Division of Highways

  The West Virginia Division of Highways says a Kentucky company is the apparent low bidder for a contract to upgrade a section of U.S. 35.

Bizzack Construction, LLC of Lexington, Kentucky, bid $174.4 million to design, build and finance the project.

The 14.6-mile section runs from State Route 869 in Putnam County to County Route 40 in Mason County. It's the final section to be upgraded to four lanes.

The DOH says Bizzack's bid is one of five accepted on Wednesday from contractors. State officials now will review Bizzack's bid.

Manchin Works to Lift U.S. Oil Export Ban

May 20, 2015
U.S. Energy Information Adminstration

U.S. Senators want to introduce a bill that will help lift the U.S oil export ban

The export ban on US oil currently compromises American competitiveness and security by restricting the ability of American crude oil producers to export and sell their products outside of our national border, said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and several of his companions on the Hill.

Currency control sits uneasily in trade deal

May 20, 2015
Tracey Samuelson

Congress is debating whether or not to attach some new rules about what countries can and can't do with their currencies to a pending "fast track" trade bill, which would allow Congress to vote on free trade deals but not filibuster or amend them. 

My First Job: Video dating service

May 20, 2015
Robert Garrova

Melissa O’Neil’s first job was working the front desk for a dating service, but this was before the days of sites like eHarmony or

“Back in the day before the internet, they would actually take videos of people doing all the things they do in the online forms now,” O’Neil says.

According to O’Neil, sometimes customers’ dating videos had outtakes.

“The guys very much got in trouble and had to be edited for saying things about what they were looking for … and women were more on the side of saying things about themselves that they shouldn’t have said.”

Marketplace for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

Rate rigging in London affects U.S. consumers

May 20, 2015
Nancy Marshall-Genzer

The Justice Department says five big banks have agreed to plead guilty to manipulating foreign exchange markets: Barclays, Citibgroup, JPMorgan Chase, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS. UBS also pleaded guilty to skewing a benchmark rate called LIBOR.

LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate, is what big banks charge each other for loans. Lots of consumer loans with variable interest rates are based on it, such as adjustable-rate mortgages, private student loans and car loans.

The job application for Al-Qaeda

May 20, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

On Wednesday, the U.S. government declassified a whole bunch of documents it found in Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

Lots of fascinating stuff — among them a job application to join Al-Qaeda, which will sound familiar to anyone who's ever filled out any job application.

These are all quotes:

How many jobs does $100 million get you?

May 20, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

Like many cities, Baltimore is dotted with the ghosts of industry: businesses, large and small, that have moved elsewhere or closed altogether.

There's the old FMC Corp. campus in Fairfield, its the lawn still neatly trimmed, but the parking lot is empty, and the property is ringed by fences and "No Trespassing" signs. FMC left Baltimore in 2008, part of a cost-cutting move.

The Globe Screen Printing building is on Hollins Street, right across from St. Peter's church, where Babe Ruth was baptized. Globe Screen, a family business, closed about 12 years ago.

Northwestern professor is a real 'Survivor'

May 20, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Julian Burrell

Max Dawson has always been a fan of the long-running reality television "Survivor," so much so that in 2012 he taught a class about it at Northwestern University. “The class was called “The Tribe Has Spoken,” says Dawson, now a Los Angeles-based media consultant. “I wanted to teach these students … about the industry they were going into. And what better way than using a case study of a show that really defined reality TV and redefined what American television is all about?”

Molly Wood

Advertising used to look like this: People went out to lunch, drank a lot, had some great ideas and put them on television. But these days, advertising is all about mobile, all about digital and all about machines.  

Doug Fleming heads up programmatic ad sales at Hulu, the TV streaming service. Along with thousands of other advertising and marketing executives, Fleming has decamped to San Francisco this week for the Adtech conference. It’s two days of, well, everything thats means anything when it comes to advertising and technology.

Mountaineer Food Bank

Justin Morrison has been appointed executive director of the Mountaineer Food Bank.

The Exponent Telegram reports Morrison started at the food bank in October 2008 as food resource coordinator.

Delegate Clif Moore
West Virginia Legislature

A McDowell County lawmaker has been fined $100 after pleading no contest to a drunken driving charge.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Delegate Clif Moore entered his plea on Tuesday to non-aggravated driving under the influence. He was fined and sentenced to time served.

Sketch artist Jesse Corlis

A federal magistrate judge says former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship can't spend Memorial Day in Las Vegas.

U.S. Magistrate Judge R. Clarke VanDervort denied Blankenship's travel request on Tuesday. VanDervort's ruling says the conditions of Blankenship's pre-trial release don't include traveling to Las Vegas to attend to personal matters.

A national report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities says West Virginia is one of just three states that has consecutively cut higher education funding in the past two years. The report focused on the cuts state lawmakers approved for colleges and universities across the country after the 2008 economic downturn.

In Tibet, bloggers post at their own risk

May 20, 2015

PODCAST: Skin in the game

May 20, 2015
David Brancaccio

How the head of the fed is keeping Wall Street workers chained to their desks ahead of the long holiday weekend. Plus, the Senate Education Committee meets Wednesday. Senator Lamar Alexander, who chairs the committee and is a former secretary of education, has proposed that colleges share in the risk of lending to student. He says this would lead to reduced student borrowing. How would it work if colleges had “skin in the game” and how realistic is the proposal? We'll also talk to Allan Sloan of the Washington Post about the costs of investing in a hedge fund.

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University
Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

A report released this month by the national Center on Budget and Policy Priorities looked at states across the country that cut their higher education budgets in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn.

Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 20, 2015

If students default, should colleges pay up?

May 20, 2015
Nova Safo

In the Senate, a committee hearing on Wednesday is scheduled to look at the idea of having colleges pay part of the cost of student loan defaults, which totaled $99 billion in 2014.

Some seven million Americans have defaulted on their student loans, and 70 percent of them are college drop-outs. They average about $14,000 in student debt.

"You want people to care about the debt beyond the day after they issue it, and to make colleges somewhat financially responsible," says Ben Miller, who studies education policy at the Center for American Progress.