Thumbs up ... to an additional $3.9 million made available in West Virginia to help residents with home heating and energy costs through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program. The federal program helps low-income families with heating costs in the winter, cooling costs in the summer and home insulation.
Thumbs up ... to the West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority, which will receive a $750,000 federal grant. The money will allow the Educational Broadcasting Authority to convert its Charleston production studio from analog to high-definition digital, benefiting viewers in six states.
Thumbs down ... to a telephone scam that can inflate cell phone bills. A person, often located overseas, calls a number and hangs up after the first ring. If the consumer calls back, he or she is charged for making an international call as well as other hidden fees.
Thumbs up ... to West Virginia State University receiving a $325,000 federal grant to upgrade its science research equipment. The funding will be used for a liquid chromatograph-mass spectrometer. The instrument will help study environmental remediation, fruit nutrition and tumor growth.
Thumbs up ... to Greenbrier County attracting the fifth highest total of tourism dollars out West Virginia’s 55 counties, according to the state’s latest figures. A record $243 million was spent on tourism-related enterprises in the county in 2012 in Greenbrier.
Thumbs down ... to wage disparity. Women own nearly 30 percent of all businesses in the state, an increase of 22 percent since 1997. West Virginia women also employ around 38,000 workers — but women are still paid 69 cents for every dollar that male workers in the state make,
Thumbs up ... to The Greenbrier resort, spa and golf club being awarded top honors from two of the country’s most renowned travel and sporting publications. Condé Nast named The Greenbrier to its prestigious “Top 25 Spas in the U.S.” list. The Greenbrier’s elegant pool was recognized in the magazine’s “Top Spa Resort Pools” roundup. Golf Magazine named The Greenbrier to the 11th edition of its Premier Resorts awards.