UK Center for Applied Energy research partners with Hazard in effort to improve rural power generation

By Dave Melanson Special to KyForward The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has received a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to develop an innovative partnership in Hazard, Kentucky, that could serve as a model for future energy projects in rural Eastern Kentucky communities. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) funded the project, which...

Retiring Court of Appeals judge Janet Stumbo honored by colleagues at retirement reception

Kentucky Court of Appeals Judge Janet L. Stumbo, who serves 22 counties in Eastern Kentucky, was honored by the chief justice, her fellow Court of Appeals judges, court system employees and others at a retirement reception Dec. 14 at the Court of Appeals building in Frankfort. “On behalf of the entire court system, what can I say except thank you for your years of service and the way you have cared...

Federal Reserve Bank publishes multimedia account of official visit to Eastern Kentucky in early 2017

Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Governor Lael Brainard, traveled more than 100 miles in two days during a tour of eastern Kentucky earlier this year, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has published a multimedia account of the places they visited, the people they met, and the lessons they gathered. Among those visited were a charitable foundation, homegrown entrepreneurs and artists,...

Rural Blog: McConnell reverses course, supports $1 billion plan to assist struggling coal regions

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has signed on to legislation to free up $1 billion in reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other struggling coal regions, a measure he was not willing to endorse last year. “U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a Republican whose district includes the state’s eastern coalfield, introduced a similar proposal in February 2016 as a way of boosting areas...

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...

EKU rallies past Idaho State in Cancun Challenge; Lady Colonels fall to Western Carolina

The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team drained four 3-pointers in overtime to pull away for a thrilling, 91-82 win over Idaho State on Tuesday in the Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.   Eastern (2-3) trailed Idaho State, 71-69, following a layup by Gene Luzcando with under a minute to play; however, sophomore forward Nick Mayo buried a jumper in the paint with...

Commerce Lexington group to take ‘Regional Tour’ to Eastern Kentucky to learn more about SOAR initiative

In 2009, Commerce Lexington Inc. revived a long-ago tradition of visiting other areas of Kentucky with the intention of listening and learning from the leaders in each of the cities and locations visited. This year’s Kentucky Regional Tour presented by East Kentucky Power Cooperative on October 24-25 will make a return to portions of Eastern Kentucky with an agenda and itinerary centered around...

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...

Eastern Kentucky challenged with demographic issues in search for new jobs, study says

“Eastern Kentucky is shedding population through a combination of out-migration and deaths that are outpacing births, circumstances that have accelerated as the coal industry has declined,” says Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland policy analyst Matt Klesta. And those who are entering the region are often poorly educated, low-wage earners, and/or not in the labor force, according to Klesta’s analysis...

Rural Blog: Central Appalachian coal miners learning how to write computer code to cope with job loss

In Central Appalachia, where communities have been hit hard by the loss of coal jobs, the move to teach former coal miners computer coding could be the start of a trend that could help revitalize the region, Tim Loh reports for Bloomberg News. Rusty Justice, who co-founded a coding business in Pikeville, Ky., told Loh, “We’ve got a lot of high-skilled hillbillies here. We want to prove we can...

Jaw dropping gorgeous: John Snell’s Red River Gorge — his home away from home

Red River Gorge – My Second Home is the perfect way to reflect and appreciate one of Kentucky’s most wonderful treasures. In his second book on the Gorge, Lexington photographer John W. Snell, enables readers to experience one of the “most special places” in America. Some images are snapshots but most represent the author’s “attempt to present new and unique vignettes of...

EKU’s Murray named College Sports Madness’ OVC Player of the Week

Shameekia Murray Following a career-high 34-point performance in Eastern Kentucky’s 88-82 win over Saint Francis University, senior Shameekia Murray was named College Sports Madness’ Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week, College Sports Madness announced today. Murray connected on 13-of-19 (68 percent) from the floor and hit two critical free throws to extend the Colonels’ lead to three...

Keith Taylor: Stoops wants a ‘good, clean, hard-fought’ game against instate foe EKU

Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad scores his first collegiate touchdown in the Wildcats’ 21-13 win over Missouri last week. The Wildcats host Eastern Kentucky Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium (Photo by Tammie Brown)   Mark Stoops is focused on football and not what transpired off the field between members of his team and Eastern Kentucky University. The Kentucky coach wants no part of any confrontations...

Keith Taylor: Stoops wants a 'good, clean, hard-fought' game against instate foe EKU

Kentucky tight end C.J. Conrad scores his first collegiate touchdown in the Wildcats’ 21-13 win over Missouri last week. The Wildcats host Eastern Kentucky Saturday at Commonwealth Stadium (Photo by Tammie Brown)   Mark Stoops is focused on football and not what transpired off the field between members of his team and Eastern Kentucky University. The Kentucky coach wants no part of any confrontations...

One Word Says It All: Lynn Camp School mosaic changes narrative in Eastern Kentucky

The Lynn Camp School mosaic project was designed to prove to students – and others – that there’s a ‘whole lot we’re doing right’ throughout Eastern Kentucky, said Teach for America’s Taylor Ballinger. (All photos provided)   By Kristy Robinson Horine KyForward correspondent   The hallowed halls of learning at Lynn Camp School in Corbin are empty...

‘The art was already here’: Nation’s first fine arts extension program empowers Pike Co.

The Arts House recently opened in downtown Pikeville. Pike County is the site of the nation’s first fine arts extension program, launched in 2006. The program has since expanded to Greenup and Whitley counties. (Photo from UKNow)   By Mallory Powell Special to KyForward   Stephanie Richards remembers the exact moment she decided to move from Chicago back to her hometown in Pike County.   “I...

Forests offer sustainable economic hope for Eastern Kentucky, new SOAR study shows

This aerial photograph shows the Robinson Forest Research Camp surrounded by the hills and mountains of Eastern Kentucky. (Photo by Matt Barton)   Forestry and the forest industry represent a viable option for sustainable revenue in Eastern Kentucky. That was the conclusion of a recent University of Kentucky study of 54 Kentucky counties for the Shaping Our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, initiative.   The...

Hospice of the Bluegrass receives $6,000 grant to serve patients in Eastern Kentucky

  Hospice of the Bluegrass has been awarded a $6,000 grant by the Berea College Appalachian Fund. The money will be used to provide care to patients in 16 Southeast Kentucky counties who are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid or private insurance.   “We are so pleased that the Berea College Appalachian Fund recognizes the important care we provide to seriously ill people,” says Hospice...

New ideas, new partnerships emerge as SOAR groups share top ideas for Eastern Kentucky

Ten working groups organized under the Shaping Our Appalachian Region, or SOAR, initiative have presented their top findings. And despite the different working group topics, several common themes emerged among the recommendations:   • The need for cross-agency collaboration, especially in economic development • Desire for training and investment in entrepreneurship • Strong interest...

Perry Co. walk organizer sees himself as part of problem and solution to area’s health woes

Sam Neace, organizer of the Great Perry County Walk Saturday, Sept. 20, knows firsthand that healthy habits begin with a single step. (Photo by Cris Ritchie)   By Kristy Robinson Horine KyForward correspondent   When it comes to health and fitness, Sam Neace might be one of the worst role models around. At least, that’s the way he sees it.   “I don’t pay anywhere near as much...