountains. Phemister said the Cumberland-Pine Mountain wildlife corridor is expected to be one of the most critical
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 18:59:20 GMT
Meigs County, Ohio, has a complicated history with marijuana. “Meigs County Gold” has been grown illegally for years. Local legend has it that was the strain of choice for musicians like the Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson when they toured Ohio. But for Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith, that isn’t a source of pride. Instead it felt like a target on his back. “If you were going to the Columbus Zoo or Kings Island, lock your cars,” he said. “Because people see the Meigs County tag and it was almost inevitable you’d have busted windows. And the idea was they were looking for marijuana.” In 2016 Ohio became the 26th state to legalize medical marijuana . That means Smith and other Meigs County residents are changing the way they think about the plant. Smith is not an advocate for marijuana. But the decline of coal in this Appalachian corner of Ohio has brought a loss of tax revenues and employment. Meigs County consistently is in the top ten of highest unemployment rates in the state
Tue, 23 Apr 2019 15:53:01 GMT
A Glenville State College professor set out to turn his experiences working in a mental asylum into a novel.
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 20:33:14 GMT
A new study found that when pregnant moms quit smoking during pregnancy – especially early in pregnancy – their babies are less likely to be born preterm.
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 18:53:40 GMT
Winston Shelton passed away last week. Born in Nicholas County, he grew up in Clay and Greenbrier counties, and became an electrical engineer, inventor, and entrepreneur who was awarded 76 U.S. patents.
Mon, 22 Apr 2019 16:38:24 GMT
In southeast Ohio, marijuana was once something officials tried to eliminate. Now officials hope medical marijuana can replace lost jobs and revenue.
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 18:22:55 GMT
West Virginia youth who need intensive non-family residential treatment have traditionally been served out of state. Now, the West Virginia Bureau for Children and Families will try and move some of those kids back in state to comply with new federal regulations. In February, President Donald Trump signed the Family First Prevention Services Act, which included major reforms for child welfare. The legislation is essentially designed to help keep kids with their families or in a family-like setting. Under the new legislation, states must take steps to reduce the use of group homes and other group care facilities. When children need residential services for “behavioral, intellectual, developmental and/or emotional” disorders, those must be provided in a child-care institution with no more than 25 children. The legislation lists a number of options the state must provide in order to qualify for federal funds including establishing Qualified Residential Treatment Programs. According to a
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 17:15:47 GMT
Across Appalachia, thousands of coal miners have suffered from black lung disease. In the 1960s, miners organized a movement to end the chronic condition. They convinced Congress to pass new laws that were supposed to make black lung a thing of the past. Today, conditions underground have changed, and the disease has come roaring back. Black lung, also known as coal workers' pneumoconiosis, is caused by long-term exposure to coal dust in the process of mining. Inhaled coal dust builds up in the lungs, causing inflammation, and eventually tissue death. Many sufferers describe a feeling of drowning because their lungs are unable to work properly and they can’t take a breath. A 2013 investigation by the Center for Public Integrity into the misconceptions surrounding the disease and the regulatory maze associated with applying and being approved for black lung benefits revealed a system in which coal miners are fighting an unfair battle for disability payments and medical care. CPI found
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 16:48:47 GMT
Robert Bailey was a coal miner for 36 years. He began working in McDowell County, and after it became too hard to breathe, he retired from a mine owned by Patriot Coal in Boone County. Bailey first told his story with WVPB in June 2014. He shared his final story with Inside Appalachia host, Jessica Lilly, on February 15, 2019.
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 15:03:07 GMT
During their most recent legislative session, West Virginia lawmakers took up a bill that would require colleges in the state to allow students to carry guns on campus as long as they possess a concealed carry permit. The bill ultimately passed the House, largely on party lines, before falling in the Senate .
Fri, 19 Apr 2019 12:00:00 GMT
On this West Virginia Morning, this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia looks at a disease that at least 2,000 former miners struggle with -- black lung. An NPR investigation found that miners are finding it tough to get help from doctors, lawyers, coal companies, and many lawmakers.