Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Dow Chemical and DuPont announced plans to merge late last year in a deal worth about $130 billion dollars. Both companies have long histories in West Virginia, where they’ve been top employers in the so-called “chemical valley.”  They used to compete, but now they are allies in what some West Virginians say feels like the continued death of the Industrial Age in the region. 

WJU President, Rev. James Fleming, S.J. announced the new program.

Wheeling Jesuit University announced a new program this week that uses novel approaches to make college more affordable for some students, and prepares them more effectively to enter the workforce.


Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Is the Northern Panhandle experiencing an economic rebirth? More than one panhandle resident thinks so, and is working toward the goal of seeing every abandoned factory that lines the Ohio River Valley repurposed.

Lance Booth

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear about what it’s like to actually work in a coal mine. So often we hear about miners from environmentalists or people who proudly declare they are Friends of Coal. But so much about what we hear about coal mining these days is full of political agendas.

More than twenty programs will be recruiting service-minded people at Wheeling Jesuit University this week in the first-ever ServeCon event.

West Liberty University


West Liberty University is one of several  higher education institutions in the state that have recently hired new presidents. Weirton-native Stephen Greiner spoke with West Virginia Public Broadcasting about coming home to lead a school in the Northern Panhandle.

Glynis Board / WVPB

Former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich visited the campus of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling last night. He spoke with students and community members about the upcoming presidential election.

“Why 2016 Will Be An Extraordinary Election” was the title of the talk. Several hundred gathered to hear Gingrich analyze the  front runners in  the upcoming presidential election.

Alpha Natural Resources says it plans to lay off 831 miners and dozens more support staff in southern West Virginia as a result of the downturn in the coal industry.

Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha announced Monday it has sent 60-day layoff warning notices to Boone and Raleigh counties.

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

An Ohio man has won a $1 million prize in West Virginia in the latest Powerball drawing.

Lottery officials said that Steven Wilson of East Liverpool, Ohio, bought his winning ticket for Wednesday's drawing at a service station in Chester.

Amtrak Car
Sitomon / Wikimedia Commons

Amtrak has announced it will add business-class seating to its Cardinal route.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the new service was announced Monday and will start Jan. 20.

Putnam County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

Wal-Mart has made an independent decision to scrap plans for a previously proposed Neighborhood Market in Teays Valley.

Media outlets report the decision comes less than one week after Putnam County Circuit Judge John Cummings overturned a county zoning decision that would have allowed Wal-Mart to build the smaller retail location along W.Va. 34.

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

The most recent Powerball drawing produced five $50,000 winners in West Virginia.

State lottery officials say those tickets were sold in Wheeling, St. Albans, Spencer, Kenova and Wellsburg. Nearly 104,000 tickets sold in West Virginia won a prize of some sort in Saturday's drawing.

Underground Mine, Miners, Mining
Robert PEnergy / wikimedia commons

Blackhawk Mining has announced plans to idle some coal operations in southern West Virginia and permanently lay off 146 workers.

Lexington, Kentucky-based Blackhawk Mining sent layoff warning notices to the Kanawha County Commission on Monday.

Union officials say nearly 600 coal miners could lose their jobs at Murray Energy Corp. mines in West Virginia and Ohio.

The United Mine Workers of America said Thursday that 532 of the planned layoffs would occur at five Murray mines in northern West Virginia. About 82 to 125 miners would lose jobs at each mine.

dollar photo club

A string of armed robberies in Monongalia County is frustrating law enforcement officials and putting some residents on edge.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Unemployment rates increased in 30 of West Virginia's 55 counties in November.

Workforce West Virginia says unemployment rates fell in 16 other counties, while nine counties saw no change.

Appalachian Trail
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Kathleen Mallow-Sager

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy says a record number of thru-hikers have stopped at its visitor center in Harpers Ferry this year.

West Virginia Lottery

West Virginia Lottery revenues are declining, primarily from competition from casinos in neighboring states.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the Lottery Commission's acting director, John Myers, said Friday revenues are shrinking at a steady rate of about 4 percent.

For November, the Lottery had gross revenue of more than $87 million, down approximately $2.7 million from November 2014.

Coal Layoffs, unemployed
Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Alpha Natural Resources continues to scale back its coal-mining operations.

Workers were told Friday at mines in West Virginia and Virginia that they were being laid off. The total in both states is more than 160, with the majority occurring in West Virginia, according to media reports.

Hancock County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

The former CEO of Mountaineer Racetrack & Casino is in charge of marketing the company's surplus property in northern Hancock County.

The State Journal reports Ted Arneault will make about 1,300 acres of properties available for commercial and industrial development.

Coal Layoffs, unemployed
Jessica Lilly / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped four-tenths of a percentage point to 6.5 percent in November.

WorkForce West Virginia says in a news release that the number of unemployed state residents fell by 3,200 last month to 52,100.

Dog Bless

Officials at the Humane Society of Raleigh County say its no-kill shelter has been forced to close its doors to new intakes and cut its hours due to overwhelming debt.

Humane society board member Melissa Lyons tells The Register-Herald that the shelter is faced with full kennels and ever-increasing veterinary bills.

natural gas, fracking

In a dramatic turn of events last year at the statehouse, a bill died on a tie vote during the last night of the 2015 legislative session. The issue was whether companies should be allowed to force mineral owners to sell their gas if the majority of their neighbors have already agreed to sell. Forced pooling. The topic resurfaced during interim meetings last month and is expected to be a priority this legislative session.

Scott Baue / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Meat processors participating in the Hunters Helping the Hungry program are getting a larger reimbursement from the state.

The Division of Natural Resources says the reimbursement has been increased from $1.45 per pound of processed venison to $2 per pound. The change went into effect with the 2015 deer seasons.

Members of West Virginia's Public Employees Insurance Agency Finance Board have voted to approve $120 million in cuts to workers' health plans.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the cuts are slated to affect more than 200,000 public employees and retirees. Board members voted on the cuts Thursday because they say there has been no additional state funding to offset rising health care costs. PEIA says it has exhausted its reserve fund in recent years.

Jarek Tuszynski / CC-BY-SA & GDFL

You’ve probably seen them. Barns with faded paint usually in black or red with yellow lettering delivering an old message from another time: “Chew Mail Pouch” and “Treat yourself to the best.”  Once upon a time these hand-painted advertisements covered more than 20,000 barns all across America.

Frode Inge Helland / wikimedia commons

Pardee Resources has sold a sawmill in West Virginia to The Jim C. Hamer Company.

Philadelphia-based Pardee announced the recent closure of the sale on Wednesday in a news release. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

aiisha / Dollar Photo Club

  A feasibility study for a proposed all-terrain vehicle trail system in central West Virginia will soon be presented to the state Legislature.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the study is expected to be complete by Jan. 4 and follows more than a year of analysis by Marshall University's Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute and a series of public workshops in a seven-county area.

WVU Parkersburg
Snoopywv / wikimedia commons

West Virginia University at Parkersburg is selling two downtown properties that were donated to the school in 2008.

The university's governing board agreed Wednesday to sell one property to Parkersburg Brewing Company for a brewery and wholesale and retail sales outlet. The purchase price is $251,000.

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.