A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Database shows Kentucky ranked second for most legal pain pills per person between 2006 and 2012

Between 2006 and 2012, drug companies distributed 76 billion doses of prescription pain medicine, “enough pills to supply every adult and child in the country with 36 each year,” Scott Higham, Sari Horwitz and Steven Rich reported in The Washington Post. And rural counties, especially in Appalachia, received some of the highest shares of pain pills per person. That’s according to...

Former Coastal Carolina assistant Patrick Blake joins EKU men’s basketball coaching staff

Patrick Blake has joined the Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach, head coach A.W. Hamilton announced on Wednesday. Blake comes to EKU following four successful seasons as an assistant coach at Coastal Carolina University. He helped the Chanticleers transition into the Sun Belt Conference with back-to-back 20-win seasons in 2015-16 and 2016-17. “It’s...

Rural hospitals remain at risk of closure; Medicare won’t pay hospital rates for scaled-down services

Rural hospital closures are a growing trend, and federal policies don’t support a model that would include a scaled-back version of services. But that’s what many rural hospitals need to do in order to ensure their future, Mary Meehan reports for Ohio Valley ReSource, a public-radio partnership that covers Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, especially their Appalachian areas. “The reality...

Effort mounted to identify, treat cases of Hepatitis C to stop spread; many don’t know they’re infected

“A multimillion-dollar effort to fight hepatitis C was introduced Thursday in Louisville with the help of Gov. Matt Bevin as well as medical professionals and health advocates,” Darla Carter reports for Insider Louisville. The five-year, five-state project in Kentucky and four other states will use screenings, community partnerships and prevention programs, and strengthen the health-care...

Bevin joins 16-state coalition in Supreme Court amicus brief protecting Second Amendment rights

Gov. Matt Bevin has joined 15 states in a U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief supporting Second Amendment rights, in response to New York City’s restrictions on handguns kept for self-defense. The brief was filed in response to the costly and restrictive “premises permit” required by the city to own a personal handgun for self-defense. The permit prohibits taking a weapon outside the home for...

Rural Blog: One in five Appalachian miners who have worked at least 25 years diagnosed with black lung

One in five coal miners in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia who have worked at least 25 years has black-lung disease, according to a new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. That’s the highest reported rate in a quarter-century. “We can think of no other industry or workplace in the United States in which this would be considered acceptable,” NIOSH...

Will Eastern KY capture a share of the enormous wealth to be transferred in the next generation?

By Ron Daley Special to KyForward Eastern Kentucky and the United States of America are in the midst of the greatest “transfer of wealth” (TOW) in the nation’s history. Research estimates that $72 trillion will transfer from one generation to another in the next decade, 2017 through 2026, representing a TOW opportunity of over $7.7 trillion. TOW is an estimate of American household wealth from...

Wiedemann appointed Chief Executive Officer for AAA Club Alliance

AAA Club Alliance has announced the appointment of Thomas C. Wiedemann as Chief Executive Officer. Wiedemann replaces Bernhard “Berni” Koch, who had been with the organization since 2002 and had served as CEO since 2012. AAA Club Alliance, Inc. is the third-largest AAA club in the national AAA federation and serves more than six million members in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky,...

Beshear fighting temporary injunction request seeking to halt nation’s health care system

Attorney General Andy Beshear is fighting a request for a temporary injunction filed this week by a group of states seeking to halt the nation’s health care system while an ongoing lawsuit on the issue plays out in federal court. Beshear Beshear and a group of state attorneys general are intervening in the lawsuit – Texas et al. v. United States et al. – that claims the ACA is unconstitutional...

Rural Blog: As black-lung cases have surged in Central Appalachia, so have lung transplants

A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine shows that, as black-lung cases have surged in the Central Appalachian coalfield, so have lung transplants. The expensive surgery can be risky, and most transplant recipients die within five years. The study, conducted by researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, “found that 62 black lung patients...

Beshear, AGs file court action to block ACA lawsuit; claims Kentucky would lose $49.7 billion in funding

A group of state attorneys general is joining together to protect the nation’s health care system by seeking to intervene in and combat a lawsuit aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Attorney General Andy Beshear has announced. The lawsuit claims that the ACA is unconstitutional because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the ACA penalty for failing to purchase health insurance – known...

Grimes joins West Virginia SOS in distributing ‘Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook’ to candidates

To mark their states’ candidate filing deadlines, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Democratic Secretary of State, and Mac Warner, the Republican Secretary of State of West Virginia, are distributing the “Cybersecurity Campaign Playbook” to candidates in their states seeking to be on the ballot in 2018. Alison Lundergan Grimes The Playbook was created by Defending Digital Democracy...

Kentucky ‘Knox’ off Mountaineers behind freshman’s monster night in Morgantown

Freshman Kevin Knox scored a career-high 34 points as Kentucky upended West Virginia, 83-76, in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday night. (UK Athletics photo) By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kevin Knox doesn’t mind trash-talking and was more vocal than normal during Kentucky’s first visit to West Virginia in more than four decades. “They were talking trash to us, so I had to go back at them,” Knox...

Mary Meehan: Real lives are at stake in rural areas and real journalism can help affect change

Hey there Blue State folks! Those of us out here in the rest of the country are glad that over the last year you’ve shown an interest in making our acquaintance. Recently, several prominent media organizations took it a step further, announcing support for local journalists. The Nieman Foundation recently announced the Abrams Nieman Fellowship in Local Investigative Journalism. These fellows will...

Kentucky among 27 states adopting new app mapping opioid overdoses in real time

By Christine Vestal Special to KyForward In the summer of 2016, drug overdose deaths in Baltimore were exploding and health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen told federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials the city needed real-time data to better manage its public health response. Four months later, the DEA’s Washington/Baltimore High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) team had developed a...

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...

Daily Yonder: Hatfield-McCoy ‘reality’ White Lightning just another insulting stereotype

The cast of the TV show ‘Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning.’ The show scripts a new reason for the mountain families to interact. (Photo from The Daily Yonder/the History Channel)   By Janney Lockman Special to KyForward   Different regions of the country seem to take turns getting picked on by pop culture. New Jersey had its moment, and between Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty,...

Daily Yonder: Hatfield-McCoy 'reality' White Lightning just another insulting stereotype

The cast of the TV show ‘Hatfields & McCoys: White Lightning.’ The show scripts a new reason for the mountain families to interact. (Photo from The Daily Yonder/the History Channel)   By Janney Lockman Special to KyForward   Different regions of the country seem to take turns getting picked on by pop culture. New Jersey had its moment, and between Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty,...

Daily Yonder: MTV’s ‘Buckwild’ is about teenagers, not West Virginia, native writes

By Janney Lockman Special to KyForward   As a matter of principle, I haven’t seen MTV’s Buckwild yet. I imagine it will be only a matter of time before someone says “You’re from West Virginia and you’ve never seen Buckwild? You have to watch an episode.” But I’m going to hold out for a little bit longer.   Janney Lockman (Photo by Shawn Poynter) Buckwild is and isn’t West...