Rural Blog: CBS feature shows Appalshop as kind of business that would be hurt by cuts in arts’ budget

In response to President Trump’s proposed budget cuts CBS News’s “Sunday Morning” looked at how one rural community in Kentucky would be hurt. The same story could be reported in many other communities. Letcher County, Kentucky, which has been hurt by the loss of coal jobs, is also the home of Appalshop, a non-profit media, arts, and education center that relies largely on funding...

Rural Blog: Technology and digital design start-up finds success in heart of Kentucky coalfield

A technology and digital-design firm in southeastern Kentucky offers hope for helping Central Appalachia revitalize its economy after the loss of coal jobs, Alexis Stephens reports for PolicyLink. In Letcher County, where 33 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level and only 12 percent of adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, Mountain Tech Media is providing a service...

Rural Blog: Could medical marijuana be the solution to Appalachia’s opioid addiction epidemic?

Could medical marijuana be the answer to the nation’s opioid epidemic, which is a major concern in rural areas, especially in Appalachia? Christine Vestal reports for Stateline, “Some medical practitioners and researchers believe that greater use of marijuana for pain relief could result in fewer people using the highly addictive prescription painkillers that led to the epidemic.” About...

Repealing ACA could hinder treatment for opioid addiction, epidemic in Appalachia, rural areas

From Rural Blog President Trump’s pledge to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act could have dire effects on drug-treatment programs, especially in Appalachia and other rural areas plagued by the opioid epidemic, Christine Vestal reports for Stateline. An estimated 1.6 million previously uninsured addicts in the 31 states that expanded Medicaid gained coverage since 2014, including...

Ron Daley: Eastern Kentucky must learn from past to prepare for future; admit failures, celebrate success

We need to understand the reasons why eastern Kentucky has not made the same level of progress as other Appalachian coal states before we can develop and implement strategies to grow a vibrant diversified economy. Additionally, we need to study the best practices in southern Ohio, West Virginia, southwest Virginia, and northeastern Tennessee for productive planning. And, we must not be fearful to...

Regional survival at stake as Central Appalachia leaders grapple with what comes after coal

Across Central Appalachia, especially Eastern Kentucky, “elected officials, business leaders, environmentalists and community advocates are looking beyond politics to wrestle with a question essential to the region’s survival: What comes after coal?” Sheryl Gay Stolberg reports for The New York Times. Lora Smith, who oversees grants in Central Appalachia for the Mary Reynolds Babcock...

UK gets $2.8 million grant for Rural Health Research Center to study health-care access in poor, rural U.S.

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The University of Kentucky has received a $2.8 million competitive grant to establish a Rural Health Research Center that will focus on access to healthcare and substance abuse treatment in undeserved rural areas of the United States, including Appalachia. “These are very competitive grants that are only awarded every four years,” UK College of Public...

UK doctors providing dental care in Appalachia rewarded with reduction of student loan debt

By Olivia McCoy Special to KyForward By supporting a region that desperately needs dental providers, two University of Kentucky College of Dentistry students will have their student loan debt significantly reduced. Drs. Candace Flora and Adam Tackett were each awarded $100,000 through the Appalachian Dental Loan Forgiveness Program. Started in 2015 through the bipartisan efforts of then Gov. Steve...

People in rural Appalachia more likely to die early, mainly due to greater drug overdose rates

“People in rural areas of Appalachia are more likely to die early deaths than in other parts of the country,” and a big reason is that they “die from drug overdoses at greater rates than the rest of the country,” writes Kery Murakami, the Washington, D.C., reporter for Community Newspaper Holdings Inc.’s CNHI News Service. Murakami notes that in Leslie County, Kentucky,...

Dr. Nikki Stone: Leading UK’s Mobile Dental Program to serve the children of Eastern Kentucky

By Ann Blackford Special to KyForward When Dr. Daria ‘Nikki’ Stone, associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, became the director of the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile program in Hazard, she realized she was finally in the right place at the right time; where her piece of the puzzle fit in the big picture. Growing up in Blackey, Kentucky, a tiny town in Letcher...

Rural Blog: Hepatitis B cases on the rise in Kentucky while remaining stable nationwide

The number of hepatitis B cases in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia increased 114 percent from 2009-13, while hepatitis B cases remained stable nationally during the same time period, says a study released recently by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study, which cites intravenous drug use in Appalachia for the rise in cases—rates were highest among non-Hispanic whites ages...

Silas House names winner of Transylvania University’s inaugural Young literary award

  Author Silas House selected a fast-paced Kentucky mystery as the inaugural winner of Transylvania University’s Judy Gaines Young Book Award, which honors a work from the Appalachian region.   Silas House (Photo provided) The Next Time You See Me, the debut novel from Holly Goddard Jones, chronicles a woman’s disappearance in a rural Kentucky town and the secrets its residents are keeping.   “I...

UK receives $3.75M to promote screening, prevent colon cancer deaths in rural Kentucky

  By Mallory Powell Special to KyForward   At 44, Sherry Payne was uncommonly young to be diagnosed with colon cancer. She was also too young to have started regular colon cancer screenings, so by the time she developed symptoms and went to the doctor, the disease had already progressed to Stage 3. It was 1998, and she was given two years to live.   “As you can see, I did not...

Six Eastern Ky. counties among 10 worst U.S. places to live, New York Times analysis shows

The six Kentucky counties considered among the hardest to live in are Clay, Breathitt, Jackson, Lee, Leslie and Magoffin – all of which are located in Eastern Kentucky coal country. (Graphic from Kentucky Health News)   Six adjoining counties in the Eastern Kentucky Coal Field rank among the nation’s 10 hardest counties to live in, as defined by six factors compiled by The New York...

Johnathan Gay: Eastern Kentucky screaming for an artisan economy … why not embrace it?

These days, there’s lots of talk about how to diversify the economy in Appalachia in the wake of the coal bust. But what are our options? It doesn’t appear that an industrial renaissance is going to hit the mountains anytime soon. A manufacturing economy seems ill suited for our region, lacking as it in major population centers and readily available, qualified workers in spades. At the other end...

Lewis Donohew: A memoir of the 'War on Poverty' – Would we be able to carry this off?

Bouncing along in a rented Jeep through creek beds that were the only routes into some of the remote households of Appalachia, we were members of a team out to analyze the “War on Poverty.” How would our army of strangers be received in these backwoods areas as we poked around and asked them hundreds of questions? What would we find?   In many ways, the slice of the region we were...

Lewis Donohew: A memoir of the ‘War on Poverty’ – Would we be able to carry this off?

Bouncing along in a rented Jeep through creek beds that were the only routes into some of the remote households of Appalachia, we were members of a team out to analyze the “War on Poverty.” How would our army of strangers be received in these backwoods areas as we poked around and asked them hundreds of questions? What would we find?   In many ways, the slice of the region we were...

Everyday Heroes: Raising hope in Appalachia a lifelong vocation, avocation for Sue Sword

This story is taken from Steve Flairty’s 2008 book, Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes. Sue Sword, now in retirement, is a caregiver for her husband, who is ill. Her productive, professional life experiences continue to attract many who seek her wise counsel.   By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist   Sue Sword grew up in Melvin, just outside the mining town of Wheelwright in Eastern...

Daily Yonder: Hatfield-McCoy 'reality' White Lightning just another insulting stereotype

The cast of the TV show ‘Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning.’ The show scripts a new reason for the mountain families to interact. (Photo from The Daily Yonder/the History Channel)   By Janney Lockman Special to KyForward   Different regions of the country seem to take turns getting picked on by pop culture. New Jersey had its moment, and between Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty,...

Daily Yonder: Hatfield-McCoy ‘reality’ White Lightning just another insulting stereotype

The cast of the TV show ‘Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning.’ The show scripts a new reason for the mountain families to interact. (Photo from The Daily Yonder/the History Channel)   By Janney Lockman Special to KyForward   Different regions of the country seem to take turns getting picked on by pop culture. New Jersey had its moment, and between Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty,...