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The Appalachian Voice

Bills Aim to Help Miners with Black Lung and Surviving Family Access Benefits

A painting of boots, a hat and other gear used by coal miners.

Miners with black lung disease face a difficult process to obtain modest benefits, as do their widows. Two bills in Congress aim to help miners with the disease and their bereaved families, including by tying benefit levels to inflation.

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Fighting for Black Lung Benefits for Miners and Families

A woman poses next to her husband with her arm around his shoulders.

Kathryn South’s husband, Mike South, was diagnosed with black lung disease at age 35. As they grappled with his disease, the couple also navigated the arduous legal process to obtain federal black lung benefits, a fight that Kathryn continued even after Mike’s passing.

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The Root that Shaped a Region

smiling man crouches near ginseng plants in the forest

By Carolina Norman An author and historian who traveled across Appalachia examining business records of pharmaceutical companies, mountain entrepreneurs and country stores, Luke Manget’s book, “Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia,” unearths the complex and

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Contaminants Found in East Tennessee Springs

Two men stand on a gravel road outdoors next to a truck and another man crouched next to white buckets.

Springs are often assumed to be a safe, clean source of drinking water. But they can harbor a number of health hazards, as new research published in the journal Geosciences shows.

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Native Plant Rescue Squad Aims to Boost the Biodiversity of Tennessee Neighborhoods

three smiling people and a dog in a greenhouse

By saving native plants from destruction and helping these plants find new homes, the Native Plant Rescue Squad is “helping reconnect people to themselves through the natural world.”

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Snorkelers Explore Appalachia’s Diverse Freshwater Life

Two young snorkelers exploring a shallow river.

The rivers and streams of southern Appalachia attract snorkelers with their wide variety of species and beautiful sites.

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Virginia Agency Orders Bristol to Address Polluting Landfill

two people in front of a large guitar statue hold signs about the landfill problems

Residents are hopeful after the Bristol Virginia City Council responds to the state Department of Environmental Quality’s order to address landfill concerns.

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Safe Passage: The I-40 Pigeon River Gorge Wildlife Crossing Project

A series of photographs of various bear, deer and elk roaming in the wild.

A collaborative effort to make the Pigeon River Gorge section of I-40 safer for wildlife and humans is yielding results.

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Chubs: A key species and a mystery

A gray and green fish carries a stone in its moth, surrounded by smaller red fish

Snorkelers helped to uncover a population of river chubs in an unusual location.

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Cultivating Communities Through Seed Saving

The University of North Georgia Appalachian Studies Center’s signature project, the Saving Appalachian Gardens and Stories, is a demonstration garden for heirloom seeds and an oral history collection. Photo courtesy Rosann Kent.

Seed saving allows gardeners and farmers to explore new varieties of the plants they grow while forming communities around the practice.

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