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A scene from inside Portal 31.

Portal 31: How A Closed Mine Opened New Prospects For One Coal Town

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Devin Mefford is sitting in the squat metal buggy of a modified mantrip, the train-like shuttle coal miners use to travel underground. Mefford is dressed for work, in a hardhat and a navy shirt and pants with lime green reflective stripes. It’s a uniform his father and grandfather — both Kentucky coal miners — would… Read More

ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas addresses the crowd during a stop of a listening tour in Portsmouth.

ARC Awards Nearly $7 Million For Projects in Appalachian Ohio


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ATHENS, Ohio — Projects in areas including The Plains, Gallipolis and Marietta are among those receiving nearly $7 million to help advance economic development in a region dealing with a changing economy. The Appalachian Regional Commission announced the $6,708,794 as part of the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative Tuesday. “The… Read More

This Sept. 16, 2016 file photo, shows Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, right, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers discussing the status of the statewide broadband network at the state Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. Launched with considerable fanfare in 2015

SOAR At Six: Group’s Lofty Goals For Coal Country Meet Challenges

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In a conference hall in Pikeville, Kentucky, this September, Gov. Matt Bevin led an eager audience in a countdown. When the audience reached “One!,” a map on the screen behind the governor lit up with the promise of a high-tech future. After years of delay and scandal, major portions of the commonwealth’s “middle mile” of… Read More

Kentucky on a map

Grants Aim to Boost Economic Growth in Eastern Kentucky

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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Grants totaling $34.4 million have been announced in an effort to spur economic development and job creation in eastern Kentucky – a region hard hit by the coal sector’s downturn. Officials said Friday the grants will support projects impacting 14 counties. The support includes nearly $4.8 million for Pikeville Medical Center… Read More

Working Toward Recovery: Ohio Town Fights Addiction With Focus On Economy

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This is the second story in an occasional series exploring the links between addiction recovery and a recovering economy. Addiction specialists, business leaders, law enforcement officials and other community members gathered around tables at Shawnee State University to talk about two big challenges in Scioto County, Ohio: a shrinking economy and a growing addiction crisis. The Appalachian… Read More

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted

State Launches Portal To Showcase Investment Opportunities In Low-Income Sites

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The state has launched a new portal for its 320 opportunity zones, so those economically distressed communities can showcase the projects potential investors can put money into. The 2017 federal tax law put more incentives into investing in low-income rural areas and struggling urban neighborhoods. And Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the next step was… Read More

Kentucky on a map

Kentucky’s Economic Development Chief Resigning

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says his administration’s economic development secretary is stepping down from the job he has held since early 2017. Bevin said Tuesday it’s with “regret” he accepted Terry Gill’s resignation, effective at the end of May. The governor says Gill brought a business executive’s perspective to economic development… Read More

Ohio’s Cities Say They Need More State Money To Fix Roads And Bridges

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Ohio’s cities have seen about $450 million in cuts to their local government funds under Gov. John Kasich. The lobby group that represents cities is looking forward to establishing new relationships with Governor-elect Mike DeWine and the incoming legislature. Here’s why. Mike Barhorst is the mayor of Sidney in western Ohio. He says he wants to make sure state leaders… Read More

Defunding Appalachia: Coal Communities Resist President’s Budget Cuts

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Danny Ferguson didn’t like what he saw happening in Lincoln County, West Virginia, where he grew up. The downturn in the coal industry had hit hard, and young people had few job options beyond some fast food places. “We don’t have nothing else for them to be employed,” Ferguson said. “Lincoln County is in bad… Read More