Appalachian coal’s apex predator convicted for conspiring to skirt mine safety laws (Blue Ridge Outdoors)

I wrote about former Massey CEO Don Blankenship again, this time for Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.

Blankenship was charged in late 2014 with three felony counts worth a potential 30 years. In early December, a jury convicted him of one misdemeanor count of conspiracy to skirt mine regulations, which may result in a maximum year of prison time.

So why are environmentalists, labor advocates and others with a grudge against the coal baron celebrating the verdict?

Read “King Coal Dethroned: Mining Baron Don Blankenship Convicted” in January’s Blue Ridge Outdoors — now available online & in print – to find out.

Making the short list: What’s most important when it comes to economic development? (Roanoke Business)

What does it take to land a big corporate relocation or expansion in 2016?

It’s a tough, complicated question, and one asked constantly as the needs of business evolve. The answers vary by sector and even by company, yet it’s also possible to find some constants on corporate relocation wish lists—good location, abundant access to utilities and the Internet, and available talent.

What else might distinguish the Roanoke and New River valleys? Do quality of life, a sense of self-confidence or social media campaigns make a difference? Based on its strengths and competitive advantages, what industries can it expect to grow?

Read my cover story in the January 2016 issue of Roanoke Business, available online and on stands now.