Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.
During the legislative session, Ashton focuses on the state Senate, bringing daily reports from the inner-workings of the state’s upper house on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s nightly television show The Legislature Today.
Ashton comes to WVPBS from ABC News’ morning program Good Morning America where she worked as a production associate. Ashton produced pieces for the broadcast, including the first identified victim of the Aurora, CO, movie theater shooting and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, as well as multiple entertainment news stories.
Before her time at GMA, Ashton worked as an intern on ABC’s news assignment desk, helping to organize coverage of major news stories like the Trayvon Martin case, the Jerry Sandusky trail, tornadoes that ravaged the South and Midwest and the 2012 Presidential election. She also spent 18 months as a weekend reporter for WDTV based in her hometown of Clarksburg, WV, breaking the story of missing Lewis County toddler Aliayah Lunsford. Ashton’s work from that story was feature on HLN’s Nancy Grace in October of 2011.
Ashton graduated summa cum laude from West Virginia University in May of 2012, where she was named WVU’s Reporter of the Year. She covered government for the P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s bi-weekly newscast WVU News and also served a semester as the WVPBS bureau reporter.
When she isn’t reporting, Ashton enjoys cooking and is an avid supporter of the arts, including theater, music and dance. She is a huge fan of musicals and touts her collection of Playbills from the Broadway musicals she’s attended, which grew by nearly 30 in her 9 months living in New York City.
West Virginia's governor is asking the federal government for more help after massive weekend flooding killed two dozen people.
Ex-Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship heads to prison to begin serving a one-year sentence. He was convicted of conspiring to violate federal mine safety laws after a 2010 coal mine collapse.
A federal jury has convicted former Massy Energy CEO Don Blankenship for conspiring to willfully violate mine safety standards at the site of a 2010 explosion that killed 29 people.
Since 2008, the average price of a ton of U.S. coal has plunged, reflecting a dramatic drop in demand for coal. The industry's decline has also inflicted huge job losses. In a rural, southwestern part of West Virginia, laid-off miners must plan for an uncertain future.
There are some 300,000 people still waiting to be able to use their tap water. A chemical spill into the Elk River last week has officials warning everyone not to touch, drink, or wash with the water. There are questions whether regulation was too lax on the company that stored the chemical.
West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has declared a state of emergency in nine counties because of water contamination. Approximately 300,000 people have been affected as a chemical has leached into the water supply.