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Mtn. News: Rural Healthcare, Small Town Festivals & Idle Mine Lands

Mtn. News: Rural Healthcare, Small Town Festivals & Idle Mine Lands


In this episode we bring you stories about challenges to rural healthcare in the region, Neon Kentucky’s last town festival, and mine lands sitting idle across the country.

Since May 2nd, 2019 women have been leading a 24/7 peaceful protest outside Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, TN. They are there to publicly oppose Ballad Health’s decision to close the neonatal intensive care unit (or NICU) and to downgrade other services. The protest has been going on for 141 days, and more than 27,000 local people have signed a petition opposing the planned medical downgrades. This ongoing action can be followed on Facebook @RallyfortheValley.

Appalshop’s Tanya Turner & All Access EKY’s Taylor Pratt travelled to Kingsport on August 28th to talk with several women leading the protest.  We hear from Dani Cook, Kathy Christian, and Angie Stanley

Taylor Pratt of All Access EKY interviews Dani Cook at the women-led protest of Ballad Health’s closing of the NICU in Kingsport, TN. August 28, 2019. Photo by Tanya Turner.

Then: small-town festivals are common throughout the mountains, and for many years they’ve been scenes of homecoming where folks who’ve moved off come back to visit with friends from their youth and their family back home. But what happens to these festivals as our small towns grow smaller in population and older in age?

Last on this episode of Mtn. News we hear a story by Brittany Patterson of the Ohio Valley Resource about Idle Mine Lands across the region

Music on this episode features Anna & Elizabeth with a tune called “The Very Day I’m Gone” from the JuneAppal Album of the same title – which features songs of Addie Graham performed by contemporary musicians.




appalachian history,
arts & culture,
coal industry,