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The U.S. Capitol at sunset

The infrastructure law brings mine reclamation, clean water and broadband to Appalachia

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The bipartisan infrastructure bill that became law last month has billions of dollars in it for roads, bridges, airports and transit systems in the Ohio Valley. The law also addresses some of the region’s other pressing needs. The $1 trillion infrastructure law has the potential to deliver big improvements to Appalachia. It will help reclaim… Read More

A pedestrian bridge outside of the Shriners Hospital for Children Medical Center in Lexington.

Ohio Valley childhood obesity rates have increased, putting kids at greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness

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Ohio Valley ReSource · Childhood obesity & covid FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — In October, University of Kentucky Children’s hospital reported a substantial rise in children hospitalized for COVID-19. The escalation began in July. Dr. Sean McTigue, medical director for pediatric infection prevention and control said all hospitalized children had one thing in common. “So our… Read More

A passenger van is decorated with messages of solidarity for striking workers

Two strikes and two union drives signify labor unrest in the Ohio Valley

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HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (OVR) — In the Ohio Valley, the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing labor shortage have encouraged workers to join what many say is a national and growing wave of labor actions. Workers across industries, in steel, health care, nonprofits and food service, have joined in calling for increased health… Read More

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice

A Kentucky court orders West Virginia’s governor to pay penalty over mine reclamation

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — A Kentucky court has found coal companies owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice in default of a 2019 mine reclamation agreement. A judge in Frankfort on Tuesday ordered Justice to pay a nearly $3 million penalty, plus interest, over mine reclamation work at three sites in eastern Kentucky that was… Read More

A court room in Athens County with the judge hearing from an attorney while two people look on.

Eviction protections are the latest safety net to erode as COVID-19 rages on

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Ohio Valley ReSource · No Shelter: Eviction Protections are Latest Safety Net to Erode, as COVID-19 Rages On RICHMOND, Ky. (OVR) — In room 226 of the Relax Inn in Richmond, Kentucky, Melanie and Cody Poore do their best to make themselves at home. Melanie has draped some of her old comforters over the motel’s… Read More

An elk among native grasses and flowers inside the Elk and Bison Prairie.

In elk, a Kentucky professor sees an opportunity to help revitalize Appalachia

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Ohio Valley ReSource · In Elk, A Kentucky Professor Sees An Opportunity To Help Revitalize Appalachia MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Howard Whiteman is inching along in his black Toyota Prius, craning his neck to see what’s beyond the rolling grasslands into the nearby woods. He wishes he brought binoculars. He’s slowly making his way around… Read More

Group of children doing morning exercises hands up yoga sport outdoors in nature in summer camp

Childhood obesity rates in the Ohio Valley are higher than the national average

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RICHMOND, Ky. (OVR) — For the second year in a row, Kentucky has the highest rate of childhood obesity among kids ages 10-to-17 at 23.8%. That’s according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released this week. Senior Program Officer Jamie Bussel said rates are too high across the country. “They’ve been exacerbated by COVID,… Read More

Some of the 1,000 solar panels that are part of a green energy project on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation frame the landscape near Cannon Ball, N.D., where the grand opening for the energy farm that was borne partly out of protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016 and 2017 was held. Revenue generated from the 30 kilowatt farm is currently being used to power a community center and gymnasium in Cannon Ball. (AP Photo/Dave Kolpack)

Appalachian Solar Dreams Become Realities As Money Flows In To A Community In Kentucky

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MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — The promise of solar energy for small, rural communities, and particularly those recovering from the decline of the coal industry, is twofold: job creation, and revenue. Money is flowing into solar energy—  the Appalachian Regional Commission just funded a major regional solar financing program, and a massive solar farm may… Read More

The National Guard and the Athens City-County Health Department administered free pop-up COVID-19 tests at the Athens High School parking lot in August.

Long Into The Pandemic, Ohio Valley Health Departments Aren’t Just Fighting COVID-19

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Ohio Valley ReSource · 092421OVR – F The pandemic has swamped health departments. Since August, Ohio Valley health departments  have been dealing with a massive surge in cases and that means more testing, contact tracing and phone calls. Although disease investigation is a core service of health departments, the pandemic has demanded a continual, robust… Read More

Recovery Through Employment: ARC Funding Makes Ohio Valley Programs Possible

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Jessica Stapleton was in the thralls of active addiction when she first heard of the Recovery to Work program. She had lost the trust of her family and custody of her six children. She credits the program with not only changing her life, but saving it as well. “It pretty much saved my life. I… Read More

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris arrive for an event to mark the start of monthly Child Tax Credit relief payments, in the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, Thursday, July 15, 2021, in Washington.

Families Receive Sorely Needed Child Tax Credit Payments

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BUCHTEL, Ohio (OVR) — The Robsons, like the vast majority of U.S. households with children, began receiving the Child Tax Credit last week – the latest part of the American Rescue Plan to be put into action. Jaclyn Robson says it was sorely needed.  “I don’t want to have to work 60 hours a week… Read More

In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, violent rioters supporting President Donald Trump, storm the Capitol in Washington.

Six Months After Capitol Riot, 46 From Ohio Valley Face Charges

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — The January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol left five people dead and caused an estimated $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol building. In the six months since then, federal authorities say, about 470 people have been arrested in nearly every state, including at least 46 people in the Ohio Valley…. Read More

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

Kentucky’s AG Cameron on West Virginia Coal Plant: Close It

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — Environmental and consumer groups have pushed for the early closure of a 50-year-old coal-fired power plant in West Virginia that serves electricity customers in both West Virginia and Kentucky. They have an unlikely ally: Kentucky’s Republican attorney general, Daniel Cameron. In a filing last week with the Kentucky Public Service Commission,… Read More

The cast of “Shift Change”.

Appalachian Community Uses Theater To Reckon With Racism, COVID, And The Trauma Of 2020

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HARLAN COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, a cold and faraway place from the vantage point of Harlan County, Kentucky. But the energy of that long, hot summer reached a group of Harlan high schoolers, and soon enough, this small, rural town was in the midst… Read More

Jessica Barden as “Ruth” in Nicole Riegel’s HOLLER.

New Film ‘Holler’ Sheds Light On Struggles Of Being Young In Appalachia

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JACKSON, Ohio (OVR) — When Nicole Riegel left her hometown of Jackson, Ohio, at the age of 18, she couldn’t wait to be gone. Last year, Riegel returned to Jackson with a film crew in tow. The town was tapped for a starring role in the new movie “Holler,” which she both wrote and directed…. Read More

The John Amos power station in West Virginia

West Virginia Coal Plants Need Upgrades. Three States Will Decide Their Fate.

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They’ve towered over the region’s communities for decades. They generated the electricity for homes around the Ohio Valley. They burned coal, a fossil fuel Appalachia has in abundance. But three West Virginia coal-fired power plants owned by Ohio-based American Electric Power may be on borrowed time. The Mitchell Plant in Moundsville, the Mountaineer Plant in… Read More

North Fork resident Shayna Plank, age 11, leads a protest chant in Morehead, KY.

Evictions At A Kentucky Trailer Park Highlight Ohio Valley’s Lack Of Affordable Housing

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Jimmy McRoberts knew the North Fork Mobile Home Park was teeming with animals. Some residents, like local grandmother Penny Gozzard, had two or three beloved cats they kept a close eye on; others let their pets roam around and mingle with the neighborhood kids who played around their families’ trailers. So… Read More

Black and Red Angus cattle graze in a pasture in Calloway County, Kentucky.

The ‘Beef’ With Beef: Cattle, Climate Change, And Alternative Meat

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CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — Many people might think of Blake Munger as a cattle farmer as he walks through his pasture land in western Kentucky, but he sees things a little differently nowadays. “I don’t know which is more valuable, my cattle or the pasture at this point. I used to say cattle, but… Read More

Martin County water treatment plant

With Infrastructure Funding On Horizon, Beleaguered Martin County Looks To Raise Water Rates Again

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In December, Kathy Fletcher, a lifelong Martin County, Kentucky, resident and mother, found her water was shut off. When it came back on, something was wrong with it. Fletcher remembers that after she showered, her skin and nails felt completely dried out. The water smelled acrid, like chemicals. For years, Fletcher has been frustrated by… Read More

The University of Kentucky won’t yet require the COVID-19 vaccination this fall.

Vaccinate U? Contrary To Health Advice, Most Area Schools Won’t Mandate COVID Vaccine

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Roughly a million students attend college around the Ohio Valley, and the student-age population has an especially high rate of coronavirus infection. That’s why some public health advocates say schools should require that students be vaccinated. However, a review by the Ohio Valley ReSource found that of 400 colleges and universities in Kentucky, Ohio, and… Read More

Solar panels on Bryce Baumann’s farm.

Power Switch: Solar Is Heating Up In The Ohio Valley

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FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — St. Vincent’s Mission has been doing the work of feeding, clothing and sheltering the people of Floyd County, Kentucky, since 1968. “We believe that all persons have a God-ordained right to the basic needs of life in order to meet their full potential,” the mission states on its website. Recently,… Read More

Cans sit unused on the shelves of the Baker University Center Food Pantry

Nutrition Program Summer Expansion Could Aid Nearly 2 Million Ohio Valley Children

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — The Biden administration announced Monday the expansion of a nutrition program, born amid the start of the pandemic, that could provide more food to nearly 2 million children throughout Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia this summer. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, program started last March to provide money to… Read More

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin with miners on Capitol Hill.

Power Player: How Manchin Is Key to Biden’s Energy, Climate Goals

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On Earth Day, President Joe Biden convened world leaders for a climate summit, where he laid out an ambitious goal for U.S. policy on climate change. “The United States sets out to cut our global warming emissions in half by the end of the decade,” Biden said. “That’s where we’re heading as a nation.” But… Read More

Cecil Roberts, President of United Mine Workers of America

Mine Workers’ Leader Wants To Save Last Coal Jobs As Biden Tackles Climate

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts said he’s been hearing the term “just transition” tossed around for more than 20 years as part of the long-running, nearly Sisyphean discussion about climate change, clean energy, and coal country. Simply put: he’s not a fan. “I ask anybody who has been… Read More

A mountaintop removal mine site in southern West Virginia.

New Research: Reclamation of Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells, Mine Sites Could Create Thousands of Jobs

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WHITESBURG, Ky. (OVR) — In Central Appalachia an estimated 538,000 unplugged oil and gas wells and 853,393 acres of abandoned mine lands sit unreclaimed, often polluting the air and water, and presenting public safety threats. But according to two new reports from the regional think tank Ohio River Valley Institute,  these sites that now pose serious… Read More