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Rick Steelhammer

Staff writer
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Low-fare Spirit service to resume at Yeager


More West Virginians than ever are expected to be boarding Spirit Airlines, the no-frills low-cost carrier with the “you get what you pay for” business model, after it resumes its nonstop seasonal service t...

Yeager officials worry new legislation could short-circuit solar project


Yeager Airport officials are concerned that a solar energy metering provision contained in a bill passed by the Legislature earlier this month could jeopardize its bid to become the nation’s first electricity-inde...

Kickstarter enlisted in battle to preserve Blue Sulphur Springs Pavilion


A crowd-sourcing fundraising campaign to stabilize and restore a 180-year-old pavilion from a Greenbrier County mineral water spa gets underway on Sunday with a two-hour kick-off party starting at 1 p.m. at the conventio...

While West suffers from lack of snowfall, West Virginia ski resorts on a roll


A warm December gave many southern New England ski areas a delayed start to the 2014-2015 snow season, while a winter plagued with high temperatures and low snowfall has kept a number of western resorts closed for much o...

W.Va. residents dig out from storm, brace for more


After digging out from new snow accumulations of up to 13 inches on Tuesday, residents across much of Southern West Virginia braced for more snow expected to arrive in the region early today, followed by subzero temperat...

Steelhammer: Spending time with a self-made lensman


Here are some of the things I’ll associate with the memory of Lawrence Pierce, who died on Friday after 52 years on the job as a Gazette photographer:

A ball cap with a Gazette logo nearly obliterated by ti...

Subzero wind chill values expected to sweep across much of state Saturday and Sunday


While the Charleston area is expected to escape most of the snow expected to fall across much of winter-weary New England this weekend, the arrival of an Arctic front and brisk northwest winds are likely to produce subze...

Social services hot line to raise its profile


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Ten years ago, West Virginia became one of the first 10 states in the nation to launch a statewide, three-digit, toll-free phone system linking people in need with the social programs and commu...

Site of state’s first coal-bearing aerial tramway now one of 50 ghost towns in New River Gorge


PRINCE -- It’s busier than normal in the New River Gorge ghost town of Royal.

The clanging of iron and the shouts of workers replacing the nearby Thomas Buford Pugh Bridge carrying W.Va. 41 over the New Rive...

Surface Mine Board denies bid to pull permit for Kanawha State Forest area surface mine


A bid to halt further development of a new, 400-acre surface mine adjacent to the northeastern boundary of Kanawha State Forest has been denied by the West Virginia Surface Mine Board.

All 14 arguments raised by at...

National Youth Science Foundation turns to crowdsourcing to raise funds for CVI building


With a Feb. 9 deadline looming, the National Youth Science Foundation has turned to crowdsourcing to raise $150,000 needed to show that it has the wherewithal to maintain and operate the $8 million Canaan Valley Institut...

Scouts survive and thrive in the cold at Winter Camporee


RICHWOOD -- Most West Virginia outdoor enthusiasts can understand the appeal of a campsite at the edge of a red spruce forest overlooking a large, brushy glade and the summits of Cranberry and Yew mountains. As a place t...

Get outside and into nature with Snowshoe Discovery Tours of Canaan refuge


For outdoor enthusiasts suffering from cabin fever during the winter doldrums, White Grass Ski Touring Center and Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge are offering a free cure: Snowshoe Discovery Tours.

Held on S...

Highland Scenic Highway provides access to that which is wild and wonderful in West Virginia


Where in the Eastern United States can you drive at highway speeds for the better part of an hour and see nothing but unbroken forest, mountains and streams, without a house, farm, convenience store, power line, street l...

Toilet paper profits on a roll, consumer buying power down the drain


First, 14 ounces became the new pound for vendors of canned beans and other vegetables, while pound-sized cans of coffee shrank to 10.5 ounces.

Next, newspapers downsized their formats to near tabloid size and used...

Green Bank Telescope produces images of passing asteroid and its tiny moon


Images of a 70-meter moon orbiting an asteroid measuring 300 meters across as it passed 745,000 miles from Earth were recorded earlier this week by astronomers using the Green Bank Telescope, in Pocahontas County, and NA...

Water crisis, weather blamed for drop in 2014 Yeager boardings


Severe winter weather last January and February, paired with the water crisis that followed the Freedom Industries storage tank spill, is getting the blame for a 4-percent drop in passenger boardings at Yeager Airport la...

New eagle pair establishes home in nest once occupied by Gorge’s Whitey and Streaky


A nesting site in the New River Gorge vacated last spring by a pair of bald eagles following deadly encounters with trains and cars has been reoccupied by a new eagle couple.

The new pair “are mating and add...

Steelhammer: New Patterson book a “bomb”


With 76 of his novels making the New York Times best-sellers list, James Patterson can afford to have at least one book bomb.

Maybe that’s part of the rationale behind the marketing campaign for his newest b...

New lift, snowmaking make for 21st Century sledding at Blackwater Falls


DAVIS -- Sledding enthusiasts no longer have to rely on a heavy snowfall and a pickup-powered rope tow to enjoy speeding down the quarter-mile sled run at Blackwater Falls State Park.

Last winter, the Tucker County...

Steelhammer: West Virginia hot dog holds its own in cuisine survey’s battle of the blands


When it comes to haute cuisine, the haute dog rules in West Virginia, according to a new Huffington Post survey based on customer input from Yelp, the do-it-yourself online rating service.

The tube steak was deemed...

Canaan Valley Institute building won’t be used for new refuge headquarters


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Tuesday that it has dropped plans to use a state-of-the-art “green” building now occupied by the Canaan Valley Institute as a new headquarters and visitor center...

150 years ago, hungry Confederates captured Union garrison, supplies at Beverly


How do you motivate 300 battle-weary cavalrymen to voluntarily leave their encampment in the dead of winter, ride more than 75 miles across snow-covered mountains, and then attack an enemy garrison force more than three ...

“Go Outside and Ski” event showcases winter sports potential


GHENT — Ski areas across West Virginia are making it easier for novice skiers and riders to hit the slopes and, hopefully, embrace a lifelong outdoor sport.

At Winterplace ...