Blog - West Virginia Strong

VIDEO: A loyal volunteer "Hot Wheels" into her future

Savannah "Hot Wheels" Watson has been a loyal, caring and beloved volunteer at Huntington High School. But she is saying farewell as she rolls forward into a new chapter in her life. Continue reading

Bear With Us

From frontier days until today, if you've spent any time in West Virginia's woodlands, it's possible you've come face to snout with a bear. What to do?  Continue reading

With a little help from its friends, Lincoln County Farmer's Market returns

Thanks to the hard work of local growers, the Lincoln County Farmers Market is back after a tough year that saw them lose their founding member. It took a lot of effort and spirit for the market to rebound, but community spirit revived a community asset, as described in this June 4, 2019, story by the WV Community Development Hub.. Continue reading

Surprising a hard-working West Virginian

Hard-working folks are found across West Virginia. The state’s work ethic is part of its people's character. But how often are they honored with a celebration for how much they're valued? Custodian Francis Buzzard at Belle Elementary in Belle, W.Va., had a very special day in January 2018. This video, originally created for the Charleston Gazette-Mail by WVStrong contributor Douglas John Imbrogno, is the first in a series of WVStrong.org profiles called ‘Making it in the Mountain State.’ Continue reading

Loving Our Streams In His Own Backyard

Part of what it means to be a West Virginian is to love our mountains and streams. Here's a video story about a Cabell County man who turns that noble sentiment into action right in his backyard, in a way that all his neighbors benefit from. Continue reading

Roads Are A Safety Issue

West Virginia’s roads are in trouble. This is something we’ve all known for a while, and it’s a problem that’s recently taken even more of a spotlight. Road conditions really boil down to safety, and if we can’t trust our government to keep us safe, then they’re not doing their job. Continue reading

Dragging Your Feet Is Not Leadership

WV's Medical Marijuana program has taken quite some time to hammer out. The program was initially passed into law in 2017. It was supposed to go into effect in just a few months, but right after it passed, it hit a road bump. The state treasurer pointed out that there was no guidance in the law on how to handle the money that would come in through the program, and even proposed some solutions of his own.  Continue reading

Preserving WV Culture

West Virginians love to share the history of every landmark or special spot in our state. Maybe it’s a fun local legend that happened at a community owned restaurant, or an unusual story behind a unique building in town, or even a historical figure that stayed in the town’s inn centuries ago. It’s how we preserve and share our own local culture. Continue reading

First they disrespect our roads. Now our intelligence. Then our children.

When the Republican-led state legislature rushed through a bill giving coal companies a $60M per year tax break, leaders paid for that by eliminating funding from a bill to repair WV’s roads. Now, having heard how angry West Virginians are about our broken roads, Charleston politicians are considering taking money from Medicaid. Continue reading

Another Mess To Clean Up

Our so-called leaders in Charleston have failed to protect us from illegal degradation of our drinking water sources. Their campaigns are supported with cash from people running the mines, not the people working in them in the towns downstream. When something goes wrong, regulators may take action, but this is just a patch on a broken and corrupted system.   Continue reading

Taking Care of Our Elders

As our state continues to lose population, our population continues to get older. This is putting a strain on the state's resources that take care of the seniors who've lived in the mountain state for decades.  Continue reading

WV Should Take Care Of Our Own

Coal Mining is hard work, and can take a toll on a mountaineer's body in all kinds of ways, but perhaps the most serious side effect of a career in the mines is Black Lung.  Continue reading

More Than A Convenience

Last month we talked a little about the lack of broadband in the more rural areas of our great state, and how the FCC's practices were making it even harder for those areas to get connected to the rest of the world. Sometimes when you think of broadband speeds all that comes to mind is how fast your Netflix will load, but it can truly be a matter of health in some situations. Continue reading

Community Comes Together In The Schools

West Virginia is home to many close knit communities. As strong as we identify as mountaineers, we identify with the city, town or unincorporated areas we come from. Whether that's Charleston, Sophia or Forks of Coal. We know the businesses, churches and institutions that make up our main streets and neighborhoods and we're proud to support each other. Continue reading

How We Got Here: Teachers Strike 2019

Some of our earliest WV Strong Blog Posts dealt with the topic of the 2018 Teachers strike. Here we are just a year later, with teachers back on strike due to the Senate's version of SB 451. Continue reading

Loyal to Coal Companies Doesn't Always Mean Loyal to Coal Miners

The coal industry has made up such a large part of West Virginia's economy and culture for so long, that sometimes the coal miners and the companies they work for get lumped in together. The fact is that throughout our states history, that hasn't been the case. We have a rich history of conflict between the coal workers who make the industry run and the companies who profit from them.  Continue reading

Worse Than Reported (and the Report Isn't Great)

In 2019 broadband internet is as important as power or phone service. Online communication is essential to small and large businesses hoping to open or expand into the mountain state. Tele-medicine opens new healthcare options for rural West Virginians. Poor broadband connectivity is yet another issue West Virginia must overcome to be on an equal playing field with other states if we're going to truly compete on a national level.  Continue reading

Why are our leaders betraying our children by taking money from public schools to fund private school tuition for a lucky few?

Education has once again become the centerpiece of the Legislative session, and rightfully so. Our children are the future of our state, and if they don't have a good school system surrounding them, that future can never reach its full potential.   Continue reading

What's The Goal Here?

It is true that West Virginia has a Budget Surplus for the first time in years. This offers our state an opportunity to re-fund programs that had been cut, or try something new to help struggling West Virginians make it in the mountain state. Instead, our leaders are again showing their loyalty to big businesses, by rolling back a tax exclusive to them. Continue reading

So That's Why Our Water Bills Are So High...

Every so often the water company or some other well meaning public entity will put out pamphlets or videos with advice on how to save money and not waste water. They usually include little tips like taking shorter showers or turning off the faucets while brushing your teeth. It's true that these things may reduce your bill by a little bit, but it seems dishonest to ask customers to take these steps, when there is another problem that the average consumer has no control over that's spiking our water bills and wasting water. Continue reading