Region’s Black Lung Rates Highest In 25 Years

3 hours ago
Howard Berkes/NPR

A new study by federal health officials finds the recent surge in cases of black lung disease is especially concentrated among coal miners in central Appalachia.

Researchers at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health say the rate of black lung disease among experienced miners in central Appalachia is the highest they have seen in a quarter century.

Epidemiologist Cara Halldin supervises the coal workers’ health surveillance program for NIOSH, and is one of the study authors. She said the cases are concentrated among miners in Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia.  


Flickr

Kentucky officials are expected to announce on Friday that the state will reverse Medicaid cuts that eliminated dental, vision and non-emergency transportation services for nearly 400,000 Kentuckians. The Courier-Journal reports abrupt cuts effective July 1 caught patients and providers across Kentucky off guard.

The most disruption was in dental services, with some dentists forced to turn away hundreds of patients who had suddenly lost benefits, but weren’t aware that their Medicaid dental coverage had been eliminated.

Kevin Willis

The head of Kentucky’s bourbon association says he’s worried that a drawn-out trade war could slow down growth of the state’s signature distilling industry.

Kentucky bourbon is in the crosshairs of retaliatory tariffs from the European Union, Mexico and Canada after President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from those countries.

Kentucky Distillers Association President Eric Gregory said distillers are worried that if the dispute escalates, it’ll offset some of the industry’s massive growth over the past decade.

Thomas Aquafarms

The Owensboro Regional Farmers Market will soon have a very different kind of locally-raised product for its customers. That new item is expected be ready in August.

Among the zucchini, tomatoes and cabbage at the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market, there will soon be tilapia.  The fish are being grown at Thomas Aquafarms in Daviess County.

Eric Thomas is co-owner of the aquafarm and created the unique environment to raise tilapia beginning with a traditional greenhouse you might see at a nursery.

“I designed and built the fish tanks for the fish to actually grow in," said Thomas. "So in the greenhouse currently we have over 12,000 gallons of space to grow our Blue Nile tilapia in.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/ Lora Zibman

More than 2,000 Kentuckians will have to pay more to receive Medicaid benefits that help them avoid nursing homes. The news comes after state officials said they’ve been charging the incorrect amount for over half a decade.

The change is scheduled to take effect on August 1 and applies to people with disabilities who receive at-home and community-based Medicaid services in Kentucky and make more than $750 per month.

Kentucky Health Cabinet officials say that for more than 5 years, the state hasn’t been collecting the correct amount for the “patient liability”— the amount beneficiaries have to pay every month.

WKU

Three graduates of Western Kentucky University are being inducted into the school’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni this fall.

Becky Ann Baker is a 1975 WKU graduate and Broadway, film, and TV character actress. She’s appeared in two Judd Apatow series, Freaks and Geeks, and the HBO blockbuster Girls.

Nettie Depp was a 1910 graduate of Southern Normal School, the forerunner of WKU, and studied under WKU founder and first president Henry Hardin Cherry.

A pyrotechnic week of geopolitical intrigue has yielded new clarity about the whys and wherefores of the Russia imbroglio, including one insight straight from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Why did Putin order the campaign of "active measures" that have been directed against the United States and the West since before the 2016 election?

Tosh Farms Responds To Graphic Video Alleging Abuse At Ky. Hog Farm

Jul 18, 2018
Mercy For Animals

A Kentucky hog farm operator has fired three workers after an animal rights group video-taped alleged incidents of animal abuse at the farm.

Tosh Farms CEO Jimmy Tosh  said in an email he is taking action in response to allegations of animal cruelty at one of his farms after an undercover investigator from the non-profit Mercy For Animals documented abuse while working for four months at a Franklin, Kentucky, farm earlier this year.


Flickr/Creative Commons/James Case

Experts told Kentucky lawmakers that gun violence needs to be addressed as a public health crisis, advising that they consider legislation that would require gun owners to lock up their firearms.

A legislative committee heard testimony on Wednesday about how gun violence impacts young people across the state and country. The meeting came after a string of school shootings across the country earlier this year, including an incident at Marshall County High School that killed two 15 year-olds.

Lisa Gillespie

Cathy Rhoden-Goguen’s first experience with ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ orders came last year, two days after her father, Robert Rhoden, was admitted to Baptist Health Corbin with abdominal pain. Her phone rang at 5:24 a.m., and a nurse told her she needed to get to the hospital. Her father’s heart rate was dropping.

“So I ask her, ‘Has he been moved to ICU?’ And she said that he had a DNR, so they couldn’t move him to ICU,” Rhoden-Goguen said.

Thirteen minutes later, before she could get to the hospital, her father’s heart stopped and he died. He was 76 years old.

“There was no treatment and the basis for them refusing to treat him was the fact that he had signed a DNR,” Rhoden-Goguen said.


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Photo Gallery: Lost River Sessions Arts & Music Festival

It was a hot afternoon May 12 at the first Lost River Sessions Arts & Music Festival. But that didn't stop hundreds from attending the outdoor festival at Fountain Square Park. Later that evening, Willie Watson, Joan Shelley and the Dead Broke Barons put on a fabulous show inside the Capitol Arts Center.

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