McAteer – Mines No Safer After Upper Big Branch
April 4th was the 5th anniversary of the Upper Big Branch disaster, when 29 coal miners were killed in a methane explosion at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch Mine at Montcoal, near Whitesville, WV. J. Davitt McAteer, who headed the Mine Safety & Health Administration during the Clinton years, led the Governor’s Independent Investigation into the disaster. On this anniversary McAteer published an op-ed in the Charleston Gazette warning that not enough has changed in American coal mines to keep another disaster like Upper Big Branch from happening again. In fact, in some places like West Virginia mine safety laws are being gutted. He spoke to WMMT by telephone. (You can read his op-ed here, or his team’s full report on the disaster here).
Growing Appalachia 2015
The buzz keeps building about growing, eating and selling local foods, and the annual Growing Appalachia conference was once again the place to be for those wanting to learn and share. WMMT’s Rance Garrison reports on this Floyd County, KY event that brought together a wide range of folks from across southeast Kentucky for a series of workshops & conversations around small-scale farming here in the mountains, energy efficiency, renewables, and more.
Growing At School: Pikeville Elementary Garden
Pikeville Elementary’s “Plant It for the Planet” school garden project, as well as the impact that local food and farming can have on our health and economy, are the topics of this WMMT Mountain Talk discussion. Mark Kidd hosts for the Community Farm Alliance’s Breaking Beans project and guests include 6th grade gardener Sarah Belcher, her mother Mary Belcher, and Pikeville Elementary teacher Traci Tackett whose students planned, planted and are now harvesting and eating the winter garden. Also joining in is Cathy Rehmeyer, author of the “Mother of a Hubbard” gardening blog and an expert on low-tunnel gardening who is advising the students. Check out Pikeville Elementary’s student videos on their garden.
Challenge for EKY Entrepreneurs
$10,000 for entrepreneurs in eastern Kentucky! Justin Prater came by WMMT to tell our listeners about the UPIKE Startup Challenge the Kentucky Innovation Network is offering to eastern Kentuckians with a bright idea for a business. If you live in Eastern Kentucky (east of i75, south of i64), you are eligible to enter the competition. Anyone is eligible to enter. You are NOT required to be a student. The Kentucky Innovations Network’s UPike office can assist you with writing your plan and developing a presentation, free of charge.