Health & Science

Jodyperry / wikimedia Commons

Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College are banning tobacco use on their shared campus.

Both schools' governing boards have approved adoption of a tobacco-free, smoke-free and vapor-free campus. The Times West Virginian reports that the new policy is effective Aug. 1.

Pierpont Board of Governors chairman James Griffin says the board wanted to create a healthier environment for students.

Jessica Lilly

A much anticipated alternative for addiction recovery is now a reality in southern West Virginia. The Four Seasons Recovery Center in Mercer County is part of the West Virginia Justice Reinvestment Act. 

WV FOODLINK

Researchers at West Virginia University are working to holistically understand "food insecurity" throughout West Virginia with a program they call WV FOODLINK.

Jessica Lilly

Food deserts are a growing problem in West Virginia and across the country. The USDA defines a food desert as a part of the country where people don’t have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods. Parts of more than 40 counties in West Virginia endure some sort of limited food access and the number is growing as more and more grocery stores close their doors. But when the grocery store in one Greenbrier County town closed, the community worked to find local resources with hopes of becoming self-sufficient.


A brain about concussions from parents.com
From Parents.com / http://www.parents.com/blogs/red-hot-parenting/tag/sports-concussions/

Concern about short and long term effects of concussions continues to grow across the nation. Concussions are a traumatic brain injury that can leave possible long term effects. Concussions can leave a significant impact on people, but especially on teenagers’ brains. Recent studies show that concussions can impede students and athletes’ academic performance. 

Authorities say a coal miner was killed over the weekend in an accident at a mine in southwestern Pennsylvania.

At approximately 12:15 AM on June 28, 2015, John William “Bill” Kelly, 55 years old, of Albright, West Virginia a long-term employee of Mepco, LLC, was fatally injured. According to a release from Mepco, Kelly died in an accident at the Company’s 4 West Mine located near Mount Morris, Pennsylvania. In the release, Mepco also released this statement:

Morgantown Industrial Park
Northeast Natural Energy

Drilling is set to begin in West Virginia in what is being billed as the first long-term field study of shale drilling for natural gas.

Northeast Natural Energy of Charleston is scheduled to drill Friday in Morgantown.


Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis released his 184-page Papal Encyclical to the world just a few days ago. The letter from the Pope to all the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church comes as a relief to environmentalists around the globe, as it named climate matters the most urgent and critical issue of our time. In it, Pope Francis appeals “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet.”

Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, leader of the Catholic community in West Virginia, spoke about the messages he took away from the historic document.


Swimmerguy269 / wikimedia Commons

West Virginia University is creating a new office and a new position to oversee fraternities and sororities.
 

Student Life vice president Bill Schafer says a national search will be conducted to fill the position of associate dean and director of Greek life.

WVU President E. Gordon Gee says the new office and position are part of an effort to change the university's culture.

Gee promised significant changes following the death of 18-year-old freshman Nolan Burch during an initiation ceremony at the WVU Kappa Sigma house on Nov. 12, 2014.

Wikimedia Commons

Despite taking many steps to prevent injuries, West Virginia ranks highest for the number of injury-related deaths in the United States. That’s according to a new report published this week that looks state-by-state at injury prevention policy.

Many of the injury-related deaths that put West Virginia in the lead nationally are attributed to drug overdoses, according to data compiled by Trust for America's Health (TFAH). The organization published the new report along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its title: The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report

Downstream Strategies

Two organizations issued a report this week that details how West Virginia can meet the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Clean Power Plan, a new rule meant to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Michael Botticelli, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) met in Morgantown this week to talk about the economic and social effects of drug addiction – opioid addiction especially.


Solar panels arriving in Fayette County.
Colleen Laffey

  Solar coops in Wheeling and Morgantown are looking for proposals from solar companies to install panels on their homes.

Residents in Wheeling and Morgantown are banding together to buy solar panels in bulk discounts for their homes and businesses. So far there have been 73 sign ups into the Wheeling coop and 86 in Morgantown. Ben Delman from the organization that is facilitating the coops, Community Power Network,  reports that of those interested, about 24 homes in Wheeling and 50 in Morgantown are suitable for solar panels. Both co-ops will be open to new members through the summer.


Keep Your Promises Campaign
KeepYourPromisesDupont.com

An advocacy group has called for closer federal scrutiny of DuPont Chemicals’ plan to spin off its performance chemicals unit.

Tower for drilling horizontally into the Marcellus Shale Formation for natural gas, from Pennsylvania Route 118 in eastern Moreland Township, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, USA
Ruhrfisch [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) / Wikimedia Commons

The federal Environmental Protection Agency issued a report this week pertaining to the possible effects of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water. The report comes after several years of analyzing literature and research, but findings were largely inconclusive.


Freedom Industries
Aaron Payne / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

  Prosecutors oppose a motion by former executives asking a judge to move their criminal case over a chemical spill.

In Charleston federal court Thursday, prosecutors wrote that ex-Freedom Industries officials Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell didn't sufficiently prove that public sentiment over a water crisis is so prejudiced that fair and impartial jurors can't be found in southern West Virginia.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources West Virginia's spring gobbler season runs from April 27 through May 23, 2015
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

  The Division of Natural Resources says West Virginia hunters killed 9,038 turkeys this spring. That's down slightly from the same period last year.

Jessica Lilly

While other parts of the state are seeing a rapid increase in heroin overdoses, southern West Virginia continues to battle a prescription pill problem. As access to addiction treatment in the state’s larger cities like Charleston and Huntington grows, rural parts of West Virginia are still struggling with a lack of resources. But in Bluefield, a much anticipated alternative for  recovery is just days away from opening, bringing 20 male beds to southern West Virginia. It’s not much, but those involved expect it to make a difference in the community.

Dave Mistich / West Virginia Public Broadcasting / via Tableau

A bill aiming to stave off West Virginia's problems with heroin and prescription opioid overdose deaths goes into effect Wednesday. The Opioid Antagonist Act expands access to the life saving drug Naloxone, allowing addicts and family members the ability to purchase the medicine through a prescription.

Beth Vorhees / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Derek Harman practices family medicine in Logan County, but he's also been an emergency room physician. He got his medical degree in 2008 from the School of Osteopathic Medicine, in Lewisburg, and completed his residency in Virginia, in 2013.

 

Even at a young age, Harman has seen his fair share of overdoses.

Heroin is a respiratory depressant, and Harman said people who overdose can have shallow breath and a low number of breaths.

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