On this West Virginia Morning, the Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, and North Carolina native, Jennifer Pharr Davis has not only through-hiked the trail three times, but she has also set records for speed. Inside Appalachia Host Mason Adams talks to Davis about her love of hiking and what it takes to get started.
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.
Work began in late June to replace the Elkhorn and Maybeurry water systems. These communities as well as Switchback are included in Phase One.
“There’s a crumbling decaying almost nonexistent water system in the area,” Elden Green Assistant Director of the McDowell County Public Service District said. “Not even all of our customers or households have a water system. Some have springs or well.”
Green says several of the systems were built, then left by coal companies.
The Elkhorn Regional Water Project has been in the works for several years. It was further delayed when the federal government halted Abandoned Mine Land funding to review the applications.
Abandoned Mine Land money comes from a fund created by a tax on coal companies. The money is used to reclaim and fix damage left from previous mining activity.
Congressman Nick Rahall says he met with officials earlier this year about the funding. Rahall attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Kimball.
“So we’ve been able to break some of these projects loose and get clean water and replace old systems in many cases so our people can have what many in the big city take for granted,” Rahall said, “that’s clean drinkable accessible water.”
Phase One in Elkhorn is also funded by a grant and loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development.
The project continues down Route 52 with two more phases. It’s three of several plans to bring safe water to communities throughout the county.
Green says, six years ago the McDowell PSD had about 500 customers, now he’s proud to say there are more than 3-thousand and several other projects are in the works. The Big Sandy Roderfield Extension will bring clean water to his own home.
“Personally right now I have deep well and pump,” Green said,”the water’s not the greatest but we’re thankful for it.”
“I have a water treatment system personally that’s salt based, and they say over the long term that’s not good but we’re thankful for what we have.”
Phase one of the Elkhorn Regional Water Project will bring clean water to 200 homes. Green says the PSD plans to pay back the loan within 30 years meaning water bills could increase about $30 a month. Phase One is expected to be complete in Spring of 2015.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting is proud to announce four first place awards and seven runner ups across nine categories for the 74th Annual Virginias Associated Press Broadcasters Awards. The first place awards include Best Documentary or In-Depth, Best Light Feature, Best Multi-Platform and Best Mountain State Heritage.
On this West Virginia Morning, a weekend of comedy kicks off Thursday in Morgantown. Now in its second year, the Red Eye Comedy Festival is not only highlighting the state’s nascent comedy community, but also attracting national talent to the region.
West Virginia Public Broadcasting announces that Mountain Stage is featured in the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine. Rolling Stone journalist Garret Woodward explores the diverse group of nationally recognized musicians who have played Mountain Stage, highlighting the uniqueness of the show on today’s airwaves.