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Rick Steelhammer

Staff writer
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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 ...

West Virginian of the Year: The Boy Scout


The Boy Scout, the Sunday Gazette-Mail West Virginian of the Year for 2014, has been a presence in the state for nearly 100 years, but has never been more visible, energetic and powerful here than he is today.


Steelhammer: What’s in a name? Lately, it’s been a place


They may not be as popular as Aiden or Emma, but baby names with a southern theme were on the rise on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line during 2014, according to a report by that was making the rounds alo...

Science group, wildlife refuge vie for Canaan building


On the fringe of the boggy wetlands north of Davis, in Tucker County, a turf battle is taking shape.

The National Youth Science Foundation wants to use a state-of-the-art “green” technology building a...

Volunteers upgrade outhouse featuring state’s best view


Thanks to an army of volunteers, the mountaintop privy said to provide users with the state’s “best view from an outhouse” according to Jeanne Mozier’s guidebook “Way Out in West Virgin...

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In 1926, members of the Charleston Mountain Mission church held a prayer meeting in the West Side hills that included a discussion of ways to help the community’s underprivileged. To begin addressing that issue, a...

DEP kicks off plans to restore Coal River


ST. ALBANS, W.Va. — The state Department of Environmental Protection has committed $1 million to plan and begin a stream restoration project targeting the main stem of the Coal River from Alum Creek to its conflue...

Turning lemons into nuclear lemonade


Using spin strong enough to kick-start a decommissioned particle accelerator, movers and shakers in the state of Washington have made possible the introduction of a bill that would convert a portion of one of America...

Dominion fine worries opponents of future pipeline


In light of the consent order, opponents of Dominion’s planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline are already voicing their concerns about the company’s ability to protect the environment as the multi-state pipeline c...