Eleanor Klibanoff

Kentucky Labor Cabinet

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has announced plans to increase salaries, provide more training and buy more equipment for its occupational safety and health compliance officers.

The changes come on the heels of an investigative series by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ohio Valley ReSource and the Center for Public Integrity, which first publicly revealed the state’s program was under serious federal scrutiny.

Michelle Hanks

Kentucky’s occupational safety and health program has “a number of unacceptable issues” that are under internal review, according to Acting Labor Secretary David Dickerson.

Dickerson wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Lexington Herald-Leader that the “hard work of turning the program around is well underway” after the agency received a critical federal audit last year.

The federal report was first publicized in November as part of Fatal Flaws, a special investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ohio Valley ReSource and the Center for Public Integrity.

On what would have been her 43rd wedding anniversary, Lisa Hobbs stood in the front yard of Camp Pius, the farm handed down through her husband's family for generations. She watched as the very same dump truck that killed her husband rolled down her country lane.

In December 2016, Pius "Gene" Hobbs was raking gravel with the Meade County public works crew when a dump truck backed over him. The driver then accelerated forward, hitting him a second time. Hobbs was crushed to death.

Michelle Hanks

While most of the Meade County public works crew finished their lunches, Pius “Gene” Hobbs was raking along the edge of the road, oblivious to the dump truck backing quickly towards him. 

Unbeknownst to the driver, Hobbs was knocked to the ground and crushed under the truck’s weight. When the truck accelerated forward, Hobbs’ coworker ran him over a second time. He was killed on impact. 

The only eyewitness to the December 2016 incident, a bystander named Greg Turner, said that he didn’t hear a backup beeper on the truck as it reversed. Maybe Hobbs hadn’t either. 


Public Domain

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet on Monday complied with a judge’s order to publicly name an employee who was accused of sexual harassment, but cleared by an internal investigation.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled this month that names of employees accused of sexual harassment should be public regardless of whether the claim was proven, and ordered the cabinet to provide the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting with the name it previously withheld.The cabinet sued KyCIR in April to keep the names of employees secret, if the allegations weren’t substantiated.

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If your doctor, social worker or therapist has violated professional standards, you have a right to that information under the open records law. But that could change under a bill before the state Senate.

The purpose of the 269-page bill is a reorganization of Kentucky’s licensing boards. But the bill also includes new language allowing discipline to be meted out via “a public reprimand or private letter of admonishment.”

You are in a foreign country. And things are certainly looking a bit foreign.

Do you sit or squat? Can you toss toilet paper down the bowl or hole?

Let the signs guide you.

That is, if you can understand them.

Doug Lansky, author of the Signspotting series of books, knows how toilet etiquette signs can be mysterious, misleading and hilarious. His books include all types of funny warning and advice signs, but the topic of toilets is especially popular.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On the day before President Trump's inauguration, the outgoing Obama administration passed a last-minute directive banning the use of lead ammunition and fishing sinkers on federal land.

Recently, the deteriorating health of a bald eagle showed the effects of lead poisoning. Obama's regulation is intended to protect wildlife from exactly that.

But hunters are hoping Trump will soon overturn it.

Last week, an officer from the Pennsylvania Game Commission brought a bald eagle to the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Once the largest U.S. rail company, the Pennsylvania Railroad ceased operations nearly half a century ago. But volunteers are researching and protecting that history at the station in Lewiston, Pa.

Eleanor Klibanoff is a reporter for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania cities.

The U.S Advisory Council on Human Trafficking issued its first-ever report on Tuesday. This group was founded last year when President Obama appointed 11 people, all of whom are survivors of human trafficking themselves, to run the council.

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti hard, devastating the southern end of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

It's hard to look at the photos coming out of Haiti and not be moved to action. But if you're thinking now is the time to hop on a plane and get involved in disaster relief work, groups working on the ground have one piece of advice: pump the brakes.

Each day, 520 trucks with more than 7,000 tons of garbage trundle through the potholed streets of Dunmore and Throop, Pa. The two small towns, just outside Scranton, are home to the Keystone Sanitary Landfill. The trash, however, comes from all over — just about half arrives from out of state.

Keystone Sanitary recently requested a 40-plus-year extension of its permit, which is slated for another eight years, but local activists are pushing back.

Hazleton, Pa., was just another struggling coal city until a wave of Latino immigrants came to town in 2006. It was a dark time: A wave of violent crime swept across the city. People were afraid to walk around downtown.

Some of those crimes were committed by immigrants in the U.S. illegally, leading to an unprecedented crackdown on the Latino community. Then-Mayor Lou Barletta tried to bar the door.

"We want people to know that Hazleton is probably the strictest city in the United States for illegal aliens," he said at the time.

She fights for the rights of women by telling stories about heroic men.

"The struggle to end violence against women has always been carried out by women activists," says Samar Minallah Khan, who makes documentaries about gender-based violence in her native Pakistan.

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