WELCH, W.Va. – The latest donation to the McDowell Public Library System also doubled as a heartfelt tribute to a crisis affecting southern West Virginia.
Mrs. Barbara Fields, Head Librarian, and Mrs. Martha C. Callaway, Chairman of the Board of the McDowell County Library System accepted four copies of Death in Mud Lick, by Pultizer Prize winning journalist and author Eric Eyre based on the tragic opioid crisis in southern West Virginia. The books were the generous contribution for a former Welch resident, Mr. Dan D. Zaccagnini.
Death in Mud Lick is the story of how a crusading lawyer, newspaper reporter and a local woman with a secret past uncovered massive opioid pill dumping in a small town by some of the largest corporations in America.
Dan Fagan, Pultizer Prize winning author of Toms River, writes that “Death in Mud Lick” is a stunning story, and Eric Eyre tells it with compassion, grit, deep knowledge and the ‘sustained outrage’ (as he puts it) that is the rocket fuel of great journalism.
Mr. Zaccagnini who likes to refer to himself as the former mayor of Hemphill and now of Florence, Alabama, had made the gift to the McDowell County Library System as a result of his wife Donna dying from overprescribed pain medication. The books will contain a dedication to Donna Zaccagnini.
Dan Zaccagnini, originally from Hemphill, WV, and a graduate of Welch High School has always had a soft spot in his heart for Welch and southern West Virginia. Zac has had an interesting life. He has been a soldier, a coal miner, a teacher, coach, and for many years worked for Mayor Thomas D’Alessandro of Baltimore, Maryland and for U.S. Senator Charles Mathias of Maryland. He served on the Maryland Board of Parole and later as a Consultant before retiring to the sunny climes of Alabama where he recently experienced 6 inches of snow.
Dan is also an avid supporter of the Welch Lions Club and especially the McDowell County Sports Hall of Fame, where he is a Platinum Donor. He also generously donated to the Welch Kiwanis Stewart Street Park renovation.