McDowell County

West Virginia History
10:18 am
Mon November 3, 2014

November 3, 1828: Birthday of Surveyor-Geologist Jedediah Hotchkiss

Today, most historians consider Jedediah Hotchkiss to be the greatest mapmaker of the Civil War.
Credit e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Jedediah Hotchkiss, mapmaking, Stonewall Jackson, Civil War

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Inside Appalachia
3:59 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Author Homer Hickam Visits His Home State

Homer Hickam at the 2014 Appalachian Heritage Festival at Shepherd University.
Credit Cecelia Mason / Shepherd University

Every October, author and West Virginia native, Homer Hickam, makes a trip home to West Virginia for the annual Rocket Boys festival in Beckley…but he also makes a point to stop in on his hometown of Coalwood in McDowell County during his visit. 

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State Fire Marshal
1:03 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Man Faces Charges for Impersonating Fire Marshal

A southern West Virginia man faces charges of impersonating a state fire marshal investigator.

The West Virginia State Fire Marshal's Office says the charges are an offshoot of an ongoing investigation of fires in McDowell County.

Jeffrey L. Moorehead II is accused of presenting himself as an investigator for the fire marshal both online and in person.

Fire marshal investigators arrested the 34-year-old Anawalt resident on Wednesday. He's charged with two counts of impersonation of a law enforcement officer or official.

Moorehead remains free on a $500 bond.

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8:27 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Pride of W. Va. to Perform in McDowell, Mercer Counties

Credit West Virginia University

BRADSHAW, W.Va. (AP) - The West Virginia University marching band will take a side trip to McDowell County on its way to this weekend's start of the college football season in Atlanta.
     WVU says the Pride of West Virginia will perform at Riverview High School prior to the start of Thursday night's game between Riverview and Mount View.
     The high schools rescheduled their season opener from Friday night to accommodate the band's pregame performance.

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West Virginia Morning
11:32 am
Wed August 13, 2014

The Bluefield Coal Symposium, W.Va. and Ky. Politics Heat Up Over Coal & McDowell Co. Improves Water

The Bluefield Coal Symposium brings together government and industry leaders to discuss challenges, West Virginia parallels Kentucky in coal jobs and politics in regards to the widely talked about "war on coal", and McDowell residents get closer to having safe water.

Elkhorn Regional Water Project
9:26 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

McDowell Residents Closer to Safe Water

Credit Daniel Walker

Residents in several McDowell County communities are one step closer to safe, public water. The Elkhorn Regional Water Project will replace two water systems that date back about 70 or 80 years. 

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5:48 pm
Tue August 12, 2014

Feds: W.Va. Prison Had 10 Serious Safety Issues

Credit Schavda / wikimedia Commons

A federal investigation has found employees at a McDowell County federal prison were allegedly exposed to blood-borne pathogens and other safety hazards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's January investigation into the Welch prison found 10 serious violations. This was OSHA's first inspection of the facility.

OSHA says the prison failed to train employees on pathogen issues and didn't ensure trainers were knowledgeable. Employees didn't use puncture-resistant containers for contaminated sharp objects.

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Reconnecting McDowell
2:10 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Attorney, Teacher & Student Say Reconnecting McDowell is Working

Emily Hicks also spoke during a press conference in West Virginia earlier this year.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A West Virginia corporate attorney, a McDowell County teacher and a high school student traveled across the country to share the good they see coming from the Reconnecting McDowell project.

The three traveled to Los Angeles to speak at the American Federation of Teachers convention about the program they say has changed lives and given the community a new sense of optimism.

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School Construction
8:25 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Construction of New McDowell Co. School to Begin Soon

Construction of a new $12 million elementary school in McDowell County is expected to begin after crews stabilize a riverbank that partially collapsed earlier this year.

Superintendent Nelson Spencer tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that demolition of the old Iaeger Elementary School has been completed. He says large rocks from the construction area are being used to help stabilize the bank.

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1:06 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

State Tells McDowell County to Address Jail Issues

Credit Division of Corrections

The Division of Corrections has told the McDowell County Commission to address deficiencies at the Stevens Correctional Center or risk losing its contract to house state inmates at the facility.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Corrections Commissioner Jim Rubenstein sent a letter to the commission regarding the deficiencies earlier this month. The issues include staff members not following Division of Corrections directives.

Rubenstein's letter says the county owes the division liquidated damages under the contract.

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12:25 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

McDowell Lays Off Eight Workers Amid Budget Shortfall

Delegate Clif Moore
Credit West Virginia Legislature

  Eight McDowell County employees have been laid off as the county struggles to plug a budget hole.

The layoffs include Delegate Clif Moore, who is an assistant county administrator.

Moore tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that seven employees were laid off Friday. His layoff is effect June 13 so he can continue working with county administrator Jennifer Wimmer to balance the budget.

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Public Safety
10:31 am
Fri May 30, 2014

W.Va. Bicyclist Charged With Operating Backpack Meth Lab

McDowell County Sheriff's Office says a 31-year-old bicyclist has been charged with operating a meth lab that deputies say was contained in his backpack.

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Law & Order
5:05 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

McDowell Co. Lawmaker Charged with DUI

Clif Moore, D-McDowell
Credit West Virginia Legislature

A McDowell County lawmaker has been charged with driving under the influence.

State police arrested Delegate Clif Moore during a traffic stop early Saturday morning on U.S. 52 on Elkhorn Mountain.

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West Virginia Morning
8:46 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Water Woes in McDowell County Examined, Students Learning in New Ways, Clock Ticking in Legislature

On this West Virginia Morning, state legislative officials are working against the clock and snow to get more bills passed.

We explore the water problems in McDowell County more deeply,

And students don't need classroom settings to learn.

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West Virginia Morning
11:12 am
Mon March 3, 2014

A NASA Launch, Water Woes in McDowell Co., & More

On this West Virginia Morning, a special NASA launch has a West Virginia connection.

Also, water woes continue in West Virginia, but not where you might think.

And a Pennsylvania story about a fracking law that's causing controversy.

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Northfork Water Woes
9:37 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Living Without Consistent Water Service: A Northfork Way of Life

Micole Bright and her family keep plastic containers filled with water stacked just outside the hallway to prepare for the next water outage. This water is used to flush the toilets.
Credit Jessica Lilly

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin lifted the state of emergency for nine counties on Friday. It’s been about seven weeks since 300,000 customers lost access to clean water after a chemical leaked into the Elk; a river upstream from the intake to West Virginia American Water’s treatment plant.

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Teacher Pay Raises
11:35 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Improving Education in W.Va. "You Get What You Pay For"

Teacher Edward Evans gives a lesson on electricity during class at Mt. View Middle in McDowell County.
Credit Jessica Lilly

The legislative session last year is often referred to as the "year of education reform" as lawmakers looked for ways to improve education quality.

West Virginia is ranked 48th in teacher pay and right around the middle of the road compared to other states for cost of living. Educators say there is a connection to quality.

Although West Virginia teachers get a 1.5 percent pay increase each year until they reach 35 years, teacher salaries are among the lowest paid in the nation.

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West Virginia Morning
8:43 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Remembering Poets From Years Past, Gas Well Control, Legislative Coverage

On this West Virginia Morning, a West Virginia University professor is keeping the memory alive of some poets who honored African American civil rights.

Also, an update on the gas well explosion in Pennsylvania, just north of the West Virginia border.

Those stories and more!

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McDowell Spill
8:07 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Coal Wastewater Spills Into McDowell Creek

Gary, W.Va.
Credit Seth Ilys / en.wikipedia*

State regulators say snowmelt has sent wastewater at a former coal impoundment site spilling over sediment control ponds and into a McDowell County creek.

Department of Environmental Protection mining and reclamation acting director Harold Ward said Wednesday the spill occurred in Gary at a site formerly owned by U.S. Steel Mining.

DEP spokesman Tom Aluise says the amount that spilled wasn't immediately known.

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McDowell County
3:57 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Trial Begins for Man Accused of War Mayor's Murder

The trial of a man accused of the murder of War's mayor, Thomas Hatcher, began today in McDowell County.

The trial of a Virginia man charged with killing the mayor of War is underway in McDowell County Circuit Court.

The defendant is 28-year-old Earl Click of Grundy, Va.

Click is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 72-year-old War Mayor Thomas Hatcher.

City workers found Hatcher's body in his home on July 17, 2012.

Click's sister and co-defendant, 32-year-old Rebecca Hatcher, was acquitted of a murder charge in November. Judge Rudolph J. Murensky II declared a mistrial on a conspiracy charge. A retrial is scheduled next month.

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