Economy

Oil & Gas
4:41 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

USGS Needs More Data to Assess Water Impacts Around Gas Development

Credit U.S. Geological Survey

The U.S. Geological Survey says more data and research are necessary to best understand the potential risks to water quality in areas with unconventional oil and gas development.

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Water Regulation
10:07 am
Thu February 26, 2015

W.Va. Legislators Working to Roll Back Aboveground Tank Regulations

January 2nd of 2014 the Lisby Pad explosion spilled an unknown amount of "black sludge" associated with a horizontal drilling site in Tyler County into a feeder stream of a local municipality's source water stream. In this photo you can see the exploded, 8,000-gallon steel tank which had stood in line with five others.
Credit Bill Hughes

 

State senators in Charleston took action this week to roll back aboveground tank regulations put in place after last year’s chemical spill which contaminated water for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians.

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Oil & Gas
9:57 am
Mon February 23, 2015

New York Report Analyzes Industry Science Behind Fracking

Credit Adam Zyglis / The Buffalo News

  A new report released in the wake of New York State's decision to ban the horizontal gas drilling process known as fracking analyzes more than 100 scientific studies that have been approved and distributed by oil and gas industry representatives.


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Ginseng
4:48 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Can Ginseng Help Diversify W.Va.'s Economy? Part II

  When you hear the word “ginseng” you might think about a wild plant that grows in the hills of Appalachia … and you would be right, that’s the good stuff. But there’s another way ginseng grows that’s a little less wild. Basically, we’re talking about ginseng farming in the forest, which can yield roots as valuable as the wild stuff. So is it a viable business for West Virginians? Well, there are some rules and regulations that might be hindering growth, but experts say there are ways to promote the industry.


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Ginseng
5:10 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Can Ginseng Help Diversify W.Va.'s Economy? Part I

 The War on Coal, pressures from natural gas development, crumbling infrastructure, whatever you want to blame it on - jobs are becoming more and more scarce these days in communities dependent on coal. As a result, some folks are reaching back to their roots, literally and figuratively, to make ends meet - just as they have for generations. And there’s some big money there. Especially harvesting ginseng. But can plants like ginseng play a significant role in our economy today? Enquiring minds would like to know…


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Small Business
5:26 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Last Call for Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery

Credit Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An Eastern Panhandle distillery decided to close its doors this week because of uncertainty about regulations the owners say are making their business unprofitable.

Distilleries must sell their liquor to the state and buy it back at a 28 percent markup under a provision of the liquor law called bailment. Bloomery Sweetshine Distillery in Jefferson County says that markup has made doing business unsustainable.

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Procter & Gamble
10:44 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Procter & Gamble to Invest $500 Million in W.Va. Facility

Credit http://news.pg.com/multimedia

  Procter & Gamble plans to invest $500 million in a West Virginia manufacturing facility slated to open in 2017.

In a news release Tuesday, the multinational manufacturer said it expects to create 700 permanent jobs at the planned facility in Berkeley County, near Tabler Station outside Martinsburg.

Another 1,000 temporary construction positions are expected.

The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company hasn't announced which brands will be produced there.

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Decling Coal Industry Recovery
9:54 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Coalfields React to Part of Obama's Budget

President Barack Obama's new budget proposal includes more than $3 billion worth of tax credits and other spending to help the Appalachian region recover from the declining coal industry. People across the coalfields are responding with mixed feelings.

In southern West Virginia, many people see initiatives from the Obama administration and the federal Environmental Protection Agency to reduce carbon emissions as an attack on their livelihoods.

So it’s not surprising to hear skepticism and doubt from the coalfields when the president announces intentions to throw a financial lifeline to Appalachia.


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Inside Appalachia
5:57 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

Meet W.Va.'s Groundhog Prophets and Hear How Gas Drilling is Affecting Parts of Appalachia

French Creek Freddie lives at the West Virginia Wildlife Center in Upshur County, W.Va.

While the fame of Punxsutawney’s groundhog is nationally recognized, this week, in honor of Groundhog Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on a very special pair of West Virginia groundhogs who perhaps aren’t celebrated as well as they deserve. Also, we hear how increased drilling is affecting folks in PA and W.Va. Some politicians and residents are touting the natural gas industry as the best solution to bring jobs back to central and northern Appalachia. And while some people are finding well paying jobs and economic opportunities because of the boom in the gas industry, others are finding discontent.


The Struggle to Find Jobs Forces Some Appalachians to Leave the Mountains

Often on our show we hear about people who are trying to maintain hope in the midst of what many across the country would probably consider a life of poverty or despair.

Sometimes the temptation to lose hope is powerful. What future do we face in Appalachia? The need to feed our families is very real- but for many, the struggle to find jobs means they must cast their nets further and further away from home. We Appalachians know that it isn’t resignation that keeps us here- it’s pride for our mountains, our deep roots in our local communities and our strong connection with home. Part of what we love about Appalachia is the natural beauty, the simple sound of clean snow crunching under our feet.

Snowshoeing 101

When it comes to exploring the wintry outdoors in deep snow, it can be hard to get started, it helps to have a guide. That’s what Allegheny Front Contributor Ashley Murry found out when she tried snowshoeing for the first time She joined beginners to the sport, as well as seasoned outdoor trip leaders, Bill Grove and Katie Getsie, as they strapped on snowshoes in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania.

Click here to search for guided snowshoeing trips like the one Ashley Murry took in Pennsylvania.

Click here to find directions to the Cranberry Nature Center in West Virginia, located along the Highland Scenic Highway. After a good snow, you can sometimes snowshoe along Kennison Mountain. Even with a light dusting of snow, it's an incredibly beautiful place for a winter hike.
You can also find snowshoe trails in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, in Tennessee.

And here's a link where you can find information about snowshoeing and cross country skiing in North Carolina.

Increased Gas Drilling in W.Va. and PA Brings Jobs, but also Some Discontent

New technology now allows energy companies to blast water, sand and chemicals deep into the ground at high pressures to release gas from shale formations. With hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, gas companies are able to drill for more natural gas in some areas in Appalachia.

After Living Next to Drilling Activity, 100 W.Va. Residents Sue Companies

Almost a hundred residents from several counties throughout West Virginia are filing lawsuits for nuisance and negligence against several companies engaged in horizontal drilling activities. Glynis Board went out to Doddridge County to catch a glimpse of life in the growing rural gas fields of the state.

Gas Companies Rush to Build New Pipelines in PA

State Impact’s Marie Cusick has been following the gas boom in Pennsylvania. She reports that the pace of gas production is driving energy companies to build more pipelines that are needed to transport the new gas to markets.

Congress Considers Bill to Fast Track Gas Pipeline Projects

On January 21, the US. House of Representatives passed a resolution called the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act. The resolution directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to approve or deny pipeline projects within 12 months after receiving a complete application. Whether or when that bill might be taken up by the Senate is unclear.

In West Virginia, there are at least two major pipeline projects in the pre-filing stage with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline will each go through environmental analysis and a public comment period before being approved or denied by the Federal Government. Tamara Young Allen, spokesperson with FERC, says this process normally takes 12-18 months. The House Resolution says that FERC review should only take a year. 

Click here to make a comment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission about the Mountain Valley Pipeline [docket number  PF15-3-000]  or the Atlantic Coast Pipeline [docket number  PF15-6-000]

Click here to make a comment to the U.S. Forest Service, which is considering whether to issue a special use permit to Atlantic Coast Pipeline LLC, which would allow the company to conduct site survey and testing in a 17.1-mile segment of the Monongahela National Forest and 12.6 miles of the George Washington National Forest.

What's in a Name?

In this episode we’re looking at a town that got it’s name for sand flies-it’s also a town that is home to the famous Punxsutawney Phil that we see each year on Groundhog Day.

Yes- Punxsutawney PA got it’s name  from a Native American word for sand flies. Known as “town of the ponkies”- a word for sand gnats- became Punxsutawney.

French Creek Freddie and Concord Charlie

While the fame of Punxsutawney’s groundhog is nationally recognized, this week, in honor of Groundhog Day, we wanted to shine a spotlight on a very special pair of

West Virginia groundhogs-who perhaps aren’t celebrated as well as they deserve.

West Virginia's groundhogs both predicted an early spring this year. At the West Virginia Wildlife Center Monday morning, the groundhog named French Creek Freddie did not see his shadow.  At Concord University, Concord Charlie also did not see his shadow.
However, in Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter.

 

 

The West Virginia Wildlife Center will have their Groundhog Day celebration on Feb 2, 10:00 am.

Our theme music is by Andy Agnew Jr., Our What’s in a Name Music is by Marteka and William with Johnson Ridge Special. Music in today’s show was also provided by Bing Crosby, Billy Pollard, Jake Scheppes, and the Glennville State Bluegrass Band.

 

 

 

 

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Skiing
11:57 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Timberline Uses Crowdfunding to Raise Money for Improvements

  Timberline Four Seasons Resort is using crowdfunding to raise money for improvements.

The Tucker County resort launched an online crowdfunding on Tuesday at www.snowfunding.com. The goal is to raise $75,000 in 65 days.

Timberline CEO Fred Herz tells The Charleston Gazette that the resort sees crowdfunding as a way to engage customers in its activities and planned undertakings.

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Coal Heritage Lecture Series
5:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

"Music of the Coalfields" Kicks Off Coal Heritage Lecture Series

Credit http://www.coalheritage.org/

  An annual spring lecture series that explores the heritage of the coal industry kicks off the first week of February with featured musicians and poets.  

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Higher Education
4:41 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

W.Va. Higher Ed Commission Offers Assistance Applying for Aid

Credit West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission

  

The West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission announced this week that it will be offering free assistance to students and families looking to apply for financial assistance in pursuit of a college degree.

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Water Infrastructure
9:20 am
Thu January 15, 2015

Part II: Is There Something in the Water, Southern W.Va.?

Discharge pipe.
Credit US Department of Agriculture

For all of the concerns about water compromised by natural and industrial sources (and the cancer, decay, infection, and disease that can come with that contamination), director of the West Virginia Water Research Institute, Paul Ziemkiewicz said the biggest threat in water supplies in southern West Virginia (and many areas in the state) by a long shot is raw sewage.


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Water Infrastructure
11:17 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Part I: Is There Something in the Water, Southern W.Va.?

Folks in rural southern West Virginia often brush their teeth with bottled water.
Credit Jessical Lilly / WVPublic

In an ongoing look at water infrastructure challenges in the southern region of West Virginia, we consider possible health effects of long-term exposure to contaminated water sources. First: the health impacts of industrial contamination, as well as naturally occurring pollutants.

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News
10:10 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Appalachian Railcar Acquires Company

Credit http://www.apprailcar.com/

Appalachian Railcar Services has acquired a Virginia company.

The company says the acquisition of BRC Rail Servics of Lynchburg, Virginia, will double its size to more than 300 employees. An additional 100 employees are expected to be hired over the next three years.

Appalachian Railcar Services was founded in Putnam County in 2000 and now has 34 operations in 14 states.

The company provides maintenance, repair, storage and other rail-related services. BRC provides repair, cleaning and interior and exterior coating services.

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U.S. Probation Office
11:45 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Officials Say Clarksburg U.S. Probation Office Understaffed

Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

Federal officials say the U.S. Probation Office in Clarksburg needs more staff.

U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley noted the problem last week during plea hearings in two drug cases.

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Education
11:06 am
Fri December 26, 2014

W.Va. Higher Education Changes to Help Students

West Virginia higher education leaders are finalizing policy changes to help students more easily transfer college credits and earn degrees.

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Inspiring West Virginians
3:01 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Ex-Marine Now On A Very Different Mission

Preston County native Jake Harriman heads an organization attempting to eradicate poverty.
Credit Jean Snedegar

Jake Harriman is a Preston County farm boy who grew up to become a leader in the fight against one of the world’s biggest problems:  extreme poverty. 

Harriman is one of three leaders in science and business profiled in the public radio documentary Inspiring West Virginians.

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Economic Development
10:11 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Randox Laboratories Receives Loans to Expand

Credit http://www.randox.com/

The West Virginia Economic Development Authority has approved two loans to help Randox Laboratories expand its facility in Jefferson County.

Ireland-based Randox will receive a $1.6 million loan for the expansion and a $1.1 million loan to help buy new equipment.

The Charleston Gazette reports that the authority approved the loans on Thursday. Authority executive director David Warner says the expansion is expected to create 50 jobs.

Randox's facility in Kearneysville currently employs 27 workers.

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Oil and Gas Industry
2:37 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

New York Governor Praised, Scorned Over Fracking Ban

Credit Northeast Natural Energy

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is getting heaped with praise by environmentalists and scorn by business for a state ban on deep hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, even as he insists the decision wasn't his.

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