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Kyra Higgins (left) rehearses “Blackademics” with co-star Savanah Jackson (right).

Black Lives In Red States: Art And Life Converge For Two Women In A Tumultuous Year

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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (OVR) — Jessalyn Brown met Kyra Higgins through theater. “I saw her on stage and I was just like, ‘This girl is so good!’ She was just amazing.” So when it came time for Brown, 21, to direct a play for her senior project at Kentucky’s Georgetown College, she knew she wanted Higgins,… Read More

The vehicle driven by one of the SHARK members, forced off the road and crashed into a ditch.

Driven Off The Road And Assaulted: Animal Rights Group Confronts Alleged Cockfighting In Southeastern Ohio

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (OVR) — Members of an Illinois-based animal protection group say one of their members was assaulted and another was driven off the road recently after confronting a suspected cockfighting event in southeastern Ohio. Animal rights activist Steve Hindi said his group Showing Animals Respect & Kindness, or SHARK, received a tip from… Read More

Vaccination process on Monday, December 14, 2020.

Answering Your Questions About The COVID-19 Vaccines

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FRANKFURT, Ky. (OVR) — The arrival of the first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was met with cheers around the Ohio Valley as the first doses were administered to front-line health workers. The Pfizer —  and, soon, Moderna — vaccines bring the promise of relief after months of pandemic-driven closures and a deadly surge in… Read More

A pharmacist labels syringes in a clean room where doses of COVID-19 vaccines will be handled, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020, at Mount Sinai Queens hospital in New York.

Do You Have Questions About The Covid-19 Vaccine?

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — The coronavirus vaccines are coming. After a year dominated by quarantine, lockdowns and far too many deaths and illnesses, the arrival of vaccines produced by two pharmaceutical companies promises relief at last. But the vaccine’s arrival also brings questions. Who will get them first? How do you sign up to get… Read More

Jacksonville, Ohio- Voters cast in their ballots.

Despite Voting Restoration Thousands Are Still Disenfranchised In The Ohio Valley

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (OVR) — After more than a decade, Kentucky resident Guy Hamilton-Smith voted this year for the first time in the state. Even though he didn’t vote in person because of the COVID-19 pandemic, sending his ballot through the mail was still an emotional moment. “Not being able to vote for many years was… Read More

Protesting miners blocked the tracks in the morning fog.

Blackjewel Coal Moves To Liquidate, Leaving Millions Unpaid To Workers And Regulators

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WHITESBURGH, Ky. (OVR) — The convoluted bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel has hit another turn of events as the company’s former CEO moved to liquidate the company. A federal judge is considering a motion submitted last week to convert the bankruptcy from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7. That would mean that instead of exiting bankruptcy… Read More

The waiting room at Jefferson Day Report Center in West Virginia.

“Diseases Of Despair” Deaths Drop Slightly But Still Higher In Appalachia

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (OVR) — New research shows that deaths due to the mix of substance use disorder and suicides known as “diseases of despair” declined slightly in 2018. But the mortality rates throughout the Ohio Valley and Appalachian region are still higher than the national average. A report from the Appalachian Regional Commission found that overall… Read More

Voters cast their ballots on Election Day in McArthur, Ohio.

Ohio Valley Divide: Vote Analysis Shows Bluer Cities, Deeper Red Rural Places

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — President-elect Joe Biden received a bigger turnout in the Ohio Valley in 2020 than Hillary Clinton did in 2016. So did his opponent Donald Trump. In an election that saw historic levels of voting nationwide, Democrat Biden added 3.2% to Clinton’s 2016 vote share in the Ohio Valley while Republican Trump… Read More

Rural Hospital Sign

Sicker Staff, Fewer Beds For Rural Hospitals As COVID-19 Spreads Through Ohio Valley

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (OVR) — Dr. Kirk Tucker, chief clinical officer of Adena Health Systems in Chillicothe, Ohio, said a week before Thanksgiving that the health system’s three hospitals in southern Ohio were bombarded with coronavirus patients. But it isn’t just the patients testing positive. The virus has also sickened 65 of his fellow caregivers. Recently, Tucker… Read More

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

Lawmakers, Union Urge Mine Safety Regulators to Act on Silica Dust

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (OVR) — A group of Ohio Valley senators says a watchdog agency’s recent report shows that federal regulators must do more to protect coal miners from silica dust, an especially toxic form of dust created when mining equipment cuts into rock layers near coal seams. In a Monday morning press release, six Democratic senators,… Read More

Unemployment Office sign

Ohio Valley Economic Outlook Grim As COVID Aid Programs End


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WHITESBURG, Ky. (OVR) — With hundreds of thousands across the Ohio Valley struggling to make ends meet, a suite of coronavirus aid packages, including rent and utility relief funding, eviction moratoriums, and expanded unemployment benefits, is set to expire at the end of December. The consequences could be far-reaching. Poverty rates have soared as some federal programs,… Read More

Chickens are carried through a poultry slaughterhouse on mechanical arms.

Study Links Increased COVID-19 Transmission To Poultry Plants Allowed To Operate Faster

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HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — A study published Thursday in a prestigious scientific journal links significant increases in COVID-19 transmission rates to meatpacking plants, especially those facilities that the federal government has allowed to speed up processing lines. Researchers found evidence that linked meatpacking plants to a “high potential for community spread” in the surrounding… Read More

An X-ray image of an Appalachian coal miner with black lung lesions.

Federal Watchdog Finds Coal Safety Regulator Not Protecting Miners From Silica Dust

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (OVR) — The Mine Safety and Health Administration is not doing enough to protect coal miners from deadly silica dust, according to a new report from the Department of Labor’s Office of the Inspector General. The IG found that MSHA’s standards for exposure to deadly silica dust were out of date, and MSHA lacked… Read More

BarbiAnn Maynard drives 45 minutes from her home in Martin County, Kentucky, to a spring at the Mingo-Logan county line in West Virginia to fill containers with fresh water.

What Biden’s Plan For “Building Back Better” Could Mean For The Ohio Valley

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BARLOW, Ky. (OVR) — David Meinschein’s teachers, staff and students have sacrificed a lot this year amid the staggering challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. He opens the door heading inside Ballard Memorial High School’s basketball gymnasium — known locally as the “Green Palace” for its school colors. The school’s emptiness is another reminder of COVID-19’s… Read More

A Kentucky home displays green lights in memory of those lost to COVID-19.

Older Veterans Face New Fight As Coronavirus Surges In Region

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (OVR) — On Monday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear delivered his daily briefing on coronavirus, which is surging across the Ohio Valley. Eleven more Kentuckians had died that day. Then the governor provided an update on an especially worrisome outbreak at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center near Lexington, one of four long-term care facilities dedicated… Read More

A coronavirus questions graphic

Ohio Valley ReSource Adds Important Measures To Ohio COVID Data Tracker

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — The Ohio Valley ReSource has expanded its COVID Data Tracker to include more measures to help you better understand the spread of coronavirus in Ohio, including the number of people hospitalized due to the virus and the amount of coronavirus testing being done. The data tracker we launched in April provided daily… Read More

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky.

Ohio Valley Lawmakers React to Trump’s False Statements Undermining The Election

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (OVR) — Polls had barely closed in the U.S. when President Donald Trump falsely alleged voter fraud and claimed prematurely to have won the election, saying “We will win this, and as far as I’m concerned, we already have won it.” The results of the election had not yet been called, and the… Read More

Don Blankenship

Ex-Massey Energy CEO Draws Thousands of Votes For President In Closely Contested States

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (OVR) — Former coal executive Don Blankenship, who went to prison for his role in the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia, drew about 55,000 votes Tuesday as a third-party candidate for president, including thousands of votes in closely contested states. While not a significant amount in comparison to the more… Read More

A voting sign points into a polling location

Are You Having Trouble Voting? Tell Us.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — The Ohio Valley ReSource has partnered with ProPublica’s Electionland, a collaborative project among local and national newsrooms around the country to report on voting problems. We’d like your help to alert us to any problems that prevent people from voting. That might be problems with the delivery of mail ballots, long… Read More

Jacksonville, Ohio- Voters cast in their ballots.

The Missing Voters: The Ohio Valley Has Some Of The Nation’s Lowest Voter Turnout. What Could Change That?

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (OVR) — This fall, Lexington, Kentucky, activist and artist Devine Carama launched a different kind of road trip across his home state. He visited a dozen cities and towns, from Pikeville, in the state’s Appalachian east, to Paducah, near where the Ohio River joins the Mississippi. He carried a sign that said “I’ll… Read More

Kentucky mail-in ballot.

Last-Minute Voting Questions In The Election Home Stretch

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (OVR) — The conclusion of this most unusual general election is only a few days away. On Tuesday, November 3, people will make their way to polls, if they haven’t done so already, to cast their ballots. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, election officials have expanded voting options for those who are… Read More

A coal silo near the old Marsh Fork Elementary School.

Advocates Say Citizen Mining Complaint Process Weakened By Rule Change

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MORGANTOWN, W. Va. (OVR) — Environmental and community advocates in Appalachian coal communities are concerned about a new federal rule, finalized this week, that is changing the process that allows citizens to file complaints about polluting coal mining operations. The Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement said in a Tuesday press release that… Read More

Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray speaks at the EnVision Forum

Ohio Valley Coal Mine Executive Bob Murray Dead at 80

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (OVR) — Robert E. Murray, the founder and former president and CEO of Murray Energy Corp., formerly the largest privately-held underground coal company in the country, has died. He was 80 years old. Murray’s death was reported Sunday evening by television stations WTOV9 in Steubenville, Ohio, and WOWK in Huntington, West Virginia. According to the news… Read More

Murray Energy CEO Bob Murray speaks at the EnVision Forum

Bob Murray Announces Retirement From Coal Company He Founded

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ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio (OVR) — After applying for black lung benefits, Robert Murray, founder and former president of the now-bankrupt coal company Murray Energy Corp., announced Monday he was leaving the business after more than 60 years in the industry. Murray Energy emerged from bankruptcy protection last month as American Consolidated Natural Resources (ACNR). The 80-year-old Murray was named chairman… Read More

Piles of coal

ARC Investing Over 15 Million In Ohio Valley Economic Projects

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (OVR) — The Appalachian Regional Commission is investing another $43.3 million in communities affected by the downturn of the coal industry. The latest POWER grants from the ARC will support 51 projects in coal-dependent communities, including over $15 million for 20 projects in the Ohio Valley. The investments are going towards projects that will support broadband expansion,… Read More