Information

Virginia Gun Laws Convicted Felon 18.2-308.2 Miranda

Anderson v. Commonwealth, 279 Va. 85; 688 S.E.2d 605 January 15, 2010 
 
Anderson was indicted for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in violation of Code § 18.2-308.2.  While a police officer was chasing him, he threw a silverish, grayish object, hitting a tree and landing about five or six feet away. 

Thereafter, as the officer was handcuffing Anderson, the officer saw that the object was a revolver and asked Andeerson if it was loaded.  He answered yes.  After discovering that Anderson was a convicted felon, the officer arrested defendant and advised him of his Miranda rights.  Anderson subsequently filed a motion to suppress the statements he made about the gun.  At the suppression hearing, Anderson argued that his initial statement about the gun was obtained in violation of the Fifth Amendment because he was “in custody” and interrogated without first being advised of his Miranda rights.

The failure to give Miranda warnings prior to custodial interrogation violates an individual’s constitutional rights under the Fifth Amendment; therefore, statements obtained by law enforcement officers in violation of the Miranda rule generally will be subject to exclusion for most proof purposes in a criminal trial.

One narrow exception to the Miranda rule, however, is the public safety exception.  The need for answers to questions in a situation posing a threat to the public safety outweighs the need for the prophylactic rule protecting the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination. 

The Court concluded that the failure to administer Miranda rights in a situation coming within public safety exception did not taint Defendant’s subsequent statements after he was advised of his Miranda rights.



Source by Atchuthan Sriskandarajah

Information

Long Term Care and Assisted Living Facilities in Virginia

One of the inclusions of long term care is assisted living facilities. These facilities come in different types starting from private homes, nursing homes, and up to high rise apartment complexes which offer a variety of level of services as well.

The Code of Virginia briefly defines assisted living facilities as any congregate residential setting that provides or coordinates personal and health care services, 24-hour supervision, and assistance for the maintenance or care of four or more adults who are aged, infirm or disabled and who are cared for in a primarily residential setting. This simply means this is a place where general supervision of individuals in need of assistance with basic daily activities is given high priority and availability.

Two common types of these care facilities are residential living and assisted living. Within a residential living, the services provided are designed to provide minimal assistance for adults who are under physical or mental limitations. Residents in residential status of a service can receive some assisted living services on a regular or ad hoc basis.

While, within assisted living, defined by the Code of Virginia, this facility offers moderate support to those who need more help than the residents who benefit from independent living to levels of residential life. Support services are generally provided by caregivers and companions. Other included care services are assistance with ADLS, help with medications and assistance with the necessary precautions during the off-site medical services is needed.

Today, these types of care facilities have also evolved over time. With additional facility amenities, assisted living facilities are now proficient of providing a cosier and more comfortable living environment for people in need of them. Some amenities to mention included are housekeeping and laundry services, grounds keeping, transportation services, security services, and more. But, these additional amenities are added in the monthly fee.

Moreover, and another good thing about assisted living facilities is they also offer social activities for the residents. These social activities come in various forms such as social, recreational, and religious activities. However, the number of hours spent on these social activities must be adhered to state regulations – no less than one hour each day must be devoted to planned socialization, recreation or religious activity.

In addition, to secure proficiency in executing their assistance services, each facility observes a thorough understanding of each resident’s physical and emotional needs. Assisted living facilities require that the assessment is conducted before admission of the resident, and once the person is accepted, an agreement between the house community services and local services board, a health centre or a mental state private institution or physician for services is most required as well.



Source by SweetSoul

Information

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia: John Brown's Raid

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia is situated in a deep valley at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers.  George Washington thought it to be the perfect place to have the Southern Arsenal and armory.  It became a very industrial town with over three thousand inhabitants making rifles and ammunition.

In 1859 John Brown and twenty-one associates took the town, hoping that the slaves would rebel against their masters.  His was an ill-fated move for two reasons.  First you cannot hold a town of three thousand angry residents with only twenty-one men.  Second, the slaves did not take the bait. Colonel RE Lee and J.E.B Stuart came with the US Marines to retake the town.  Jeb went to Brown’s makeshift fort, the fire station, with papers for surrender.  When Brown refused Jeb threw down his ornate hat as a sign to attack.  The rest is history.

When Virginia seceded from the Union, the governor wanted to take over the arsenal at Harpers Ferry.  Commander Jones, the commandant of the arsenal, had other plans.  He blew up the place and destroyed most of the weapons and ammo.  Because the primary industry was gone, the population of the town dropped to three hundred, which it is today.  The town today is a combination of historical park and actual working town, whose major industry today is tourism.  Young people in period dress give living history in many of the buildings in the historical park.

During the war, Harpers Ferry was a strategic property.  It was at the northern edge of the southern breadbasket, the Shenandoah Valley and the entrance to the northern states of Maryland and Pennsylvania and only forty miles from Washington DC.  Jackson said that he would rater take Harpers Ferry ten times rather than defend it one time.  It was impossible to defend.

Two days after the CSA took Harpers Ferry the bloodiest one day battle of the war took place a short seventeen miles to the north at a creek called Antietam, or the town of Sharpsburg.



Source by John Pelley

Information

West Virginia


wv.gov

West Virginia ( /wst vrdnj/ (helpinfo)) is a state in the Appalachian and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, and Pennsylvania and Maryland to the northeast. The capital and largest city is Charleston.

West Virginia became a state following the Wheeling Conventions, breaking away from Virginia during the American Civil War. The new state was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863, and was a key Civil War border state. West Virginia was the only state to form by seceding from a Confederate state, and was one of only two states formed during the American Civil War (the other one being Nevada, which separated from Utah Territory).

The Census Bureau considers West Virginia part of the South, as most of the state is south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The northern panhandle extends adjacent to Pennsylvania and Ohio with the West Virginia cities of Wheeling and Weirton being just across the border from the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, while Bluefield is less than 70 miles from North Carolina and Harper’s Ferry is considered to be a part of the Washington metropolitan area. The unique position of West Virginia means that it is often included in a wide variety of geographical regions, including the Upland South, the Southeastern United States and even the Northeastern United States. Notably, it is the only state which entirely lies within the area served by the Appalachian Regional Commission, which is a common definition of “Appalachia”.

The state is noted for its mountains and diverse topography, its historically-significant logging and coal mining industries, and its political and labor history. It is one of the most densely karstic areas in the world, making it a choice area for recreational caving and scientific research. The karst lands contribute to much of the state’s cool trout waters. It is also known for a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, whitewater rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and hunting.

Contents

1 Geography and environment

1.1 Climate

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 European exploration and settlement

2.3 Trans-Allegheny Virginia

2.4 Separation from Virginia

2.5 Hidden resources

3 Demographics

3.1 Religion

4 Economy

5 Transportation

6 Law and government

6.1 Legislative branch

6.2 Executive branch

6.3 Judicial branch

6.4 Politics

7 State capitals

8 Important cities and towns

8.1 Large cities

8.2 Towns and small cities

8.3 Metropolitan Statistical Areas

8.4 Micropolitan Statistical Areas

9 Education

9.1 Colleges and universities

10 Distinctions

11 Culture

11.1 Music

11.1.1 Appalachian music

11.1.2 Classical music

11.1.3 Musical innovation

11.2 Sports

11.3 In popular culture

12 See also

13 References

14 Further reading

15 External links

//

Geography and environment

Shaded relief map of the Cumberland Plateau and Ridge-and-valley Appalachians.

The summit of Spruce Knob is often covered in clouds.

Main article: Geography of West Virginia

See also: List of counties in West Virginia and List of West Virginia county seats

West Virginia is bordered by Pennsylvania to the north; by Ohio to the north and west; by Kentucky to the west; by Maryland to the north and east; and by Virginia to the east and south. The Ohio and Potomac rivers form parts of the boundaries.

West Virginia is located entirely within the Appalachian Mountain range and all areas are mountainous; for this reason it is nicknamed The Mountain State and also is partially the reason why its motto is “mountaineers are always free.” About 75% of the state is within the Cumberland Plateau and Allegheny Plateau regions. Though the relief is not high, the plateau region is extremely rugged in most areas. The average elevation of West Virginia is approximately 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level, which is the highest of any US state east of the Mississippi River.

On the eastern state line with Virginia, high peaks in the Monongahela National Forest region give rise to an island of colder climate and ecosystems similar to those of northern New England and eastern Canada. The highest point in the state is atop Spruce Knob, at 4,863 ft (1,482 m), is covered in a boreal forest of dense spruce trees at altitudes above 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Spruce Knob lies within the Monongahela National Forest and is a part of the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area. A total of six wilderness areas can also be found within the forest. Outside the forest to the south, the New River Gorge is a 1,000 feet (300 m) deep canyon carved by the New River. The National Park Service manages a portion of the gorge and river that has been designated as the New River Gorge National River, one of only 15 rivers in the U.S. with this level of protection.

Other areas under protection and management include:

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Bluestone National Scenic River

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Gauley River National Recreation Area

George Washington National Forest

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Map of West Virginia counties

The native vegetation for most of the state was originally mixed hardwood forest of oak, chestnut, maple, beech, and white pine, with willow and American sycamore along the state’s waterways. Many of the areas are rich in biodiversity and scenic beauty, a fact that is appreciated by native West Virginians, who refer to their home as Almost Heaven (from the song, “Take Me Home, Country Roads”) even though John Denver’s geography barely resembles West Virginia. Before the song, it was known as “The Cog State” (Coal, Oil, and Gas) or “The Mountain State.” Ecologically, most of West Virginia falls into the Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests ecoregion.

The underlying rock strata are sandstone, shale, bituminous coal beds, and limestone laid down in a near shore environment from sediments derived from mountains to the east, in a shallow inland sea on the west. Some beds illustrate a coastal swamp environment, some river delta, some shallow water. Sea level rose and fell many times during the Mississippian and Pennsylvanian eras, giving a variety of rock strata. The Appalachian Mountains are some of the oldest on earth, having formed over 300 million years ago.

Climate

Further information: Climate change in West Virginia

The climate of West Virginia is a humid subtropical climate (Koppen climate classification Cfa) in some of the lower elevations, primarily in the southwestern portion of the state (including Huntington and Charleston), along with parts of the Eastern Panhandle east of the Appalachians with hot, humid summers and milder winters. The rest of the state generally has a humid continental climate (Koppen climate classification Dfa, except Dfb at the higher elevations) with warm to hot, humid summers and cool to cold winters, increasing in severity with elevation. Some southern highland areas also have a mountain temperate climate (Koppen Cfb) where winter temperatures are more moderate and summer temperatures are somewhat cooler. However, the weather is subject in all parts of the state to change. The hardiness zones range from zone 5b in the central Appalachian mountains to zone 7a in the warmest parts of the lowest elevations. In the Eastern Panhandle and the Ohio River Valley temperatures are warm enough to see and grow subtropical plants such as Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), Crepe Myrtle, Albizia julibrissin, American Sweetgum and even the occasional needle palm and sabal minor. These plants do not thrive as well in other parts of the state. The Eastern prickly pear grows well in many portions of the state.

Average January temperatures range from around 26F (-4C) near the Cheat River to 41F (5C) along sections of the border with Kentucky. July averages range from 67F (19C) along the North Branch Potomac River to 76F (24C) in the western part of the state. It is cooler in the mountains than in the lower sections of the state.

Annual precipitation ranges from less than 32 inches (81 cm) in the lower eastern section to more than 56 inches (140 cm) in higher parts of the Allegheny Front. Slightly more than half the rainfall occurs from April to September. Dense fogs are common in many valleys of the Kanawha section, especially the Tygart Valley. West Virginia is also one of the cloudiest states in the nation, with the cities of Elkins and Beckley ranking 9th. and 10th. in the U.S. respectively for the number of cloudy days per year (over 210). In addition to persistent cloudy skies caused by the damming of moisture by the Alleghenies, West Virginia also experiences some of the most frequent precipitation in the nation, with Snowshoe averaging nearly 200 days a year with either rain or snow. Snow usually lasts only a few days in the lower sections but may persist for weeks in the higher mountain areas. An average of 34 inches (86 cm) of snow falls annually in Charleston, although during the winter of 19951996 more than three times that amount fell as several cities in the state established new records for snowfall. Average snowfall in the Allegheny Highlands can range up to 180 inches (460 cm) per year. Severe weather is somewhat less prevalent in West Virginia than in most other eastern states, and it ranks among the least tornado-prone states east of the Rockies.

Monthly normal high and low temperatures for various West Virginia cities

City

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Beckley

39/22

43/25

52/32

62/41

71/49

77/57

80/61

79/60

73/54

63/42

52/34

43/26

Charleston

43/24

47/27

57/34

67/42

75/50

82/58

85/63

84/62

77/55

67/43

56/35

47/28

Elkins

39/18

44/20

53/27

63/35

72/44

78/53

82/58

80/57

74/50

64/37

53/29

44/22

Huntington

41/24

46/28

56/36

67/44

75/53

82/61

85/65

84/64

77/57

66/45

55/37

45/29

History

Main article: History of West Virginia

The area was a favorite hunting ground of numerous Native American peoples before the arrival of European settlers. Many ancient man-made earthen mounds from various mound builder cultures survive, especially in the areas of Moundsville, South Charleston, and Romney. Although little is known about these peoples, the artifacts uncovered in these give evidence of a complex, stratified culture that practiced metallurgy.

In more recent history the area now occupied by West Virginia was contested territory, mainly by Pennsylvania and Virginia. Some speculative land companies, such as the Vandalia Company, and later the Ohio Company and Indiana Company, tried to legitimize their claims to land in parts of West Virginia and Kentucky, but failed. With the settlement of the Pennsylvania and Virginia border dispute which resulted in the creation of Kentucky, Kentuckians “were satisfied […], and the inhabitants of a large part of West Virginia were grateful.”

The state was originally part of the British Virginia Colony (from 1607 to 1776) and the western part of the state of Virginia (from 1776 to 1863), whose population became sharply divided over the issue of secession from the Union and in the separation from Virginia, formalized by admittance to the Union as a new state in 1863.

West Virginia’s history has been profoundly affected by its mountainous terrain, numerous and vast river valleys, and rich natural resources. These were all factors driving its economy and the lifestyles of residents, and remain so today.

Prehistory

For more details on this topic, see Prehistory of West Virginia.

In a summary to quote Dr. Robert F. Maslowski, “The Adena Indians used pipes for ceremonies. They were carved of stone and they were exceptional works of art. Pipes and the smoking of tobacco became more common during the Late Prehistoric period. They were often made of clay and rather plain.” “Nothing is known about Paleo-Indian and Archaic houses in the Kanawha Valley, but archeologists have found evidence of Woodland and Fort Ancient houses.” “Woodland Indians lived in wigwams … The Woodland Indians grew sunflowers, gourds, squash and several seeds such as lambsquarter, may grass, sumpweed, smartweed and little barley.” “Fort Ancient Indians lived in much larger square or rectangular houses … The Fort Ancient Indians can be considered true farmers. They cultivated large agricultural fields around their villages. They no longer grew such a variety of seeds but concentrated on growing corn, beans, sunflowers, gourds, and many types of squash including the pumpkin. They also grew domestic turkeys and kept dogs as pets.”

European exploration and settlement

Further information: Vandalia (colony) and Westsylvania

Thomas Lee, the first manager of the Ohio Company of Virginia.

In 1671, General Abram Wood, at the direction of Royal Governor William Berkeley of the Virginia Colony, sent a party which discovered Kanawha Falls. In 1716, Governor Alexander Spotswood with about thirty horsemen made an excursion into what is now Pendleton County. John Van Metre, an Indian trader, penetrated into the northern portion in 1725. The same year, German settlers from Pennsylvania founded New Mecklenburg, the present Shepherdstown, on the Potomac River, and others followed.

King Charles II of England, in 1661, granted to a company of gentlemen the land between the Potomac and Rappahannock rivers, known as the Northern Neck. The grant finally came into the possession of Thomas Fairfax, 6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron, and in 1746, a stone was erected at the source of the North Branch Potomac River to mark the western limit of the grant. A considerable part of this land was surveyed by George Washington between 1748 and 1751. The diary kept by the surveyor indicates that there were already many squatters, largely of German origin, along the South Branch Potomac River. Christopher Gist, a surveyor in the employ of the first Ohio Company, which was composed chiefly of Virginians, explored the country along the Ohio River north of the mouth of the Kanawha River between 1751 and 1752. The company sought to have a fourteenth colony established with the name “Vandalia”. Many settlers crossed the mountains after 1750, though they were hindered by Native American resistance. Few Native Americans lived permanently within the present limits of the state, but the region was a common hunting ground, crossed by many trails. During the French and Indian War the scattered British settlements were almost destroyed.

In 1774, the Crown Governor of Virginia John Murray, 4th Earl of Dunmore, led a force over the mountains, and a body of militia under then-Colonel Andrew Lewis dealt the Shawnee Indians, under Hokoleskwa (or “Cornstalk”), a crushing blow during the Battle of Point Pleasant at the junction of the Kanawha and the Ohio rivers. Native American attacks continued until after the American Revolutionary War. During the war, the settlers in western Virginia were generally active Whigs and many served in the Continental Army, however Claypool’s Rebellion of 17801781 where a group of men refused to pay Colonial taxes showed war-weariness in West Virginia.

Trans-Allegheny Virginia

For more details on this topic, see Virginia.

Social conditions in western Virginia were entirely unlike those in the eastern portion of the state. The population was not homogeneous, as a considerable part of the immigration came by way of Pennsylvania and included Germans, Protestant Ulster-Scots, and settlers from the states farther north. Counties in the east and south were settled mostly by east Virginians. During the American Revolution, the movement to create a state beyond the Alleghanies was revived and a petition for the establishment of “Westsylvania” was presented to Congress, on the grounds that the mountains made an almost impassable barrier on the east. The rugged nature of the country made slavery unprofitable, and time only increased the social, political, economic and cultural differences (see Tuckahoe-Cohee) between the two sections of Virginia.

The convention that met in 1829 to form a new constitution for Virginia, against the protest of the counties beyond the mountains, required a property qualification for suffrage and gave the slave-holding counties the benefit of three-fifths of their slave population in apportioning the state’s representation in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a result, every county beyond the Alleghenies except one voted to reject the constitution, which nevertheless passed because of eastern support.

The Virginia Constitutional Convention of 185051, the Reform Convention, addressed a number of issues important to western Virginians. The vote was extended to all white males of 21 years of age plus. The governor, lieutenant-governor, the judiciary, sheriffs and other county officers were to be elected by public vote. The composition of the General Assembly was changed, representation in the house of delegates was apportioned on the white basis of the census of 1850, but the Senate was fixed arbitrarily, the west receiving twenty, and the east thirty, senators. This was made acceptable to the west by a provision that required the General Assembly to reapportion representation on the white basis in 1865, or else put the matter to a public referendum. But the east also gave itself a tax advantage in requiring a property tax at true and actual value, except for slaves. Slaves under the age of 12 years were not taxed, and slaves over that age were taxed at only $300, a fraction of their true value. Small farmers, however, had all their assets, animals and land, taxed at full value. Despite this tax and the lack of internal improvements in the west, the vote was 75,748 for and 11,063 against the new Constitution, most of the latter being from eastern counties, which did not like the compromises made for the west.

Separation from Virginia

See also: West Virginia in the American Civil War

Francis H. Pierpont, a leader during the Second Wheeling Convention

On October 24, 1861, voters from 41 counties voted overwhelmingly to form a new state, voter turnout was 34%. The name was subsequently changed from Kanawha to West Virginia.

West Virginia is the only state in the Union to secede from a Confederate state, Virginia, during the American Civil War. In Richmond on April 17, 1861, the 49 delegates from the future state of West Virginia voted 17 in favor of the Ordinance of Secession, 30 against, and 2 abstentions. Almost immediately after the vote to proceed with secession from the Union prevailed in the Virginia General Assembly, a mass meeting at Clarksburg recommended that each county in northwestern Virginia send delegates to a convention to meet in Wheeling on May 13, 1861. When this First Wheeling Convention met, 425 delegates from 25 counties were present, though more than one-third of the delegates were from the northern panhandle area, but soon there was a division of sentiment. Some delegates favored the immediate formation of a new state, while others argued that, as Virginia’s secession had not yet been passed by the required referendum, such action would constitute revolution against the United States. It was decided that if the ordinance were adopted (of which there was little doubt), another convention including the members-elect of the legislature should meet at Wheeling in June. At the election on May 23, 1861, secession was ratified by a large majority in the state as a whole, but in the western counties 34,677 voted against and 19,121 voted for the Ordinance.

The Second Wheeling Convention met as agreed on June 11 and declared that, since the Secession Convention had been called without the consent of the people, all its acts were void, and that all who adhered to it had vacated their offices. The Wheeling Conventions, and the delegates themselves, were never actually elected by public ballot to act on behalf of western Virginia. An act for the reorganization of the government was passed on June 19. The next day Francis H. Pierpont was chosen by other delegates at the convention to be governor of Virginia, other officers were elected and the convention adjourned. The legislature was composed of 103 members, 33 of whom had been elected to the Virginia General Assembly on May 23. This number included some hold-over Senators from 1859, and as such had vacated their offices to convene in Wheeling. The other members “were chosen even more irregularly ome in mass meetings, others by county committee, and still others were seemingly self-appointed” This irregular assembly met on June 20 and appointed Unionists to hold the remainder of the state offices, organized a rival state government and elected two United States senators who were promptly recognized by the Federal government in Washington, D.C. Thus, there were two state governments in Virginia, one pledging allegiance to the United States and one to the Confederacy.

The Wheeling Convention, which had taken a recess until August 6, reassembled on August 20, and called for a popular vote on the formation of a new state and for a convention to frame a constitution if the vote should be favorable. At the October 24, 1861 election, 18,408 votes were cast for the new state and only 781 against. The honesty of these election results have been questioned, since the Union army then occupied the area and Union troops were stationed at many of the polls to prevent Confederate sympathizers from voting. Most of the affirmative votes came from 16 counties around the Northern panhandle. Over 50,000 votes had been cast on the Ordinance of Secession, yet the vote on statehood gathered little more than 19,000.

Statehood vote of Oct. 24, 1861

In Ohio County, home to Wheeling, only about one-quarter of the registered voters cast votes. At the Constitutional Convention in November 1861, Mr. Lamb of Ohio County and Mr. Carskadon said that in Hampshire County, out of 195 votes only 39 were cast by citizens of the state; the rest were cast illegally by Union soldiers. In most of what would become West Virginia, there was no vote at all as two-thirds of the territory of West Virginia had voted for secession and county officers were still loyal to Richmond. Votes recorded from pro-secession counties were mostly cast elsewhere by Unionist refugees from these counties. The convention began on November 26, 1861, and finished its work on February 18, 1862; the instrument was ratified (18,162 for and 514 against) on April 11, 1862.

Harpers Ferry (as it appears today) changed hands a dozen times during the American Civil War and was annexed by West Virginia.

On May 13 the state legislature of the reorganized government approved the formation of the new state. An application for admission to the Union was made to Congress, and on December 31, 1862, an enabling act was approved by Pres. Abraham Lincoln admitting West Virginia, on the condition that a provision for the gradual abolition of slavery be inserted in its constitution. While many felt that West Virginia’s admission as a state was both illegal and unconstitutional, Lincoln issued his Opinion on the Admission of West Virginia finding that “the body which consents to the admission of West Virginia, is the Legislature of Virginia,” and that its admission was therefore both constitutional and expedient. The convention was reconvened on February 12, 1863, and the demand was met. The revised constitution was adopted on March 26, 1863, and on April 20, 1863, Pres. Lincoln issued a proclamation admitting the state at the end of 60 days (June 20, 1863). Meanwhile, officers for the new state were chosen and Gov. Pierpont moved his capital to Union-occupied Alexandria, where he asserted jurisdiction over all of the Virginia counties within the Federal lines.

The question of the constitutionality of the formation of the new state was brought before the Supreme Court of the United States in the following manner: Berkeley and Jefferson counties lying on the Potomac east of the mountains, in 1863, with the consent of the reorganized government of Virginia voted in favor of annexation to West Virginia. Many voters of the strongly pro-secessionist counties were absent in the Confederate Army when the vote was taken and refused to acknowledge the transfer upon their return. The Virginia General Assembly repealed the act of secession and in 1866 brought suit against West Virginia, asking the court to declare the counties a part of Virginia which would have declared West Virginia’s admission as a state unconstitutional. Meanwhile, on March 10, 1866, Congress passed a joint resolution recognizing the transfer. The Supreme Court, in 1870, decided in favor of West Virginia.

During the American Civil War, West Virginia suffered comparatively little. George B. McClellan’s forces gained possession of the greater part of the territory in the summer of 1861, culminating at the Battle of Rich Mountain, and Union control was never again seriously threatened, despite of the attempt by Robert E. Lee in the same year. In 1863, General John D. Imboden, with 5,000 Confederates, overran a considerable portion of the state. Bands of guerrillas burned and plundered in some sections, and were not entirely suppressed until after the war ended. The Eastern Panhandle counties were more affected by the war, with military control of the area repeatedly changing hands.

The area which became West Virginia actually furnished about an equal number of soldiers to the Federal and Confederate armies, approximately 22,00025,000 each. The Wheeling government found it necessary in 1865 to strip voting rights from returning Confederates in order to retain control. James Ferguson, who proposed the law, said that if it was not enacted he would lose election by 500 votes. The property of Confederates might also be confiscated, and in 1866 a constitutional amendment disfranchising all who had given aid and comfort to the Confederacy was adopted. The addition of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution caused a reaction. The Democratic party secured control in 1870, and in 1871, the constitutional amendment of 1866 was abrogated. The first steps toward this change had been taken, however, by the Republicans in 1870. On August 22, 1872, an entirely new constitution was adopted.

Beginning in Reconstruction, and for several decades thereafter, the two states disputed the new state’s share of the pre-war Virginia government’s debts, which had mostly been incurred to finance public infrastructure improvements, such as canals, roads, and railroads under the Virginia Board of Public Works. Virginians, led by former Confederate General William Mahone, formed a political coalition which was based upon this, the Readjuster Party. Although West Virginia’s first constitution provided for the assumption of a part of the Virginia debt, negotiations opened by Virginia in 1870 were fruitless, and in 1871, Virginia funded two-thirds of the debt and arbitrarily assigned the remainder to West Virginia. The issue was finally settled in 1915, when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that West Virginia owed Virginia $12,393,929.50. The final installment of this sum was paid in 1939.

Hidden resources

After Reconstruction, the new 35th state benefited from development of its mineral resources more than any other single economic activity.

Saltpeter caves had been employed throughout Appalachia for munitions; the border between West Virginia and Virginia includes the “Saltpetre Trail,” a string of limestone caverns containing rich deposits of calcium nitrate that were rendered and sold to the government. The trail stretched from Pendleton County to the western terminus of the route in the town of Union, Monroe County. Nearly half of these caves are on the West Virginia side, including Organ Cave and Haynes Cave. In the late 18th-century, saltpetre miners in Haynes Cave found large animal bones in the deposits. These were sent by a local historian and frontier soldier Colonel John Stuart to Thomas Jefferson. The bones were named Megalonyx jeffersonii or great-claw and became known as Jefferson’s Three-toed Sloth. It was declared the official State fossil of West Virginia in 2008. The West Virginia official State rock is bituminous coal, and the official State gemstone is silicified Mississippian fossil Lithostrotionella coral.

The limestone also produced a useful quarry industry, usually small, and softer, high-calcium seams were burned to produce industrial lime. This lime was used for agricultural and construction purposes; for many years a specific portion of the C & O Railroad carried limestone rock to Clifton Forge, Virginia as an industrial flux.

Salt mining had been underway since the 18th century, though it had largely played out by the time of the American Civil War, when the red salt of Kanawha County was a valued commodity of first Confederate, and later Union forces. Later, more sophisticated mining methods would restore West Virginia’s role as a major producer of salt.

However, in the second half of the 19th century, there was an even greater treasure not yet developed, bituminous coal. It would fuel much of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. and the steamships of many of the world’s navies.

The residents (both Native Americans and early European settlers) had long known of the underlying coal, and that it could be used for heating and fuel. However, for a long time, very small “personal” mines were the only practical development. After the War, with the new railroads came a practical method to transport large quantities of coal to expanding U.S. and export markets. As the anthracite mines of northwestern New Jersey and Pennsylvania began to play out during this same time period, investors and industrialists focused new interest in West Virginia. Geologists such as Dr. David T. Ansted surveyed potential coal fields and invested in land and early mining projects.

The completion of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O) across the state to the new city of Huntington on the Ohio River in 1872 opened access to the New River Coal Field. Soon, the C&O was building its huge coal pier at Newport News, Virginia on the large harbor of Hampton Roads. In 1881, the new Philadelphia-based owners of the former Atlantic, Mississippi and Ohio Railroad (AM&O), which stretched across Virginia’s southern tier from Norfolk, had sights clearly set on the Mountain State, where the owners had large land holdings. Their railroad was renamed Norfolk and Western (N&W), and a new railroad city was developed at Roanoke to handle planned expansion. After its new president Frederick J. Kimball and a small party journeyed by horseback and saw firsthand the rich bituminous coal seam which his wife named “Pocahontas”, the N&W redirected its planned westward expansion to reach it. Soon, the N&W was also shipping from new coal piers at Hampton Roads.

In 1889, in the southern part of the state, along the Norfolk and Western rail lines, the important coal center of Bluefield, West Virginia was founded. The “capital” of the Pocahontas coalfield, this city would remain the largest city in the southern portion of the state for several decades. It shares a sister city with the same name, Bluefield, in Virginia.

In the northern portion of the state and elsewhere, the older Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) and other lines also expanded to take advantage of coal opportunities. The B&O developed coal piers in Baltimore and at several points on the Great Lakes. Other significant rail carriers of coal were the Western Maryland Railway (WM), Southern Railway (SOU), and the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N).

Particularly notable was a latecomer, the Virginian Railway (VGN). By 1900, only a large area of the most rugged terrain of southern West Virginia was any distance from the existing railroads and mining activity. Within this area west of the New River Coalfield in Raleigh and Wyoming counties lay the Winding Gulf Coalfield, later promoted as the “Billion Dollar Coalfield.”

A protg of Dr. Ansted was William Nelson Page (18541932), a civil engineer and mining manager in Fayette County. Former West Virginia Governor William A. MacCorkle described him as a man who knew the land “as a farmer knows a field.” Beginning in 1898, Page teamed with northern and European-based investors to take advantage of the undeveloped area. They acquired large tracts of land in the area, and Page began the Deepwater Railway, a short-line railroad which was chartered to stretch between the C&O at its line along the Kanawha River and the N&W at Matoaka, a distance of about 80 miles (130 km).

Although the Deepwater plan should have provided a competitive shipping market via either railroad, leaders of the two large railroads did not appreciate the scheme. In secret collusion, each declined to negotiate favorable rates with Page, nor did they offer to purchase his railroad, as they had many other short-lines. However, if the C&O and N&W presidents thought they could thus kill the Page project, they were to be proved mistaken. One of the silent partner investors Page had enlisted was millionaire industrialist Henry Huttleston Rogers, a principal in John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust and an old hand at developing natural resources, transportation. A master at competitive “warfare”, Henry Rogers did not like to lose in his endeavors and also had “deep pockets”.

Instead of giving up, Page (and Rogers) quietly planned and then built their tracks all the way east across Virginia, using Rogers’ private fortune to finance the $40-million cost. When the renamed Virginian Railway (VGN) was completed in 1909, no fewer than three railroads were shipping ever-increasing volumes of coal to export from Hampton Roads. West Virginia coal was also under high demand at Great Lakes ports. The VGN and the N&W ultimately became parts of the modern Norfolk Southern system, and the VGN’s well-engineered 21st-century tracks continue to offer a favorable gradient to Hampton Roads.

As coal mining and related work became major employment activities in the state, there was considerable labor strife as working conditions, safety issues and economic concerns arose. Even in the 21st century, mining safety and ecological concerns is still challenging to the state whose coal continues to power electrical generating plants in many other states.

Coal is not the only valuable mineral found in West Virginia, as the state was the site of the 1928 discovery of the 34.48 carat (6.896 g) Jones Diamond.

Demographics

West Virginia population density map.

Historical populations

Census

Pop.

 %

1790

55,873

1800

78,592

40.7%

1810

105,469

34.2%

1820

136,808

29.7%

1830

176,924

29.3%

1840

224,537

26.9%

1850

302,313

34.6%

1860

376,688

24.6%

1870

442,014

17.3%

1880

618,457

39.9%

1890

762,794

23.3%

1900

958,800

25.7%

1910

1,221,119

27.4%

1920

1,463,701

19.9%

1930

1,729,205

18.1%

1940

1,901,974

10.0%

1950

2,005,552

5.4%

1960

1,860,421

7.2%

1970

1,744,237

6.2%

1980

1,949,644

11.8%

1990

1,793,477

8.0%

2000

1,808,344

0.8%

Est. 2009

1,819,777

0.6%

The center of population of West Virginia is located in Braxton County, in the town of Gassaway.

As of 2005, West Virginia has an estimated population of 1,816,856, which is an increase of 4,308, or 0.2%, from the prior year and an increase of 8,506, or 0.5%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural decrease since the last census of 3,296 people (that is 108,292 births minus 111,588 deaths) and an increase from net migration of 14,209 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 3,691 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 10,518 people.

Only 1.1% of the state’s residents were foreign-born, placing West Virginia last among the 50 states in that statistic. It also has the lowest percentage of residents that speak a language other than English in the home (2.7%).

The five largest ancestry groups in West Virginia are: American (23.2%), German (17.2%), Irish (13.5%), English (12%), Italian (4.8%).

Large numbers of people of German ancestry are present in the northeastern counties of the state.

5.6% of West Virginia’s population were reported as under 5, 22.3% under 18, and 15.3% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 51.4% of the population.

There were 20,928 births in 2006. Of these, 19,757 (94.40% of the births, 95.19% of the population) were to Non-Hispanic Whites. There were 22 births to American Indians (0.11% of the births and 0.54% of the population), 177 births to Asians (0.85% of the births and 0.68% of the population), 219 births to Hispanics (1.05% of the births and 0.88% of the population) and 753 births to Blacks and others (3.60% of the births and 3.56% of the population).

The state’s Northern Panhandle, and North-Central region feel an affinity for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also, those in the Eastern Panhandle feel a connection with the Washington, D.C. suburbs in Maryland and Virginia, and southern West Virginians often consider themselves Southerners. Finally, the towns and farms along the mid-Ohio River have an appearance and culture somewhat resembling the Midwest.

Demographics of West Virginia (csv)

By race

White

Black

AIAN*

Asian

NHPI*

2000 (total population)

96.01%

3.49%

0.59%

0.66%

0.05%

2000 (Hispanic only)

0.63%

0.04%

0.02%

0.01%

0.01%

2005 (total population)

95.99%

3.56%

0.56%

0.69%

0.05%

2005 (Hispanic only)

0.80%

0.04%

0.02%

0.01%

0.01%

Growth 200005 (total population)

0.46%

2.49%

-3.96%

5.57%

-2.80%

Growth 200005 (non-Hispanic only)

0.28%

2.30%

-4.24%

5.96%

-0.52%

Growth 200005 (Hispanic only)

27.74%

21.51%

5.56%

-20.22%

-16.67%

* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

Religion

Responses to a 2001 religious survey were:

Christian (75%)

Protestant (60%)

Baptist (30%)

Methodist (15%)

Other Protestant/General Protestant (15%)

Non-denominational Christian (7%)

Roman Catholic (8%)

Not religious (13%)

A non-Christian religion (4%)

6% refused to answer.

Economy

Main article: Economy of West Virginia

According to U.S. Census Bureau data, West Virginia is the third lowest in per capita income, ahead of only Arkansas and Mississippi. It also ranks last in median household income. The proportion of West Virginia’s adult population with a bachelor’s degree is the lowest in the U.S. at 17.3%.

West Virginia’s GDP was $55.6B in 2006, which was a 0.6% increase from 2005. This makes growth rate for the state the 2nd lowest in the nation, ahead of only Michigan. However, by 2008, West Virginia was one of only four U.S. states to have a surplus state budget, indicating renewed economic growth.

One of the major resources in West Virginia’s economy is coal. According to the Energy Information Administration, West Virginia is a top coal-producer in the United States, second only to Wyoming. West Virginia produces minimal oil and natural gas. Nearly all of the electricity generated in West Virginia is from coal-fired power plants. West Virginia produces a surplus of electricity and leads the Nation in net interstate electricity exports. Farming is also practiced in West Virginia, but on a limited basis because of the mountainous terrain over much of the state.

Bituminous coal seam in southwestern West Virginia

West Virginia personal income tax is based on federal adjusted gross income (not taxable income), as modified by specific items in West Virginia law. Citizens are taxed within five income brackets, which range from 3.0 percent to 6.5 percent. The state’s consumer sales tax is levied at 6 percent. Effective January 1, 2004, calculation of WV consumer sales tax has been converted to a calculated figure from the bracket system, and remains at 6 percent for most goods (food goods are now taxable at 3 percent). The computation of tax is carried out to the third decimal place and rounded up when the third decimal place is five (.005) or higher; and similarly rounded down if the third place is four (.004) or lower. By virtue of this method, sales totaling $0.08 and below would not have a sales tax associated with them.

West Virginia counties administer and collect property taxes, although property tax rates reflect levies for state government, county governments, county boards of education and municipalities. Counties may also impose a hotel occupancy tax on lodging places not located within the city limits of any municipality that levies such a tax. Municipalities may levy license and gross receipts taxes on businesses located within the city limits and a hotel occupancy tax on lodging places in the city. Although the Department of Tax and Revenue plays a major role in the administration of this tax, less than one-half of 1 percent of the property tax collected goes to state government. The primary beneficiaries of the property tax are county boards of education. Property taxes are paid to the sheriff of each of the state’s 55 counties. Each county and municipality can impose its own rates of property taxation within the limits set by the West Virginia Constitution. The West Virginia legislature sets the rate of tax of county boards of education. This rate is used by all county boards of education statewide. However, the total tax rate for county boards of education may differ from county to county because of excess levies. The Department of Tax and Revenue supervises and otherwise assists counties and municipalities in their work of assessment and tax rate determination. The total tax rate is a combination of the tax levies from four state taxing authorities: state, county, schools and municipal. This total tax rate varies for each of the four classes of property, which consists of personal, real and intangible properties. Property is assessed according to its use, location and value as of July 1. All property is reappraised every three years; annual adjustments are made to assessments for property with a change of value. West Virginia does not impose an inheritance tax. Because of the phase-out of the federal estate tax credit, West Virginia’s estate tax is not imposed on estates of persons who died on or after January 1, 2005.

Transportation

A toll plaza West Virginia Turnpike.

The New River Gorge Bridge.

The Veterans Memorial Bridge, the new (Weirton-Steubenville Bridge) carries US 22 and is similar design of the new connecting bridge of Proctorville, Ohio (Ohio Rt 7) with Huntington, West Virginia thoroughfare US 60.

Main article: Transportation in West Virginia

Highways form the backbone of transportation systems in West Virginia, with over 37,300 miles of public roads in the state. Airports, railroads, and rivers complete the commercial transportation modes for West Virginia. Commercial air travel is facilitated by airports in Charleston, Huntington, Morgantown, Beckley, Bluefield, Lewisburg, Bridgeport, Martinsburg, Wheeling, and Parkersburg. Cities like Charleston, Huntington, Clarksburg, Fairmont, Bluefield, and Logan have bus-based public transit systems. Charleston also has a limited number of trolley cars that run primarily through the downtown area. West Virginia University in Morgantown boasts the PRT (personal rapid transit) system, the state’s only single rail public transit system. Developed by Boeing, the WVU School of Engineering and the Department of Transportation, it was a model for low-capacity light transport designed for smaller cities. It was also the model for Disney World’s tram system. Recreational transportation opportunities abound in West Virginia, including hiking trails, rail trails, ATV off road trails, white water rafting rivers, and two tourist railroads (Cass Scenic Railroad, and the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad).

West Virginia is crossed by several interstate highways. I-64 enters the state near White Sulphur Springs in the mountainous east, and exits for Kentucky in the west, near Huntington. I-77 enters from Virginia in the south, near Bluefield. It runs north past Parkersburg before it crosses into Ohio. I-64 and I-77 are merged in a stretch of toll road known as the West Virginia Turnpike, on which construction began in 1952. It runs from just east of Charleston south to the exit for Princeton. I-68’s western terminus is in Morgantown. From there it runs east into Maryland. At the I-68 terminus in Morgantown, it meets I-79, which enters from Pennsylvania and runs through the state to its southern terminus in Charleston. I-70 briefly runs through West Virginia, crossing the northern panhandle through Wheeling. I-81 also briefly runs in West Virginia through the Eastern Panhandle where it goes through Martinsburg.

An interstate quality road is currently being built that will eventually stretch from I-79 near Weston, WV to at least Wardensville, WV. The western stretch is complete to Kerens, West Virginia but is incomplete from there to Moorefield, WV. It is not certain whether the highway will eventually continue east past Wardensville to the Virginia state line and ultimately connect to I-81 just south of Winchester, VA.

Rail lines in the state used to be more prevalent, but many lines have been discontinued because of increased automobile traffic. Many old tracks have been converted to rail trails for recreational use, and the state is still served by a few commercial lines for hauling coal and by Amtrak. In 2006 Norfolk Southern along with the West Virginia and U.S. Government approved a plan to modify many of the rail tunnels in West Virginia, especially in the southern half of the state, to allow for double stacked cars (see inter-modal freight). This is expected to also help bring economic growth to the southern half of the state.

Because of the mountainous nature of the entire state, West Virginia has several notable tunnels and bridges. The most famous of these is the New River Gorge Bridge, which was at a time the longest steel single-arch bridge in the world with a 3,031-foot (924 m) span. The bridge is also pictured on the West Virginia state quarter. The Fort Steuben Bridge (Weirton-Steubenville Bridge) was at its time of construction one of only three cable-stayed steel girder trusses in the United States. “The Veterans Memorial Bridge was designed to handle traffic from the Fort Steuben Bridge as well as its own traffic load,” to quote the Wierton Daily Times news paper. The 80-year-old Fort Steuben Bridge (Weirton-Steubenville Bridge) was permanently closed on January 8, 2009.

In March 2008, The American State Litter Scorecard, presented at the American Society for Public Administration national conference, rated West Virginia as a nationally Worst state for removing litter/debris from highways and public properties. The state has an above average fatality rate from litter/debris-caused vehicle accidents In fact, deer insurance claims frequency is highest in West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia according to an Erie Insurance report concerning single car accidents.

Law and government

Main article: Law and government of West Virginia

West Virginia’s capital and seat of government is the city of Charleston, located in the southwest area of the state.

Legislative branch

Further information: West Virginia Legislature

The West Virginia Legislature is bicameral, consisting of the House of Delegates and the Senate. It is a citizen’s legislature, meaning that legislative office is not a full-time occupation, but rather a part-time position. Consequently, the legislators often hold a full-time job in their community of residence.

Typically, the legislature is in session for 60 days between January and early April. The final day of the regular session ends in a bewildering fury of last-minute legislation in order to meet a constitutionally imposed deadline of midnight. During the remainder of the year, monthly interim sessions are held in preparation for the regular session. Legislators also gather periodically for ‘special’ sessions when called by the governor.

Executive branch

Further information: List of Governors of West Virginia

The governor, elected every four years on the same day as the U.S. Presidential election, is sworn in during the following January.

Governors of West Virginia can serve two consecutive terms but must sit out a term before serving a third term in office.

Judicial branch

Further information: Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia

West Virginia is one of thirteen states that does not have a death penalty.

For the purpose of courts of general jurisdiction, the state is divided into 31 judicial circuits. Each circuit is made up of one or more counties. Circuit judges are elected in partisan elections to serve eight-year terms.

West Virginia highest court is the Supreme Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the busiest appellate court of its type in the United States. West Virginia is one of 11 states with a single appellate court. The state constitution allows for the creation of an intermediate court of appeals, but the Legislature has never created one. The Supreme Court is made up of five justices, elected in partisan elections to 12-year terms.

West Virginia is an alcoholic beverage control state. However, unlike most such states, it does not operate retail outlets, having exited that business in 1990. It retains a monopoly on wholesaling of distilled spirits only.

Politics

The West Virginia State Capitol.

Main article: Politics of West Virginia

At the state level, West Virginia’s politics are largely dominated by the Democratic Party, with Democrats currently holding the governorship, both senate seats, two of three house seats and both houses of the state legislature. West Virginia also has a very strong tradition of union membership.

Evangelical Christians comprised 52 percent of the state’s voters in 2008. A poll in 2005 showed that 53 percent of West Virginia voters are pro-life, the seventh highest in the country. In 2006, 16 percent favored gay marriage. In 2008 58 percent favored troop withdrawal from Iraq while just 32 percent wanted troops to remain. On fiscal policy in 2008, 52 percent said raising taxes on the wealthier individuals would benefit the economy, while 45 percent disagreed.

Democratic politicians are typically more conservative than the national party. Senator Robert Byrd opposes affirmative action and same-sex marriage. Governor Joe Manchin and Congressmen Alan Mollohan and Nick Rahall are pro-life on the issue of abortion. Although, Junior Senator and former Governor Jay Rockefeller continues to enjoy popularity in the state, having been reelected in 2008 with 63.7% of the vote despite the fact that his political views are well to the left of many of his statewide colleagues.

In the Republican landslide of 1988, it was one of only ten states, and the only southern state (as defined by the US Census), to give its electoral votes to Michael Dukakis; it was one of only six states to support Jimmy Carter over Ronald Reagan in 1980; and it supported Bill Clinton by large margins in both 1992 and 1996. Furthermore, the state has trended increasingly Republican in Presidential elections; despite the earlier Democratic wins in Presidential matchups mentioned, it narrowly elected George W. Bush over Al Gore in 2000, then re-elected Bush by a much larger margin in 2004 and voted for John McCain in 2008 by a similar margin to 2004.

The most consistent support for Democrats is found in the coal fields of southern West Virginia (especially McDowell, Mingo, Logan, Wyoming, and Boone Counties), while Republicans are most numerous to the east of the Allegheny Mountains, especially in the state’s Eastern Panhandle and Potomac Highlands. The Northern Panhandle and North-Central West Virginia regions usually split right down the middle in terms of being Republican or Democratic. Since 1996, coal interests have contributed more than $4 million to candidates for governor, the state Supreme Court and the West Virginia Legislature. The 2004 election was a record-setter for the coal industry. Gov. Joe Manchin received $571,214 from coal interests for his campaign and $174,500 for his inaugural. West Virginians for Coal, the West Virginia Coal Association’s political action committee, contributed more money than any other coal industry donor.

Further information: Political party strength in West Virginia

State capitals

Originally, the state capital was in Wheeling (1863 to 1870). It was then moved to Charleston, a more central city (1870 to 1875). However it was returned to Wheeling in 1875, until the capitol burned down in 1885. It was moved back to Charleston in 1885, and it has been there since.

Important cities and towns

See also: List of cities in West Virginia, List of towns in West Virginia, List of villages in West Virginia, List of census-designated places in West Virginia

Charleston is West Virginia’s most populous city

Huntington

Parkersburg

Morgantown

Wheeling

Large cities

Charleston, 53,421 (2008 estimate: 50,302)

Huntington, 51,475 (2008 estimate: 49,185)

Parkersburg, 33,099 (2008 estimate: 31,611)

Morgantown, 26,809 (2008 estimate: 29,642)

Wheeling, 31,419 (2008 estimate: 28,913)

Fairmont, 19,097 (2008 estimate: 19,024)

Weirton, 20,411 (2008 estimate: 18,748)

Martinsburg, 14,972 (2008 estimate: 17,020)

Beckley, 17,254 (2008 estimate: 16,832)

Clarksburg, 16,743 (2008 estimate: 16,441)

South Charleston, 13,390 (2008 estimate: 12,427)

Teays Valley, 12,704 (2008 estimate: N/A)

Bluefield, 11,451 (2008 estimate: 11,093)

St. Albans, 11,567 (2008 estimate: 10,996)

Vienna, 10,861 (2008 estimate: 10,536)

Cross Lanes, 10,353 (2008 estimate: N/A)

Towns and small cities

Barboursville

Berkeley Springs

Bridgeport

Bruceton Mills

Buckhannon

Charles Town

Darkesville

Dunbar

Elkins

Falling Waters

Fayetteville

Farmington

Follansbee

Fort Gay

Grafton

Hamlin

Harpers Ferry

Hedgesville

Hinton

Inwood

Kenova

Keyser

Kingwood

Lewisburg

Logan

Madison

Mannington

Marlinton

Milton

Moorefield

Moundsville

Mount Hope

Mullens

New Martinsville

Nitro

Oak Hill

Paden City

Paw Paw

Petersburg

Philippi

Pleasant Valley

Point Pleasant

Princeton

Ranson

Ravenswood

Richwood

Ripley

Romney

Salem

Shepherdstown

Shinnston

Summersville

Wayne

Webster Springs

Welch

Wellsburg

Weirton

Weston

Westover

White Sulphur Springs

Williamson

Williamstown

Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Charleston, WV MSA

Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH MSA

Morgantown, WV MSA

Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna, WV-OH MSA

Weirton-Steubenville, WV-OH MSA

Wheeling, WV-OH MSA

Cumberland, MD-WV MSA

Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV MSA

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV MSA

Winchester, VA-WV MSA

Micropolitan Statistical Areas

Beckley, WV Micropolitan Statistical Area (MSA)

Bluefield, WV-VA MSA

Clarksburg, WV MSA

Fairmont, WV MSA

Oak Hill, WV MSA

Point Pleasant, WV-OH MSA

Education

Main article: Education in West Virginia

Fairmont

Martinsburg

West Virginia has received low marks for reading and math skills at the eighth-grade level and ranked 51st in college education rates.

Colleges and universities

Further information: List of colleges and universities in West Virginia

Alderson-Broaddus College

Appalachian Bible College

Bethany College

Bluefield State College

Concord University

Davis and Elkins College

Fairmont State University

Glenville State College

Kanawha Valley Community and Technical College

Marshall University

Mountain State University

Ohio Valley University

Salem International University

Shepherd University

University of Charleston

West Liberty University

West Virginia Northern Community College

West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine

West Virginia State University

West Virginia University

Potomac State College of West Virginia University

West Virginia University Institute of Technology

West Virginia University at Parkersburg

West Virginia Wesleyan College

Wheeling Jesuit University

Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College

Distinctions

West Virginia state insignia

Motto

Montani semper liberi (Latin, “Mountaineers are Always Free”)

Slogan

“Wild and Wonderful”

“Open for Business” (former)

“Almost Heaven” (former)

Bird

Northern Cardinal

(Cardinalis cardinalis)

Animal

Black Bear

(Ursus americanus)

Fish

Brook Trout

(Salvelinus fontinalis)

Insect

European Honey Bee

(Apis mellifera)

Flower

Rhododendron

(Rhododendron maximum)

Tree

Sugar Maple

(Acer saccharum)

Song

“The West Virginia Hills”

“This Is My West Virginia”

“West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home”

Quarter

Released in 2005

Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

(Danaus plexippus)

Reptile

Timber Rattler

(Crotalus horridus)

Wildflower

Fringed Gentian

(Gentiana crinita)

Colors

Old Gold and Blue

Gemstone

Silicified Mississippian Fossil Coral

(Lithostrotionella)

Rock

Coal

Soil

Monongahela Silt Loam

Fruit

Golden Delicious Apple

(Malus domestica)

The state has a rich, lush beauty reflecting its temperate topography. Tourist sites include the New River Gorge Bridge, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and many state parks. The Greenbrier hotel and resort, originally built in 1778, has long been considered a premier hotel frequented by numerous world leaders and U.S. Presidents over the years. West Virginia is also home to the Green Bank Telescope at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.

A common story told about West Virginia is the folktale about how it got the nickname “West, By God, Virginia”. According to the legend, a West Virginia native who was being inducted into the US Army during the First World War (some versions make it as early as the Spanish-American War), was repeatedly asked by his induction officer, “What part of Virginia?” And the soldier, finally getting fed up with the confusion, said “Not Virginia! West Virginia! West, by God, Virginia!”. This story, whether true or not, has entered American folklore, and it is not unusual to hear not only West Virginians themselves, but other Americans, refer to the state as “West, By God, Virginia”;, or often as “West By-God”, or sometimes simply as “By-God”. Many West Virginians, when travelling outside the state, or when abroad, enjoy paying homage to the legend by referring to their home state in this manner.

Culture

See also: Category:West Virginia culture

Music

Main article: Music of West Virginia

Appalachian music

West Virginia’s folk heritage is a part of the Appalachian folk music tradition, and includes styles of fiddling, ballad singing, and other styles that draw on Scots-Irish music. Camp Washington-Carver, a Mountain Cultural Arts Center located at Clifftop in Fayette County, hosts an annual Appalachian String Band Festival. The Capitol Complex in Charleston hosts The Vandalia Gathering, where traditional Appalachian musicians compete in contests and play in impromptu jam sessions and evening concerts over the course of the weekend. The Augusta Heritage Center sponsored by Davis & Elkins College in Elkins in Randolph County produces the annual Augusta Heritage Festival which includes intensive week-long workshops that are in the summer that help preserve Appalachian heritage and traditions.

Classical music

The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1939, as the Charleston Civic Orchestra, before becoming the Charleston Symphony Orchestra in 1943. The first conductor was William R. Wiant, followed by the prominent conductor Antonio Modarelli, who was written about in the November 7, 1949 Time Magazine for his composition of the River Saga, a six-section program piece about the Kanawha River according to the Charleston Gazette’s November 6, 1999 photo essay, “Snapshots of the 20th Century”. Prior to coming to Charleston, Modarelli had conducted the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra, according to the orchestra’s website.

The Pulitzer Prize winning 20th century composer George Crumb was born in Charleston and earned his Bachelor’s Degree there before moving outside the state. There had also been a series of operatic style concerts performed in Wheeling during mid-century as well.

Musical innovation

The West Virginia Cultural Center in Charleston is home to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History which helps underwrite and coordinate a large number of musical activities. The Center is also home to Mountain Stage, the internationally broadcast live-performance music radio program established in 1983. The program also travels to other venues in the state such as the West Virginia University Creative Arts Center in Morgantown.

The Center hosts concerts sponsored by the Friends of Old Time Music and Dance, which brings an assortment of acoustic roots music to West Virginians. The Center also hosts the West Virginia Dance Festival, which features classical and modern dance.

Huntington’s historic Keith-Albee Theatre, built by brothers A.B. and S.J. Hyman, was originally opened to the public on May 7, 1928, and hosts a variety of performing arts and music attractions. The theatre was eventually gifted to Marshall University and is currently going through renovation to restore it to its original splendor.

Every summer Elkins hosts the Augusta Heritage Festival, which brings folk musicians from around the world. The town of Glenville has long been home to the annual West Virginia State Folk Festival.

The Mountaineer Opera House in Milton hosts a variety of musical acts.

John Denver’s song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” describes the experience of driving through West Virginia. The Boston, Massachusetts band Big Wreck wrote a song titled “West Virginia”.

The Daily Mail Kanawha County Majorette and Band Festival is West Virginia’s longest running music festival. It is for the eight public high schools in Kanawha County. The festival began in 1947. It is held at the University of Charleston Stadium at Laidley Field in downtown Charleston.


Source by dpdo

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Loudoun County Speeding Traffic Violation Virginia Code 46.2-878 46.2-870

THOMAS K. PLOFCHAN, JR. v. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
May 8, 2007, Decided

Kleptach recorded Thomas K. Plofchan, Jr.’s speed at sixty-seven miles per hour and initiated a traffic stop.  He issued Plofchan a summons charging him with a violation of Code § 46.2-878.  Plofchan was charged with violating Code § 46.2-878.  Following a bench trial, the Circuit Court of Loudoun County (Virginia) convicted him of speeding in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-870.  Defendant appealed.  On appeal he contends the trial court erred when it failed to grant his motion to strike because there can be no lesser included offenses of a traffic violation.

The issue to be decided here is whether traffic infractions are treated like criminal offenses and other charges and can one be construed as a lesser-included offense of another.

A traffic infraction, while not criminal in nature, is a violation of law punishable as provided in § 46.2-113, which is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor, Code § 46.2-100.  As such, traffic infractions are punishable by a fine of not more than that provided for a Class 4 misdemeanor under § 18.2-11.  Code § 46.2-113.  Additionally, under Code § 46.2-937, for purposes of arrest, traffic infractions shall be treated as misdemeanors.  Thus, for certain purposes, traffic infractions are treated like criminal offenses and other charges and nothing precludes one being a lesser-included offense of another.

Plofchan also asserts that for an offense to be lesser included of another, it must be of lesser magnitude of the other.  However, whether one offense is a lesser included offense of the other depends upon whether the elements of the greater offense necessarily include all elements of the lesser.  A lesser included offense is an offense which is composed entirely of elements that are also elements of the greater offense.  An offense is not a lesser included offense of another if each offense contains an element that the other does not.  Contrary to Plofchan’s assertion, there is no requirement that a lesser-included offense be of a lower grade or carry a different potential penalty than the greater offense.  The potential punishment accorded each offense is immaterial to the determination of whether one offense is a lesser-included offense of another.

The judgment of the trial court was affirmed.

Diclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group.  They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions.  The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.



Source by Atchuthan Sriskandarajah

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Northern Virginia 1800Auto Broker Shares The Types of Brokers


One of the tricks to using a broker, however, is figuring out what kind of auto broker you’re dealing with. A simple look through the phonebook or Internet search can scrounge up dozens of names, but not everyone is really working for the consumer.

A pure, consumer-driven auto broker usually works out of a small office or home office with a skeleton staff, charging flat-fee buying services to any customer who asks them to. This is the kind of broker Northern VA 1800 auto Broker is. they have a home office, which keeps their overhead down passing on the savings to their clients.But don’t feel limited to hiring a broker in your immediate region. As the market for broker-represented buying has spread, many brokers have started working from Web-based traffic and taking on clients around the world.

“I can do new and used car deals for anyone, no matter where they live,” said Dave Sutch, CEO of MyCarGuy-SF.com, a brokerage in San Francisco. “I am meeting with someone today who is from New Zealand and wants a 2000 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson truck. [And] I recently was able to negotiate the purchase of a new Honda Accord for over $1,500 lower here than any dealer in the customer’s home state of Washington.”

While many brokers are former car dealers, This is not true for Northern VA 1800 Auto Broker. They have neber worked for been car dealers at a dealership. They should not be receiving any compensation from dealerships for passing your name along as a lead. Many operations call themselves brokerages, but make substantial amounts of their profits from dealerships, or even directly work for a dealership. This isn’t illegal or even unethical, but can lead you to question whether they really have your best interests at heart.

“There are many people and services posing as brokers or leasing and buying agencies,” said Jay Green, owner and founder of AutoSeek.com in Los Angeles. “The best way to check would be to call some random dealerships near them and ask if they have heard of the person or service and what they have to say about them.”

Feel free to ask questions about the broker, his or her background, the fee structure and the history of the company. Most reputable brokers are proud of their independence from dealerships and will openly boast about how well they know the tricks dealerships can pull. Call Northern VA 1800autobBroker at 1-877-AUTO-814. They are fairly new to the local market but have years of experience with buying, restoring and loving the car business.

“For most people, the initial salesman is about as high on the food chain as they’re likely to have access to,” AutoSeek.com’s Green said. “These people are not qualified to answer my phones, much less look after our clients’ best interests.”

Fees for these services can start at $500 and can go as high as $1,000 normally, based on the car you’re buying and whether it is a new or used model. Used cars and rare cars tend to carry a higher fee since it takes more legwork to locate a good deal; although, you’ll likely see an even deeper discount from what you could have bought on your own thanks to regional differences in used car prices.

Your broker should charge you on a flat-fee basis, agreed to before purchase. This way, the broker only makes money when he or she gets a great deal for you and can’t drive up the fee by putting you in a more expensive car.

If you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars, wholesale clubs like Costco and auto clubs like AAA offer car-buying services similar to what brokers offer. Even a site like Carsdirect.com basically operates as a broker. Normally, these services operate by working out special pricing with one dealership in a market that can be offered to members in return for referrals. While this isn’t a true brokerage arrangement, the service is often free or very inexpensive and can often take much of the haggling out of the car-buying process.

A consumer can often get similar deals by simply calling or e-mailing a dealership’s fleet or Internet manager and negotiating prices through them.

In the end, most consumers can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars by hiring a professional to broker the purchase of their next car. But beyond the dollars, you’re also saving hours of hassle in avoiding the traditional walk-up or even an Internet-based dealership experience. And that can be the most valuable benefit of all.


Source by Saundra Jackson

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Guide to Getting a Massage in Fairfax, Virginia

Living in or visiting Fairfax, Virginia is an experience that you really wouldn’t want to forget. Fairfax is a wonderfully modern city with a rich history and historical sites, great people, and fantastic shopping. But trying to see and do everything that Fairfax has to offer could leave you wanting a massage. Massage in Fairfax is provided by independent State Certified Massage Therapists, Licensed Massage Establishments, and a growing number of Day Spas.

Massage in Fairfax is an experience that people from all walks of life find enjoyable after an exciting day exploring Fairfax and something they want to repeat over and over again. Whether your goal is to relax and relieve stress with a slow, soothing massage, relieve muscular pain and chronic tension, have a pain free and more comfortable pregnancy, or improve your sports performance Certified Massage Therapists in Fairfax can help you achieve your goals. In fact there are several available types of Massage in Fairfax. The most commonly offered massage techniques in Fairfax are:

Swedish Massage – relaxing massage using gliding strokes, kneading, friction, and striking strokes along with gentle stretching and rocking.

Deep Tissue Massage – massage of the deeper musculature and connective tissue to release chronic tension and pain. It’s often a firmer massage that is appreciated by experienced clients.

Sports Massage – massage to assist the athlete in preparing for and recovering from sports events.

Neuromuscular Therapy – advanced pain relief targeting specific trigger points in muscles, tendons, and attachment sites. A great choice if you have muscular pain.

Trigger Point Therapy – targeted pain relief using specific pressure to release painful knots in muscles.

Positional Release Therapy – a gentle pain relief technique where the therapist moves the client into specific positions that allow the body to release tension.

Prenatal/Pregnancy Massage – massage for the mother-to-be helping her to decrease pain and discomfort throughout the pregnancy.

Lymphatic Drainage Massage – specifically used for decreasing swelling and edema as well as improving the circulation of the body’s lymph. It’s detoxifying and some think it improves the immune system too.

However, in addition to the more commonly practiced massage therapy techniques your Fairfax based Massage Therapist might also practice some other well known and highly effective massage therapy techniques:

– Medical Massage
– Myofascial Release
– Craniosacral Therapy
– Hot Stone Massage
– Connective Tissue Massage
– Thai Massage

You might even want to try a very special massage therapy treat when you get a massage in Fairfax like Couple’s Massage where a couple can receive their massages together in the same massage room with two massage therapists. Or, for the true massage therapy enthusiast some Licensed Massage Establishments and Day Spas offer Four Hand Massage, Duo, or Tandem Massage, where you can receive therapeutic massage by two massage therapists at the same time.

Massage in Fairfax is also convenient to receive. Massage in Fairfax is available on an incall basis at a Massage Therapist’s office, in a Licensed Massage Establishment, or in one of many conveniently located Day Spas. Massage in Fairfax is also available on an outcall basis in your Fairfax area home, office, or hotel. No matter where you are in Fairfax a great massage is only minutes away.

So if you’re in Fairfax what’s stopping you from getting your massage? Massage in Fairfax is relaxing, stress reducing, pain relieving, and performance improving so get one today…you’ll be glad you did!



Source by Pasquale Bright

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The Best Certificate Programs in Washington Dc and Virginia

There are a lot of certificate programs available today but not all of them will lead you to a glorious career. In fact, most of these certificate programs will eat up much of your precious time and money. You may even end up in a non-secure career transition.

However, there are some excellent certificate programs that can easily fit into your hectic schedule. These programs should be useful in taking your career to the next level. Let’s take a look at some of the best certificate programs available in Washington DC and Virginia.

If you are stuck in a career rut, where you are struggling to move forward, there are some advanced certificate programs that can help you break down the obstacles keeping you from a successful career transition. These advanced certificate programs are excellent in offering great career transitions.

Some of the best certificates programs based on today’s career opportunities are International Business Management, General Management, Health Systems Management, Business Accounting, Government Contract Management, Cyber Security Management and Information Systems Management.

All of these certificate programs are based on management and accounting. These certificate programs are popular for a reason. What company or organization can function without a management professional and an accounting department? This is why the above mentioned certificate programs present some of the best opportunities for an effective career transition.

Furthermore, in current economic conditions, the accounting and management sectors are the only areas that are not affected. The job security in these sectors is very high. Many organizations are struggling to maintain accounts in this rock bottomed economy. Hence the demand for accounting professionals is very high. Management and accounting professionals can have a very prosperous career whether it’s in the International Business sector, the Health sector, Information Systems or Government.

These certificate programs are even more valuable if you already hold a degree. If you’re still not a degree holder, there is nothing to worry about it. There are some campuses in Washington and Virginia that offer both degree programs and certificate programs.

The degree programs come in two forms – a bachelor degree program or an associate degree program. Both of these degree programs are career oriented. You have to choose the degree program based on your availability. The associate degree programs can be completed pretty quickly in comparison to bachelor degree programs.

However, there is one more thing that has to be considered when selecting the type of degree program that you’d like to pursue. It’s your ability to learn. If you are a quick learner, the associate degree programs are made for you. The bachelor degree programs will enable you to get wide knowledge in an extended period of time. Some of the best bachelor degree programs like an Accounting Degree, Government Contract Management Degree, Information Systems Degree, Business Management Degree and International Business Degree will take 18 months to complete.

When it comes to Degree programs and Certificate programs in the United States, the best campuses are located in Arlington, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria and Annandale.



Source by Kristin Kronstain

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What Is The Problem With Northern Virginia And Washington D.C. Water?

Northern Virginia is growing in population rapidly and as more people move into the area, a question that is asked more and more frequently is – what is the quality of my drinking water?

Individuals and families are naturally concerned with their health and drinking water is an important element of maintaining good health.

Unfortunately, the quality of the water in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. is very poor and is getting worse. Contaminants, bacteria, minerals and chemicals in tap water are masked with heavy doses of chlorine and tap water, in addition to being unhealthy, tastes and smells terrible.

Regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not eliminate contamination but merely sets maximum levels of contaminants that can enter the human body. and cause long term damage.

What is the Story With Tap Water?

Tap water is municipal water that is usually pumped from a nearby river and then processed to meet EPA guidelines. The processing is usually done through a waster treatment plant with heavy amounts of chlorine added to kill remaining bacteria that processing does not catch. It is important to note that EPA guidelines are just that – they establish minimum amounts of allowed contamination that may eventually be harmful to both adults and children.

In Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. the drinking water is pumped mainly out of the Potomac River and at least one waste treatment plant.

Contaminants that may be present in this source water include:

Microbial contaminants, such as viruses and bacteria, which may come from sewage treatment plants, septic systems, agricultural livestock operations, and wildlife.

Inorganic contaminants, such as salts and metals, which can be naturally-occurring or result from urban storm water runoff, industrial or domestic waste water discharges, oil and gas production, mining, or farming.

Contaminants also include pesticides and herbicides, which may come from a variety of sources such as agriculture, urban storm water runoff, and residential uses.

In addition contaminants may include organic chemical contaminants, including synthetic and volatile organic chemicals, which are by-products of industrial processes and petroleum production, and can also come from gas stations, urban storm water runoff and septic systems.

Radioactive contaminants, which can be naturally occurring or be the result of oil and gas production and mining activities also affect local tap water.

What is the source of water in Washington D.C.?

The water in the Potomac River, Anacostia River, and Rock Creek flows into the District from outside jurisdictions. For example, the Potomac River begins in West Virginia, while the Anacostia River begins in Maryland. The quality of water in the District is thus affected by activities throughout the watershed.

Storm water runoff from commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural sites, point source pollutants from wastewater treatment plants and industrial discharges, and combined sewer overflows from as far away as West Virginia and Pennsylvania all contribute to the quality of water in the District and Northern Virginia.

What About Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO’s)

CSO’s frequently occur when natural events like flooding overcome the capacity
of waste treatment plants and raw sewage is pumped back into the water source like the Potomac River.

During periods of significant rainfall, the capacity of a combined sewer may be exceeded. When this occurs, regulators are designed to let the excess flow, which is a mixture of storm water and sanitary wastes, to be discharged directly to the Anacostia River, Rock Creek, the Potomac River, or tributary waters.

This excess flow is called Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO). Release of this excess flow is necessary to prevent flooding in homes, basements, businesses, and streets but it adds bacteria and contaminants as potential threats to tap water.

Since a portion of the tap water comes from sewerage treatment plants CSO’s can adversely affect the quality of our receiving waters in a number of ways:

CSO’s contain material which contributes to high bacteria levels in the receiving waters. Organic material in CSO’s can contribute to low dissolved oxygen levels, which can contribute to a potential for fish stress or fish kills, especially in summer months; and, debris in CSO’s such as plastic bottles, Styrofoam cups (otherwise known as “floatables”) contribute to poor aesthetics.

How Safe For Drinking is Well Water?

Well water, a popular alternative to tap water particularly in Northern Virginia is subject to the same ground water contaminants, chemical discharge waste and organic waste as tap water but is not subject to any regulation whatsoever.

In addition to emitting foul sulphur odors and sediment from the water Northern Virginia well water contains significant amounts of iron in the rock in some areas, particularly the Piedmont and Blue Ridge, resulting in iron “staining.” Sulfide in ground water is also found in parts of the Valley and Ridge where coal or natural gas is present produces an obnoxious odor.

Ground water that is a source of well water also can be contaminated by human activities. Bacteria from septic systems, and nitrate from both septic systems and fertilizer applications, are among the most common contaminants. Since well water is not subject to regulation, the potability and suitability for drinking, of a private well is the responsibility of the homeowner and many private wells are contaminated.

Treating Drinking Water From Wells

The Sate of Virginia strongly recommends treatment of well water with chlorine to kill bacteria in well water and, in an effort to overcome the obnoxious smell and taste of chlorine, de chlorination. Again, this process is not controlled by any state or Federal agency.

Two general kinds of water treatment are disinfecting and conditioning. To ensure that the supply is free of harmful bacteria, water is disinfected. Objectionable tastes, odors, and matter are removed by conditioning.

Well Water Disinfection Methods

Drinking water is most commonly tested for coliform bacteria, which live in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Coliform bacteria in a well are usually the result of a faulty septic system or contaminated surface water entering the well or water delivery system.

Materials and tools used in well construction are frequently contaminated with bacteria that live in the soil and these can be introduced into the water system while constructing the well, installing components of the piping system, or
servicing any part of the water supply system.

The State of Virginia strongly recommends that the water system be disinfected following construction and after all repairs.

Chlorination is used to disinfect private supplies because it destroys bacteria within a reasonable contact time and provides residual protection.

However,ordinary levels of chlorination are not always effective in destroying Giardia cysts,which cause a severe gastrointestinal illness.

Super-high levels of chlorination,boiling and filtering are the only effective methods to destroy or remove these cysts.

High chlorine concentrations can have objectionable tastes and odors, and even low chlorine concentrations react with some organic compounds to produce strong, unpleasant tastes and odors.

To eliminate these offensive tastes and to remove excessive amounts of chlorine, the water is then dechlorinated. Activated carbon filters are the most common devices used to dechlorinate water, remove objectionable chlorine tastes, and reduce corrosion of plumbing systems.

In addition to removing taste and odor problems, reports have shown that granular activated carbon absorption is the best method currently available to remove specific organic chemicals (including some pesticide residues), and as a method for radon removal.

How Safe is Tap and Well Water for Drinking?

Municipalities, well owners and even the EPA claim that tap and well water in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. is perfectly safe for drinking but one must wonder. Consider the source of tap water in light of sewage treatment, heavy chlorine additive and waste discharge in the Potomac River and one starts to wonder. Also consider that well water is subject to most of the contaminants of tap water but is unregulated as well.

Is Drinking Bottled Water an Alternative to Tap or Well?

The popularity of bottled water has grown tremendously as Americans seek healthy lifestyles and better tasting water. But not all bottled water is healthier than the tap or well alternative.

Up to 25% of all bottled water on the market is tap water repacked in plastic bottles and bottled water that is not purified often contains minerals and other contaminants that may be harmful to your health. These contaminants are not only unhealthy and affect the taste of the water but limit storage life for emergency supplies of drinking water.

Purified water however, using a distillation and oxygenation process, provides the water drinker the safest and best tasting alternative to contaminated tap and well water in Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. Distillation removes the water from the contaminants in a process that insures purity and oxygenation adds a light refreshing taste to the remaining purified water.

Consider the long term health of you and your family and build a healthy lifestyle on pure drinking water.



Source by Marcus Stout

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Family Vacation Ideas in Williamsburg, Virginia

A trip to Williamsburg, Virginia should be in your list of family vacation ideas. Williamsburg is one of the cities included in the Historic Triangle of Virgina, along with Jamestown and Yorktown. There are a lot of interesting sights that come with equally interesting facts in Williamsburg that will tickle the minds of parents, teens and younger children.

Going to Williamsburg is very convenient. It is only a few hours away from Washington, DC, and certainly within driving distance for Atlanta and Jacksonville, Florida. Williamsburg is particularly known for Colonial Williamsburg. It is a 301-acre community of restored 18th century infrastructures. You will find yourself going back in time as you wander about the buildings, houses, shops, taverns, outbuildings and other structures in their original foundation. The highlights of Colonial Williamsburg are the historic sites – Governor’s Palace, Capitol, Peyton Randolph, Releigh Tavern, George Wythe House and James Geddy House and Foundry – and the indoor museums – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

Family vacations are never complete without spending a day at a theme park! If you are looking for thrilling rides, visit Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens. Get ready to have your heartbeat racing as you ride the Loch Ness Monster roller coaster and Griffon (the world’s tallest and first floorless dive coaster). Also, if your family love scary stories and fright attractions, be sure to visit the theme park’s Howl-O-Scream and scream all your lungs out!

Williamsburg’s Go-Karts Plus gives families quality bonding time. The attraction is eight acres big, which houses four tracks for the whole family to enjoy. Race around an oval track on a replica of your favorite NASCAR automobiles. There are other activities in Go-Karts Plus that promise loads of fun for the family such as the Kiddie Land, bumper cars, bumper boats, miniature golf course, arcade and other games with prizes.

Visit Historic Yorktown, Historic Jamestown and President’s Park and learn history with your children while exploring the different sights, studios, galleries and museums dedicated to preserving the American heritage. From these attractions, you will also get the chance to learn about the early permanent English settlements in the country. Do not forget to spend some time learning about the Native American heritage and visit the Powhatan Indian Village nearby, which was home to Pocahontas.

Weird mind-boggling facts are what Ripley’s Believe It Or Not is known for. Take your kids to see exhibits of over 300 unusual artifacts Robert Ripley has gathered from his travels around the world, if you wish to see more of interesting global facts. The best part of this experience is that, no matter how odd the things you see are, they are all real! Believe it!

The idea of going on a family vacation is to discover as much as you can about the place you visit. These are just some of the things you can do in Williamsburg, Virginia. Nearby cities in Williamsburg also offer a different set of attractions and activities for the family that you might want to check out. The Virginia Arts Festival in Norfolk, Virginia coming on the 23rd until the 25th of May this year, for instance, promises participants and spectators a fun time of great music and other things. It will be the ultimate weekend in one of the country’s most historic settings.

The museums, other historical sights and the more energy-required attractions like the Busch Gardens and the Go-Kart Plus really make the trip to Williamsburg, Virginia a complete package for family fun. You can count of this as one of the best family vacation ideas you have ever had.



Source by David Reichman