Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has named Martin "Rick" Atkinson III to replace former Delegate Bob Ashley in the 11th District for the West Virginia House of Delegates.  Earlier, the Governor had appointed Bob Ashley (R-Roane) to the 3rd District State Senate vacancy created by the resignation of David Nohe, who accepted an appointment to the West Virginia Parole Board.   Atkinson, a West Virginia University graduate, retired from BPB-Stella Jones in 2013 and currently serves as director of sales for Mountain State Log Homes. He is an active volunteer with the 4-H Club in Roane County and has helped replace the cabins at Camp Sheppard. Atkinson is a member of First Baptist Church in Spencer.  He and his wife, Jeanette, live in Reedy.

The Friends of Coal Ladies’ Auxiliary (FOCLA) continues to work hard to raise awareness of the good things the state’s coal industry does for West Virginia and its people by taking a very active role in community activities. Their recent and continuing activities include:

·        Their online store featuring trademarked Friends of Coal items is active at, which also features their 2015 DVD from the 100th AnniversaryCoal Association Meeting this summer. 

The November episode of The Coal Seam is now airing and features a show about the West Virginia Coal Miners Memorial Statue on the Capitol grounds in Charleston. Host Chris Hamilton is joined by very special guest Burl Jones, the internationally renowned sculptor who created the memorial.  The Coal Seam is a monthly program on the West Virginia Library Commission Television Network that reaches approximately 577,000 households across the state via public access television cable stations.  It is available on your local cable television public access channels throughout West Virginia, including Suddenlink Channel 17 in the Charleston area. It is also vid-cast via the WV LTN website at is available on the West Virginia Coal Association website at

On October 26, 2015 the Association filed extensive comments on the federal Office of Surface Mining's proposed "Stream Protection Rule".  Published for comment in July 2015, the SPR is a fundamental re-write of the federal surface mining regulations covering everything from issues related to mining-related fill construction to potential subsidence from underground mining operations. 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection also filed comments on the proposed rule.  94,328 comments were received by OSM on the proposal.  For a copy of the Association's comments on the proposed rule contact

The Association acknowledges and thanks the sponsors and the more than 200 who attended the recent Environmental Workshop in Charleston.  The wide range of topics included updates on current water quality standards, endangered species’ policies and regulations, a critical overview of the Clean Power Plan and OSM’s Stream Protection Rule as well as a discussion of the current political and legislative situation in West Virginia.  Environmental & Technical Committee Chairman John McDaniel and our own Jason Bostic, who also made presentations, said the Workshop would not have been possible without the able and professional assistance of our talented and informed presenters, which included Barry Thacker, P.E. Geo/Environmental Associates, Inc.; Jennie Henthorn, Henthorn Environmental Services; Allyn Turner, Steptoe & Johnson, PLLC; Varun Shekhar and Christopher “Kip” Power of Babst Calland; Robert McLusky, Jackson Kelly PLLC; and Mike Castle, Strategic Solutions.