ARC entrepreneurial efforts, news about fracking, and the secret to making moonshine

Nov 9, 2013

The Appalachian Regional Commission aims to grow entrepreneurship.

The Gulf Coast provides a hint at what good, and bad, can come from a cracker plant planned for Pennsylvania.

A look at just what goes into making Tennessee moonshine.

And one West Virginia man tackles the problem of profound poverty.

A.R.C. Conference: Growing entrepreneurship. That was the focus of the Appalachian Regional Commission’s annual conference that took place this past week in Charleston. From access to capital to forming networks, members from 13 states shared their experiences and ideas on how to create an environment that will encourage entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses.

LeRoyal Ealy with his wife Elaine Claiborne and daughter Lajanaye Ealy, 6, live in Geismar, where he works as an electrician. Ealy thinks dangers of explosions and pollution are part of the bargain but Claiborne worries about the long-term effects from pollution released during the Williams Olefins explosion.
Credit Reid R. Frazier / The Allegheny Front

Cracker Plant, What Louisiana tells us: Because of the fracking boom Shell is thinking about building a large petrochemical plant in Beaver County, P.a. In Louisiana, the shale gas boom has already led to a renaissance for the state's large chemical industry. What does a chemical building boom look like? In the third of four reports from the Gulf Coast, the Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier found jobs fueling the chemical boom in Louisiana are abundant, but they can also be dangerous.

TN Moonshine: In Kentucky there’s a bourbon trail, and across Appalachia there are wine regions and a resurgence of spirit making of all sorts. Moonshine, once the bane of tax collectors and the boon of scofflaws, is now not only legal, but popular. Since Tennessee legalized the stuff in 2009, moonshine has been popping up in liquor stores, and spawning a small but growing tourism industry. But what is it that makes moonshine, moonshine?

War on Poverty: West Virginia University’s Festival of Ideas recently featured Jake Harriman who talked about extreme poverty in the world and his mission to end it. A West Virginia native and former U.S. Marine, Harriman toured the Middle East, Africa and Asia, where he saw firsthand the devastating effects of extreme poverty. He founded Nuru International in order to lift rural farming communities out of poverty.