"Although Harold Voyles hasn’t lived in the Bluegrass State for 28 years, he still calls Kentucky home. He was raised in Lynch, once one of the largest coal mining camps in America, boasting a population of 11,000 after World War II. Today the population is less than 1,000. Voyles has written a play, Shadow of a Man, which informs the reader about a region in America that is too often stereotyped."
"The Appalachian Heritage Council presents the sixth annual Old-Time Fiddler’s Convention Feb. 7-8 in the Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union. The convention celebrates the rich musical and cultural history of Appalachia and will offer workshops, a handmade market, music competitions, and a concert to end the festivities."
"Researchers at West Virginia University are part of a three-agency collaborative assessing the impact the Appalachian Regional Commission has made in the past 50 years. The study group consists of the Regional Research Institute and the Bureau of Business and Economic Research, both at WVU, along with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, a nonprofit research organization based in Arlington, Va."
"Robert E. 'Bob' Murray, the pugnacious owner of Ohio-based coal giant Murray Energy Corp., keeps his lawyers busy. Besides appealing safety fines, over the past few years his company has sued two news organizations -- the Charleston Gazette and Huffington Post -- for defamation and the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration for levying 'unfounded and baseless violation citations.' More recently, the company turned it up a notch, announcing it will sic its lawyers on the Environmental Protection Agency."
"Several new reports predict that the Central Appalachia coal field -- mostly southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky -- will continue to fade, inflicting painful harm on blue-collar families and local economies. The Wall Street Journal outlined the decline in a string of reports on 'The future of coal.' A Jan. 7 segment said the coal industry 'is booming in the open-pit mines of Wyoming and under the plains of Illinois and Indiana' while 'coal production plunges in the green hills of Appalachia.'"
"Last year was a tough one for the coal industry. Some coal companies laid off workers, while others cut their output. And more than a half-dozen U.S. coal-mining companies went under, beset by new environmental rules and competition from low-cost natural gas. But coal isn’t going away. Coal remains the biggest source of fuel for generating electricity in the U.S. and coal exports are growing fast. Even as coal production plunges in the green hills of Appalachia, it is booming in the open-pit mines of Wyoming and under the plains of Illinois and Indiana. Overall, U.S. coal production is projected to remain relatively constant over the next three decades, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration."