A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky poised to take over top spot in college basketball rankings as they roll past EKU Friday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky is still riding high and showed no signs of a letdown with a 91-49 win over Eastern Kentucky in its home opener Friday night. Coming off a 69-62 win over top-ranked Michigan State, the second-ranked Wildcats started fast and never let up in winning their 12th straight home opener under John Calipari.  Kentucky is poised to take over the top spot when the Associated...

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet completes 100th bridge project through Bridging Kentucky program

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has reached a major milestone, completing its 100th bridge restoration project through the transformational Bridging Kentucky program. KYTC also recently awarded a contract to restore 106 bridges through an innovative design-build project – a move that will efficiently deliver critical bridge projects in 21 Eastern Kentucky counties. Bridging Kentucky is a six-year,...

Agreement between Blackjewel, Department of Labor case will provide back pay to Eastern Ky. miners

An agreement has been reached between the United States Department of Labor, Blackjewel, LLC, and Blackjewel Marketing and Sales Holdings to pay back due wages to miners in Eastern Kentucky. “Today is a great day and one we’ve longed to see come,” said Dan Mosley, Harlan County Judge/Executive. “The order that has been signed to pay miners the wages they’re owed is the action...

Bevin announces new state-run prison in Eastern Kentucky to address overcrowding in county jails

Gov. Matt Bevin joined the Kentucky Department of Corrections (DOC) and the Personnel Cabinet on Friday to announce plans to operate a new state-run prison in Floyd County to address overcrowding in county jails. Southeast State Correctional Complex will be housed in an existing privately-owned, 650-bed facility in Wheelwright, providing much-needed space for medium-security inmates. The prison will...

Economic transition continues in Eastern Kentucky through arts and culture with endowment gift

Art and culture will continue to help spur the revitalization of Eastern Kentucky with the help of a new endowment gift that will fund a full-time position to lead the long-running Higher Ground community theater project, housed at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. The endowment, made possible by entrepreneur and philanthropist Brook Smith, will fund an executive director position...

Getting recruited by Coach K was just start of story for David Couch, who focused on Internet for schools

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward   Johnson County’s Paintsville has an amazing athletic tradition with the likes of major lead baseball player Johnny LeMaster, UK basketball player John Pelphrey, and UK football greats Joey Couch and Kash Daniels. It is also home of country-western music star Chris Stapleton with Loretta Lynn and Crystal Gayle just down the road from Butcher Hollow. There’s...

Pew Trusts: Libraries are becoming key to improving public health as hospitals shutter in rural areas

By Sarah Baird Pew Charitable Trusts It’s a sweltering Wednesday morning in Somerset, but at 9 a.m., the Pulaski County Public Library is already bustling. From the community room, the hum of sewing machines echoes into the entryway, as the “pedal pushers” club stitch up their latest creations. An elderly man in sneakers examines a sign advertising a free nutrition workshop for October, which...

Ron Daley: Eastern Kentucky can be a loser again in 2020 Census; School Districts are joining effort

Eastern Kentucky stands to be a loser in the 2020 U.S. Census unless successful efforts are made to count all its citizens especially its youth five years of age and under. The loss can be in federal funding and representation in both state and federal government. According to a study by George Washington University, Kentucky stands to lose an estimated $2021 annually for each person not counted...

Rogers, Bevin announce $34.4 million in grants to spur economic development, jobs in Eastern Ky.

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers and Gov. Matt Bevin have announced 20 grants totaling $34.4 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. Projects impacting 14 counties were selected for grants through the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet’s (EEC) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the...

Murray State selected preseason volleyball favorite in Ohio Valley Conference; Morehead State voted third

Murray State has been picked to win the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference volleyball title in a vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. The Racers picked up 12 first-place votes and 228 points, while Austin Peay earned six first-place votes and 212 points to be selected to finish second. Morehead State was selected to finish third, picking up five first-place votes and 207 points,...

UK gets $11 million grant to decrease cervical cancer in Eastern Ky; focus on smoking, HPV, screenings

The University of Kentucky has been awarded a five-year, $11 million grant to work toward reducing the rates of cervical cancer in Eastern Kentucky, a region that has some of the highest rates of incidence and deaths from it in the nation. The research will address three of the risk factors that contribute to these high rates — smoking, the human papillomavirus (HPV) and low rates of cervical-cancer...

Ron Daley: Reflecting on letter from Charles Manson, and his time in Ky., 50 years after gruesome murders

Charles Manson, with Eastern Kentucky roots, remains a pop culture icon phenomenon as we acknowledge the 50-year anniversary of the actress Sharon Tate and other murders on August 9, 1969. Manson’s bizarre sick life captured the mind of the nation during a tumultuous period in the United States. He was able to hang out with Dennis Wilson who was the Beach Boys’ drummer, have his song recorded by...

Database shows Kentucky ranked second for most legal pain pills per person between 2006 and 2012

Between 2006 and 2012, drug companies distributed 76 billion doses of prescription pain medicine, “enough pills to supply every adult and child in the country with 36 each year,” Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich reported in The Washington Post. And rural counties, especially in Appalachia, received some of the highest shares of pain pills per person. That’s according to...

Rural Blog: Justice Dept. shifts funds for proposed prison in E. Ky. to immigration enforcement

The Trump administration is dropping plans to build a federal prison in rural Letcher County, and said the $505 million allocated for it will be used instead to enforce immigration laws and improve national security. “Both budget proposals the Trump administration has sent to Congress have included provisions to take back the money approved during the final year of the Obama administration,”...

Former University of Kentucky basketball stars Hawkins, Willis part of TBT Bluegrass Boys Squad

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will be well-represented in The Basketball Tournament next month. Former Kentucky players Derek Willis, Dominique Hawkins, Josh Harrellson, Marcus Lee, Ramon Harris, Kevin Galloway and AJ Stewart will form the Bluegrass Boys organized by former Kentucky player Mark Krebs and will be coached by Wayne Turner. The Bluegrass Boys will compete with seven more teams...

CDC’s ‘Tips From Former Smokers’ campaign urges smoking cessation in Eastern Kentucky

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Last week, Kentucky Public Health officials, community leaders and former smokers spoke to residents of Hazard as part of the Centers for Disease Control’s “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign. Amanda is a former smoker who has been traveling the country telling her story about how smoking affected the birth of her baby daughter. Amanda started smoking...

Eastern Kentucky residents gather to develop strategies for economic, community revitalization

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward “We must believe in our community and in our youth and create opportunities for our youth to remain in our communities and become leaders,” Jackson County Judge-Executive Shane Gabbard said, reflecting the spirit of the conversation at the gathering of eastern Kentuckians this week. “We must blur the county boundaries and develop partnerships with vision utilizing...

Eastern Kentucky construction training program helping those in recovery build new lives

Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A new job training program in Eastern Kentucky will teach people in recovery from substance abuse how to build homes. The Housing Development Alliance, a non-profit organization in Hazard, has partnered with Perry County drug court and Hickory Hill Recovery Center to provide on-the-job construction training for men and women in recovery. They’ll be paid for...

Rural Blog: How a journalist’s murder by Saudis may have doomed new manufacturing plant in Eastern KY

The Rural Blog The October 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi may have dashed hopes for a high-tech plant in depressed Eastern Kentucky. Battery manufacturer EnerBlu cited “unexpected geopolitical factors” on Feb. 5 when it suspended plans for a $372 million plant in Pikeville that would have brought as many as 875 jobs to a region that has...

Kentucky by Heart: Sharing nonfiction titles celebrating Appalachian Eastern Kentucky

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Although I was raised in the northern part of Kentucky and have spent adulthood living in the central part of the state, I’ve developed a strong interest and appreciation of the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky. Dad took our family on many trips through the mountainous area and I was amazed at the natural beauty of the landscape (though in the mid-sixties,...