"The January chemical spill that dumped thousands of gallons of a coal cleaner into a major regional water supply in West Virginia has led to an investigation that continues to shed light on the lack of state regulations on above-ground chemical storage tanks located near public drinking-water supplies (not just a problem in West Virginia). State inspectors say they have found 600 more tanks, bringing the total to more than 1,600, Ken Ward reports for The Charleston Gazette."
"Remote Area Medical has a new strategy for helping more people in the area have access to health care. The organization created to bring service to far-flung regions, now treats people in need here in the United States. Sadly, the need is so great in the hills and valleys of Appalachia. RAM is launching Stop the Suffering in Appalachia at a clinic in Kentucky this October. This initiative essentially organizes clinics on a local level where it will save time and money on high fuel costs for RAM, and create more clinics for those who need it most."
"What eventually became NASCAR started as the by-product of Prohibition. On October 28, 1919, Congress passed the Volstead Act, which outlawed alcohol across the United States. Though noble in its intent, the statute was a bad idea. It gave ambitious law-breakers across the country a golden opportunity to get rich by making and selling their own spirits. Nowhere was this more prevalent than in the hills of North Carolina, where moonshiners built hundreds of stills to accommodate the nation’s endless thirst for adult beverages."
"When trying to define the roots of Appalachian mountain language, to make sweeping generalizations more often than not sacrifices accuracy. Since pioneers from virtually all parts of Europe made the trek to the mountains to settle, folks can drive an hour in any direction and find themselves scratching their heads at how different the local lingo is from one mountain hollow to the next. It is true that various terms are rooted in Elizabethan English, Scottish, Celtic, and Irish languages, and dialects do remain in use amongst the Appalachian people, but there is no across the board commonality amongst them that explains the unique nature of the language, other than geography. Urban immigrant and ethic concentrations existed, yet no clearly distinct way of speaking beyond a common accent had developed in these places."
"North Dakota residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. South Dakota trailed its northern neighbor in second place, with its highest score in six years of measurement. Hawaii held the top spot for the previous four years, but fell slightly last year. West Virginia and Kentucky had the two lowest well-being scores, for the fifth year in a row."
"Dave Tabler is a rare man with a love for Appalachia that goes far beyond the pride of his regional identity as a 'hillbilly.' Although Tabler attended school in the Washington D.C. area, his early childhood spent with his grandparents in Martinsburg, W.Va. led to his adaptation of the dialect and mindset that is uniquely Appalachian. For many it takes a lifetime to embrace their Appalachian heritage rather than hide it, and Tabler was no different in his struggle to come to terms with his heritage. It was only after helping his West Virginia born father edit his coming of age memoir that Tabler realized Appalachia is not only unique, but has a history unlike any region in this country, and one worth sharing."