Society

In the midst of an opioid epidemic that continues to devastate families, a sliver of hope has arrived. Two long-term studies published Monday show that opioid use among teens and opioid poisonings among younger children are on the decline.

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Kentucky has ranked first in the country in deaths from lung cancer for years, and about a third of those deaths were related to smoking, according to a 2016 study released by the American Cancer Society.

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  Nita Graham Head graduated from Florence State Teachers College, and earned a Master’s degree from George Peabody Teachers College, now part of Vanderbilt University. From there, she began teaching at Murray State, where she initiated a tennis program in the days before women athletes were an official component of college sports. She died on March 11. Head was 85. Here is a remembrance:

My favorite story about Nita Head concerns weaving, an art she honed in later life. When her husband, Bob Head, told me the tale, he prefaced it by mentioning Nita’s frugality and discipline, traits likely acquired when she was growing up in the mountains of North Alabama during the Great Depression.

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  Two communities in far west Kentucky have made an international business magazine’s list of Top Micropolitans in 2016.

Update: New survey results out today show that the rates of hungry and homeless students at community colleges across the country are higher than previously thought.

The results, published by researchers at the University of Wisconsin, show that one third of community college students go hungry and 14 percent are homeless.

Those rates are up from 2015, when the same research team surveyed 4,000 community college students in 10 states, and found one fifth were without adequate nutrition. Thirteen percent were homeless.

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  The Kentucky Public Service Commission is holding a public meeting in Madisonville next month to discuss proposed electric rate increases.

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The Paducah Bourbon Society is raising money to buy solar panels for a local homeless shelter in an effort to cut utility costs.

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The State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control or ABC is helping to implement monthly alcohol serving classes across the state. The classes are aimed at creating a consistent training schedule with a growing number of wet counties.

Rebecca Kiger

We’ve heard the statistics on the region’s heroin crisis, and how many have fallen into addiction. But one person’s story can tell a lot about what it takes to get out. As part of an occasional series on the Affordable Care Act, the Ohio Valley ReSource explores how the law expanded substance abuse treatment for thousands, including Wendy Crites. Producers Glynis Board and Rebecca Kiger bring us the story of Crites’ struggle for sobriety, told in her own words.

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The Kentucky Heritage Council is seeking nominations for historic preservation awards.

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