Energy & Environment
9:45 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Marshall Commission OKs Power Plant Agreement

The Marshall County Commission has approved an agreement for a proposed natural gas-fired power plant.

Under the agreement, the commission would own the 549-megawatt plant and lease it back to Moundsville Power to operate. Moundsville Power would pay about $1 million annually to the county over 30 years in lieu of property taxes.

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Christian Youth Camp
3:04 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Faith Based Adventure Camp Planned for Nicholas Co.

West Virginia Young Life Representative Scott Berg says the camp will be between Mt. Nebo and Kessler's Cross Lanes.

A faith based organization plans to develop land in West Virginia to create a youth camp. The New River Gorge Regional Development Authority made the announcement earlier this week.

Young Life, a non-denominational Christian organization, plans to build an adventure camp in Nicholas County close to Mt. Nebo.

The organization has 35 camps around the globe according to their website. In a release, Young Life’s state Director, Scott Berg, said it was the outdoor activities, and landscape that attracted the group to West Virginia.


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2:53 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

City Council to Hear Morgantown Truck Traffic Proposal

Recent photo of heavy trucks traveling through downtown Morgantown.
Credit Safe Streets Morgantown /

Morgantown City Council will meet to discuss amending traffic code to address heavy trucks traveling through the downtown business district.

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1:06 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

With So Many Mine Layoffs, What's the Future of Southern W.Va.'s Economy?

Credit Catherine V. Moore



This story was produced as part of What's Next, West Virginia?, a collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Center for Civic Life, and West Virginia Community Development Hub, among others.

Over the past two years, 1,800 coal miners in Boone County have been laid off from work—that’s a fifth of the county’s total labor force. And the crisis doesn’t show any signs of slowing. At the end of July, Alpha Natural Resources announced it expects to lay off 1,100 more workers at 11 mines in southern West Virginia.

The West Virginia Coal Festival, held every year at the end of June in the county seat of Madison, is a good place to gauge how the layoffs are affecting everyday life for Boone County families--not only the economy, but also the political landscape and discussions about the future.

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11:02 am
Fri August 15, 2014

W.Va. Gets Funding for Workforce Development

Credit Kristi George / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  West Virginia is receiving $10,000 in funding to help expand workforce education and training program.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said the state was selected for a grant from the National Governors Association.

Officials say 44 percent of job openings in West Virginia in the next 10 years will require more than a high school education, but less than a four-year degree.

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6:57 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Local Craft Brewers Hope to Use Festivals to Lobby for More Industry-Friendly Laws

Mike Vance pours a beer from Morgantown Brewing Company's stand at the Brew Skies Festival in Canaan Valley on July 25, 2014.

IPAs, Stouts, Hefewiezens, and Ales.

If you’re in Huntington or Wheeling this weekend, you’re bound to get a taste of some locally-brewed varieties at the Rails and Ales Festival or the Mountaineer Brewfest.

But, brewers from around the state aren’t just hoping to raise awareness about their products with these events, they’re also looking to influence the way they do business by getting the attention of state lawmakers.

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4:02 am
Wed August 13, 2014

In The Supposed 'War on Coal', West Virginia and Kentucky Parallel on Mining Jobs, Politics


The "war on coal" is a phrase that's increasingly popular in Central Appalachia politics. With declines in coal jobs and new rules from the EPA to target carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the words become hugely political--especially during an election year.

But the phrase's validity certainly begs question, at least according to a recent article by Erica Peterson of WFPL in Louisville.

Just last week, Peterson--who began her career as a reporter at West Virginia Public Broadcasting--detailed the ups and downs of Kentucky's coal jobs back to the Reagan administration beginning in 1981, examining the loss or gain of coal mining employment within that state across presidencies. What she found was, that if a war on coal exists in Kentucky, the blame goes farther back than President Barack Obama. 

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12:30 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

West Virginia Coal Company Expects 280 Layoffs


  A coal company has announced plans to lay off 280 workers at mines in southern West Virginia.

Coal River Mining and Coal River Processing filed a 60-day layoff notice Tuesday for five mines. Four mines would be idled, while one has already been idled.

The facilities are in Alum Creek and Julian.

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9:50 pm
Sun August 10, 2014

Department of Highways Weighs In On Proposed Morgantown Heavy Truck Ban

Credit Safe Streets Morgantown / via Facebook

As efforts to limit heavy truck traffic in Morgantown’s downtown district continue, the WV Department of Highways is weighing in on who has jurisdiction over road regulation. 

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2:30 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

W.Va. Consumer Spending Higher than Pre-Recession

Credit 2bgr8 /

  Consumer spending in West Virginia is higher than it was before the Great Recession but is lagging behind the nation in spending growth.

Figures released Thursday by the federal government for the first time show that West Virginia's per capita consumer spending in 2012 grew 3.2 percent over the previous year.

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Reconnecting McDowell
2:53 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

New Teacher Housing for Troubled McDowell County

West Virginia Board of Education President Gayle Manchin and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten cut the ceremonial ribbon at Bet's Furniture in Welch.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Members of the governing board for Reconnecting McDowell voted to demolish two buildings in the county seat of Welch to make way for new, affordable housing for teachers and young professionals.

The board and members of the American Federation of Teachers held a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the old Best’s Furniture warehouse, a 25,000 square foot building that’s sat vacant for years. In the coming months, it and the smaller Katzan building located directly behind it will be torn down to make way for 28 new housing units.

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Hospital Merger
6:41 am
Wed August 6, 2014

Cabell Huntington Explores Aquiring St. Mary's

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.

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5:00 am
Wed August 6, 2014

The Story of a Man Who Was Homeless for 19 Years

David Sneade, outside the Union Mission shelter on Leon Sullivan way.
Credit Roxy Todd

David Sneade works as the director and minister at a homeless shelter in downtown Charleston. He was homeless himself, off and on, for about 19 years.

“I wouldn’t be afraid to say there’s at least 2,500-3,000 homeless people just in Charleston,” said Sneade, who has spoken with many of those people.

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12:25 am
Wed August 6, 2014

W.Va. Communities Band Together to Adopt Solar Co-Ops

As electricity rates continue to climb, some communities are coming together to try to offset their bills by harnessing the power of the sun. It’s still a pretty novel idea in West Virginia but communities in Fayette and Monroe Counties are forming solar co-ops to help make it happen.

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Community Development
6:48 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Turn This Town Around Project Proposals Getting Final Polish

Credit Sarah Lowther Hensley

We continue our coverage of the Turn this Town Around Project. The towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

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Union Contract
11:13 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Frontier, Union Announce Tentative Contract

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.

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Coal Economy
8:27 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Struggle for Coal Continues with W.Va. Mine Layoff Plan

Credit Robb Kendrick / National Geographic

From Boone County banker Lee Milam's experience, each round of coal mine layoffs that hits southern West Virginia stifles his community's already-fragile economy.Thursday's news was especially bitter. Coal giant Alpha Natural Resources revealed plans to shed 1,100 workers at 11 West Virginia surface mines and related operations by mid-October. In Boone, where about 2,400 people work in coal mining, two mines employing 462 people could be shuttered.

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Vacant Building Revived
9:20 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Huntington Building to Become Home to Appalachian Artists

The former Corbin property has been purchased by the Coalfield Development Corporation.
Credit Lori Wolfe / The Herald-Dispatch

A vacant garment factory in Huntington's Westmoreland neighborhood will be converted into apartments and a work area for artists.Executive director Brandon Dennison of the nonprofit Coalfield Development Corp. says the group bought the former Corbin property from the Wayne County Economic Development Authority.

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Carbon Regulations
6:01 am
Fri August 1, 2014

EPA Hearing Puts Pittsburgh in Crosshairs of Climate Wars

Competing rallies for and against the EPA’s proposed carbon rules cross paths in Downtown Pittsburgh.
Credit Reid Frazier / The Allegheny Front

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency held hearings Thursday and Friday in Pittsburgh on a proposed rule to slash greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The plan is up against serious opposition from the coal industry, but environmental groups say it doesn’t go far enough.

Competing rallies for and against the EPA’s proposed carbon rules crossed paths in Downtown Pittsburgh today.

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12:31 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Alpha Planning to Lay Off 1,100 Coal Miners in W.Va.

Layoffs are being blamed on a depletion of easy-to-reach coal reserves and a drop in demand.

One of the nation's largest coal producers said Thursday it expects to lay off 1,100 workers at 11 southern West Virginia surface coal mines by mid-October, citing dismal markets and federal regulation.

The announcement by Alpha Natural Resources dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output.

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