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Your Voice Ohio Collaborative Seeking Solutions To Opioid Crisis

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An Ohio-based collaborative thinks journalists can play a bigger role in solving the region’s opioid crisis. The effort starts with listening to people in some of the hardest-hit communities. A group of about 50 people gathered in a small building at the fairgrounds in Marietta, Ohio, to share their thoughts on the region’s opioid crisis… Read More

Infection And Inequality: How The Income Gap Fuels Ohio Valley’s Hep A Outbreak

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Jim Thacker is frustrated. The spokesperson for the Madison County, Kentucky, Health Department said there is a real threat of a Hepatitis A outbreak at the detention center right down the road in Richmond. Built to house about 240 inmates, it holds more than 400. “It’s like a petri dish, they are packed so close together,” he… Read More

Study Shows Area The Size of Delaware Affected By Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining

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An area roughly the size of Delaware has been mined for coal in Appalachia using mountaintop removal, according to a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE. Researchers from Duke University and nonprofit organizations SkyTruth and Appalachian Voices developed an open-source mapping tool drawing on satellite imagery. The new data show the amount of… Read More

Study Finds “Bright Spots” Amid Region’s Poor Health Outcomes

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The Ohio Valley is not known for good health. Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia often rank near the bottom of states in many health rankings. But a new report shows there are “bright spots” in the region where some health measures are better than expected. And a team of health researchers thinks these communities can… Read More

Battling An Outbreak: Businesses And Health Officials Respond As Ohio Valley’s Hep A Cases Climb

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The low rumble of industrial fans fills the Catholic Action Center in Lexington, a shelter that provides meals and other services for homeless people. It’s mid-morning on a hot July day and dozens of people sit camped on couches in the entryway, or slouch at tables nearby. Despite the fans the air is stale from too many… Read More

Region’s Black Lung Rates Highest In 25 Years

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A new study by federal health officials finds the recent surge in cases of black lung disease is especially concentrated among coal miners in central Appalachia. Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say the rate of black lung disease among experienced miners in central Appalachia is the highest they have seen in a quarter century…. Read More

Pension Problems: Lawmakers Warn Of Economic Fallout From Failing Pensions

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United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts fired up a crowd of thousands of union workers in Columbus, Ohio, with a simple chant: “Fix it!” The rally last week came on the eve of a Congressional field hearing on problems plaguing multiemployer pension programs like the one retired miners depend upon. “When the people get to… Read More

Hogwash: Farmers Fear Trump Trade Disputes Are Damaging Ag Markets

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Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contracted barns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products. On a recent July day, Tosh craned over some 1,200 piglets and reflected on how recent market disturbances have affected his… Read More

Federal Prosecutor Charges Coal Company With Faking Dust Samples Amid Black Lung Surge

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The U.S. Attorney for Kentucky’s Western District unsealed eight fraud indictments Wednesday against employees of the bankrupt Armstrong Energy coal company for falsifying dust monitoring samples in two Kentucky mines. “What the grand jury is charging and what the United States will prosecute is lying and cheating by a coal company to prevent the appropriate… Read More

Kids First: Teachers Put Immigration Politics Aside To Focus On Migrant Students

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“Be brave, have fun,” Jennie Boggess instructs as she leads a room full of young students at Camp Curiosity, hosted by the Daviess County, Kentucky, Public Schools. Boggess is the development director for the Owensboro Dance Theatre and today she is preparing students for a finale performance to cap the four-week summer camp. “The idea of… Read More