"Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is challenging leaders in eastern Kentucky to open their eyes to the state’s declining coal economy. Comer is Kentucky’s only Republican statewide constitutional officer. He has led the effort to make industrial hemp legal in the state and is also considered a possible candidate for governor in 2015."
"U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said at this month’s Rural Futures Conference that now is the time 'to re-emphasize, re-educate and remind America of the importance of rural America' because 'rural America is ready to capitalize on economic and societal changes.' We feel this way about Appalachia."
" U.S. Rep. Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) Thursday announced Wyoming County will be included in the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) enabling the County to receive additional federal resources to further the coordination and development of drug control efforts."
"The Museum of Appalachia is the best kind of museum. It hums with warmth and humor. Everything has a story. It's the right size. It allows wandering. And it surprises. A glass eye! A hog kettle! And little handmade toys that will touch your heart. With a collection amassed by one man, John Rice Irwin, it opened as a museum in 1969 and is now a nonprofit and affiliated with the prestigious Smithsonian Institution."
"A pastor told a packed courtroom Friday that his handling of snakes as a part of a church service is guaranteed under federal law governing freedom of religion. Andrew Hamblin, pastor of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, entered a not guilty plea on Friday to possessing 50 venomous snakes during an arraignment in Campbell County General Sessions Court."
"The Tennessee Valley Authority, one of the nation’s five biggest users of coal for electricity generation, said Thursday it would close down eight coal-fired power units with 3,300 megawatts of capacity. The decision was prompted by a combination of environmental requirements, the age of the plants, competition from natural gas and declining electricity consumption in the TVA’s service area. TVA executives said at an open meeting of the agency’s board of directors in Oxford, Miss., that they aim to reduce coal to 20 percent of total generating capacity, about half of what it was in 2010."
"King Coal may soon be dethroned as the Tennessee Valley Authority's primary source of power. After stoking most of its power plants with coal for more than a half-century, TVA appears ready to shut down many of its oldest and least-efficient coal plants in the face of stricter environmental rules and less demand for energy. The federal utility has shut down a half-dozen units in the past two years and is studying options to shutter at least a dozen more. TVA expects to generate more power from nuclear plants than coal within the next three years."