Mountain Kentucky

4:32pm

Fri January 17, 2014
Mountain Kentucky

Kentucky Included in New Federal Poverty Program

Credit publicnewsservice.org

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.

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3:36pm

Tue December 31, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

East Ky Judge Exec Pleads Case for Unemployed Miners

Credit kentucky.com

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.

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7:21am

Mon December 30, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

More Tornado Repair Arraignments Scheduled Today

Credit kentucky.com

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."

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9:09am

Fri December 13, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Coal Candles to Help Unemployed Miners

Credit miningconnection.com

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.

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6:53am

Mon November 4, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Investigating New Road Salt in Southeast Kentucky

Credit clf.org

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.

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6:42am

Wed October 30, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Making Appalachian Arts a Bigger Economic Player

Credit kyforward.com

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.

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2:43pm

Mon October 28, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Citizen Appalachian Summit Planned in December

Credit eku.edu

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.

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1:09pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Resurrecting The American Chestnut

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.

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6:33am

Mon October 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

New Mobile Surveillance in Harlan

Credit odmp.com

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.

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5:38pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Fatality Free Year In America's Coal Mines Possible

Credit Emily Hoyer / Flickr, Creative Commons

It’s never happened, but a leading official in the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration believes a fatality-free year in coal mining is achievable. 


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5:30pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Heroin Abuse Increasingly Popular In Mountain Kentucky

Credit Thomas Marthinsen / fl

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.

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6:02am

Mon August 19, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Stephen Colbert's 'Best Segment Ever' Will Make You Feel So Many Things

Credit Gawker

It's being called "perhaps the single best segment" to ever air on The Colbert Report. And with good reason, because it probably is. In the latest installment of "People Who Are Destroying America," Stephen Colbert introduced his audience to Johnny Cummings, the openly gay mayor (and part-time hairdresser) of Vicco, Kentucky. Both Cummings and Vicco were in the news earlier this year after passing a city-wide ordinance banning discrimination against LGBT residents, becoming the smallest city in America to do so.   Read more...

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11:10am

Wed August 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Creepy Crawlies Return To Natural Bridge State Park

Monarch caterpillar at home in eastern Kentucky.
Credit Billy Liar / Flickr, Creative Commons

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.

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10:56am

Wed August 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Coal Miner Killed In Harlan County Accident

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.

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10:51am

Wed August 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Deputy Jailers Accused In Beating Death Of Inmate

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.

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10:07am

Fri August 2, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Murder-Suicide Leaves Four Dead In Southeast Kentucky

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.

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4:04pm

Mon July 29, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Two Injured In Police Helicopter Crash

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.

9:05am

Fri July 19, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Prisoners Refuse Meals At Federal Prison in Ashland

Credit Kate Ter Haar / Flickr, Creative Commons

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.

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6:00am

Thu July 18, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

US 25 Safety Fixes Discussed In Corbin, But Funding Elusive

US 25, as it passes through Kentucky.
Credit Doug Kerr / Flickr, Creative Commons

Proposed improvements for US Highway 25 between London and Corbin are up for public review tonight.  The State Transportation Cabinet meeting comes after two years of study and citizen comment.   Transportation Cabinet spokesman Jonathon Dobson says deadly accidents are common on the nine-mile stretch of roadway.

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2:47pm

Mon June 24, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Instead of an Iron Horse, Converted Trail Serves Four-Legged Variety

Another 18 miles of eastern Kentucky natural scenery is now open to horseback riders, cyclists, and hikers.  The Dawkins Rail Trail runs through Johnson and Magoffin counties.  Kentucky Tourism Spokesman Gil Lawson says the path was originally used by railroads.

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10:08am

Fri June 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Harlan Officials Mostly Mum on Judge-Executive's Arrest

Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop
Credit The Kentucky County Judge Executive Association

The arrest of Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop by Sheriff Marvin Lipfird on Tuesday has created a wave of publicity and stirred discussion on social media. However, not much has been said by other Harlan County officials on the matter. Previous reports state Lipfird arrested Grieshop in his office Tuesday afternoon. Lipfird said Grieshop would not come out of his office. Read more...

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8:43am

Fri June 7, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Clay County Crew Killed in Helicopter Crash

Credit Air Evac Lifeteam

Three men died Thursday night in Manchester when a medical helicopter crashed, Missouri-based Air Evac Lifestream officials said Friday. The accident occurred around 11:16 p.m. Thursday while the helicopter was on its final approach to its Manchester base. "We are devastated at this loss," Air Evac Lifeteam President and CEO Seth Myers said in a news release. "These were members of our family. Our focus at this time is on providing support for the family and friends of these crew members." The crew members included pilot Eddie Sizemore, flight paramedic Herman "Lee" Dobbs and flight nurse Jesse Jones, the release said. Read more...

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10:23am

Fri May 17, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Seven coal mines open, creates over 250 jobs

“Good news” for the Eastern Kentucky coal industry was announced Wednesday, with officials saying several new mines are opening in Pike County, bringing more than 250 jobs. According to a statement from the Pike County Judge Executives Wayne T. Rutherford’s office, High Ridge Mining, a Kentucky corporation owned by Bill Smith, of Raccoon, announced the opening of seven deep mines in Pike County.

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10:26am

Thu May 16, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Mountain Parkway lanes closed for summer repairs

Traffic is moving a bit slower on the Mountain Parkway and likely will for the remainder of the summer. One lane in each direction will be kept open during the construction of a bridge, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Department of Highways announced the closures will keep traffic slowed around the 10- and 11-mile markers on the Parkway. Read more...

12:30pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Heavy Rains Easing for Now

Heavy rains shut down some roads in Southeast Kentucky earlier today.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Sean Harley says some communities received as much as three inches of rain overnight.  He says waters are expected to recede, easing the threat of more flooding today.  “Not in the near term.  We do expect some heavy rain again later in the week, so we will have to watch that real close,” said Harley.

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3:31pm

Fri April 12, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Getting Eastern Kentucky Trails in Springtime Shape

A group of nine young adults is blazing a trail through parts of eastern Kentucky.  The Americorps team is improving trails in Letcher County and at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.   Kentucky Tourism Spokesman Gil Lawson says hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders will all benefit.  “Most folks can put on a pair of either hiking shoes or tennis shoes and get out on a trail.  Some people like to do things with bicycles and horses.  But, we are fortunate in Kentucky that we have trails in a lot of places, not just one area.  We’ve got trails in urban areas and rural areas,” said Lawson.

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10:35am

Fri March 29, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Attorney Plans Suit Against State for Failing to Make Coal Companies Clean Up

A lawyer in Eastern Kentucky has announced his plans to file suit against the state’s Energy and Environment Cabinet for allegedly not enforcing its own orders. The suit stems from the cabinet’s 2008 finding that a coal company was responsible for destroying the water supply in a small Letcher County town.

4:38pm

Tue February 5, 2013
Mountain Kentucky

Honoring Weather Related Communications

Two Magoffin County officials are being honored for their response to a tornado event in southeast Kentucky almost a year ago.  County Judge Executive Charles Hardin and Emergency Management Director Mike Wilson are recipients of the StormReady Community Hero Award.  Wilson alerted Hardin of the impending tornado heading toward Salyersville.  Jackson National Weather Service meteorologist Shawn Harley says the county judge made door to door visits along highway 460.

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11:31am

Wed December 19, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Whistleblower Faces State Penalty for Working in Unsafe Conditions he Reported

An eastern Kentucky coal miner who reported unsafe work conditions is now facing sanctions by the state. Mackie Bailey is a longtime roof bolting machine operator who worked at Manalapan Mining’s P-1 mine in Harlan County. For several weeks, Bailey says he and other miners had been working without a required safety device called the Automated Temporary Roof Support (ATRS), which is supposed to brace against the roof of the mine and protect miners from a potential roof collapse.

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9:18am

Mon December 17, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Night Comes to the Cumberlands, 2012

In 1962, three books changed how America thought about the environment and poverty.  There was Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” Michael Harrington’s “The Other America,” and, out of Kentucky was “Night Comes to the Cumberlands.”  In it, Whitesburg author Harry Caudill linked Appalachia’s poverty to the dark side of coal mining. 

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