A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New grant will fund ‘treatment as prevention’ concept among 900 drug users with hepatitis C in Hazard area

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The University of Kentucky has received a five year, $15 million grant along with a $50 million donation in drugs, to treat hepatitis C in Hazard and Perry County in order to examine the concept of “treatment as prevention.” Hepatitis C is a contagious liver disease caused by a virus that is primarily spread by injection drug users when they share...

Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands funds Perry County waterline supply project

The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands has announced that it will partner with the city of Hazard to construct a waterline system to supply potable water to approximately 125 Perry County homes. County residents in Puncheon Camp Branch, Walker Lane, Bob Hollow, Couchtown Road, Laurel Mountain Road and Forked Mouth Road, whose wells have been affected by AML-eligible mines, are expected to have...

Kentucky Department for Community Based Services celebrates opening of new Perry County office

The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services officially opened its new Perry County office this week with a reception and tour of the facility on Highway 15 in Hazard. DCBS is the agency that provides child and adult protective services and determines eligibility for Medicaid, welfare assistance, child-care assistance, food stamps and other programs. “Our priority is to provide quality and...

Grimes Working with county judges to bring solar energy opportunities to Eastern Kentucky

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes last week announced a strategic partnership she has formed with three Eastern Kentucky county judge/executives to explore a solar energy investment in the region. Last year, Grimes began facilitating discussions between a leading solar energy developer and Judge/Executives Scotty Alexander of Perry County, Zach Weinberg of Knott County, and Dan Mosley of Harlan...

UK Center for Applied Energy research partners with Hazard in effort to improve rural power generation

By Dave Melanson Special to KyForward The University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER) has received a $1.6 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to develop an innovative partnership in Hazard, Kentucky, that could serve as a model for future energy projects in rural Eastern Kentucky communities. DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) funded the project, which...

Winter schedule changes announced at three Kentucky State Resort Parks beginning in January

Three Kentucky state resort parks will temporarily close some operations this winter to allow renovations to be completed and to limit park expenses. There will no layoffs of full-time staff at any of the parks, Holland said. The restaurant at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park in Dawson Springs will be closed Jan. 3-24. New flooring and windows will be installed in the kitchen and dining room. This...

Kentucky by Heart: Do you know an Everyday Hero?; share your Thanksgiving memories; and more…

I just returned from a trip to Hazard, in Perry County, where I interviewed District Court Judge Leigh Anne Stephens, whom I believe is a considerably inspirational person. Here’s the reason. Bemoaning the sadness of so many troubled young brought before her in court, she led in establishing a one-week summer camp to help boys receive strong, positive mentoring and wholesome activities to redirect...

Oldham County is the healthiest in Kentucky, according to new County Health Rankings

Oldham County ranks healthiest in Kentucky, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.   “This report demonstrates public health successes and highlights opportunities for improvement in counties across the commonwealth,” said Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Stephanie...

Banjos, Bourbon and Bluegrass: They’re all
in first digitized Bert T. Combs collection

Staff report   Besides the letter ‘B,’ what do banjos, bourbon barrels and Bluegrass have in common? They’re all in the first digitized and posted entry of the Coal, Camps and Railroads collection in the University of Kentucky Libraries.   The National Endowment for the Humanities gave UK a Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant to digitize 132 cubic feet,...

Down but not out, jobless mom gets college degree, gets off assistance, now helps others

  By Evelyn M. Wood Special to KyForward   In 2002 Dawn Rayburn had three kids, no job and received food stamps. Now after graduating from Hazard Community and Technical College and Eastern Kentucky University through the University Center of the Mountains, she has a job she’s always dreamed of having and has an income that means she no longer qualifies for food stamps.   Dawn Rayburn...

Tiny town’s vote for fairness ordinance shouldn’t be so surprising, native writes

By Ivy Brashear Special to KyForward   The city council of Vicco, Ky., passed a fairness ordinance earlier this month with little local fanfare. There were no protests, no letters to the editor in the local newspaper, The Hazard Herald, no Westboro Baptist Church members holding offensive signs on Vicco’s one street corner.   The council passed this law the same way it approves the city...

Tiny town's vote for fairness ordinance shouldn't be so surprising, native writes

By Ivy Brashear Special to KyForward   The city council of Vicco, Ky., passed a fairness ordinance earlier this month with little local fanfare. There were no protests, no letters to the editor in the local newspaper, The Hazard Herald, no Westboro Baptist Church members holding offensive signs on Vicco’s one street corner.   The council passed this law the same way it approves the city...

Kentucky Human Rights Commission praises Vicco’s ordinance protecting gays, lesbians

Special to KyForward   The Perry County town of Vicco in Eastern Kentucky (population 334) has become the fourth city in Kentucky to pass an ordinance protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination. The small town’s vote follows similar measures in Louisville and Lexington in 1999 and Covington in 2003.   The Kentucky Human Rights Commission released a statement recognizing Vicco’s...