Economy

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, tourism is one of West Virginia’s largest industries, bringing in an estimated $4.5 billion in revenue and providing tens of thousands of jobs. Something that’s not so much of a challenge or concern for this industry is housing for the people who work in tourism.  Generally speaking, in West Virginia there’s ample affordable housing that is located near the state’s resorts and tourist destinations. But this isn’t the case in other parts of the country.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, energy companies in the Ohio Valley have looked to China as important customers and investors in coal and natural gas. But as Brittany Patterson explains, President Trump’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners could have a major effect on the region’s energy sector.

Still from White House video

President Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration's escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe.

(left to right) Jerry Gilbert, Pres. of Marshall; Gordon Gee, Pres. of WVU; Kendra Boggess, Pres. of Concord; Michael Farrell, Commissioner with the WV Higher Education Policy Commission; and Gov. Jim Justice. During a press conference on July 2, 2018.
WV Governor's Office

West Virginia ended its 2018 fiscal year with a budget surplus of almost $30 million, according to Governor Jim Justice. Next, the governor said he’ll look to improving the state’s higher education system.

The governor said Monday in a press conference, 2012 was the last time West Virginia ended a year with a surplus without mid-year cuts.

Peabody Energy, Inc. / Wikimedia Commons

A coal waste plant at risk of shutting down in West Virginia is hoping to stay open through state proceedings.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the Grant Town Power Plant's owner, American Bituminous Power Partners, has teetered on the verge of bankruptcy, according to company filings.

Trade Troubles: Ohio Valley Auto Industry Hopes To Dodge Trump Tariffs

Jul 2, 2018
Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley’s auto manufacturing industry is growing increasingly nervous about the Trump administration’s trade policy. First came tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, key materials for vehicle makers. Now the Commerce Department is looking into taxes on imported automobiles and automotive parts. Both are ominous signs for an industry that employs more than 1.5 million people in the region. Ohio and Kentucky are the nation’s second and third biggest auto-making states, respectively.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley includes two of the country’s top three states for auto manufacturing, and the industry employs more than 1.5 million people in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. That industry is growing nervous about the Trump administration’s trade policy. First came tariffs on steel and aluminum. Now, as Becca Schimmel reports, the Commerce Department is looking into taxes on imported autos and parts.

courtesy of Erin Board

An organizer says the U.S. Rafting Association's national whitewater championships will be held this fall on the New and Gauley rivers in West Virginia.

Achim Hering / Wikimedia Commons

A stone wool insulation producer has broken ground on a $150 million manufacturing facility in West Virginia.

Rockwool North America held a ceremony Tuesday in Ranson. The company says in a news release the 460,000-square-foot facility will employ about 150 people. Production is expected to start in early 2020.

The Happy Retreat mansion in Charles Town, W.Va. Formerly the home of Charles Washington, founder of Charles Town and brother to President George Washington.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Happy Retreat is a historic mansion in Charles Town that was once the home of Charles Washington – founder of Charles Town and brother to the nation’s first president. Today, the house is becoming a hub for public events, community outreach, history and tourism.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

Anti-poverty activists say they will continue a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience throughout the Ohio Valley despite arrests at some events and being blocked from Kentucky’s capitol building.

The Poor People’s Campaign has rallied in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and campaign leaders returned to Kentucky Wednesday after the group was denied access at earlier demonstrations.

Carol Guzy/ NPR

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are hopeful.

“Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.”

But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

About 50 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. began a movement to unite people of all colors and creeds in what was called the Poor People's Campaign. We’ll hear the latest in how that movement is being revived today.

We’ll also hear about experiments in Pennsylvania that are trying to bring back bats populations that have been plagued by a deadly fungus.

And the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee has passed its version of the Farm Bill with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s provisions to remove hemp from a list of Schedule 1 controlled substances.

The ongoing war of words between the White House and the Canadian Prime Minister, and threatened tariffs from both sides, are clear reminders of how much of West Virginia’s economy depends on trade.

ATV
aiisha / Dollar Photo Club

Plans are underway for a new multi-cottage resort in West Virginia that a developer says will cater to the needs of ATV riders.

Developer Todd Boggess tells The Bluefield Daily Telegraph that the ATV Outpost at Pocohontas is envisioned as a family friendly facility with 22 cabins, a restaurant, general store and more.

UN Jean-Marc Ferre

The United Nations has published a report on poverty in the U.S. based on a fact-finding tour that included parts of the Ohio Valley.

The UN report says that of the 40 million poor Americans about 5.3 million live in “Third World conditions of absolute poverty.”

MPD01605 / Flickr

Tolls on the West Virginia Turnpike will double starting next year.

News outlets report the West Virginia Parkways Authority voted Thursday to increase rates at three toll booths from $2 to $4 for passenger cars starting Jan. 1.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has told the Department of Energy to stop the pending closure of some economically struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants. As Brittany Patterson reports, energy analysts say that would raise bills for consumers and would likely come too late to help facilities in the Ohio Valley.

West Virginia University

 

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced today that efforts are underway to distribute naloxone to emergency first responders statewide.

All first responders will carry the opioid overdose reversal drug and will be trained on how to  reduce overdose deaths in West Virginia. The DHHR has purchased a $1 million supply of naloxone, about 34,000 doses.

 

Bruce Parsons / KVEC

Student teams from across the coalfields of eastern Kentucky came together at the Knott County Sportsplex, bringing with them drones that they themselves had built. It was time for the climax of this year-long project. A basketball court had been separated with nets, and padded gates marked a circuit course for the little flying machines.

Steve Helber / AP File Photo

President Donald Trump on Friday directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to prepare “immediate steps” to bolster struggling coal-fired and nuclear power plants to keep them open.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump believes “keeping America’s energy grid and infrastructure strong and secure protects our national security, public safety and economy from intentional attacks and natural disasters.”

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley Resource

  The Trump administration has made good on a promise to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on some major U.S. trading partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, earlier this year the Trump Administration imposed new tariffs on solar panels. It's part of the administration's "America-first" approach to trade. But one Appalachian organization is worried that the tariffs are leaving a lot of Americans in the dark. Glynis Board has our story.

Courtesy Photo / ISCEP/CRCC

Students from middle schools across West Virginia are gearing up for the final round of a new Cyber Robotics Coding Competition in Fairmont.

 

Finals for a New Hampshire-based Cyber Robotics Coding Competition will be held on Fairmont State University’s campus. 60 West Virginia middle school students will meet for a coding face off followed by an awards ceremony on Thursday, May 17.

 


Courtesy Revolution

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” returns to his native Kentucky this week. But Vance isn’t selling books this time. He’s leading a bus tour of well-heeled venture capitalists looking for investment options in the region.

Elk, Standing Elk
Albert Herring / Wikimedia Commons

Officials in West Virginia are set to introduce 50 elk that were captured in Arizona.

Gov. Jim Justice and the state Division of Natural Resources are scheduled to hold a ceremony Tuesday at the Tomblin Wildlife Management Area near Logan.

C-130 Hercules airplanes at Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV. 130th Airlift Wing.
United States Air Force / USGOV-PD

Updated on Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 11:55 a.m.

West Virginia officials welcomed a military contingent from Qatar as part of a security and economic partnership Monday.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said in a statement the Qatar officials toured the West Virginia National Guard's 130th Air Wing in Charleston.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the Death Row Dogs initiative in Eastern Kentucky; dairy farmers in the Ohio Valley who are feeling pressure from a market flooded with milk; and we’ll hear another postcard from a young girl in North Carolina who shares a story about growing up in Appalachia.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

LaRue County, Kentucky, dairy farmer Gary Rock sits in his milking parlor, overlooking what is left of his 95 cow operation.

“Three hundred years of history is something that a lot of people in our country cannot even talk about,” Rock said.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The West Virginia Board of Education has approved a plan to replace several Nicholas County schools after 2016 floods.

Media outlets report the board Wednesday, May 9, passed the proposal offered by a mediation team.

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