Economy

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.

In this Thursday, May 3, 2018 photo, beekeeper Constantine Chlepas sits on a section of downed trees on the route of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline near his property in Lindside, W.Va.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

George Jones was against the Mountain Valley Pipeline from the start.

The natural gas pipeline is routed to run through the southwest Virginia farm his family has owned for seven generations. The 88-year-old Navy veteran never considered signing an easement agreement with the developers, because he thought the whole thing seemed an affront to his property rights. But state law meant he couldn’t even keep surveyors out.

Having grown up in West Virginia and after living for three years in South Korea, the ongoing thaw in relations between North and South Korea got me thinking about the many similarities between the Koreas and the Virginias.

That’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Start with something simple — the topography. My wife and I arrived in Seoul in fall of 2010 and, despite the fact that I had never been to Asia and could not read one street sign in Korean, there was something about the place that made me feel at home.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

Regional iron and steel industry leaders say they are disappointed by the Trump administration’s delay on a decision about which countries will face new import tariffs. President Trump has postponed until June a decision on which countries will be subject to new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The decision had been due May 1.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

With sunglasses perched atop his camouflage cap, Brady Carwile filled out an application at a job fair in a community center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Carwile works at a local auto parts maker but he’s hoping for a maintenance position at Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter.

“It’s one of the best jobs you can find around there,” Carwile said

courtesy Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education

Our region has challenges, from the economic decline of the coal industry, to the opioid epidemic, there’s work to do in our communities. In this episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear from several people who are trying to reinvigorate our region with opportunities for change. We’ll also hear from some younger voices in Appalachian, North Carolina about growing up in the mountains.

 


Youtube/Princeton University, "Insights with Robert Wuthnow"

Robert Wuthnow tells the Daily Yonder it’s important to look beyond simplistic characterizations to understand how rural America might influence the nation’s political future.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we hear from detainees and soldiers who were held or worked in Guantanamo Bay Detention Center; the latest on new tariffs for steel and aluminum imports; and we hear how a new study found a link between drug overdose deaths in the U.S. to an increase in organ donors.

Roxy Todd/ WVPB

Several federally funded job-training programs have emerged in recent years designed to help revitalize coal country. In 2017 alone, the Appalachian Regional Commission, a federal-state partnership focused on economic development since the mid-1960s, approved more than $150 million in projects for the region. But how successful are these programs, and what are the challenges?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a group facilitating the completion of a rail-trail connecting Pittsburgh to Parkersburg says the project has the potential to boost tourism.

Washington, D.C.-based Rails-to-Trails Conservancy released a feasibility study this week. It shows filling gaps in Harrison, Marion and Wood counties in West Virginia would complete the 238-mile trail, referred by proponents as "P2P." Jesse Wright spoke with two people from the conservancy about the study and what’s next for the project.

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