A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Tyler Childers became a voice of Appalachia partly because of his reaction to a 2009 documentary

By Heather Chapman The Rural Blog This article is a few months old, but provides a great in-depth portrait of singer and songwriter Tyler Childers, an Eastern Kentucky native who has “earned praise from, and comparisons to, John Prine.” Tyler Childers (Photo by David McClister) Childers, 27, was in high school when ABC News’s “20/20” came to town for a report on children...

COLA increase taking effect in 2019 not a game changer for Kentucky’s more than 580,000 retirees

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service The cost-of-living increase or COLA that takes effect next year for people on Social Security will be the most generous in seven years, but it’s still mostly grocery money and not a trip to the beach. The average Kentucky recipient collects more than $1,300 a month from Social Security, so with the increase, the typical senior is looking at about a $40 monthly...

Kentucky by Heart: Joe Cunningham, KY native, flips U.S. house seat in S. Carolina; mourning Dr. Church

By Steve Flairty Special to KyForward Down in South Carolina, a politician running in the 2018 mid-term election with a close Kentucky connection just accomplished something pretty amazing. In a race for 1st District U.S. Representative, 36-year-old Joe Cunningham became the first Democrat to flip a House seat in the state since 1986. He defeated Republican Katie Arrington, and it was quite a shock...

Not much time left to see rare, two-headed copperhead snake at Salato; veterans free today

Less than two weeks remain to see a rare, two-headed copperhead snake before the Salato Wildlife Education Center in Frankfort closes for the winter. The unique, month-old copperhead is on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every Tuesday through Saturday. Time to view the snake is limited, however, as the Salato Center closes for the season after Nov. 21. Salato will reopen March 1, 2019. The Salato Center...

Chef John Foster: As empty nesters, eating habits change — more veggies, more variety, eating out

At last, peace in the house. Both boys gone to make their way in the world, leaving us (without counting 1 dog and 5 cats) empty nesters. That word evokes such images, propels thoughts to places best reserved for later in life. But it does impact what, and how we eat even to the point of changing the dynamic of our pantry and refrigerator. Having two young men over 6’ 3” and closing in on 200...

Beth Underwood: Some thoughts on the ‘benefits’ of cold weather as the chill of winter fast approaches

As many of you may remember, winter weather is my nemesis — or at least one of them, ranking right up there with crazy drivers. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw an article promoting the benefits of cold weather. While I wasn’t sure such a crazy claim was possible, I felt the need to investigate — to take issue with these outlandish claims in an unbiased fashion, of course. I suppose...

Kentucky by Heart: When it comes to having pun in Kentucky, there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit available

Editor’s Note: This column originally appeared at KyForward April 5, 2016 By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist I have always enjoyed playing with words, and mostly in a fun sort of way. Call me corny, silly, or otherwise, but I consider myself a “pun guy.” (Some would say “fungi,” but I’m not sure how to take that.) Until recently, it didn’t dawn on me that my own state of Kentucky’s...

Meeting at Breeders’ Cup World Championships brings friends who were strangers together

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor A group of “friends’ who had never met got together at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs this weekend. They were brought together through the Thoroughbred Horse Racing Discussion (T.H.R.D.) Facebook page, which was formed in June of 2017. Some horse racing fans who had only communicated through the Facebook group Thoroughbred Horse...

Chef John Foster: Really, Christmas is coming; so is another way of cooking, eating, finding ‘comfort’

Christmas is coming!! No really, it is. I heard my first Christmas music this week and some of my neighbors still have their decorations up from last year. You want more proof? Black Friday sales which used to be advertised for the day after Thanksgiving are now the subject of a race to see who has enough hutzpah to announce theirs before Thanksgiving. I’m not talking the night before, but a month...

Beth Underwood: Once the highlight of the breakfast table experience, the cereal box toy is sorely missed

Sometimes I wonder why some things blow right by me without gaining my attention. Do I need to get out more? Possibly. Am I unobservant from time to time? Probably. Regardless — and maybe I’m the last to notice — cereal boxes no longer contain toys. I know. I’m as shocked as you are. What’s worse? Apparently said toys have been absent for at least a couple of years. It’s a crying...

New book offers detailed account of mysterious unsolved theft of famous thoroughbred Shergar

In 1981, Shergar won the Epsom Derby by ten lengths — the longest margin in the race’s history. After winning a total of six races, his owner, the Aga Khan IV, chose to syndicate Shergar at Ballymany Stud in Ireland for £10 million, a substantially lower sum than if he had syndicated in the United States. Two years later, just as his second stud season was about to begin, Shergar was stolen...

Kentucky by Heart: Daniel Meyer’s book Kentucky Haunts offers tour of state’s spookiest locations

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist Regarding the matter of reading books about “haunted” places, it’s not been a goal (or ghoul, ha) of mine to read an exhaustive list of books on the matter. I can’t say, honestly, that I believe that paranormal activity is real. However, I am told that in Kentucky, both books and stories about the haunted are quite popular. A few years back, I talked to...

As Halloween approaches, make sure potential fire hazards don’t spook the festive day

Halloween is a fun, festive holiday for kids and adults alike, but it does present potential fire hazards. As the holiday fast-approaches, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) encourages everyone to keep fire safety in mind, and to take simple safety precautions that can help ensure a safe, fire-free day. “Halloween is an exciting day for trick-or-treating, costume-wearing and creative...

Kentucky Vietnam POW*MIA families to be recognized at UK/Georgia football game Nov. 3

Rolling Thunder KY 5 will participate in the Salute to Veterans at the Nov. 3 University of Kentucky football game against Georgia at Kroger Field with a historic gathering of 16 Kentucky Vietnam POW*MIA (Prisoner of War and Missing in Action) families. These families from all over the country will be arriving in Lexington on Nov. 2 to share their experiences for the first time with each other. These...

Can you guess Kentuckians favorite Halloween candy for 2018? The answer may seem a little fishy…

There is a new winner in the Bluegrass State! For 2 years straight, Candystore.com determined the top Halloween candy in Kentucky to be Tootsie Pops. Now, Swedish Fish have come out of nowhere to take the crown with over 73,000 pounds. Still, over 53,000 pounds of those yummy lollipops with the Tootsie Roll center were consumed for the #2 spot. Reese’s Cups were #3. (From CandyStore.com) Hover over...

2017 Bryan Station graduate Callie Winter serves aboard one of Navy’s most advanced warships

A 2017 Bryan Station High School graduate and Lexington native is serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason. Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Callie Winter is a cryptologic technician aboard the warship, based in Norfolk, Virginia. USS Mason is named after Secretary of the Navy John Young Mason and Distinguished Flying Cross Recipient Ensign Newton Henry Mason. A Navy cryptologic...

Chef John Foster: So you want to be a professional cook — and then comes the culinary midterms

Culinary midterms arrived this week, darkening the mood of the students, just in time for Halloween. To say that some of my students were not prepared is an understatement and should rightfully be attributed to my lack of delivering a real-world wake-up call these first few weeks of class. We tend to ease them into each quarter whether it’s their first or their last, which for an Advanced Techniques...

Beth Underwood: Fond memories of Halloweens long past include not-so-fond memories of sweet thievery

I remember the Halloweens of my childhood as one of the most anticipated holidays of the year, right up there with Christmas and Easter. We planned costumes for months in advance and mapped out trick-or-treat strategies like four-star generals before a major battle. Mom served chili for the traditional pre-trick-or-treat supper. Dad queued up The Haunted Mansion record album to play for the 500 or...

Campbellsville University to host Grammy Award winner, Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs Dec. 6

Grammy Award-winning artist Ricky Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder will be in concert Dec. 6 at Campbellsville University’s Ransdell Chapel. Skaggs has earned 14 Grammy Awards, 11 International Bluegrass Music Awards, nine Academy of Country Music Awards, eight Country Music Awards, two Dove Awards, three honorary Doctorate Museum’s 2013 Artist-In-Residence and an Americana Music Association...

Kentucky by Heart: Inventor of submachine gun was NKy native; finding strength in challenging times

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist Although not a gun enthusiast myself, I recently noticed while perusing a resource I use regularly, The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, that the inventor of the famous Thompson submachine gun was born in Newport in 1860. I was intrigued with that finding. Brigadier General John Taliaferro Thompson was his U.S. Army rank and name, and he was nicknamed “Tommy...