McDowell County

School spending
NPR

A report released Monday by NPR tracks the amount of money spent on each student across the country by county. But representatives of the West Virginia Department of Education say the data reported doesn’t add up in West Virginia.

NPR and the national publication Education Week attribute their spending numbers to the U.S. Census Bureau. Their map says in West Virginia, McDowell County spent the most at $14,000 per student in 2013. Jefferson County, according to the map, spent the least per pupil at around $8,000.

But Amy Willard, Executive Director of School Finance for the West Virginia Department of Education, says the numbers don’t match state spending records.

A man running for sheriff in McDowell County has been charged with using a Social Security debit card and a state benefits debit card belonging to another person.

A report from the McDowell County Sheriff's Department said 61-year-old Quinton L. Dawson of Jolo was arrested Friday and charged with fraudulent use of access device, obtaining money under false pretenses and felony conspiracy.

Best Furniture
Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Asbestos abatement and environmental clean up began Tuesday at the vacant Best Furniture Store in downtown Welch in McDowell County Tuesday, some 19 months after a project to demolish and build new housing on the site was announced.

On this West Virginia Morning, we revisit the story of the Handle With Care program and a plan for McDowell County to improve literacy and education to their residents.

McDowell County Board of Education

McDowell County school administrators say 30 jobs are being eliminated next school year due to declining student enrollment and a decrease in state funding.

Media outlets report the cuts including 15 professional positions and 15 service jobs were announced Monday.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

An assistant prosecutor in McDowell County has pleaded guilty to a federal tax crime committed while working in private practice.

Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto says 38-year-old Jason Ray Grubb of Beaver entered the plea in federal court in Beckley on Wednesday to failing to pay employment taxes.

In light of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan, this week on Inside Appalachia we remember the West Virginia water crisis from 2014. We’ll also hear from people in the coalfields who don’t have access to clean water, day in and day out. And we’ll honor the traditional “Appalachian” way of coming together to lean on each other.

gavel
wikimedia / Wikimedia

 According to the West Virginia Supreme Court, the McDowell County Adult Drug Court will hold its opening ceremony at noon Friday. The event will be held in McDowell County Circuit Judge Booker T. Stephens' courtroom.

Stephens will speak, along with state Supreme Court Justice Brent D. Benjamin and Mike B. Lacy, director of West Virginia Probation Services.

Malcolm Wilson/ Humans of Central Appalachia / Humans of Central Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras go to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about. This week, we revisit our most popular episode from 2015. Since this first aired, Vice Magazine has published another article by photographer Stacy Kranitz. It's the latest in Kranitz's photo essay series called, "There Aint No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down", which takes its title from the song by Brother Claude Ely.

Doddridge County
David Benbennick / wikimedia commons

West Virginia's natural gas counties are the winners and coalfield counties are the losers in the state's latest assessment of the value of properties owned by public utilities.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail  says a report presented to the Board of Public Works on Tuesday shows utility property values increased by 36 percent in Doddridge County in the past year. Ritchie and Tyler counties each saw a 16 percent increase, while property values in Taylor County rose by 9 percent.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A McDowell County official says a coal company owned by Jim Justice has paid off a $1.1 million tax debt owed by a former owner.

Sheriff Martin B. West says the county received the final $166,000 payment on Wednesday.

CommonsHelper2 Bot / wikimedia commons

The Division of Natural Resources has obtained 4,300 acres in McDowell County for an elk restoration program.

Natural Resources director Robert Fala tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the state is leasing the land near the Tug Fork Wildlife Management Area, roughly between Welch and Roderfield.

Clean drinking water is expected to flow in early 2016 to several hundred additional families in McDowell County.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports contractors are working on a $12 million project that could serve 500 families and more than 350 existing customers.

Malcolm Wilson/ Humans of Central Appalachia / Humans of Central Appalachia

What happens when strangers with cameras go to Appalachia? It’s a complicated topic that many Appalachians have strong feelings about.

McDowell County Board of Education

A project that mentors high school students in McDowell County is seeing success.

Eighteen students from Mount View High in Welch and River View High in Bradshaw were chosen a year ago to participate.

Nearly all of them took their first plane trip last summer to Washington, D.C., where they visited college campuses, job sites and met members of Congress. Each student was assigned a mentor to regularly discuss school, life issues and choices.

Delegate Clif Moore
West Virginia Legislature

A McDowell County lawmaker has been fined $100 after pleading no contest to a drunken driving charge.

The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reports that Delegate Clif Moore entered his plea on Tuesday to non-aggravated driving under the influence. He was fined and sentenced to time served.

  On May 15, 1886, Minnie Buckingham was born in Putnam County. She later moved to Keystone in McDowell County and married E. Howard Harper, who was elected to the legislature in 1926. When Harper died in the middle of his term, the county Republican executive committee unanimously recommended Minnie to replace him. In January 1928, Governor Howard Gore appointed Minnie Buckingham Harper to complete her husband’s term, making her the first African-American woman in U.S. history to serve in a state legislature.

http://photographyisnotacrime.com

Jesse and Marisha Camp were driving through McDowell County when they were confronted by angry residents who believed they were taking photos of their children.

Cecelia Mason / Shepherd University

A former high school that was the Rocket Boys' alma mater is going to be torn down.

McDowell County Schools Superintendent Nelson Spencer tells The Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the former Big Creek High School is expected to be demolished this summer. However, the gymnasium will remain.

A report says McDowell County is again the unhealthiest county in West Virginia.

The report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers ranks the southern coalfield county last among all 55 counties for the sixth straight year.

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