Economy

Department of Environmental Quality Firector, David Paylor walks along a retention pond for a spring near the route of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline June 6, in Bolar, Va.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline intended to carry natural gas across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina would have some adverse environmental effects, including impacts on water resources, forest and other habitats, but most could be reduced to insignificant levels, an assessment by federal regulators found.

Justice: Liens Will Be Paid Once Disputes Are Settled

Jul 20, 2017
Jim Justice
Tyler Evert / AP

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice says the tax liens against his family-owned businesses will be paid once disputes over them are resolved.

Pixabay

More than two million people across the Ohio Valley live in areas that lack any option for fast and reliable internet service. This week some of them had a chance to tell a member of the Federal Communications Commission what that means for their work, studies, and everyday life.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  The West Virginia Board of Education has passed policy changes capping the percentage of students who receive specially designed instruction for disabilities that schools can place in general education classrooms.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

 

Thanks to singer-songwriter John Prine, Paradise Fossil Plant might be the only coal-fired power plant that has a household name. “Paradise,” Prine’s 1971 ballad, drew on boyhood memories from the small town of Paradise, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to relay the environmental and social costs of our dependence on coal.

A report from CNBC released Tuesday calls West Virginia the "worst state for business in 2017," thanks to declines in state GDP in 2016. West Virginia was 1 of only 7 states to experience economic contraction last year, according to the report.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

From the outside Summit Aviation, in the small town of Somerset, Kentucky, looks like any other nondescript, white warehouse. But inside workers craft parts for drones, weapons casings, wing stabilizers and other high-flying products.

Summit is one of many small manufacturers making up the growing aerospace industry in the Ohio Valley. Highly specialized companies are landing in Kentucky and Ohio for the proximity to important raw materials and the promise of some political sway.

Achim Hering / Wikimedia Commons

A new manufacturing plant will set up shop in the Eastern Panhandle. Gov. Jim Justice announced it will create up to 150 new jobs in the state.

The new plant will produce stone wool insulation. This type of product is used in buildings, industrial applications, and in acoustic ceilings.

Rep. David McKinley in a hearing
Submitted Photo / Office of David McKinley

Lawmakers in Washington advanced a bill this week that could help communities throughout the region leverage more funds to clean up abandoned industrial sites.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill drafted and sponsored by West Virginia's Representative David McKinley to improve the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfields Program, which provides resources to clean up and redevelop contaminated industrial sites.

Kelly Riddle, of Allegheny Wood Products, in a timber stand in Preston County, W.Va.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In the next part of our occasional series on the timber and forest products industry, we find out how timber cruisers -- or procurement foresters -- help landowners decide when to harvest trees in a timber stand, which trees to take and which ones to leave behind.  

Independent producer Jean Snedegar joined Kelly Riddle, of Allegheny Wood Products, in early June at a privately owned forest near Kingwood, in Preston County.

High Hop(e)s: Craft Brewing Has Farmers Betting On Hops

Jun 26, 2017
HopAlong Farm in Howard, OH

The acres devoted to growing hops doubled in the U.S. in just the past five years and the trade group Hop Growers of America estimates that 95 percent of that market belongs to farmers along the West Coast. But the craft beer craze is changing the direction for hop farms by generating demand for more locally sourced ingredients, and Ohio Valley farmers like Wes Cole want in on the action.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, farmers are looking to the craft brewing craze to boost a new crop in the region: locally grown hops. We hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource's Nicole Erwin. 

Also, June is Gay Pride Month. Us & Them podcast producer Trey Kay speaks with Charleston resident Bill Richards about living at a time when sodomy was a criminal offense in an excerpt from an episode titled “Sodomy, Stonewall & Pride”.

City of Huntington

  Flint Group Pigments is shuttering a West Virginia manufacturing facility because of a decline in demand for a dye used in printing ink.

CSX
Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Railroad company CSX says it has cut 70 jobs at a locomotive shop in West Virginia, while 270 others continue to work at the facility.

Company spokesman Rob Doolittle says the shop in Huntington will remain open and keep servicing locomotives. Affected employees are eligible to seek positions at other nearby CSX facilities.

Alecia Ford

An Italian manufacturing company that supports the natural gas industry is setting up shop in the Northern Panhandle. 

The Italian-based company Pietro Fiorentini broke ground in a ceremony this week to announce the purchase and development of a 26-acre plot in Weirton. Fiorentini has been operating an office in West Virginia since 2013, but the Weirton site will be its first manufacturing plant in the U.S. The company makes pressure valves and other products that support the oil and gas industry. The $5.5 million  investment will create 45 jobs by next spring, possibly 77 with future expansions.


Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University economists say their business index shows improvement in the state's economy for the past nine months.

Their Mountain State Business Index, after recording a slight monthly increase in May, was 1.6 percent higher than the same month last year.

Izzy Broomfield

Nearly half of the people living in rural parts of United States don’t have access to broadband internet, the high-speed connection required for common uses many of us take for granted. Government and survey data show that in 65 counties across Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, most residents don’t have access to broadband -- that’s a quarter of all the counties in the three states.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley ReSource takes a look at the state of broadband internet  access in West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. We'll find out about how it's affecting commerce and economic development in central Appalachia.

We'll also hear about some grassroots and legislative efforts aimed at expanding broadband access to areas underserved by commercial communications companies.

A large log landing -- Green Mountain, Tucker County, circa 1910.
Photo courtesy of Robert C. Whetsell

"Just as we came to the hills, we met with a Sycamore.....of a most extraordinary size, it measuring three feet from the ground, forty-five feet round, lacking two inches; and not fifty yards from it was another, thirty-one feet round."

– George Washington, written while exploring the Great Kanawha River, Nov. 4, 1770

Methanol Plant
Wdwdbot / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia Economic Development Authority has approved a $10 million loan to help develop a methanol production facility west of Charleston.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the state development authority gave preliminary approval for the loan to US Methanol to purchase machinery and equipment for the planned Liberty One Methanol plant.

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