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Mingo opens air park on reclaimed Alpha strip mine

Oct. 12, 2012 @ 11:40 PM

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- The Mingo County Airport Authority celebrated the opening of a 7,000-foot runway and its new Air Transportation Park on a reclaimed mine site Friday.

The air park near Varney stems from a public-private partnership with the authority, Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, Federal Aviation Administration, state Department of Transportation and Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.

Alpha spent about $1 million constructing the 975-acre site to FAA standards under its post-mine reclamation plan. It gave the land to the county in 2008.

Since then, more than $6 million has been spent on runway, taxiway and apron facilities, plus lighting and fencing.

Officials say it gives private, corporate and industrial aircraft customers a safer, more efficient way to operate.

Ky., W.Va. team up on Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- The home of a historic Appalachian feud has a new tourist attraction -- the Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail.

Geocaching is a modern-day version of treasure hunting and a global pastime.

The trail is a partnership between the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce in Williamson and Tour Pike County in Pikeville, Ky. It opened last month with a special event for 518 visitors from 18 states.

There are 15 caches in Mingo, Logan and Pike counties, each in historic locations linked to the families who were featured in a History miniseries this spring.

Hunters can get a passport and collect special stamps at each cache.

Anyone who finds them all takes home a collectible coin featuring the family patriarchs, Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy.