West Virginia gets its fair share of national media attention. That can be good or bad, depending on the circumstance. Here are 9 times within the last few years that West Virginia was in the national spotlight.
1. Earlier this year when there was a landslide below Yeager Airport
On March 12, 2015 a landslide beneath the runway at Yeager Airport destroyed three houses and a church. Luckily no one was injured.
2. During the Sago Mine Disaster
On Jan. 2, 2006, an explosion at the Sago Mine in Upshur County trapped 13 miners for nearly 2 days. One of the miners survived, however a miscommunication lead residents to believe and media outlets to report that 12 of the miners had survived.
3. When a gas line exploded in Sissonville
A massive gas line exploded in Sissonville in 2012 and amazingly no one was killed. The explosion and fire destroyed 5 houses and a portion of the interstate, however.
4. When an oil train derailed in Fayette County
An oil train derailed in Fayette County, causing a massive fire that destroyed a house but luckily did not kill anyone.
5. After the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster
An explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County killed 29 of the 31miners at the site. It was the worst mine accident in the United States since 1970.
6. When Don Blankenship was indicted
A former CEO and chairman for Massey Energy, Blankenship was indicted on charges of covering up mine-safety violations and giving mines advance notice of government inspections prior to the explosion at Upper Big Branch. He is also accused giving false statements to the US Securities and Exchange Commission after the explosion.
Blankenship is set to go to trial in Fall 2015.
7. When some West Virginians tried to elect a convict over a sitting president
In 2012, 41 percent of Democrats in West Virginia voted for a convict over Barack Obama. Keith Judd, who is serving a 17-year sentence for extortion at a Texas prison, got 41 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.
8. When a Charleston woman killed a suspected serial killer
A Charleston woman killed a man she met on backpage.com after the man attacked her, police say. Authorities now believe Neal Falls may have been involved in the deaths of several other women.
9. During the 2014 Water Crisis
When a chemical leak got into the water supply for about 300,000 West Virginia residents, we couldn’t use our water for anything other than flushing the toilet for days.
These are just nine times, so I know there are probably more situations that could fit into this category. Can you name any other times? Let me know in the comments.