A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

AK Steel gives final notice to 260 employees at Ashland Works plant of plans to close Jan. 29

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today A proud chapter of manufacturing history in northeastern Kentucky is coming to an end. AK Steel has sent out final notices to employees of the closure of its Ashland Works plant on Tuesday. It will affect some 260 employees. The closure comes as no surprise. AK Steel announced on Jan. 28, 2019 that the plant would be permanently shuttered by the end of 2019. Renee S....

Regional food banks put spotlight on Ky’s prevalent food insecurity during Hunger Action Month

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service This September, food banks in Kentucky and across the country are taking part in Hunger Action Month, to highlight the fact that 40 million Americans are food insecure. Kentucky has the seventh-highest rate in the nation of people struggling to put meals on the table. Glenn Roberts is the executive director of Tri-State Food Bank in Evansville, Indiana. One out...

Prestonsburg man gets a visit from the Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol, wins $5k a week for life

Ricky Williams of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, got a big surprise recently. Publisher’s Clearing House Prize Patrol members Howie and Danielle traveled to Prestonsburg on Aug. 30, with a “Big Check” for the newest PCH winner. Williams, who will receive $5,000 a week for life, was surprised at home during PCH Pay Day and was a bit overwhelmed by the experience, as the video shows. “I didn’t...

Pew: Poll shows Americans want Congress to act to fix National Park’s $12b deferred maintenance

By Marcia Argust Pew Charitable Trusts Summer brings a big jump in visitors to national parks, along with a reminder of how many repairs are waiting to be addressed at these sites to ensure safe access for current visitors and protection of American history for future generations. In fact, the more than 400 sites managed by the National Park Service (NPS) need almost $12 billion worth of deferred...

UPDATE: Services, memorial fund for UK J-school director Mike Farrell, journalist and educator

EDITOR’S NOTE: Update on services for Mike Farrell: Visitation is Sunday, Sept. 1, 4-7 p.m.; funeral is Monday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m. Both at Calvary Baptist Church, 3711 Tibbatts St, Covington. Private family burial is Tuesday. MEMORIAL: In addition, with the family’s approval, the NKyTribune has established the Michael Farrell Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Horizon Community Funds of Northern...

Lawmakers urged to fund ‘complete overhaul’ of Kentucky’s aging national park infrastructure

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Eight in 10 registered voters support cleaning up and repairing the nation’s aging national parks, according to a poll by The Pew Charitable Trusts. House lawmakers are considering legislation that would channel up to $6.5 billion in funding to the National Park Service to begin upgrades to crumbling roads, outdated water and sewer systems, and eroding trails...

As international observer, mayor witnessed history in Albania; saw election boycott and ballot burning

News accounts in the weeks and days leading up to Election Day in Republic Of Albania detailed the turmoil: Widespread protests … Molotov cocktails … destroyed ballots … arson … a purge of local officials … an opposition-party boycott … and censure of the country’s president by its Parliament for his attempt to cancel the voting. Each ballot cast in the June...

Demonstration planned in Louisville on Friday for FED UP! International Overdose Awareness Day

Advocates in concert with International Overdose Awareness Day will demonstrate for a more robust federal response to the opioid addiction epidemic on Aug. 30 in Louisville. The rally will take place at Jefferson Square Park (corner of 6th and Jefferson) starting at 11 a.m. and is organized by Emily Walden, Chair of FED UP!. It will be one of dozens that are scheduled to occur simultaneously in cities...

Remains of another Kentucky sailor, Ulis Steely, identified; killed in attack on Pearl Harbor

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The remains of another Kentucky sailor killed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, have been identified after many years of being listed as unknown.

 According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Ulis C. Steely, 25, of Corbin, was assigned to the battleship USS Oklahoma, which was moored at Ford Island, Pearl...

ProPublica: Purdue Pharma’s Sackler testifies on OxyContin; KY Supreme Court denies appeal

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. This story is a collaboration between ProPublica, STAT and ABC News. By David Armstrong ProPublica Senior Reporter Four years ago this week, Dr. Richard Sackler sat in a conference room at a law office in a Louisville, Kentucky, office park. Lawyers for the Kentucky attorney general’s office were taking his deposition as part of...

Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky making tobacco-free signs available to schools free of charge

Tobacco-free signs are now available to Kentucky schools at no charge, provided by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky and the Kentucky Medical Association. Foundation CEO Ben Chandler says the signs will help schools comply with a recent law mandating that all school campuses go tobacco-free by July 1, 2020. “This is a landmark law, really, in Kentucky, because it’s the first time...

Satellite images from Planet reveal devastating impact of Amazon fires in near real-time

image of fires burning in the state of Pará, Brazil, on Aug. 20, 2019 (Image courtesy of Planet Labs Inc.)(Click for larger image) By Rhett A. Butler Mongabay High-resolution images from satellite company Planet are revealing glimpses of some of the fires currently devastating the Amazon rainforest. While many of the images currently being shared on social media and by news outlets are from past...

Fairwarning: Battle Looms over Trump administration bid to ease safety rules for big rig trucks

By Marjie Lundstrom FairWarning In Washington, D.C., a new Trump administration plan to relax safety rules for truck drivers has rekindled old heartaches for families across the country. On a sunny Labor Day morning in Oklahoma, Linda Wilburn’s younger son, 19-year-old Orbie, hopped into his 1994 red Camaro and headed east from Weatherford on Interstate 40. The college freshman, excited about his...

University of Kentucky to retract publications after ‘misconduct’ of two professors, research scientist

Two professors and a staff research scientist are responsible for significant research misconduct in a number of scholarly papers, an internal investigation at the University of Kentucky has concluded. As a result, UK will seek retraction of the publications in question and, absent their agreement to resign, begin a University process to terminate the employment of professors Xianglin Shi and Zhuo...

National ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign nets 347 DUI arrests in Kentucky in first five days

Kentucky State Police reminded motorists Thursday that they are continuing their enforcement efforts during the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Since the effort began on Aug. 16, there have been 347 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests in Kentucky by law enforcement officers across the Commonwealth. KSP spokesperson Sgt. Josh Lawson says the focus of the campaign...

Medicaid changes will allow Kentucky’s local school districts to expand behavioral health services

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Local school districts will soon be able to hire more licensed psychologists, counselors and other behavioral health professionals, thanks to upcoming Medicaid changes that will allow schools to use federal dollars. Kristi Putnam, deputy secretary of the state’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services, says schools will be able to offer more supports to help...

First participants graduate Harvesting Hope pilot program to help women in recovery learn job skills

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A pilot program in Berea where women in recovery learn job skills through farming saw its first batch of graduates this month. Harvesting Hope is a partnership between Sustainable Berea and Liberty Place, a recovery center for women in Richmond, along with several local businesses. Program director Cheyenne Olson said many people might be surprised by how much...

Labor secretary says 1,074 teachers violated the law during ‘sickouts’ but will not face fines, this time

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Labor Secretary David Dickerson announced Friday that no fines will be levied against teachers for protesting pension legislation considered during the 2019 General Assembly that resulted in at least 10 districts being forced to cancel classes due to teacher shortages.
 
The “sickouts” hit Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest district with...

Pressure builds for Ky. Blackjewel miners to get back pay, but they pledge to hold out until others also paid

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Pressure is building for Blackjewel miners in eastern Kentucky to get their back wages. But the laid-off miners blocking coal shipments there intend to hold out until former employees of the bankrupt company in several other states are paid as well. Jeff Willig from Harlan County is one of the group that’s been dubbed the “Fab Five” – the...

As coal industry continues collapse, miners left with uncertainty, fighting for benefits and back pay

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A wave of coal company bankruptcies has left miners fighting for back pay and medical benefits. Three large coal producers have gone under this year. At the same time, an epidemic of black lung disease is sweeping many coal mining communities. More than 1,000 coal miners were laid off after West Virginia-based Blackjewel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. (Photo...