A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Carl Shoupe: Crisis in the coalfields and what Mitch McConnell can do about it

My name is Carl Shoupe, from Lynch in Harlan County. I married a Benham woman, so now reside in this great little community that is struggling, much like my fellow miners in coal counties throughout Eastern Kentucky. I’d like to explain a little about the dreaded coal miner’s disease of black lung, national legislation that pays the health care each month for those miners with the disease, and...

Commentary: Coalition of Kentucky organizations oppose food assistance cuts in Farm Bill

One in seven Kentuckians has food on their table in part thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The program lifts 164,000 Kentuckians, including 73,000 children, out of poverty. It sends nearly $1 billion a year to grocery stores and our state economy, and injects even more into our local communities during hard times when they most need it. For decades, SNAP has been a program...

Open enrollment for healthcare.gov ends Friday; automatic re-enrollment may not be best option

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News You have just a few days to enroll in a 2018 health-insurance plan on healthcare.gov. Open enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ends Friday, Dec. 15. “The clock is ticking,” Whitney Allen, the outreach and enrollment coordinator for the Kentucky Primary Care Association, said in an e-mail. ” We encourage anyone that...

KyCIR: Some felons’ rights restored by Bevin’s action, but dozens more left waiting on sidelines

By Kate Howard Kentucky Center for Investigative Journalism Early this week, Gov. Matt Bevin returned voting rights to 24 Kentuckians with felony convictions. “We have always been a nation of second chances,” Bevin said in a press release announcing the action. But 98 percent of the people who’ve asked Bevin for a second chance since he took office are still waiting. The Department of Corrections...

Daily Yonder: Elizabeth Wooten’s voice now silent but continues to illuminate and inspire

  Elizabeth Wooten, a widow of modest means, stood her ground against powerful coal interests and help inspire Kentucky voters to outlaw the notorious broad-form deed. She died last week at the age of 91.   By Dee Davis Special to KyForward   “My husband, when he was sick, he asked us to not let them. And you know we are going to respect that wish, ain’t we? What kind of people...

#17 Days #17 Ways: Build awareness of domestic abuse with letters to the editors

(Photo from GreenHouse17)   Intimate partner violence happens in every community and neighborhood, but sometimes we don’t hear about the issue in the news until the police are involved or the victim is harmed. Writing a letter is one way to build awareness.   Writing a letter to the editor of the paper or the neighborhood association newsletter puts the issue in front of community leaders...

Gena Bigler: Low-wage workers can’t afford housing anywhere, especially not in Lexington

Indentured servitude is supposed to be a relic of our country’s past, but a version of it is alive and well in the east end neighborhood of Lexington where tenants are working for $20 a day and paying hundreds of dollars to their employers for one-room apartments without air conditioning.   (Photo from Wikimedia Commons) Some tenants have reported to authors of a new city report on housing and...

Everyday Heroes: John Rosenberg helped balance scales of justice in Eastern Kentucky

John Rosenberg (Photo provided)   John Rosenberg has been in the middle of significant historical times since he was born to Jewish parents into the political turmoil of 1931 Germany.   Many years later, in another part of the world, America, he helped make history. He participated, as a lawyer, in the great civil rights battles of the 1960s in the Deep South. In the last three decades...