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Power returns as hot topic

The new state motto, adopted by many West Virginians after the June 29 derecho, is back in fashion again.

The motto: "Got power?"

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After moving to South Hills a few years ago, I heard that the zip code there — 25314 — has the highest average household income in the state.

It is hard to believe, considering the fact that most of South Hills lacks sidewalks or even curbs.

And now there's another prolonged power outage. As I told my wife after the derecho, we need to view life without electricity in South Hills as an exercise in urban camping.

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Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's statement on Tuesday that due to bad weather, only essential state employees were to report to work came too late for some.

Tomblin's statement hit my inbox at 9:16 a.m. I've heard that some people received it about 8:30 a.m.

That's just too late for some state employees who commute long distances.

Tomblin's statement on Wednesday that state offices would be open hit my inbox at 7:50 a.m. That's still not early enough for some state workers.

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Joe Stevens, spokesman for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association, told The Snow Industry Newsletter this week that while area ski resorts received some unexpected media attention because of Sandy, "The big story is we can't lose sight of what's going on where people are being devastated."

Although it's good that people are starting to think about winter, "our thoughts and prayers go out to the people affected" by the storm, Stevens said.

"While 'think snow' is the mantra for skiers and snowboarders, this particular occurrence is causing some real damage and hardship," the newsletter pointed out. "Many areas without electricity were also dealing with cold temperatures."

Snowshoe Resort, featured in live television reports on The Weather Channel earlier this week, was expecting about 3 feet of snow, the newsletter reported.

Winterplace Ski Resort also received publicity because of the snow Sandy left there. The Raleigh County playground was featured on Fox, ABC and CBS early in the week.

The resorts attracted attention even though neither has opened for the season.  

The newsletter said, "U.S. snowfall related to a transitioning hurricane is rare, but it's happened before — most spectacularly in the Great Storm of 1804, when a mid-October hurricane dumped snows as deep as 2 to 4 feet in New England while moving along the northeast coast and becoming post-tropical."

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Congratulations to Toyota, which on Tuesday celebrated the 25 millionth vehicle it has manufactured in North America with a ceremony at its Georgetown, Ky., plant.

Toyota said in a prepared statement, "The milestone vehicle — a Classic Silver Hybrid Avalon — represents 26 years of manufacturing, a direct investment of nearly $24 billion in North American operations and 365,000 jobs created in the U.S."


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