A 2011 aerial photo of Little Blue Run, the largest coal ash waste site in the country.
Robert Donnan

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

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 the Environmental Protection Agency. Hundreds of waste ponds and landfills, many constructed without liners to prevent leaks, dot the American landscape, especially in the...

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WVPB Podcasts & Programs

Carol Guzy/ NPR

3 Men, 3 Lives, 3 Wishes for a Better Economic Future in Appalachia

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep , are hopeful. “Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.” But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future.

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Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Gov. Jim Justice is seeking a $2,700 increase in the tiers for health insurance premiums to avoid bumping teachers and other public employees into higher tiers from a recent 5 percent pay increase.

Justice announced at a news conference Monday he will ask the Public Employees Insurance Agency for the change.

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

10 hours ago
A 2011 aerial photo of Little Blue Run, the largest coal ash waste site in the country.
Robert Donnan

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 the Environmental Protection Agency.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West VIrginia Morning, coal has long powered the Ohio Valley. But it left behind a legacy of waste: dozens of massive coal ash disposal sites. As the Trump administration changes the regulation of coal ash, the Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL have analyzed new data from the region’s waste sites. The analysis found widespread evidence that coal ash sites are leaking contaminants into surrounding groundwater.

In the first of a three-part series, reporters Brittany Patterson and Ryan Van Velzer share what they found and what it might mean for nearby communities.

When Congress approved giving $380 million to states to bolster the security of their elections, state officials were caught off guard but extremely grateful. Elections are notoriously underfunded and haven't seen a windfall like this from the federal government in more than a decade.

But getting that money out to all the states, and then into the hands of localities that run the elections, with enough time to have a meaningful effect on the 2018 midterm elections is a difficult proposition.

June 18, 1674: Needham and Arthur Exploration Ends

13 hours ago
This Week in West Virginia History.
e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia online.

On June 18, 1674, the Needham and Arthur exploration into present-day West Virginia ended. A year earlier, explorer, politician, and militia commander Abraham Wood had dispatched James Needham, Gabriel Arthur, and eight Indian guides on an expedition through the South.

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.
WV Governor's Office

Gov. Jim Justice named W. Clayton Burch as interim secretary at the West Virginia Department of Commerce on Friday, a day after forcing out his predecessor.

Carol Guzy/ NPR

Can Trump bring coal jobs back to Appalachia? We’re a year-and-a-half into his presidency, and some people, like coal operator Barry Estep, are hopeful.

“Maybe this is a light at the end of the tunnel we’ve all been hoping for, to get things turned around and changed some.”

But others are not so sure that coal has a long-term future. 


Hydrocodone pills
Toby Talbot / AP

A federal judge in Ohio will consider whether to allow public access to government data detailing years of prescription opioid painkiller shipments.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, NPR reporter and host Kelly McEvers and her colleague Chris Benderev spent more than a year exploring coal counties across Appalachia -- trying to understand our people and our history with coal.

The series, which recently aired on a podcast called Embedded, follows several people in central Appalachia, to find out how their lives changed during the first year-and-a-half of the Trump presidency. McEvers recently spoke with Roxy Todd. We'll hear part of that conversation and travel with McEvers as she goes a mile underground inside a coal mine.

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