‘Forgotten’ West Virginia Struggling In Sandy’s Aftermath

West Virginia counties map

West Virginia counties map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lights are back on in Lower Manhattan, but several West Virginia counties remain in the dark more than a week after Superstorm Sandy dumped up to 3 feet of snow in the state’s higher elevations.

Officials also say it could take at least six months to clear fallen trees in some areas.

While the worst is over, about 12,000 customers remained without power late Thursday and some back roads were still inaccessible, even as work and school resumed for many.

FirstEnergy spokeswoman Patti Michel said power was expected to be restored to 95 percent of customers by midnight.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/region/forgotten-west-virginia-struggling-in-sandys-aftermath-661316/#ixzz2BkNCUQqZ

Shuttered Schools Are Costly To Keep But Selling Them Can Be Unprofitable

When a school’s doors are closed for good, a building that cost millions to build can sit vacant and unused for years until it’s sold for a fraction of its worth.

The state of the economy, zoning laws and the institutional makeup of the structures all make schools a hard sell. And as long as the district owns the building, it has to pay for maintenance even if no warm bodies are moving through the hallways.

Doug Haring, a city real estate appraiser, said selling schools has become brutally expensive.

“Everything is a lot harder to do today, and that translates into more expense,” Haring said, referring to stricter zoning laws and municipal building code restrictions.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=396633