Reconnecting McDowell Project 'Vital' to Community - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Reconnecting McDowell Project 'Vital' to Community

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Group fights against gas companies over pipeline in Pocahontas County

    Group fights against gas companies over pipeline in Pocahontas County

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:35:53 GMT
    The West Virginia Wilderness group has been fighting three gas companies for months, who want to put a pipeline in Pocahontas County .Lauren Ragland is the founder of West Virginia Wilderness and said the pipeline does not belong in Pocahontas County.
    The West Virginia Wilderness group has been fighting three gas companies for months, who want to put a pipeline in Pocahontas County .Lauren Ragland is the founder of West Virginia Wilderness and said the pipeline does not belong in Pocahontas County.
  • Chafin Wins, Elected 21st Republican Senator

    Chafin Wins, Elected 21st Republican Senator

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-08-20 00:03:34 GMT
    Delegate A. Benton "Ben" Chafin was elected to the Senate of Virginia, Tuesday. Chafin secured a Republican majority in the General Assembly upper chamber. Chafin will serve and represent the 38th District, succeeding former Senator Phil Puckett who resigned in June. Chafin defeated Democrat Mike Hymes and Independent Rick Mullins. Polls closed at 7 PM on Tuesday night.
    Delegate A. Benton "Ben" Chafin was elected to the Senate of Virginia, Tuesday. Chafin secured a Republican majority in the General Assembly upper chamber. Chafin will serve and represent the 38th District, succeeding former Senator Phil Puckett who resigned in June. Chafin defeated Democrat Mike Hymes and Independent Rick Mullins. Polls closed at 7 PM on Tuesday night.
  • ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Beckley Police search for suspect in weekend pharmacy robbery

    ARMED AND DANGEROUS: Beckley Police search for suspect in weekend pharmacy robbery

    Tuesday, August 19 2014 7:05 PM EDT2014-08-19 23:05:49 GMT
    A man who held a CVS employee at knife point on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 is the subject of a search by police officers. The man came into the CVS at the corner of Eisenhower Dr. and Ragland Rd. at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.
    A man who held a CVS employee at knife point on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014 is the subject of a search by police officers. The man came into the CVS at the corner of Eisenhower Dr. and Ragland Rd. at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday.
WELCH -

A visit to McDowell County from a top federal official reinforces the need to invest in and support rural education.

That's the sentiment of Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., who on Sept. 20 praised U.S. Education secretary Arne Duncan for visiting the impoverished county. Rockefeller strongly supports the Reconnecting McDowell initiative, which aims to address some of the challenges the school district faces. Duncan met with other state, national and federal education leaders to learn more about the project and see how it has so far affected the community.

"McDowell County is a special place that deserves the work and compassion of Reconnecting McDowell, and I have long worked with the community to improve education and opportunities in the area," Rockefeller said in a statement. "I'm hopeful that Secretary Duncan's visit brings to light the needs of this community and residents so they soon see some improvements for the future."

Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., represents McDowell County in the U.S. House of Representatives. He spoke Sept. 20 at the Reconnecting McDowell Fall Partner Meeting and emphasized the need to organize resources to pursue competitive grants and encouraged educators to fully market their programs to families in the area.

"In a Congress that has banned members from earmarking federal investments to meet specific needs in specific areas, like McDowell County, we must redouble our efforts and readjust our focus to go after every penny of competitive funding in both the public and private sectors," Rahall said in his remarks.

"Bringing all of our educational resources to bear in Reconnecting McDowell is essential," he added. "This is especially true of our higher education anchors – Bluefield State College, Concord, Marshall and West Virginia University. Technology is a key ingredient of a winning formula to put educational resources at the doorstep of all those in McDowell County who want a brighter tomorrow for themselves and their families." 

The Reconnecting McDowell initiative is a long-term, comprehensive effort to make educational improvements in the county. Partners from businesses, foundations, government, non profit agencies and labor have committed to seeking solutions to the numerous problems the county faces – including high poverty, substance abuse, limited medical services, inadequate access to transportation and technology, unemployment and underperforming schools. Each partner provides services, money, products or expertise to help the school system.

For information, visit www.reconnectingmcdowell.org.