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Heat On to Pay a Heating Bill? Help is Available

PHOTO: The recent arctic temperatures in Kentucky were a frigid reminder of what it takes to heat a home. Starting today, lower-income families can apply for crisis home-energy assistance. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
PHOTO: The recent arctic temperatures in Kentucky were a frigid reminder of what it takes to heat a home. Starting today, lower-income families can apply for crisis home-energy assistance. Photo by Greg Stotelmyer.
January 12, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The recent arctic blast that sent Kentuckians into a collective shiver arrived just as the window was about to open for low-income families that need help paying their bills to keep the heat on.

They can now sign up for crisis home-energy assistance. It's the second phase of a federal program commonly known as LIHEAP for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Porgram.

Mike Moynahan runs the program for Community Action Kentucky, the agency that administers the funds.

"What we consider to be a crisis situation is if somebody has a disconnect notice from their utility company or, if they heat with a bulk fuel, they're within four days of running out," he explains.

Moynahan says the average crisis assistance amounts to about $250, with a cap of $400.

To be eligible, family income must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that's roughly $2,600 a month before taxes.

For more information, call Community Action Kentucky at 800-456-3452.

Billie Hutchinson, who lives in Grant County, says the emergency funding has helped her in the past.

"I actually had no heat at all,” she relates. “I mean I had zero heat,"

With the crisis assistance, she says she was able to refill her empty propane tank so she could safely continue babysitting her grandchildren.

Moynahan estimates the program will help around 100,000 Kentucky families this winter.

"Three-quarters of the benefits are going to folks that are elderly, families with young children and veterans," he points out.


Greg Stotelmyer , Public News Service - KY