The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

State News

April 22, 2013

W.Va. news briefs

Hatfield-McCoy trail permit sales jump in 2 counties

BRAMWELL (AP) — Mercer and McDowell counties are becoming popular destinations for Hatfield-McCoy Trail System riders.

Hatfield-McCoy Trail Authority executive director Jeff Lusk says permit sales for the Indian Ridge Trail in McDowell County are up 25 percent from 2012.

Lusk tells the Bluefield Daily Telegraph that permit sales for the new Pocahontas Trail in Mercer County also are strong.

This growth has created a need for more lodging in Mercer and McDowell counties. Lusk says almost all lodging providers are booked up.

He says the entire system’s ridership has grown every year since 2006. He expects the trail system to break a ridership record this spring.


Local officials seek state audit of port authority

WEIRTON (AP) — Local officials are seeking a state audit of the Weirton Area Port Authority due to concerns about its operations.

Their concerns include the authority’s organizational structure. They say it’s complicated and unclear, with limited government oversight.

They made the request in a February letter to Senate President Jeff Kessler. The Herald-Star of Steubenville, Ohio, obtained a copy of the letter last week through the Freedom of Information Act.

The newspaper says the letter was signed by the presidents of the Brooke County and Hancock County commissions, Weirton City Manager Valerie Means and Pat Ford, executive director of the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle.

Authority chairman B.J. DeFelice says he wasn’t aware of the audit request, but he welcomes the opportunity.


Jobless rate drops across state

CHARLESTON (AP) — Unemployment rates fell in all 55 West Virginia counties in March.

WorkForce West Virginia said five counties still reported unemployment rates of more than 12 percent, led by Clay County’s 14.6 percent. Others are Webster, 13.3 percent; Wirt, 12.6 percent; and Calhoun and Roane, 12 percent. Monongalia continues to have the lowest rate at 4.1 percent.        

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from February’s rate.


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