Economy

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, in nearly one third of Ohio Valley counties, low-income residents are paying 20 percent or more of their income in utility bills. Energy costs are making housing harder to afford in some rural places where incomes are not keeping pace with rising costs. As part of a series on rural housing, Ohio Valley ReSource reporter Sydney Boles takes us to eastern Kentucky, where the cost burden is among the highest. She found a community working to keep their old Kentucky homes affordable.

West Virginia's now-defunct film tax credit was around for ten years before being eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018. A legislative audit report found it provided "minimal economic impact" to the state.
Daniel Walker

West Virginia’s film tax credit was eliminated by the West Virginia Legislature in 2018 after a legislative audit report deemed the credit as providing only “minimal economic impact.” But people who work in the film industry don’t agree. An attempt to resurrect the credit failed this past session, but supporters are hopeful it will make it through the next legislative session.

New Economic Data Show Appalachia’s Struggles Amid Coal’s Decline

Jun 26, 2019

An annual report from the Appalachian Regional Commission shows that while Appalachia is seeing some economic improvement, the heart of the region and its coal-producing communities are still struggling. Several counties in the Ohio Valley are moving in a negative direction in this year’s report.


Rural Homelessness, Made Worse By Opioid Crisis, Presents Special Challenges

Jun 24, 2019
Charles “Country” Bowers revisits the wooded patches where he once lived.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Charles “Country” Bowers takes long, quick strides down a worn dirt path and is soon in front of a thicket of bushes made deep and tall by spring rains.

He’s leading me on a tour of camps made by homeless people in wooded corners of Fayette County, Kentucky. He stops and lifts a hand to signal that he’s spied something.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, homelessness is often considered an urban problem. But a recent NPR survey found a third of rural Americans say homelessness is a problem in the communities. In the first in a series of reports from the Ohio Valley ReSource Mary Meehan explores rural homelessness. Those working on the issues say it remains largely hidden, even as the region's opioid crisis pushes more people into need.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, mead is often associated with Vikings and medieval feasts. In the 1960s, it made a brief resurgence thanks to renaissance festivals. But in the last couple of years, there’s been a new revival in mead. According to the American Mead Makers Association, it’s the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage in the country. Brittany Patterson spent some time with some West Virginia mead makers and learned how the Mountain State’s unique charm is influencing their craft.

Josh Hernandez / Creative Commons

Japanese truck maker Hino Motors Manufacturing is set to open its new West Virginia assembly plant this summer.

Hino Motors has scheduled an Aug. 21 grand opening for the facility in Mineral Wells. The company is moving about 20 miles to a larger location at a former retail distribution center.

The Capitol building in Charleston, West Virginia.
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A legislative audit has found that the Jobs Act enacted by West Virginia lawmakers in 2001 in hopes of assuring that 75 percent of jobs on state-funded public works projects would go to local workers has failed.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the audit says the legislation has been wholly ineffective and recommends that it be repealed.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, senior reporter Dave Mistich joins host Teresa Wills live to discuss the latest legislative action on education reform in the state House of Delegates.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, data on the Ohio Valley’s addiction crisis show that the problem is often more profound and persistent in communities that are economically distressed. As part of the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “Working Toward Recovery,” Aaron Payne visited an Ohio community tackling both problems.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the West Virginia Senate is set to put a long, sweeping and controversial education reform measure to a vote today. Yesterday, the upper chamber considered amendments to Senate Bill 1039, which has been touted by Senate President Mitch Carmichael as the Student Success Act.

Senior reporter Dave Mistich joins Teresa Wills to discuss the measure, what changes have been made to the bill and what is expected moving forward.

Brittany Patterson / WVPB

 


On a recent Monday, students at James Monroe High School in Monroe County eat french bread pizza, corn, beans and mixed fruit. They also have three, locally sourced salad options to choose from: a spinach salad with bright red cherry tomatoes, a pre-made salad or a make-you-own salad bar.

"We hear that these foods look so much better, put together," said Kimberly Gusler, the high school's head cook. She said that since the school began using local salad greens and vegetables and fruits when available, students appear to be eating more of them.

"They love the way the salads look.”

Working Toward Recovery: Ohio Town Fights Addiction with Focus on Economy

May 28, 2019
Chillicothe Street in Downtown Portsmouth.
Aaron Payne / Ohio Valley ReSource

Addiction specialists, business leaders, law enforcement officials and other community members gathered around tables at Shawnee State University to talk about two big challenges in Scioto County, Ohio: a shrinking economy and a growing addiction crisis.

Ohio Valley Farmers Unsure About New Trump Trade Aid Payments

May 24, 2019
Liam Niemeyer / Ohio Valley ReSource

The U. S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday details of a second round of aid totaling $16 billion for farmers affected by the trade war with China. But some Ohio Valley farmers worry about the ongoing consequences of these payments and tariffs.

Survey Report Reveals Disparities In Appalachian Subregions

May 22, 2019
Apalachian Regional Commission

A new report from the Appalachian Regional Commission shows that Central Appalachia lags behind other parts of the region in employment, household income, and other key measures.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as the Ohio Valley suffers some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose deaths, a growing movement shows promise for those in recovery. Many are finding employment and support in food services and farms that specifically hire people who are recovering from addiction. Brittany Patterson has the story.

courtesy of Jenny Craig

Jenny Craig is a special education teacher in Ohio County, the president of the Ohio County Education Association, and steering committee member for the West Virginia United Caucus. She offered reactions to the state Department of Education's 33-page report titled West Virginia’s Voice that was released last week.

Ky. Aluminum Company’s New Russian Partner Raises Concerns

May 13, 2019
The site near Ashland, Ky., where Braidy plans a new aluminum facility.
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, just on the other side of the Ohio River, in Ashland, Kentucky, aluminum company Braidy Industries got a big financial boost recently when it announced a partnership with a massive Russian supplier. However, that Russian company was until recently under U.S. sanctions. The deal has raised further questions about Braidy’s financing, which already included millions from Kentucky taxpayers. The Ohio Valley ReSource's Sydney Boles has more.

Corey Knollinger / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

After West Virginia’s voter ID law went into effect last year an organization focused on increasing voter registration and voter turnout launched a new initiative in the state to help people gain proper identification. Spread the Vote now operates in nine states, and aims not only to give people a chance to vote, but also a better chance in life.

Eric Nelson
Perry Bennett / West Virginia Legislative Photography

A longtime Republican member of the West Virginia House of Delegates is vying for a seat in the state Senate. Del. Eric Nelson of Kanawha County made the announcement Tuesday outside the state Capitol.

F. BRIAN FERGUSON / CHARLESTON GAZETTE-MAIL

For many families in parts of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, the absence of clean, reliable drinking water is part of daily life.

Blaine Taylor, a 17-year-old resident of Martin County, Kentucky, struggles to manage basic hygiene when his water comes out with sediment in it.

“I had to use a case of water last night just to get enough water in my bathtub just to get myself cleaned up for today at school,” he said. “It’s rough.”


Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

A group of community members in the Northern Panhandle want to address gaps in the mental health care system. Residents met at West Virginia Northern Community College Thursday to learn about mental illness and discuss an unconventional plan to help those suffering in their community.


Courtesy Harvest Inc.

Meigs County, Ohio, has a complicated history with marijuana.

“Meigs County Gold” has been grown illegally for years. Local legend has it that was the strain of choice for musicians like the Grateful Dead and Willie Nelson when they toured Ohio.

But for Meigs County Commissioner Randy Smith, that isn’t a source of pride. Instead it felt like a target on his back.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In southeast Ohio, marijuana was once something officials tried to eliminate. Now officials hope medical marijuana can replace lost jobs and revenue.

Amy Sisk

Editor's Note:  The issues at Duquesne Light are not unique to Pittsburgh. Regions and industries across the country are facing the challenges of an aging workforce.  As a part of a larger project West Virginia Public Broadcasting is looking at the issue in its American Graduate/Getting to Work project.

At a Duquesne Light facility in Pittsburgh, 10 high school students hunched over sheets of paper, pens in hand, as they sketched their dream homes.

“I’m just drawing an A-frame house with a garage on the side, a nice front porch,” said Louis Charlier of Beaver Area High School on a recent Thursday.

Kentucky Aluminum Plant Investor Is Russian Company Formerly Under U.S. Sanctions

Apr 16, 2019
Photo courtesy of Braidy Industries

Russian aluminum company Rusal announced Monday it plans to invest in a new Kentucky aluminum mill to be built near Ashland in eastern Kentucky. The $200 million investment in Braidy Industries is Rusal’s first U.S. project since the Trump administration lifted U.S. sanctions placed against the company.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, Russian aluminum company Rusal announced its plans to invest in a northeast Kentucky manufacturing plant. As the Ohio Valley ReSource's Sydney Boles reports, the investment is the company’s first U.S. project following relief from federal sanctions.

Craid Hudson / AP

There is a way around the notoriously sluggish internet in West Virginia. You just need a car and some time.

Kelly Povroznik can tell you, when she happens to get a good signal. She teaches an online college course so hampered by unreliable connections that she has had to drive a half-hour to her brother's place just to enter grades into a database.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, hemp products are becoming hot sellers, especially those containing CBD. The compound is derived from cannabis but does not intoxicate a user. Instead, users say, CBD has a wide array of health benefits. And some Ohio Valley businesses are betting big on CBD sales. But as the Ohio Valley ReSource's Liam Niemeyer reports, there’s little evidence for the health claims. And researchers worry that CBD sales are far ahead of the science.

Pages