Fayette County

Last week, The Front Porch focused on the issue of school consolidation, in light of the ongoing fight in Fayette County.

Many people took issue with the fact that we had no one from Fayette County on the show. So we're hoping to rectify that with this follow-up podcast.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

  The West Virginia School Building Authority has reversed its denial of Fayette County's plan to consolidate four high schools.

Media outlets report that the authority approved an amendment to the school district's educational facilities plan on Monday. The authority had rejected the amendment on Sept. 28.

Its 1,700-foot arch made it the longest single-span arch bridge in the world.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / New River Gorge, Fayette County, Fayette Station Road

The National Park Service is holding a youth art contest for students in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers counties.

The Youth Arts in the Parks 2016 Appalachian Spring Wildflower Art Contest is open to K-12 students in the four counties.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia School Building Authority will reconsider a request by Fayette County officials for funding for a school consolidation plan.

Media outlets report the School Building Authority will take up the matter at a Nov. 9 meeting in Charleston. The school district's request will be presented as an amendment to its educational facilities plan.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The West Virginia School Building Authority is being sued over its rejection of a school consolidation plan in Fayette County.

Fayette County Prosecutor and county attorney Larry Harrah said Tuesday that the nonprofit Charleston law firm Mountain State Justice filed the lawsuit in Kanawha County Circuit Court on behalf of the Fayette County Commission.

Fayette County Courthouse
A.E. Crane, National Scenic Byways Online

Fayette County officials say they're facing a $450,000 budget shortfall next year as tax revenues decline.

The Register-Herald reports the decline in revenue is linked to a drop in coal value, industrial personal property value and business personal property value.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The president of the state Board of Education is questioning a building agency's rejection of Fayette County's request for funding for a school consolidation plan.

Mike Green wrote to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin on Tuesday. The letter called on the School Building Authority to conduct a new vote.

Fayette County Map
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

The state School Building Authority has rejected a funding plan for the consolidation of four high schools in Fayette County.

The authority voted Monday to deny the county's request to let it compete with other counties for state funding to build a new high school. The authority distributes money raised from both state general revenue and lottery funds.

September 28, 1955: Labor Activist Mother Blizzard Dies

Sep 28, 2015
Sarah "Mother" Blizzard
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Labor activist Sarah “Mother” Blizzard died on September 28, 1955, at age 90. She spent her early years on her family’s farm in Fayette County. She, her husband, and her children were actively involved in the United Mine Workers of America union from its earliest days. After her support for the 1902 coal strike led to the Blizzards’ eviction from their home, they moved to Cabin Creek in Kanawha County. During the violent Paint Creek-Cabin Creek strike of 1912, “Mother” Blizzard allowed striking miners to camp on her land and joined forces with famed labor leader “Mother” Jones, to whom she was often compared. 

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education is moving forward with a plan to consolidate multiple schools in Fayette County. 

Fayette County is the only county in the state fully controlled by the West Virginia Board of Education. Wednesday the board approved a change to the county’s ten year facilities plan that would consolidate four of the six high schools by the fall of 2018.

The vote, however, was close at 6 to 3.

August 17, 1944: Heroic Actions Earns Fayete Co. Native Medal of Honor

Aug 17, 2015
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Stanley Bender’s heroic actions on August 17, 1944, would earn him the Medal of Honor. Bender was born in Fayette County in 1909, the son of a coal miner and Russian immigrant. His family moved to Chicago in 1930, and Bender enlisted in the Army in 1939.


The 26th annual Appalachian String Band Festival at Camp Washington-Carver in Clifftop, Fayette County, wrapped up on Sunday. Twenty-one musicians, 12 bands and 11 dancers from California to Maryland took home a total of $7,450 in prize money. Ten of the winners were from West Virginia.

Fayette and Mineral counties have been awarded federal funding for Head Start and Early Head Start programs.

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded more than $2 million to Fayette County. Mineral County received about $871,000.

David Benbennick / wikimedia Commons

Four workers have been injured after a jackhammer hit an underground power line at a plant in Fayette County.

A Fayette County emergency dispatcher says the workers suffered flash burns and were taken to area hospitals for treatment. Their conditions weren't known.

The dispatcher, who declined to be identified, says the contact with the power line also caused a transformer to blow.

Whipple company store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

A museum and store in Fayette County has created a room where coal miners' relatives can research their family histories.

The Whipple Company Store and Appalachian Heritage Museum in Scarbro converted the old store's butcher shop into a room for genealogical research.

July 22, 1930: Fayette County's Dun Glen Hotel Destroyed By Arson

Jul 22, 2015
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On July 22, 1930, one of West Virginia’s most popular—and most notorious—landmarks burned to the ground. On that day, arsonists destroyed the Dun Glen Hotel in Fayette County.

The Dun Glen was opened in 1901 across the New River from the town of Thurmond. Thanks to the coal and railroad industries, money poured in and out of the region. At one point, the town of Thurmond and the surrounding area accounted for almost 20 percent of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway’s revenues, shipping more freight than Cincinnati or Richmond.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

On July 9, 1936, the electric power plant at Union Carbide’s metallurgical plant in Alloy went into operation. The power at the Fayette County plant was generated by water, which flowed through the manmade Hawks Nest Tunnel. Most of the tunnel’s construction had occurred between 1930 and 1932—primarily by black laborers from the South.

July 6, 1934: Coal Operator Sam Dixon Dies at 77

Jul 6, 2015
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

Coal operator Sam Dixon died in Raleigh County on July 6, 1934, at age 77. A native of England, Dixon emigrated to Fayette County in the 1870s and worked for a while in his uncle’s coal mine. In 1893, he and a partner opened their own mine in Fayette County, quickly followed by several other mines.

Fastily / wikimedia Commons

A planning agency is seeking public input on a 25-year transportation plan for Fayette and Raleigh counties.

The Register-Herald reports that the Fayette/Raleigh Metropolitan Planning Organization will hold two public meetings this month on the draft plan. The meetings are scheduled for June 22 at Beckley City Hall and June 23 at Oak Hill City Hall.

The deadline to submit comments is July 17.

Department of Environmental Protection, DEP
Department of Environmental Protection

The W.Va. Department of Environmental Protection has Statement About Danny Webb waste site in Fayette County. DEP Communications Director, Kelly J. Gillenwater said in an email Friday: