A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: Federal hemp legalization opens avenues of promotion and protection for growers, sellers

Federal hemp legalization opens up new avenues of promotion and protection for growers and sellers The legalization of industrial hemp in last year’s Farm Bill has opened up a slew of new avenues for growers of the crop and purveyors of its products to help their operations, Liam Niemeyer reports for Ohio Valley Resource, a public-radio cooperative that serves Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. When...

Rural Blog: Getting black-lung benefits a daunting task for Central Appalachian coal miners

Black-lung disease is common among coal miners, with one in 10 nationwide suffering some form of it. The disease hit a 25-year high in Central Appalachia last year, where one in five suffer from it. But accessing federal benefits for the sometimes debilitating and deadly disease can be difficult, often taking years of fighting through bureaucracy, Sydney Boles reports for Ohio Valley Resource. “The...

Ohio Valley Resource, Appalshop reporter Becker among Nieman special reporting fellowship winners

A rural reporter, a small-city editor and an investigative reporter and editor from Puerto Rico the first recipients of a new fellowship from The Nieman Foundation at Harvard University “to support reporting and public service investigations in under-served news markets,” as it is described by the Boston-based Abrams Foundation, which funds it. The 2019 Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local...

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,...

Tobacco’s Toll: New push aims to curb the other addiction problem in country’s sickest states

By Mary Meehan Special to KyForward Hundreds of kids scurrying to buses are oblivious to a sign above them declaring Bourbon County High School “100 percent Tobacco Free.” But upstairs in the library, sophomore and anti-smoking advocate Jacob Steward unfurls a six-foot scroll with earth-toned papers trapped between clear sheets of laminate. He begins reading the anti-smoking slogans he’ll post...

CDC identifies 10 counties at highest risk of HIV infection — all are in eastern Kentucky, W.Va.

By Mary Meehan Ohio Valley Resource Sitting on top of the Bible on Pastor Brad Epperson’s desk at the Clay City First Church of God is a list of goals for his small congregation written in a looping cursive hand. “Our community ought to see the love of God in us, not just by our understanding of a compassionate Gospel, but our public acts of love,” is near the top. Epperson was born and raised...