One West Virginia city has lost so much in the opioid epidemic — but the tide may be turning.

West Virginia suffers from the highest rate of fatal overdoses in America. And Huntington, West Virginia, is often referred to as the epicenter of the opioid epidemic. In December 2017, the state's governor called in the National Guard to help address the crisis, declaring, "We have to stop this terrible drug epidemic. We have to. If we don't, it will cannibalize us."

A new program is helping: In Huntington, city officials are finding success with the new Quick Response Team (QRT) program that follows up with overdose survivors within 72 hours of their ODs to help ensure they get the necessary help. The teams include a police officer, a paramedic, and — perhaps most importantly — a mental health specialist.

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On the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 27, public schools across West Virginia were closed for the fourth consecutive day.

Nearly 20,000 classroom teachers are taking part in West Virginia's first statewide strike, affecting more than 277,000 students across all 55 counties. The strike began on Feb. 22, a day after Gov. Jim Justice approved a 2% raise for teachers.

"We certainly recognize our teachers are underpaid and this is a step in the right direction to addressing their pay issue," Justice said.

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Rev. Janice Hill wasn't planning to go to D.C. last Tuesday, but her daughter's health was so important, she skipped a meeting and got on a bus.

Several hours later, the West Virginia pastor found herself in a meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R), where she showed the lawmaker a photo of her daughter Amy, a cancer survivor, and asked her not to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

"These are real people. My daughter," the nervous Hill said as the senator listened. "And so I just want you to have that in your brain when you look at this."

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"Where ya from?" is a question Tijah Bumgarner got a lot after she left her home state.

"West Virginia," she'd reply, when she was waiting tables in Los Angeles and folks noticed her accent. And she knew the follow-up before it was asked. "They'd joke around like look down to see if I was wearing shoes and of course ask me if I'd married my cousin."

"They'd joke around like look down to see if I was wearing shoes and of course ask me if I'd married my cousin."

After a while, the 20-year-old started to respond with a prepackaged quip. When asked where she's from, she'd say, "West Virginia, but I have all my teeth and I'm wearing shoes, so don't bother asking about that."

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