The 7th Annual Friends of Coal Auto Fair is set for July 16 – 18 at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex in Beckley, WV.  Friday, July 16 will begin the Fair with the Cruise-In to uptown Beckley for the Renaissance Car Show and live entertainment by former American Idol contestant and Beckley native, Robbie Carrico.  Saturday will have the Live in Concert by The Charlie Daniels Band and Taylor Made, with special appearances by The Gold Knights Army Parachute Team and FOC spokesmen Coach Nehlen, Coach Pruett and BassMaster Jeremy Starks.  Tickets ($15.00 advance & $20.00 day of show) for the Concert will go on sale May 1st at select WV & VA Marquee Cinemas and the Beckley-Raleigh County YMCA.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Op/Ed - April 17, 2010

One week ago this evening I returned from six physically and emotionally grueling days covering the Upper Big Branch mine disaster in Montcoal, W.Va. Since then, I keep thinking of the 29 brave souls whose time on Earth ended deep beneath it. I pray they didn't suffer. I think of the family and friends left to mourn them. I pray their suffering is somehow salved. I think of the kindness bestowed upon me and other journalists as the tragedy
unfolded around us. I pray karma rewards them.

In my career, I've covered unexplainable acts of God and unfathomable acts of man -- plane crashes, serial killings, tornadoes, police killings, suicides, the slayings of men, women and children. I have tried to shine light on the human condition.

(PHILADELPHIA – April 22, 2010) – Residential wells near the Battlefield Golf Club in Chesapeake, Va. have not been impacted by the fly ash used to contour the golf course according to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency site inspection report issued today.  Additionally, the report concludes no adverse health effects are expected from exposure to surface water or sediments on the site.
The golf course, located near the intersection of Centerville Turnpike and Whittamore Road, was sculpted with fly ash from a Dominion Virginia Power coal-fired plant that is mixed with cement dust.  Fly ash is a residue from the burning of coal for electricity.
The EPA inspection evaluated the environmental impact of the fly ash and determined that the golf course property does not qualify for placement on EPA’s national priority list of sites where hazardous contaminants could impact public health and/or the environment.  Dominion Virginia Power will continue to monitor wells on the golf course.
EPA’s inspection showed that the fly ash used on the golf course contains concentrations of several metals which are above the levels found in soil in the surrounding area.  However, the report indicates these metals are not migrating from the fly ash to residential drinking wells.
A copy of the site inspection report is available at the Chesapeake Main Library, 298 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, Va.  EPA staff will be available to answer questions on May 6 and 7 (8:30 am to 6:00 p.m.) at the Centerville Baptist Church, 908 Centerville Turnpike South in Chesapeake.   The report can also be viewed online at: http://www.epa.gov/reg3hwmd/CurrentIssues/finalr-battlefield_golf_club_site/index.html

The Associated Press www.ap.org


By Homer Hickam

Los Angeles Times


Last week was a terrible one for the coal mining industry. The loss of nearly 30 miners in an explosion deep inside a huge West Virginia mine simply should not happen, not with all the regulations in place and all the required safety equipment and techniques, including modern methods of ventilation that avoid large concentrations of explosive methane. When I heard about the accident in the Massey Energy Co.'s Upper Big Branch mine, I was shocked. I never expected such a large loss of life would ever happen again in one of our coal mines.

Association members are complying with Governor Manchin’s Executive Order calling for a “stand down” in a variety of ways tailored to the individual situations at each of their mines.  Many of the members reported they had already conducted a “stand down” of their own in the wake of the April 5th accident at the Upper Big Branch Mine.  During a conference call on Thursday, each of them emphasized the fact that safe conditions and safe practices are of topmost importance everyday at their mines and that Friday will be no different.  Training, maintenance, equipment checklists, testing procedures and team building will be among the many tasks performed to sharpen their attention and skills and to honor the miners who lost their lives in the UBB accident.  Every members’ goal, everyday, is to do everything possible to make sure everyone goes home safely to their families after their shifts.  The Association is proud to represent companies with such an overwhelming commitment to the safety of their people. 

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