A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Experiential Learning: UK physical therapy students go underground to understand miners’ challenges

By Melanie J. Sparks Special to KyForward David Nelson stumbled through a coal mine, trying to navigate safely through what felt like, in his words, “a “giant, dark, low-roofed super store with coal the size of softballs and nothing but our balance and the light source from our helmets to rely on.” Nelson is not a miner. He is a DPT (doctor of physical therapy) student at the UK...

Daily Yonder: Miner’s youthful ‘harmless shortcut’ looks a lot different following self evaluation

By Gary Bentley Special to KyForward As a newly minted foreman, Gary sometimes finds himself evaluating his own work from a few years before. He doesn’t always like what he finds. In my new work as a foreman, I had shoveled belt, repaired structure, and wired new lines for sump pumps throughout the mine. I had proven that I could handle the responsibility of prioritizing the most important work...

Rural Blog: Appalachian coal production, jobs at lowest levels on record, EIA report says

Coal production in the U.S. has reached its lowest level since 1986, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The region hit the hardest is Appalachia, where production is at its lowest level since 1978, the year EIA began collecting data, Jodi Delapaz reports for Agri-Pulse. (EIA graphic: Average number of employees by mine type) Coal production in 2015 was down 10.3 percent...

New personal monitors show new dust-control rules in coal mines about 99 percent effective

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration said Monday that nearly all of “the nation’s coal mines were in compliance on nearly all dust samples taken this year with new monitors aimed at cutting miners’ exposure to particles that can cause deadly black lung disease,” Bill Estep reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Tougher dust-control rules in coal mines, which took effect...