Economy

Blackhawk Mining LLC says it plans to buy some of Patriot Coal's assets in southern West Virginia.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk says in a news release that it has entered a definitive agreement to purchase Patriot's Panther, Rocklick, Wells, Kanawha Eagle, Paint Creek and Midland Trail complexes. The agreement also includes reserve areas.

Wyatt Greene

  Entering an election year, state officials aren't thrilled by suggestions to raise taxes, tolls and fees for roads.

As federal money keeps fizzling, some aren't dismissing the idea.

West Virginia's problems appear to be about upkeep, not necessarily congestion.

U.S. Census data from 2013 shows Charleston and Huntington metro areas had commute times about two minutes lower than the national average, almost 26 minutes. The Martinsburg-Hagerstown, Maryland, area exceeds the average by four minutes but includes Washington commuters.

http://corporate.arcelormittal.com/

ArcelorMittal plans to sell 1,000 acres of surplus property in Weirton to The Frontier Group of Companies.

Media outlets report that ArcelorMittal announced this week that it has entered a purchase agreement with Frontier for the property adjacent to its steel plant. The sale is expected to close later this year. Details of the deal weren't released.

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University is creating a new office and a new position to oversee fraternities and sororities.
 

Student Life vice president Bill Schafer says a national search will be conducted to fill the position of associate dean and director of Greek life.

WVU President E. Gordon Gee says the new office and position are part of an effort to change the university's culture.

Gee promised significant changes following the death of 18-year-old freshman Nolan Burch during an initiation ceremony at the WVU Kappa Sigma house on Nov. 12, 2014.

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

 

Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate the West Virginia Black Bears opened their first season Friday, June 19, to a crowd of 3,019 fans.

 

“Good evening and welcome to Monongalia County Ballpark for the first ever professional baseball game here, in north-central West Virginia,” Black Bears General Manager Matthew Drayer boomed over the ballpark’s PA system.

http://history.wvu.edu/r/images/homepage/13223

West Virginia University says its main campus in Morgantown and regional medical facilities had an economic impact totaling $3.6 billion in 2014.

The report issued Friday found that more than 26,000 workers are employed directly by the university or indirectly through spending in the local economy. That represents 22 percent of the region's workforce.

Data by SNL Energy / Data Visualizations by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The following data and article is the result of collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and SNL Energy. To see related stories from SNL Energy on this topic, please click here. 

Wholesale fuel distributor CrossAmerica Partners says it plans to acquire the One Stop convenience store chain in West Virginia.

CrossAmerica says in a news release that the acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter. The company didn't provide details of the deal.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

A Maryland countertop company plans to move its operations to West Virginia.

Countertop Solutions employs about 22 people in Washington County, Maryland. Owner Jason Singer tells The Herald-Mail that he plans to move the company to the Falling Waters Industrial Center in neighboring Berkeley County, West Virginia.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) met in Morgantown this week to talk about the economic and social effects of drug addiction – opioid addiction especially.


Larry Dowling / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


Step into any of West Virginia’s 11 craft breweries Friday and you’re bound to feel a bit of a celebratory vibe. That’s because a new law goes into effect that brewers hope will drive more business their way and expand the state’s growing craft beer industry even further.

 

kellyrides / http://www.singletracks.com/blog/mtb-trails/five2ride-mountain-bike-trails-in-west-virginia/

Hundreds of people will converge this weekend at Big Bear Lake Trail Center in northern West Virginia for an annual endurance mountain bike race.

“This is our 6th year of doing the Big Bear Lake 2 x 12, which  is a two-person team relay race racing on 12-mile, single-track loops,” said Jeff Simcoe, the race promoter and the recreation land manager at the Big Bear Lake Trail Center.

Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

  Solar coops in Wheeling and Morgantown are looking for proposals from solar companies to install panels on their homes.

Residents in Wheeling and Morgantown are banding together to buy solar panels in bulk discounts for their homes and businesses. So far there have been 73 sign ups into the Wheeling coop and 86 in Morgantown. Ben Delman from the organization that is facilitating the coops, Community Power Network,  reports that of those interested, about 24 homes in Wheeling and 50 in Morgantown are suitable for solar panels. Both co-ops will be open to new members through the summer.


A lending program for small businesses in Appalachia is making millions in loans available throughout the region.

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced Wednesday that the Appalachian Community Capital lending program has put together its first $15 million from Wall Street banks and charitable foundations.

2bgr8 / http://2bgr8stock.deviantart.com/art/Money-Cash-113445826

The federal government says West Virginia tied with Wyoming for the third-fastest economic growth in the nation last year.

The U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau for Economic Analysis said Wednesday that West Virginia's real gross domestic product grew 5.1 percent to $68 billion in 2014, up from $64.7 billion in 2013.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) / Wikimedia Commons

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a report this week pertaining to the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The report comes after several years of analyzing literature and research, but findings were largely inconclusive.


Hemp History Week Celebrated at WVU

Jun 5, 2015
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture took a step toward cultivating Industrial Hemp production in West Virginia last week. The department posted an application “For Research and Marketing Cultivation of Industrial Hemp” which would allow growers and entrepreneurs to register industrial hemp businesses with the state, under a pilot program.

The idea is catching on in Morgantown.

The West Virginia Hemp Farmers Cooperative and a new student group gathered at West Virginia University to spread awareness about Industrial Hemp. 


dollarphotoclub, Paolese

Unemployment rates dropped in 49 of West Virginia's 55 counties in April according to WorkForce West Virginia.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources West Virginia's spring gobbler season runs from April 27 through May 23, 2015
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

  The Division of Natural Resources says West Virginia hunters killed 9,038 turkeys this spring. That's down slightly from the same period last year.

The 3,000-pound drop forge (the biggest in the factory) in full downward plunge onto a piece of steal as it's pounded into a new reality.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In an age of globalization and a shrinking manufacturing sector, two young men in Wheeling are hedging their bets and running with a business idea that first took off in 1854. Hand-forged tools actually took off much earlier, but Warwood Tool has been in the tool-forging business for over 160 years now: hammers, crow-bars, pick-axes, you name it.


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