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Louisa-Lawrence Co, KY

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West Sixth Brewing is releasing the new Half-Bite IPA, the first Kentucky beer to be canned and available in 12 packs and it will have half the alcohol content of its regular IPA beer.

“We’re excited to announce that Half-Bite IPA, our newest offering – will be available just in time for the Fourth of July celebrations,” said West Sixth co-founder Ben Self.

“Designed to be the rowdy younger brother of the West Sixth IPA, the Half-Bite IPA uses the same varieties and quantity of hops as our regular IPA, but contains only half the alcohol – so it’s perfect for summer days and outdoor adventures when you want to have a few,” said co-founder Brady Barlow.

West Sixth Brewing Half Bite

“Reflecting on the nature of the beer, it only seemed appropriate the Half-Bite IPA will be canned and sold in 12-pack boxes,” said co-founder Joe Kuosman. “We’re very excited to be the first brewery to do this in Kentucky.”

Half-Bite IPA is aggressively hopped with Centennial, Citra, and Columbus hops. It’s got a great bite, earthy bitterness, and citrus notes, but clocks in at only 3.5 percent ABV, said co-founder and brewer Robin Sither.

As with all of the West Sixth Brewing cans, these cans and boxes were designed by local designers Brian and Sara Turner of Cricket Press.

“They really knocked it out of the park with Half-Bite, especially having both a can and box design” said West Sixth Creative Director Kelly Hieronymus. “I can’t wait to see this 12-pack in the wild.”

Half-Bite IPA will be available through West Sixth’s distribution partners in Kentucky (Clark Distributing, River City Distributing, and Stagnaro Distributing) beginning next week.

For more information, go to

From West Sixth Brewing Communications

MARCH 22, 2016

Ohio River Network building a newsroom that crosses state lines to cover Appalachian region

The Ohio River Network, a regional journalism collaboration, has hired veteran journalist Jeff Young as its managing editor.   Young will lead hiring efforts to establish the new, three-state newsroom, which includes seven public media stations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia. The Ohio River Network—a three state newsroom in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia—was created to turn competitors into collaborators by crossing state lines to have journalists in other locations work together to report the news, Anna Clark reports for Columbia Journalism Review.

"The collaborative stretches across both cities and rural areas, reaching listeners that tune in from Athens, Ohio, to Whitesburg, Ky., home of WMMT/Appalshop, the legendary documentary outfit that is perhaps the most distinctive station in the network."

Ohio River Network, which consists of seven public media partners led by Louisville Public Media, wants to produce “hard-hitting, high-quality multimedia journalism that examines the region’s economy, energy, environment, agriculture, infrastructure and health," Clark writes. It was founded with a $445,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The $4.4 million venture, which includes partnerships with networks such as NewsHour and Morning Edition, "will eventually create 57 newsroom positions, including 11 editors, in places ranging from Little Rock, Ark., to Buffalo, N.Y."

Donovan Reynolds, Louisville Public Media president and general manager, said the "most pressing news doesn’t stop at state lines," Clark writes. "Louisville Public Media created the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting in 2013, a nonprofit newsroom that it is incubating alongside the three public radio stations that operate under LPM’s umbrella. It also expanded its capital coverage, in part by developing a newscast that it distributes around the state, laying the groundwork for the more far-reaching collaboration of the Ohio River Network."

Jeff Young, a veteran of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, one of the Ohio River Network partners, told Clark, “This is a place that’s been kind of beaten down over the years, and I think there’s a kind of fatalism. A lot of people in this region believe that in order to have economic growth, we have to accept environmental degradation and bad impacts on our health. We want to have good journalism around these issues that present some options for going in a direction that’s better and healthier.” (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell 


U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), at right, and Lonnie Lawson, second from left, president and CEO of The Center for Rural Development, met with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler to discuss broadband expansion in Eastern Kentucky. Wheeler met with area leaders at a roundtable discussion at Hazard Community and Technical College as part of SOAR’s (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) “Broadband and Business Series.”

The Center for Rural Development—a regional leader in technology—is leading the efforts to bring reliable, high-speed Internet to Eastern Kentucky.

U.S. Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers (KY-05), Lonnie Lawson, president and CEO of The Center, and other area leaders met with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler on a recent trip to McKee and Hazard in Eastern Kentucky to discuss SOAR’s (Shaping Our Appalachian Region) efforts at reducing the rural digital divide.

The “digital divide” is a term that refers to the gap between demographics and regions that have access to modern information and communications technology, and those that don’t or have restricted access.

Rogers invited Wheeler to meet with local leaders about innovative projects that are already underway to utilize the anticipated connection to high-speed, high-capacity fiber optic cable in the region.

“Chairman Wheeler shared a wealth of insight and expertise on a broad range of telecom issues,” Rogers said. “His visit comes during a critical time in Eastern Kentucky, as our local communities pave the way for broadband access that can transform the way we do business, administer healthcare, and educate our young people.”

“Broadband is the greatest asset of the 21st Century,” Wheeler added. “We are teaching kids how to harness all of the benefits of broadband-enabled technologies; how to have the skills to use this network to not only obtain a job some day, but to grow jobs here.”

More than a dozen panelists discussed the benefits of broadband and how to address the rural digital divide at a roundtable discussion at Hazard Community and Technical College as part of SOAR’s “Broadband and Business Series.”

According to Lawson, The Center began looking at this growing digital disparity in the SOAR region several years ago. “We became very concerned with the increasing frequency of complaints being expressed by businesses, communities, and individuals seeking to actively engage with the digital world,” he said. “If the SOAR region is to participate in national discussions and in the global economy, we simply could not allow these barriers to stand.”

Under Lawson’s direction, The Center has taken a prominent role in addressing the issue of access to affordable high-speed Internet connections in Eastern Kentucky. Along with its own initiatives, The Center has been an active partner with the Commonwealth of Kentucky on the KentuckyWired project.

“What began as a fiber-optic infrastructure project for Eastern Kentucky alone, the Kentucky Super I-Way was quickly recognized and adopted as a model for building a statewide KentuckyWired network,” said Lawson, committee chair of the SOAR Broadband Working Group. “Although these two projects are distinct in purpose, the coordinated and combined efforts of The Center and the Commonwealth, to provide a consolidated solution for all of Kentucky, is a winning approach.”

Kentucky currently ranks 46th in broadband availability and 47th in broadband speed. Approximately 23 percent of rural areas in Kentucky do not have access to broadband.

In the coming months, The Center will be providing free strategic planning sessions to help communities learn how to connect to the new network and will be working to coordinate local efforts with regional planning as the Super I-Way portion of KentuckyWired is deployed.

For more information on broadband expansion, contact Larry Combs, director of business services and technology at The Center, at 606-677-6000.

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Study: Mountaintop-removal coal mining has made parts of Central Appalachia 60 percent flatter

Mountaintop removal over the past 40 years has made parts of Central Appalachia 60 percent flatter than before the process began, says a study by Duke University published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. Researchers, who say this is the first study "to examine the regional impact of mountaintop mines on landscape topography and how the changes might influence water quality," compared pre- and post-mining topographic data in southern West Virginia.

Headwaters of the Twentymile Creek watershed before and
after mountaintop-removal coal mining (Duke Univ. maps)

"By comparing digitized topographic maps from West Virginia before mountaintop mining became extensive with elevation data collected by aircraft in 2010, the researchers found that the mines and valley fills could range anywhere from 10 to 200 meters deep," Kara Manke reports for Duke Today. "Across the region, the average slope of the land dropped by more than 10 degrees post-mining."

Emily Bernhardt, a professor of biology at Duke and co-author of the study, told Manke, “We tend to measure the impact of human activity based on the area it affects on a map, but mountaintop mining is penetrating much more deeply into the earth than other land use in the region like forestry, agriculture or urbanization.

The depth of these impacts is changing the way the geology, water, and vegetation interact in fundamental ways that are likely to persist far longer than other forms of land use.” (Read more)

Written by Tim Mandell Posted at 2/05/2016 12:33:00 PM