" In a region that has long relied on the coal industry to survive some believe the so-called war on coal is threatening our way of life. Thousands of miners have been laid off in Eastern Kentucky in the past few years, more than five hundred just last week. Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says he is tired of seeing the people of his county out of work and out of options."
"Prescription pill abuse is a growing problem in our area, and law enforcement says it hits every age group. Almost everyone will take some type of prescription pill in their lifetime, but some people will become addicted and others will start selling their extra pills for money...The pill problem is all across Tennessee, but the numbers increase here in Northeast Tennessee."
"As numbers associated with prescription drug abuse continue to soar nationwide, communities in and around the Appalachian region — including Washington County — have been feeling the impacts of prescription drug abuse for quite a while."
"Regional marketing approaches such as 'The Crooked Road,' 'Round the Mountain' and the new 'Appalachian Spring' initiative provide significant opportunities to highlight Southwest Virginia’s rich musical heritage, diverse artistic culture, and unique natural assets, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner said last week when the senator was the keynote speaker at The 2013 Southwest Virginia Creative Economy Conference, held in Abingdon."
"China has banned the construction of new coal plants around Beijing, the Yangtze Delta region near Shanghai and in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong. Also, the EPA is hoping to decrease the amount of greenhouse gases that power plants can release and make coal more expensive, though these new standards will not be set in stone until June 1, 2015. These changes are putting pressure on coal miners, but some are better positioned to endure the pain."
"A major coal producer is idling several eastern Kentucky mines and laying off 525 full-time workers, blaming continued weak coal markets.James River Coal of Richmond, Va., is laying off workers at mines in five eastern Kentucky counties: the McCoy Elkhorn complex in Pike and Floyd counties; the Bledsoe complex in Leslie and Harlan counties; and the Long Branch Surface mine in London."