West Virginia

college protestors with signs and banners

West Virginia University votes to ax foreign language degrees

Faculty and students who are opposed argue that the move puts the state’s flagship university at risk of offering a subpar education, especially in terms of producing graduates who can compete in the international workforce.

In this Jan. 16, 2020, file photo an uniper coal-fired power plant and BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

What Germany can teach the US about quitting coal

The Big Fix
Two coal miners in uniform with skinned blackened from coal mining.

COVID-19 is trouble for coal miners struggling with black lung disease

Health & Medicine
Signs direct voters at a polling place in the state's presidential primary election in Greenfield, New Hampshire, Feb. 11, 2020.

MIT researchers sound alarm over voting app’s security flaws

The West Virginia State Capitol building in Charleston sits on the Kanawha River, which is fed in part by the Elk River — the main water supply for nearly 300,000 of the state's residents.

Documentary uncovers contaminated truths behind water crisis in West Virginia, other locations

Pecan Acres

Frequent flooding in Louisiana could lead to buyouts for entire neighborhoods


“Let us all come together so we can go as one and move another place instead of flooding out every year because we’re getting older,” says one resident of Pecan Acres, in Pointe Coupee Parish. “We’ll be better off. We won’t got to worry about worrying when the storms come.”

Solar Holler founder Dan Conant, foreground, looks on at the beginning of a solar roof installation in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

After generations working in coal, young West Virginians are finding jobs in solar


West Virginia’s economy has long been reliant on coal. But as coal jobs dry up, many are looking for jobs beyond coal.

Dr. Chalak Berzingi poses with his wife, Dr. Mayada Issa, and his daughter, Seher Berzingi.

This Iraqi doctor made his home in Trump country

Global Politics

Dr. Chalak Berzingi is a refugee from Erbil, Iraq. He works in a deeply conservative Appalachian town where he has found nothing but acceptance.

Don Blankenship

West Virginia’s former ‘King of Coal’ goes on trial


It’s a rough time for coal company CEOs: Coal in the US it’s now in a precipitous decline, undercut by cheaper natural gas from fracking and concerns about its dangers to climate and health. But it’s an even rougher time for Don Blankenship, the former CEO of Massey Energy, who could spend years in prison for his role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch mine disaster.

The exterior of the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia.

As US juvenile justice improves, West Virginia still funnels kids from schools to prisons


The US is making major strides in reducing juvenile incarceration, but West Virginia has bucked the trend. Its incarceration rates remain much higher thanks to an overwhelmed and underfunded system that can’t give troubled children the support they need instead of jail time.