America Amplified

Sydney Boles / Ohio Valley ReSource


It’s a sweltering hot Monday in Whitesburg, Kentucky, and the kitchen at Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises, or CANE, is buzzing with activity. 

In an industrial kitchen that was once a high school cafeteria, Brandon Fleming is chopping onions and sliding them into a massive aluminum tray of beans. Once the beans are in the oven, Fleming mops his brow and heads outside to the parking lot, where a small army of teenagers is loading bags and boxes of groceries into the trunks of waiting cars. 


Here’s something that might surprise you: A new national survey shows that regardless of political affiliation, Americans are mostly in agreement over how to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic  -- slowly -- and with protective measures like face masks.



West Virginia officials moved the state’s primary election from May 12 to June 9 out of safety concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, and have expanded options for mail-in voting.


Registered voters can vote in person during early voting or on Election Day at a polling location, or by absentee ballot.


The last day to register to vote in the primary is May 19. Early in-person voting begins May 27 and ends June 6. You can also vote in person on Election Day, June 9. 

Courtesy Michael Brumage

As new cases of coronavirus mount in the Ohio Valley, health officials are bracing for an onslaught of patients and what could be unprecedented demand for beds, medical staff and specialized equipment.

Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia have disproportionately high rates of people vulnerable to serious illness from COVID-19. But the region’s capacity to treat them has been sharply reduced by the closure of some 21 hospitals over the past 15 years. An analysis by the Ohio Valley ReSource shows some of the communities where hospitals have closed have some of the nation’s poorest health outcomes, making them especially vulnerable.

Residents of Denison, Iowa, gather for a mock caucus at the town’s library, where they caucus for food — pizza, ceviche and egg rolls — rather than candidates. A multicultural spread reflecting a diverse town
Andrea Tudhope / America Amplified

On a Monday night, a week before the Iowa caucuses, about 20 residents gathered at the Norelius library in Denison, Iowa, for a mock caucus. Latina activist Alma Puga, the organizer, called the caucuses the “Disneyland of politics.”

Rather than caucusing for candidates, it’s food: egg rolls, pepperoni pizza, homemade ceviche and carne asada tacos — a multicultural spread reflecting a diverse town here in rural Iowa.