Economy

Economic Diversification
1:12 am
Thu October 30, 2014

What the Beckley Area Thinks of Southern W.Va.'s Economic Future

Eight members of the SCORE committee listen at their first listening tour stop in Beckley.
Ashton Marra West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A special West Virginia Senate committee, known as the Southern Coalfields Revitalizing its Economy or SCORE for short, made its first stop in Beckley Wednesday evening to hear from community members ways lawmakers can help diversify the region's economy and put people back to work. 

More than two dozen people shared their thoughts with the eight panel members in attendance. Here is what some had to say.

Infrastructure:

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Appetite Appalachia
8:59 am
Tue October 28, 2014

These Groups are Reforming West Virginia's Food Economy

Credit wikimedia commons

The phrase “food-desert” might sound like a landscape of sagebrush and armadillos, but it's really a place where SlimJims, chicken nuggets and Slurpies count as dinner. A food desert can happen anywhere- we've all seen them. People who live in a food desert may be surrounded by food—fast food or convenient store hotdogs, instead of fresh, healthy food.

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Elk River Chemical Spill
8:30 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Water Crisis Low Interest Loan Deadline is Wednesday

Credit U.S. Small Business Administration

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The deadline is approaching for West Virginia small businesses and nonprofit organizations affected by the January water crisis to apply for low-interest federal loans.
 
     The U.S. Small Business Administration says applications for the economic injury loans must be received by Wednesday. Working capital disaster loans of up to $2 million are available at 2.625 percent for private nonprofits and 4 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years.
 

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Oil and Gas Industry
10:49 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

“Fracking’s Toxic Loophole”: Report Calls for Repeal of Halliburton’s Loophole

Credit Environmental Integrity Project

A new report has just been published that identifies large amounts of toxic chemicals legally used in the oil and gas industry—such chemical-use in any other industrial application is regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. Not so for the gas industry.


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Economy
9:09 am
Thu October 23, 2014

All W.Va. Counties See Jobless Rate Decrease in September

  Unemployment rates fell in all 55 of West Virginia's counties in September.

WorkForce West Virginia says that at 11 percent, Mingo County was the only one with a jobless rate in the double digits.

Counties with an unemployment rate below 5 percent included Harrison (4.9), Putnam (4.9), Preston (4.7), Jefferson (4.6), Pendleton (4.3) and Monongalia (4.1).

The state's seasonally adjusted jobless rate in September was 6.6 percent.

Workforce Development
11:38 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

W.Va. Women in Tech Conference Features First Female Space Walker

"What an amazing woman in STEM, #KathrynDSullovan @ #WVWomenTech"
Credit tweeted Kristen Perko

The first woman to walk in space was the keynote speaker at the Women in Tech Conference. Dr. Kathryn Sullivan and several other speakers met at Oglebay Park in Ohio County to talk about empowerment and technology.

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Inside Appalachia
5:45 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

W.Va. Coal Miner, Ky Distiller, Former NASA Astronaut, Mill Operator, Chef and more

In this episode, we hear from Larry Mustain, who grinds heirloom corn at his family’s mill in West Virginia.

And we'll learn more about traveling along the Bourbon Whiskey Trail in Kentucky?

We'll also talk with, Jordan Bridges, a coal miner in southern West Virginia who is worried as more and more mines are laying off workers.


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Economy
4:28 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Senate Task Force to Aid Southern W.Va. Coalfields

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Senate President Jeff Kessler is setting up a task force as part of a push to help West Virginia's struggling southern coalfields.

On Thursday, the Marshall County Democrat announced the Southern Coalfields Organizing and Revitalizing the Economy initiative, or SCORE.

The program is based off the Shaping our Appalachian Region program, which has similar goals for eastern Kentucky's hurting coalfields.

Kessler's 13-member Senate task force will look at a variety of ways to revitalize the coalfields.

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Oil and Gas Industry
3:21 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

‘WV Host Farms’ Offers Researchers Birdseye View of Gas Drilling

Before/After screen capture of the Mark West Plant, a major mid-stream gas processing plant that's in the middle of construction in Doddridge County.
Credit courtesy of WV Host Farms

For a couple of years now an organization that bubbled up in Doddridge County has been teaming with scientists to try to get a better handle on the impacts of horizontal drilling and the ancillary processes that support it. WV Host Farms brings together landowners, researchers, students, and news reporters to take a close look at what is locally referred to as “ground zero” of Marcellus Shale fracking.

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Natural Resouces
7:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Ginseng Reality TV: Cultivating Conservation or Encouraging Extinction?

Frame from National Geographic Channel's new ginseng reality TV show: Smoky Mountain Money, which pits teams against each other to see who can collect the most ginseng.
Credit National Geographic

A new reality TV show that features ginseng hunting premiered this week. Smoky Mountain Gold pits four teams against each other to see who can collect the most wild-ginseng. It comes in the wake of another reality show that aired in January this year, Appalachian Outlaws. Dried ginseng root sells for 400-900 dollars a pound, and these reality shows are generating a lot of new interest in the plant.  That might be a good thing for the ginseng industry… or it might not be.

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Economy
9:51 am
Mon October 6, 2014

January Spill Boosts St. Albans' Tax Revenue

  St. Albans got a tax revenue boost from the January chemical spill as thousands of people came to the city to buy groceries and eat in restaurants.

St. Albans wasn't affected by a water ban imposed after the Jan. 9 spill in Charleston.

The Charleston Daily Mail reports that St. Albans's business and occupation tax revenue increased by $30,000 in the third quarter of 2014, compared to the same January-to-March period in 2013.

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Oil and Gas Industry
9:23 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

4th Annual Oil and Gas Expo Sees More Environmental and Safety Vendors

The 4th annual Oil and Gas expo took place yesterday in Morgantown. Over 2000 attendees and 300 vendors met to discuss trade business.

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Oil & Gas
8:31 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Well Water Contamination Possible After Drilling Mishap

Credit "HydroFrac2" by Mikenorton - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:HydroFrac2.svg#mediaviewer/File:HydroFrac2.svg

Drilling for shale gas went wrong last week when operators accidentally drilled into one of their own wells that was engaged in production. The result is possibly contaminated drinking water from at least 12 homes.

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Air Quality
10:26 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ways to Reduce Carbon Emissions and Save West Virginia Lives

A study just released explores projected health co-benefits of reducing carbon emissions. It indicates that each year, the lives of 50 West Virginians could be saved but, only if certain policies are adopted.


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Economy
4:17 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

W.Va. Economic Policy Report Outlines Job Losses

  A state economic group has calculated that 5,000 jobs have been lost in West Virginia since 2011, most of them in the state's southern coalfields.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy on Tuesday released its annual report, "The State of Working West Virginia."

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Transportation Plan
12:06 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Organization Looking at Ways to Improve Transportation in Fayette & Raleigh Counties

A group is working to create a transportation plan for Raleigh and Fayette Counties. The Metropolitan   Planning Organization, or MPO, is working to identify transportation investments needed to move the region forward.

The MPO office is federally and state funded but it’s made up of local governments, business leaders, and others. The group is responsible for long range transportation planning.

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STEAM
11:31 pm
Sun September 28, 2014

WVPB Builds Interactive STEAM Career Videos

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been hard at work creating a pilot, interactive, web-video series called West Virginia STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). It's a collection of videos designed to inspire middle school kids, and arm teachers and parents with tools to help students navigate possible career options in the state.

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Small Business
9:35 am
Fri September 26, 2014

WV Small Business Director to Retire

Judy McCauley, West Virginia Small Business District Director
Credit sba.gov

The head of the U.S. Small Business Administration's West Virginia office is retiring.

Officials say Judy McCauley is scheduled to retire from the agency on Tuesday.

The West Virginia native and Fairmont State University graduate joined the agency in 1996 and has held the position of district director since April 2004.

As district director, McCauley has been responsible for the delivery of the agency's programs and services statewide. That included

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Economic Development
3:26 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

WV Economic Development Council Holds Annual Meeting in Huntington

WV Economic Development Council held their 2014 meeting in Huntington.
Credit Clark Davis

The West Virginia Economic Development Council wrapped up a two-day meeting in Huntington yesterday.

The two day meeting in Huntington focused on everything from STEM initiatives and how they affect business throughout the state to businesses that are venturing into the international markets around the world. The conference brings groups together with the hope of dining out what’s working and giving ideas for future success.

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Natural Resouces
3:53 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

A Call to Help Wipe Out Invasive Species

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