Mtn. News: History, Culture, and Politics in Central Appalachia
In this episode we’re exploring history, culture, and politics in Central Appalachia.
First, WMMT’s Sydney Boles brings us updates about multiple federal bills aimed at reclaiming surface mine land and developing the Appalachian economy. She’ll describe the current status of the Reclaim ACT, the Community Reclamation Partnerships Act, The Appalachian Communities Health Emergency Act, the ACHE Act.
Then, we’re looking back at the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster. April 5th marked the 9th anniversary of an explosion at a Massey Energy mine in Montreal, WV in which 29 miners died. In memory of the miners who died, and the loved ones who lost dad’s, husbands, brothers, cousins, friends, and community members that day, we’re re-airing a Making Connections News story made in 2015 that looked back at the disaster. At the time this story was made, Blankenship was about to enter trials for conspiracy to willfully violate mandatory mine safety and health standards. In April 2016, Blankenship was sentenced to one year in prison and fined $250,000. He was released from prison on May 10, 2017.
Last in this episode, we’re celebrating the memory of Kentucky musician Addie Graham. WMMT’s Rachel Garringer sat down with one of her grandchildren: Rick Kirby, who shares memories of her singing & how he worked to document her songs through two June Appal records: Been a Long Time Traveling and The Very Day I’m Gone.
Music on this episode features recordings off of both of those records. This episode was narrated by Tommy Anderson and produced by Rachel Garringer.