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Articles by Sue Sturgis

Sue Sturgis is the editorial director of Facing South, the online magazine of the nonprofit Institute for Southern Studies in Durham, N.C.

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  • Supreme Court rules against coal company accused of buying a West Virginia judge

    After the Massey Energy coal mining company lost a $50 million verdict to a competitor, CEO Don Blankenship spent $3 million electing a friendly judge to West Virginia's Supreme Court of Appeals who went on to cast the deciding vote in a case that overturned the verdict. But yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court handed a setback to Massey, a company notorious for its reliance on destructive mountaintop removal mining throughout Central Appalachia, with a ruling that elected judges must recuse themselves from cases involving big campaign contributors.

  • KBR, Halliburton sued over war-zone’s toxic burn pits

    Confronted with the need to dispose of enormous quantities of war-related trash including batteries, pesticide containers, medical waste and even human body parts, but lacking proper incinerators, private contractors working for the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan came up with a simple solution. They burned the trash in big, open pits. But now soldiers, […]

  • On the passing of Father Thomas Berry, noted ecological thinker

    Thomas Berry, a Catholic priest and self-described “Earth scholar,” passed away June 1 in Greensboro, N.C., where he was born in 1914. He was 94 years old. A member of the Passionist order that was founded to teach people how to pray, Berry went on to become an influential eco-theologian — though he preferred to […]

  • Virginia OKs uranium mining study

    A proposal to mine uranium in south-central Virginia advanced this week when a key state body approved a study of the matter. The targeted site is in Virginia’s Pittsylvania County just north of the city of Danville and close to the border with North Carolina’s Rockingham and Caswell counties. A subcommittee of the Virginia Commission […]