Rebecca Kiger

The Appalachian Regional Commission announced Thursday another $22.8 million in funding to 33 projects aimed at revitalizing economies in places affected by the decline in the coal industry.

The awards are the latest in the ARC’s POWER Initiative, an acronym for Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization. Congress has funded the initiative for four years specifically to help communities affected by job losses in the Appalachian coal industry.


Ryland Barton

Doctors would be required to tell patients seeking a medically-induced abortion that the procedure can be reversed, under a bill advancing through the Kentucky legislature despite warnings from medical professionals.

The measure was added to a bill that would require doctors to report all medically-induced abortions — one of at least four abortion-related measures moving through the legislature.

Sen. Robby Mills, a Republican from Henderson and sponsor of the bill, said that doctors should be required to tell patients that they can stop a medically-induced abortion if they “only take the first pill and not the second pill.”

GOP Lawmaker, Once Unemployed, Seeks to Reduce Benefits

3 hours ago
LRC Public Affairs

About 20 years ago, a distribution company went out of business and Russell Webber lost his job, forcing him to rely on unemployment benefits until he could find something else.

Now, as a Republican member of the Kentucky legislature, Webber has sponsored a bill to cut those unemployment benefits, reducing the weekly rate and shortening the amount of time people can receive them.

Webber, who says he now works as a state lawmaker full time, said the changes will encourage people to find work faster. People in Kentucky average close to five months of unemployment benefits before they find another job, which is among the longest duration in the region, according to Katie Houghlin, director of the Kentucky Division of Unemployment Insurance.

Feeding Kentucky

The organization previously called the Kentucky Association of Food Banks has a new name and it’s pledging to continue initiatives to alleviate food insecurity. But even with the continuing support of many state leaders, the initiatives aren't making much of a dent in the state’s problem with hunger. 

In Kentucky, one-in-six people is food insecure. That’s a number the organization with the new name ‘Feeding Kentucky’ is determined to whittle down.

Executive Director Tamara Sandberg said many families and individuals aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from.

Bowling Green Housing Authority

A new grocery store is coming soon to what the U.S. Department of Agriculture has determined is a Bowling Green ‘food desert,’ where it’s difficult for residents to buy affordable or good quality fresh food. 

It’s one of 12 projects in the nation, and the only one in Kentucky, that’s just been awarded a grant from CSX railroad and The Conservation Fund. It’s not a brick-and-mortar grocery, it’s a renovated school bus.

The freshly painted white bus has bright green letters and pictures of fruits, vegetables and milk. It’s called the Mobile Grocery Store and it’s a project of the Bowling Green Housing Authority. 

Thinkstock

On the last day that Kentucky lawmakers could file bills, a freshman Republican filed a bill to move future Kentucky teachers into a new pension system.

The legislation is the latest attempt to address the low funding levels of Kentucky’s retirement systems for public workers by altering benefits.

Rep. Scott Lewis, a Republican from Hartford and sponsor of the bill, says the new proposal would still provide teachers with “defined benefit” pensions that guarantee monthly payments upon retirement, but it wouldn’t be as generous as what current teachers get.

Lisa Autry

Continuous rainfall has some Kentucky towns along the Ohio River experiencing a sense of de ja vu. 

Much of the Owensboro riverfront, including Smothers Park, was under water this time last year and heavy rains have again pushed the river above flood stage, but not quite as severely. 

The Ohio River is just over 41 feet and would have to get to 44 feet to flood the park, according to Daviess County Emergency Management.

Colin Jackson

The Barren River runs through Bowling Green along the outskirts of a downtown district that's undergone several renewal projects since the late 1990s. RiverWalk Park, also known as Mitch McConnell Park, is along the water's downtown side.

Stone walls run the length of the park and globe lanterns that change colors light the space at night. It rests at the end of College Street, which runs from Western Kentucky University's campus to a footbridge over the water.


J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Another abortion restriction has begun its journey through the Kentucky legislature. A state House panel approved a bill Wednesday that would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if they feel that the patient is ending the pregnancy because of the fetus’ sex, race or disability.

Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty, a Republican from Greenville and sponsor of the bill, argued that the measure addresses a human rights issue.

“Demanding the right to extinguish or eliminate the life of an unborn child because of their gender, race or possible physical or mental disability is reminiscent of the evil social philosophy of eugenics,” Gibbons Prunty said.

A Warrick County coal mine in southern Indiana will shut down this spring, affecting more than 80 employees. 

In a notice to the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, White Stallion Energy of Evansville says surface mine operations at Liberty Mine in Boonville will shut down on April 5, though the company says the date may change "depending on business circumstances."

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LRS Live Replay: The Barefoot Movement & The Savage Radley

Nashville group The Barefoot Movement brought its blend of traditional bluegrass, original songs and pop cover tunes to the stage of the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green on Jan. 18 for the first Lost River Sessions LIVE of 2019. The Barefoot Movement features Noah Wall on lead vocals and fiddle, Alex Conerly on guitar, Katie Blomarz on stand up bass and Tommy Norris on mandolin.

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