The top official in the federal Centers for Disease Control is making stops this week in three Kentucky communities. The visits are in connection with the Shaping Our Appalachian Region or SOAR project.
CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden joined Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers Tuesday for the health impact series symposium in Hazard.
A consultant says Appalachian Air has cleared another hurdle and can start working toward flying in and out of Pikeville.
Adviser Luke Schmidt told the Pikeville City Commission this week that the Pikeville-Pike County Airport won't need a certification from the federal government before allowing the airline to start flying.
Federal grant money totaling $130 thousand dollars will help a southeast Kentucky county build up a historical river walk. The 32 hundred foot connector will link east Manchester residents with downtown. Rodney Miller with Stay in Clay says the river walk has historical significance tied to the civil war. "It was used during the civil war where a thousand union soldiers came down to Manchester and busted up all the salt works at the site of the Pioneer Village and other sites in the county where they were trying to keep salt out of the confederate hands," said Miller.
Eastern Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues are participating in an internship program as part of the "Shaping Our Appalachian Region" or SOAR initiative.
E-K-U is committing 20 thousand dollars to support five interns who will support each of the ten SOAR working groups throughout the summer. The interns will be charged with communicating progress and discussions. It's aimed at promoting transparency and increase citizen participation in the effort to achieve economic and social goals.
Former Arkansas Governor and Republican Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told a Martin County audience this afternoon the nation has made progress in the “War on Poverty”.
However, he says, the breakdown of the traditional family is causing much of the financial hardship in the U-S today. He says 2012 statistics showed 29 percent of white children, 52 percent of Hispanic children, and 72 percent of African American children were living in one parent households..
Three separate weekend fires on land at Pine Mountain State Park caused damage to timber, but not to resort lodging facilities. A lodge and cottages are located on the Bell County property. State Parks Department Spokesman Gil Lawson says the fires are not expected to impact the spring schedule.
A slice of Appalachian Kentucky life once again descended on the State Capitol for the annual “I Love Mountains Day." The rally at the mid-point of the General Assembly traditionally attracts a large group from eastern Kentucky. That proved to be true again on Wednesday.
The state of Kentucky is now part of a new federal program designed to improve the economics of impoverished communities. The Commonwealth joins West Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana as the newest partners in the U-S Department of Agriculture’s Strike-Force Initiative.
Pike County's judge-executive is calling on Kentucky elected officials to extend federal unemployment benefits to help out-of-work miners. Wayne Rutherford wrote a letter this week to Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Rep. Hal Rogers. Rutherford said he finds it "unconscionable and heartless" that lawmakers would decline to extend unemployment benefits.
Magoffin County construction firm owners accused in a bid-rigging and kickback scheme with the judge-executive of Morgan County are scheduled to be arraigned today in federal court. The Independent reports the indictment accuses Morgan Judge-Executive Tim Conley of steering contracts worth $1.1 million to a company owned by Kenneth and Ruth Gambill in exchange for "gifts, payments and other things of value."
A group in Harlan is selling coal-theme candles to help unemployed miners in eastern Kentucky pay their bills. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a group called Harlan 20/20 is managing the project. Rie Whitfield and Kathy Bianchi say they wanted to come up with a way to help the thousands of coal miners who have been laid off due to a slump in the coal industry.
Road crews in southeastern Kentucky could have a new weapon in their snow and ice fighting arsenal this winter. State transportation officials met with workers recently to outline this year’s snow removal strategy. Les Dixon, from the Manchester district office, says a new salt product called ‘clear lane’ is being considered.
Using the arts to further local economies in eastern Kentucky is the focus of a Somerset conference this week. The Citizens’ Institute on rural Design meeting brings together local leaders, non-profits, community organizations, and citizens. Jack Herlihy studies economic development in Appalachia. He says many eastern Kentuckians take their talents to other communities, such as musicians heading to Tennessee.
Hundreds of Kentuckian are expected to gather in early December to plan a strategy that will help Appalachian counties move forward. Governor Steve Beshear, Congressman Hal Rogers and many other local and state officials made the announcement this morning in Hazard. The December ninth summit is called ‘Shaping Our Appalachian Region.’ Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo believes the event can help generate an agenda.
Credit Blue Ridge Kitties / Flickr, Creative Commons
Reclaiming an old mine site in eastern Kentucky offers new hope for re-establishing American chestnut trees in the Commonwealth. The chestnut, which was a major food source for mountain residents and wildlife, was virtually wiped out by a blight in the early 19 hundreds. Some 14-thousand hardwood seedlings were planted on 16 acres last March in Lawrence County. Kentucky Forest Management Chief Pam Snyder says the project served a dual purpose.
Officers with the Harlan City Police Department have a new accessory for their uniforms — a mobile video camera. WYMT-TV reports the device is worn near the center of an officer's chest and records audio and video for his or her entire shift. The information is downloaded to a computer at the end of the shift.
Heroin abuse, according to an eastern Kentucky prosecutor, is growing more evident in Appalachia. Given the Commonwealth’s crackdown on prescription drug abuse, more users are turning to illegal narcotics like heroin. Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner is seeing it in Floyd County.
An eastern Kentucky state park will provide another opportunity this year for people to get a look into the world of caterpillars. Natural Bridge State Resort Park has set aside Aug. 23-24 for guided caterpillar walks and butterfly expeditions, both of which proved especially popular last year for children with a fascination for creepy crawlies.
Kentucky officials say a coal miner has been killed and two more injured in an underground mine. The miners were working with a mining machine and became trapped when a wall apparently collapsed. The collapse killed 56-year-old Lenny D. Gilliam of Appalachia, Va.
Two eastern Kentucky deputy jailers have been charged in the death of an inmate last month. Kentucky State Police say indictments were returned Tuesday in Perry County charging 36-year-old Damon Hickman of Hazard and 57-year-old William C. Howell of Estill in Floyd County with one count of first-degree manslaughter.
UPDATE: Authorities in eastern Kentucky have found four bodies in two homes along the Kentucky-Virginia border. The Letcher County coroner says 58-year-old Timothy Shelby used a Glock pistol to kill 35-year-old Jennifer Walters, 25-year-old Joshua Wyatt and 31-year-old Amy Ratliff before turning the gun on himself.
Kentucky State Police say a helicopter conducting an ongoing investigation crashed this morning in eastern Kentucky. Trooper Shaun Little says the pilot and a trooper were airlifted for their injuries from the Evanston community in Breathitt County. Media reports say the crash involved a Drug Enforcement Agency helicopter working with a marijuana suppression team. Little declined to release the names of the crash victims. The accident remains under investigation.
Inmates at a federal prison in northeastern Kentucky have refused two meals but officials say they aren't sure why. The inmates at the Federal Correctional Institution-Ashland in Summit turned away lunch and evening meals on Wednesday. The warden's executive assistant, David Brewer, told The Ashland Independent newspaper the prison is operating on a status just below lockdown, with inmates confined to their cells at all times other than for meals.