Turn This Town Around

Community Engagement
11:19 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Grafton Turns Out for Turn This Town Around

People packed into the Church of the Good Shepherd for Monday night's Turn This Town Around meeting in Grafton
Credit Sarah Lowther Hensley

Learn about Monday night's Turn This Town Around public workshop in Grafton.

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. 

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West Virginia Morning
8:13 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Preliminary Findings About January Chemical Spill, PA Water Quality, Turning Around Matewan

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/

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Turn This Town Around
12:15 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Matewan Striving for Revitalization

Credit 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.

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West Virginia Morning
8:16 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Exploring New Options for Water Sources, Free Lunches for Kids, Matewan Improvements & New SBA Chief

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.

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Turn This Town Around
2:52 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Is Tourism the Key to Turning Matewan Around?

Credit 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. 

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West Virginia Morning
8:45 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Studying Juvenile Justice, Matewan Looks for Grant Funding & Morgantown Presents Children's Theatre

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.

Turn This Town Around
4:16 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Matewan Hoping to Use Grant Funding to Make Change

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. 

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Turn this Town Around
6:27 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Grant Funding Coming to 'Turn this Town Around' Communities

Restoring the Manos Theatre in downtown Grafton is one project being considered as part of the Turn this Town Around project. Grant monies are now available to both Grafton and Matewan.
Credit 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. 

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West Virginia Morning
10:29 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Senator Raises Questions Over Funding Amendment, Wheeling School Builds Learning Lab & Matewan

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.'

Battle of Matewan Reenactment
9:30 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Will Heritage Help Turn Matewan Around?

Battle of Matewan reenactment cast, 2014

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.

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Community Engagement
7:53 am
Wed May 21, 2014

What's Next, West Virginia?

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.


Turn this Town Around
11:09 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Grafton Community Cleans Up To Turn The Town Around

The Manos Theatre is one of the empty storefronts downtown in Grafton.
Credit 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.

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West Virginia Morning
9:24 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Matewan Turns Itself Around, Finding a New Life in Morgantown, & MU Professor's Award Winning Videos

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.

Turn this Town Around
1:14 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Meet Matewan: A Town Worth Fighting For

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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West Virginia Morning
9:38 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Grafton Continues to 'Turn', Clarksburg's Rose Garden Theater, & Carbon Capture Technology

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.

Turn this Town Around
5:18 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Grafton Residents Mull Ideas to Turn The Town Around

Nikki Bowman (right) with West Virginia Focus Magazine talks about the project at a recent community meeting in Grafton.
Credit 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.

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West Virginia Morning
10:45 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Will Coal Ever Be Clean?, Grafton Looks to Turn Itself Around, & A Thousand Mile Trek Through Alaska

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.

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Turn this Town Around
10:28 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

Grafton Begins to 'Turn This Town Around'

Kent Spellman (center) talks during a recent meeting of Turn This Town Around in Grafton.
Credit 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.

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About Us
11:20 am
Sun February 2, 2014

How We Chose the Eight West Virginia Contestants For "Turn This Town Around"

Downtown Matewan
Credit 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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Last Day Is Friday
3:44 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

VOTE: Which Two West Virginia Towns Should Get "Turned Around"?

Alderson, W.Va.
Credit New South Media

It’s been a rough month in West Virginia, with the water crisis and all the negative, stereotypical coverage of Appalachia around the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty.

Let’s take all our anger and frustration and turn it into something positive. Let’s “Turn This Town Around.”

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