Many Patriot retirees breathing sigh of relief in Southern West - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Many Patriot retirees breathing sigh of relief in Southern West Virginia

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"Retirees are going to be taken care of.  That was a big concern for me because I am retired," said Dennis Adkins. 

Adkins is retired from Patriot Coal and has spent the majority of his life in Southern West Virginia.

For months, he says his former coworkers, his friends, have been waiting in limbo.  "It was the most stressful, gloomiest time for a lot of people," he said.

Adkins said a dark cloud has been over this community here for a long time as the retirees had to wait to find out what was going to happen to their healthcare and their pensions.  

Now that this vote has passed, he said he noticed that a huge weight has been lifted off of the retirees shoulders in Boone County.  

Adkins said, "This company could have gutted, if you will, the whole healthcare plan for the retirees and walked away from it.  So therefore, we're in good standings now."

He said for months, the retirees had to make difficult choices.   "It was buy food or medicine.  You couldn't do both.

Madison is just one small community in the scheme of things, but it's one small community, where many residents are breathing a big sigh of relief.