A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: SNAP rules target able-bodied people without dependents, but may have ripple effects

Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could have a substantial ripple effect in a small town. In Letcher County, pop. 25,000, the new rules could cost up to 400 residents their SNAP benefits and could potentially affect their families, Sam Adams reports for The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg. The changes, set to take affect April 1, are expected to cost more than 3 million Americans...

Letcher County residents stop Federal Bureau of Prisons from building on former coal mine site

By Nadia Ramalagan Public News Service Local activists in Letcher County have forced the Federal Bureau of Prisons to withdraw its intent to construct a new $510 million federal prison on a former coal mine site. Spearheaded by Rep. Hal Rogers, the facility would have been the fourth federal prison to be built in Eastern Kentucky’s 5th congressional district and the most expensive one in U.S....

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,”...

State Nature Preserves Commission to present Volunteer Steward Award at quarterly meeting Dec. 14

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission will hold its final 2017 quarterly meeting on Dec. 14, beginning at 10 a.m. The meeting will be held in Training Room B of the Sower Building, 300 Sower Blvd., in Frankfort. Staff presentations will include “Rare Plants of the Cumberland Plateau” by Martina Hines and Tara Littlefield, and “Developing the Kentucky Biological Assessment Tool” by...

Rural Blog: Technology and digital design start-up finds success in heart of Kentucky coalfield

A technology and digital-design firm in southeastern Kentucky offers hope for helping Central Appalachia revitalize its economy after the loss of coal jobs, Alexis Stephens reports for PolicyLink. In Letcher County, where 33 percent of residents live below the federal poverty level and only 12 percent of adults 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree, Mountain Tech Media is providing a service...

Eastern Kentucky ‘Promise Zone’ designation aimed at accelerating progress in region

An eight-county region of Eastern Kentucky will be among the areas named as “Promise Zones” by the White House, state officials announced. The designation means the federal government will partner with these zones to accelerate public-private partnerships, promote job creation and education opportunities, and improve access to federal grant programs.   “As we know, there is no single solution...