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Federal Dust Fraud Charges Highlight Black Lung Threat For Miners

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When former coal mine employees in western Kentucky faced arraignment Wednesday on federal charges that they conspired to falsify the required monitoring of coal dust, the hearing brought renewed attention to the region’s surge in black lung disease. The case highlights the many challenges miners face in the workplace. And health officials in black lung clinics… Read More

Pension Problems: Lawmakers Warn Of Economic Fallout From Failing Pensions

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United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts fired up a crowd of thousands of union workers in Columbus, Ohio, with a simple chant: “Fix it!” The rally last week came on the eve of a Congressional field hearing on problems plaguing multiemployer pension programs like the one retired miners depend upon. “When the people get to… Read More

Trade Troubles: Ohio Valley Auto Industry Hopes To Dodge Trump Tariffs

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The Ohio Valley’s auto manufacturing industry is growing increasingly nervous about the Trump administration’s trade policy. First came tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, key materials for vehicle makers. Now the Commerce Department is looking into taxes on imported automobiles and automotive parts. Both are ominous signs for an industry that employs more than 1.5… Read More

Poor People’s Campaign Carries On King, Kennedy Legacies In Ohio Valley

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Anti-poverty activists say they will continue a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience throughout the Ohio Valley despite arrests at some events and being blocked from Kentucky’s capitol building. The Poor People’s Campaign has rallied in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and campaign leaders returned to Kentucky Wednesday after the group was denied access at earlier demonstrations. North Carolina… Read More

Aluminum Can-Do: Region’s Last Large Aluminum Maker Bets Big On Trump Tariffs

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With sunglasses perched atop his camouflage cap, Brady Carwile filled out an application at a job fair in a community center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Carwile works at a local auto parts maker but he’s hoping for a maintenance position at Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter. “It’s one of the best jobs you can find around there,”… Read More

Trump’s Delay On Tariff Decision Disappoints Regional Steelmakers

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Regional iron and steel industry leaders say they are disappointed by the Trump administration’s delay on a decision about which countries will face new import tariffs. President Trump has postponed until June a decision on which countries will be subject to new tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The decision had been due May 1. Nucor Corporation CEO… Read More

McConnell Aide Takes Appalachian Regional Commission Role

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Not long after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky squared off with President Trump over funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission, the ARC has a new federal co-chair with strong ties to McConnell. Long-time McConnell aide Tim Thomas said he can see a day when the Appalachian Regional Commission is no longer needed. But that’s not something… Read More

Trader Woes: Region’s Bourbon, Beans And More Could Suffer Under Tariffs

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Bottles of bourbon make their way through the assembly line at Maker’s Mark, one of ten distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail. They’re cleaned, filled, capped and then dipped in the company’s signature red wax, a tradition that started with the wife of the distillery’s founder, Bill Samuels. “She took red sealing wax, she put it… Read More

Tariff-ic Impact: Ohio Valley Awaits Trump Decision On Steel, Aluminum

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The Ohio Valley was once synonymous with steel. Even after the industry’s sharp decline the region is still home to many industries that produce or use steel and aluminum. Those industries are closely watching what the Trump administration will do on steel and aluminum imports. The Department of Commerce has suggested a massive 24 percent global tariff on those… Read More

Change Of Mined: Study Highlights Appalachia’s Tough Task Ahead

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At a recent conference in Lexington, Kentucky, economists and community leaders gathered to talk about the state’s current budget crunch and possible economic future. Peter Hille, president of Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, said Kentucky and other Appalachian states need to do more to build a new economy and move from dependence on a single… Read More