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Survey says state ‘24th best run'

West Virginia is the 24th-best-run state in the nation, according to an annual survey by 24/7 Wall St.

North Dakota is the best-run state and California the worst, according to the survey.

The survey is based on a review of data on each state's financial health, standard of living and government services, 24/7 Wall St. said.

"West Virginia is one of the poorest states in the country," the survey said. "Median income in the state was just $38,482 in 2011, lower than any state but Mississippi. The state also had the tenth-highest poverty rate in the U.S., as well as one of the lowest proportions of adults with a high school diploma.

"Several indicators suggest conditions may be improving in the state," the survey said. "West Virginia's gross domestic product grew by 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2011, three times the national rate and more than every state but North Dakota and Oregon. This was fueled primarily by growth in the state's mining industry, which expanded by 54 percent to a $9.4 billion industry last year. West Virginia also had the third-lowest foreclosure rate in the country in 2011."

The survey is online at http://247wallst.com.

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Is coal in big trouble, or does it have a bright future?

On Tuesday, Slate.com published an article headlined,http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/coal/2012/11/clean_coal_future_economics_geology_and_public_health_will_doom_coal_industry.html"> "Coal is doomed."

"It is possible that there is a magic spell somewhere out in the world that can reverse the fortune of the coal industry," Slate said. "But the way things are going, that spell is buried deep underground where it's just far too expensive to get to. The American coal industry has key life-support mechanisms beeping by its bedside, but it's doomed."

But wait! In a Nov. 21 report the BBC said, "Coal, the dirtiest and most polluting of all the major fossil fuels, is making a comeback. In fact, coal was the fastest-growing form of energy in the world outside renewables last year."

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Although American Suzuki Motor Corp. filed bankruptcy on Nov. 5 and announced plans to quit selling automobiles in the United States, the company reports brisk sales of existing vehicle inventory.  

About 34 percent more Suzuki automobiles were sold in the United States over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend than during an average non-holiday weekend, said company spokeswoman Nova Halliwell, citing preliminary company data.

"This sales surge follows the American Suzuki Motor Corp.'s recent announcement to continue retail financing options for buyers of new vehicles," Halliwell said. "For example, qualified customers can receive zero percent financing for up to 72 months."

"It's important to know that automobile warranties on these sales will continue to be fully honored at Suzuki dealerships," Halliwell said. "Parts and service also will continue to be provided to consumers through American Suzuki Motor Corp.'s continued service and parts dealer network."


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