Economy

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a fire at a US Steel plant crippled its ability to control its air pollution in December. For three months, the Pittsburgh area was blanketed with releases of sulfur dioxide much higher than usual, and thousands reported suffering from poor air quality. Last week, the steelmaker finished repairing its pollution control equipment. For State Impact Pennsylvania, the Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports that the worries about air pollution and its health impacts, remain.

Kara Lofton/ West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Historically, the coal industry has shaped the economic boom and bust cycle in our region. But major changes to the industry have created new strains on our economic system here in Appalachia, and some wonder if a radical fix is needed to support the poor or underemployed middle class. Some Democrats in Congress have pointed to an idea, called Basic Universal Income, as one possible solution. Lovey Cooper, contributing editor with 100 Days in Appalachia, co-wrote an article about Basic Universal Income, or UBI,  and about what supporters and critics of this proposed economic program have to say.


Eric Douglas / WVPB

West Virginia is home to numerous beverage companies that brew beer, distill spirits and syrups and press cider. The state also boasts farmers who produce fruits and grains those bottlers could use.

The problem is the two groups are often disconnected.

The “Craft: Farm to Bottle Summit” in South Charleston earlier week this aimed to address that gap, bringing the two groups together and helping each understand the other’s needs. The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) in Huntington organized the summit. More than 100 people attended.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, an almost decade-long effort to build a major underground natural gas liquids storage facility in the Ohio Valley saw movement this week, as state and federal politicians announced initiatives to move it forward. But as Brittany Patterson reports, not everyone is on board.

Mineral County
David Benbennick / Wikimedia Commons

The global security company Northrop Grumman is expanding its West Virginia plant located in Mineral County. The move is expected to create hundreds of new jobs at the site.

Sweet Equity: Ohio Valley Farmers Tapping Into Tradition

Apr 3, 2019
Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource

When Seth Long first began experimenting with maple syrup production, he tapped hollow pegs called spiles into individual trees, collected drips of sap in milk jugs, and carried each gallon down the the steep mountainside on foot.

Kentucky Called A 'Warning Signal' On SNAP Work Requirements

Apr 3, 2019
USDA

The federal government is considering a work requirement for some people who get food assistance through SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A new study uses Kentucky as an example of what that change could mean for the country.

The SNAP rules require 80 hours of work a month and cap assistance at three months over three years. This applies to able-bodied adults without children. The rules have been around for a while but hadn’t been enforced until recently.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the West Virginia Treasury Department has joined a coalition of 27 states in an effort to tackle the nation’s student debt crisis. News director Jesse Wright spoke with State Treasurer John Perdue about the initiative and how parents can help support their children’s higher education aspirations from birth.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

The makers of TurboTax and QuickBooks are bringing 200 to 500 jobs to West Virginia.

News outlets report Intuit Inc. has announced it's building a "prosperity hub" in Bluefield. The Mountain View, California-based information technology company produces the consumer tax preparation application, the accounting program and other products.

2016 Flood
Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Greenbrier County commissioners are looking at options to help families who were hoping for federal money to rebuild homes lost in the 2016 flood.

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