A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Rural Blog: SNAP rules target able-bodied people without dependents, but may have ripple effects

Changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program could have a substantial ripple effect in a small town. In Letcher County, pop. 25,000, the new rules could cost up to 400 residents their SNAP benefits and could potentially affect their families, Sam Adams reports for The Mountain Eagle in Whitesburg. The changes, set to take affect April 1, are expected to cost more than 3 million Americans...

Whitesburg primary care physician Dr. Van Breeding named Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion

Whitesburg primary care physician Van S. Breeding has been named a Healthy Kentucky Policy Champion by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky for his leadership in fighting the substance use crisis in Letcher, Harlan, Perry, Owsley and Bell counties. The award recognizes individuals and organizations working to improve the health of Kentuckians through policy change. Dr. Van Breeding was named Healthy...

Rural Blog: Appalshop arts-and-culture co-op spotlighted in PBS NewsHour series on U.S. artists

PBS NewsHour began its new “American Creators” series, “taking us to all corners of the country to see artists at work,” February 9 with a long profile of Appalshop, the arts-and-culture cooperative based in Whitesburg, Ky., near the Virginia border, in the depressed Central Appalachian coalfield. Ada Smith of Appalshop (Photo from PBS) Jeffrey Brown’s eight-and-a-half...

Daily Yonder: Small-town businesses are all about finding value beyond material wealth

Downtown Whitesburg and the empty storefront where Dawahare’s once stood (Photo from Daily Yonder)   Amelia Kirby and David Fisher both knew when they opened businesses in empty storefronts in Whitesburg that they wouldn’t get rich by doing it. But maybe a small-town downtown could have value beyond what it’s worth.   By Amy Hogg Special to KyForward   When Ameila Kirby and...

With chance for better quality of life, Letcher Co. Farmers Market finally gets off the ground

By Kelli B. Haywood Special to KyForward   Five previous attempts to create a farmers’ market in a small Eastern Kentucky county have failed. This time around, organizers are helping participants focus on income generation and health.   White half-runner green beans for sale at the Letcher County Farmers’ Market. The vegetable is a regional favorite. (Photo by Kelli B. Haywood) Ben...

Daily Yonder: New risk takers design a post-coal economy for Eastern Kentucky town

By Kelli B. Haywood Daily Yonder   John Haywood's new business in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields is a tattoo parlor in Whitesburg. Haywood designed and executed this tattoo for Jon Free, a Kentucky native who teaches history at a university in North Carolina. (Photo by Kelli Haywood) All it requires is a short drive through the mountain towns of southeastern Kentucky to see a people on the defensive....