Health & Science

A Mercer County man who falsified mandatory mine safety reports while employed at several West Virginia mining operations was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Craig Belcher, 37, of Bluefield, W.Va., pleaded guilty in July to providing a false statement, representation and certification in a Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) document. 

Belcher’s sentence was handed down Monday by Senior United States District Court Judge David A. Faber in Bluefield.

AllVoices.com

Forty-two miners died in the U.S. in work-related accidents in 2013 according to preliminary data.

That’s up from the 36 miners who died in 2012.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration pointed out that fatalities occurred at a record low for the first three quarters of 2013. During the fourth quarter, six coal miners and nine metal/nonmetal miners died in mining accidents, a significant increase from the same period in 2012.

West Virginia lost six coal miners last year, the most in the country. Kentucky had the most metal/nonmetal mining deaths, with four.

Wikimedia Commons

From the W.Va. Dept. of Military Affairs and Public Safety:

Temperatures are forecasted to plunge well below zero degrees Fahrenheit throughout the state over the next 24 hours, and West Virginians are urged to take precautions. The severe cold and dangerous wind chills bring the threat of hypothermia and frostbite from prolonged exposure. Unsafe efforts to stay warm, meanwhile, can lead to fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Experts advise the following:
 

AP

West Virginia ranks second only to New York as the state getting the best deal from Obamacare, according to a new report from the company Evolution Finance.

The report looks at what all 50 states received through the Affordable Care Act. It uses 11 metrics designed to gauge the law’s impact on consumers and each state’s budget.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

West Virginia officials have launched a new online system to help improve reporting by local health departments.

When you think about a scrumptious meal, airline food does not come to mind.

There are plenty of challenges to tasty airline meals, like the fact that many airlines now charge you for anything more than a tiny bag of chips and a plastic cup of non-alcoholic drink, at least on domestic flights. Plus, you can't cook on an airplane, so anything you're served has probably been chilled, then reheated. And flight delays certainly don't help with the freshness factor.

United Miner Workers of America

This New Year’s Eve marks the 44th anniversary of the murder of Union presidential candidate Joseph “Jock” Yablonski.

Earlier this month the trigger-man in the 1969 murder, Paul Gilly, petitioned the court asking to be released from prison.  But the union believes Gilly should stay behind bars.

Dark time in United Mine Workers of America history

Jock Yablonski, his wife and daughter were murdered December 31, 1969. It was just over a year after the Farmington Disaster, where an explosion killed 78 men, underground.

A petition being passed around West Virginia through the Change.org web site is pushing legislators to change Raw Milk laws in the state. “Consumers should have the right to eat and drink foods they believe will benefit them,” the petition reads. Not everyone agrees.

Farmer Says Sweet

Tinia Creamer is a young farmer in the Huntington area who is outspoken about the issue of milk.

Rick Haye, Marshall University Communications

A report by two health advocacy groups says West Virginia is lagging in its approach to handling infectious disease threats.

     The report released Tuesday by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says West Virginia met four of 10 indicators of preparedness.

Facebook.com

Often referred to as, ‘the greatest job in the world’, taking care of a child with special needs can be challenging for parent. Parents of children in Mercer County have formed their own support group. 

Living in rural areas often means living significant distances from medical specialists, and sometimes treatment. For example the best form of treatment for Autism is applied behavioral analysis. While there are limited specialists across the state, there is not a single specialist south of Charleston in West Virginia.

Concord Students Remember Cancer Victims

Dec 9, 2013
Brian Allen

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in West Virginia and the United States according to the latest data from the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Concord University students wanted to remember their lost loved ones this year with a ceremony.

Students gathered in front of the Carillon bells at the Athens campus.

Organizer Corey Booth wanted to host an event during lung cancer awareness month, which is November, in honor of his father’s current fight.

The life expectancy for American females is 81 years.

In West Virginia, Marshall County has the longest life expectancy for women, with 80 years, while those in McDowell deal with about 6 years shorter life span.

The life expectancy for American males is about 76 years.

Kentuckians get ready to SOAR.

A new book by photographer Builder Levy documents change in the coalfields.

A Tucker County W.Va. clock repairman marks his 90th birthday.

And the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame loses a member.

Folks in fracking country Pennsylvania work on air pollution issues.

Kentucky college students are having a blast- with some mine research.

America’s Test Kitchen has an Appalachian connection.

And we learn about the famed Fairfax Stone.

W.Va. Hunting Season Sparks Family Competition

Nov 27, 2013

Anna and Chuck Baker are just returning from their farm to check in a deer. It was Anna who bagged the did a little nine point buck.  

Listen to Anna share the story of how she killed her buck. 

 

 

A mine in Lincoln County has been put on notice of a pattern of violations.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today that Coal River Mining LLC’s Fork Creek No. 1 Mine is a pattern violator.

A POV notice, one of the agency’s toughest enforcement actions, is reserved for the mines that pose the greatest risk to the safety of miners.

An MSHA audit revealed that the mine operator failed to report miner injuries equivalent to 239 days of lost time during the review period.

Lance McDaniel

This is the first semester Concord University has offered a Master of Social Work.

It's one of four programs Concord has developed since becoming a University in 2004.

  • Master of Education (five content specializations)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching
  • Master of Arts in Health Promotion
  • Master of Social Work

The programs have the potential to help improve overall public health in the area.

Cecelia Mason / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

The forum started with opening remarks from State Sen. John Unger (D-Berkeley) and Del. Tiffany Lawrence (D-Jefferson). Participants then watched part of the PBS film Poor Kids and a short preview of a film about child poverty in the state being produced by West Virginia PBS.

They then met in smaller groups to talk about how poverty affects children academically and socially, stereotypes associated with being poor, what resources are available in the community and what can be done to prevent families from becoming poor.

Ashton Marra

Legislators got their first look at a bill that would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in the state during interim meetings in Charleston. A controversial proposal, lawmakers are taking their time scrutinizing the legislation before they even decide to present it to the full legislature for consideration when they convene for the 2014 Regular Session in January.

The comprehensive bill is a compilation of medical marijuana laws from multiple other states and sets forth these five provisions:

1. Creation of a Patient Registry

This is National Homeless and Hunger Awareness Week, when the National Coalition for the Homeless and other advocacy organizations hope the country will focus on issues surrounding poverty. The United Way of the Eastern Panhandle is doing just that Thursday evening during a public forum.

During the forum "Poverty in the Panhandle: Children at Risk,"  the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, Family Resource Network and Health and Human Services Collaborative hope to discuss the problem and come up with possible solutions.

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