Every year since 1986, The State Journal has devoted a section of the newspaper to highlight 55 people, places, businesses, traditions and events that make the Mountain State a special place to live.
"55 Good Things About West Virginia" examines the people with ties to our state who find success on the national stage as musicians, artisans and athletes. It highlights the traditions that make us special and focuses on the organizations that make us better. It places a spotlight on West Virginians who bring comfort to the needy, help those with disabilities and instill a love of art in children.
This annual issue profiles the hidden and not-so-hidden landscapes that are tucked amid our mountains and valleys.
This year we're doing something different. We looked for one good thing in each county — 55 counties, 55 good things.
For 28 years, we have written more than 1,500 stories under the "55 Good Things" banner. Through the process, we are reminded that West Virginians are an inventive and capable people. Their stories are worth telling and their successes are worth celebrating.
If the whole is truly greater than the sum of its parts, West Virginia must be a great place from having so many good things.
Last year, The State Journal added a new feature to "55 Good Things About West Virginia" — the Hall of Fame. This section features past honorees from throughout the state that still stand out as remarkable. The inaugural class of the 55 Good Things Hall of Fame included the state Capitol, Bridge Day and the pepperoni roll. This year we recognize, among other things, the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Green Bank, Cass Scenic Railroad and Ritter Park in Huntington.
We thank the people who helped us compile the list and write the stories. And we thank our sponsors for this year's issue: the University of Charleston and the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.