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Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Page: 2C

FCC says W.Va. unprepared for digital

The Federal Communications Commission says many southwestern West Virginia television viewers are unprepared for the June 12 switch to digital broadcasting.

The FCC has identified the Charleston-area market as a transition hotspot because viewers with analog televisions not hooked up to cable, satellite or converter boxes will lose service after the switch.

The FCC says about half of the more than 162,000 residents from Charleston to Huntington who ordered coupons for digital-to-analog converter boxes have not redeemed them.

Local broadcasters will conduct tests Thursday simulating what viewers will experience after the transition.

Nielsen estimates 3.3 million households nationwide are unprepared for the switch, which is intended to improve sound and picture, and expand programming.

W.Va. leading push to conserve energy

MORGANTOWN - West Virginia's Industries of the Future program is getting $733,000 to help companies cut their energy consumption 25 percent within a decade.

The U.S. Department of Energy funding is intended to help form partnerships in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio.

Industries of the Future is a program at West Virginia University's National Research Center for Coal and Energy.

Program coordinator Kathleen Cullen says the initial participants include three Ohio firms - American Municipal Power, Fireline TCON Inc. and Titan Tire Corp. - plus Weston-based HK Engine Components LLC.

Cullen says efficiency audits and technical resources will be advertised at six regional workshops and in other venues to try to attract more partners.

Massey shareholders re-elect Gee

Massey Energy shareholders have rejected a pair of environmental measures and re-elected Ohio State University President Gordon Gee to the Richmond, Va.-based coal producer's board.

Preliminary vote totals from Tuesday's annual meeting show Gee and three company nominees won seats on the board.

Environmentalists had been pushing Gee to resign over Massey's use of mountaintop removal mining, which involves blasting away ridges to find coal. They argued to practice runs counter to Gee's public efforts to promote green energy

The rejected environmental measures called for reports on lowering carbon dioxide emissions and a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Massey operates mines in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia.

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