Health & Science

As efforts to improve West Virginia’s standing in the ranks of academic achievement continue, some parents are opting out of the public school option and homeschooling their children instead.

“‘Homeschool’ is a misnomer. We’re rarely home! It’s not like we’re sitting at home just by ourselves, looking at each other. We’re out there every day.” –Homeschool mom, Ericka Rhodes-Edwards

Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies

Nov 7, 2013
alcoholic beverages
wikimedia / Wikimedia Commons

Any substance a woman takes, whether it’s tobacco, alcohol or methamphetamine, can effect the development and structure of a fetal brain.  That’s the message today from a leading researcher of child development.

Dr. Ira Chasnoff, one of the nation’s leading researchers in the effects of maternal alcohol and drug use on newborn infants says early intervention is the key for healthy babies.

Community Care of West Virginia

Two West Virginia health centers are among 236 across the country receiving money through the Affordable Care Act.

Community Care of West Virginia in Rock Cave is getting a $704,167 grant and Williamson Health and Wellness Center will receive  $812,500.

A news release from the White House says the community health centers will use the money to establish new full time health care delivery sites so more people can gain access to health care.

The release calls community health centers "key partners in helping uninsured residents sign up for health coverage."

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

A state task force says West Virginia should require prescriptions for cold medications that contain an ingredient used illegally to make methamphetamine.
 
     The recommendation is one of several approved Wednesday by the Governor's Advisory Council on Substance Abuse.
 
     The Charleston Gazette  says the council also recommended that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin oppose any legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use.
 

WDTV

The father of one of four children killed in a West Virginia house fire says his daughter's donated organs are keeping three transplant patients alive, so she continues to bring joy to other families.

Efforts to help state veterans continue

Nov 4, 2013

The author of a study published last year on state veterans is trying to do more to help them.

Joseph Scotti has started a new organization called WHOLE Veterans. It stands for Welcome Home: Overcoming, Living, Engaging.

Scotti says it takes a lot of different people within a community to encourage veterans to reach out for help when they need assistance. He says there simply aren't enough people at the moment to deal with absolutely every veteran who needs care.

AllVoices.com

Hundreds of coal miners are expected to lose their jobs in West Virginia this month. The federal government announced yesterday that the State was given a nearly two million dollar emergency grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The federal dollars will provide retraining and reemployment services to dislocated coal miners and their families.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

An industry trade group has launched a campaign in West Virginia opposing legislation that would require prescriptions for medications containing pseudoephedrine.
 
     Pseudoephedrine is also used illegally to make methamphetamine.
 
     The Consumer Healthcare Products Association began running ads this week on Charleston-area news websites. The group also has set up a website called Stop Meth, Not Meds, a Facebook page and a Twitter account.
 

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A study released Wednesday says minable coal will run out much sooner than expected. The report comes from an environmental organization and the author claims it’s science based and not politically driven.

The report is published by Clean Energy Action, Colorado based environmental organization that works to push the transition from fossil fuels to other energy sources.  

Black lung is a deadly disease caused by exposure to dust underground.
Department of Labor

A widow is battling for black lung benefits of her dead husband.  Mary Fox filed an appeal on behalf of her late husband Gary Fox last year. Testimony before a federal appeals court began today in Virginia.

The hearing comes the same day stories from a yearlong investigation by the Center for Public Integrity revealed lawyers with the Jackson Kelly law firm submitted only favorable evidence in court.

Kings Dominion does not plan to host the attraction in 2014.
KingsDominion.com

Kings Dominion does not plan to host a Halloween themed attraction called, Miner's Revenge next year.

The Virginia-based amusement park does not plan to host a Halloween themed attraction called, Miner's Revenge next year. The  park charged more than $32 for admission during the weekends in October. The haunted attraction's similarities to the Upper Big Branch disaster similarities infuriated the families of the victims. Some have said it’s eerily similar to their real life nightmare.

Tonya Kinder

A grieving family is honoring their loved one with a memorial scholarship, with the help of the ambulance company where he worked. Mark Kinder II died in January while returning from dropping off a patient. Jan Care is donating the money for the scholarship.

It’s been about nine months since Mark Kinder II was killed. Mark’s sister Tonya, also a Jan Care employee, says her brother is believed to have been resting in the passenger seat when the accident happened.

DuPont's Washington Works
Parkersburg News & Sentinel

Nine Ohio and West Virginia residents who have cancer and other diseases have filed federal lawsuits this month against chemical giant DuPont, alleging the company knowingly contaminated drinking-water supplies with a chemical used by one of its plants.

Patriot Coal

Patriot Coal is responding to recent actions from the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. Yesterday, Thursday MSHA released a statement stating that the agency had labeled two West Virginia coal mines and one in Kentucky as pattern violators, meaning they've repeatedly broken federal health and safety regulations.

Manchin leads effort to reschedule hydrocodone

Oct 25, 2013

Senator Joe Manchin held a conference call this morning to discuss the announcement that the Food and Drug Administration is recommending hydrocodone be reclassified.

  The FDA is recommending to the Department of Health and Human Services that hydrocodone drugs like Vicodin or Lortab be reclassified from a Schedule III to a Schedule II controlled substance.

Under this category, it’s acknowledged that the drug has a high potential for abuse, can cause severe psychological or physical dependence, and should be used with severe restrictions.

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs
RayNata / wikimedia

A Boone County judge has ordered four pharmaceutical drug distributors to reveal their shipments to West Virginia pharmacies over the past five years.
 
Circuit Judge William Thompson acted Thursday in a lawsuit filed last year by former state Attorney General Darrell McGraw. The suit accused the companies of helping to contribute to the state's pain pill abuse epidemic.
 

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin
Courtesy Photo

Senator Joe Manchin is proposing a delay in a key component to the federal Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate. Manchin defended his legislation saying it allows the administration more time to fix glitches in the enrollment system, but a left-leaning policy group in Charleston maintains a delay will have significant negative impacts on West Virginians.

The individual mandate requires all Americans sign up for health insurance through the federal health care exchange by April 1, or face a penalty of $95 or 1 percent of their annual income, whichever is greater.

Environmental groups are reacting to a ruling from a federal judge which says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has no legal right to force a West Virginia chicken farmer to obtain pollution permits for runoff from her Hardy County farm.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey ruled that the runoff entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed from Lois Alt's poultry farm is stormwater and therefore not subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act.

State legislators concerned with head injuries

Oct 24, 2013
football helmet
wikimedia / mdscottis

There’s been a lot of attention on how head injuries are affecting football players, and athletes, on all levels—including when they are very young. Stakeholders concerned about this issue hope new protocols will sufficiently prevent serious injuries.

How will Huntington fight childhood obesity?

Oct 22, 2013
Clark Davis

The Huntington YMCA is leading the charge in one area of the battle with obesity that has been ignored in the Huntington area, childhood obesity.

  The Huntington YMCA along with Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Hospital and Cabell County Schools has developed a program called kids in motion. The new partnership will lead the brand new Kid Fit program that the YMCA and hospital officials hope is the next step in the fight against childhood obesity in the city.

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