MORGANTOWN - After over 23,000 votes, Whitesville in Boone county and Ripley in Jackson county won West Virginia Focus magazine’s 2015 Turn This Town Around competition.

Whitesville, winning the under 1,500 population category, topped Alderson by less than 1,300 votes. Ripley edged ahead of Hinton by less than 500 votes for the over 1,500 - 6,000 population category.

“We are excited about what the future holds and hopefully mid-February this will be kicked off big time or at least the foundation will be built,” said Ripley Mayor Carolyn Rader.

The Turn This Town Around sponsors are happy with the positive response to the campaign and hope that all of West Virginia’s towns will be inspired.

Over the course of the year, the two communities will receive a wide variety of support as citizens come together to identify ways they can improve their community and their economy.

Communities will receive training and hands-on assistance in planning and implementing projects to beautify and revitalize their downtowns, build new businesses, and diversify their economies.

In addition, each community will have access to additional resources they can only receive through Turn This Town Around, including technical assistance from a numerous agencies and organizations from across the state.

Sponsors of Turn This Town Around are West Virginia Focus magazine, The West Virginia Community Development Hub, West Virginia Public Broadcasting, the Benedum Foundation, BrickStreet Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, West Virginia Small Business Development Center, the West Virginia Division of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Philanthropy WV, and the Tamarack Foundation.

Keep up to date with Whitesville and Ripley’s progress by subscribing to West Virgina Focus magazine at wvfocus.com/subscribe. Also visit Visit www.wvfocus.com/newsstands/ to find out where you can purchase West Virginia Focus.