In what seemed as much a pep talk as a speech, West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise this week told a group of Eastern Panhandle business and political leaders that the region might be in the running for a global corporation's new data center.
Whether it happens or not, Wise's administration has many believing the state is ready to get beyond its "old economy" base of coal mining and manufacturing.
First came Wise's decision to push through the legalization of video lottery games, which gave the state the financial breathing room to fund the PROMISE scholarship program.
The program provides up to $2,000 a year in tuition assistance to students who've achieved a B average in high school - and continue to do so in college. In 2001, about 3,500 students applied, or about 20 percent of last year's senior class.