Health & Science

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin was joined by lawmakers and patient advocacy groups from across the state at the Capitol Thursday for the ceremonial signing of two healthcare related bills.

Senate Bill 366 creates the Patient Protection and Transparency Act which offers protections to people who sign up for insurance through a federal health care exchange website.

Tomblin also signed House Bill 2100 known as the Caregiver Advise, Record and Enable Act.

Wikimedia Commons

  When we hear about the danger of dust exposure, we are usually talking about coal dust underground, or silica dust. But that’s not the only dust that can make people sick. Apparently almost any dust can, if it’s fine enough.


Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Nearly 40 people gathered at the Capitol Wednesday to protest Governor Tomblin’s veto of a bill to allow for herd-sharing in the state, allowing more West Virginians to consume raw milk.

Senate Bill 30 passed with overwhelming support by both the House and Senate, despite some health concerns attached to the bill. 

Keep Your Promises Campaign
KeepYourPromisesDupont.com

  The community-based organization Keep Your Promises Dupont released an open letter the C-8 Medical Panel asking for oversight in the court-mandated C-8 Medical Monitoring Program.


The WVU College of Law’s Center for Energy and Sustainable Development hosted their 4th annual National Energy Conference last week in Morgantown. The day-long conference examined issues affecting water in energy production. 


Clark Davis / WVPublic

Dr. Kent Brantly, the first American survivor of the Ebola virus, was at Ohio Valley University in Vienna Monday night passing on his message about battling the disease. 

  Brantly was diagnosed with Ebola while serving as a doctor for Samaritan’s Purse Mission in Liberia. What happened next is the story that led to the not-yet-published book that he and his wife, Amber, wrote. Brantly was working as a doctor in Liberia when the news came that Ebola had spread to the country. 

Residual waste truck in Pennsylvania.
Iris Marie Bloom

  A new report was published this month that looks at how states are dealing with dangerous waste produced during shale gas development. Not well, according to the report.


NASA

Satellite images from NASA and other government agencies can tell us a lot about the changing of the climate as well as the environment. Their photo series State of Flux: Images of Change depicts noticeable differences in our world over various spans of time--looking at everything from water, air, natural disasters, as well as the impact of industry.

Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia has been plagued for the past few years with budget deficits. To deal with the shortfalls, the governor has cut state agency budgets across the board, implemented hiring freezes and dipped into the state’s Rainy Day Fund.

This year, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin cut the House and Senate approved budget by an additional $11 million, leaving some service programs to wonder how they’ll keep their doors open. The Charleston Health Right is just one of those service programs.

The West Virginia Health Right clinic located in Charleston's East End is a free and charitable clinic that provides medical, dental and vision services to more than 15,000 uninsured and underinsured West Virginians each year. 

Black Vulture
Shannon Behmke

    

A new study out of West Virginia University finds that lead poisoning in vultures is way more prevalent than expected. Researchers say the source of the lead is ammunition and coal-fired power plant emissions - prompting one researcher to liken vultures to the canaries miners once used to gauge if a coal mine was safe or not.


PunchingJudy / Flickr

First responders have mixed views about a new state law that allows them to administer overdose-reversal medicine.

The Access to Opioid Antagonists Act was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. It will make the medicine naloxone more readily available.

EcoCAR.org

Many college seniors have to worry about whether they’re going find a job after they turn their tassel. But some students in a car-building competition are being recruited by the auto industry even before they graduate.

Glynis Board / WVPB

When natural gas drillers use extreme pressures to drill and crack rocks thousands of feet underground - when they frack for natural gas, for example - sometimes nearby conventional gas wells will suddenly see production double, or triple. 

A report says McDowell County is again the unhealthiest county in West Virginia.

The report released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and University of Wisconsin researchers ranks the southern coalfield county last among all 55 counties for the sixth straight year.

Slick-o-bot / wikimedia Commons

A report says one-third of West Virginia schoolchildren under age 6 live in poor households and are at risk of falling significantly behind their classmates' achievements.

The West Virginia KIDS COUNT's annual report on children's wellbeing says the vocabularies of children as young as 18 months from low-income families are already several months behind their peers, and that continues throughout their educations.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Both of West Virginia’s Senators, Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican Shelley Moore Capito, are co-sponsors of a piece of legislation that would rewrite the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act. 

WLU biology professor, Dr. Zach Loughman, is shown accepting his award in Charleston.
West Liberty University

    

A West Liberty University researcher has been named the Faculty Merit Foundation of West Virginia's Professor of the Year.


  The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s public comment period on proposed stricter ozone standards closes this week. Many health and medical professionals across the country are urging the EPA to adopt the standard. Meanwhile, West Virginia’s senator Joe Manchin introduced legislation that would block the measure.


West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey
West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey / West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection hosted a public hearing in Charleston to discuss a new air quality permit for natural gas facilities in the state. Some wish the DEP would use the permit writing process to incorporate suggestions from scientists who have studied air around gas facilities.


Google Maps

March 14, 2015 2:17 p.m. 

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection reported in an email that conditions at the Hughes Creek area mine stabilized Saturday afternoon. The DEP says, "... there is nothing to indicate an imminent threat" and residents could return to their homes. About 54 people had sheltered at Riverside High School on Friday night. DEP officials were concerned that the mine could fail.

  The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection is reporting that residents in the Hughes Creek community are being called to evacuate "out of an abundance of caution." A possible mine blowout above U.S. Route 60 could prevent emergency services from being able to access the community  in eastern Kanawah County.

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