CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Environmentalists in West Virginia released a report Tuesday blasting mountaintop removal mining and police in eastern Kentucky were preparing to handle large crowds as supporters and opponents of the practice mobilized for federal hearings this week.
Both sides were drumming up attendance at the Army Corps of Engineers meetings in West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee on Tuesday and Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia on Thursday.
Kentucky State Police spokesman Mike Goble said troopers from posts in Pikeville, Hazard, Harlan and Ashland would provide security at the public hearing in the 5,000-seat East Kentucky Expo Center in downtown Pikeville.
Coal miners, fearing they may lose their jobs if mountaintop removal ceases, were expected to attend, alongside environmentalists who have fought for decades to end the destructive form of mining that blasts away peaks to unearth coal.
At issue is the regulatory process that coal companies follow to obtain permits to dump rock, soil and debris from the mountaintops into nearby valleys.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Steve Nunn said nothing in court. His glum, unshaven face spoke volumes. The politician who had lived a life of privilege hobnobbing with Kentucky's political elite wasn't at all pleased with the Fayette County jail where he is being held on a murder charge for allegedly gunning down his ex-girlfriend.
Nunn, heir to one of the most famous names in Kentucky politics, wore a drab prison jumpsuit and a frown as his lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf and asked for his release on bond.
Judge Joseph Bouvier swiftly denied the request, leaving the man who spent his teenage years in the governor's mansion alongside his father, former Gov. Louie Nunn, under constant guard in a tiny cell for inmates deemed at risk of suicide.
Despite some 15 years in the state legislature and an unsuccessful run for governor, Nunn had never been able to escape the long shadow of his father who he once called "the John Wayne of Kentucky politics."
Until now. Nunn has been front page news in Kentucky since the Sept. 11 murder. His every move garners headlines, every fresh detail a new story.