Square dance calling — the spoken instructions said over the music — makes participation easy. But there are other aspects — like the prevalence of gendered language such as “ladies and gents” — that can make square dancing an unwelcoming or confusing space. One group of friends in the Appalachian square dance scene are taking action to make the tradition more welcoming for all participants.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
Coal production in West Virginia, Appalachia and the nation rose modestly in 2022, according to federal data.
West Virginia produced 83 million tons of coal last year, maintaining the No. 2 spot behind Wyoming, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest coal report.
Production in the state increased 6.3 percent from 2021 and 3.5 percent in Appalachia.
The U.S. total for 2022 came in at just under 600 million tons, a 3 percent increase from 2021.
The past three years have seen U.S. coal production under 600 million tons, the lowest levels in 50 years. The nation has not produced more than 1 billion tons in a year in almost a decade.
West Virginia coal mine employment rose to nearly 13,000 last year, a 13 percent increase. U.S. coal mine workers topped 43,000 last year, a 10 percent increase.
Appalachian coal employment rose similarly to West Virginia, increasing 13.5 percent over 2021.
West Virginia’s coal-producing neighbors didn’t fare as well. Production in Ohio fell nearly 10 percent, while it fell 6.5 percent in Pennsylvania. Production rose 8 percent in Kentucky and 1.5 percent in Virginia.
The total production in all four states combined roughly equaled West Virginia’s production total.