East Kentucky Schools Racing to the Top
In Dec. 2013, the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) received a $30 million Race to the Top grant from the US Department of Education to carry out the Appalachian Renaissance Initiative. ARI is a collaboration between 17 school districts and numerous regional organizations all committed to putting students first, improving educational outcomes, and developing a model for rural education. The Race to the Top program is the cornerstone of President Obama’s education reform efforts, and eastern Kentucky was selected as one of only five places across the nation to receive this grant, and the only rural area. WMMT’s Sylvia Ryerson has this report from the ARI rollout event.
Will Kentucky Move Forward Or Go Backward?
It is the time of year when the Kentucky General Assembly is in session and this is one of those years when legislators need to pass a budget for the state. Because of a lack of revenue, Kentucky has cut $1.6 billon from education, health and other services over the past 6 years and the talk in Frankfort is of more program cuts, or possibly, tax reform that could bring in the needed revenue. WMMT checked in with some folks for their thoughts on the state of the state and how their neighbors are faring during these tough times. Mimi Pickering reports.
Solar Energy Can Brighten West Virginia’s Future
Our region is known for producing energy. Historically that has been coal and more recently natural gas. Another source that could bring jobs, lower electric bills, and energy self-sufficiency is solar. A new white paper from the Mountain Institute and Downstream Strategies examines the potential of solar power for West Virginians. The authors plan to use the report to start discussions around the state on the policies needed to build this industry. Download the white paper here
Morris Creek: Reviving Creek for Community
Streams turned bright-orange from Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) are a common sight throughout the coalfields. The orange is essentially iron that comes with the water flowing out of old mines and it often smothers aquatic life. Mike King and other folks living along Morris Creek near Montgomery, WV, came together to see if they could clean up their stream. In this report, we hear about their organization, The Morris Creek Watershed Association, their home-made AMD treatment systems, the dramatic success restoring the creek, and how they feel this work has benefited their rural community. Stream remediation projects like this could put hundreds to work and pave the way for increased tourism and other home grown businesses.