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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

Miner Change: Trump’s Big Talk On Coal Brings Small Change in First Year

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Donald Trump loves coal. He campaigned on a promise to put miners back to work and his first year in office included numerous Ohio Valley visits to highlight coal’s importance. “I love our coal miners and they’re coming back strong!” Trump said to a roaring crowd at an August rally in Huntington, West Virginia. At a March rally in… Read More

$econd Chance: The Economic Case For Drug Treatment Over Jails

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Imagine living and working somewhere designed to fit a couple hundred people. Now picture that same space crammed with twice that number. Madison County, Kentucky, Jailer Doug Thomas doesn’t have to imagine it. He lives it. “I’m doing all that I can with what I have to work with, which is not a lot,” he… Read More

Miners’ Pensions A Major Part Of Spending Debate

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Retired union coal miners are joining teamsters, iron workers and other union retirees in an effort to shore up their ailing pension plans, and they hope the ticking clock on a government spending bill will help. Some Democrats want to see protections for retirement benefits included in the omnibus spending bill, which Congress must pass… Read More

Controversial Mine Safety Nominee Faces Final Vote

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A Senate vote is scheduled for Wednesday on confirmation for President Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. The country’s top mine safety position has been vacant since January as coal mining fatalities have risen to a two-year high. Trump’s choice to fill the post is facing opposition from congressional Democrats and… Read More

Trying Times For Transit: Rural Systems Face Flat Funding And Rising Demand

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Thelma Daulton goes to the salon to get her hair done at the same time every Friday. She gets picked up at her house and greeted by one of many familiar faces from the Rural Transit Enterprises, Coordinated, or RTEC. Daulton is 95 years old and has been riding the public transit system in Somerset, Kentucky,… Read More

Bipartisan Bill Would Prop Up Coal Miners’ Pensions

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A bipartisan Congressional group from the Ohio Valley and beyond introduced a new bill to save pensions for retired union coal miners throughout the region. The American Miners Pension Act, or AMP, would secure pensions for about 43,000 miners in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia whose retirement benefits have been undermined by the decline of the coal… Read More

New Mine Safety “Assistance” Program Raises Concerns

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Lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s practices amid an increase in coal fatalities. West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin asked MSHA for more information after receiving what he calls “alarming” reports about how the agency is implementing its new Compliance Assistance Program . In a September 7th letter, Manchin wrote… Read More