Appalachia

West Virginia, Kentucky Activists Lobby for RECLAIM Act in DC

19 hours ago
WKMS File Photo

Activists from West Virginia and Kentucky are in the nation’s capitol this week, lobbying in support of the RECLAIM Act.

Southwings and Vivian Stockman

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.  

Courtesy Grow Appalachia

Every few years, Appalachian food gets “rediscovered” by mainstream media outlets as an up-and-coming culinary trend. But does that interest actually benefit residents of the region as they navigate away from a coal-fueled economy?    Ashlie Stevens of member station WFPL looked at the pros – and cons – of the outside attention to Appalachia’s other natural resource. 

NRDC

The massive omnibus spending bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last week is more than 2,000 pages long and lays out the next year of government spending.

And it also contains some unexpected Christmas presents for the hard-hit coalfields of Appalachia.

In the isolated regions of Central Appalachia, music was once the only form of entertainment. It's still alive today thanks to The Crooked Road, a driving trail that connects music venues in Southwest Virginia. It stretches from the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland Mountains for 333 miles, crossing some of the poorest areas in the country.

Making a living in those areas has never been easy, as guitarist Greg Ward knows. He's a native of Floyd, Va. — population: 432.

"You know, it was a rough life," he says. "It was a hard life."

Frank X Walker reflects on the human condition in imagining historical characters’ voices from a black perspective. Walker is associate professor, Department of English, Co-Chair, Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. He visits Murray State for a presentation of his works Thursday, November 1 for the Creative Writing Reading Series.