A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pew Trusts: Former Kentucky mining towns embrace change, turn to tourism in wake of coal’s decline

By April Simpson Pew Charitable Trusts The same Main Street winds through the old mountain mining towns of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch, crosses a river and runs alongside a creek. The early 20th-century coal mining boom drew people to this remote corner of southeast Kentucky until coal’s dizzying decline sent them away. Today, Main Street hints at a roaring past and the potential for change. Poor...

New Frankfort office building awaits name and move-in dates but occupants have been named

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The name for the new state office building nearing completion in Frankfort has not been chosen, but most of the agencies that will occupy it have been revealed. 
A letter sent to Gov. Matt Bevin earlier this month by Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum said while move-in dates have not been announced, the agencies and the number of employees have...

Hank Phillips: State riding a big tourism wave, creating major economic impact across the state

Kentucky is riding a tourism wave that promises to grow, adding to its already impressive contributions to the state’s economy. Tourism-related businesses and convention bureaus across the Commonwealth work tirelessly to cement Kentucky’s name in the tourism industry. And the results speak for themselves. The success of Kentucky Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum and other tourism and culinary...

Carlisle native Rich Storm appointed Commissioner of Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

Rich Storm, of Carlisle, has been appointed as the new Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, replacing Frank Jemley of Louisville, who has served as the agency’s acting Commissioner since March 2018. “Rich Storm has been an exemplary leader in his time on the Fish and Wildlife Commission,” said Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Don Parkinson. “We...

Entries now accepted for exhibit program ‘Reveal’ at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Kentucky artists who work in large two-dimensional formats are invited to submit entries for the exhibit program “Reveal” at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. “Reveal” will showcase one selected artist in the Center’s lobby March 16–June 16, 2019. Reveal exhibits are a regular part of the center’s exhibition schedule through an annual statewide call-to-artists. The...

Kentucky Afield Outdoors: Time to scout and develop a game plan as spring turkey season approaches

By Kevin Kelly Special to KyForward The landscape awakens almost spontaneously from its winter slumber. Winter flocks break up into smaller groups. Innumerable turkey calls and lifelike decoys reappear at sporting goods retailers. Turkey hunters interpret these occurrences as signs that it will not be long before they are easing into their spots before dawn, filled with anticipation. In Kentucky, hunters...

Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources Commissioner Gregory Johnson announces retirement

Gregory K. Johnson, Commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, announced his retirement today at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting after nearly four decades of public service in natural resources, wildlife management, and agriculture. Gregory K. Johnson “I’m thankful for the opportunity to have led Kentucky’s outdoor community with a sportsmen-centric philosophy...

Churchill, Keenland form ‘historic partnership’ to build two new racing facilities in Corbin, Oak Grove

Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) (“CDI”) and Keeneland Association, Inc. (“Keeneland”) announced today an historic partnership to propose the construction of two new state-of-the-art racing facilities. One will be in southeastern Kentucky in Corbin (Knox County), and the second will be in southwestern Kentucky in Oak Grove (Christian County). The proposed facilities will feature...

Ark Encounter celebrates first anniversary, attracts a million visitors to tourist destination

The internationally renowned Ark Encounter theme park south of Cincinnati, celebrated its first anniversary over the weekend, continuing to welcome thousands of guests to the massive 510-foot-long reproduction of Noah’s Ark. The life-sized Noah’s Ark that is the centerpiece of the Ark Encounter in Grant County. The attraction just celebrated its one-year anniversary (photo by Mark Hansel). The...

Kentucky Horse Park one of two official candidates for the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games

The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) announced Lexington and the Kentucky Horse Park as an official candidate to host the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games. The FEI has selected Lexington and Samorin, Slovakia as the final two Official Candidate Cities for its 2022 flagship Games. The FEI World Equestrian Games, which are held every four years, are comprised of competitions in all eight of...

Bevin restructures Kentucky Arts Council, names 11 new members

Gov. Matt Bevin appointed 11 new members to the Kentucky Arts Council and a reorganized structure that reflects the growing importance of the Kentucky Arts Council in commerce, tourism and the entertainment industry. The reorganization of the Kentucky Arts Council reduces the size of the board from 16 to 15 members, with at least one member representing each of the following areas: education, economic...

Feats of Clay: October brings pottery events to Berea’s Kentucky Artisan Center

In October the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea offers “Feats of Clay,” a series of clay demonstrations by four Kentucky potters. From hand built jugs to wheel thrown pottery, visitors will have the chance to watch the magic as potters turn lumps of clay into dinnerware, vessels and sculptures. Alley Cat Pottery artist Kristal Gilkey, of Berea, will demonstrate pottery on the wheel on Saturday,...

Fire at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park forces lodge to close temporarily, no injuries reported

Late Tuesday night a fire erupted at the lodge at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. There were no injuries reported. Fire department officials say the blaze at Jenny Willey was a result of an electrical panel, and it has rendered the lodge temporarily closed as repairs are being made. The lodge at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park in Floyd County will be closed for a few days following a fire (Photo Provided) The...

Buoyed by Breeders’ Cup, Brewgrass Trail, Lexington sees double digit tourism growth

Lexington attracted double-digit growth in tourism in 2015 as a result of the Breeders’ Cup and increases in local food and beverage attractions, according to statistics released Wednesday from VisitLEX, and national media attention also was focused on the community. “We are excited to report that 2015 was a very successful year for Lexington, both locally and nationally,” said Mary Quinn Ramer,...

Agriculture marketing director Branscum takes over as commissioner of Travel and Tourism Department

The new commissioner of the Department of Travel and Tourism is Kristen Branscum, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Don Parkinson announced Wednesday. Branscum, a native of Russell Springs, most recently served as the head of marketing for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture since 2012. “Kristen Branscum’s extensive marketing experience and knowledge of Kentucky will be a great benefit for...