McDowell County

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.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / Ohio University Press, publishers of Ancella R. Bickley & Lynda Ann Ewen, eds., "Memphis Tennessee Garrison: The Remarkable Story of a Black Appalachian Woman" (Athens, 2001)

Teacher and civic activist Memphis Tennessee Carter was born in Hollins, Virginia, on March 3, 1890. Her father, a former slave, was a coal miner who moved his family to southern West Virginia when Memphis was a child. She eventually married a coal company foreman and became Memphis Tennessee Garrison. She graduated from Bluefield State College at age 49 and taught school in McDowell County. Serving also as a welfare worker for the U.S. Steel Corporation, Garrison helped settle racial disputes, counseled black miners and their families, and developed cultural and recreational opportunities in the town of Gary.

Jamie Mathis is raising both of her grandsons
PBS Newshour

In the rural West Virginia county of McDowell County, almost half of all children live apart from their parents. Families have splintered in the face of economic and social troubles, leaving many grandparents to take on the role of parenting. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters visits to see how public schools are supporting these caretakers to improve kids’ lives.

McDowell County Mt View Middle School
PBS Newshour / PBS

Boredom can mean trouble and bad health for children in rural America. In communities where resources are few, schools face the extra challenge of keeping students active, safe and healthy. Special correspondent John Tulenko of Learning Matters reports from McDowell County, West Virginia, on efforts there to improve life for students and to address the teacher shortage.

McDowell native Sabrina Shrader is featured in the new West Virginia Public Broadcasting documentary, The First 1,000 Days: Investing In WV Children When It Counts. We first heard from Shrader when she shared her story in 2013 of how a program called Upward Bound provided resources that helped her to graduate from college after a difficult and abusive childhood. She was working as an Upward Bound Coordinator at Concord University. Things have changed since then.

Production still by Raelyn White.

Concord University is hosting a special screening of a documentary that explores the long-term educational challenges for children in low-income homes.

West Virginia Public Broadcasting's The First 1,000 Days: Investing In WV Children When It Counts will be shown on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Athens campus. 

The hour-long documentary explores how poverty affects early childhood development and the challenges families face when the adults either have low-paying jobs or are unemployed.

Hardy’s hanging probably would have been the end of the story if not for a ballad written about the event.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / WV Humanities Council

John Hardy was hanged in the McDowell County seat of Welch on January 19, 1894. The black railroad worker had been convicted of murdering a man in a gambling dispute at present-day Eckman.

Daniel Walker

This week, we’ve been talking about water in the coalfields. We met folks that deal with frequent water outages and boil water advisories because of crumbling water systems, and heard stories of folks living with no water source at all. We also learned that proper sewage disposal is still a challenge.

 

Progress has been made. Just this past year, the Elkhorn Water Project began. It's expected to bring clean water to folks living in several coal camp communities along Route 52 in McDowell County. A project in Wyoming County is expected to bring a permanent solution to water issues in Bud and Alpoca.

Jessica Lilly

While the chemical spill in Charleston left 300-thousand people without access to clean water, folks in the coalfields deal with water issues every day.  We heard from folks in McDowell communities living off dated water systems that frequently go without water. Some communities have been on boil water advisories for years.

Daniel Walker

While the chemical spill in Charleston left more than 300,000 without usable water, it's a problem that folks in the coalfields deal with on a regular basis.

Mountainous regions like southern West Virginia have an abundance of water, but the terrain along with aging infrastructure create challenges, just as it has for decades.

Hotchkiss's mapmaking skills played a major role in “Stonewall” Jackson’s brilliant Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online. / Jedediah Hotchkiss, mapmaking, Stonewall Jackson, Civil War

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. 

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.

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.
 

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.

Pages