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As Calls For Action On Black Lung Disease Grow, Regulators Show Little Indication Of Change

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Harold Sturgill was disabled by black lung disease when he was 58 years old. Now he advocates for disabled miners. “When it comes to the mining companies, and it comes to the worker, it’s still all about production,” Sturgill said. “They could care less about me, how much dust I suck in, or how long… Read More

Congressional Leaders Seek Investigation Into Russian Investment In KY Aluminum Mill

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A group of Congressional leaders asked the Trump administration to review a Russian company’s investment in a new Kentucky aluminum mill. The request comes from eight prominent Democratic lawmakers with leadership roles in committees with oversight, banking and national security responsibilities, including Ohio Sen.Sherrod Brown and House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff. The lawmakers… Read More

From Russia, With Loot: KY Aluminum Company’s New Russian Partner Raises Concerns

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A large whiteboard in an Ashland, Kentucky, unemployment office is covered with a list of companies that are currently hiring. Senior career counselor Melissa Sloas said that just a few years ago, that board was a lot emptier. This corner of eastern Kentucky has long struggled to make up for losses in mining and manufacturing…. Read More

For Earth Day Nature Conservancy Preserves 100,000 Acres Of Appalachian Forest And Streams

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A conservation group chose Earth Day, April 22, to announce the purchase of a massive property in Appalachian forest to protect habitat and help wildlife adapt to the challenges of climate change. The property covers 100,000 acres of forest straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border. The Nature Conservancy, the nonprofit that made the purchase, said it plans to restore… Read More

Kentucky Aluminum Plant Investor Is Russian Company Formerly Under U.S. Sanctions

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Russian aluminum company Rusal announced Monday it plans to invest in a new Kentucky aluminum mill to be built near Ashland in eastern Kentucky. The $200 million investment in Braidy Industries is Rusal’s first U.S. project since the Trump administration lifted U.S. sanctions placed against the company. Rusal had been sanctioned by the U.S. government because its major controller, Russian… Read More

Sweet Equity: Ohio Valley Farmers Tapping Into Tradition

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When Seth Long first began experimenting with maple syrup production, he tapped hollow pegs called spiles into individual trees, collected drips of sap in milk jugs, and carried each gallon down the the steep mountainside on foot. Now, Long rides an open-air buggy up muddy switchbacks to a 500-gallon collection tank from which translucent blue… Read More

Toyota Driving Demand For Solar Power In Ohio Valley

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Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky. Sources close to the deal tell the Ohio Valley Resource that the Kentucky site is part of… Read More

Jail bars

Profiting Off Prisoners: State Inmates Mean Big Bucks for Local Jails

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Rural jails in Kentucky are increasingly relying on income derived from payments for holding state prisoners in county facilities, according to a new report by a think tank that advocates for criminal justice reform. To address overcrowding, states make payments to counties to hold convicted prisoners and pretrial detainees. States save money, and counties get… Read More

Inventor, Businessman, Activist: The Remarkable Life Of Ohio Valley Native Garrett Morgan

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On the night of July 24, 1916, a natural gas explosion near Cleveland trapped workers in a waterworks tunnel beneath Lake Erie. Rescuers sent in to recover the trapped men were themselves felled by “noxious fumes.” The Cleveland authorities knew just who to call: Garrett Morgan, an inventor who had recently given a demonstration of… Read More

An image from an EnerBlu promotional video.

Kentucky Project’s Demise Linked to International Fallout From Journalist’s Murder

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When battery manufacturer EnerBlu announced it would suspend plans for a new factory in Pikeville, Kentucky, the company used an intriguing phrase. “Unexpected geopolitical factors,” the company said, had soured the deal. According to a former executive at the company, those factors tied the rural eastern Kentucky development project to one of the world’s largest… Read More