Matewan

A clean-up off the Tug River, dubbed the Matewan River Sweep, kicks of this week.

The Williamson Daily News reports the event will take place June 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Organizers hope to remove trash, debris and a minimum of 1,300 tires from the Tug River between Matewan and Buskirk, Kentucky.

May 19, 1920: Miners, Baldwin-Felts Agents Killed in Matewan Massacre

May 19, 2015
West Virginia Focus

On May 19, 1920, one of the bloodiest events in the West Virginia Mine Wars unfolded in the Mingo County town of Matewan. Four months earlier, the United Mine Workers of America had launched a major campaign to organize southern West Virginia’s non-union coalfields. Along the West Virginia-Kentucky line, some 3,000 miners joined the union and were fired from their jobs. Hundreds had to leave their coal company-owned houses. Those who refused were evicted by the detested Baldwin-Felts Detective Agency.

This past weekend, over 500 people visited Matewan, West Virginia- to catch a glimpse of a brand new museum that tells the story of a dark and bloody time in West Virginia’s labor history. 

Coal miners were fighting for the right to organize--and to stop the practice of using mine guards. They also wanted an alternative to shopping at coal company stores and being paid in scrip, instead of money. In the early 1900’s, miners led a series of strikes in southern West Virginia, leading up to the climatic march on Blair Mountain in 1921.

Credit Courtesy Of WV State Archives (WVSA), Coal Life Collection

This past weekend, over 500 people visited Matewan, West Virginia to catch a glimpse of a new museum that tells the story of a dark and bloody time in West Virginia’s labor history.

WVHub

Turn This Town Around 2015 voting is underway. The contest picks two towns in the state helps revitalize them through facilitated projects and planning.

Turn This Town Around is joint focus of the West Virginia Community Development Hub, West Virginia Focus and West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The goal is to help towns in the state turn things around and once again become vibrant communities.

After focusing on Grafton and Matewan in 2014, the groups have once again opened up voting to select two new towns for 2015.

On West Virginia Morning, U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller will get a school named after him at West Virginia University.   And we’ll have an update about how the community of Matewan is turning their town around.

Clark Davis / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

“Turn This Town Around” is a project in which two communities, Matewan and Grafton have been selected to receive training, coaching and technical assistant to help revitalize their communities.

Wilma Lee Steele is on the board for the Mine Wars Museum in Matewan. They held an open house over the week where the public was able to come and vote on the color of carpet and how the museum will present the town’s history.

On West Virginia Morning, doctors, nurses and consumers have announced a major health care quality improvement campaign.  It involves limiting medical procedures with questionable value. Also, AmeriCorps celebrates its 20th anniversary in West Virginia.

Clark Davis

“Turn This Town Around” is a project in which two West Virginia communities- Matewan and Grafton - have been selected to receive training, coaching, and technical assistance to help residents revitalize their communities.  Wednesday night members of Turn This Town Around Matewan found out which of their ideas will receive funding.

Ashton Marra reports on the preliminary findings from federal investigators about the January chemical spill that contaminated drinking water in nine counties.  In Pennsylvania, residents in one town believe gas drilling is contaminating their drinking water.  Clark Davis reports from Matewan as residents work to turn their town around and you'll want to try yoga after young Ian Gardner in Hinton tells you all about it.

http://www.alleghenyfront.org/

West Virginia Focus

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

Members of the Matewan community took part yesterday in the latest meeting about ideas to turn things around in the southern West Virginia City.

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection heard the thoughts and opinions of members of the public on lifting an exemption that prevents the Kanawha River from being used a source for public drinking water. The discussion comes after a chemical leak into the Elk River left 300,000 West Virginians without usable drinking water for up to 10 days.

Daniel Walker

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and other state officials announce a partnership with The Pew Charitable Trusts to study and improve the state's juvenile justice system. As part of the Turn This Town Around project, Matewan hopes grant funding can help revitalize the community. Also, as part of West Virginia University's School of Theatre and Dance, Morgantown's Repertory Theatre presents an original children's program, The Unlikely Princess.

This morning we take a look at the Turn this Town Around Project in Matewan, where they too found out about possible grant funding for the community. They hope the available funds are the key to revitalizing the town.

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

Flickr Image

The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has announced it will give $150,000 to two West Virginia towns participating in the Turn This Town Around Project.

Leaders in Grafton and Matewan will be given the money for projects they develop to revitalize their communities.

This is part of our continuing series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around through a special collaborative project between West Virginia Public Broadcasting, West Virginia Focus magazine and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. 

The legislature passed seven bills in their special session that ended yesterday but, one senator questions whether one of those bills they passed is legal. Wheeling Catholic Central High School is making bold moves to deal with their aging library by instituting a learning lab based on a concept from MIT. Also, we take a visit to Matewan, whose rich history might play a part in how they 'Turn This Town Around.'

As part of the West Virginia Focus Magazine project called Turn This Town Around, experts with the West Virginia Community Development HUB are helping Matewan focus, pursue, and execute plans to revitalize the town.

As one of two winners of the Turn This Town Around project, Matewan hopes revitalize itself. Teewendee Sandwidi and his family have found a new life in Morgantown after fleeing their home country of Burkina Faso. Also, Marshall University School of Journalism professor Dan Hollis continues his streak of winning awards for his video storytelling.

West Virginia Focus

  

The small town with a population of less than 500 people already has a big history. During the 1920’s coal miners were fighting for equal pay and better working conditions. While dramatized, historians say the 1987 Jan Sayles film Matewan captures the atmosphere of the regional situation at the time.

While much has changed, the fighting spirit of Matewan is still alive and well. As one of the winners of the Turn this Town Around Project, the community has pulled together, yet again, in the last two months hosting community clean up days, and a community meeting which was standing room only.

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