"Nationwide, only one in ten people with substance abuse disorders receive medical intervention, opposed to nearly 90% of those with diabetes – a problem that becomes exponentially worse in the Appalachian region, where deaths from prescription drug overdoses have jumped 360% in the last decade."
"...while obesity is a nationwide problem, it is particularly dire in Appalachia. In 2009, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studied obesity rates in every county in the United States and found the highest rates in Appalachia and the South. In Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee, 81 percent of counties had obesity rates higher than 30.9 percent."
"Signs of a great battle are visible to those who have eyes to see it in War, West Virginia. Once a prosperous community, this “Southernmost town in West Virginia” has fallen upon hard times in recent decades due to the decline of the coal industry. Today, the marks of poverty are omnipresent. Streets are dotted with rotted houses caving in due to years of neglect. The local junior high school, which closed its doors years ago but was never torn down, looks like Berlin in 1945, its floors littered with broken glass and scattered with National Geographic magazines from the 1980′s. In the gym across the street, black marks trace the history of a fire at the center of the old basketball court."
"The Virginia Department of Mine, Minerals and Energy has denied A&G Coal Corp. a permit to operate a surface mine on Ison Rock Ridge, and the coal company has appealed the decision. The proposed mine, on 1,230 acres near the town of Appalachia in Wise County, has been controversial since the permit was first filed six years ago."
"U.S. coal miners have been among the biggest victims of the shale revolution and tougher emission controls on power plants. But while the massive low-cost open-cast mines west of the Mississippi have seen output hold up, high-cost producers in the east have borne the full brunt of falling domestic coal combustion."
"Some Oceana residents are upset over the portrayal of their southern West Virginia town in a documentary about prescription pill abuse. The film “Oxyana” chronicles the lives of townspeople addicted to Oxycontin. Filmed by Sean Dunne, it was part of the lineup at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York in March."
"Standing on the back of an Appalachian hillside, Reo Hatfield fixed his gaze over the land of his infamous forebears, a scowl etched across his face. Before him, the graves in the Hatfield Family Cemetery had surrendered to years of gravity and weather, slender headstones slumped and overgrown, the inscriptions of some erased by time."
"When Ken Oakes left home to attend the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, he wasn’t expecting to return to his small hometown. The farm where he was raised near Corryton, Tenn., didn’t produce enough to provide his father, Stewart, with full-time employment, let alone support another generation."
"On Thursday we decided to check up on some real history-making animals.Elk were brought to a part of southwest Virginia last year. Some folks though the elk might die off or wander away, So just how are they doing?"