Ohio Valley Resource

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.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering its approval of a controversial new form of herbicide that farmers say is damaging millions of acres of soybeans. Some 40 complaints have come from Ohio Valley farmers. Nicole Erwin reports that growers are looking for answers, and some suspect a quirk of the region’s climate may be increasing the risk of harm.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has nominated a retired West Virginia mine executive to lead the nation’s top mine safety agency. David Zatazelo is the former head of Rhino Resources, a coal company that was the focus of scrutiny by regulators in 2011 over safety violations.  
The nomination comes as mine safety experts are expressing concern about a rash of fatal coal mining accidents. Becca Schimmel reports that 12 miners have died this year -- eight of them in West Virginia and Kentucky.

Coal Fatalities Rise: Miner Deaths Increase Amid Low Coal Employment

Sep 1, 2017
MSHA

  A rash of fatal coal mining accidents in the Ohio Valley region pushed the nation’s total number of mining deaths to a level not seen since 2015, sparking concern among safety advocates.

Coal Country Tech Job Program Heads For New Round

Aug 30, 2017
Benny Becker / Ohio Valley ReSource

 

Last summer Melissa Anderson was unemployed and trying to keep her Pike County, Kentucky, home from falling into foreclosure.

“I built it,” she said. “And, you know, for me to lose that home would have been devastating.”

Mountain Top Removal
Southwings and Vivian Stockman

The Perry County Public Library in Hazard, Kentucky, lies along Black Gold Boulevard — a name that nods to the wealth the coal from these hills has generated. On a recent Tuesday evening, however, the library was the venue for a hearing about the full costs of extracting that coal.

A team from the National Academy of Sciences visited to hear what the public had to say about  health impacts of surface mining.

Appalachian Health Falling Further Behind Nation's

Aug 24, 2017
Mountain Comprehensive Care

A new report shows just how far Appalachia has fallen behind the rest of the country on key health measures such as rates of cancer, heart disease and infant mortality. Researchers say the region’s health gap is growing and they hope the data they’ve compiled will spur new approaches to health care. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a new report spells out just how far Appalachia has fallen behind the rest of the country on key health measures. As The Ohio Valley ReSource's Mary Meehan explains, the gap continues to grow.

Courtesy Vivian Stockman and Southwings.

The Trump administration’s Department of the Interior has asked the National Academy of Sciences to suspend research into the health effects of mountaintop removal coal mining.

A team from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was established last year for a two-year study. The committee has been conducting hearings and investigating accumulating science on the health impacts of surface mining, especially the practice known as mountaintop removal.

West Virginia Governor's Office

The country’s newest Republican governor is, like President Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman, a political outsider, and a fan of the coal industry. West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a former coal company owner, was elected as a Democrat but switched parties with a surprise announcement at a Trump rally in West Virginia.

Both Trump and Justice campaigned on promises to bring coal mining jobs back to the region. Now Justice wants the president to prop up the flagging coal industry with federally-funded incentives for power companies to purchase coal from Appalachia.

 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, the Trump administration is scrapping the Waters of the U.S. rule -- a clean-water regulation advanced by the Obama administration. The rule was meant to clarify federal authority over small streams, and its repeal raises questions about how to best protect those waterways. Amid the swirling uncertainty, an unlikely group of clean water champions has emerged in western Kentucky’s farmland.  The Ohio Valley ReSource's Nicole Erwin reports that people along the Little River have some big ideas for water conservation.

Trump Ignores Call For Opioid Emergency: What It Means For The Ohio Valley

Aug 8, 2017
Rebecca Kiger

The Trump administration’s top health official backed away from a presidential commission’s proposal to declare a national public health emergency to address the opioid crisis. An emergency declaration could have big implications for the Ohio Valley, a region with some of the country’s highest addiction and overdose rates.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, a presidential commission on the opioid crisis delivered its first report last week. Among the recommendations: better sharing of data.

Data Fix: Cities Seek Better Information on Opioid Epidemic

Aug 5, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

Paramedics and police are already in the hotel room when Kyle Simpson walks in.

“What happened?” he asks.

A 37-year-old man in the room is barely conscious--just revived by the overdose reversal medication NARCAN.

Memory Sunday: Churches Spread Alzheimer’s Awareness

Aug 3, 2017
Wesley United Methodist Church Pastor Anthony Everett.
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

The church choir in bright blue robes swayed and testified on a hot summer Sunday.

Pastor Anthony Everett, in his own robe of orange and brown, preached to his “saints” of Wesley United Methodist Church and they called back their approval with a staggered chorus of “Amen!”

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Donald Trump is holding a campaign rally in Huntington Thursday night, something local officials say they prepared for with about a week’s notice.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, many towns and cities across the Ohio Valley try to improve their business environment with tax breaks, site development and other incentives. But how about investing in compassion? Sounds a little farfetched. But a growing body of science points to compassion as an economic driver. Glynis Board explains why many businesses and cities are buying into the idea.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, an environmental group’s new report shows the broad range of contaminants in many drinking water systems in the Ohio Valley. As Nicole Erwin reports, the research highlights the gap between what regulations require and what health advocates recommend for drinking water purity.

Also on today's show, Kara Lofton reports on new research that has found high school athletes who specialize in one sport from an early age are at a much higher risk for injury than those who play more than one sport.

Report Reveals Contaminants In 'Legal' Water

Jul 26, 2017
Nicole Erwin

An environmental group’s new report shows a broad range of contaminants occur in many drinking water systems in the Ohio Valley, even though the water meets federal requirements. The research highlights the gap between what regulations require and what many scientists and health advocates recommend for safe drinking water.

Healthy Debate: What The Republican Health Bill Taught Us About Medicaid

Jul 23, 2017
Mary Meehan / Ohio Valley ReSource

It’s hard to find a spot on the map where the proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act would have a bigger effect than in the Ohio Valley. By one measure, for example, the proposal could mean West Virginia’s rate of people who lack health insurance would climb by nearly 300 percent -- the biggest such change in the country. The projected declines in Kentucky and Ohio are also more than twice the national average. This is largely due to proposed changes in Medicaid.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, tens of thousands of Boy Scouts are making their way to southern West Virginia today for the start of their National Jamboree. Ashton Marra reports on the preparations that began long before a single Scout set foot on the site.

We also hear from the Ohio Valley ReSource's Benny Becker, who is reporting on the Appalachian Connectivity Summit in Marietta, Ohio, where the Federal Communications Commission heard from Ohio Valley residents upset about poor internet service in rural communities.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, President Trump has said the “war on coal” is over. But in the energy marketplace the power struggle continues. Even the Ohio Valley, where coal has long been king, the switch to natural gas is under way. In the second of two stories, Glynis Board reports on the public health effects of our energy choices. 

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, despite the Trump administration’s support for the coal industry, the power sector is moving toward more use of natural gas. Even the Ohio Valley, where coal has long been king, the switch to gas is under way, with big implications for the region’s economy and environment. In the first of two reports, Glynis Board reports on two facilities that illustrate the power struggle.

Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broacasting

 

Thanks to singer-songwriter John Prine, Paradise Fossil Plant might be the only coal-fired power plant that has a household name. “Paradise,” Prine’s 1971 ballad, drew on boyhood memories from the small town of Paradise, in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, to relay the environmental and social costs of our dependence on coal.

Steely Ban: Ohio Valley Steel Makers Await Trump Import Decision

Jul 13, 2017
Bob Jagendorf / Flickr

Steel makers and manufacturers around the Ohio Valley are waiting for a report from the Trump administration that could trigger higher tariffs on imported steel and bring mixed results for a region that still has strong ties to the industry.

In the presidential campaign Trump told voters he would place sanctions on steel imports from China and other countries, and the report being prepared by the Commerce Department could provide a rationale for new tariffs.

Becca Schimmel / Ohio Valley ReSource

From the outside Summit Aviation, in the small town of Somerset, Kentucky, looks like any other nondescript, white warehouse. But inside workers craft parts for drones, weapons casings, wing stabilizers and other high-flying products.

Summit is one of many small manufacturers making up the growing aerospace industry in the Ohio Valley. Highly specialized companies are landing in Kentucky and Ohio for the proximity to important raw materials and the promise of some political sway.

Senators Take Heat On Health Care During Summer Break

Jul 10, 2017

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell went to the western Kentucky city of Paducah this week to talk about improvements to a local flood wall. Instead he heard a flood of complaints from more than 30 protesters upset about the Senate bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. 

“We will not go away, don’t destroy the ACA!” the protesters chanted, and relayed their concerns about the Senate bill’s projected cuts.

Rick Perry at Longview Power Plant
Glynis Board

Energy Secretary Rick Perry toured a modern and relatively clean coal-fired power plant in West Virginia in order to tout the benefits of coal in a competitive energy market. But the secretary’s comments generated some controversy.

Working With Addiction: A Popsicle Plant Helps To Lick The Opioid Crisis

Jul 3, 2017
Ziegenfelder employee Sonny Baxter helps coach workers with addiction.
Glynis Board / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

If you’ve ever enjoyed a Budget Saver twin popsicle on a hot summer day, you can thank the employees of the Ziegenfelder frozen treat factory in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Floor operator Sonny Baxter keeps the line of popsicles going in the cherry-scented worksite.

High Hop(e)s: Craft Brewing Has Farmers Betting On Hops

Jun 26, 2017
HopAlong Farm in Howard, OH

The acres devoted to growing hops doubled in the U.S. in just the past five years and the trade group Hop Growers of America estimates that 95 percent of that market belongs to farmers along the West Coast. But the craft beer craze is changing the direction for hop farms by generating demand for more locally sourced ingredients, and Ohio Valley farmers like Wes Cole want in on the action.

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