Editorial by Greg Jordan:
For years organizers in several states have been pushing for funding that would create the new King Coal Highway, a modern four-lane corridor that would be a great improvement over the long, curvy Route 52.
McDowell County is having a hard time economically, but it still has assets such as beautiful scenery and history.
The Hatfield-McCoy Trail has brought ATV riders and their families into McDowell County and the surrounding region. A major highway would bring even more riders and their dollars to the county.
Federal dollars are harder to find thanks to the recession, but building highways is a major way to stimulate local and national economies. The construction alone creates jobs and pumps money into local and state economies, and the increased highway access benefits the communities all along the new routes. The flow of traffic pumps up local economies.
If the funding is found, maybe some day there will be adults who will remember the old days before the King Coal Highway, and marvel at how life has changed in McDowell County and southern West Virginia.
Doug Estepp started Coal Country Tours last year and took more than 75 people to southern West Virginia on two trips to see where coal mine history was made.
Estepp hopes bringing people to this region of the state will give them a better understanding of its people and culture.
“We labor under a lot of stereotypes, the feuding hillbillies or the violent mountaineer,” Estepp said.
“But I think what you’ll find out is that West Virginians were actually very restrained in their response to a lot of these things that happened, a lot of the history that was forced upon them.”
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POKHARA, Nov 7: In order to check brain-drain, around two dozen homes in Astam village in Dhital of Kaksi district have launched the home-stay service in the village.
This initiative will provide economical accommodation to foreign tourists and employment opportunities for local youth who are otherwise migrating aborad for work, locals said.
Local tourism entrepreneur Jhabi Adhikari said that the villagers have started the home-stay service with the hope that the flow of tourists will increase with the passage of time and this will help create employment opportunities right within the village. “We have started this service in order to stop the flight of human capital and to bring back those youths who have been working abroad,” added Adhikari.
Most youth go abroad due to lack of employment opportunities in the village. “If the youth can be engaged in the tourism sector in the village itself, they do not need to migrate to foreign destinations for jobs and this can help boost domestic tourism as well,” said another tourism entrepreneur Bishwo Raj Adhikari.