Economy

Black Lung
9:14 am
Thu April 24, 2014

New Coal Dust Regulations Revealed

Credit AllVoices.com

Rulemakers are moving to make good on a 40-year-old promise to end black lung with the announcement of new coal dust regulations. Officials from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Labor, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced new coal dust regulations.


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Manufacturing
1:15 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Mason County Manufacturer Close to Resuming Production

Credit fpiwv.com

Felman Production CEO Mordechai Korf says the idled Mason County manufacturer is one step closer to resuming operations.

Members of United Steelworkers Local 5171 approved modifications to their contract with the company last week.

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CDC benchmark
3:27 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gupta Says Exposure Standard Needs Revised

Local health officer believes the CDC needs to adjust its chemical spill safe exposure benchmark.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

When federal officials decided what chemical levels West Virginians could safely consume in water tainted by the January 9 spill at Freedom Industries, their standard assumed people would be exposed for two weeks, not 100-plus days.

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Natural Resources
1:55 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Harrison Co. Residents Busted for Possession of Too Many Trout

Color Plate Brook Trout from American Fishes by Goode and Gill (1903)

Two Harrison County residents have been fined for exceeding the state's trout possession limit following the discovery of more than 300 trout in their home.

The individual limit for possessing trout is 12.

The Division of Natural Resources says 70-year-old Michael Earl Fetty and 46-year-old Tammy K. Fetty of Wallace caught trout in Curtisville Lake and Huey Run Lake nearly daily. The trout were kept in a freezer in their home.

DNR officers discovered 321 trout in the home last month during an investigation.

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Chemical Leak
1:43 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

W.Va. Official: $2 Million in Chemical Spill Costs Reimbursable

A West Virginia homeland security official thinks responders for a Jan. 9 chemical spill into the water supply could receive $2 million in federal help.
 
Homeland security official Greg Myers says the estimate covers state and local agencies, and select nonprofits, like volunteer fire departments. He says the total could grow.
 

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Online Renewal Service
2:35 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

W.Va. DMV Announces Online Services Now Available

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Division of Motor Vehicles Acting Commissioner Steve Dale announced Tuesday that many DMVs throughout the state may see less foot traffic as some West Virginians may now have the option to go to the web for vehicle services.

Dale says some customers can now renew their vehicle registration and request a duplicate registration card online. The  DMV’s online service portal is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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WV Workforce
10:01 am
Mon April 14, 2014

W.Va. Pipe Trades Apprentices Compete

Welding Competition at the annual W.Va. Pipe Trades Competition
Credit Glynis Board / WVPublic

The annual W.Va. Pipe Trades Apprentice Contest took place last week in Wheeling.

Awards:

Top Pipe fitter apprentice: Morgan Morgan – Local 83, Wheeling

Prize: $750, oxygen acetylene torch, gauges and hoses

Top Welding apprentice: William “Kieth” Kidd – Local 83, Wheeling

Prize: $750, Lincoln welding machine, welding hood and gear

Top Plumbing apprentice: Kenneth Raulston Jr. – Local 152, Morgantown

Prize: $750, tubing cutters, plumbing tools and tool bag

Top H.V.A.C. apprentice: Roger Harris – Local 625, Charleston

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Lawsuit
12:51 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Jury Awards $1 Million to Fired W.Va. Nurse

A former hospital nurse has been awarded more than $1 million in a lawsuit that claimed she was fired for expressing concerns of possible violations.
 
A Kanawha County Circuit Court jury made the award Thursday after a nine-day trial to Susan Nutter, who worked at Thomas Hospital's psychiatric unit from August 2008 to November 2009.
 

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Recycling
11:42 am
Mon April 7, 2014

Event Service Organization Aims For Zero-Waste Future

Recent Pumpkin Drop event at West Virginia University where Green Earth Event Services diverted hundreds of pounds of waste from landfills and instead sent it to feed pigs at a nearby farm.

Zero-waste events--that’s the goal of one start-up organization in Morgantown. Green Earth Event Services was founded by Morgantown resident Garth Lindley in 2011. The organization provides recycling and composting services and Lindley says that while there's a learning curve among public they interact with,  he's surprised by the overall enthusiasm he receives wherever the organization sets up.

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Business
9:08 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Chemical Spill In W. Va. Tests Tolerance For Big Coal

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:27 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Evan Osnos about his New Yorker piece in which he explores how the coal industry has become a political player in the state, and what that could mean for future regulation.

Poverty
8:28 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Minimum Wage Bus Rolls into Charleston

Minimum Wage Bus in Charleston
Credit Americans United for Change

An organization working to lobby law makers to raise the minimum wage made a stop in Charleston today. The group called, Americans United for Change, is behind a tour across the country the in the "Give America a Raise” bus.

While in the state, they are joined by West Virginia Citizen Action Group, local faith and labor leaders, a small business owner, and low-wage workers.

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Agriculture
10:06 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Marshall Co. Student Wins $10,000 Scholarship with Mushroom Business Plan

Sierra Cook says she didn't expect to win. She has also been accepted into the Business and Economics School at WVU. While no decisions are final yet, she says she’d really like to attend.
Credit WVU

West Virginia University hosted the state’s inaugural high school business plan competition. Sierra Cook, a Glen Dale resident and a senior from John Marshall High School took first prize: a $10,000 college scholarship to be used at any of nine WV schools.

Cook says her interest in the mushrooms was sparked when she learned about their health benefits. She believes the niche-market business idea to grow and sell shitake and miyake mushrooms has a lot of potential to take off.

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Realities and Possibilities
9:19 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Conference at Marshall Will Explore Applachian Issues

Credit Appalachian Studies Association

About 800 people are expected to attend a conference at Marshall University in Huntington Friday through Sunday for the 37th Annual Appalachian Studies Conference.

Marshall University Education Professor and conference organizer Linda Spatig says the theme is New Appalachia: Known Realities and Imagined Possibilities.

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Surface Mining
4:47 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Logan Co. Mountain Top Mine Permit Revocation Stands

A mountaintop-removal site in Kayford Mountain, W.Va., in 2008.
Credit Associated Press

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from a coal company fighting to reinstate a water pollution permit for a massive West Virginia strip mine.

The justices say they will not disturb a federal appeals court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency acted within its authority in 2011 when it retroactively vetoed a permit issued four years earlier by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

St. Louis-based Arch Coal Inc. and its Mingo Logan Coal Co. subsidiary challenged the appellate ruling concerning the mountaintop removal coal mine in West  Logan County.

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Around the Nation
4:47 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Rural Appalachia Helps Some Women Save For Retirement

Anita Wallace runs a child care service in rural Athens County, Ohio. She hadn't saved much for retirement before the Appalachian Savings Project offered to match half of her savings up to $600.
Jennifer Ludden NPR

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:22 pm

Anita Wallace has run a day care in her home in rural Athens County, Ohio, for eight years. The schedule is more family-friendly than when she logged 60 hours a week as a manager at Wal-Mart, and the pay is about $27,000 a year — not bad for the area.

Wallace adores the children, getting down on the floor to let toddlers snuggle on her shoulder. But Wallace, 40, and her husband, 47, also have three of their own kids to raise.

"They're very expensive!" she says, laughing, as her own children — two still live at home — inform her of the new track uniforms they need.

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Agriculture
11:45 am
Wed March 19, 2014

1st National FFA Officer from W.Va. in 40 Years: Wesley Davis

Wes Davis, Eastern Region Vice President, FFA
Credit FFA

"Future Farmers of America" was founded in 1928 with a mission to prepare future generations for the challenges of feeding a growing population. They teach that agriculture is more than planting and harvesting-- it's a science, it's a business and it's an art. There are about 5,000 members of the Future Farmers of America organization in the state of West Virginia, and almost 600,000 across the country. One of the organization’s leaders today is a young man from Point Pleasant.

Meet Wesley Davis. He goes by Wes. He’s 19 and this guy has a story.


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Ginseng
10:36 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

Ginseng TV Show Features Questionable Practices

Credit history.com

The History Channel featured a new show this year that focused on ginseng in Appalachia. According to Neilson ratings, the show, called Appalachian Outlaws, was one of the most popular on cable channels, averaging over 2.7 million viewers per each of its six episodes. There’s no official word if season two is in the works, and while some fans are hoping that there will be a second season, other people are hoping the show will just go away.


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Improving Middleway
7:30 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Historic Jefferson County Village Making Improvements

Rebecca Glover WV Public Radio

The village of Middleway, W.Va., appears to be a moment frozen in time.  The historic district of the village is home to buildings that date back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries, and was a battleground throughout the Civil War. 

Nowadays, the streets are quiet, the cars are few, and the numerous buildings that line the streets are dark and uninviting.  Moss and vines creep up the old War Hospital on Queen Street and residential properties are boarded up and left alone.

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Legislature
7:05 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Greenbrier Could Get Millions in W.Va. Tax Breaks

Credit Bobak Ha'Eri / wikimedia Commons

The Greenbrier resort and its billionaire owner could receive up to $25 million in tax breaks over 10 years for a new medical institute.
 
Owner Jim Justice said the $86 million medical resort would offer doctors that care for professional athletes. It was first announced in 2011.
 

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Environment
6:30 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Bill to Regulate W.Va. Gas Drilling Waste on Hold

Credit Bill Hughes

A bill to regulate the disposal of waste produced by gas-well drilling will likely be introduced by the governor in a special session.
 
Lawmakers who negotiated a version both sides could agree on were unable to get the measure passed before midnight Saturday, the deadline for the regular session.

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