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The dozens of independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan news organizations that make up the Rural News Network are developing the broadest news alliance reporting on rural America. These newsrooms are pursuing coverage that provides a more complete picture of what it means to live and work in these communities.
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LATEST NEWS FROM THE NETWORK
February 23, 2024
Parents of West Virginia students are moving their children to private and home schools. As public school attendance drops, Harrison County is consolidating and teachers are leaving, fueling concerns that students left behind won’t get the attention they need.
West Virginia is required to have a five-year plan outlining its energy priorities. It hasn’t published one in nearly a decade.
January 24, 2024
When asked about the missing energy plans, the head of the Office of Energy told Mountain State Spotlight there were drafts but no finalized reports. The lack of a plan could set the state back.
January 18, 2024
Once a bustling town of nearly 2,000 people, Parsons has struggled with a shrinking population and shuttered businesses since a flood four decades ago.
December 01, 2023
The state’s program for reclaiming abandoned coal mines has long been plagued with problems, but state and federal officials have done little to prepare for this reckoning.
October 24, 2023
While runaway growth has seen the gobbling up of farmland, those left behind find new ways to adjust.
Lawmakers gave WV firefighters a one-time cash infusion. Volunteer departments need a long-term solution.
September 18, 2023
Despite conversations in Charleston, volunteer fire departments across the state are going underfunded. Here’s what that means for the boots on the ground.
September 06, 2023
Waste-to-energy incinerators have been lauded as an eco-friendly alternative to landfills. But in West Virginia, residents near a proposed medical waste incinerator site have raised concerns about a lack of transparency in the approval process and possible negative environmental and health effects.
‘This stuff is killing me’: After decades of delay, new black lung protections come too late for some West Virginia coal miners
August 31, 2023
For decades, coal operators, federal regulators and politicians have come up short in preventing miners from getting the disease. For miners with black lung, the inaction has been deadly.
West Virginia lawmakers pour around $100 million into improving the jails system. It’s not nearly enough.
August 20, 2023
State officials say the understaffed and overcrowded corrections system needs over $300 million to increase pay and repair decaying facilities. Lawmakers just approved some funding for the facilities, many of which are in rural communities, but it falls short.
Regulators asked water districts across West Virginia if their fire hydrants work. Only half responded
August 11, 2023
The home of a Kanawha County school board member burned this spring as firefighters searched for a working hydrant. Now, regulators are struggling to find out how many hydrants are working across the state.
August 08, 2023
The state’s flagship university and the city of Morgantown’s largest employer, has a $45 million budget deficit and administrators say layoffs are necessary. Faculty have criticized the speed and manner in which cuts are being made to tenured positions.
What Thursday’s Supreme Court order means for the future of the Mountain Valley Pipeline — and for West Virginia
July 30, 2023
Ultimately, the future of the pipeline is still uncertain. Its completion can’t be guaranteed as it still waits for the 4th Circuit Court to decide whether to dismiss the pending two cases challenging the project.
Battle over books: Wood County residents pressure library to restrict titles with LGBTQ, sexual themes
July 28, 2023
Amid a growing national movement to ban books, a small but vocal group in West Virginia is fighting to restrict access to books — from the local police station all the way to the state legislature.
Mountain State Spotlight explains: West Virginia’s opioid settlement foundation will soon have board members. Here’s how they’re picked
July 12, 2023
Local governments have been selecting their representatives for the West Virginia First Foundation. Here’s the process and what impact they’ll have on the state’s efforts to abate the opioid crisis.
July 07, 2023
Mobile needle exchanges could be an important tool for reducing disease and building trust in the area. But local public health workers think politics will prevent them from being used.