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Coal Ash Uncovered: Polluted Groundwater Found At 14 Kentucky Sites

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For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth. Now, new data show the coal ash buried in landfills and… Read More

Coal Ash Uncovered: New Data Reveal Widespread Contamination At Ohio Valley Sites

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For generations, coal power has fueled American prosperity. But for each shovelful thrown into the furnaces, a pile of ash was left in its place. Today, as coal’s dominance in the power sector wanes, those piles of ash have grown into mountains as coal ash became one of the largest waste streams in the country, according to… Read More

Poor People’s Campaign Carries On King, Kennedy Legacies In Ohio Valley

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Anti-poverty activists say they will continue a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience throughout the Ohio Valley despite arrests at some events and being blocked from Kentucky’s capitol building. The Poor People’s Campaign has rallied in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and campaign leaders returned to Kentucky Wednesday after the group was denied access at earlier demonstrations. North Carolina… Read More

Wastewater Woes: For These Appalachian Towns, It’s Always Infrastructure Week

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Kimberly Shatney lives just outside Pine Grove, West Virginia, an incorporated town of about 500 people with a big problem. Behind a small sandwich shop in town, she points to the ground caked with what looks like dry mud. “This is all raw sewage. All of that, all of this is raw sewage,” Shatney said,… Read More

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Clipped Wings: Trump Weakens Law That Protected Birds For A Century

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On a recent chilly Tuesday morning, about 20 people filed along a winding dirt path leading deeper into West Virginia University’s Arboretum in Morgantown. Armed with binoculars, smartphones and hiking boots, the group had one goal — spot and identify the chittering birds hidden in the trees above. LeJay Graffious with the Mountaineer Audubon chapter… Read More

Back To The Garden: How Green Thumbs Help With Addiction Recovery

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Meredith Jensen is doing some gardening on a sunny day in a secluded part of Athens, Ohio. “I’m working on our pollinator garden beds,” she said. “Which are a bunch of fun flowers that’ll help attract butterflies, bumble bees, you name it.” Her partner Jamie Betit pushes a full wheel barrow to fill the other… Read More

Shine A Light: Regional Effort To Aid Puerto Rico Caught In Trump’s Solar Tariffs

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Far from the ocean and Puerto Rico’s famous beaches, narrow roads wind into mountains not unlike the country roads of our home, West Virginia. After hours of driving we reach a rural community in the island’s center called Tetuan Tres. Like so many places in rural Appalachia, you don’t come here accidentally. We’ve come to… Read More

Lung Transplants Rise Amid Region’s Black Lung Epidemic

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The Appalachian coalfields are in the midst of an epidemic of severe black lung disease. The debilitating and even deadly disease has recently begun to affect miners as young as 30. Dust from coal mines has scarred these miners’ lungs, so little of the air they breathe gets absorbed. In central Appalachia, researchers say, one… Read More

Drowning In Milk: Dairy Farmers Look For Lifelines In Flooded Market

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LaRue County, Kentucky, dairy farmer Gary Rock sits in his milking parlor, overlooking what is left of his 95 cow operation. “Three hundred years of history is something that a lot of people in our country cannot even talk about,” Rock said. That’s how long the farm has been in his family. While the land… Read More

J.D. Vance Investor Tour Draws Hopeful Companies And Harsh Critics

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J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” returns to his native Kentucky this week. But Vance isn’t selling books this time. He’s leading a bus tour of well-heeled venture capitalists looking for investment options in the region. Vance worked with AOL founder Steve Case to line up big-name investors for what they call the “Rise of… Read More