Kentucky

Courtesy photo

In 2013, Jim Dahlman, a journalist and professor of communications at Milligan College in Tennessee, set out to learn more about Appalachia by walking Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road from Tennessee into Kentucky. 

The walk inspired the recently published book “A Familiar Wilderness: Searching for Home on Daniel Boone’s Road.” It is a collection of history, modern observations and interviews with people Dahlman met along the way. 


Updated at 2:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Democrats had a strong election night on Tuesday, leading the race for governor in Kentucky and taking back full control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in nearly a quarter century.

Michelle Hanks

What is the human impact of a failure to prioritize workplace safety? In this episode, we’ll explore how weak regulatory laws, and a failure to prioritize worker safety, may be contributing to more deaths, and a higher risk of workplace accidents -- both at the state and national levels. 


West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, an increase in heavier rain events is putting stress on Kentucky’s aging water infrastructure, and we hear another installment from this week’s Inside Appalachia episode on breastfeeding.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice
Jesse Wright / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Coal companies tied to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice are promising to pay huge property tax debts owed to some eastern Kentucky counties.

Bryan Woolston / AP Photo

The Republican Party of Kentucky has requested the work emails of several teachers, saying they want to see if there is widespread misuse of government resources. Some teachers, however, see it as ploy to intimidate.

How Kentucky Is Failing Its Workers

Nov 14, 2018
Michelle Hanks

While most of the Meade County public works crew finished their lunches, Pius “Gene” Hobbs was raking along the edge of the road, oblivious to the dump truck backing quickly towards him. 

Unbeknownst to the driver, Hobbs was knocked to the ground and crushed under the truck’s weight. When the truck accelerated forward, Hobbs’ coworker ran him over a second time. He was killed on impact. 

The only eyewitness to the December 2016 incident, a bystander named Greg Turner, said that he didn’t hear a backup beeper on the truck as it reversed. Maybe Hobbs hadn’t either. 

Carrie Neumayer/ KyCIR

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll learn about the life of  Kentucky politician and pastor Danny Johnson, and the investigation that exposed a long line of questionable actions that preceded his rise to power. 


Coal Ash Uncovered: Polluted Groundwater Found At 14 Kentucky Sites

Jun 19, 2018
Erica Peterson

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth.

Now, new data show the coal ash buried in landfills and submerged in ponds at many of these sites has contaminated local groundwater.

Courtesy Revolution

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” returns to his native Kentucky this week. But Vance isn’t selling books this time. He’s leading a bus tour of well-heeled venture capitalists looking for investment options in the region.

West Virginia Morning
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

On this West Virginia Morning, we’ll hear about the Death Row Dogs initiative in Eastern Kentucky; dairy farmers in the Ohio Valley who are feeling pressure from a market flooded with milk; and we’ll hear another postcard from a young girl in North Carolina who shares a story about growing up in Appalachia.

Teachers John and Kerry Guerini of Fayetteville, West Virginia, hold signs at a rally at the state Capitol in Charleston, W.Va., Monday, Feb. 26, 2018.
John Raby / Associated Press

The public education uprisings that began in West Virginia and spread to Arizona, Oklahoma and Kentucky share similar origin stories.

Teachers, long tired of low wages and a dearth of state funding, begin talking to each other online.

Their Facebook groups draw tens of thousands of members. They share stories of their frustrations and then they demand change.

Kara Lofton / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

When Oklahoma teacher Sally Salmons saw momentum building toward teacher protests in her state, she immediately reached out to family ties and educators in West Virginia. She said teacher walkouts in the Mountain State provided her and colleagues across the state with the courage they needed to take a stand.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. In one, the Village of Lilly, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, W.Va., in the 1940s. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 


Mackie Branham views a lung X-ray with Dr. James Brandon Crum, who was among the first physicians to note an uptick in black lung diagnoses
Howard Berkes / NPR

The American College of Radiologists, a professional organization representing radiologists, is asking Kentucky to repeal a new law that changes how coal miners receive benefits for black lung disease.

Snowfall on March 21, 2018 in Martinsburg, W.Va.
Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Updated on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 12:25 p.m.

It might be spring, but areas of West Virginia and Kentucky look more like winter, especially at ski resorts, with up to a foot of snow forecast in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the eastern half of West Virginia until 11 p.m. Wednesday and in areas around Louisville, Kentucky, until 2 p.m. Much of the rest of both states were under a winter storm advisory that called for up to 5 inches of snowfall.

Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose
Pixabay

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is targeting opioid abuse in Appalachia by establishing a new field office in Kentucky to oversee a region ravaged by overdose deaths.

The new Louisville field office will have a special agent in charge to oversee investigations in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Much of Appalachia’s economy has rested on the boom and bust cycles of industries like coal and manufacturing for decades. It’s true that these industries have long put bread on the Appalachian table, but as those industries have faded in recent decades, jobs have grown scarce. 

So are there industries that might one day provide more financial stability to the region? This week on Inside Appalachia, we learn more about some unexpected and unique ways Appalachians are thinking outside the box to earn money, like growing industrial hemp, installing solar panels and even growing tea.

courtesy Derek Akal

This is chapter four of Derek Akal’s Struggle to Stay. In the first chapter, we met a young man from Harlan County, Kentucky, who thought a college football scholarship was going to be his ticket out. But a serious neck injury led Derek to drop out and move back home.

Benny Becker/ WMMT

Derek Akal, 22, grew up in the famed coalfields of Harlan County, Kentucky. He’s a bit over six feet tall, he’s black, and he has an athlete’s build. Neat curls of black hair rise off the top of his head, and on his chin, he keeps a closely-trimmed mustache and goatee.

I first interviewed Derek in October 2016. At that time, he said he was trying to become a Kentucky state trooper, but also making plans to move to Texas to work on an oil rig. 


USDA/ Daniel Boone National Forest

In this week's episode of Inside Appalachia, we visit communities impacted by creation of flood-control lakes. Like the Village of Lilly, where back in the 1940s, about 40 families were pushed off their land along the Bluestone River in Summers County, West Virginia. Many of these families had lived there for more than 200 years. 

Inside Appalachia Host Jessica Lilly has deep roots to this community, as we hear in this episode. 

Coal Stock Pile
www.mine-engineer.com

A coal company run by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's family has sued two Kentucky regulators individually, claiming they're to blame for the company's reclamation delays that could result in $4.5 million in fines.

Fracking, Fluid
Baker Hughes

State officials have finalized an agreement with an eastern Kentucky disposal company that illegally dumped low-level radioactive fracking waste from West Virginia.

The state Energy and Environment Cabinet says it has signed an agreed order that proposed a $95,000 civil penalty for Advance Disposal Services Blue Ridge Landfill in Estill County. The agreement was proposed in October.

Roxy Todd. WVPB

Eating your fruits and veggies is good for you, but it’s not always an easy choice. On this episode, we explore some of the challenges, choices, and barriers to eating healthy. Sometimes it’s the cost, or poor choices, sometimes it’s limited access because they live in what’s called a food desert.

Malcolm Wilson / Humans of Central Appalachia

As coal jobs continue to disappear in Appalachia, some families are holding tight to the idea that coal will come back. Surprisingly, it’s not the pay that they miss about the work but the bond that comes with working in the mines. They often call it a 'brotherhood.'

Landfill
Ropable / Wikimedia Commons

Emails obtained by a newspaper show that it took months for Kentucky regulators to take action after getting a tip that low-level nuclear waste was being shipped to a landfill.

The emails, which were obtained by The Courier-Journal through West Virginia's open records act, give new details on how Kentucky officials first learned about the radioactive shipments and how they responded.

Prison Bars
Schavda / wikimedia Commons

Authorities in West Virginia have arrested a fourth suspect accused of impersonating narcotics officers during a Kentucky burglary.

44-year-old Philip Leonard Fortner of Huntington was arrested Wednesday in Cabell County on charges of first-degree burglary, unlawful imprisonment, fleeing and impersonating a police officer.

February 18, 1890: Ellison “Cotton Top” Mounts Hanged in Kentucky

Feb 18, 2016
The Story of a Mountain Feud, Munsey's Magazine Volume 24
e-WV Encyclopedia

On February 18, 1890, Ellison "Cotton Top" Mounts was hanged in Pikeville, Kentucky, for his role in the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. It was the only legal execution of the feud.

Mounts was believed to be the illegitimate son of Ellison Hatfield—the brother of Hatfield family patriarch, "Devil"Anse. In 1882, Mounts’ father was killed by three of Randolph McCoy's sons. The Hatfields retaliated for Ellison’s murder by tying the three McCoy boys to pawpaw bushes and executing them.

pills
Wikimedia Commons

A Kentucky woman has been sentenced after a Huntington police officer found more than 850 pills in her vehicle.

Acting U.S. Attorney Carol Casto says in a news release that 45-year-old Karen Sue Fields of Olive Hill, Kentucky, was sentenced to three years and a month in federal prison Tuesday.

Liz McCormick / West Virginia Public Broadcasting

This week on Inside Appalachia, we’ll hear stories of Christmas past, Christmas present and even hope for Christmases in the future.

Pages