Leann Ray

Leann Ray

Leann Ray is a lifelong West Virginian. Her work at the Daily Athenaeum and Charleston Gazette-Mail has won numerous awards. She is a graduate of West Virginia University.


Getting into the holiday spirit by helping others

By: - November 28, 2023

Charleston has been going hard on the holiday spirit this year with Holly Jolly Brawley and Light the Night at GoMart Ballpark. And don’t forget the Holly Jolly Brawley Trolley, which provides free rides between all of the festive locations. While some feel it’s the most wonderful time of the year, the holidays can be […]

A beige stone church with a rainbow Pride flag sits on the corner of a street.

West Virginia cities need to show more empathy for people without homes

By: - November 21, 2023

There’s been multiple municipal attacks on homeless populations in West Virginia over the last few months. Wheeling City Council voted to ban camping on public property without permission earlier this month. The ordinance will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. Monongalia County Commission passed an ordinance last month that prohibits panhandling at “busy intersections,” […]


Manchin for president … of the United States or West Virginia University?

By: - November 14, 2023

Last week in a pre-recorded video, Sen. Joe Manchin, West Virginia’s last remaining Democrat in Congress, announced that he will not seek reelection for his U.S. Senate seat that he’s held for the last 13 years. Sitting in front of a very presidential looking red background with a bald eagle statue on each side of […]


If Justice expects transparency in his administration, then he needs to lead by example

By: - November 7, 2023

A couple of weeks ago, the West Virginia Democratic Party sent out a news release calling out Del. Elliott Pritt in response to a paraphrased quote I included in a commentary. “Delegate Pritt needs to disclose unlawful partisan bias in state agencies,” the headline states. Pritt, R-Fayette, told Politico in an article from August, that […]


Lawmakers should consider red flag law before campus carry goes into effect in West Virginia

By: - October 31, 2023

The Columbine High School Massacre, the deadliest high school shooting until Parkland in 2018, happened on April 20, 1999, during my freshman year of high school. After this, there were fake bomb threats frequently at my school. The faculty would either herd us all outside to the football field or into the gym, and each […]


Scholastic needs to take a stand against book censorship

By: - October 24, 2023

If you could combine Pretzel Day from “The Office” and Treat Yo’ Self Day from “Parks and Recreation” for elementary school-aged Leann, it would have been the Scholastic Book Fair. You’re telling me there’s going to be a pop-up book fair with not only books, but posters, pencils, erasers and bookmarks in my school? And […]


Are WV politicians running as Republicans because of values or because they want to win?

By: - October 17, 2023

In a surprise to absolutely no one, Doug Skaff switched to the Republican Party and has filed as a pre-candidate to run for West Virginia Secretary of State. Reporters have been hearing those rumors of a possible party switch since early summer, though Skaff denied them when asked after he stepped down as West Virginia […]

An ambulance drives into the trauma center of CAMC General, while other cars drive past the building.

CAMC moving in the right direction with decision to stop charging visitors for parking

By: - October 10, 2023

About this time last year, my boyfriend Dwight started feeling strange. On a Wednesday, he said his feet were tingling a little bit. Later that day, he fell in the shower, and had to crawl to the bedroom. Out of nowhere, he was unable to use his legs. Because it was already late, he knew […]


Reporting on West Virginia in a location full of state history

By: - October 3, 2023

West Virginia Watch now has a physical home. As of Sept. 1, we have moved into the Kanawha Valley Building on Capitol Street in Downtown Charleston, one of the tallest buildings in the state at 20 stories tall. We have not one, not two, but 11 windows. That might not seem like a big deal […]


Clothes don’t really make the man, they only cover him

By: - September 26, 2023

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) eased up the informal dress code on the Senate floor. He said in a statement that senators are now able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor, but he will continue to wear a suit. Most people immediately thought of Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), who […]


Mothman Festival brings thousands of cryptid fans to West Virginia

By: - September 19, 2023

West Virginia has a lot of great things going for it — it’s beautiful, there’s lots of outdoor activities, like mountain climbing, hiking and whitewater rafting. And it has a wealth of cryptids. Growing up, I always went with my dad to the grocery store and the thing I remember most about those trips was […]


Looking at why voting in West Virginia is so important on Democracy Day

By: - September 15, 2023

Editor’s note: This article is part of U.S. Democracy Day, a nationwide collaborative on Sept. 15, the International Day of Democracy, in which news organizations cover how democracy works and the threats it faces. To learn more, visit Have you ever seen a photo of an opossum with their mouth wide open, and it […]