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Opioids, opioid, painkillers, perscription, narcotics, doctors, narcotics
Dollar Photo Club

West Virginia University's chief economist estimates the opioid epidemic has cost the state economy nearly $1 billion from deaths, lost or underperformed jobs and public resources.

Adobe Stock

In the next episode of Window's into Health Care - our occasional series talking with health experts from around the state - health reporter Kara Lofton sits down with  Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch to talk about his work and what he feels are the biggest health issues the state is facing.

In the transcript below, Crouch talks about how the DHHR is dealing with the opioid crisis, concerns about the state's growing foster care crisis and how chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity impact West Virginia. 

EPA Gathers Coal Country Comments about Climate Plan Repeal

Nov 28, 2017

The coal industry and environmentalists are squaring off at a two-day public hearing over the Trump administration's planned repeal of an Obama-era plan to limit planet-warming carbon emissions.

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding the only scheduled hearing on the reversal in Charleston, West Virginia. The state is heavily dependent on coal mining.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear about what's being done in the Ohio Valley to fight food insecurity among veterans. Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach; troops must be fed in order to fight. But what happens when that army fights hunger back home?

Can West Virginia Shift Its Attitude Toward the Opioid Crisis?

Nov 28, 2017
Dollar Photo Club

Shawna Hardy grew up in the early 80s “on the hill.” That’s how family referred to her Grandma Helen’s property, a quasi-farm situated atop a steep hill in North-Central West Virginia. Her family lived in a trailer next to Grandma Helen, separated by a large field outlined with thick aluminum fencing that held a chicken coop, a salt lick for the cows, and a small barn for a temperamental palomino named Golden Boy.

Changing Course: A School Cooperative Aims To Remake Coal Communities

Nov 27, 2017
Benny Becker / Ohio Valley Resource

Betsy Layne High School serves rural Floyd County in the eastern Kentucky town of Stanville, population 206. Students there produce a video program called “Bobcat Banter” where they usually talk about sports and student life. But early last year “Bobcat Banter” introduced some special guests.

“We’re here with Mr. and Mrs. Gates from the Gates Foundation,” the students said.

The world’s richest man and his partner in life and philanthropy, Melinda Gates, had dropped in for a chat.

 

Flickr / davidwilson1949

A United Nations expert on extreme poverty and human rights will visit West Virginia's capital city during a fact-finding trip to the United States.

Opioids
Toby Talbot / AP Photo

Two more West Virginia communities have joined others around the state in suing drug companies over the opioid epidemic.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On the is West Virginia Morning, more than 1,000 Ohio Valley farmers used a complicated federal visa program to hire about 8,000 foreign workers for seasonal jobs, last year.

Farmers say the visa program is too bureaucratic, and a bill before Congress promises to cut red tape. But as Nicole Erwin of the Ohio Valley ReSource reports, labor advocates say the bill would strip guest workers of many protections in an industry where wage theft is already a problem.

It's back to work this week for President Trump and Republicans after Thanksgiving — and they have a lot to do.

Adobe Stock

A growing number of Americans have high deductible health insurance plans – meaning they have to spring for the first few thousand dollars of care before insurance coverage kicks in. A new study suggests that despite a rise in these types of plans, most Americans aren’t shopping around for better prices.

The study used data from a national poll to examine the behavior of more than 1600 adults under the age of 65 who had high deductible health plans. 

Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

An unspecified glitch has caused a delay in paycheck deposits for up to 15,000 employees at West Virginia University.

The Dominion Post of Morgantown reports that the paychecks weren't deposited as scheduled on Friday morning.

Tim Kiser / wikimedia Commons

A boulder whose engraving may be two centuries old has been given to the city of Beckley.

Councilman Tom Sopher, also president of the Raleigh County Historical Society, says it predates the city's founding and indicates the area's early civilization.

Photo courtesy of Wood County 911

Three lawsuits seeking damages following the industrial warehouse fire that burned for a week in Parkersburg have been moved from state to federal court.

Lyme, tick, Lyme disease, IDSA, infectious disease, WVU
Dollar Photo Club

Tick-borne Lyme disease has spread across West Virginia over the past six years with cases reported in 52 of the state's 55 counties, according to state health officials.

Most cases are reported in the northern and eastern panhandles probably because of their proximity to the high-incidence states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the Department of Health and Human Resources said.

Cong. Nick Rahall speaking in front of US Capitol, tight shot
Submitted Photo / Office of Nick Rahall

Records and photographs from the papers of former U.S. Rep. Nick Joe Rahall II have been opened for research at West Virginia University Libraries' West Virginia & Regional History Center.

Rahall won the 1976 contest for West Virginia's Fourth Congressional District seat and was re-elected 18 times. He is the state's longest-serving congressman.

Steve Helber / Associated Press

Several families impacted by flooding last year in West Virginia have received new homes.

WVVA-TV reports the Rainelle residents were handed keys to their homes on Monday. The homes have 8-foot (2-meter) support beams should severe weather come again.

courtesy Derek Akal

This is the last part of our Struggle to Stay series, and the final chapter of Derek Akal’s Struggle to Stay. Derek, 22, is from a coal-camp town called Lynch, in Harlan County, Kentucky. If you haven’t caught his earlier stories, here’s a quick recap: Derek says he wants to leave eastern Kentucky to find work. A few years ago, he moved away on a college football scholarship, but then a neck injury led him to move back home. 


Much of Appalachia’s economy has rested on the boom and bust cycles of industries like coal and manufacturing for decades. It’s true that these industries have long put bread on the Appalachian table, but as those industries have faded in recent decades, jobs have grown scarce. 

So are there industries that might one day provide more financial stability to the region? This week on Inside Appalachia, we learn more about some unexpected and unique ways Appalachians are thinking outside the box to earn money, like growing industrial hemp, installing solar panels and even growing tea.

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