A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Morehead’s growing aerospace industry focus of visit by NASA administrator Lightfoot

NASA’s acting administrator visited the Morehead State Space Science Center this week to learn about the growing aerospace industry in Morehead. Robert Lightfoot was joined by Congressman Harold Rogers and MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan for a private tour of the Space Science Center Wednesday morning. Their visit was to learn more about Kentucky’s number one export: aerospace technology. NASA acting...

Rural Blog: McConnell, Rogers backing plan to move ARC out of Washington D.C., focus on poorest areas

Two powerful Kentucky Republicans have an idea to boost the economic development agency created to help Appalachia: “Move it out of the nation’s capital,” Matthew Daly reports for the Associated Press. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Rep. Hal Rogers, a House Appropriations Committee chair and former committee chair, “are sponsoring a bill they say will refocus the Appalachian...

Rural Blog: ARC annual report finds Eastern Kentucky economy needs 30,000 additional jobs

The Appalachian Regional Commission annual report outlined a bleak view of Eastern Kentucky as leaders in the region gathered to focus on its future. The report, released Aug. 3, said 37 of Kentucky’s 54 counties in the ARC region are economically distressed, meaning that they rank in the bottom 10 percent of the 3,113 counties in the U.S. in metrics such as poverty and unemployment. The counties,...

Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot Grants totaling $5 million released for economic development projects

U.S. Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet (EEC) announced three grants worth almost $5 million to spur economic development and job creation in Eastern Kentucky. Two of the grants were awarded by the EEC’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands, as part of the 2016 Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Pilot program to revitalize the coalfields in Kentucky’s...

Rural Blog: McConnell reverses course, supports $1 billion plan to assist struggling coal regions

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has signed on to legislation to free up $1 billion in reclamation projects in Eastern Kentucky and other struggling coal regions, a measure he was not willing to endorse last year. “U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a Republican whose district includes the state’s eastern coalfield, introduced a similar proposal in February 2016 as a way of boosting areas...

Commentary: K-12 school districts leaders in development of Silicon Holler and the new economy

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Our communities need to move beyond “Kentucky Work Ready Communities” to “Future Work Ready Communities.” Communities need to advance to a higher level of community and economic development, ensuring they build their own global economy ports. The Kentucky State Workforce Board and Economic Development Cabinet deserve praise for establishing the highest level...

Rural Blog: McConnell says proposed elimination of Appalachian Regional Commission won’t happen

President Trump’s proposed budget may be dead on arrival in Congress, but its proposed cuts to programs that have helped the most vulnerable Americans have raised eyebrows because many of them people in rural areas he won by large margins. And the political pushback from Republicans is increasing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, says Trump’s proposed...

Rural Blog: Despite waning demand for coal, some Obama policies could have helped revive the industry

Repealing the Obama administration’s Stream Protection Rule has yet to create any new coal jobs and likely won’t do much to revive the industry in the future, James Higdon, author and son of a Kentucky Republican state senator, writes for Politico Magazine. “Tyler White, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, couldn’t say how many jobs he thought the repeal of the rule would...

Commentary: East Kentucky needs leaders, citizens who aren’t afraid to dream bigger

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Rural communities miss great opportunities when their leaders and citizens do not dream big enough. One of our problems in not making “Appalachian Kentucky Great Again” has been thinking too small and scaling down our dreams and expectations. Congressman Hal Rogers has had a big vision for bringing the digital economy for nearly 10 years but, often our organizations...

Rural Blog: East Kentuckians seek to keep federal disability benefits jeopardized by fraud of lawyer

Hundreds of families in Eastern Kentucky are fighting to regain the disability benefits they lost after the federal government said their attorney and a federal administrative law judge awarded the benefits fraudulently. At least three suicides have been blamed on the unprecedented debacle, and the Social Security Administration is refusing to let the people see the medical evidence on which their...

Symbol of Hope: Center for Rural Development celebrating 20 years of innovation

The Center for Rural Development, a nonprofit organization created through the vision of U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05) to be a state and national model for rural economic development, celebrated the past, present, and future at a special 20th anniversary celebration. “I remember watching as bulldozers cleared this land and as the first bricks were laid over two decades ago,”...

Appalachian Health Hack-a-thon discusses creative solutions on obesity, diabetes, substance abuse

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News In just three days’ time, 160 people came up with 19 innovative solutions to three of Appalachian Kentucky’s most challenging health issues – diabetes, obesity and substance abuse – at the first-ever Massachusetts Institute of Technology Appalachian Health Hack-a-thon in Somerset Oct. 6-8. The 19 teams, including six led by high-school students,...

State announces $2.5 million AML pilot grant for eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute

The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced that eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute, Inc. (eKAMI) has been given preliminary approval for a $2.5 million grant by the Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE) for an advanced manufacturing training project. The money would fund the establishment of an HTEC Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Paintsville,...

State’s first SOAR Health Hack-A-Thon will focus on Eastern Kentucky’s health challenges

Registration is now open for the Appalachian Health Hack-A-Thon, an action-oriented event designed to create new and innovative solutions to the health challenges in Eastern Kentucky. “A Hack-A-Thon is an event in which people with different backgrounds and expertise form teams, collaborate within a limited time frame, and focus on a specific problem or idea in health care to come up with innovative,...

Leslie Combs: Washington’s rules governing freight trucking are outdated and in need of change

A lot has changed since 1982, the year Michael Jackson released “Thriller,” the Commodore 64 was introduced and E.T. phoned home. One thing that hasn’t kept up with the times, however, is Washington’s rules governing efficiencies in freight trucking. As a result, these trucks are making hundreds of thousands of extra trips every year, putting unnecessary wear-and-tear on roads and...

Bill Straub: Sending out condolences to Hal Rogers, holder of the worst job in Washington

WASHINGTON – It’s long past time to extend condolences to U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, who holds perhaps the worst job in all of Washington D.C. – a town with an untold number of terrible jobs.   Rogers, R-Somerset, is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, a panel that usually carries the adjective “powerful’’ in front of its name. Appropriations essentially is the congressional...

First-ever Health Impact Series to address issues plaguing E. Ky.; CDC head to attend

The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will participate in four events in Eastern Kentucky next week to discuss and look for solutions to the many health issues that plague the region.   Dr. Thomas Frieden and his team will take part in the first-ever Health Impact Series, which is part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative launched by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers...

Rural Blog: Painkiller Zohydro looks easier
to abuse, some states restricting its use

Special to KyForward   Some states are restricting the use of the new painkiller Zohydro, “setting up a showdown with the federal government over who gets to decide the best way to protect public health,” Michael Ollove reports for Stateline.   (Photo from Kentucky Health News) Though millions of chronic pain sufferers could benefit from the drug, some officials worry that abusers...

Arts council puts arts, cultural development to work in two Eastern Kentucky workshops

(Photo from KAC)   By Lori Meadows Special to KyForward   The Kentucky Arts Council will present two separate forums in May, one for community groups and one for individual artists, through its “Putting arts and cultural development to work” series in Eastern Kentucky.   These events will offer participants the opportunity to hear from local, state and national leaders on...