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Rural Hospital Sign

“We Can’t Get To Everybody”: Hospital Closures, Underfunded Health Centers Hinder Coronavirus Response

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Local public health departments and hospitals are on the front lines of facing the coronavirus throughout the Ohio Valley, yet the health professionals who run these facilities say years of underfunding and hospital closures have diminished these services that now face the crisis. Dan Brown, a former councilman for the riverside village of Bellaire, Ohio,… Read More

Andy Beshear

Kentuckians Can Verify Restoration of Voting Rights Online

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Gov. Andy Beshear has announced a new effort to help Kentucky residents determine if they’re among the nonviolent felons now qualified to vote. The website unveiled Wednesday features a searchable database. It lets people find out if their voting rights were restored. It’s a followup to the executive order Beshear signed… Read More

A sign for voting booths

Photo ID Bill Advances in Kentucky but Draws Threat of Legal Challenge

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – As Kentucky legislators advance a bill to require voters to show a government-issued ID to cast a ballot, a civil-liberties group says it might mount a challenge if the bill becomes law. The Republican-backed measure cleared a House committee on a party-line vote Thursday. Opponents raised concerns the photo ID requirement… Read More

Marijuana plants sit under LED lights inside the Veg Room, in Eastlake, Ohio.

Kentucky Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana Advances

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Medical marijuana advocates have won an initial victory in trying to legalize medical cannabis in Kentucky. A legalization measure cleared the House Judiciary Committee on a 17-1 vote Wednesday. The committee room was filled with advocates who have pressed for years to legalize medical marijuana for people battling chronic pain and… Read More

Huff (left) and Fuller (right), next to hemp

Over-Hyped Hemp? Amid Price Drop and a Big Bankruptcy, Some Farmers Feel Burned

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John Fuller is waiting for another farmer he’s never met before to talk about a situation he never imagined he would be in. It’s an overcast January day on his farm in west Kentucky, where he grew 18 acres of hemp last year, investing more than $250,000 of his own cash. He’s one of nearly… Read More

The Ohio River

Ohio River Regulators Planning Riverwide PFAS Study

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Scientists are designing a new study to test for PFAS, so-called “forever chemicals”, along the entire length of the Ohio River. Concerns are mounting about PFAS contamination in drinking water systems along the Ohio Valley. Studies have shown the contaminants in the drinking water of dozens of cities. The scientists work with a multi-state commission… Read More

A grocery store

Grocers in Rural Coal Country Struggle to Stay in Business

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There’s a picture frame on the wall next to the customer service desk in the IGA in Inez, Kentucky. Inside the frame is a scrap of beige meat-counter paper, on which a man named Derle Ousley sketched the layout for an ad announcing the opening of his very first grocery store. “Inez Supermarket Grand Opening,”… Read More

Miners and supporters block the railroad in Pike Co., KY

More Unpaid Appalachian Miners Stage a Coal Train Blockade

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For the second time since summer, eastern Kentucky coal miners are blockading a railroad track to protest unpaid wages. The new blockade, which was started Monday afternoon by Quest Energy miners, echoes the months-long blockade by Blackjewel coal miners over the summer and speaks to a growing discontent in Appalachian coal country. “It’s hard to go… Read More

The U.S. Supreme Court Building

Supreme Court Leaves Kentucky’s Ultrasound Law in Place

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The Supreme Court has left in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before abortions. The justices did not comment Monday in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf… Read More