A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Daily Yonder: Eula Hall’s Mudd Creek Clinic: 40 years of helping the people of Floyd Co. with quality care

At 91, Eula Hall still goes to the Mud Creek Clinic, now the Eula Hall Health Center, each day to help care for patients in her rural Kentucky community. (Photo by Taylor Sisk/100 Days in Appalachia) By Taylor Sisk Special to KyForward Six of Eula Hall’s 10 full siblings lived into adulthood. Her family was among the more fortunate. Growing up in rural Appalachian Kentucky, Eula has witnessed poverty;...

Rural Blog: Appalachian Regional Commission report provides update on trends in Appalachia

The Appalachian Regional Commission has released an extensive report detailing trends in Appalachia from 2013 to 2017, including population, education, employment, income, poverty, and broadband access. Most data comes from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Among the ARC report’s key points: • Much of Appalachia has lost population since 2010, but some southern parts...

EKU awarded $1.46 million ARC POWER Investment to open four aviation maintenance technician schools

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) through its POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative has announced an investment of $1,463,927 in Eastern Kentucky University’s “Kentucky’s Appalachia Aviation Maintenance Technician Training” project. The 18-month program, slated to begin training students in January 2020, will be partially taught...

Rural Blog: Appalachian Regional Commission grants $22.8 million to diversify coal country

The Appalachian Regional Commission has announced $22.8 million in grants meant to help the economies of 33 Appalachian communities in nine states hurt by the coal industry’s decline. The awards come from the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative; here’s a list of the biggest awards: Regional workforce council West Alabama Works in Tuscaloosa,...

Dr. Gil Friedell, a champion for Kentucky healthcare justice, healthy communities, dies in South Carolina

Staff report Dr. Gil Friedell, a champion of health and well-being in Kentucky, has died in South Carolina, the Friedell Committee for Health System Transformation announced. There will be a memorial event in Charleston later in October or early in November, the family said. Condolence cards can be sent to his wife, Jan Friedell, at the following address: 7 Harlston Place, Charleston, S.C. 29401.   For...

Mitch McConnell: New education law will help to close the ‘skills gap’ and benefit Kentucky workers

Kentucky’s economy is surging forward. After nearly a decade of sluggish growth, Republican leadership in both Washington and Frankfort is helping encourage job creation and economic opportunity. This is certainly promising news. However, 84% of Kentucky employers also reported last year that they couldn’t find enough qualified workers to fill all the job openings that have been created. One estimate...

Rural Blog: Nine Kentucky counties among 42 ‘bright spots’ identified by Appalachian health researchers

Appalachia’s major problems include poor health, but in the 420-county region there are counties that have better health than you might expect, given their socioeconomic status. The Appalachian Regional Commission issued a study Tuesday that points out 42 “bright spots,” 10 of them with case studies, that may suggest strategies for others in the region. This map spotlights the 10...

House passes 58 opioid bills, including two from Hal Rogers; McConnell aide says package a priority

The U.S. House passed a massive opioids package last week that includes two measures sponsored by Rep. Hal Rogers, Republican from Eastern Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District. “The Treating Barriers to Prosperity Act will expand the Appalachian Regional Commission’s efforts to combat the deadly drug abuse epidemic in the Appalachian region, where the opioid-related overdose rate...

Rural Blog: Former aide to Mitch McConnell takes helm at Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission, long a target of Republican presidents, has a new chief executive with strong ties to the most powerful Republican in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has helped secure its funding. Tim Thomas attended the East Kentucky Leadership Conference in Hindman Thursday. Former Gov. Paul Patton of Pikeville is at right (Photo by Al Cross) Tim Thomas,...

New mapping tool shows county-level data on Appalachian opioid overdoses, socioeconomic data

A new data visualization tool offers in-depth, county-by-county information about the impact of the opioid epidemic in Appalachia and how it relates to factors such as unemployment, poverty, education and disability. A screen cap from the map showing opioid overdose rates withthe highest rates in dark blue (Click the image to enlarge) The Appalachian Overdose Mapping Tool, developed by research organization...

Rogers, Bevin announce $3.4 million project to address water supply issues in Martin County

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and Gov. Matt Bevin have announced a $3.4 million project to alleviate water supply issues within the Martin County Water District. The project will help secure clean water for the people of Martin County and will be administered by the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (KY DAML), which has received preliminary approval from the U.S. Office...

Kentucky Community and Technical College System celebrating National Entrepreneurship Week

February 17-24 is National Entrepreneurship Week and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is working with and helping entrepreneurs around the state. For example, several colleges have business incubators right on campus. Ashland Community and Technical College began its program in 2004 with several goals, one of which was changing the culture of the region to include entrepreneurial...

Rural Blog: Study shows how coal’s fall has hurt Appalachian suppliers, may threaten rail network

A 45 percent drop in Appalachia’s coal production from 2005 to 2015 has put other industries in the region at risk, says a study commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission. Researchers from West Virginia University and the University of Tennessee and identified the “coal industry ecosystem” in the region, mainly the industry’s supply chain of goods and services. “As...

UPike dedicates new Health Professions Building, home of Kentucky’s only college of optometry

The University of Pikeville’s Health Professions Building is home to the Kentucky College of Optometry, the only college of optometry in the Commonwealth and the 22nd in the nation (Photo from UPike) More than 650 people gathered on the University of Pikeville campus last week for the ribbon cutting and dedication of the institution’s newest facility, the Health Professions Education Building...

Appalachian region endures dramatic health challenges compared with nation, research shows

Health Disparities in Appalachia, a new report issued Thursday by the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, documents dramatic disparities in health outcomes and other health-related factors in the Appalachian Region when compared with the nation as a whole, as well as substantial variations in health throughout...

KCTC presidents, officials examine ways to think like entrepreneurs during professional workshop

Presidents and others representing several colleges of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) took part in a professional development opportunity on adopting an entrepreneurship mindset. KCTCS, along with the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), offered the event as part of the lead up to the SOAR Summit. NAACE...

Rural Blog: ARC annual report finds Eastern Kentucky economy needs 30,000 additional jobs

The Appalachian Regional Commission annual report outlined a bleak view of Eastern Kentucky as leaders in the region gathered to focus on its future. The report, released Aug. 3, said 37 of Kentucky’s 54 counties in the ARC region are economically distressed, meaning that they rank in the bottom 10 percent of the 3,113 counties in the U.S. in metrics such as poverty and unemployment. The counties,...

Collaborative academic-community partnership program to address health needs in Appalachia

The Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) centers at the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky, Pennsylvania State University and West Virginia University have launched a new pilot funding program to support innovative, long-term collaborations between academic medical institutions and community partners with goal of improving health in Appalachia. The...

Commentary: USA Drone Port Project launched in Knott, Perry counties through power of collaboration

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Building on the community’s assets, strong partners, seed money leading to the idea, and an ambitious vision and plan, the USA Drone Port project was launched for Knott and Perry counties last week in Hazard. The potential for the USA Drone Port: National Unmanned Robotic Research and Development Center goes beyond the jobs it will create as a drone research, testing,...

Laurel County gets $397,524 grant from Appalachian Regional Commission for water, sewer system

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) approved a grant for $397,524 to London-Laurel County Industrial Development Authority in London, KY to extend water, sewer, and transportation infrastructure into the Fariston Industrial Park. “I am pleased the ARC approved funding to further extend water and sewer systems in Fariston Industrial Park in London,” said Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo at the...