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Groups Say Smart Reclamation Of Mine Lands Could Be “Appalachia’s New Deal”

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From solar farms in Virginia to a green energy subdivision in Kentucky, a new report by a group of regional advocacy organizations highlights 20 ready-made projects across the Ohio Valley that could give abandoned mining operations that were never cleaned up a second life, and create new economic opportunity across the region. In the report, released Tuesday,… Read More

State Worker Safety Plans: ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’

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Fifteen minutes before his shift was to end on November 8, 2017, Lariat Rope, a thickset man of 55, tumbled into a pit of scalding water at Sapa Extrusions North America in Phoenix, an aluminum-products plant where he’d worked for more than 25 years. It took rescuers three hours to retrieve his body from the… Read More

How Kentucky Is Failing Its Workers

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While most of the Meade County public works crew finished their lunches, Pius “Gene” Hobbs was raking along the edge of the road, oblivious to the dump truck backing quickly towards him. Unbeknownst to the driver, Hobbs was knocked to the ground and crushed under the truck’s weight. When the truck accelerated forward, Hobbs’ coworker… Read More

A Data Dive Into The Ohio Valley Midterm Election Results

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The “Blue Wave” that broke in some midterm races around the country hit a “Red Wall” in the Ohio Valley, and while the Democrats will take control of the House in Washington, the partisan makeup of the Congressional delegations for Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia remains unchanged. In the region’s two Senate races, Democrats managed… 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

Healthy Debate: Ohio Valley Health Concerns Driving Competitive Midterm Races

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The political ads in the Ohio Valley are playing on what seems like a constant loop. That’s not unusual for election season. But what is unusual this year is how many ads focus on health care. Consider this one from Kentucky Republican Andy Barr, who’s facing a tough challenge in the 6th Congressional District from Democrat Amy McGrath…. Read More

Ohio Valley Lawmakers Helped Shape Bipartisan Bill On Opioid Crisis

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A year after President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency, he signed a bipartisan bill Wednesday to bolster law enforcement efforts and expand addiction treatment and resources. Proponents hope the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act helps the Ohio Valley, which suffers some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose deaths…. Read More

Pensions At The Polls: Will Concern Over Shaky Plans Show Up On Election Day?

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Thousands of union coal miners and their families gathered this summer in Columbus, Ohio, wielding signs and wearing camouflage United Mine Workers of America shirts. UMWA President Cecil Roberts led the crowd in a call-and-response chant. “I want you to send a loud, clear signal that we are one! We are one!” But the miners… Read More

The Doctor And The Epidemic: Three Years At Ground Zero Of The Opioid Crisis

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When Dr. Rahul Gupta started work as West Virginia’s chief health officer his state was already ground zero for the opioid epidemic, with some of the nation’s highest rates of addiction and overdose fatalities. That was 2015, and 735 state residents died from overdoses that year. Preliminary data for 2017 show there were 1,011 overdose deaths… Read More