Ohio Valley Resource

Retired miners will not lose their health benefits, as had been feared, thanks to last-minute action from Congress. However, Congress did not act on the miners’ faltering pension benefits fund, which supports some 43,000 retired miners in the Ohio Valley region.

Investigative Reporters and Editors has honored NPR’s Howard Berkes and the Ohio Valley ReSource for reporting on the resurgence of black lung cases in Appalachia.

Rebecca Kiger

The Road To Recovery

On a recent gray winter morning Tomas Green drove the rain slick streets of Ranson in West Virginia’s Eastern Panhandle. No matter the weather, Green helps transport clients working through addiction at the Jefferson Day Report Center get to their treatment sessions and meetings.


Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley region once helped give rise to the labor movement. Now it’s shifting toward what’s known as right-to-work law. West Virginia and Kentucky have passed right-to-work laws and Ohio is considering a similar bill.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

Dona Wells walked through what’s left of the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Boxes fill what use to be offices. Sterilized medical supplies are in disarray. A light flickers on and off in the back hallway. She doesn’t see a point in fixing it. At 75, she still runs 25 miles a week, but Wells is tired.

“I was going to retire anyway, probably this year,” she said. But I wanted to do it on my terms, not Gov. Bevin’s terms.”

 

Stopping Superbug: A New Farm Rule Targets Antibiotic Resistance

Jan 23, 2017
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

Trump's EPA Pick Questioned In Confirmation Hearing

Jan 19, 2017
West Virginia Public Broadcasting/Associated Press

President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt faced questions from Senators in his confirmation hearing Wednesday. 


CASA: Caring For Kids Caught In Addiction Crisis

Dec 27, 2016
Aaron Payne/Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley’s opioid epidemic has effects far beyond the individuals struggling through addiction, with families and children suffering as well. An organization that helps children in abuse cases now sees substance abuse as a leading contributor, and could be overwhelmed by the addiction crisis.

Roger McGraw/WOUB

During the presidential campaign I visited two regional manufacturing executives who do business in the same county but hold views on trade that are worlds apart. Now that Donald Trump is the president-elect, I asked them and some regional economists how the new administration’s approach to trade might affect the Ohio Valley region.

Ohio Valley ReSource on Eastern Standard

Nov 30, 2016
Marisa Hempel

You’ve been hearing stories  from the Ohio Valley ReSource, With topics such as  Agriculture, the Economy, Energy, and Health: they are the product of a regional journalism collaborative, of which WEKU is part.

 


We’ll meet some of the people behind the Ohio Valley ReSource, including the newest addition to the WEKU news department.

 

Sarah Jane Sanders

Candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup. Those are the four basic food groups according to Buddy the Elf. And this time of year, the gluttonous season, it seems like he is onto something.

 

But researchers say that mindful eating –choosing quality over quantity and savoring your meals instead of, say, plowing through another pint of Ben & Jerry’s while watching “Westworld” — can make a difference.

Coal's Role in Kentucky Elections

Nov 8, 2016
Washington Post

As Ohio Valley ReSource's Jeff Young reports, support for the ailing coal industry motivated voters in key races across the Ohio Valley region. 

Key races across Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia went to candidates who showed strong support for coal.

Election Day 2016: 'Ad it Up'

Nov 8, 2016
Ohio Valley Resource

If it seems like your TV time has been carpet-bombed with campaign ads, some data shows that you’re right.

Jeff Young reports that parts of the Ohio Valley region stand out in analysis of big campaign spending and high volume TV spots.

Nicole Erwin/Ohio Valley ReSource

 Mount St. Joseph in Daviess County, Kentucky, may appear calm with the Green River flowing past  homes that dot the farmland here. But there is trouble in the air and it comes along with the smell of a large hog farm.    

Sixty-three year old Jerry O’Bryan was born and raised on a farm in Daviess County. By the time he was 22 he had lost both parents and was left 150 acres to support his family.

Aaron Payne/Ohio Valley ReSource

The sound of sirens in Cabell County, West Virginia, has a good chance of indicating an overdose these days.

The county’s Emergency Medical Service had responded to 622 overdose calls this year as of September 24, according to Emergency Services Director Gordon Merry. Last year it was more than 900 overdoses, which surpassed the total of the previous three years combined.   

Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

The international refugee crisis caused by people fleeing the war-torn Middle East has been a high-profile issue in the presidential campaign.

 

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton told CBS’s “Face the Nation” last year that “the U.S. has to do more” to meet what she called the worst refugee crisis since the end of WWII.

Republican opponent Donald Trump told a rally in New Hampshire that as president he would turn away refugees from nations such as Syria. “If I win, they’re going back!” he said.

The prestigious National Academy of Sciences recently announced a comprehensive study on the health effects of the controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal. For coalfield residents who have long questioned what impact the dust, blasting, chemicals and water contamination was having, the announcement comes as welcome news, if somewhat overdue.  

Nicole Erwin | Ohio Valley ReSource

On 120 acres in Marion, Kentucky, small-scale farmer Joseph Mast is taking an innovative approach to provide for his growing family of nine.

Mast belongs to an Amish community and is reluctant when it comes to media. He makes a concession, however, when the conversation involves sustainable farming.   

“I’ll talk grass any day,” said Mast.

51fifty at the English language Wikipedia

Beginning this week doctors fighting the region’s opioid addiction crisis will have a little more to work with. The federal government will allow doctors to treat more patients with a drug called Buprenorphine.      


With the mining industry in sharp decline, some coalfield counties are hoping new prisons can generate jobs. Eastern Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District is already home to three federal penitentiaries and could soon see construction of a fourth in Letcher County. 

As Benny Becker reports, the proposal has sparked sharp debate over the economics and ethics of prisons.

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the Ohio Valley with addiction and death, the search for safer methods of pain management has become increasingly urgent. 

Advocates for medical marijuana have recently made inroads in the area with growing scientific evidence that the substance currently considered of no medical value by the federal government might be a tool to wean those suffering from chronic pain off of more dangerous drugs.

 

Shafted: Dark Future Possible For Miners Who Kept Our Lights On

Jul 11, 2016
Rebecca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

Miners in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia who helped keep the country’s lights on are worried that their retirement benefits could go dark as a result of a wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry. They hope Congress will approve a bill called the Miner’s Protection Act to shore up the pensions and health benefits promised to union miners.

Benny Becker

Kentucky is working on a multimillion dollar plan to bring broadband internet to the eastern part of the state, home to some of the country’s most impoverished places. A federal report released this year found that from around a third to nearly half of rural residents in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia lack high-speed internet and the job opportunities that come with it. But a few areas are ahead of the curve. In Kentucky’s Jackson and Owsley Counties, broadband has already arrived and is already creating jobs.

Hot Mess: How Fracking's Radioactive Waste Wound Up Near Homes & Schools

Jun 20, 2016

The energy that lights up, turns on, cools and heats our lives leaves... a trail of waste. And the waste from the gas drilling known as “fracking” is often radioactive. Reporter Glynis Board and the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity found that spotty regulation of this “hot” waste creates ripe conditions for improper disposal. 

 

  Link to Ohio Valley ReSource

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