A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Wiedemann appointed Chief Executive Officer for AAA Club Alliance

AAA Club Alliance has announced the appointment of Thomas C. Wiedemann as Chief Executive Officer. Wiedemann replaces Bernhard “Berni” Koch, who had been with the organization since 2002 and had served as CEO since 2012. AAA Club Alliance, Inc. is the third-largest AAA club in the national AAA federation and serves more than six million members in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky,...

Pew Charitable Trusts: Kentucky at high-risk to see revenues decline if negotiations on NAFTA tank

By Dave Nycaepir Route Fifty Implementation of U.S.-China tariffs or withdrawal from the North American Free Trade Agreement would have bigger economic effects on some states compared to the more limited impacts of other recent trade decisions, a new Moody’s Investors Service report found. U.S. talks with Mexico and Canada to renegotiate NAFTA though it remains unclear exactly when a new deal might...

Rural Blog: As black-lung cases have surged in Central Appalachia, so have lung transplants

A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine shows that, as black-lung cases have surged in the Central Appalachian coalfield, so have lung transplants. The expensive surgery can be risky, and most transplant recipients die within five years. The study, conducted by researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, “found that 62 black lung patients...

Kentucky by Heart: Some thoughts and musings about Kentucky, the special place we call home

In the course of writing a weekly column called Kentucky by Heart, a book series about everyday heroes in Kentucky, reviewing books of Kentucky’s authors or about the state, and just plain possessing a deep affinity for the place I’ve lived most of my life, you might guess that my Bluegrass mind-set hums continuously. You would be correct. This week, I’ll share some of my thoughts about this...

Transportation Cabinet asks organizations to glow orange during National Work Zone Awareness Week

The Bluegrass will soon be glowing orange with the help of local businesses shedding light on the importance of work zone safety. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) invites organizations and residents to pledge to light buildings, structures, bridges and homes in the color orange on Wednesday, April 11 as part of the “Glow Orange, Kentucky” initiative inspired by the nation’s observance...

Great Oak Funding announces second fund, available to small to mid-sized businesses in the region

Great Oak Funding, a private lending firm with offices in Cincinnati and Dayton, and operating in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, has announced a second fund available to small to mid-size businesses. Financing is available to existing companies with a proven track record of success. The purpose of the fund is to help existing companies grow and expand through short-term financing. Alexander “The new...

KBC asking Kentucky fans to help rebuild low blood supplies during Big Blue Slam January 22-26

The community blood supply is currently low, but Kentucky Blood Center (KBC) is giving donors a chance to help rebuild that supply while also proving they bleed blue during the 10th annual Big Blue Slam next week. Big Blue Slam, which is Jan. 22-26, pits Kentucky fans against Florida fans to see who can donate the most blood. Donors during Slam will receive a special long-sleeve T-shirt. “Big Blue...

Serving Up Solutions Dinner in Frankfort will benefit Kentucky’s hungry, focus on finding answers

United States Ambassador Kelly Craft, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Joe Craft, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, State Representative Phillip Pratt, and State Senator Robin Webb will host a Hunger Initiative dinner in January to benefit food-insecure Kentuckians. Quarles Governor Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin are scheduled to serve as the featured guests at the first Serving...

Mary Meehan: Real lives are at stake in rural areas and real journalism can help affect change

Hey there Blue State folks! Those of us out here in the rest of the country are glad that over the last year you’ve shown an interest in making our acquaintance. Recently, several prominent media organizations took it a step further, announcing support for local journalists. The Nieman Foundation recently announced the Abrams Nieman Fellowship in Local Investigative Journalism. These fellows will...

Susan Elkington named president of Toyota Kentucky, succeeding Wil James who is retiring

Toyota is announcing the latest in a series of female-led appointments with Susan Elkington slated to take the helm of Toyota’s largest plant in the world, located in Georgetown beginning in 2018.   As president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (TMMK), Elkington will oversee a $7 billion operation, which employs over 8,000 people, and in a year, can produce as many as 550,000 vehicles...

Tobacco’s Toll: New push aims to curb the other addiction problem in country’s sickest states

By Mary Meehan Special to KyForward Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post...

Big Blue Crush celebrates 30th anniversary of Kentucky vs. Tennessee blood drive Nov. 13-17

This year marks the 30th time that Kentucky and Tennessee fans have competed to see who can donate the most blood for the holidays. The annual Big Blue Crush is Nov. 13-17. “Big Blue Crush is a fun week for donors and our staff, but it’s mostly about Kentucky patients. It’s our biggest blood donation week of the year and supports the healthcare of Kentucky during the holidays, a time when blood...

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 71 Kentucky Counties seeking case review volunteers

Citizen Foster Care Review Boards in 71 Kentucky counties are seeking volunteers to review cases of children placed in care because of dependency, neglect or abuse to ensure they are placed in safe, permanent homes as quickly as possible. The counties in need of volunteers to be trained soon are Barren, Bath, Bell, Boone, Boyd, Bracken, Breathitt, Bullitt, Butler, Caldwell, Campbell, Carter, Christian,...

Constance Alexander: Art of outreach is a give-and-take process, highlighted by Side by Side project

Lily Higgins stacked boxes in a pyramid and iced the surface with scads of glue glitter and pompoms to create “Racetrack Birthday Cake.” Garrison Kelly turned a piece of wood into a graceful mallet and used colored pencils to trim the ridges with a rainbow of blue, purple, yellow and orange. Jayson Walker’s inventive inclinations were sparked by storytelling, and he created a book called “Spiritual...

Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Artists Directory marketing program taking applications

Applications are available online for artists interested in participating in the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Artists Directory, a marketing assistance program that supports Kentucky performers of music, dance, theater and storytelling. The Performing Artists Directory is an adjudicated online roster of performing artists used by in-state and out-of-state presenters and others as a resource...

Small Business Spotlight: Tim and Ellie Harman are high on art, high on coffee and, yes, high on success

(Photo by Jonathan Coffman) “Some people look at us like we’re nuts … but we say hello every time anyone walks through the door.” — Ellie Harman, High on Art & Coffee By Jonathan Coffman KyForward intern When Tim and Ellie Harman married, her passion for art and his passion for a good cup of joe were also joined together. And if that wasn’t enough wedded bliss,...

The Licking River: A 300-mile journey
from mountains to thriving metropolis

  Part one of a seven-part series   The Licking River begins with a whimper on its 300-mile plus journey north from headwaters in the mountains of Kentucky to its crescendo as it converges with the Ohio River at metro Cincinnati. Veteran reporter Andy Mead undertook his journey in an aluminum canoe, braving the elements on and off over more than a year, to experience himself the good, the...

Louisville’s Forecastle Festival, with Sam Smith among headliners, ready for 13th year

    By Jonathan Coffman KyForward intern   Sam Smith, My Morning Jacket and Widespread Panic are among the top acts on board when the Forecastle Festival sets sail for its 13th year in downtown Louisville’s Waterfront Park.   In addition to the more than 50 performances during the three-day festival, there will be six late-night shows at various Louisville venues.   The...

Nearly thirty Kentucky swimmers expected to compete at Eastern Sectionals in Georgia

The UK Swim and Dive team huddled together before a contest with Ohio State at the Lancaster Aquatic Center in Lexington. (Photo from Facebook)   As a lead-in to the USA Swimming National Championships, members of the Kentucky swimming team will compete at the highly-competitive Eastern Sectional meet in Athens, Georgia, July 9-12.   The meet will also be an opportunity for Kentucky swimmers...

Kentucky Speedway’s weekend packed with races and entertainment opportunities galore

Kentucky Speedway’s three-race NASCAR weekend will feature 925 miles of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series.   Race fans will be able to cheer on their favorite driver with a green Quaker State rally towel Saturday when NASCAR’s elite drivers compete on the 1.5-mile tri-oval in the Quaker State 400 presented by Advance Auto Parts.   “The Quaker State...