Southern West Virginia

New River Gorge Bridge
Chad Matlick / WVPB

A new report shows that tourism in southern West Virginia’s national parks injected more than $70 million into the local economies in 2019, which was before the coronavirus pandemic impacted the business in the state. 


Taylor Wright // West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey

The fourth annual West Virginia art and writing contest aimed at raising awareness of prescription painkiller abuse has ended, with a student from the southern region named as the winner.

Fourth grader Taylor Wright of Lashmeet/Matoaka Elementary School in Mercer County was selected as the statewide winner in the ‘Kids Kick Opioids’ contest, according to a press release from Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. The southern coalfields, including Mercer County, have been impacted especially hard by the epidemic.

Emily Allen / WVPB

West Virginia health officials say they are noticing several small coronavirus outbreaks linked to churches and an increased potential for disease spread in the state’s southern counties, even as the governor’s office allows more businesses to reopen week by week.

Lt. Dennis Feazell, of the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, watches for debris as he and a co-worker search flooded homes in Rainelle, W.Va., Saturday, June 25, 2016.
Steve Helber / Associated Press

Flood mitigation efforts continue in southern West Virginia through a grant funded study by Marshall University.

The long-term project focuses on Rainelle in Greenbrier County, which has experienced significant flooding in the past 20 years. The Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA] awarded more than $1 million to continue the study.

On this West Virginia Morning, we continue our focus on small business issues with a look at long term impacts the coronavirus crisis may have on communities in southern West Virginia that rely on tourism. Also, in today’s show, we hear how churchgoers in West Virginia are staying connected through the pandemic, and we hear a review on a new book titled “The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia” by Emma Copley Eisenberg.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

A second West Virginia resident has tested positive for coronavirus, one day after the governor confirmed the state’s first positive case.  

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, there’s a new quadruped moving slowly into the coalfields of southern West Virginia. We’ll hear more about West Virginia’s elk population, and we bring you important updates about how the state and region is working to control the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Emily Allen / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Flooding in the past week has once again consumed much of southern West Virginia, with Gov. Jim Justice signing a state of emergency proclamation for seven counties on Friday. 

NOAA

West Virginia emergency leaders reported Friday evening there have been two water rescues and one trailer park evacuation in southern West Virginia.  

NOAA

Flood waters in southern West Virginia are lower than they were yesterday and road conditions are improving, but emergency management officials say they are still monitoring the situation and remain active in the region. 

Flood Map 2020-02-06
NOAA

Update 2/6/20 8:34 p.m.:

 

Rainfall across the southern part of West Virginia has led to multiple road closures, and at least one community in Raleigh County has been evacuated. 

According to a press release from the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, McDowell and Raleigh counties are reporting the most serious impact from Thursday’s rainfall.

The aftermath of flooding that occured in June 2016, in Clendenin, W.Va.
Kara Lofton / WVPB file photo

As several southern West Virginia counties prepare for heavy rainfall and flash flooding Wednesday night, the governor is already calling emergency responders to action.

Chuck Roberts/ WVPB

By branding southern West Virginia “Hatfield & McCoy” country, are we re-affirming negative stereotypes in Appalachia?

In this week’s episode of Inside Appalachia, we’ll look at how some communities in southern West Virginia are hoping to jumpstart their local economies through tourism. In particular, we’ll explore a type of tourism that caters to ATV riders along the Hatfield and McCoy trail system.

But what do we gain, and what do we lose, when we market ourselves to visitors? Are people able to remain true to their real identity, and claim ownership of their own narrative? We'll discuss that and more in this week's episode.


Emily Allen / WVPB

When in the late 1990’s a group of recreational-vehicle enthusiasts began developing a network of riding trails in Southern West Virginia, it didn’t take them long to pick a title that would immediately garner name recognition for the region.


We bring you a special report and in-depth discussion on water infrastructure needs in West Virginia. Reporter Caity Coyne of the Charleston Gazette-Mail joins us to explore the issues and discuss two bills moving through the West Virginia Legislature that may address some of the need.

November 23, 1869: C&O Railroad Company Transfers Ownership

Nov 23, 2018
Engineer William E. Bailey boards his C&O locomotive
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA), Gauley Bridge Historical Society Collection

On November 23, 1869, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company transferred ownership of its struggling rail line to Collis Huntington and others. It was a major turning point in a venture that would transform southern West Virginia into a coal-producing giant.

WV Governor's Office

West Virginia's governor has recommended that the federal government fund more than $4 million in Southern West Virginia projects to support the Hatfield-McCoy Regional Recreation Authority, the Hobet mine site in Logan County and projects for municipalities.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Both the Northern and Eastern Panhandles are experiencing flooding this week as rain continues to fall on the two regions. Preparations are also being made across the state to respond to possible heavy rainfall from Hurricane Florence at the end of the week.

Amtrak, Train
Daniel Holth / Wikimedia Commons

A meeting is set with Amtrak officials to work toward keeping the New River Train service going in southern West Virginia this fall.

Congressman Evan Jenkins and U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin say they've arranged the meeting on Tuesday. Media outlets report it will be held at Amtrak's headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Engineer William E. Bailey boards his C&O locomotive
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia / WV State Archives (WVSA), Gauley Bridge Historical Society Collection

On November 23, 1869, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Company transferred ownership of its struggling rail line to Collis Huntington and others. It was a major turning point in a venture that would transform southern West Virginia into a coal-producing giant.

Adobe Stock

A Tennessee company has completed its purchase of a West Virginia psychiatric hospital and two affiliates. 

Brentwood, Tennessee-based Meridian Behavioral Health Systems announces Wednesday the conclusion of the purchase of Charleston's Highland Hospital, which has 80 acute-care beds along with a 24-bed residential treatment facility for children.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

A former West Virginia Republican Party chairman has been selected to become the top federal prosecutor in the southern half of the state.

President Donald Trump nominated Mike Stuart to be U.S. attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Evan Jenkins RCBI
Clark Davis / WV Public Broadcasting

State and Federal officials were in Huntington Thursday afternoon to announce a series of grants aimed at helping create employment in the southern part of the state.

Three grants in excess of $6 million will target manufacturing, agriculture and healthcare in the southern part of the state. The grants were awarded at the Robert C. Byrd Institute in Huntington. The Appalachian Hatchery project will boost workforce training opportunities through RCBI. The Sprouting Farms program will help facilitate an agricultural industry in nine counties in southern West Virginia. 

Haleybutlerhs / wikimedia Commons

Mohawk Industries Inc. says it is closing a wood flooring manufacturing plant in southern West Virginia, idling 111 workers.

The plant at the Buck Harless Wood Products Industrial Park in Holden will close by May 7 and its operations will be moved to a recently upgraded facility in Melbourne, Arkansas.

Doug Estepp / Coal Country Tours

West Virginia is expected to be in the national spotlight on January 26 in an episode of the PBS documentary series, American Experience.

Jessica Lilly

A much anticipated alternative for addiction recovery is now a reality in southern West Virginia. The Four Seasons Recovery Center in Mercer County is part of the West Virginia Justice Reinvestment Act. 

Data by SNL Energy / Data Visualizations by Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The following data and article is the result of collaboration between West Virginia Public Broadcasting and SNL Energy. To see related stories from SNL Energy on this topic, please click here. 

Kate Wellington / creativecommons.org

The term “pork barrel” often refers to a government appropriation for local projects secured primarily to bring money to a representative's district. But in the House Tuesday, Delegates heard of a different kind of pork project. The discussion during the House Committee on Agriculture was centered on using old mountaintop removal sites for hog farming.

Jessical Lilly / WVPublic

In an ongoing look at water infrastructure challenges in the southern region of West Virginia, we consider possible health effects of long-term exposure to contaminated water sources. First: the health impacts of industrial contamination, as well as naturally occurring pollutants.

1939 Law Affects the Price for Gas

Jan 12, 2015
West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On West Virginia Morning, lawmakers are discussing the price of gasoline in the state.  And Jessica Lilly begins a series of reports about water quality in southern West Virginia.

Pages