Becca Schimmel

Becca Schimmel is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in psychology and she will be graduating in December. She was born in South Carolina but grew up in Lexington, Ky. She is a UK basketball fan. She enjoys swimming, coffee, reading and drinking more coffee. Becca has served as copy editor for the Murray State News and has interned with the Paducah Sun.

Peabody Energy, Inc., via Wikimedia Common

A financial technology company says Kentucky is home to three of the top 25 best places in the 
U.S. to work in manufacturing.

The list created by the company “Smart Asset” ranks the Elizabethtown-Fort Knox area as the fifth-best place in the country for manufacturing jobs. Owensboro was ranked 17th, and the Louisville metro area was 19th. 

 

AmericanMachinest.com

An aluminum company planning a state-subsidized $1.3 billion dollar facility in Greenup County has released a partial list of its shareholders. Braidy Industries had been keeping those identities a secret. 

Kentucky Refugee Ministries

Finding employees can be difficult in some parts of Kentucky and employers are increasing looking to the refugee population to fill the void.

According to a report from the Catholic Charities of Louisville, the 90 day retention rate for refugee employees in Kentucky was 92 percent in fiscal year 2017. Jon Crosby is a field representative for U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Bowling Green. Crosby says manufacturers across the state have told him they want to employ more refugees. 

“They’re coming in to work, they’re ready to work they want to come back every day.” 

DEA

A western Kentucky Democrat has pre-filed a bill for the 2018 legislative session reducing the criminal penalty for first degree drug possession, or personal possession, from a felony to a misdemeanor. 


Shuttershock

A new study of elder abuse protections ranks Kentucky the fourth worst in the nation.

The study by WalletHub looked at a few key areas--prevalence of elder abuse, resources, and protection. Kentucky ranks 47th in the quality of its nursing homes. The commonwealth also ranks in the bottom for the most gross neglect and exploitation complaints.

Tennessee is ranked 15th in elder abuse protection, while Indiana is 27th.

Hardin County students are bringing their knowledge of coding to their community with a week of activities. This is the third year the school district has participated in the “hour of code” program.

The U.S. Senate voted along party lines Wednesday, 52 to 46, to narrowly confirm President Trump’s nominee to lead the Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA. 

A new study shows Kentucky is the sixth fattest state in the nation. The study by WalletHub examines three areas--the number of obese and overweight people in each state; health consequences; and food and fitness. Kentucky ranked fifth for the highest percentage of adults with type two diabetes. The Commonwealth also ranked in the top five with the highest percentage of physically inactive adults.

Tennessee is the third fattest state in the nation and Indiana ranked tenth. WalletHub used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kentucky’s children have experienced--on average-- more Adverse Childhood Experiences than children nationwide.

An Adverse Childhood Experience, or ACE, can be the death or incarceration of a parent, witnessing or being a victim of violence, or living with someone who has a drug or alcohol problem.

 

According to a recent report from The National Survey of Children’s Health, about 53 percent of children in Kentucky have had at least one ACE. That’s significantly higher than the national rate of about 46 percent. The report adds those experiences can increase the risk of smoking, alcoholism, depression and other illnesses or unhealthy behaviors.

 Kentucky’s children have experienced--on average-- more of what’s known as “Adverse Childhood Experiences” than children nationwide.

The Ohio Valley region has disproportionately high numbers of seniors and people living with disabilities and on low incomes - those are all groups that frequently depend on public transit. Without transit, older people lose independence, and reaching a doctor or workplace becomes much harder. A new report finds that demand for transit in rural areas is climbing faster than in cities, but spending on rural transit is not keeping pace with demand.

A bipartisan Congressional group from the Ohio Valley and beyond introduced a new bill to save pensions for retired union coal miners throughout the region.

The American Miners Pension Act, or AMP, would secure pensions for about 43,000 miners in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia whose retirement benefits have been undermined by the decline of the coal industry.

West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin said Congress acted to protect miners’ health benefits last year but pensions got kicked down the road.


MHSA

Lawmakers and union leaders are raising concerns about the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration’s practices amid an increase in coal fatalities.  


Another breakdown at an aging lock and dam has halted river traffic on the Ohio in western Kentucky. It’s the second such interruption in less than a year for a stretch of river that carries some 90 million tons of cargo annually.

“A lot of commerce does go through that section and delays cost the industry money,” Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District public affairs officer Carol Labashosky said. “That’s a very, very important, crucial spot on the Ohio River.”

The impact of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma is reigniting talk about national infrastructure needs. Parts of southern Kentucky recently saw flooding after Harvey moved inland. Kentuckians are facing billions of dollars in water infrastructure needs, and uncertainty on a federal infrastructure spending plan.

 

President Trump has mentioned the need for a one-trillion-dollar national infrastructure investment, but no details have come out. Most of the projects on Kentucky’s infrastructure wish list deal with highways and roads, not water.


MSHA

A rash of fatal coal mining accidents in the Ohio Valley region pushed the nation’s total number of mining deaths to a level not seen since 2015, sparking concern among safety advocates.

Already this year 12 miners have died on the job in the U.S., compared to eight fatalities in all of 2016. 


Approximately 2,000 people gathered at Western Kentucky University’s football stadium to view the total solar eclipse, with the much-anticipated  event bringing in school students from around the region.

Keith Brown, principal at Western Elementary in Ohio County, said he was looking forward to viewing the totality and having his students there to see it as well. 


A Bowling Green clinic that evaluates potential organ transplant patients will not be impacted by the decision to put Jewish Hospital in Louisville up for sale.

The Bowling Green Jewish Hospital Trager Transplant Center outreach clinic opened in June. Jewish Hospital is the second largest organ transplants locations in the state, and is being sold by its parent company--KentuckyOne Health. David Lewis is the director of transplant services at Jewish Hospital.

  Senator Rand Paul has been traveling around the state to speak with local business leaders about joining health associations. The Bowling Green Republican said Monday that’s the best option for businesses and individuals if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

The first of two public hearings seeking input on Governor Bevin’s Medicaid waiver was held Friday in Somerset.

Governor Bevin wants to overhaul the Medicaid program, in hopes of moving more people to private insurance coverage. Bevin said Kentucky can’t afford to pay for everyone that gained coverage when Medicaid was expanded.

 

The new plan calls for Medicaid recipients to pay premiums of up to $15 a month. Beneficiaries would be required to work or volunteer for 20 hours a week in order to keep their benefits. Those requirements don’t apply to everyone.

The first of two public hearings seeking input on Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s Medicaid waiver is Friday in Somerset.

Bob Jagendorf/Flickr


Becca Schimmel | Ohio Valley ReSource

From the outside Summit Aviation, in the small town of Somerset, Kentucky, looks like any other nondescript, white warehouse. But inside workers craft parts for drones, weapons casings, wing stabilizers and other high-flying products.


A new report finds doctors in Kentucky diagnosed more cases of opioid addiction for people with private insurance than any other state in 2016.

 

The report is by Amino, a health-care transparency company that aims to estimate the costs of care. The Courier-Journal reports 23 of every 1,000 Kentuckians were diagnosed with an opioid use disorder in 2016. Nationally, 1.4 million privately insured patients were diagnosed with opioid use disorder--that’s six times more than in 2012.

Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

When President Trump picked the Ohio Valley as the setting to promote his infrastructure plan, he also drew attention to an overlooked part of the nation’s transportation system: inland waterways.

Agriculture, energy, and manufacturing interests all depend heavily on the Ohio’s aging navigation system.  


Ohio Valley ReSource

With a speech planned for Cincinnati’s Ohio River waterfront, President Donald Trump has chosen a fitting venue to talk about infrastructure improvements.

The Ohio Valley is home to aging highways, bridges, and dams, poor drinking water systems, and weak internet service for many rural residents.

Kentucky is coal country, and is heavily reliant on the dirty fossil fuel for power. A study underway at Western Kentucky University is examining the effectiveness of a water-based clean coal solution.

The coal is treated with the solution at Big Rivers power plant in Ohio County, Kentucky. WKU partnered with Big Rivers and the state’s Cabinet for Economic Development to determine if the solution reduces carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen emissions.

Researchers at WKU are taking an enzyme from a mushroom and growing it in water. That solution is then sprayed on coal as it falls down a chute. The coal then sits for a few days before it’s burned.


A new report shows Kentucky, Tennessee, and Indiana are among seven states with twice the national rate of Hepatitis C cases.

The Centers for Disease Control reported new cases of Hep C have increased nationwide by nearly 300 percent from 2010 to 2015. Hepatitis C is still associated with more deaths than 60 other diseases.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, the state had the highest rate of new acute Hepatitis C infections from 2008 to 2015, with more than 1,000 cases. The CDC report said intravenous drug use is the primary risk factor for new infections.

A new study gave Kentucky poor marks for the safety of its drinking water.

The Natural Resources Defense Council says the commonwealth has the tenth-highest number of offenses per capita

Violations ranged from high levels of arsenic and nitrates to failure to test or properly report contamination levels. The Courier Journal reported no other state in the nation had a larger percent of its population getting its water from utilities with at least one violation. The study was based on safe drinking water act violations, and the number of customers served by those utilities.

Indiana was twenty-second in total water quality offenses per capita, while Tennessee ranked twenty-third.

Pages