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PAINTSVILLE, Ky. – Did you enjoy a Tiger Ear, fried apple pie or funnel cake at this year’s Kentucky Apple Festival? Or did you take in a carnival ride or enjoy the ever-famous arts and crafts tent?
If so, you should thank a small group of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) students.
Students in the college’s electrical technology program on the Mayo campus wired the 54th annual Kentucky Apple Festival, a tradition that has been going on for more than three decades.
“It’s about community, it’s about service, and it’s about getting out of the classroom and getting some practical, hands-on training,” said C.W. VanHoose, associate professor of electrical technology at BSCTC. Student from VanHoose’s and Associate Professor Jimmy McClure’s class worked on the project. “Our students are part of our communities, and they look at this as a way to give back.”
VanHoose, who also serves on the Kentucky Apple Festival board, said the assistance of the students, under his supervision, provides a substantial cost savings to the festival. The students and VanHoose have dropped 60, 200-amp services for all food vendors and have laid 870-feet of wire to the tents housing arts and crafts and other vendors.
Planning for such a huge task starts at least a month before the festival. Keshia Howard, a student in the electrical technology program, remembers a humid August day when VanHoose asked the students if they wanted to be in the classroom or out in town getting some practical learning.
“We decided to go outside, and it was pretty humid,” recalled Howard, 26, a first-year student from Magoffin County. “All of that aside, it feels amazing to help your community and gain experience for my future career at the same time.”
Jackie King, 29, of West Liberty, has attended the Kentucky Apple Festival before. He knew some work went into setting up for the event, but he has a whole new respect for it.
“It’s a lot of processes and troubleshooting,” said King, a second-year student. “When I walk the streets this weekend, I’ll have a sense of pride knowing that we played a part in this.”
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Dr. Devin Stephenson, president of Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC), met with Hal Heiner, secretary of the education and workforce development cabinet at his Frankfort office on Monday, June 28.
“I appreciate Secretary Heiner taking time out of his schedule to meet with me,” said Dr. Stephenson. “Secretary Heiner is committed to bringing opportunities to Kentucky and he is strongly committed to the transformation of Eastern Kentucky’s economy. We look forward to working with the cabinet on many initiatives going forward.”
Dr. Stephenson shared BSCTC’s story of transformation over the past year, including a sweeping administrative reorganization and strategic planning effort.
“It is important for the Secretary to know that our programs are relevant to business and industry and that we are committed to assisting students find gainful employment beyond graduation,” Dr. Stephenson added. “What inspires our work each day is the ability we have to transform our region one student, one opportunity at a time.”
Earlier this year, BSCTC was approved to start a Broadband Technology associate degree program, the first in Kentucky and just the third program of its kind in the United States. BSCTC was also the first college in Kentucky to launch a Fiber Optics Association (FOA) sanctioned Fiber Optics training program. Later this year, BSCTC will break ground on a $4.5 million Advanced Technology Center, the first fiber-to-the-desk facility in the state, to house the aforementioned programs.
“The Advanced Technology Center will give us the capacity to explore programming in areas such as unmanned aircraft and cyber security,” said Dr. Stephenson. “As the economy changes, so does our planning and our programming. It’s important that we remain on the bleeding edge in regard to program offerings and equipment and that is one reason we are seriously developing plans for future work around the areas of advanced manufacturing, telemedicine, and digital technology.”
Dr. Stephenson also shared the recent developments of the TechHire East Kentucky program. This collaboration between BSCTC, the Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (EKCEP), Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and Interapt will allow 50 students to go through 20 weeks of paid training as computer coders and those who successfully complete the program will earn positions with Interapt.
“I wanted Secretary Heiner to know that there are a lot of dedicated people working on the frontlines of transformation each day in Eastern Kentucky,” said Dr. Stephenson. “I also expressed my sincere appreciation for the leadership and innovation displayed by EKCEP and their partners. We have a very responsive workforce investment board that is always willing to partner with our college on programs.”
MARCH 22, 2016
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
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.
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