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Here’s What We’re Reading: Wednesday News Roundup

Here’s What We’re Reading: Wednesday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working family’s news we're reading today (after the jump).

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W.Va. Senators Introduce New Mine Safety Bill

Congress must fix “the glaring safety issues revealed in the wake of the Upper Big Branch mine disaster,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) this week, as he introduced legislation to bring the nation’s mine health and safety laws up to date.

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Former Massey Official Implicates Blankenship in Scheme to Skirt Mine Safety Laws

Talk Radio News photo/flickr

The former president of a Massey Energy subsidiary, who also served for 20 years in top positions throughout Massey, implicated former Massey CEO Donald Blankenship in a long-term scheme to hide mine safety violations from federal inspectors.

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Upper Big Branch Superintendent Sentenced

Photo by Rana X/Flickr

A mine superintendent at the former Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine, where 29 coal miners were killed in 2010, will serve 21 months in prison for his role in disabling a methane monitor that automatically shuts down a coal cutting machine when dangerous levels of the explosive gas are detected. As part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Gary May also will pay a $20,000 fine.

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UMWA: On Anniversary of Upper Big Branch, Keep Families in Your Prayers

Today, April 5, is the second anniversary of the disaster at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine where an explosion that mine safety experts say could have been prevented killed 29 coal miners. Mine Workers (UMWA) President Cecil Roberts says, “Today is a day for us to pause and think about the families…. Let us continue to keep the families of the victims in our hearts and our prayers.”

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Massey Official Pleads Guilty in Upper Big Branch Case

A former superintendent at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine, where 29 miners were killed in an April 2010 explosion, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws. He faces up to five years in prison.

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Upper Big Branch Shows Need for Stronger Whistle-Blower Laws, Tougher Penalties

Upper Big Branch Shows Need for Stronger Whistle-Blower Laws, Tougher Penalties

If deadly mine disasters like 2010’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) that killed 29 coal miners are to be prevented, miners must have stronger protections to report safety violations, mine safety law must be stronger and mine operators must face tougher penalties for violating safety and health laws, witnesses told a House hearing yesterday. 

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MSHA Admits Failures in Upper Big Branch Inspections

The Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA's) enforcement effort and practices at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine had a number of significant failures before the April 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners, according to MSHA’s own report on its actions released today.

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Former Massey Security Chief Sentenced in Upper Big Branch Case

Upper Big Branch memorial Photo by Rana X/Flickr

The former director of security at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine was sentenced to three years in federal prison for lying to federal agents and destroying documents sought by investigators looking into the deadly blast that killed 29 in 2010. U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin had sought a 25-year sentence for Hughie Elbert Stover but said after the sentencing:

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Feds Charge Upper Big Branch Superintendent with Conspiracy

A former superintendent at Massey Energy’s Upper Big Branch (W.Va.) mine where 29 miners were killed in an April 2010 explosion was charged today with conspiracy to violate federal money safety laws. He is the third former Massey official to face criminal charges related the explosion.

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