Ohio Valley Resource

Demonstrators targeting Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Remember the American Health Care Act, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or the Obamacare Repeal and Reconciliation Act? They were among the many Congressional proposals to end the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Ohio Valley ReSource series, “One Year, Under Trump,” looks at what the president has done on some of the region’s key issues.

As Becca Schimmel reports, despite the coal heavy rhetoric, the area’s industry has seen only minor change in employment.

Burned By Coal: Coalfield Communities Facing Electricity Price Hikes

Dec 23, 2017
Kentucky Power customers expressed frustration with proposed rate increases.
Mimi Pickering / WMMT

One evening this past November, angry customers and public officials filled a high school auditorium in Hazard, Kentucky, and took turns pleading with three members of the state’s public service commission.

Angie Hatton, a state legislator representing Letcher and Pike counties, presented the situation in historical terms. “This community that for two centuries has been powering our nation, we’re now struggling to keep our own lights on.”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Trump administration announced it is reviewing an Obama-era rule that protects miners from exposure to coal dust, and that has some health and safety advocates concerned. As Benny Becker reports, the review comes amid a tide of regulatory rollbacks and at a time that the most severe form of black lung disease is on the rise.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

In eastern Kentucky’s coal country jobs are scarce and many people struggle with substandard housing. Some high school students think they can help tackle those big problems by building tiny houses. As part of the series, “Changing Course,” Benny Becker of Ohio Valley ReSource reports on a project called “Building It Forward” that has vocational students designing, building and selling tiny homes.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, as coal country looks for a new path forward, some communities are looking to their public schools. Many are changing not just how they prepare students but how they can help meet economic and social challenges.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we'll hear about what's being done in the Ohio Valley to fight food insecurity among veterans. Napoleon famously said that an army marches on its stomach; troops must be fed in order to fight. But what happens when that army fights hunger back home?

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, October was black walnut season in Appalachia. It’s when these green, tennis ball-sized nuts rain onto fields, roads, and sometimes, people. They can be dangerous. And their inky juice stains everything they touch.

But for some Appalachians, As Eileen Guo reports, black walnuts are proof that, sometimes, money does grow on trees.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, during a special session of the West Virginia Legislature last month, lawmakers passed a bill that makes redeveloping historic buildings in the state more viable, financially. As Liz McCormick reports, the bill had widespread support from both sides of the aisle, but some are concerned it doesn’t go far enough.

Tobacco’s Toll: New Push To Stop Smoking In Country’s Sickest States

Nov 6, 2017
High school anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post around the school.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, it’s been more than two weeks since an industrial fire began in Parkersburg at a recycled plastics warehouse. It burned for more than eight days. It’s still largely unknown what exactly burned that week. Dave Mistich spoke with two experts about how air quality was monitored in the wake of the fire.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, now that President Trump has officially declared the opioid crisis a health emergency, many people are wondering how that will help in the nation’s hardest-hit region: The Ohio Valley. Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia collectively have an overdose death rate that is twice the national average. 
Aaron Payne reports on some potentially helpful parts of the President’s plan and one big thing that’s missing.

Trumps Cite Ohio Valley Experience In Opioid Emergency Plan

Oct 26, 2017
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP Photo

President Donald Trump outlined on Thursday his long-awaited plan to address the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. Part of that plan was based on experiences in the Ohio Valley region.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the poultry industry is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow faster work speeds at some facilities that slaughter and package chickens. The industry says a new inspection program allows them to process hundreds of birds per minute. But as Nicole Erwin reports, worker and food safety advocates worry about higher speed in an industry with an already spotty safety record.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Derek Akal, 22, grew up in the famed coalfields of Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a bit over six feet tall, he’s black, and he has an athlete’s build. Neat curls of black hair rise off the top of his head, and on his chin, he keeps a closely-trimmed mustache and goatee.

I first interviewed Derek in October 2016. At that time, he said he was trying to become a Kentucky state trooper, but also making plans to move to Texas to work on an oil rig. 


Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook
Bruce Parsons

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in West Virginia and Kentuckyover the weekend to see some innovative ways that schools are using new technology.

Zuckerberg has been traveling the country working on his New Year’s resolution to speak with people in every state. On Sunday, he met with educators and students from across Eastern Kentucky.

photos by Kara Lofton, illustration by Jesse Wright

Harvey. Irma. Maria. The hurricane season’s super-charged storms have highlighted the importance of disaster planning, and the aftermath offers a fresh lesson in just how long and difficult recovery can be.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, talks on renegotiating NAFTA are set for later this month and farm country is concerned about changes to the trade agreement. Nicole Erwin reports that pork producers in the Ohio Valley could have the most to lose in a trade dispute.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, research on the benefits of breast-feeding continues to grow, with studies showing some positive health effects last into adulthood. Breast-feeding rates in the Ohio Valley, however, still lag behind the national average. Mary Meehan reports that efforts to help mothers in the region overcome breast-feeding challenges are beginning to pay off.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about practices at the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration amid an increase in coal fatalities. As Becca Schimmel reports, officials are asking questions about MSHA’s compliance assistance program.

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