PNS Daily Newscast - April 9, 2020 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suspends his campaign for president. And COVID-19 is ravaging the black community in some areas, including Milwaukee.

2020Talks - April 9, 2020 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders drops out of the race for president, though he assured supporters yesterday his movement will continue. A federal judge ruled this week a lawsuit in Florida awaiting trial will apply to all people with former felony convictions, not just the 17 plaintiffs.

Coal Slurry Battle Brews in Ohio

March 31, 2010

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Residents and environmentalists are trying to put the brakes on a proposal from Ohio's biggest coal mining company. Murray Energy is requesting permission from the Ohio EPA to transform a stream in Belmont County into an artificial storage lake for billions of gallons of coal slurry, a waste product that includes mercury, lead, arsenic, cyanide and other toxins. The company proposed a similar project two years ago but it was rejected by the EPA, says Nachy Kanfer, a spokesman for the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign.

"The Ohio EPA and the Strickland administration showed a lot of courage back in 2008 when they upheld the law, and they upheld strong public health standards and protected communities in southeastern Ohio. They need to be that courageous again."

The company has indicated coal jobs could be lost if this proposal does not move forward. Kanfer suggests Ohio instead look at the broader picture of how cleaner forms of energy can create jobs.

"We need to be thinking about how to bring jobs to coal field communities in the state, because otherwise this is what we are going to be faced with: unpleasant choices to build a disaster waiting to happen -- like a coal slurry impoundment -- or to do nothing at all."

Belmont County resident Margaret Tomblin spoke Tuesday night at a public hearing on the matter. She says her land has already been damaged from suspected coal blasting, which Murray Energy has denied. Tomblin says she and other residents are concerned this proposed slurry would have a similar effect.

"There's a 200-year-old house that has shifted and the doors won't shut any more. And the barn doors have fell over and animals are running scared and the environment is changing."

A state task force has recommended more than a dozen other ways to handle the waste, but Murray Energy claims this proposal is the only feasible option. According to Kanfer, Murray's current slurry impoundment has released toxic slurry repeatedly over the past decade into nearby streams.

More information is available at

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - OH