West Virginia Ranks as Worst State for Business by CNBC

Business news channel CNBC released its ratings of the “top states for business” for this year, placing West Virginia at the bottom of the list.

The Mountain State ranked 50th for the first time in CNBC’s 11-year ranking system. Across 10 different categories, West Virginia ranked worse than 40th in six groups. This includes economy, where it placed last.

“The state is 1 of only 7 whose economies shrank in 2016,” journalist Scott Cohn said. “The decline in state GDP of 0.9 percent for the year was not the biggest in the nation, but West Virginia did not have much to lose.”

The rankings were determined by factors including economic output, infrastructure, economic growth, livability and educational opportunity and success. West Virginia scored 942 out of a possible 2,500 points.

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Cohn said poor forecasts of coal mining hurt West Virginia’s ranking, adding the state is not ready to adapt to a dwindling coal production. He also noted how the Mountain State has the highest overdose death rate and the least-educated workforce in the United States

One report Cohn mentioned is from the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics. The analysis, “Coal Production in West Virginia: 2017-2040,” said coal production would increase over the next three years before declining to 80 million tons by 2030.

“The state is 1 of only 4 that lost jobs last year, down by nearly 1 percent,” Cohn said. “Once again, the clear culprit is coal. Mining employment is down 40 percent in just the past five years, with some parts of the state losing as many as 70 percent of their coal mining jobs.”

He also noted how the West Virginia Legislature passed a budget with higher education cuts, including 8 percent ($3.9 million) at Marshall University and more than 6 percent ($7.4 percent) at West Virginia University.

“Whether it provides a path for West Virginia out of the depths of our rankings remains to be seen,” Cohn wrote.

The legislative budget went into effect July 1 without the signature of Gov. Jim Justice.

“The West Virginia Legislature keeps twiddling their thumbs while our state continues to stay locked in an ‘economic death spiral,‘” Justice said in a statement.

“I had a real plan, a drug epidemic solution, and a pathway to hope and prosperity. Our Legislature did nothing except pass terrible pain and despair on to the backs of the poor, the disabled, and our middle class. The entire world gets it. WHY DON’T THEY?” (emphasis not added)

The top-five ranked states are Washington, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas and North Carolina. Washington had 1621 points, around 72 percent higher than West Virginia’s score.

~~  Alex Thomas ~~

WV Ranks 43rd Nationally in Kids’ Well-Being

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West Virginia ranks 43rd in the country in terms of children’s well-being, according to the latest Kids Count report.

Last year, West Virginia ranked 39th. The year before that, the state ranked 43rd. And in 2014, West Virginia ranked 37th.

The data to judge children’s well-being is gathered annually by KidsCount, which is produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

West Virginia’s economic well-being rank is 42nd nationally, and its health rank is 36th. A rank indicating the state’s strength of family and community is 33rd.

Although the latest report was released in June, the data actually reflects what was happening through 2015, the most recent full year of statistics available.

West Virginia was worse than the national average in several indicators of child well-being.

Twenty-five percent of children in West Virginia live in poverty, compared to the 21 percent national average. West Virginia had the same percentage last year and has been around that same ratio several years in a row.

The raw number of West Virginia considered to be living in poverty is 94,000.

The percentage of children whose parents lack secure employment was 37 percent in West Virginia, compared to the national average of 29 percent.

West Virginia has a slightly higher than average percentage of children living in single-parent families. West Virginia’s rate is 38 percent. That’s compared to the national average of 35 percent.

West Virginia’s percentage of low-birthweight babies is 9.6 percent. The national average is 8.1 percent.

“Babies born with a low birthweight have a high probability of experiencing developmental problems and short- and long-term disabilities and are at greater risk of dying within the first year of life,” according to Kids Count.

“Smoking, poor nutrition, poverty, stress, infections and violence can increase the risk of a baby being born with a low birthweight.”

West Virginia’s child and teen death rate is 29 per 100,000. That’s a bit lower than other years of the recent past. The national average is 25 out of 100,000. Kids Count notes that accidents, particularly vehicle accidents, are the leading cause of death for youth.

In some areas, West Virginia did better than the national average.

The children living in households with a high housing cost burden was 22 percent in West Virginia, compared to 33 percent for the nation.

Compared to the national average, West Virgnia’s poverty is spread out. Kids Count says 9 percent of West Virginia children live in communities of concentrated poverty. The national average is 14 percent.

“Concentrated poverty puts whole neighborhoods, and the people living in them, at risk. High-poverty neighborhoods are much more likely than others to have high rates of crime and violence, physical and mental health issues, unemployment and other problems,” according to Kids Count.

~~  Brad McElhinny ~~

2018 State Historic Preservation Annual Work Program

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The West Virginia Division of Culture and History announces the proposed Annual Work Program for the 2017-2018 Historic Preservation Program is now available for review and comment.

The work program describes the activities and programs the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will undertake as part of its continuing efforts to assist communities and residents of the state in preserving the physical evidence of our history.

A copy of the proposed work program may be requested by contacting Pamela Brooks, SHPO grants coordinator, The Culture Center, 1900 Kanawha Blvd, E., Charleston, WV 25305-0300.

The plan also can be reviewed and accessed on the division’s web page HERE .

Persons reviewing the program document may submit comments by completing a Work Program comment form, and mailing it to the address above or emailing . The deadline for public comment is August 31, 2017.

For more information, contact Brooks at 304.558.0240.

ICYMI™: Gilmer County’s 2016 Drinking Water Quality Report

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The Free Press WV

What is the quality of your drinking water?

What are new developments and initiatives conducted by the Gilmer County Public Service District?

Where does your water come from?

How is it treated?

The answers to these questions and more are included in the 2016 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report, the latest report issued by GCPSD.

Click HERE to review and print the report.

FeaturesStudy | Report | Audit | Survey | ResearchNewsWest VirginiaRegionGilmer CountyBaldwinCox's MillsGlenvilleLetter GapLinnNormantownSand ForkStouts MillsStumptownTroy(1) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

So the prison wants a second water line?
Suppose all customers will have a rate increase to pay for that?

Funny to read Thrasher engineer state that a ‘second line is better than a water truck’?
Right.  Thrasher gets no bucks if a truck is bought.

By citizen  on  06.27.2017

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Glenville State College History Book Now Available

A full-color photo and history book about the last twenty years at Glenville State College has recently been completed. The book, Preserving and Responding, can be purchased from the Glenville State College Foundation or at the campus Bookstore for $24.99 (shipping included). The book is a companion to Nelson Wells’ and Charles Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill, which chronicled the College’s history from 1872 through 1997.

Throughout the over 100 pages of the book, the tenures of five different college presidents are detailed including major projects, initiatives, challenges, and more. The text contains several noteworthy listings including inductees into the College’s Curtis Elam Athletic Hall of Fame, former Board of Governors members, past Pioneer mascots, emeriti faculty, and more. The book begins with a timeline which provides readers with a ‘quick history’ of the institution from its founding in 1872 through the subsequent 125 years and ends with an afterword from outgoing President Dr. Peter Barr.

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Working over several months, two Glenville State College staff members completed the project. Authoring the work was Jason Gum, the Staff Librarian and Archivist in the Robert F. Kidd Library. Assisting him was Dustin Crutchfield, a Public Relations Specialist in GSC’s Marketing Department.

“As a new incoming president, I can’t think of a better resource to understand the recent past of the institution. While we continue to face new and unprecedented trials and challenges, it is clear that we stand on the shoulders of giants. It is also heartening to know that the DNA of the institution and the individuals who have worked here and continue to do so have created a solid foundation for a bright future,” stated incoming President, Dr. Tracy Pellett.

“I could not be happier regarding the end-product that Dustin and I were able to develop and owe many other campus personnel my gratitude for their guidance. GSC alumni, employees, students, and friends will enjoy this review of the past 20 years. I especially want to thank outgoing First Lady Betsy Barr for recognizing the need for such a history book to further document campus happenings since Wells’ and Holt’s Lighthouse on the Hill was published in 1997. Betsy has been a devout supporter of the campus archives and my subsequent efforts throughout her tenure,” said Gum.

“If you are a Glenville State College history maven like I am, you will be very impressed with the efforts these two young men have made to encapsulate the last twenty years of our great institution. This surely deserves a prominent spot on your coffee table so that your family, friends, and neighbors can share in our story of service to central West Virginia, our state as a whole, and the many states and nations where our alumni work and live,” said Dennis Pounds, Vice President for College Advancement.

An on-campus book signing is being planned for the fall.

To purchase a book by phone, call 304.462.6380.


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G-BizBuzz™: Sand Fork Diner

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The Free Press WV

A new eatery in Sand Fork, WV is getting quite the welcome from the community.

The new Sand Fork Diner on WV Highway 5 opened April 1st of this year, and a lot of people who have come out to the restaurant say they are glad to see another place to eat pop up.

Throughout the day people come to the Diner to grab a bite to eat inside or carryout. The community has been waiting for a place to dine and many say the wait was worth it to get something different and great.

“I moved to Sand Fork about a year ago from Charleston, and so it’s awesome to see that a town the size of Sand Fork can have some opportunities for some restaurants that are known to bigger cities,” said a customer.

The want to open a restaurant came from the couple, Ben and Shannon Donaldson already having an existing business with a deli inside.

Since they live in Sand Fork, it was easier for them to open something closer to home and where there was a need for business activity.

The restaurant is in the heart of the city, and an easy stop for families to pick up something to eat when they get off work.

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Timing is right with it being summer time, people go out to eat more.

“It’s a lot more convenient and faster,” said a resident.

She added something different is a plus.

“We eat the same thing all the time and it gets boring sometimes so variety is always good.”

Some Glenville State College students, say they are in the same boat and go out to eat all the time.

“This is another one [restaurant] college students can enjoy,” said Johnny, a student.

He said he is glad this option is now offered very close to the college.

Ashley, who is also a student at GSC, said there are several choices in Gilmer County so another option is always good.

In the short two months that the restaurant has been open, Ben and Shannon Donaldson have had many compliments on not only the food, but the want for something outside of Glenville for shorter drives.

The couple will continuously be adding new items all the time and will be looking to add delivery service in the near future.

They are always looking for new food ideas and suggestions, so feel free to let them know what you think.

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Glenville City Council Minutes

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May 01, 2017
7:00 PM

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Fitzpatrick with Council members Wiant, Taylor, Huffman, Walters, and Fisher present.

Pledge of Allegiance

I. Call to Order

II. Public


A. Approval of Minutes – April 03, 2017, 2017

Minutes for the April 03, 2017, were reviewed and corrections were noted and placed on file for audit. The April 18, 2017 minutes to Lay the Levy were reviewed with no corrections and placed on file for audit.

III. Reports

B. Financial

The book keeper noted that a letter from the state auditor’s office had been received stating we are in compliance and approved our budget to begin July 01, 2017. The budget is currently at 83.29% of fiscal year with revenue at 100.0% and expenditures at 75.06%. Coal Severance fund is near 100% of budgeted amount and will only be used for minor expenses for the remainder of the fiscal year. Gilmer Management payments will be deducted from the Treasurer’s Office line item through the remainder of the fiscal year.

The auditor’s office cited the omission of the carryover amount in the budget, however, it is difficult to determine the amount to carry over to next fiscal year early in the budget.

Mayor Fitzpatrick noted that paving could begin this month or in June.

Councilman Huffman made a motion to approve the financial report as presented. Councilman Fisher seconded the motion. Motion passed.

C. Street report

Mayor Fitzpatrick provided the street report and stated a new garage door was needed on the new addition and would be paid from Street Fund. Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to allow the purchase of a new garage door at an approximate cost of $700. Councilman Walters seconded the motion. Motion passed. Councilwoman Huffman complimented our street department for their excellent work with projects around the city.

D. Police

Mayor Fitzpatrick provided the police report in Chief Huffman’s absence. The new officer will come on duty on May 16 and will work approximately one month before going to the Academy.

E. Glenville Utility

Mayor Fitzpatrick attended the April 25 meeting. Three minor service line leaks on water side with a 2” leak near McDonald’s area which resulted in a boil water advisory. Nothing on sewer side. Mentioned paving to Utility Board and they have purchased water meter rings for adjustments before paving.

F. Recorder

Nothing to report.

G. Mayors Comments

- Citywide Yard Sale June 09-10

Mayor Fitzpatrick suggested June 09-10 as tentative dates for the FREE Citywide yard sale. Councilman Walters made a motion to set the citywide yard sale for June 9-10. Councilwoman Taylor seconded the motion. Motion passed.

- Thank you to GSC football Team (clean up)

Mayor Fitzpatrick noted that more than 60 team members volunteered to assist with the citywide cleanup for Make It Shine Day and wanted to thank all for their help.

- Lions Club Carnival set upon May 21 and runs through Saturday May 27th

Carnival is set for May 24-27 at Foodland lot.

- Reminder to public (keep grass cut)

Reminder for citizens to keep grass cut on their property. The city has cut grass for vacant areas in Camden Flats and invoiced the owners. Councilwoman Taylor mentioned an area below her house that may need mowing. Mayor Fitzpatrick will look into this.

- 2017 Paving Update

The remaining areas needing paving were measured and estimated $40K -$50,000 to finish the paving project. A quote has been received from JF Allen and quotes from WV Paving and North Central Paving should be submitted this week. Councilwoman Huffman made a motion to allow Mayor Fitzpatrick to accept the lowest bid for paving in the amount of low $40,000 or below. Councilman Walters seconded the motion. Motion passed.

- Paint the town blue April 27th at 5:30

Officers from the City, County, State Police, Fire Department, FCI Gilmer, and Glenville State College participated in this event in its second year.

IV. Unfinished Business


V. New Business


VI. Other Business to come before Council


VII. Next council meeting – June 05, 2017 at 7:00 PM

VIII. Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at 7:18 PM

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