A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Behind the scenes, health insurers use cash and gifts to sway which benefits employers choose

(Photo by Justin Volz, Special to ProPublica) The insurance industry gives lucrative commissions and bonuses — from six-figure payouts to a chance to bat against Mariano Rivera — to the independent brokers who advise employers. Critics call the payments a “classic conflict of interest” that drive up costs. By Marshall Allen This story was co-published by ProPublica and NPR’s Shots blog The...

Climate Change: A look at the latest National Climate Assessment report — and a heads up

Staff report Thirteen federal agencies released findings this week in a 1,600-page report on climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program is a consortium of 13 federal agencies that include the Department of Defense, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. The fourth National Climate Assessment is the latest of required reports on federal research into climate change. Mandated by...

WUKY’s fifth Vintage Vinyl Sale kicks off Wednesday with preview show at Habitat for Humanities ReStore

WUKY, UK’s NPR station, kick’s off its fifth Annual Vintage Vinyl Sale Wednesday at the Habitat for Humanities ReStore on Southland Drive with a preview party from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door for $20. The public portion of the sale will be April 26-28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. The Vintage Vinyl Sale takes its participants back in time where music was...

Congress boosts black lung treatment funding in 15 coal-producing states by $10 million

“Rural medical clinics that are struggling to respond to an epidemic of a fatal lung disease plaguing coal miners received a 40 percent boost in federal funding with the passage of the omnibus spending bill last week,” reports NPR’s Howard Berkes, who can claim some credit for the increase. Twenty-eight black lung clinics in 15 coal states will get a $10 million bump in funding, up...

NPR’s StoryCorps in Lexington this week to begin month of interviews with everyday Kentuckians

Hosted by WUKY 91.3 FM, StoryCorps, a renowned nonprofit organization celebrating the stories of everyday Americans, will record interviews in Lexington from March 16 to April 14 as part of its cross-country MobileBooth tour. Pairs of people are able to record a meaningful conversation with one another about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. StoryCorps...

Rural Blog: CDC report shows black-lung disease on the rise for miners in Eastern Kentucky

Black-lung disease is surging among Appalachian coal miners, according to a report by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and an investigation by Howard Berkes of NPR. In June, Eastern Kentucky radiologist Brandon Crum contacted the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to report a surge in black-lung disease in the coal-mining area. The radiologist, who was not named,...

EKU captures Minority Access Diversity Institution Award for sixth consecutive year

Eastern Kentucky University recently received the Minority Access Diversity Institution Award for the sixth consecutive year. Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Timothy Forde received the award on behalf of the University at the 17th National Role Models Conference. Eastern is one of only four universities in Kentucky to receive the award in 2016, and the only one to receive it each of the past six years....

Award-winning journalist Maria Hinojosa to deliver EKU’s Hispanic Heritage Month keynote address

Award-winning reporter and news anchor Maria Hinojosa will provide “A Latina Perspective on the Politics of 2016” when she speaks at Eastern Kentucky University on Thursday, Sept. 22. Hinojosa will deliver the University’s annual Hispanic Heritage Month Keynote Address at 7:30 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building. Her talk, free and open to the public, is part of the University’s...

Author Silas House to deliver Transylvania convocation keynote, receive honorary degree

Renowned Kentucky author Silas House will give the keynote address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree during Transylvania University’s Academic Convocation on Friday. House, who wrote the national best-selling novel, “A Parchment of Leaves,” will help the campus kick off the academic year at the 3:30 p.m. ceremony in Haggin Auditorium. A book signing and reception will follow. “The...

Constance Alexander: With broad appeal, Murray celebrates positive resources for all age groups

In 1988, Murray was still celebrating its designation by Rand-McNally as the #1 retirement community in America, and I was getting married and moving here. As a native northeasterner far from retirement age, I had reservations about my new Kentucky home. Soon after settling in, however, I realized that Murray and Calloway County offered benefits that were not confined to any one age group. Over the...

Bluegrass Tomorrow, Higher Education Consortium bring IdeaFestival back with star-studded cast

IdeaFestival returns to the Bluegrass Region highlighted by the keynote addresses of Jad Abumrad of NPR’s Radio Lab and author Rich DeMillo, noted for his work on the revolution in higher education. IF Bluegrass will take place at the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts, April 21-22, presented by the Bluegrass Higher Education Consortium and Bluegrass Tomorrow. IF Bluegrass begins...

Still ‘Crazy for Radio’: WUKY to mark 75 years in facility designed for 21st-century needs

  By Kathy Johnson Special to KyForward   On an October evening in 1940, University of Kentucky’s WBKY radio hit the airwaves in Beattyville. To commemorate 75 years of success, WUKY 91.3 FM (formerly WBKY) will celebrate Saturday, Oct. 17, with an open house in its new facilities on Spurr Road in Lexington. The celebration will also include a visit from NPR’s Susan Stamberg...

Big Ass Fans included in list of America’s promising companies from Forbes magazine

Big Ass Fans was ranked in the top 50 promising companies in America by Forbes. Staff report   Lexington-based Big Ass Fans has landed at the No. 49 spot on Forbes magazine’s recent list of America’s most promising businesses.   The company known for designing and engineering industrial sized fans made the list of high-growth private companies making less than $250 million in annual...

Artists create place to live, work and sell
in Paducah’s once-troubled Lowertown area

The adventurous spirit of Vincent Van Gogh alerts visiting artists looking for empty fixable homes or vacant lots. (Noah Adams/NPR)   By Noah Adams National Public Radio   How do you fix a neighborhood? What do you do about crime and drugs and the once-lovely old houses that are falling down? The answer in Paducah was to turn it into a special place for artists to live, work and sell.   Paducah,...