Economy

Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In response to the work being done in Congress around autonomous vehicles, Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) invited industry leaders and the public to examine the issue at a forum at West Virginia University's Erickson Alumni Center, in Morgantown.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, most trees harvested in West Virginia are collected by small-scale logging operations with chain saws. But a growing number of companies use large, mechanized logging machines. In the next part of our occasional series on the timber industry, Jean Snedegar joins veteran logger Jerry Huffman on a job on Knobley Mountain, in Grant County.

Also this morning, we hear from 38-year-old Dave Hathaway, a laid-off coal miner. His story is part of our Struggle to Stay series, where we follow six people as they wrestle with the decision, do I stay or do I go? Unlike many others Dave is determined to STAY in Appalachia.

The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier went to visit him at his home in Greene County, Pennsylvania, just after his new baby was born to hear how his job search is going.

Adobe Stock

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hiring temporary employees to assist with the agency’s disaster recovery efforts at several locations across the country. 

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have caused massive devastation, and the SBA is staffing up to respond to the increased flow of disaster loan applications from homeowners, renters and businesses of all sizes.  


Mark Regan Photography

Today, more than 45 million Americans live in poverty. After decades of widely publicized campaigns with names like “the War on Poverty”, living on low income often comes an extreme sense of shame and self-doubt. On this episode of Inside Appalachia, we hear different ways of reporting on financial security, or lack thereof. From a coal miner who lost his job, to a long-time welfare director, how do we talk about folks who are good at making do with what they have? How do we react when we hear these stories? 


Rural Populations Decline, Regional Patterns Shift

Sep 14, 2017

The number of people living in rural areas continues to slide, according to the latest population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. People have left rural America in decades past. The big difference now is that the number of births in rural areas isn't keeping pace with the number of deaths.

Charleston
Edsel Little / Flickr

BB&T has announced it is cutting 56 jobs from its processing service center in West Virginia's capital city.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the financial services company announced on Tuesday the layoffs will come from a company center in Charleston that focuses on operations such as the processing of loans, credit cards and mortgages.

Wheeling resident, entrepreneur, and a Democrat Ralph Baxter announced Tuesday he’s running for office, challenging the incumbent Republican Congressman David McKinley in West Virginia’s First Congressional District.

West Virginia University

West Virginia University President Gordon Gee says he's committing the school to innovation and research, supporting local business, talent expansion and alumni outreach as part of a statewide economic initiative.

In his state of the university address Monday, Gee says WVU and its affiliated medical center are West Virginia's largest employer and economic engine, and its collective talent obligates its leadership in advancing the state.

Nicole Erwin / Ohio Valley ReSource

Money, Cash
2bgr8 / Deviantart

West Virginia tax officials say collections of nearly $560 million so far this fiscal year are 3.9 percent higher than last year, though August receipts of almost $307 million were lower than budget estimates.

Treasury Secretary Dave Hardy says the boost in collections is good news for the state two months into its new year.

Electric car, Electric, Electric vehicle, Electric charging station
Pixabay

A West Virginia city has installed two new electric chargers to get increased spending from interstate travelers.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the city of South Charleston recently installed two Level 2 electric vehicle chargers, which are believed to be the first in the state to have been installed by a municipality. The stations are free of charge and opened to the public.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering its approval of a controversial new form of herbicide that farmers say is damaging millions of acres of soybeans. Some 40 complaints have come from Ohio Valley farmers. Nicole Erwin reports that growers are looking for answers, and some suspect a quirk of the region’s climate may be increasing the risk of harm.

Reid Frazier

Dave Hathaway is a coal miner in Greene County, in the very southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. Apart from a brief stint living in Colorado as a child, he’s lived his whole life there, and he’s never really thought much about leaving. 

Methanol Plant
Wdwdbot / wikimedia commons

Ground has been broken on a methanol plant in West Virginia.

Officials on Wednesday celebrated the start of construction on the US Methanol plant in Institute.

Gov. Jim Justice says the plant will convert natural gas to methanol for use by existing chemical plants.

West Virginia University

Economists at West Virginia University say the state’s economy will continue to see solid growth by the end of 2017. It’s the highest level since 2015.

West Virginia’s economy has increased by 2 percent over the past year, according to the Mountain State Business Index.

Coal Fatalities Rise: Miner Deaths Increase Amid Low Coal Employment

Sep 1, 2017
MSHA

  A rash of fatal coal mining accidents in the Ohio Valley region pushed the nation’s total number of mining deaths to a level not seen since 2015, sparking concern among safety advocates.

Eastern Panhandle Gas Pipeline, Mountaineer Gas, Protest, Pipeline
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting


All summer long, pipeline protesters have been camped along the Potomac River in Maryland and West Virginia. They don’t want to see a 3.5 mile long TransCanada natural gas pipeline built underneath the river. Supporters argue the line is critical to expanding natural gas resources to businesses and homes in the growing Eastern Panhandle. 

 

Jay LaPrete / AP Photo

West Virginia's state university and commerce officials say plastics and chemical manufacturing, cybersecurity, higher-end tourism and automotive assembly are sectors where the state can turn its lagging economy around.

Coal Country Tech Job Program Heads For New Round

Aug 30, 2017
Benny Becker / Ohio Valley ReSource

 

Last summer Melissa Anderson was unemployed and trying to keep her Pike County, Kentucky, home from falling into foreclosure.

“I built it,” she said. “And, you know, for me to lose that home would have been devastating.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the idea of building a natural gas storage hub in the region continues to gain traction. West Virginia University is set to release a report this week that explores the geologic possibilities of storing liquid natural gas products in underground reservoirs. Glynis Board attended a workshop that WVU hosted.

Storage opportunities identified through regional mapping, preliminary flied-testing assessments and rating.
Appalachian Oil and Natural Gas Research Consortium / West Virginia University Energy Institute

The idea of building a natural gas storage hub in the region continues to gain traction. West Virginia University is set to release a report this week that explores the geologic possibilities of storing liquid natural gas products in underground reservoirs.

McMechen, West Virginia, resident Paul Broski visited the Disaster Recovery Center to get assistance in the wake of July flooding.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

As rain continues to fall throughout southeastern Texas from hurricane Harvey, Governor Jim Justice announced West Virginia is prepared to send resources to assist with emergency efforts, including members of the West Virginia National Guard. Meanwhile, disaster assistance continues in northern counties that experiences flooding in late July.

Charleston Homeless Encampment
wchstv

  Officials in West Virginia's capital city plan to settle a lawsuit brought after the city's mayor chose to remove a group of homeless people from an encampment.

Coal CEO Expected Trump Help, But Administration Said No

Aug 22, 2017
Donald Trump gives a speech along the Ohio River in June 2017.
AP Photo / John Minchillo

The Trump administration has rejected a coal industry push to win a rarely used emergency order protecting coal-fired power plants, a decision contrary to what one coal executive said the president personally promised him.

The Energy Department says it considered issuing the order sought by companies seeking relief for plants it says are overburdened by environmental regulations and market stresses. But the department ultimately ruled it was unnecessary, and the White House agreed, a spokeswoman said.

Women's March, Donald Trump, Inauguration
Joni Deutsch / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA) is hosting an event in Weirton Thursday evening, focused on helping minority residents across West Virginia.

HHOMA invites the public to speak about issues that affect their community, like economic concerns, housing, education and health. Those concerns will then be relayed to Governor Jim Justice. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the small town of Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle is often referred to as a gateway into West Virginia. It was a prominent place during the American Civil War-- the site of John Brown’s Raid. Today, it’s home to the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park as well as nearly 300 residents.

The park, along with the commercial area of the town, sees thousands of visitors each year from around the country and all over the world. In June, Harpers Ferry elected a new mayor –Wayne Bishop. Liz McCormick sat down with Bishop to hear how he plans to lead the iconic West Virginia town.

Harpers Ferry, Jefferson County, W.Va. played a pivitol role during the American Civil War.
Mark Frickett / Wikimedia Commons

The small town of Harpers Ferry in the Eastern Panhandle is often referred to as a gateway into West Virginia. It was a prominent place during the American Civil War, and it was the site of John Brown’s Raid.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Communities in rural northern West Virginia towns are still cleaning up from and coping with the effects of flash flooding in July when a state of emergency was declared in eight counties. Hundred -- a small town in Wetzel County -- was among the hardest hit.

Donations are still being accepted at Hundred High School and at Union Bank, as well as online. Surplus donations are being forwarded on to Mannington, which is also still in recovery.

 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump’s visit to West Virginia Thursday was eclipsed by a major announcement from a state official during his campaign rally in Huntington. Trump was joined on stage by Democratic Gov. Jim Justice, whose announcement that he is switching party affiliation is sending shockwaves through the state’s political circles.

Timothy D. Easley / Associated Press file photo

Federal funds are available for economic development projects in the state. The money is meant to help communities left with mining impacts from activity before 1977.

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