Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 31, 2013

Efforts ongoing to revitalize coalfields

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— Decades ago the coal industry left the once-booming town of Pocahontas and most jobs left with it. I want to thank Charles Owens and the Bluefield Daily Telegraph for drawing attention to the public-private partnership that is being developed to deal with the present day reality of northern Tazewell County.

In his July 17 article on the opinion page, Mr. Owens alerted readers to a July 25 meeting of the Tazewell County Recreation and Parks Facilities Authority which drew four private individuals interested in developing lodging and eating sites for the new Spearhead Trail system, which will start in the Pocahontas and Boissevain area.

The recent meeting, chaired by Tom Childress, county supervisor of the Northern District, is one example of many efforts by county officials and the private sector to promote economic development and attract jobs to all of Tazewell County. The Bluestone Industrial Park and the proposed dentistry school are other examples.

Also involved in the efforts to tackle the stubborn problems of unemployment and economic underdevelopment are the Tazewell County Planning Commission and Tourism Board. Hats off to those who are hard at work seeking solutions to the realities of our coalfields in 2013.

Charlie Orrock

Bluefield, Va.