The San Joaquin Valley is an agricultural hub. Two lane highways separate fields of citrus and nut trees across central California.
Tipton based dairy farmer Tom Barcellos owns 1,800 cows.
“Our livelihood is based on how we care for the soil and how we care for our animals. And if we don’t care for them, then we’re not going to be successful,” Barcellos said.
California farmers are uniquely positioned to benefit from investing in solar arrays. California farmers have more land, sunshine and higher energy costs than the typical American.
Thousands of homes in Clarksburg have received water filtration pitchers and notices in the past few months. The notice lets residents know their drinking water is flowing through lead pipes.
Millions of Americans get their water through lead service lines. The alarm sounded in Clarksburg when three children in town tested positive for elevated levels of lead in their blood.
Tommy Dodd stood on his porch reading his notice. The houses on his street were built in the early 1900s. He figured this notice might be coming.
“The only thing we’ve used our water for in the last three or four months was just to wash our clothes, take a shower in,” Dodd said. “I don't even think it was a great idea to use it to rinse off our toothbrushes. But we did that.”
Austin’s only sanctioned homeless encampment sits on a seven-acre plot of asphalt. It’s tucked away off of Highway 183 near the airport. The State Department of Transportation had been using the space.
“This basically was just a giant TxDOT parking lot where they service vehicles out of,” said Emily Ballard, a social worker at the site, now called the Esperanza Community.
In 2019, the parking lot became Austin’s first and only sanctioned homeless encampment. In the early days people pitched tents and built makeshift shelters. Ballard would end up crawling through these spaces in pants, long sleeves and Doc Martin boots to speak with residents.
“It was a time of survival, but it was also a time where you got to see some really unique skills and survival methods and some really creative architecture,” Ballard said.
Cabin Creek claims the legacy of the mine wars and labor struggles in the early 1900s. More than a century later, doctors, nurses, and social workers still fight for miners at the Cabin Creek Health Clinic, built in the 1970s as an outgrowth of a miner-led movement to recognize the existence of this occupational disease.
Every few weeks, a handful of former miners get tested at the clinic for signs of black lung.
One patient, 74-year-old Roger DeWeese, sits inside a “body box.” It is a clear tube in the shape of a telephone-booth that gauges how much air he inhales and exhales. It’s a tight fit for DeWeese. He’s 6-foot-1.
“It's like sandpaper or sand. It just keeps moving in your lung. And that keeps getting worse and worse,” he said.
Huntington High senior Mani Frieson sat patiently in the bleachers of his school gym before returning to class. He got his shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and waited 15 minutes to be sure he had no adverse reactions.
“I just see that's like a really, really great, great step towards a better future,” he said.
When more than a dozen positive cases were reported at Huntington High this month, classmates in close contact to those infected had to quarantine -- including the entire boys basketball team.
But the team returned just in time to face their closest rival, Cabell Midland High School, on their opponents’ court.
“We didn't know if we were gonna have a season at the beginning,” said Ty Holmes, the head coach for Huntington High. “So the guys are pretty excited to even get out there and just even play basketball.”
For the second year in a row there will be no king salmon derby in Wrangell. For 30 days, everyone tried to catch the biggest king salmon for a shot at the $6000 cash prize, and the glory. While most agree that protecting the the run up of the nearby Stikine River is critical, the absence of the derby nevertheless has left a king salmon-sized hole in some hearts.
“Right now, Saturday, it’d be the second week of the derby. As flat calm as it is, there’d be so many boats right now, coming and going,” former-derby organizer Shawn Curley says. “Instead no one’s out fishing at all, just that blue heron, he’s fishing.”
For those struggling with addiction, one way to get on the road to recovery is to enter a sober-living home. There, residents should have the structure and support to change their lives. But not all homes can promise that, and there has been no formal process to differentiate good and bad operators.
“‘Flop houses’ they’re called. Well, we don't have a flop house. We have more structure than most people have in their families,” said Patrice Pooler who runs the Mid-Ohio Valley Fellowship Home for those in the early stages of recovery.
“I believe everyone that gets into recovery housing has a good heart and wants to help people, but I think some of them lack the structure that's needed to keep people safe and keep people sober,” Pooler said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent one month in Kanawha County this summer to investigate the local HIV outbreak.
Over four weeks, the CDC analyzed medical records and spoke with local health and social service providers at the frontlines of the outbreak. It also interviewed 26 people who have HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus. This includes people who use IV drugs and are often homeless, which represent most new HIV diagnoses.
“It's clear from this report, we do not have the services in place to prevent these infections, diagnose them, and treat them,” said Robin Pollini, an infectious disease expert at WVU specializing in IV drug use.
Voters in Wichita, Kansas overhauled how they elect their local school board officials. The decision came on election night, when results poured in on a city-wide ballot measure.
The coalition behind the ballot measure argued schools board members should be elected by their districts, not on a city-wide ballot. Wichita voters agreed. The measure passed with 66 percent of the vote.
Advocates for this measure, including the local teachers union and NAACP, said the change would provide more equitable representation on the school board, particularly for communities of color. Lavonta Williams is a retired teacher and former city council woman. She campaigned to change the school board from citywide voting to district voting.
“I need to have a say about the person who represents me on the school board. So I say ‘yes means change. No means to leave it the same.’ The same was not working,” Williams said.
Biologists in Southeast Alaska are racing to examine a wave of whale carcasses to try and find what’s killing gray whales up and down the Pacific Coast. Nearly 170 have been reported, triggering NOAA Fisheries to launch an investigation.
When a dead whale was reported floating near Wrangell, the troops had to rally. U.S. Forest Service workers found the carcass on this remote beach and tied it to trees so it wouldn’t float away.
“It is sad to see but it is also an amazing opportunity to be part of this team and be part of this phenomenon,” says NOAA Fisheries Veterinarian Kate Savage.
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I started a call-in show at a small station in Alaska. Now, I produce live, hour-long programs for 1A's national audience of 4 million weekly listeners. My shows highlight a national issue, showcase partner station reporting, or explore a cultural phenomena.
The game of Dungeons & Dragons has jumped off players’ tables and onto the silver screen.
D&D has changed a lot since its creation in 1974. Now, the game’s consumed via streaming sites like Twitch and played on virtual tabletops like Roll20. More people are rolling for initiative than ever before. And that’s got the owners of the game wondering, just how many people can they get to pull up a chair to the proverbial table?
We discuss the shifts in culture, conversation, and business of D&D with entertainment reporters, dungeon masters, and game developers.
Several states have adopted or introduced legislation this year about student behavior and school discipline. Many of these bills would make it easier to kick students out of the classroom anywhere between a day and a year.
Proponents say getting tougher on students will empower teachers.
Opponents point to the impact that punitive measures have on students of color and students with disabilities.
More than 100,000 people died last year in America from a drug overdose, most of which involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Fentanyl is deadly and it’s winding up in street drugs of all kinds: heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and counterfeit Adderall.
“Getting people into treatment for substance use disorders is critical, but first, people need to survive to have that choice,” said National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow.
We speak with grassroots, harm reductionists who are providing life-saving tools to the people of Philadelphia and Columbus, Ohio. We discuss how pervasive fentanyl and other dangerous substances are in the illicit drug supply.
Every legislative session WVPB produces the TV program The Legislature Today. In 2022, lawmakers proposed a cap on the costs insulin and medical devices for diabetics.
Mindy Salango is a mom living in Morgantown. She said diabetes dictates everything she does in a day.
“It just really kind of ate at me the other day that my body is never going to function properly, and that I always have to fight and stay on top of it to stay alive,” Salango said.
KSTK spent the celebration documenting Randy Oliver’s last logging show. The event is named after Randy’s dad, Chuck Oliver, who started the event in 1975. The father-son duo ran the event for years to add some showmanship and competition to the holiday. Chuck passed away this year in March, and Randy is retiring from the event. But the show will go on. Randy is passing all the axes, chainsaws and “misery whips” down to the next generation.
As part of KSTK’s video series on this year’s celebration, we spent some time with Darian Gerald. She comes from a long line of women who organize events for the holiday. She’s doing the same.
As part of KSTK’s video series on this year’s celebration, we spent some time with Jeff and Kay Jabusch. Their family has been building floats for the annual parade for 40 years.