Turn This Town Around

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.

Senate Finance Committee Kills Charter Schools Bill

Feb 23, 2015

At the legislature today, infrastructure development around Morgantown will be helped by a bill passing the House of Delegates.  The bill makes adjustments for a tax increment financing district in Monongalia County. The Senate approves a bill that will add judges to four of the busiest circuits in the state court system.  And tonight, we’ll find out more about an effort to strengthen small communities to keep them economically viable on The Legislature Today.

Turn This Town Around to Help Two New Towns

Dec 5, 2014
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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

Turn This Town Around Awards Grants

Sep 11, 2014
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.

Citizens in Grafton Are Turning Their Town Around

Sep 5, 2014
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, part two of a series of reports about the state’s changing political climate.  And tonight, the town of Grafton in Taylor County celebrates the first “First Friday” in an effort to turn their town around.

Downtown Grafton Puts Its Mark On "First Friday"

Sep 4, 2014
Manos Theatre in Downtown Grafton
Sarah Lowther Hensley

We continue our coverage of the Turn this Town Around Project. 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 citizens of Grafton will be gathering downtown this evening for “First Friday”– an initiative that’s grown out of the Turn This Town Around project. The goal is to promote downtown Grafton by hosting special events and activities and extending downtown business hours on the first Friday of every month.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Two communities in West Virginia are trying out solar power, but pooling their resources to do so. They've started solar co-ops, meant to help save them money while benefiting the environment. Community teams in Grafton are putting the finishing touches on their project proposals for the Turn This Town Around Project.

Turn This Town Around Project Proposals Getting Final Polish

Aug 5, 2014
Turn This Town Around Grafton poster
Sarah Lowther Hensley

We continue our coverage of the Turn this Town Around Project. 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. 

Grafton Turns Out for Turn This Town Around

Jul 21, 2014
Sarah Lowther Hensley

We continue our coverage of the Turn this Town Around Project. This series follows two towns, Grafton in north central West Virginia and Matewan in southern West Virginia, as they undergo projects to help the towns look better and revitalize community development. Monday night, Grafton held its third public training workshop to help teams continue to focus their efforts and get ready to apply for funding.

The welcome surprise at Monday’s meeting was an overwhelming turnout. More than 135 people showed up, excited and ready to talk about how to “turn their town around.” For many of them, it was their first “Turn this Town Around” meeting. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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/

Matewan Striving for Revitalization

Jul 17, 2014
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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

Is Tourism the Key to Turning Matewan Around?

Jul 1, 2014
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. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

Matewan Hoping to Use Grant Funding to Make Change

Jun 18, 2014

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. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

What's Next, West Virginia?

May 21, 2014

What's next for West Virginia? That's a question that will be posed to community members at meetings across the state in the coming months.  The West Virginia Center for Civic Life promotes local dialogue to challenge us to talk about problems and find solutions to better the quality of life here.  The center is holding its 18th annual Civic Life Institute at the University of Charleston on June 4 and 5.  The institute will train citizens from across the state to hold and facilitate local meetings to find out what's next for West Virginia.   Center director Betty Knighton and Catherine Moore, an Appalachian Transition Fellow assigned to the project, stopped by our studios to talk with West Virginia Morning host Beth Vorhees about the initiative.


Grafton Community Cleans Up To Turn The Town Around

May 12, 2014
Flickr Image

This morning we bring you another story in our series on how the towns of Grafton and Matewan are turning themselves around as part of a special collaboration. The transformation process for Grafton continued over the weekend with a chance for community members to not only clean up their city but to connect with one another, a crucial part of the effort.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A recent town meeting in Grafton allowed residents to discuss ideas on what projects they would like to work on as part of the Turn This Town Around project. The historic Rose Garden Theater adored by so many may once again have a reason to shine. Also, our friends at The Allegheny Front take a look at carbon capture technology and the hurdles it faces in solving the problems of carbon dioxide emissions from burning coal.

Grafton Residents Mull Ideas to Turn The Town Around

May 5, 2014
Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Editor's Note: We bring you a story in 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. As Ben Adducchio reports, a recent town meeting in Grafton allowed residents to discuss ideas on what projects they would like to work on.

Grafton is the county seat of Taylor County and has a population of 5,000. It’s one of the two towns in the state selected as part of the “Turn This Town Around” project. Matewan, in Mingo County, is the other. These towns over the next year will be going through a makeover, so to speak, by members of the community, to make the towns look better.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

National Geographic poses an important question in regards to studying climate change--can coal ever be clean? Taylor County's seat of Grafton begins a journey to turn their town around by improving its look and recreational possibilities. A Tucker County doctor trudges 1,000 miles across the Alaskan tundra to win the Iditarod Trail Invitational.

Grafton Begins to 'Turn This Town Around'

Mar 25, 2014
Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Throughout the next year, West Virginia Public Radio will bring you stories about two communities in West Virginia. These are Matewan and Grafton. These towns were selected as part of a special “Turn This Town Around” project. Grafton is starting its journey.

Grafton is the county seat of Taylor County and it’s got a little more than 5,000 people living in it. It was selected as the winner of the West Virginia Focus Magazine’s Turn this Town Around project, along with Matewan in Mingo County.

West Virginia Focus

“Turn This Town Around” is a unique and groundbreaking project to select two West Virginia communities to receive training, coaching, and technical assistance to help them achieve success in revitalizing their communities.

“Turn This Town Around” is a feature of West Virginia Focus, in partnership with West Virginia Public Broadcasting and the West Virginia Community Development Hub.

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