Health & Science

Black Lung
9:14 am
Thu April 24, 2014

New Coal Dust Regulations Revealed

Credit AllVoices.com

Rulemakers are moving to make good on a 40-year-old promise to end black lung with the announcement of new coal dust regulations. Officials from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Labor, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced new coal dust regulations.


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Chemical Spill
12:22 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Public Health Officals Outline Efforts Following Elk River Spill

Credit AP

With little known about the chemical compound MCHM, public health was—and remains—the focus of January’s spill of MCHM by Freedom Industries into the Elk River. Dr. Rahul Gupta of the Kanawha Charleston Health Department and other public health officials gathered Tuesday for an online presentation hosted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials to detail past and on-going efforts.

Gupta began his portion of the webinar to outline the timeline of the spill before moving on to data collected on the event. He said a recent survey shows that, while some residents were using the water to do laundry or for other purposes, many of those affected weren’t drinking the water at the beginning of March.

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CDC benchmark
3:27 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Gupta Says Exposure Standard Needs Revised

Local health officer believes the CDC needs to adjust its chemical spill safe exposure benchmark.
Credit wikimedia / Wikimedia

When federal officials decided what chemical levels West Virginians could safely consume in water tainted by the January 9 spill at Freedom Industries, their standard assumed people would be exposed for two weeks, not 100-plus days.

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News
10:03 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Rahall Convenes Meeting on W.Va. Drug Problems

Credit Rahall.house.gov/

  U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall says he has arranged a roundtable discussion with federal and West Virginia officials on the state's prescription drug abuse and trafficking problems.

The event is being held Tuesday in Atlanta in conjunction with a national drug abuse summit.

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Industry
9:42 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Long-Awaited U.S. Rule on Coal Dust to be Announced

Credit AllVoices.com

  Top federal labor and mine safety officials are heading to West Virginia to release a long-awaited final rule on coal dust.

The announcement will be made Wednesday in Morgantown. Among those attending will be U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez and Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. The director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, John Howard, will also discuss the new rule.

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Podcast
9:06 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Rural Healthcare and Technology, Hippie Homesteaders, and Ramps

West Virginia Morning on this Earth Day includes a report on healthcare in the state, considering some new technologies; also: Hippie Homesteaders and what they've brought to the state; and it's ramp season!

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Health Care
9:59 am
Mon April 21, 2014

West Virginia's Only State Veterans Nursing Home Cuts Wait List

Credit West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility

  West Virginia's only state-run nursing home for veterans has slashed its admission wait list by more than half.

Department of Veterans Assistance public affairs coordinator Heather Miles says 55 people currently are waiting to be admitted to the West Virginia Veterans Nursing Facility. That's down from 166 in 2013.

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Child Nutrition
7:56 am
Fri April 18, 2014

W.Va. Expands Women and Children Nutrition Program

Credit West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources says a program intended to keep mothers and their young children healthy has raised its income eligibility guidelines.

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Healthy Food Options
7:56 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Reasearch Center Working to Create Food Hubs in W.Va.

The food hubs would help connect retailers with local growers selling Appalachian grown and produced products similar to the way farmers markets are able to pull in people looking for local goods. This farmers market is in Bridgeport.
Credit Ashton Marra / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

An Upshur County research center is examining the idea of creating "food hubs" in West Virginia.

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9:46 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Are New Regulations Tough Enough to Prevent Another West Virginia Chemical Spill?

Lead in text: 
West Virginia Public Broadcasting's Ashton Marra and The New Yorker's Evan Osnos spoke with Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour about January's Elk River chemical spill. Both Marra and Osnos field questions about whether or not the spill has changed the paradigm in relation to the politics of industry in the state and whether or not recently passed legislation will prevent a similar event in the future.
  • Source: Pbs
  • | Via: PBS NewsHour
Myanmar, rocked by civil strife, has been kept isolated from the world for more than half a century. In recent years, however, the government has been proposing democratic reform and peace treaties with ethnic groups, prompting the U.S. to lift most sanctions.
Chemical Leak
4:35 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

WVAM Says MCHM Not Detected After Carbon Filters Changed

Credit Foo Conner / Flickr

West Virginia American Water said new tests show no signs of MCHM from water filtered through two newly replaced carbon filters.

The company began changing out the 16 activated carbon filters in the Charleston plant on April 1.

In a release this Monday, WVAM said 16 water samples taken throughout the filtration process at that location returned non-detect levels of MCHM.

The results came from Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories, Inc. in Lancaster, Pa., which WVAM said is testing the water at the 0.38 parts per billion level.

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12:48 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Morrisey Received 10,000 Pages of Abortion Comments

Lead in text: 
As Lori Kersey of The Charleston Gazette reports, a spokesperson for Morrisey said it appears that far more comments came from outside of West Virginia than from within and the office has not yet explained how they plan to use the information collected.
  • Source: Wvgazette
  • | Via: The Charleston Gazette
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office collected more than 10,000 pages of comments about abortion regulations during an approximately one-month period last summer, but officials aren't saying how many people wrote in favor of increasing regulations versus how many wrote against doing so.
News
11:51 am
Mon April 14, 2014

W.Va. Issues New Fish Consumption Advisories

Summersville Lake
Credit Ken Thomas / en.wikipedia

West Virginia has updated its advisories for eating fish caught in lakes and rivers.
 
The 2014 West Virginia Sport Fish Consumption Advisory removes limits on consumption of Greenbrier River smallmouth bass and walleye caught in Summersville Lake.
 
The Department of Health and Human Resources says newer information indicates lower mercury levels in both fish.
 

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Health Care
11:04 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Survey: W.Va. Home, Long-Term Care Costs Rise

Credit Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

An annual survey shows long-term and home health care costs in West Virginians are outpacing such costs nationally.
 
The Cost of Care Survey released Monday by Genworth Financial shows the median hourly cost of home health aide services in West Virginia has increased 3.8 percent annually over the past five years. Nationally, the annual increase was 1.3 percent.
 

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Chemical Leak
7:28 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Wastewater from Freedom Spill Sent to Ohio, North Carolina

Credit AP

Wastewater containing a chemical that spilled into the water supply for 300,000 West Virginians is heading to Ohio and North Carolina.
 
State Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Kelley Gillenwater says Freedom Industries started sending wastewater to an Ohio underground injection control well site this week.
 
The material was vacuumed out of Freedom's tanks and the Elk River. Freedom was storing it at its Nitro facility.
 

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Obamacare fallout
10:06 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

W.Va. Native Sylvia Mathews Burwell May Replace Sebelius as HHS Secretary

Sylvia Mathews Burwell at a April 2013 Senate hearing
Credit Office/Sen. Jay Rockefeller

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is resigning and President Obama is expected to replace her with West Virginia native Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, (D-W.Va.) released the following statement about Sebelius’ resignation:

“For the past five years, I have marveled at Secretary Sebelius’s grace under pressure. She never backed down from the tremendous responsibilities of her position, which were of a magnitude no other cabinet secretary has ever had to face with regard to domestic policy.”

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Black Lung
10:11 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Federal Cuts to Black Lung Programs Expected to Hit W.Va. Hardest

Credit National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

A McDowell County clinic is worried that federal cuts could compromise care for coal miners and their families.  The concern comes after grants for the Black Lung Clinic Programs were capped at $900,000. Since West Virginia was the only state to receive more than that annually, it’s expected to hit home the hardest.   

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Chemical Leak
4:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Local Health Department Joining W.Va. Chemical Spill Lawsuit

Dr. Rahul Gupta
Credit Kanawha Charleston Health Department

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department plans to join the city of Charleston in suing over a Jan. 9 chemical spill that contaminated 300,000 West Virginians' water supply.
 
County Health Department board members voted Tuesday to partner on the lawsuit. The city hasn't filed anything yet.

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Volunteers welcomed
2:16 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Boy Scouts and Others To Plant Chestnut Trees at Reserve

Consol Energy Bridge, Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, Mt. Hope, WV.
Credit wikimedia commons

Boy Scouts at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Mount Hope will conduct a chestnut tree planting April 19. 

The American Chestnut Foundation says the Scout Reserve is located near the center of the American chestnuts’ historical range in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains.

Volunteers will plant several hundred potentially blight resistant chestnut trees provided by the foundation near the west end of the Consol Energy Bridge.

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Children
6:56 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

"My Bike" Program Comes to West Virginia

Isabella goes on the bike parade with Sen. Joe Manchin.
Credit Ben Adducchio / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

For young children with certain disabilities, it’s just about impossible to ride a conventional bicycle. So a children’s charity known as Variety, which began in Pittsburgh in 1928, along with several people who wanted to get involved, started a program called the “My Bike” program. It provides specialized bicycles, that are built to suit the special needs of the child.

Nearly 30 children received these specialized bikes at a recent ceremony in Morgantown with Variety.

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