According to Playboy’s website, War, West Virginia is the focus of an article about prescription drug abuse and is named “Overdose County, USA.” I do not want to judge too soon (I have not read the article and Playboy typically has well researched/written stories) but I just received this news from Tom Hindman.
War made April, Playboy….they’re pretty pissed down there. I haven’t read it as yet but it centers around the drug problem there.
Should any of us be suprised? When was the last time we heard anything positive come from McDowell County?
I’m not suggesting we overlook the problems, I’m suggesting we stop telling people the ship is sinking and start patching the holes.
Another negative article about McDowell County further proves to me that the community needs to rally together to change this image…we hope Hollow can provide a voice to help tell the other side of the story.
As Josh Clevenger said in my interview with him in December: “You can tell the world about all of our problems but that’s not going to solve any of them.”
Blog post will follow once I get my hands on a copy of the article.
The head of Alpha Natural Resources, the largest coal producer in West Virginia, said the mine closures and layoffs the company announced last month probably won’t be the last this year.
Kevin Crutchfield, Alpha’s chief executive officer, also said he is concerned that the United States is following a regulatory path that will eventually turn the nation irrevocably away from coal and raise prices.
Alpha is the nation’s largest supplier of metallurgical coal, which is used in steel making, and the company is a major supplier of steam coal used by utilities to generate electricity.
Coal markets have weakened in recent months. Metallurgical coal demand has softened because of slower growth in China and India and ongoing financial uncertainty in Europe. Steam coal demand has softened because warm weather across much of the United States has reduced electricity generation.
On Feb. 3, Alpha announced that subsidiaries in Kentucky and West Virginia would idle four mines immediately and two others by early 2013, while several other mines altered work schedules or reduced the number of production crews.
GRANTSVILLE - The indictments of four people for three murders in Calhoun County last week came as a shock and left many wondering if the county’s rise in crime - particularly major crime - was an aberration or signs of a bigger problem.
In addition to a small population (52nd among 55 counties), Calhoun County has the highest unemployment rate in the state, 13.2 percent for January, according to WorkForce West Virginia. The average household income for the county is little more than $27,000, more than $10,000 below the state average. The county has no stop light and no four-lane road. Its residents are miles from the nearest city.
Carl Ballengee, the sheriff department’s chief deputy, is sympathetic to many of the county’s citizens
"Most of them are just, you know, hard-working, honest people trying to make a living," he said.
"We’re a small county. We don’t need the bad publicity propaganda," Parsons said.
Despite a state takeover of the McDowell County education system in 2001, little progress had been made until the appointment of a new superintendent 2 years ago.
“I did come in with a 30-day and a 90-day plan, threw those out in 24 hours,” said Jim Brown. “It took me a while to grasp where the building block was and where we needed to go from there and try to improve the system.”
Brown is from Tyler County, some would say a world away from McDowell.
He taught school in Tyler County for several years, took a position at the county education office, and then took a position with the State Department of Education.
But Brown has made McDowell his home for now, and turning things around for a student population that ranks last is his mission.
He says he relies on the data, and it is improving.
“Are we in the top 20% in the state? By no means,” he said. “It’s not where we want to be but it’s a foundation for us to get stronger, I really believe that.”
ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — Sunday services at Maranatha Fellowship Church saw a sea of congregants encircle Talma Isabell, who lost her daughter and five grandchildren in the deadliest house fire in Charleston’s history.
Pastors and churchgoers said her strength is a testament to her faith in God. They also said that faith would guide her through the tragedy.
"It shakes you within," said Terry Hogue, congregation care pastor. "It’s just devastating."
Isabell’s daughter, Lisa Carter Camp, died Saturday morning when her Arlington Avenue home caught fire. Five of Isabell’s grandchildren — Keahana Camp, 8, Bryan Timothy Camp, 7, Jeremiah Camp, 3, Elijah Scott, 3, and Emanuel Jones, 18 months — also died.
Also killed were Carter Camp’s boyfriend, Alex Seal, and his 3-year-old twin daughters Kiki and Gigi.
All but Bryan were pronounced dead at the scene. Their bodies were taken to the office of the state Medical Examiner for an autopsy but firefighters speculated the cause of each death to be smoke inhalation.
Bryan was rescued from the house but later died at Charleston Area Medical Center’s Women and Children’s Hospital. Family members made the decision Sunday morning to terminate life support. He died surrounded by relatives, police said.
West Virginia was the first to experience natural decrease statewide over the past decade, with Maine, Pennsylvania and Vermont close to following suit, according to the latest census figures. As a nation, the U.S. population grew by just 9.7 percent since 2000, the lowest decennial rate since the Great Depression.
Each film will be short–fourteen minutes max. Collectively they will be called The Mountain Traditions Project. According to a write-up onAppalachian Independent, the films will follow area residents who are keeping mountain traditions alive. They include a dulcimer player, a metalworker, a quilter, a group of homesteaders, and kayakers. The music for the films was also composed and performed by Appalachian musicians.
Front page of the Charleston Daily Mail today after flash flooding in Southern West Virginia.
I spent the largest portion of my childhood growing up in Logan and attended grade school and middle school in the county. It still has a very special place in my heart and hate to see this extreme flooding and devastation.
Climb aboard and journey through the Appalachians with a thoughtful, irreverent, smart, opinionated and humorous student of life. See the world through her eyes with wonder and delight. Whether talking about her upbringing, her family, or the many places and people she has seen along way, you can’t help but want to move with her from one story to another.
Opportunity is knocking for McDowell County in the form of thousands of Boy Scouts who are coming to town next year to help with various community service projects. However, despite a looming deadline, county officials have been slow to identify community service projects. That’s surprising and unfortunate.
The Boy Scouts of America is partnering with the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia to perform free community service projects across nine southern West Virginia counties. Already, hundreds of community service projects have been submitted from eight of the nine counties.
However, McDowell County has not yet submitted a list of community service projects for the Scouts, according to Aly Goodwin Gregg, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts community service initiative. The county has also failed to establish committees to oversee the community service projects. The deadline to file an application for the community service projects is March 30.
I noticed a comment on this CNN article about McDowell County:
He needs to stop walking that prissy short-step walk and maybe give to charities other than the Mormon church for starters. Then he can work on his stuttering and sputtering and pandering and bragging and being just plain ignorance of the way the 99% REALLY live.
A tour in a car thru Mingo and McDowell Counties in WV to get out and talk to (not down to) the people that live with too little food, too little heat, no air conditioning, poor education, second-hand clothes and shoes, etc. He’s way to out of touch. I dare him to go there and spend two days. (He can take a luxury bus to sleep in, doubt they have any 5-star hotels).
WWI Fuel Administration poster. Coal miners were bombarded with praise and constantly urged to dig more coal to fuel the war effort. The miners were told their sacrifices were the equivalent to soldiers, and therefore they were exempted from the draft. Nevertheless, thousands volunteered for military service (Via Coal Country Tours).
The average cost of housing in the Eastern Panhandle’s Jefferson County is more than 11 times higher than in the southern coalfields county of McDowell.
A new report also shows that Jefferson’s $229,000 average is more than double the West Virginia average of just under $112,000.
In impoverished McDowell, the cost of housing averages just over $20,000.
According to the Journal of Martinsburg, the state tax department issued the 2011 index last week. State Sen. Herb Snyder (D-Jefferson County) sponsored a bill requiring it in 2009. The first report was released a year later.
The report is based on data from each county’s assessor’s office and the appraised market value of houses in those counties.
Snyder has argued some state employees should be paid more, depending on where they live.
But there is still lost footage — perhaps still sitting on some editing bay — of the “Primal Fear” scenes shot in McDowell County so many years ago. For those who may not recall, the year was 1995, and Paramount Pictures came to town for about four days to shoot scenes of actor Richard Gere in the Northfork and Keystone communities. The movie was more or less a courtroom thriller about a lawyer — played by Gere — defending a young altar boy who was accused of murdering a Catholic priest.
If memory serves me correctly, the Northfork and Keystone area was supposed to double in the movi as the hometown of the defendant on trial for murder. The only problem is the footage they shot in McDowell County — three days worth of footage at that — never made it into the final movie. And to the best of my knowledge, a special edition DVD or Blu-ray containing the lost footage — has never been released.
I remember all of this well because I was in McDowell County during one of the three days of filming. Mom, and my sister Lisa, both wanted to see Gere. So we camped out in downtown Northfork, and actually had a chance to see the actor in between takes. He was very friendly, and waved at the small crowd on hand watching the filming of the movie. It was a pretty big deal at the time.
It’s too bad the McDowell County footage didn’t make it into the final movie. Maybe it will still happen one day with a DVD or Blu-ray re-release. The movie was actually pretty good, and it made money at the box office. So I guess anything is still possible.
After 70 years together, the pair is still going strong and were recently declared West Virginia’s longest-married couple.
Both McDowell County natives, the two met in War in 1941 and were married six months later on Dec. 6, 1941, the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor.
“I was from War and he was from Coalwood,” Juanita said. “We just met casually when we were both walking down the street in War. I was 17 and he was 19 years old. Our first date was to a place where people went to dance in War. We were together about six months before he asked me to marry him.”
McDowell and Mercer counties have again found themselves in the bottom tier of counties when it comes to the well being of children
Both counties ranked in the bottom 10 of the 55 counties in the state, with McDowell County ranking last while Mercer County ranked 49 out of 55, according to the 2011 West Virginia Kids Count survey released Tuesday.
The report found McDowell County ranked the lowest in the state in seven categories including the highest number of students in the state on free-and-reduced lunch at 82.9 percent, the highest number of children in poverty at 52 percent, the highest high school dropout rate at 23.6 percent, and the highest number of children born to mothers without high school diplomas at 33.3 percent.