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Black and Red Angus cattle graze in a pasture in Calloway County, Kentucky.

The ‘Beef’ With Beef: Cattle, Climate Change, And Alternative Meat

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CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — Many people might think of Blake Munger as a cattle farmer as he walks through his pasture land in western Kentucky, but he sees things a little differently nowadays. “I don’t know which is more valuable, my cattle or the pasture at this point. I used to say cattle, but… Read More

Cans sit unused on the shelves of the Baker University Center Food Pantry

Nutrition Program Summer Expansion Could Aid Nearly 2 Million Ohio Valley Children

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — The Biden administration announced Monday the expansion of a nutrition program, born amid the start of the pandemic, that could provide more food to nearly 2 million children throughout Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia this summer. The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer, or P-EBT, program started last March to provide money to… Read More

A union miner at the rally for pension protection.

Biden’s COVID-19 Bill Championed As A Boon For Failing Ohio Valley Pensions

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Major unions and one of their leading allies in the U.S. Senate are hailing tens of billions of dollars allocated for shoring up struggling union pension funds. The funding added to President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, dubbed the Butch-Lewis Act, would provide $86 billion to dozens of failing… Read More

The view looking down Kentucky Route 135, going through Tolu, Kentucky.

As Lawmakers Prioritize Broadband, Rural Communities Wonder When It Will Reach Them

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TOLU, Ky. (OVR) — As Barkley Hughes and I rumbled around in his red utility vehicle last month, memories slowly unwound about his western Kentucky hometown. Tolu, a historic Ohio River-bound community of less than a hundred, only makes up a few blocks before opening up into rolling farmland. Hughes openly admits it’s not near… Read More

Solar panels on Bryce Baumann’s farm.

Here Comes The Sun: Solar Moves In, And A Farm Community Wonders About Its Future

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CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — The golden hue of the sunset shines across the sky and through the window as a woman drives down Van Meter Road in central Kentucky’s Clark County, passing by green rolling hills and hay bales. In her social media video from early September, Adreanna Wills points out white signs in yards along the… Read More

The vehicle driven by one of the SHARK members, forced off the road and crashed into a ditch.

Driven Off The Road And Assaulted: Animal Rights Group Confronts Alleged Cockfighting In Southeastern Ohio

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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (OVR) — Members of an Illinois-based animal protection group say one of their members was assaulted and another was driven off the road recently after confronting a suspected cockfighting event in southeastern Ohio. Animal rights activist Steve Hindi said his group Showing Animals Respect & Kindness, or SHARK, received a tip from… Read More

COVID Relief Is Coming To The Ohio Valley. But As Hunger Persists, Did It Arrive Too Late?

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(Ohio Valley ReSource)– He asked her if she was cold. A wind whips around the park in western Kentucky a couple days before Christmas. He puts his arm around her as they move closer together on the bench. Blake Livesay, 27, met Laura Brooke, 31, online earlier in 2020, and they’ve been inseparable since. She… Read More

Chickens are carried through a poultry slaughterhouse on mechanical arms.

Study Links Increased COVID-19 Transmission To Poultry Plants Allowed To Operate Faster

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HENDERSON COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — A study published Thursday in a prestigious scientific journal links significant increases in COVID-19 transmission rates to meatpacking plants, especially those facilities that the federal government has allowed to speed up processing lines. Researchers found evidence that linked meatpacking plants to a “high potential for community spread” in the surrounding… Read More

BarbiAnn Maynard drives 45 minutes from her home in Martin County, Kentucky, to a spring at the Mingo-Logan county line in West Virginia to fill containers with fresh water.

What Biden’s Plan For “Building Back Better” Could Mean For The Ohio Valley

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BARLOW, Ky. (OVR) — David Meinschein’s teachers, staff and students have sacrificed a lot this year amid the staggering challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. He opens the door heading inside Ballard Memorial High School’s basketball gymnasium — known locally as the “Green Palace” for its school colors. The school’s emptiness is another reminder of COVID-19’s… Read More

“Everything is just scary,” Folz says of the uncertainty around trade.

Awash In Relief Money, Ohio Valley Farmers Reflect On Trump Promises — And Their Ballots

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CALLOWAY COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — Rick Murdock drives past his neighbors on rural back roads in southwest Calloway County, Kentucky, most days in his pickup truck, where he’ll pass by some signs of the season — “Trump 2020” flags and signs. Murdock said he’s never been the type to put up signs or banners himself… Read More

Early voters at the Athens County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020

Early In-Person Voting Underway For Much Of Ohio Valley

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CHRISTIAN COUNTY, Ky. (OVR) — Christian County Clerk Mike Kem in western Kentucky has already seen COVID-19 enter his doors — three of his employees are currently isolated with the virus. Since his office is in charge of coordinating local elections in his county, he says that up-close experience with the virus has emphasized to him… Read More

The Letcher County Farmers Market on a September weekend.

Back To The Land: The Future Challenge And Opportunity Of Appalachian Agriculture

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WHITESBURGH, Ky. (OVR) — A line of blue and yellow pop-up tents stand along the North Fork of the Kentucky River during a sunny September weekend in downtown Whitesburg, Kentucky, and Valerie Horn is doing her part to keep the Letcher County Farmers Market rolling. Pumpkins and watermelons fill tarps laid out on the ground next… Read More

Rep. Graviss

Ky. Health Officials Suggest Revisions To Food Producer Fee Proposal After Blowback

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (OVR) — Kentucky health officials are suggesting revisions to a proposed regulation that would have dramatically increased food safety inspection fees for some small food producers. Department officials said they received hundreds of public comments on the proposal with concerns about fee increases and they now plan to limit fees according to a producer’s… Read More

Health officials urge the use of face masks in public to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Masking Questions: How Pandemic Health Measures Became Politicized

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Health officials and researchers say the science is clear: face masks can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Yet in the Ohio Valley, not all elected officials are in agreement on whether to mandate measures such as the use of face masks in public places. In April, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike… Read More

Sherman vs. Lee: How One Man Sparked A Fight To Take Down A Statue  

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Toddlers yelling, running around the hardwood floors and leaving cracker crumbs on the ground. A laptop screen dented by a soup can dropped by a kid. At one point, a room covered from ceiling to floor with hand prints after kids were left alone with a paint can.  But for the moment, Sherman Neal’s kids… Read More

Coronavirus Pandemic

These Three Factors Are Driving Many COVID-19 Outbreaks In Rural Communities

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — As the economies of the Ohio Valley gradually reopen from the pandemic closures, state officials are still reporting hundreds of coronavirus cases each day in the region. In Kentucky, coronavirus cases are again on the rise, with a week-long average of daily cases approaching the highest level yet. Public health officials are concerned… Read More

A warehouse in the Facing Hunger food bank in Huntington, WV.

Ohio Valley Anti-Hunger Advocates Worry Region Overlooked In Over $1 Billion Federal Food Box Program

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — A new federal program is buying more than $1 billion in farm products such as dairy, produce and meat unable to be sold due to the pandemic’s disruptions to the food supply and send “food boxes” to needy families. But some anti-hunger advocates worry that parts of the Ohio Valley may be… Read More

Pandemic Could Make Food Insecurity Worse For Older Adults In Ohio Valley

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A new study shows the Ohio Valley has some of the nation’s highest rates of food insecurity among older adults, and anti-hunger advocates say that situation could be made worse by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Food insecurity refers to the inability to access enough food for a healthy, active lifestyle. The annual… Read More

Chickens are carried through a poultry slaughterhouse on mechanical arms.

“Will It Be Enough?”: Meatpacking Workers Fear for Safety as Coronavirus Cases Mount

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — It’s the uncertainty that gets to Darlene Davis. The uncertainty of when she’ll see her 87-year-old mother in person again. The uncertainty of her co-workers’ health. The uncertainty that comes with the novel coronavirus. When a co-worker of hers at the JBS Swift meatpacking plant in Louisville died from COVID-19, she… Read More

A group of pigs

As Trump Orders Meatpackers to Stay Open, Health Department Complaints Allege Louisville Plant Failed to Protect Workers

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (OVR) — As President Trump ordered meatpacking plants on Tuesday to keep operating amid the coronavirus pandemic, more details are emerging about the concerns workers had about their safety at a facility in Louisville, where dozens of workers were infected and one died. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services reported as of Monday,… Read More

SNAP logo

Online SNAP Program Could Increase Food Accessibility in Ohio Valley

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Kentucky and West Virginia have recently been added to a federal pilot program to allow food stamp recipients to purchase groceries online, and Ohio Valley anti-hunger advocates say it’s a good move to improve food accessibility amid the coronavirus pandemic. The pilot program lets those receiving food assistance through the Supplemental… Read More

A warehouse in the Facing Hunger food bank in Huntington, WV.

Demand Soars at Food Banks While Farmers Have Too Much Food

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — Food banks and pantries across the Ohio Valley are seeing spiked demand as an unprecedented surge of people continue to file for unemployment benefits, with food banks facing weeks long delays to get certain products. Meanwhile, some farmers are facing a financial crisis, sitting on excess food they can’t sell — food… Read More

An illustration of a church

Religious Leaders Adapt Holy Week, Passover Traditions To Pandemic

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Pathway Baptist Church in west Kentucky is trying something a bit different from their usual service. Pastor Mike Donald, standing on a makeshift stage in front of a giant outdoor movie screen, is surrounded by congregation members in cars, honking enthusiastically on just about his every word. It’s Sunday service, but at a drive-in movie… Read More

Chickens are carried through a poultry slaughterhouse on mechanical arms.

Coronavirus Concerns Rise as Ohio Valley Meatpacking Workers Fall Sick

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HINTON, W.Va. (OVR) — As the number of coronavirus cases surge across the country, some meatpacking facilities have been temporarily shuttered due to workers falling ill to the virus. Three workers in Georgia have even died. With workers at some Ohio Valley facilities now testing positive for the virus, worker safety advocates are raising concerns about how… Read More

Rural Hospital Sign

Coronavirus Straining Financial Resources of Ohio Valley Hospitals

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MURRAY, Ky. (OVR) — As coronavirus cases continue to increase throughout the Ohio Valley, rural hospitals are preparing for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients. But as they do so, these hospitals face tough financial decisions, and some could close down altogether. Hospitals throughout the region have had to make brutal financial decisions the past… Read More