Mtn. Talk Monday: Colorectal Cancer Awareness with the UK Rural Cancer Prevention Center

Did you know Kentucky ranks 2nd in the US for the number of colon cancer cases only behind West Virginia? However, when it comes to deaths from colorectal cancer, we move to number 1! There are lots of factors at play including, our genetics, our environment, our diet, and more. In this episode, host Kelli Haywood talks with Tom Collins of the UK Rural Cancer Prevention Center about how you can beat the odds! Listen today and share the link with a friend.

Colorectal Cancer Screening Prevention Video from Elisia Cohen on Vimeo.

Mountain Talk is WMMT’s twice-weekly community space for conversation, airing each Monday & Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.  Mountain Talk programs focus on a variety of topics related to life in the mountains, including: food, community issues, art, health, and more.  Click here to hear past programs.

Coal Report for April 5, 2017

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Joseph W. Partin aged 33 lost his life at the Green Hill Mining No. 51 surface mine March 30th, when a 15 foot tall section of rock collapsed.  Partin was performing maintenance work.  Federal inspection records reveal no serious violations at the mine since 2005.  This is the second death occurring at eastern Kentucky mines in 2017, matching the total deaths for all of 2016.  WMMT offers our condolences to the family, friend, and co-workers of Mr. Partin.

Black Lung Update: Federal Researchers Seek Allies in Appalachia

Lawmakers Ask Trump for More Black Lung Funding

The Coal Report is a weekly production of WMMT. It is assembled from newspapers and press services and reports coal-related material as these sources give it. It does not represent the opinion of WMMT on the matters discussed. Our aim is to reflect both local developments regarding coal and the big picture we’re a part of. For feedback, comments, or questions, email [email protected]

MN&WR: Bringing the Past Forward

  • Mimi Pickering and Benny Becker report on how the digital divide is affecting one east Kentucky community and how they’re working to remedy the situation through working toward access to true broadband internet services.
  • The Kentucky Homebirth Coalition is a grassroots organization who have been working diligently to pass legislation to license certified professional midwives to fill some of the void when it comes to access to prenatal and birthing care throughout the state. Kelli Haywood shares the story.
Baby C. born at home in Pike County, Kentucky attended by a CPM.

Baby C. born at home in Pike County, Kentucky attended by a CPM.

Campbell's Branch

In these mountains, we take a special kind of interest in our traditions and our culture.  But, adapting this strong identity to the demands of modernity can sometimes be a challenge.  How do we preserve the ways that define us while at the same time moving our communities forward?

 

It seems with every passing day there is another reason why we need high speed, high capacity internet if our economy is going to revive and our communities thrive.  Yet rural America continues to lag behind metropolitan areas in access to true broadband, and the Appalachian mountains are no exception. For our first story Mimi  Pickering and Benny Becker reports on how the digital divide is affecting one east Kentucky community (Campbell’s Branch) and how they’re working to remedy the situation.

 

Going back just a few generations in Appalachia, you’ll find that most women were having babies in their homes instead of the hospital like most American women do today.  In fact, Mary Breckinridge pioneered the practice of nurse midwifery right here in the eastern Kentucky hills through the Frontier Nursing Service.  At the time, Breckinridge and her midwives did better than physicians in the hospitals across the country at making sure moms and babies were as healthy as possible through pregnancy and birth. For our second story, WMMT’s Kelli Haywood finds that a grassroots group of Kentuckians called the Kentucky Homebirth Coalition are hoping to make homebirth, once again, the typical method in the Commonwealth. Of Kentucky’s 120 counties more than half are without an obstetrician or other provider for prenatal, birth, and postpartum care, according to the Kentucky Medical Association. KHBC hopes that licensure will increase access to homebirth for women who are experiencing a low risk pregnancy. However, hospitals and obstetricians are wary of its safety.

Mountain News & World Report is a bi-weekly production of WMMT, and new episodes air every other Thursday at 6pm on WMMT, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday morning at 10:30.  To listen to previous episodes, check out our streaming archives.

MN&WR: Renewal

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Read more on the first two segments of this episode at Ohio Valley ReSource by following the links above.

Reporter’s Notebook: Kelli Hansel Haywood

Indian Creek Settlement Farm is something to be experienced.  If you’ve ever seen the photos of old homesteads in Central Appalachia when logging was as common as coal mining, and nearly everyone kept livestock, you might have an idea of what the farm looks like.  The sounds, as you will hear in the story, are numerous and calming.  While it’s not the typical yard of our homes now, it feels oddly familiar.  

Tim Sanders and his wife Becky came back to Indian Creek from Arizona to retire and live a self sufficient lifestyle.  It wasn’t long, though, before neighbors and passerby were stopping and asking about the animals Tim and Becky were tending.  And naturally, seeing the heritage breeds of pigs, cows, goats, chickens, and a single turkey, folks began to ask if there was meat for sale.  So, the Sanders family entered into a growing number of coalfields Appalachians who are creating a burgeoning local food economy.

The story of Indian Creek Settlement Farm is the first of several stories about “unconventional farms” in the region that I will be working on throughout the growing season.  Be sure to tune in to Mountain News & World Report to hear about the others, and how local foods are making it onto grocery shelves and in the regions restaurants.  

Mountain News & World Report is a bi-weekly production of WMMT, and new episodes air every other Thursday at 6pm on WMMT, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday morning at 10:30.  To listen to previous episodes, check out our streaming archives.

Coal Report for March 8, 2017

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43-year-old Jason Kenneth Matthews of Bluefield, Virginia lost his life Monday, February 27th at Southern Coal’s Bishop Prep Plant in McDowell County.  Matthews worked as a plant floor man, and according to a company spokesman, fell to his death just before 10:30 p.m.  His is the second coal mining related fatality of 2017 in the US.  Southern Coal is owned by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. Justice released a statement on the mining accident:  (quote) “Tragic accidents like this just break all of our hearts and our state is grateful to have a close-knit mining community that steps up on these most difficult days.” (end quote)  WMMT would like to send our condolences to Matthews’s family, friends, and co-workers.

Affordable Care Act & Miners’ Health (Ohio Valley ReSource)

INTRO: Retired coal miners say their health care options face a one-two punch that could leave many of them in the lurch. A repeal of Obamacare and the expiration of miner’s health protections could make it hard for any coal retiree to get health care. Becca Schimmel has more.

BS: Ohio Valley retirees have been meeting one-on-one with congressional leaders to talk about the risks to their benefits. Some provisions of the Affordable Care Act are especially important to miners. The so-called Byrd Amendment deals with benefits for miners suffering from black lung, and miners hope it will be restored if the Act is repealed. Miners are also concerned about the Act’s pre-existing condition provision. United Mine Workers communications director Phil Smith says the nature of the work makes every retired miner a “walking basket” of pre-existing conditions.

PS: “If they don’t have the health care that they were promised and the miner’s protection act doesn’t pass, and the ACA is out the window then nobody’s going to insure them.”

BS: Smith says the union hopes the miner’s protection act might pass before the end of April, when more than 22,000 miners, widows and beneficiaries could lose their health and pension benefits. Without those guarantees, miners might have to look for health insurance, and many of them have higher rates of cancer, heart disease and musculoskeletal injuries that make insurance harder to get. Smith worries miners won’t be able to afford care. If those retirees wait until they are seriously ill and then seek care at emergency rooms, as many uninsured patients do, rates for those that are insured could go up.

PS: “These are people that don’t have a whole lot of money to start with, exist on a small pension and small social security check.”

BS: Uncompensated care spending–which is the cost of caring for the uninsured–has gone down since the ACA took effect. With small pensions of about $500 a month miners will have to make some tough decisions of what to pay for. For the Ohio Valley ReSource, I’m Becca Schimmel in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

NAS ON MTR EFFECTS

ANCHOR: A committee with National Academy of Sciences has started work on a study of the health effects of surface mining in central Appalachia. The eleven-member panel gathered yesterday (Tuesday) in Washington, D.C., to hear about earlier research on how mining affects nearby residents. Bill Orem [OAR-um] of the US Geological Survey was among those who addressed the committee. He led a USGS study on the health effects of mountaintop removal mining that began in 2009, but was defunded in 2012 before it could be completed.

Bill Orem [0:16]: Some of the health effects— numerous types of respiratory disease, water quality is another potential impact, things like arsenic and selenium. Unfortunately we didn’t have the opportunity to complete that study so it’s just very preliminary data.

ANCHOR: The committee will look at surface mining in four states— Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee. The study is slated for release in early 2018. A similar study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences is currently under review for publication in a scientific journal.

The Coal Report is a weekly production of WMMT. It is assembled from newspapers and press services and reports coal-related material as these sources give it. It does not represent the opinion of WMMT on the matters discussed. Our aim is to reflect both local developments regarding coal and the big picture we’re a part of. For feedback, comments, or questions, email [email protected]

Mtn. Talk Monday: KET’s Journey to Recovery – A Film Discussion

In this episode, host Kelli Haywood speaks with Justin Allen and Laura Krueger of Kentucky Educational Television (KET) about their recently released hour-long documentary film – Journey to Recovery. The trio discusses the making of the film and various pieces of its content. Journey to Recovery highlights the options for addressing treatment of the opioid addiction crisis facing Kentucky and many other locations in Central Appalachia. The film also illustrates how addiction to opioids in particular changes the brain chemistry creating dependence upon the drug. The film can be viewed online for FREE at www.ket.org/opioids/journey-to-recovery/

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Mountain Talk is WMMT’s twice-weekly community space for conversation, airing each Monday & Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.  Mountain Talk programs focus on a variety of topics related to life in the mountains, including: food, community issues, art, health, and more.  Click here to hear past programs.