The ‘Mountain State Spotlight’ is Desperately Needed in West Virginia

by admin on November 17, 2021

This is a rare opportunity to benefit all of West Virginia

MESSAGE from the Managing Editor, Mountain State Spotlight, November 15, 2021

West Virginians living in the coalfields have watched the evaporation of high-paying coal industry jobs for the past two decades. And periodically, there are signs of hope: politicians announce a new big project, local groups hold community meetings to talk about new ideas for economic development. But most of the time, these plans and promises don’t pan out.

Now, West Virginia lawmakers are trying more of the same. They’ve formed a group to listen to coalfields residents’ ideas about their future, and want to know what innovative ideas are out there. There’s also a lot of federal money potentially coming for these areas, which could help make some of the ideas a reality.

That’s why it was a little surprising that one of the threads to come from a recent meeting in Logan was a familiar one: what about Hobet? Besides being the poster child for both environmental groups and the coal industry, the massive surface mine on the border of Boone and Lincoln counties was also the site of a lot of big plans that never came to fruition. And now, as Emily Allen reports, some are talking about whether Hobet makes sense as a place to try again with the same sort of projects that have failed in the past. Read more here.

We also have a follow-up on Gov. Jim Justice’s Saving Our Care initiative, which you may recall is the program announced earlier this fall to give financial support to state hospitals and nursing homes struggling with additional COVID-related expenditures. As Quenton King found out, there’s a key piece of the health care puzzle that was inexplicably left out: emergency medical services.

Much like hospitals, EMS agencies around West Virginia have been stretched thin during the pandemic. And also like hospitals, these agencies struggled with resources before COVID even happened. The challenge for West Virginia will be how to fund these key community health resources even once this infusion of federal cash is over.

And in case you missed it, we announced big news last week! Proud West Virginian and nonprofit leader extraordinaire Ellen Allen will be Mountain State Spotlight’s first executive director, leading our business operations. We are so excited to welcome Ellen to the team; learn more about her here.

Help support our work telling the stories West Virginians need, and this weekly newsletter! We’re thrilled to be participating in NewsMatch: a nationwide movement to sustain journalism that matters. Any gift you make (up to $1,000) from now until Dec. 31 will be DOUBLED. Become a member of Mountain State Spotlight with a gift of $15/month or any amount today.

Can you say this out loud — “I support local, independent journalism for West Virginians!”

>> Thanks for reading! Erica Peterson, Managing Editor, MSS

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Mountain State Spotlight November 17, 2021 at 11:00 pm

Dear reader, today is Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Ken Ward Jr. here, co-founder at Mountain State Spotlight. I’m reaching out today with a very important ask and to tell you a bit more about what makes Mountain State Spotlight like no other.

From day one, it’s been our mission to help West Virginians make our state a better place by reporting the information we all need about the issues that matter. We do this through stories like our recent reporting on foster care, which exposed serious shortcomings in the out-of-state homes West Virginia relies on to care for hundreds of kids. This is reporting you won’t find anywhere else — reporting that’s essential to keeping our community informed so we can better navigate the challenges facing our state at this critical moment in its history.

As a nonprofit, we depend on the support of readers like you to keep this critical work going. I’m excited to share that we have an incredible opportunity to increase the impact of your donation through NewsMatch, a call-to-action to support nonprofit news organizations around the country. From now through the end of the year, NewsMatch will match your new monthly donation 12 times or double your one-time gift, all up to $1,000 per individual. For an independent organization like ours, this funding will go a long way and can make a real difference in our community.

Will you help power the news that works for you and West Virginians everywhere?

Yes, I support Mountain State Spotlight!

>> With gratitude, Ken Ward Jr., Co-founder


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