Economy

A new report says West Virginians paid 1.2 percent more for utilities in 2013 than in the previous year, primarily because of increases in natural gas and water rates.  
 
     The report released Wednesday by the Public Service Commission's Consumer Advocate Division says the average West Virginia utility customer paid $280.62 a month for gas, electricity, water and telephone service last year. In 2012, the average monthly cost was $277.22.  
 

Glynis Board / WVPublic

A new tool to train riverboat workers allows trainees to smack into bridges and barges without risking millions of dollars in damages.

The tri-state port of Huntington is the largest inland port in America—bigger than Baltimore and bigger than Philadelphia, based on the tonnage that travels through. That river activity accounts for more than a billion and a half dollars of West Virginia’s economy, as well as some 10,000 jobs. And the inland maritime industry is projecting 1.5 percent in job growth annually over the next decade.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

House Bill 4175 was introduced yesterday and sent to the new Committee on Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. The committee approved the bill to be sent to the finance committee, which today approved it to be sent to the floor. The delegates voted unanimously to suspend the second and third readings of the bill to allow immediate action.

Small Businesses Struggle With Water Ban

Jan 14, 2014

As the water ban was lifted throughout the Charleston area yesterday restaurants and bars started to open their doors for the first time since Thursday.

Deno Stanley is the owner of Adelphia Sports Bar and Grille in downtown Charleston. He said when he received word last Thursday that he would have to close because of the water ban he was not happy.

Aaron Payne

With the challenges of a tight budget year ahead, the first goal was immediately understood because balancing the state budget is mandated by the constitution.

Report: 3,000 Jobs Created in 2013

Jan 8, 2014
WVU College of Business and Economics

The West Virginia University College of Business and Economics presented their state economic outlook to lawmakers Wednesday.

The report says West Virginia is seeing growth in the areas of employment and per capita personal income.

According to the study, approximately 3,000 jobs were added in the past year, with the natural resource and mining sector contributing most to the increase.

eandi.org

A national moving company says West Virginia ranks high when it comes to people moving out of state.

The ranking is contained in the annual "Migration Study" compiled by United Van Lines. The study is based on the St. Louis moving company's business in the U.S.

The Daily Mail reports that the state ranked the fourth highest in the "high outbound" category. That involves residents who moved out of state.

New Jersey had the highest percentage off outbound moves last year. It was followed by Illinois and New York.

Is this the 1980s all over again for West Virginia – or is it just a temporary blip? That’s the question I have after learning the state lost population last fiscal year.

In fact, West Virginia lost more people that any other state – 2,376 – according to a new census estimate. The only other state to see a population decrease, Maine, lost 199 people.

The truth is, West Virginia’s population has been pretty static since the 1930s, when it reached 1.8 million for the first time. Since then, it’s gone up and down a bit, but always returned to that same number.

Heartwood Forestland Fund

According to a recent report, the top 25 landowners in West Virginia own about 20 percent of the surface in the state. And perhaps not surprisingly, most of those landowners live elsewhere. The report, released by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, is the first to take a close look at land ownership since the 1970s and it’s created quite a stir.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The unemployment rate fell in 41 of West Virginia's 55 counties in November.
 
     WorkForce West Virginia said Friday that unemployment rose in 13 counties and was unchanged in one.
 

West Virginia Lottery Director John Musgrave announced today that a lottery ticket for Tuesday, December 17's Mega Millions drawing that is worth $1 million was sold at the 7-Eleven in Belle.
 

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia University economist will brief state legislators on the economic forecast for the coming year.

The annual presentation to members of the state Senate and the House of Delegates is set for Jan. 8 in the House chambers.

The report is compiled by the university's Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The bureau's director, John Deskins, will make the presentation.

WV Center on Budget and Policy

It could be argued that West Virginia has never been “owned” by her inhabitants. Before European settlement, of course, ideas of land ownership were not in vogue. Then King Charles II rewarded many loyal friends with large swaths of land and by 1730s, 800,000 acres in what would become West Virginia was owned by three land companies. For the most part, the same trend continues three hundred years later.

Some have argued absentee land ownership in West Virginia has been a major impediment to economic diversification for generations.

CONSOL Energy Inc. says it has completed the sale of subsidiary Consolidation Coal Company to Murray Energy.
 
     The sale includes five longwall mines in West Virginia. They include the McElroy, Shoemaker, Robinson Run, Loveridge and Blacksville No. 2 mines.
 
     The deal also gives Ohio-basedMurray Energy about 1.1 billion tons of coal reserves.
 
     Murray Energy paid $850 million in cash and will take $2.4 billion in liabilities off CONSOL's balance sheets.
 

A southern West Virginia town works to revitalize itself.

Appalachia remembers John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

A bicyclist pedals across the country raising awareness of Lyme disease.

And a Kentucky writer discusses his latest book.

New Jackson County Plant to Bring 60 Jobs

Nov 21, 2013
Ashton Marra

Governor Tomblin made his third major jobs announcement in two weeks Tuesday in Charleston. A supplier for the steel industry, the newest company locating in West Virginia will not just create jobs, but also heavily rely on coal to do it.

“Today, 60 more West Virginians will have good paying jobs and the coal industry will have a new customer,” Tomblin said.

He made the announcement surrounded by executives from Carbonyx International USA and representatives of the state Department of Commerce.

David M. Mistich

A plastics manufacturer that employs 130 workers in Wood County is closing the plant on land where a Brazilian petrochemical giant is exploring the possibility of building several facilities.  

SABIC Innovative Plastics informed employees at its Washington facility on Thursday.
 
That news came shortly before Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced Odebrecht had chosen the same site to explore the possible location of an ethane cracker plant and three polyethlene plants.

Will W.Va. Get an Ethane Cracker Plant?

Nov 14, 2013
Odebrecht logo
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced this afternoon that a Brazilian petrochemical company, Odebrecht, has chosen a site in Wood County to explore the possible location of an ethane cracker plant and three polyethlene plants. 

The governor was disappointed when Shell announced a few years ago it was choosing Pennsylvania over West Virginia for a cracker plant.  And he’s wanted one ever since.

Growing entrepreneurship. That was the focus of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s annual conference in Charleston.

Members from the 13 Appalachian states shared their experiences and ideas on how to create an environment that will encourage entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses into the future, but many agreed it starts with education.

Fire in downtown Marlinton
Heather Niday / Allegheny Mountain Radio

Marlinton Mayor Joe Smith says a fire that destroyed four buildings is devastating for his city.
 
     The Sunday fire displaced several businesses and about a dozen residents. The fire rekindled Monday.
 
     In addition to displacing people, Smith says the fire will have a significant economic impact. He says the city has lost some of its tax base.
 

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