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Report Reveals Contaminants In “Legal” Water

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An environmental group’s new report shows a broad range of contaminants occur in many drinking water systems in the Ohio Valley, even though the water meets federal requirements. The research highlights the gap between what regulations require and what many scientists and health advocates recommend for safe drinking water. The Environmental Working Group compiled the… Read More

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Country Connection: Rural Residents Ask FCC To Improve Internet Access

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More than two million people across the Ohio Valley live in areas that lack any optionfor fast and reliable internet service. This week some of them had a chance to tell a member of the Federal Communications Commission what that means for their work, studies, and everyday life. The Appalachian Connectivity Summit in Marietta, Ohio, explored possible local… Read More

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Paradise Cost: Coal, Natural Gas, And The True Price Of Power

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Thanks to singer-songwriter John Prine, Paradise Fossil Plant might be the only coal-fired power plant that has a household name. “Paradise,” Prine’s 1971 ballad, drew on boyhood memories from the small town of Paradise, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to relay the environmental and social costs of our dependence on coal. “Mr. Peabody’s coal train,” he… Read More

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Steely Ban: Ohio Valley Steel Makers Await Trump Import Decision

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Steel makers and manufacturers around the Ohio Valley are waiting for a report from the Trump administration that could trigger higher tariffs on imported steel and bring mixed results for a region that still has strong ties to the industry. In the presidential campaign Trump told voters he would place sanctions on steel imports from… Read More

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Taking Flight: Ohio Valley’s Aerospace Exports Take Top Dollars

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From the outside Summit Aviation, in the small town of Somerset, Kentucky, looks like any other nondescript, white warehouse. But inside workers craft parts for drones, weapons casings, wing stabilizers and other high-flying products. Summit is one of many small manufacturers making up the growing aerospace industry in the Ohio Valley. Highly specialized companies are… Read More

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Working With Addiction: A Popsicle Plant Helps To Lick The Opioid Crisis

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If you’ve ever enjoyed a Budget Saver twin popsicle on a hot summer day, you can thank the employees of the Ziegenfelder frozen treat factory in Wheeling, West Virginia. Floor operator Sonny Baxter keeps the line of popsicles going in the cherry-scented worksite. “You have to have a comprehension of how the line works, how… Read More

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Divestment Proposal Pits Coal States Against California

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Political leaders in West Virginia and Kentucky are joining a coalition of states threatening to sue California over a program the state is pushing that would drop investments in coal. This week the attorney general of West Virginia joined 11 other Republican attorneys general and the governor of Kentucky in signing a letter to the commissioner of… Read More

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Labor Gains: Midwifery Goes From Horseback to Hospitals

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  Dressed in crisp blue scrubs, Certified Nurse Midwife JoAnne Burris walks briskly, the click of her sensible clogs a counterpoint to smooth jazz in the hall. The University of Kentucky Midwife Clinic, with its large, color prints of newborns on earth-tone walls, still has that new furniture smell. But word-of-mouth already has the waiting room… Read More

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The Struggle To Stay: Personal Stories Behind Population Loss

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Editor’s Note: Parts of Appalachia are bleeding population; the 2015 U.S. Census showed West Virginia was losing population faster than any other state. There’s a palpable struggle to leave, but also to stay in these hills. West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s podcast, Inside Appalachia, has a new series of stories called “The Struggle to Stay”. Reporters… Read More