Union County

Konstantin Fedin, 123rf Stock Photo

Ten dilapidated homes in Union County are being rebuilt for their homeowners through a Kentucky Community Development Block Grant.

Dustin Duncan with the Green River Area Development District says the project funding totals around $450,000 from Housing and Urban Development. He says it’s taken about three years to secure the grant.

A western Kentucky county could lose half of its coal-mining workforce in the next couple of months. 

Coal mining employs about 1,200 people in Union County, but that could change, according to a layoff notice issued by Patriot Coal Corporation. 

The company is warning that up to 670 workers could be laid off in February at the Highland mine on the Union-Henderson County border and at the Dodge Hill complex.

Union County Judge-executive Jody Jenkins says, unfortunately, the news is familiar.

"For the last 60 years, I guess, coal mining has been the life blood of this community, Jenkins told WKU Public Radio.  "Historically, we've had mine closures and layoffs, but it doesn't make it any easier."

Union County's unemployment rate in October was 4.8%.  The statewide rate was 6.2%.

Patriot emerged from bankruptcy reorganization a year ago and had earlier closed its mines in Henderson County.  In a news release, the company said low natural gas prices and tougher EPA regulations continue to drive down coal prices, resulting in operating losses at many mines.

Fiscal Courts in Coal Counties Get Refunds

Aug 7, 2014

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that 34 fiscal courts in the Commonwealth will receive refunds from mining permit and acreage fees.  Eight counties in our region will receive refunds totaling $58,377.

The merger of the Henderson Chamber and Northwest Kentucky Forward that happened at the first of the year means another cooperative economic development group joins the West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance in taking our region's issues to Frankfort. You hear Kyndle and you think of the digital readers, but with a Y, it's an acronym for the Kentucky Network for Development, Leadership and Engagement. Kate Lochte speaks with Chief Executive Officer, Brad Schneider on Sounds Good today, beginning with an event in 2012 that got the ball rolling.


A flock of whooping cranes being guided by an aircraft on the way to Florida has arrived in Union County.

The endangered birds began a migration in early October from a wildlife area in Wisconsin. A release from the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership this week says the cranes have entered Kentucky.

It is the 13th group of birds involved in a project to reintroduce the species in eastern North America.


A Union County fresh meat company announced today that it is doubling the size of its operation, creating 18 new jobs.

Uniontown’s Little Kentucky Smokehouse opened in 2003 and is building a second 40,000 square-foot facility. Currently, the ham company employs 70 people and sells its meats across the country.


A western Kentucky coal company has agreed to pay $245,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging that the company turned away African-American job applicants.

A statement from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said River View Coal will pay the settlement to a group of black applicants who looked for work at a Union County underground mine.


Kentucky's Green River Regional Educational Cooperative, or GRREC, is a winner an estimated $40 million in Federal Race to the Top District Funds. GRREC represents 23 Western Kentucky School Districts, including Union County, Daviess County and Owensboro Independent. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne  Duncan says this year’s Race to The Top saw many new school districts competing for funds.

The latest Kentucky job numbers show Fulton County still has highest unemployment rate in the Commonwealth at just over 16.5 percent. Still, the state Office of Employment and Training reports most counties improved in September, with jobless rates increasing in only 12. Woodford County had the lowest at 5.3 percent. Union County posted the lowest numbers in western Kentucky at almost 6 percent.  Calloway was next, just under half a point higher.

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The city of Sturgis’s plan to shut down its water plant and move to the county water system is a good economic decision. That’s the opinion of Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder. He said the 34-year old Sturgis water plant spends 40-thousand dollars a year to meet current cleaning standards. Wilder said it’s cheaper for Sturgis to connect to the Morganfield plant than to build a new local one.