Coal Layoffs, unemployed
Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.9 percent in October.

WorkForce West Virginia says in a news release that the number of unemployed state residents fell by 3,500 in October to 54,300.

Mountaineer Food Bank

Food banks across the state are getting help from the West Virginia Lottery.

The Lottery's Given and Win Food Drive begins Monday at 441 retailers across West Virginia. Anyone who donates five non-perishable food items at a participating store will have a chance to win a pack of 100 instant lottery tickets.


This week on Inside Appalachia, we hear from first generation college students, like Savanna Lusk, the daughter of an underground coal miner and Logan Bays the son of a former surface miner. Host Jessica Lilly spoke on WVNS-TV Morning Show, previewing this week's episode.

University of Charleston
Acdixon / wikimedia commons

University of Charleston President Ed Welch says a tuition increase will be offset by more financial aid.

Undergraduate tuition at the private university will increase by $3,000 to $28,900 a year.

Coal operator Alpha Natural Resources is seeking to eliminate health and other non-pension benefits for more than 4,500 non-union retirees.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha says in a recent bankruptcy court filing that the benefits cost it about $2.7 million in 2014 and represent a liability of about $125 million.

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United Bankshares, Inc. is acquiring Bank of Georgetown in an all-stock deal valued at approximately $269 million.

Charleston, West Virginia-based United Bankshares says in a news release that the acquisition will enhance its presence in the Washington, D.C., metro region.

Power Lines
Kreuzschnabel / wikimedia commons

Appalachian Power and affiliate AEP West Virginia Transmission Co. are investing $20 million in Cabell and Lincoln counties to improve reliability during the harsh winter months.

The investment in the transmission grid includes a new substation and about 4 miles of transmission line.

Walker Machinery

Walker Machinery Company has announced that 77 of its employees will be laid off.

Local news agencies report that the company, which employs about 500 people, says slow economic conditions and a slumping coal industry are forcing the layoffs.

Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia Women Work is an organization that wants to help women in the state achieve economic self-sufficiency. They’ve been at it for 15 years. About 1000 women are better for it, so far. But the organization runs on a shoestring budget, with only five full-time staff to organize six 11-week courses each year. It’s now looking to the state to stay afloat.


Two Hatfield-McCoy Trail System trails in Boone and Lincoln counties are being closed because the trail land has been sold.

The system will lose 200 miles of ATV trails from the closure of the Little Coal River Trail in Boone County and the Ivy Branch Trail in Lincoln County.

Fayette County Courthouse
A.E. Crane, National Scenic Byways Online

Fayette County officials say they're facing a $450,000 budget shortfall next year as tax revenues decline.

The Register-Herald reports the decline in revenue is linked to a drop in coal value, industrial personal property value and business personal property value.

West Virginia United Health System Logo

St. Joseph's Hospital in Buckhannon has joined West Virginia's largest health care system.

Multiple media outlets report that the hospital's transfer from the Pallottine Missionary Sisters to West Virginia United Health System was completed on Tuesday.

Wikimedia Commons

State, county and city officials, as well as community members and stakeholders gathered this week in Wheeling at the Wesbanco Arena, home Wheeling’s minor league ice hockey team, The Nailers. Officials met to see how renovations of the arena are coming along. So far: all new seats, new video screens, and new food vendors.

Woodburn Hall, West Virginia University
Richinstead / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University researchers are forecasting continued high unemployment in West Virginia.

The WVU College of Business and Economics released its annual West Virginia Economic Outlook report Thursday at a conference in Charleston.

Maksim / wikimedia commons

Union workers at Mardi Gras Casino and Resort in Nitro plan to vote this week on a revised health insurance proposal.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that during talks Tuesday with the United Steelworkers Local 14614-F9, casino management agreed to remove contract language that would have allowed future policy changes in the workers' health insurance.

Tax Reform Committee Campaign Contributions
Data Source: Institute on Money in State Politics / / Data Visualization by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When Republican lawmakers took control of the state Legislature for the first time in some 80 years in 2015, party leaders maintained their legislative priorities wouldn’t change. 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A Macy's spokesman says the retailer expects to hire about 2,900 seasonal workers at its Martinsburg eCommerce Fulfillment Center.

The hiring plan for the holiday season is down from an estimated 3,600 seasonal workers in 2014. Macy's spokesman Jim Sluzewksi tells The Journal that the fulfillment center has a larger than anticipated year-round staff.

Glynis Board / WVPB

This week half a dozen Catholic nuns arrived on a bus in Wheeling. The women are part of NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, which educates, organizes, and lobbies for economic and social transformation. The Catholic Sisters visited shelters, schools, food pantries, and citizens, in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, and finally, West Virginia as they made their way to Washington DC. The tour is in response to Pope Francis’s call to transform politics and the economy.

Matt Welsch, also known as the Vagabond Chef, has traveled all over the world experiencing culinary arts and food. You can find a taste of those travels at his restaurant, the Vagabond Kitchen, in Wheeling. Welsch recently took a 10-day motorcycle trip across the state of West Virginia. Over the course of 1500 miles, and throughout 39 counties, Welsch's objective was to connect and find other West Virginians who are passionate about cuisine, spirits, and celebrating the Mountain State in general.  The Vagabond Chef calls the trip “a true immersion experience.”

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The highly anticipated Procter and Gamble site in Berkeley County broke ground Friday. And starting October 1, 2015 job applications will be available online.