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Mtn. News: Black Lung & Community Agriculture

Mtn. News: Black Lung & Community Agriculture

In this episode of Mountain News we bring you stories of Letcher County events aimed at supporting local community members.

Dr. Cara Halldin, epidemiologist with NIOSH presents research findings on the rise of Black Lung cases at the August 23, 2018 Black Lung Town Hall in Whitesburg, KY.


First, we’ll hear audio from the recent Black Lung Town Hall hosted by the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center on August 23, 2018.  The event brought together researchers, health care providers, lawyers, and community members affected personally by Black Lung to discuss the current epidemic, and strategies towards gaining government support for miners and their families.

On August 23, 2018 the Appalachian Citizens Law Center health a Black Lung Town Hall in Whitesburg, KY.  The event brought together researchers, doctors, current and retired miners living with blacklung, and widows of miners who’ve died from the disease.

Dr. Cara Halldin, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) shared research findings about the black lung epidemic, followed by Brandon Crum, a radiologist and former miner based in Pikeville, KY who spoke about his local findings.  

The presentation was followed by a panel of local miners and widows affected by Black Lung.  The last scheduled speaker was Steve Sanders, Director of ACLC, who spoke about issues facing the Black Lung Trust Fund and the excise tax.


Our second story in this episode focuses on the recent opening of a brand new commercial kitchen run by Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises, Inc. or CANE. The kitchen is located at the old Whitesburg High School and aims to support local farmers in producing value added products to expand their economic possibilities.

In addition to an indoor farmers market and a locally sourced brunch, speakers from near and far talked about the history of this project, and dreams for the future of local foods in eastern Kentucky.


Music on this episode features the June Appal recording of Papa Joe Smiddy and the Reedy Creek Band with a tune called “Butter Beans.”





appalachian history,
arts & culture,
Black Lung Epidemic,
coal industry,
economic transition,
food access,

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