Economy

Water Safety
9:32 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Secondary Intake Proposal Calls for Mountaintop Lake in Charleston

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

  Two men have submitted a proposal calling for a mountaintop lake in Charleston that would serve as a backup drinking water source.

The proposal by Fred Stottlemyer and Joe Mullins seeks construction of an earthen dam to create an 800 million-gallon lake at Coonskin Park.

Stottlemyer is former public service district general manager. Mullins was an urban planner in the governor's office in the 1960s.

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Rallies planned
9:39 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Groups Prep for EPA Clean Power Plan Hearing

Credit www.mine-engineer.com

Given the political climate around the EPA’s proposal, it seems unlikely that state lawmakers would have a policy without coal. Still, the United Mine Workers of America says workers and their families should be concerned about this new regulation. Groups from West Virginia and across Appalachia are gearing up to show support and protest of the EPA’s proposed rule.

Groups like the United Mine Workers of America and Coal River Mt. Watch are traveling to Pittsburgh later this week.

As it stands, the EPA rule would let states come up with their own energy policy on how to decrease carbon dioxide emissions. Given the political climate, some environmentalists worry it will be business as usual for the coal industry leaving little room for renewable energy. After all, lawmakers in states like West Virginia and Kentucky aggressively and consistently favor coal in speech and policy.

Listen to hear more from Phil Smith with UMWA and Vernon Haltom with Coal River Mountain Watch.

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Community Gardens
10:57 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

New Urban Garden in Wheeling Designed For the Blind

Gardener Martin Wach built and planted the garden over a two-week period. And there's a lot of room for growth.
Credit Martin Wach

Wheeling has a new urban garden, and it’s a little out of the ordinary. It’s designed for visually impaired gardeners.  Not many like it exist in the state.


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Government
9:29 am
Thu July 24, 2014

U.S. Plans W.Va. Refunds Under Affordable Care Act

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell
Credit Office/Sen. Jay Rockefeller

More than $900,000 in refunds from insurance companies are headed to 8,300 consumers in West Virginia.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced the payments Thursday, crediting the Affordable Care Act.

Burwell said the refunds in West Virginia will average $177 per family.

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Hunger
5:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Children Combat Hunger in West Virginia

Hannah McCune, age 11
Credit Roxy Todd

Tom Toliver has seen people with children who are hungry, searching for food in dumpsters in the alleys of Charleston. And he isn’t the only one. At the Union Mission where Toliver has been donating fresh vegetables, the president and CEO Rex Whiteman says hunger is on the rise throughout the state, and in Appalachia.

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Kids Count
12:37 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Report: Well-Being of W.Va. Children Improves

Credit Kids Count

  A private foundation says the well-being of West Virginia's children has improved over the past two decades. But there are still problem areas.

A report released today by the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks West Virginia 37th in the nation in children's well-being.

The report is based on 16 indicators, including children without health insurance and proficiency in math and reading.

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Rural Infrastructure
5:14 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

W.Va. Rural Roads Continue to Crumble, Highway Workers Face Possible Lay-Offs

Credit Sarah Lowther Hensley / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

More research has surfaced indicating the abysmal state of rural infrastructure these days, especially in West Virginia, and shortfalls in federal funding for highway maintenance could make the problem worse as well as leave many road workers filing for unemployment.

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Barbecue
6:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

BBQ, Soul Food, and Charleston's West Side

Sam Rivers manages the ribs and pork on the grill
Credit Roxy Todd

On a drizzling morning around 7:00, Sam Rivers has just lit the oak-wood fire for the meat smoker, and smoke is pouring over the sidewalk into the rain. The owner of Dem 2 Brothers and a Grill, Adrian Wright, stands behind him. Adrian oversees the entire operation, from the time when the ribs and pork begin grilling in the early dawn, until the spicy barbecue sauce is made each night.

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Ecology
2:15 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

National Park Service Seeks Volunteers for Sampling

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The National Park Service in Glen Jean is gearing up for a sampling program and is looking for volunteers. 


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Ginseng
8:18 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Stakeholders Meet for Ginseng Summit, Discuss Industry To-Dos, To-Don’ts, Ta-Das

Panax quinquefolius foliage and fruit
Credit www.botanicus.org/item/31753000788239

Ginseng annually brings millions of dollars in revenue into Appalachia. But its future as a revenue option, or even its existence at all in these parts is far from certain. Growers are struggling to conserve the plant and ensure the vitality of the industry. Those concerns as well as new research that sheds light on the therapeutic qualities of the plant were discussed at the 2014 Ginseng Summit.

A small gathering of key stakeholders in the ginseng industry gathered at the Golden Seal Botanical Sanctuary just outside the small town of Rutland, in Meigs County Ohio, to discuss important topics surrounding the medicinal root.

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News
6:00 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Mapping Appalachia's Food and Farm to Table Destinations

Jennifer "Tootie" Jones raises grass-fed beef and sells to about 14 restaurants and retail shops across W.Va.
Credit Roxy Todd

Agri-tourism is not a new concept to Jennifer "Tootie" Jones. A fifth generation farmer, she raises grass fed beef on Swift Level Farm in Lewisburg. She was one of the farmers who attended yesterday’s event at the Capitol Market. She sells beef to 14 West Virginia restaurants and several retail stores, some of which are featured on a new online map, called Bon Appétit Appalachia, a project by the Appalachian Regional Commission. There’s also a print map, which lists 283 food destinations across the region, including:

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Economy
10:25 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Former W.Va. Gov. Caperton Joins Insurance Broker

Credit Asia Society Paternership for Global Learning / wikimedia Commons

  Former West Virginia Gov. Gaston Caperton has been appointed as a senior adviser to an insurance broker.

USI Insurance Services says in a news release that Caperton will help strengthen the company's client base in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia and seek new areas of investment.

Caperton will be based out of USI's Charleston office.

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Agriculture
12:03 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Something New is Sprouting on Charleston's West Side

Stephanie Hysmith and Tom Toliver building the raised beds this spring
Credit Jaime Rinehart, of the WVSU EDC.

The first of Tom Toliver’s gardens is in what looks like an unlikely place—there’s a lumber mill across the street, a busy road without sidewalks, and the garden itself is nudged in between a pawn shop and a DeWalt tool center. Along 6th street, a mom and her two kids walk by carrying groceries from the nearby Family Dollar. Toliver also lives down the street. He believes that putting gardens in urban areas, like Charleston’s West Side, helps reduce crime and revitalize the neighborhood.

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Completion July 2015
2:25 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Bridge Replacement Means New River Closures and Detours

Closures and detours scheduled over the next year as Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge in Fayette County is replaced.
Credit Google Earth

A bridge closing in Fayette County means long-term disruption for river
traffic as well.

The West Virginia Department of Highways and the Federal Highways Administration are replacing the Thomas Buford Pugh Memorial Bridge on Route 41 in the town of Prince.

Construction of the new bridge will require temporary full river traffic closures and long term river detours between Prince and the town of McCreery on the New River.

Construction is scheduled to begin this month and the detour will remain in effect until the project is completed  next July.

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Retirement Funds
8:45 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Pension Credit Expansion to Cost W.Va. $197 Million

Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A state actuary says expanding military service credits for public employees' pension benefits will cost more than $197 million.

A report by Consolidated Public Retirement Board actuary Harry Mandel projects that active Public Employees Retirement System participants will be eligible for $113.9 million in increased pension payments. Retirees will be entitled to about $43.6 million in increased payments.

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Consumer Protection
8:24 am
Thu July 3, 2014

Public Service Commission Warning of Utility Scan

West Virginia's Public Service Commission is warning residents about a scam by callers who claim to represent utility companies.

The PSC says a Parkersburg-area man reported that he had been bilked out of about $1,500 by a caller claiming to represent Appalachian Power Company.
 

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Combating Disease
3:53 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Federal Funding Reduced Third Year in a Row for Black Lung Clinics

There are currently eight black lung clinics across the state.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The federal government announced Wednesday a reduction in the amount of aid West Virginia’s eight black lung clinics will receive this year for operating and clinical costs. The announcement continues funding cuts for the state’s Black Lung Program for the third year in a row.

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Pittsburgh Rally Planned
5:15 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

UMWA Plans Rally to Protest Proposed EPA Regs

Credit Bernard Pollack/(aflcio)

The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) is planning to make its objections to proposed EPA rules loud and clear. The union has a rally scheduled at the end of the month in Pittsburgh.

LISTEN

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West Virginia Morning
8:29 am
Tue July 1, 2014

A Marshall Football Player Tries the Pros Up North and Promoting Clean Watersheds

Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power are asking the state Public Service Commission to approve a 17 percent rate hike for their West Virginia customers. Gov. Tomblin appoints a new head to the state School Building authority. A Marshall University player uses his failure to be drafted in the National Football League as motivation to make it in the pros in Canada and a southern West Virginia educators is teaching her students about the important connection between clean watersheds and clean drinking water.

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Contract Negotiations
6:43 am
Mon June 30, 2014

Frontier, Union Extend Contract Again

Credit Frontier Communications

Frontier Communications and the Communications Workers of America have extended their contract again while negotiations continue on a new labor agreement.

Frontier says the existing contract will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Aug. 2. The contract was set to expire Saturday night.

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