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Rick Steelhammer

Staff writer
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Artificial heart pioneer Dr. John C. Norman Jr. dead at 84


Dr. John Clavon Norman Jr., a Charleston-born, Harvard-educated cardiovascular surgeon and artificial heart pioneer, died Saturday in a Bedford, Massachusetts, acute-care facility. He was 84.

The son of Charleston ...

Charleston’s first black architect worked on both sides of color line


Something about Charleston must have immediately captured the imagination of former 1st Lt. John C. Norman, discharged from the U.S. Army following service with an engineering unit in France during World War I.

In ...

Testimony ends in Kanawha State Forest-area surface mine review


Testimony ended Wednesday in a hearing to decide whether to revoke a permit for the Keystone Development No. 2 surface mine adjacent to Kanawha State Forest, but it is expected to take a month or more until the West Virg...

WWII warplanes draw fans of all ages


PARKERSBURG — Earlier this week, Charlie Marshall of Williamstown was among hundreds of people to walk through one of only six B-17 Flying Fortress bombers still in flying condit...

Hearing continued on Kanawha State Forest area surface mine permit


A decision on whether a permit for a 414-acre surface mine adjacent to Kanawha State Forest should be revoked won’t be made until at least Aug. 20, when the state Surface Mine Board resumes proceedings in a suit f...

New instruments monitor what’s shaking beneath West Virginia


Last August, only one seismic monitoring station could be found in all of West Virginia — at the state’s Geologic and Economic Survey headquarters at Mont Chateau, in Monongalia County, just south of the Pe...

Mountaintop mine adjacent to Kanawha State Forest draws protest crowd to Capitol steps


When Daile Boulis moved into her home along Middlelick Branch in Loudendale two and a half years ago, adjusting to well water and life in a hollow seemed to be the biggest challenges facing her.

That changed earlie...

Moorefield attack 150 years ago “had very damaging effect” on Confederate campaign


One hundred fifty years ago this week, the wide, lush pastures bracketing the tree-shaded South Branch of the Potomac River just north of the Hardy County farming community of Moorefield must have been a welcome sight fo...

When you shake a family tree, be prepared for surprises


“Do you know what your last name means?”an email advertisement from a popular online ancestry-tracing company asked me, before trying to sign me up for a free 14-day trial to help me find out.

If I ha...

Moth’s second-fiddle status to butterfly questioned during program


PARKERSBURG -- To many people, moths are merely the brownish, thumbnail-sized winged insects that cling passively to window screens at night, if they’re not mindlessly orbiting lampshades or being lured to noisy, ...

W.Va. Surface Mining Board rejects bid to halt MTR work near Kanawha State Forest


Following a four-hour hearing Thursday, the West Virginia Surface Mining Board late Friday announced that it had denied motions by the Keeper of the Mountains Foundation and 10 individuals to tempora...

Record number of bald eagle nests found in Southern W.Va.


Although collisions with a train and a car in the New River Gorge kept what had been Southern West Virginia’s only known nesting pair of bald eagles from producing offspring this year, birders and naturalists in t...

Opposition heats up to planned surface mine adjacent to Kanawha State Forest


With blasting already underway for a haul road to serve a new mountaintop removal mine near the eastern boundary of Kanawha State Forest, nearly 200 opponents of the project gathered in a Kanawha City church on Tuesday t...

Portrait exhibit features West Virginians from three centuries


The 25 portraits were selected from a pool of nearly 150 that have been donated or loaned to the museum over the years, mainly by family members, according to Charles Morris, director of museums for the Division of Cultu...

150 years ago: Washington statue theft caused controversy in Wheeling


One hundred and fifty years ago today, in the midst of the American Civil War, newspapers in Wheeling reported on the unexpected arrival in West Virginia’s then-capital city of an unusual trophy of war — th...