Business

Office of the Vice President / via Wikimedia Commons

  Former Vice President Dick Cheney will give the keynote speech at the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting and business summit.

The West Virginia Office of Minority Affairs is preparing for Wednesday Minority Business Expo in Charleston, a day long event meant to encourage and connect small business leaders.

Cabell Huntington Hospital is exploring an acquisition of St. Mary's Medical Center.

Cabell Huntington said Tuesday in a news release that it is discussing a potential acquisition with Pallottine Health Services, Inc., which operates St. Mary's.

Both hospitals are located in Huntington. St. Mary's has 393 beds and is the largest private employer in Cabell County. Cabell Huntington has 303 beds.

Cabell Huntington and Pallottine Health Services say they believe a merger would improve the delivery of health care services.

Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America have tentatively agreed on a new contract following more than a year of negotiations.

The company and the union announced the tentative agreement Monday evening in a news release. They didn't provide details of the proposal, which must be ratified by union members.

If approved, the proposal would cover about 1,500 Frontier workers in 42 counties.

The existing contract has been extended several times since negotiations began in mid-June 2013.

Beckley could become the third largest city in the state if plans to annex some communities go through. State roads are in poor condition and contractors who work on these roads worry about the federal funding shortfall.  And Adrian Wright began his barbeque business in Charleston on a street corner.  Now he owns his own restaurant.

cityofhuntington.com

Huntington hopes an old technology proves to be the key in a new technological world.

Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications and a union have extended their contract for another month while negotiations continue for workers in West Virginia.

Frontier says a contract extension that was set to expire Friday will now run through May 31.
 
It's the fifth contract extension since negotiations between the company and the Communications Workers of America began last June.  
 
The contract originally was scheduled to expire last August. It covers 1,550 workers in West Virginia.  

As Andrea Lannom of the The Charleston Daily Mail reports, Freedom Industries--the company embroiled in bankruptcy proceedings following January's Elk River chemical spill--made more money in February than they anticipated.

Marijuana
Flickr / eggrole

West Virginia businesses couldn't sell bongs, bowls, mini spoons or other items marketed for illegal drug use under a proposal passed by the House of Delegates.
 
House lawmakers voted 94-2 Wednesday to make intentionally selling drug paraphernalia in West Virginia a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $5,000 in fines and six months to a year in jail. The Senate will consider the bill next.
 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Legislators stood Thursday to speak to legislation that has not yet made it to the floor. Senate Bill 368 was introduced by Senator Herb Snyder early in the session repealing unfair trade practices.

The bill focuses on a section of code written in the late 1930s. At the time, many states and the federal government put laws in place that prevented major retailers from undercutting the prices of mom and pop stores, forcing them out of business.

Submitted Photo / W.Va. Dept. of Commerce

The Berkeley County Development Authority has announced Rust-Oleum Corp. will open a distribution center in Martinsburg.

Development Authority Executive Director Stephen Christian says the company will lease about 630,000 square feet in the Shockey Commerce Center.

Christian said the Authority has been working with the company since April to find a location.

Rust-Oleum is headquarted in Vernon Hills, Ill. and manufactures protective paint and coatings. Between 80 and 100 people will work at the facility.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A Putnam County store owner's lawyer says his client didn't illegally raise water prices following a chemical spill.
 
Lawyer Tom Peyton tells the Charleston Gazette that Achraf Assi gave away water after the Jan. 9 spill left 300,000 people in nine counties without useable tap water.
 

House Approves W. Va. Launch Pad Act

Feb 14, 2014
Daniel Walker

House Bill 4343 provides economic benefits for businesses working with technologies not currently in West Virginia if they locate or expand in launch pads areas in the state.

These benefits would begin on January 1, 2015 and last until December 30, 2030 and include state and local tax relief and assistance in moving a business here.

Appalachian Power says small business owners are the target of a scam seeking to extort cash.

The power company says reports of the scam are coming from its West Virginia customers, but it says its customers in Virginia and Tennessee are also likely to be targeted.

The scam works this way:

Ashton Marra

Governor Tomblin made his third major jobs announcement in two weeks Tuesday in Charleston. A supplier for the steel industry, the newest company locating in West Virginia will not just create jobs, but also heavily rely on coal to do it.

“Today, 60 more West Virginians will have good paying jobs and the coal industry will have a new customer,” Tomblin said.

He made the announcement surrounded by executives from Carbonyx International USA and representatives of the state Department of Commerce.

Ashton Marra

More than 42,000 West Virginians are employed by the manufacturing industry and state lawmakers were told that number is expected to grow in the coming years, but industry leaders say the state needs to focus on educating those workers now.

President of the West Virginia Manufacturer’s Association Karen Price said the problem with the state’s manufacturing industry is not a job shortage, but a labor shortage.

David M. Mistich

A plastics manufacturer that employs 130 workers in Wood County is closing the plant on land where a Brazilian petrochemical giant is exploring the possibility of building several facilities.  

SABIC Innovative Plastics informed employees at its Washington facility on Thursday.
 
That news came shortly before Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Odebrecht had chosen the same site to explore the possible location of an ethane cracker plant and three polyethlene plants.

Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

How much mine-able coal is left in Appalachia?

An old coal company store in Southern West Virginia has some spooky history.

We revisit the story of the Greenbrier Ghost, through the voices of school children.

And learn how growing a garden benefits women in a Pocahontas County prison facility.

  A Marshall graduate recently visited Huntington to share a story of motivation. The alumna now owns a company that specializes in using technology for marketing campaigns.  

Paula Tompkins spoke to college students and alumni last week at the Marshall University Foundation Hall. The native Huntingtonian and alum of Marshall had a complex, but simple message. To succeed in the business world entrepreneurs have to be persistent, focused and find an idea that’s not already addressed.

Ruskin Air and Sound Control announced Monday they will close their manufacturing plant and office in Fairmont effective July 31, 2014.

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