A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: Nine Kentucky counties among 42 ‘bright spots’ identified by Appalachian health researchers

Appalachia’s major problems include poor health, but in the 420-county region there are counties that have better health than you might expect, given their socioeconomic status. The Appalachian Regional Commission issued a study Tuesday that points out 42 “bright spots,” 10 of them with case studies, that may suggest strategies for others in the region. This map spotlights the 10...

Rural Blog: One in five Appalachian miners who have worked at least 25 years diagnosed with black lung

One in five coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia who have worked at least 25 years has black-lung disease, according to a new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. That’s the highest reported rate in a quarter-century. “We can think of no other industry or workplace in the United States in which this would be considered acceptable,” NIOSH...

The demand for locally-sourced foods continues to grow in Kentucky’s rural counties

By Katie Pratt Special to KyForward On a hot, humid Kentucky summer morning, Bennie Winn methodically handpicks blackberries and places them in quart-size containers on his Muhlenberg County farm. Just a few hours later, Muhlenberg Countians will arrive well before the county’s Farmers Market opens to get in line to purchase Winn’s blackberries from his cousin John Winn, who is another market vendor....

Carter Caves State Resort Park to showcase pioneer life in late 18th, early 19th centuries July 23-29

A weeklong event featuring pioneering life in Kentucky will be presented at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill July 23-29. The annual Pioneer Life Week showcases life during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Visitors can enjoy a step back in time in the Pioneer Encampment near the Carter Caves campground. Guests can also see reenactors demonstrate the skills that were needed for life...

Kentucky Department of Agriculture partners with federal government to improve food safety

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has entered into a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help Kentucky food producers comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. Under the cooperative agreement, the FDA will release a total of $2.84 million to Kentucky over the next three years. The funds will be divided among the KDA, the University of Kentucky,...

Leading whisky association representatives to gather in Louisville for ‘W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit’

The world’s eight leading whiskey associations will gather in Kentucky next week for a historic summit to discuss trade issues that threaten the growth of the international industry. The “W8 – Spirit of Collaboration Summit” is being hosted and coordinated by the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a non-profit trade group founded in 1880 as the Commonwealth’s voice for bourbon and distilled...

Department of Agriculture, Farmer Veteran Coalition unveil new Homegrown by Heroes program logo

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) have announced a new logo for the nationwide Homegrown By Heroes agricultural marketing program. “The new Homegrown By Heroes logo refreshes the brand while more accurately representing active-duty members of the armed forces and military veterans in agriculture,” Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles said. “Since...

Kentucky State Police honors troopers and officers at awards ceremony in Lexington

Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton joined Justice Secretary John Tilley and Kentucky State Police Commissioner Richard Sanders in recognizing 66 KSP troopers, eight Commercial Vehicle Enforcement officers and 14 civilians for acts of bravery, life-saving, professionalism and dedication to duty at a ceremony held in Lexington on July 13. “You are the embodiment of what law enforcement does,” Hampton told those...

Rural Blog: Two rural communities — one in Mass., one in Ky. — try to bridge the political divide

The political divide in America may seem insurmountable, but two rural communities — one liberal and one conservative — are trying to bridge that gap with an ongoing outreach project to better understand one another. Hands Across the Hills was launched by 18 liberal residents of Leverett, Massachusetts, just after the 2016 election; they reached out to residents of Whitesburg, Kentucky,...

Shaker Village to host 22nd Craft Fair August 4-5; event features reproductions of Shaker arts, crafts

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill will be hosting its 22nd annual Craft Fair on Aug. 4 and 5. The event is sponsored by Hardscuffle, Inc. (KyForward File photo) As one of the state’s premier craft events, the Shaker Village Craft Fair features the elite among regional artisans, as well as up-and-coming new artists. The juried event showcases Shaker reproductions and other merchandise made of clay,...

September two-for-one camping deal offered at Kentucky State Park campgrounds

Kentucky State Parks are offering a weekday camping special this September. Guests can purchase one night of camping Sunday through Thursday and get a second consecutive night free from Sunday through Thursday. The offer is good from Sept. 4 through Sept. 27. When making reservations online, guests should use the promo code “Fall2018.” Three Kentucky State Parks have slightly different camping...

Kentucky organ recipients and donor families set to participate in 2018 Transplant Games of America

Second Chance at Life Team Ky. will be participating in this year’s Transplant Games of America in Salt Lake City, Utah, from August 2-8. Seventeen organ recipients and one living donor will compete in Olympic style events throughout the week. The people who have received the gift of life battle each other for the gold in 20 events, including: badminton, basketball, cycling, racquetball, running,...

UK Department of Entomology research shows urban gardens can aid in pollinator conservation

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A recent study conducted by University of Kentucky Department of Entomology researchers found that monarch butterflies and various bee species quickly find and use milkweeds in small urban gardens. The research showed that monarchs and bees have preferences for the type and size of the plants. “Our goal was to demonstrate to gardeners and homeowners that they...

Car Craft Summer Nationals return to Bowling Green’s Beech Bend Raceway Park July 20

Drag racing, burnouts, and classic cars will once again take over Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Kentucky, as America’s definitive showcase of customized cars returns for the 2018 Car Craft Summer Nationals. The 2018 Car Craft Summer Nationals offers something for automotive enthusiasts and the whole family, including the return of Real Street Eliminator, an expanded two-day Car Craft...

Kentucky Arts Council co-sponsoring second annual Artists Thrive Summit July 31-Aug. 3 in Berea

The Kentucky Arts Council, along with the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation and the AIR Institute of Berea College, will present the second annual Artists Thrive Summit July 31-Aug. 3 in Berea. This is the second consecutive year Artists Thrive has held its annual convocation in Berea. The summit is geared toward artists, arts organizations, elected officials, foundations, economic development agencies...

Minneapolis-based firm CSL chosen to evaluate Northern Kentucky Convention Center expansion

Conventions, Sports and Leisure International (CSL) has been selected to lead a feasibility study on expanding the Northern Kentucky Convention Center.  Minneapolis-based CSL, which has worked on hundreds of convention center studies and analysis across the United States, was chosen among four competing firms by the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and meetNKY I Northern Kentucky Convention and...

Kentucky River Clean Sweep rescheduled for Aug. 18 due to high water levels; volunteers still needed

The 2018 Kentucky River Clean Sweep has been rescheduled for Aug. 18. A high water level caused the event – originally scheduled in June – to be postponed. Volunteers are needed to collect trash from the 12 miles of the Kentucky River that border Fayette County. You can register for the event at www.riversweep2018.eventbrite.com. Volunteers should gather at the Clays Ferry Boat Dock off KY 25 under...

Mighty Mike, largest American Alligator outside of Florida, leaving Newport Aquarium in September

After five years wowing millions of people at Newport Aquarium, Mighty Mike, the largest American Alligator outside of Florida, is preparing to head back to the Sunshine State this summer. At 14 feet long and 800 pounds, Mighty Mike’s size makes it clear that he is truly a living dinosaur. Mighty Mike, the largest American Alligator outside of Florida, is headed home after five years at Newport Aquarium...

Artisan Center celebrating Crystal Anniversary in July — 15 years with a clear view of the arts in Kentucky

July 2018, marks the Kentucky Artisan Center’s 15th year as Kentucky’s premier showcase for the arts. This Crystal Anniversary will be celebrated throughout the summer and fall and includes multiple gallery exhibits, hands-on workshops during the month of July in conjunction with Berea’s Festival of Learnshops, weekly artist demonstrations, readings, special programs and more! Botanical letters...

Forecastle announces enhanced environmental activism efforts for 2018 Festival July 13-15

The Forecastle Festival has, since 2003, aimed to offer equal parts music, art and environmental activism. The activist arm of the festival includes several sustainability partnerships that help to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint, properly dispose of waste, and protect biodiversity hotspots around the globe. This year, Forecastle has expanded its activism efforts and will be more focused on...