Hindman Promoting Cultural Heritage to Revive Economy
In 2014, the tourism and travel industry contributed over $13 billion to Kentucky’s economy and its impact is growing. Eastern Kentucky’s coalfield towns are increasingly looking to tourism as a possible way to diversify their economies. In this feature, WMMT reporter Kelli Haywood visits the city of Hindman, the Knott County seat, to witness the efforts being made to use the distinctive cultural resources available to the community in hopes that arts, traditional music, education and skill-building opportunities, and tourism will create a thriving economy in the years to come.
Wind Farm Replaces Coal in South Wales
Coal communities around the world are coping with a downturn in the global coal market. In some places, such as Great Britain, most mining shut down decades ago. This report, produced by Melanie Harsha for the After Coal Project at Appalachian State University, looks at the construction of the Pen y Cymoedd Wind Farm being build by former miners on reclaimed mining land in South Wales. Residents have mixed feelings about the impact of the wind farm and have secured a number of commitments from the Vattenfall Company to support community projects.
Can Elk Help Build East Kentucky Economy?
In 1997, seven elk were released within eastern Kentucky’s 16 county Elk Restoration Zone, an area that includes Bell, Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Perry, Pike, and Whitley counties. Since then, the elk have thrived and Kentucky now has the largest elk herd east of the Mississippi River at approximately 10,000 animals. Big game hunting is bringing a considerable amount of revenue into the state, but many residents within the Elk Restoration Zone feel the resource could be better harnessed for the benefit of the region’s economy. WMMT reports on a community discussion in Perry County, where the dinner table topic focused on capitalizing on the interest in elk hunting and elk viewing.
Appal-TREE Cooking Classes Increase Healthy Eating
Many Americans don’t have reliable access to affordable, nutritious food, and sometimes lack knowledge in how to prepare healthy meals. In much of Appalachia, including eastern Kentucky, children and adults are suffering the health consequences of eating poorly. However, in Letcher County, Kentucky, the Appal-TREE Project is an unusual community-university partnership working to change that. In this report, WMMT visits an Appalachians Cooking Together (ACT) Class led by chef Regina Niece at the Whitesburg Housing Authority. The classes are one of the approaches the Appal-TREE Project has undertaken to increase access and consumption of healthy foods.