News

   A new study argues that America doesn't have 200 years worth of coal left like many believe, Berkley Springs writer John Douglas talks about his book A Fog of Ghosts: Haunted Tales and Odd Pieces, and the conclusion of the Halloween-themed mini series The Soul of a Company Store.

WDTV

The Allegheny County Medical Examiners Office has confirmed the identities of three of the five people who died in an Elkins house fire this week.

Forensic Supervisor Anthony Bofo says 29-year-old Alan Chamberlain died Tuesday night at the West Penn Burn Center outside of Pittsburgh.

His 2-year-old daughter Brianna Chamberlain and her half-sister, 11-year-old Catherine Bolgar, also died there Tuesday.

Brianna's twin and a 4-year-old sister died at an Elkins hospital, but the West Virginia Fire Marshal’s Office has not yet released their names.

Colleen McMahon/CS_McMahon

A princess, a superhero, a monster, or a ghost. No matter what you’re child has chosen to don on Halloween this year, as a parent safety is a top priority. Here’s a list of the top ten safety tips for you and your child this holiday:

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A study released Wednesday says minable coal will run out much sooner than expected. The report comes from an environmental organization and the author claims it’s science based and not politically driven.

The report is published by Clean Energy Action, Colorado based environmental organization that works to push the transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources.  

Provided

A judge called the inner workings of the Gene Spadaro Juvenile Center “concerning” after receiving a report from a court monitor for the Adjudicated Juvenile Rehabilitation Review Commission.

The Commission was established in June of 2011 to examine the operations and programs of the Division of Juvenile Services facilities across the state. Cindy Largent-Hill is a member of the commission and visited the Spadaro Juvenile Center in Fayette County Monday.

What was the Esau scrip?

Oct 30, 2013
Whipple company store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Now we return to the second of a three-part story about the haunted history of the Whipple Company Store in Fayette County. The store was built at the turn of the 20th century as West Virginia coal miners began agitating to bring the union to the southern coal fields, and is now operated as a museum of coal camp life.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The economic outlook for West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle over the next five years looks good according to West Virginia University’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

The state has added about 3,000 jobs since the middle of last year according to this year’s Outlook report. John Deskins, Bureau director, presented the outlook for the Eastern Panhandle to a ballroom full of business leaders from Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan Counties gathered at the Martinsburg Holiday Inn, beginning with a look at the statewide forecast.

Whipple company store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

A look at the economic outlook for the Eastern Panhandle, juvenile detainees testify on the conditions of the centers where they're being held, and the second part of a series of ghostly stories on the Whipple Company Store.

A federal judge issued a memorandum Tuesday in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to finalize federal coal ash regulations.

United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton issued a ruling giving the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to name how long it will take to review and revise coal ash regulations. 

Provided

Judge Omar Aboulhosn heard what may be the last evidence in the case filed by Mountain State Justice against the Division of Juvenile Services.

Mountain State asked three juvenile residents to testify in an evidentiary hearing Tuesday in Kanawha County Circuit Court.

B.M., identified only by his initials for the court, is a juvenile resident of the Sam Perdue Juvenile Center in Princeton. He is one of the 25 residents relocated after Aboulhosn order the closure of the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center in Salem over the summer.

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

A widow is battling for black lung benefits of her dead husband.  Mary Fox filed an appeal on behalf of her late husband Gary Fox last year. Testimony before a federal appeals court began today in Virginia.

The hearing comes the same day stories from a yearlong investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed lawyers with the Jackson Kelly law firm submitted only favorable evidence in court.

Between the years 2000 to 2010, over 55,000 work-related diseases were reported. Of those, more than 26,000 were noted as cases of Pneumoconioses, diseases in which dust, such as coal, causes scarring of the lungs. The Center for Public Integrity's investigative team takes a look at one of the coal industry's top legal firms and the withholding of evidence related to the matter.

Ghostly stories from the Whipple Company Store

Oct 29, 2013
Whipple company store
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Built during a time of labor strife in the southern coalfields, the Whipple Company Store in Fayette County is one of those buildings that just LOOKS haunted. Every Halloween, the owners offer tours full of history, folklore, and ghost stories. Producer Catherine Moore set out to do a fun piece about the reported paranormal activity at the store with a couple of local ghost hunters. Well, she got more than she bargained for and found out that there’s a lot more to the so-called hauntings, and to the history of the store, than meets the eye.

Breaking down the Consol-Murray sale

Oct 29, 2013

Consol Energy is selling five of its long wall coal mines in West Virginia to Murray Energy. It’s a deal slated to cost more than $3 billion.

In the deal, Consol will get:

$850 million in cash;

Almost $200 million in value of future payments;

The acquisition of $2.4 billion in Consol's liabilities, to Murray Energy.

In return,

Murray Energy will receive:

Almost 4,000 new employees;

6 more coal preparation plants;

5 more active mining complexes;

6 more longwall mining systems;

23 more continuing mining units;

West Virginia's two U.S. senators say they'll be watching closely to see how Ohio-based Murray Energy treats safety and the workforce of the five CONSOL Energy mines it's buying.
 
     Senators Joe Manchin and Jay Rockefeller have requested a meeting with Murray Energy to discuss the transition.
 
     The companies announced the deal Monday for the sale of the Blacksville No. 2, Loveridge, McElroy, Robinson Run and Shoemaker mines.
 
     Pennsylvania-based CONSOL said it wants to shift resources to natural gas development.
 

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

CONSOL Energy sells five longwall mines to Murray Energy, the families of Upper Big Branch Mine victims speak out against a Halloween attraction at King's Dominion, and the first in a series of Halloween stories on the Whipple Company Store.

In 1960, then-Senator and Presidential Candidate John F. Kennedy visited McDowell County, West Virginia and forged a bond with those living in the state's southern coalfields. It was a victory in West Virginia's Democratic primary that helped confirm his broad appeal to the rest of America. After winning the presidential election, Kennedy exposed the rest of the country to the perils of poverty that faced the region. In this article, USA Today reports on the way Kennedy's assassination has resonated with those living in southern West Virginia, the way things were then, and how they are now.

Kings Dominion does not plan to host the attraction in 2014.
KingsDominion.com

Kings Dominion does not plan to host a Halloween themed attraction called, Miner's Revenge next year.

The Virginia-based amusement park does not plan to host a Halloween themed attraction called, Miner's Revenge next year. The  park charged more than $32 for admission during the weekends in October. The haunted attraction's similarities to the Upper Big Branch disaster similarities infuriated the families of the victims. Some have said it’s eerily similar to their real life nightmare.

Ashton Marra

A hearing in Kanawha County Circuit Court will determine whether or not juvenile residents of state facilities will see a difference in the way grievances are handled and an increase in educational opportunities.

Mercer County Judge Omar Aboulhosn will be presented a proposed agreement between the Division of Juvenile Services and Mountain State Justice, a Charleston based public interest law firm whose lawsuit against the division resulted in the closure of the Salem Industrial Home for Youth and later the Harriet B. Jones Treatment Center.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller
Politico

Several Organizations in West Virginia that address drug abuse and mental health issues will get a boost from the federal government.  Senators Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin today announced $733,068 in federal funding for community organizations across the state to prevent and reduce substance abuse among youth in West Virginia.

The funding comes from the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug-Free Communities (DFC) grant program with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Joe Long / AP

Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, along with Senator Joe Manchin and Congressman Nick Rahall, today announced more than $697,000 in federal funding for pipeline safety efforts in West Virginia.  
 

CONSOL Energy Inc. is selling all five of its longwall coal mines in West Virginia to Ohio-based Murray Energy for $3.5 billion.
 
     Pennsylvania-based CONSOL said Monday the deal for its Consolidation Coal Co. subsidiary is good for long-term growth.
 
     CONSOL is selling McElroy Mine, Shoemaker Mine, Robinson Run Mine, Loveridge Mine and Blacksville No. 2 Mine, plus river and dock operations. The mines produced a combined 28.5 million tons last year.
 

Tonya Kinder

A grieving family is honoring their loved one with a memorial scholarship, with the help of the ambulance company where he worked. Mark Kinder II died in January while returning from dropping off a patient. Jan Care is donating the money for the scholarship.

It’s been about nine months since Mark Kinder II was killed. Mark’s sister Tonya, also a Jan Care employee, says her brother is believed to have been resting in the passenger seat when the accident happened.

WV Film Office

The West Virginia Film Office is always looking for the next great location for a film or television shoot. If you own a home, business, or property that you would like the film and television industry to consider featuring in a potential production, you can now post your information to the film office's online locations library.

"In addition to tax incentives, one of the most effective tools utilized by the film office to recruit the film industry to the state is its online locations database," said Pam Haynes, director of the West Virginia Film Office.

The family of an EMT who died on the job honors him with a scholarship to promote his vocation, an online program called West Virginia Welcome helps statewide the hospitality and tourism industries, and Beth Vorhees speaks with horror writer Frank Larnerd discusses his book Hills of Fire: Bare-Knuckled Yarns of Appalachia.

A new, free hospitality training program is available online. WV Welcome is a free course designed to help folks in the tourism industry better serve guests from out of state.

Jerry Henderson became an advocate for hospitality when she opened her own Bed and Breakfast about 20 years ago in Buckhannon.  She now serves as the treasurer of WV Hospitality and Travel Association and says knowing the best ways to be a gracious host is not only good for business, it’s good for the state.

Ashton Marra

Former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee made a stop in West Virginia to help energize the state Republican Party during a fundraiser Friday night.

An evening that started with state GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas poking fun at an array of federal indictments coming from Mingo County, all against Democratic leaders, transitioned to focus on what Huckabee called the true message of the Republican party—valuing every life based on inherent worth given by God and not status.

The Washington Post breaks down West Virginia's transition from being a state that has traditionally favored Democrats to becoming more and more likely to vote Republican.

DuPont's Washington Works
Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Nine Ohio and West Virginia residents who have cancer and other diseases have filed federal lawsuits this month against chemical giant DuPont, alleging the company knowingly contaminated drinking-water supplies with a chemical used by one of its plants.

Patriot Coal

Patriot Coal is responding to recent actions from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. Yesterday, Thursday MSHA released a statement stating that the agency had labeled two West Virginia coal mines and one in Kentucky as pattern violators, meaning they've repeatedly broken federal health and safety regulations.

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