Economy

Economics Expert Outlines Steps to Help W.Va.

May 10, 2017
Malcolm Portera
Marshal.edu

An internationally known economic development expert told a crowd at Marshall University Wednesday that higher education institutions can be the key to growing a state's economy.

Malcolm Portera, a chancellor emeritus of the University of Alabama System, was at Marshall to outline ideas and initiatives he's headed in Mississippi and Alabama to improve the economy there.  The 71-year-old Portera has helped the southeast with programs that have driven the manufacturing back to the region resulting in $15 billion in capital investments. Portera said much of that economic investment is tied to the universities and was accomplished during his time at Mississippi State University and with the University of Alabama System.

Cash Money
Psychonaught / Wikimedia Commons

A Powerball ticket sold in northern West Virginia is worth $1 million from the latest drawing.

The West Virginia Lottery says on its website that a ticket sold at a convenience store in Shinnston matched the first five numbers in Saturday's drawing. The winner had not claimed the ticket as of Monday.

Hancock County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

Small businesses in Hancock County are eligible for disaster loans as a result of drought conditions last year.

The U.S. Small Business Administration said Hancock County is eligible because it's contiguous to one or more primary counties in Pennsylvania.

Job Seekers and Employers Meet up in Huntington

Apr 21, 2017
Manchin Job Fair Huntington
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

Several job seekers from southern West Virginia traveled to Huntington Friday to explore employment opportunities.

Nearly 150 employers were at the Big Sandy Arena  in Huntington Friday, looking to fill job vacancies. United States Senator Joe Manchin’s office organized the three-hour job fair in downtown Huntington. Employers ranging from Wendy’s to state government were on hand, as well as local colleges like Marshall University that offered assistance for education options. Senator Manchin said he wanted to present job seekers with a variety of choices all in one place.

Broadband Lawsuit
Bidgee / wikimedia commons

A telecommunications call center in Parkersburg will be closing this summer, putting nearly 170 people out of work.

Altice USA is shutting down the Suddenlink Communications call center this summer. Altice purchased Suddenlink more than a year ago.

Tesla Supercharging
Mariordo / Wikimedia Commons

Construction has begun for a Tesla Supercharger station in Charleston, making it the second in West Virginia.

News outlets report the station, which will be exclusively for Model S and X cars, will occupy eight parking spaces of the Courtyard by Marriot hotel.

Charleston Civic Center Renovation
charlestonwvciviccenter.com

A new change order has brought costs for the Charleston Civic Center expansion project up to nearly $93.6 million.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Charleston City Council approved the $1.2 million change order Monday.

Farmers in the Ohio Valley are waiting to see how President Trump’s choice to lead the Agriculture Department might affect their fortunes. Concerns over trade have held up a confirmation vote for nominee Sonny Perdue, and trade is also on the minds of regional growers.

Farmers here have been big winners under the North American Free Trade Agreement, and while farm country voted overwhelmingly for Trump, his talk about scrapping NAFTA has farmers like Jed Clark nervous.

Peabody Energy, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

With Australia coping with the aftermath of Cyclone Debbie and China turning back imports of coal from North Korea this week as apparent punishment for missile tests, U.S. coal exports could take up some slack. But analysts aren’t predicting a coal comeback.


When President Donald Trump visited Kentucky for a recent rally he returned to a common theme from his campaign: environmental regulations are job-killers.

Defunding Appalachia: Coal Communities Resist President’s Budget Cuts

Mar 24, 2017
Rebecca Kiger / Ohio Valley ReSource

Danny Ferguson didn’t like what he saw happening in Lincoln County, West Virginia, where he grew up. The downturn in the coal industry had hit hard, and young people had few job options beyond some fast food places.

“We don’t have nothing else for them to be employed,” Ferguson said. “Lincoln County is in bad shape and Coalfield seemed like the only one willing to take a chance in that area.”

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

West Virginia's Senate has begun advancing legislation to increase the maximum wager to $5 for a single video lottery game.

The bill approved by the Senate Finance Committee also would set the state share of gross profits from limited video lottery revenues at 50 percent starting July 1.

Small businesses in Greenbrier County are bouncing back following last year's devastating floods.

The Register-Herald reports that the city of White Sulphur Springs staged a series of ribbon-cutting ceremonies earlier this month to welcome nearly a dozen businesses that have either newly opened or reopened after the June 23 floods. The floods killed 23 people and ravaged homes, businesses and infrastructure.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, from the Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Nicole Erwin talks with victims of human trafficking.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Update: 100 Days in Appalachia

Mar 17, 2017
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, we’ll check in with Dave Mistich, the editor of our digital journalism project “100 Days in Appalachia” and Johnny Staats and Robert Shafer has our Mountain Stage song of the week.

That’s on West Virginia Morning from West Virginia Public Broadcasting – telling West Virginia’s story.

Eric Householder
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

The West Virginia Department of Commerce gave the House and Senate Finance committees a presentation Monday morning to explore the state's competitiveness in attracting businesses.

The Commerce department also asked for a significant increase in its funding. However, that request collided with the reality of the state’s dire budget situation.

F. Brian Ferguson / The Charleston Gazette-Mail

Despite hailing from Vermont, former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders attempted to shine a light on poverty in middle America this weekend with a stop in West Virginia. Sanders held a town hall in McDowell County for an MSNBC taping of “All In with Chris Hayes.”  

Robert Thompson
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

Members of the House of Delegates are looking for ways to help grow the state’s agriculture industry. A bill in the chamber’s Agriculture Committee would require the state to purchase more locally grown food.

House Bill 2566 creates the West Virginia Fresh Food Act. As introduced, the bill would require state funded institutions to purchase at least 20 percent of their produce from West Virginia farmers.

Kentucky Hospital Assoc.

As Congress considers repealing the Affordable Care Act, health professionals in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia grapple with what that might mean for a region where many depend on the law for access to care. This occasional series from the ReSource explores what’s ahead for the Ohio Valley after Obamacare. See more stories here >>

Roger May

This week on Inside Appalachia, we travel to Cedar Grove, West Virginia, home of renowned novelist Mary Lee Settle. On this episode, we explore surprising, hidden histories through the work of Settle and the voices of women from Cedar Grove.

The Ohio Valley region once helped give rise to the labor movement. Now it’s shifting toward what’s known as right-to-work law. West Virginia and Kentucky have passed right-to-work laws and Ohio is considering a similar bill.

Milton
TimK MSI / Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of people have applied for jobs with wholesale grocery distributor H.T. Hackney Co., which is opening its first warehouse in West Virginia.

State officials announced this week that the company is coming to Milton, creating an estimated 70 jobs. Officials didn't say when actual hiring would begin or when the warehouse will open.

Century Aluminum

A group of retired workers from Century Aluminum says the company has agreed to pay $23 million to help cover their health care.

Benefits were taken away shortly after the plant in Ravenswood closed in 2009.

Milton
TimK MSI / Wikimedia Commons

  State officials say wholesale grocery distributor H.T. Hackney Co. is opening its first warehouse in West Virginia and creating an estimated 70 jobs.

The state Department of Commerce says in a news release that the company will locate a 246,000-square-foot warehouse in Milton.

WVU Tech
West Virginia University

The West Virginia University Institute of Technology campus could become a college for former foster care children.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports KVC Health Systems is hoping to turn the Montgomery campus into a college for children who have aged out of the foster care system.

John Deskins, director of the WVU Bureau of Business and Economic Research
WVU / WVU

The West Virginia Economic Outlook is presented to lawmakers each year on the first day of the session. Compiled by economists at the WVU Bureau for Business and Economic Research, in 2017 they say overall, West Virginia’s economy is starting to improve.

Energy Transfer

A federal agency has approved construction plans for one of the major natural gas pipelines planned in the region. The 4.2 billion dollar Rover pipeline project is slated to begin phase one of construction this year.


Flickr / davidwilson1949

In a conference call with the press on Friday, Department of Revenue Cabinet Secretary Dave Hardy said West Virginia revenue collections for the month of January came in about $18M short of state estimates. 

Tim Reddinger, Ohio River, Beaver, Pennsylvania
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

It’s easy to take the water coming out of your faucet for granted, but tragedies like the Elk River Chemical spill that left thousands of residents in West Virginia's capital city without water for days have put tap water front and center.

Appalachia is no stranger to water contamination, especially in places with a history of heavy industry, like the Ohio River Valley. But as a large source of drinking water, how do we know it’s safe?

Competing Bills On Miners Benefits

Jan 25, 2017
Becca Schimmel

Tens of thousands of retired coal miners and their families in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia face another deadline on expiring healthcare benefits and pensions. A temporary extension Congress funded late last year expires in April.

A regional Senate Republican and Democrat have offered competing bills to address the issue. The two measures differ sharply in the support offered for miners’ benefits and in the strings that would be attached to the funding.

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