Mtn. Talk Monday: The EPIC Program

In this episode of Mountain Talk Monday learn more about the EPIC Program – Enhancing Programs for IT Certification that is being offered through the KCTCS community colleges in our area! Guest host Mimi Pickering speaks with Tracie Davis, David Dixon, and students who are participating in or are graduates of the program.

http://www.southeast.kctcs.edu/en/Academics/EPIC.aspx

What is EPIC?

    • Enhancing Programs for IT Certification (EPIC) is an expansion of Learn on Demand (LoD).
    • We are building tomorrow’s workforce today!
    • To help colleges educate workers for employment in high wage, high skill occupations
    • Course Work Available Entirely Online
    • Collaboration among SKCTC and industries for apprenticeships and internships
    • Programs Available for Degrees and Certifications (5 Degrees, 11 Certificates)

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Contact For More Information:
David C. Dixon, MA Ed., EPIC Project Team Leader
Telephone: 1.606.589.3121 | C ell: 1.606.670.2011 | E-mail: [email protected]

Joseph D. Fulkerson, M.Ed., Outreach & Placement Specialist
Telephone: 1.606.589.3120 | Cell: 1.606.273.5735 | E-mail: [email protected]

Mountain Talk is WMMT’s twice-weekly community space for conversation, airing each Monday & Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.  Mountain Talk programs focus on a variety of topics related to life in the mountains, including: food, community issues, art, health, and more.  Click here to hear past programs.

MN&WR: The Assets We Have

  • Mary Gail Adams tells the story of her mother and the Hound Dog Hookers, a group of wool rug makers in Blackey, Kentucky established in the 1960s as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty effort.
  • The Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, Jay Williams, speaks on the correlation between the economic difficulties of eastern Kentucky and that experienced in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio with the collapse of the steel industry.
  • Along with the Humans of Central Appalachia project, WMMT pays tribute to Whitesburg, Kentucky’s beloved artist, restaurateur, volunteer, and grandmother – Judith Vermillion.
1.  A rug that the state of Kentucky commissioned from the Hound Dog Hookers for Lady Bird Johnson.  The picture is of the presentation and has Rep. Carl Perkins, Lady Bird Johnson, and then governor Ned Breathitt. 2. Judith Vermillion by Malcolm J. Wilson with HOCA

1. A rug that the state of Kentucky commissioned from the Hound Dog Hookers for Lady Bird Johnson. The picture is of the presentation and has Rep. Carl Perkins, Lady Bird Johnson, and then governor Ned Breathitt.
2. Judith Vermillion by Malcolm J. Wilson with HOCA

In this episode of Mountain News & World Report we are looking at our assets as a community, as people, and those assets which we can obtain from outside sources.  In a region considering economic options, taking note of the resources we have whether they are cultural, financial, or natural will let us know where we stand and what will allow us to move forward.  What can’t be taken away?  What can be added?  What can be seen differently?

The economy of coalfields Appalachia has always been boom and bust. The cycle is almost as much a part of us as the coal we’ve mined, the songs we’ve sang, and the paths we’ve walked.  However, we’ve always had the asset of hardworking people.  In the 1960s as a part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty effort, a New Yorker came to Letcher County, Kentucky to teach women how to hook rugs in hopes of giving them a means of financial independence and stability.  The daughter of one of those women Mary Gail Adams shares with us the story of the Hound Dog Hookers for our first story in this edition.

The fall of the economy in coalfields Appalachia can often feel like an isolated event so unique to us that no one outside of here could possibly understand completely our dilemma.  Yet, places all over the United States are experiencing the same type of thing.  The main industry in a place pulls out, moves overseas, or fades away to changing times without anything to replace it, like it was a given it would always be there.  The Assistant Secretary for Economic Development and Administrator of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration Jay Williams knows exactly how we feel.  In his hometown of Youngstown Ohio, the collapse of the U.S. steel industry changed their economy forever.  Williams told the story of Youngstown and how they began diversifying their economy at the recent Big Ideas Fest in Hazard, Kentucky.

Judith Vermillion of Whitesburg, Kentucky passed away this month.  Thinking of community assets, she definitely was one.  Through her constant efforts to please the community as a restaurateur, a volunteer, an artist, and an involved mother and grandmother, Judith was known and loved by a great many. Malcolm Wilson of the Humans of Central Appalachia Project talked with Judith at the Seedtime on the Cumberland Festival in June 2015, where Judith was selling her art.  On her passing, Malcolm shared her story again through the project saying (quote), She embodied that which is so important to the culture of our region and has left some pretty big shoes to fill. With regret and heavy hearts, we re-share Judith’s story as a testimony to a life well-lived.”

Mountain News & World Report is a bi-weekly production of WMMT, and new episodes air every other Thursday at 6pm on WMMT, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday morning at 10:30.  To listen to previous episodes, check out our streaming archives.

Coal Report for September 21, 2016

Photo by Thomas Biggs

Photo by Thomas Biggs

The Public Service Commission (or PSC) took back an order that would have allowed a biomass (or wood-burning) plant to be built in an industrial park in Perry County, Kentucky 11 miles northwest of Hazard.  The plant would have supplied Kentucky Power Company with all of the electricity generated at the plant, but could have cost consumers up to $1.2 billion which Kentucky Power would have been able to recover from their customers. The PSC rescinded the order in response to a state court of appeals decision last month that deemed the plant unnecessary and likely to cause an undue economic burden on the region’s residents.  The number of jobs the plant would bring to the area which were thought to be minimal were determined not to outweigh the sizable rate increase needed to pay for the building of the plant.  Kentucky Senator Brandon Smith of Hazard received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from people associated with ecoPower – the company building the plant, including Richard Sturgill, a wealthy businessman and Hazard native who formed the company in May 2009, after Smith backed a law last year which gave special treatment to the plant project. Continue reading Coal Report for September 21, 2016

Coal Report for September 14, 2016

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Miner’s Act Rally – UMWA in DC 9/8/16

INTRO: Thousands of United Mine Workers of America will descend on the nation’s capital for a rally today (Thursday). They are fighting to protect the health benefits they will lose if the Miner’s Protection Act is not passed. Reporter Becca Schimmel met with miners before their departure to hear how they felt.

BS: Buses in Muhlenberg County lined up and sat idling while UMWA members piled in for yet another rally to fight for their benefits. They’ll join miners and supporters from thirteen states to urge a vote to move the Miner’s Protection Act out of committee, where the measure has stalled. Retired miner Donald Smith says he thinks it will help for the lawmakers to see the miners in wheelchairs and see that they need their benefits.

DS: I can’t understand how they get such good healthcare and we can’t keep ours. Lawmakers are up there supposed to be to help us and they’re not wanting to. Continue reading Coal Report for September 14, 2016

Mtn. Talk Monday: NYT Reporter Sheryl Stolberg

For this episode host, Kelli Haywood speaks with guest New York Times reporter Sheryl Stolberg who recently wrote a feature for the newspaper on the effort toward economic transition in eastern Kentucky. The pair discuss the responsibility of a journalist in representing a culture not their own, effects of mainstream media on public perceptions, hillbilly stereotype, Trump vs. Clinton in coal country, economy, and more. Read the entire article here – Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future.

More about Whitesburg happenings by Sheryl Gay Stolberg – Moonshine Maker Loses “Kentucky” in Legal Battle with University

More from the New York Times about eastern Kentucky – We Need “Somebody” Spectacular: Views from Trump Country

 

sheryl-stolberg

Mountain Talk is WMMT’s twice-weekly community space for conversation, airing each Monday & Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.  Mountain Talk programs focus on a variety of topics related to life in the mountains, including: food, community issues, art, health, and more.  Click here to hear past programs.

MN&WR: Big ReThought

  • Former WMMT reporter and DJ Sylvia Ryerson (aka Sly Rye) speak on WNYC’s nationally syndicated program The Takeaway. She along with story contributor Michelle Hudson and host John Hockenberry discuss her project Restorative Radio which connects those incarcerated in prisons across Central Appalachia with their loved ones at home. 
  • The National Academy of Sciences is launching a comprehensive study of how mountaintop removal coal mining affects the health of those who live nearby.  WMMT’s Benny Becker reports for the Ohio Valley ReSource, on how past efforts at research ran into roadblocks and delays.
  • WMMT’s Kelli Haywood spoke with two community college professors in southeastern Kentucky about ways the Kentucky Community and Technical College System is working to prepare their students to adapt to a changing economy in eastern Kentucky through the STEAM model of education.
Sylvia Ryerson and Bonnie Turner

Sylvia Ryerson and Bonnie Turner

Vivian Stockman and Southwings Aerial view of mountaintop removal in West Virginia. The “lake” in center is a coal sludge waste impoundment.

Vivian Stockman and Southwings
Aerial view of mountaintop removal in West Virginia. The “lake” in center is a coal sludge waste impoundment.

Jenny Williams, Kelli Haywood, and Matthew Druen

Jenny Williams, Kelli Haywood, and Matthew Druen

In this episode of Mountain News & World Report, we are honing in on those persons and projects which are rethinking the way we see our region and the way we engage in our communities as we make plans for our future.  For our first story, we join former WMMT reporter and DJ Sylvia Ryerson (aka Sly Rye) on WNYC’s nationally syndicated program The Takeaway. She and host John Hockenberry discussed her project Restorative Radio along with story contributor Michelle Hudson.  The Restorative Radio project grew out of the weekly WMMT radio show “Calls from Home,” where families and friends of those incarcerated in prisons around Central Appalachia use community radio as a means to reach out to their loved ones and bypass the very expensive and inconsistent methods provided to them by the system. Sylvia Ryerson worked with some of the families that call regularly to create radio postcards which aired on WMMT as Restorative Radio specials, and her work  has gained national recognition.

In our second story, Benny Becker reports for WMMT and the Ohio Valley ReSource about the prestigious National Academy of Sciences announcing a comprehensive study on the health effects of the controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal.  A decade of efforts to research the health effects of living near mountaintop removal mining have often run into industry opposition, political roadblocks, and bureaucratic delays. After decades of questions and concerns there is now reason to believe that answers are on the way.

And finally, in recent months the STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) model of education has been touted as a means to prepare the region’s students to be the workforce of the future, competitive and ready.  However, the importance of the arts & humanities has been left out of that equation.  What if any significance should arts, culture, communication, and literacy have in the rebuilding of the coalfields economy?  Kelli Haywood spoke with Jenny Williams (an English professor) and Matthew Druen (professor of science) about a project that they believe will illustrate the need clearly and prepared their eastern Kentucky community college students beyond a basic STEM model and instead looking for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts/humanities, mathematics).

Mountain News & World Report is a bi-weekly production of WMMT, and new episodes air every other Thursday at 6pm on WMMT, with a repeat broadcast the following Sunday morning at 10:30.  To listen to previous episodes, check out our streaming archives.

Mtn. Talk Monday: Local Smoke Free Policy in Eastern Kentucky

In this edition of Mountain Talk Monday, host Kelli Haywood speaks with Dr. Ellen Hahn who is a Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing and the Director of the Kentucky Center for Smoke Free Policy.  Jean Rosenberg, a community advocate from Prestonsburg, Kentucky and a former consultant for the Floyd County Health Department also joins the conversation.  The topic is local smoke free policy.  What does it take to make your businesses and public spaces free of the harmful chemicals found in second hand smoke?  Why should you advocate for smoke free policy in your community?  Is smoke free policy discriminatory?  Listen today and learn more!

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/kysmokefree

Website: http://www.breathe.uky.edu

Quit Line: 1-800-QUIT-NOW

Dr. Ellen Hahn - Dr. of KY Center for Smoke Free Policy Jean Rosenberg - Community Advocate (Prestonsburg)

Dr. Ellen Hahn – Dr. of KY Center for Smoke Free Policy
Jean Rosenberg – Community Advocate (Prestonsburg)

Mountain Talk is WMMT’s twice-weekly community space for conversation, airing each Monday & Wednesday from 6-7 p.m.  Mountain Talk programs focus on a variety of topics related to life in the mountains, including: food, community issues, art, health, and more.  Click here to hear past programs.

Coal Report for August 31, 2016

Kenn W. Kiser, morgueFile.com The electricity sector is the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Kenn W. Kiser, morgueFile.com
The electricity sector is the country’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Read More at - Ohio Valley ReSource

Power Play – Objections to the Clean Power Plan

Glynis Board

Coal-producing states are preparing for arguments next month in the case known as West Virginia versus the EPA, challenging the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants. The case has major implications for the country’s policy on climate change. But as Glynis Board reports, some experts and industry leaders say the outcome will not bring coal back.

Coal from central Appalachia has been “keeping the lights on” in the U.S. for nearly a century, so perhaps it’s no surprise that West Virginia’s attorney general is leading dozens of other states including Kentucky and Ohio, and many industry groups, in opposition to the new carbon emission standards. During a National Press Club panel discussion earlier this year Patrick Morrisey said the Clean Power Plan disincentivises coal production. Continue reading Coal Report for August 31, 2016