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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

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Still Fighting: These Widows’ Stories Show Larger Effects of Black Lung Epidemic

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Nancy and Rich Potter had the kind of marriage that made other couples jealous. He’d take her on spontaneous trips. She’d wear her Daisy Dukes just for him. Joyce Birman said her late husband, George, made a terrible first impression. It was his apology for it that made her fall for him, hard. Vickie Salyers’… Read More

Still, They Persist: Black Lung Advocates Demonstrate At McConnell’s KY Office

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With just days left before a Congressional deadline, advocates for black lung treatment are still pushing Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell to secure funding for miners’ benefits. About two dozen people demonstrated Wednesday near McConnell’s regional office in London, Kentucky, carrying placards reading “Black Lung Kills” and singing along with a banjo tune modified for the occasion…. Read More

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Amid Black Lung Surge Pulmonary Rehab Brings Hope To Disabled Miners

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Marcy Tate grew up in southwest Virginia in a coal mining family. “My father-in-law was a coal miner, my father was a coal miner, my grandfather was a coal miner, my great-grandfather was a coal miner,” she said. Tate knew what black lung disease looked like. In 2003, her father-in-law passed away from what Tate… Read More

Digging For Answers: New Report Points To Industry Obfuscation Of Mining’s Health Effects

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Jason Walker spends $50 per month on bottled water. He spends three hours each week standing by the small stream that runs near his house, pumping creek water into a thousand-gallon tank.   “You have to catch the creek at the right time, when it’s clear,” Walker said. “Whatever you pump, whatever the creek looks… Read More

GOP Tax Bill Would Extend Endangered Funding for Disabled Miners

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As Appalachian coal miners suffer from a historic surge in black lung disease, a federal trust fund that supports some of those miners has been scheduled to lose a significant portion of its funding. A new tax bill in Congress includes a provision to extend the coal excise tax that supports the trust fund. With… Read More

KY Coal Mine That Belonged To WV Governor Causes Damaging Floods Again

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The rain started around 10:30 p.m. By midnight, the creek in front of Elvis and Laura Thackers’ house had swelled to a mighty flood, uprooting trees, moving boulders and surging right up to the couple’s front steps. The Thackers decided to abandon their home. But when they got into their Jeep, they found the flood… Read More

McConnell Hints At Action To Preserve Tax Supporting Black Lung Fund

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Amid a surge in cases of black lung disease, concerns are rising about the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, which provides federal benefits to some coal miners with the disease. A tax that supports the fund would be cut by half at the end of the year unless Congress acts. Now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell indicates… Read More

West Virginia And Kentucky College Students Still Struggle to Pay Back Loans

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New research this month shows that West Virginia and Kentucky have some of the nation’s worst rates of student loan defaults. West Virginia had the highest and Kentucky the fourth-highest rate of student loan defaults, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Education. In West Virginia, 17.7 percent of students who entered loan… Read More