Opinions

Leave federal trust fund in place to help black lung victims

With the incidence of black lung disease among coal miners again on the rise, now is not the time to put benefits that help miners with the disease in jeopardy. But if Congress doesn’t act by the end of the year, which is fast approaching, the extent of those benefits could drop sharply. The issue has to do with the […]

Political Cartoon

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Facing pressure, McConnell agrees to criminal justice vote



WASHINGTON Under pressure from President Donald Trump and many of his Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he will bring legislation to the floor to overhaul the nation’s sentencing laws. McConnell’s decision comes after more than three years of overtures from a large, bipartisan group of senators who support the criminal justice bill, including Senate Judiciary […]

Can health care jobs keep region going?

A recent PBS News Hour broadcast explored whether health care can replace coal as the main source of jobs in rural Appalachia, a region with more than its share of health problems. It was the first installment in a series called “The Future of Work,” examining how jobs are being affected by increasing automation and globalization. Amna Nawaz focused on […]

Few of us are even remotely prepared for caring for elders


It often starts off easy. For me it did. An elderly friend needed some help with food shopping and dealing with the cable company. He has no family to speak of, and his close friends have died. Pushing 90, his thinking had obviously slowed, but he could still shave, bathe and dress. So I volunteered to run some errands. No […]

How to raise a college dropout


“Thirty percent of freshmen won’t return for their sophomore year,” reports a piece in The New York Times, “and the wheels can start to fall off as early as Thanksgiving. What can parents do?” Now, I don’t think a college degree is the be-all and end-all. There are many — countless! — ways to succeed in life, and in fact, […]

My top secret clearance


1948, Lackland Air Base, Texas I was 19 years old, had four years service, I was put in charge of the base printing department. Others were there longer than I. Our boss was a non printer. The Office of Special Investigations called me to report to their office. They were like secret police and wore civilian clothes. I knew all […]

Pine Mountain Search and Rescue is marking its 10th year of helping out


As Pine Mountain Search and Rescue enters its 10th year of service, we at PMSAR would like to update you on how we’ve grown and what we do. Letcher County Emergency Management Director Paul Miles asked the Letcher County Fiscal Court to allow him to write grant applications to create an ATV Rescue team to perform rescues of ATV and […]

Political Cartoon

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Free the free press from Wall St.

Media chains — not the Internet — hurt newspapers

A two-panel cartoon I recently saw showed a character with a sign saying: “First they came for the reporters.” In the next panel, his sign says: “We don’t know what happened after that.” It was, of course, a retort to Donald Trump’s campaign to demonize the news media as “ the enemy of the people.” But when it comes to […]


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