Needle Exchanges, Black Lung Benefits And Child Care Deserts


On this West Virginia Morning, a health department in the southern part of the state has stopped its needle exchange program due to strict requirements under a new state law. Eric Douglas has more.

Former miners and their advocates are praising a bill introduced Thursday in Congress. As June Leffler reports, the bill would set a higher, fixed tax on coal companies, putting that money directly towards benefits for miners with Black Lung.

Also, parents in Appalachia can wait months, even years, to get their kids a space in a childcare center. That’s because more than 60 percent of people in West Virginia live in a child care desert, according to the Center for American Progress. A child care desert means there are more people who need childcare than there are spots available. Inside Appalachia producer Roxy Todd spoke with parents across the state about the difficulty of finding child care close to home.

Our Mountain Stage Song of the Week comes from Amy Helm and her band, who performed “Cotton And The Cane” from their recent album What The Flood Leaves Behind.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.

West Virginia Morning is produced with help from Curtis Tate, David Adkins, Dave Mistich, Eric Douglas, Jessica Lilly, June Leffler, Liz McCormick, Roxy Todd and Shepherd Snyder.

Andrea Billups is our news director. Eric Douglas was our producer this week.

Bob Powell hosted today’s show.