Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is challenging leaders in eastern Kentucky to accept the decline of coal production and invest in a new economy to help pull the region out of poverty.
"A lot of leaders in Eastern Kentucky keep talking about ‘coal is the answer and there is a war on coal.’ I’m a friend of coal. I support the coal industry. But the coal industry’s future doesn't look bright and we have to look beyond that and learn to develop a new economy in Eastern Kentucky," he says.
The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake centered in Kentucky also hit at least eight other states. The USGS website says the epicenter of the 4.3 magnitude earthquake Saturday afternoon was about 10 miles west of Whitesburg, near the Virginia line.
A scholarship program intended to serve college students in far eastern Kentucky has been expanded. What was originally called the Appalachian Scholarship Fund has been expanded to all coal-producing counties in Kentucky, including those in the western portion of the state. The program applies to students in the last two years of their education who attend a university, public or private, in a coal-producing county. The intent was to keep eastern Kentucky students from leaving the area for college.
And in other OVC men’s basketball action over the weekend, Morehead State beat Eastern Kentucky 58 to 45, Eastern Illinois defeated UT Martin 74 to 71, Southeast Missouri brought down SIU Edwardsville 85 to 72, and Tennessee State beat Tennessee Tech 68 to 53.