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Trade War Fears Have Ohio Valley Soy Growers Nervous

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China buys more than half of the soybeans grown in the Ohio Valley. So China’s threat this week to place a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soy means farmers would be caught in the crosshairs of a trade war. Even though tariffs haven’t taken effect, markets are already showing signs that commodities traders are growing… Read More

Eastern Kentucky Prison Moves Forward As Opponents Consider Challenge

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The Bureau of Prisons has issued a record of decision signaling that it is moving ahead with plans to build a federal prison on the site of a former strip mine in the hills of Letcher County, Kentucky. But local opponents of the prison say they’re not giving up and are considering a legal challenge to prevent… Read More

GregLee

Exchange of Ideas: How A Rural Kentucky County Overcame Fear To Adopt A Needle Exchange

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Greg Lee, Kentucky’s HIV/AIDS educator, starts the town hall on a somber note. “How many people in this room know someone who has died of an overdose death?” It is a standing-room only crowd. Most hands go up. “Amazing,” he says, sadly. The meeting is at the Bourbon County Public Health Department, just next to… Read More

Amid Black Lung Surge, Kentucky Changes Benefits Process For Miners

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William McCool is a 64-year-old former coal miner from Letcher County, Kentucky, with an advanced form of black lung disease. Health experts say the condition is entirely preventable with dust control measures in mines. But today, more miners in Appalachia are being diagnosed with severe black lung than ever before. “I’ve worked all my life,… Read More

Seth Adams

Deep In Gun Country, Students Speak Out On Gun Violence

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Gun culture runs deep in much of the Ohio Valley, where hunting is a revered tradition and the majority of state lawmakers in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia boast “A” ratings from the National Rifle Association. But even here the growing national student activism on gun safety is taking hold in the wake of recent… Read More

overdose-map

CDC Outlines Plan To Address Ohio Valley’s Opioids Crisis

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President Donald Trump’s call to implement the death penalty for drug traffickers grabbed headlines Monday. But public health officials within the Trump administration are stressing other elements of the president’s plan to address the opioid crisis. Acting Director for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Anne Schuchat, outlined her agency’s plans for the… Read More

Trader Woes: Region’s Bourbon, Beans And More Could Suffer Under Tariffs

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Bottles of bourbon make their way through the assembly line at Maker’s Mark, one of ten distilleries on the Kentucky bourbon trail. They’re cleaned, filled, capped and then dipped in the company’s signature red wax, a tradition that started with the wife of the distillery’s founder, Bill Samuels. “She took red sealing wax, she put it… Read More

Students Push As Lawmakers Ponder Gun Safety Bills

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In a recently released court video, Capt. Matt Hilbrecht of the Marshall County, Kentucky, Sheriff’s office testifies about his interrogation of Gabriel Parker, the 15-year-old accused of a mass shooting at Marshall County High School in January. “We asked him initially when he had the thought of the school shooting,” Hilbrecht begins as he describes the… Read More

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Rural Risk: Fighting Disease Amid The Opioid Crisis

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  Health officials in the Ohio Valley are investigating outbreaks of disease associated with needle drug use in what is emerging as a new public health threat from the region’s profound opioid addiction crisis. In northern Kentucky the health department is tracking a cluster of 43 recent HIV cases, about half of which are related to needle… Read More

Help On Tap For Troubled Water System In Coal Country

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A water system in eastern Kentucky that was on the verge of collapse could soon get much needed improvements. Many Martin County, Kentucky, residents were without water for long periods this winter. The crisis drew attention amid a national discussion about infrastructure priorities, and put a spotlight on the sort of water woes that are… Read More