Friday, October 22, 2021


Some states entice people back to the workplace by increasing safety standards and higher minimum wage; Bannon held in Contempt of Congress; and the latest cyber security concerns.


House votes to hold Bannon in contempt of Congress; Trump announces new social media platform TRUTH Social; and the Biden administration says it will continue to expel migrants under Title 42.


An all-Black Oklahoma town joins big cities in seeking reparations; a Kentucky vaccination skeptic does a 180; telehealth proves invaluable during pandemic; and spooky destinations lure tourists at Halloween.

Income Up in KY, but Poverty Rate Remains Among Highest in Nation


Friday, September 16, 2016   

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky continues to have one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, showing only slight improvement in 2015. New Census Bureau figures show 18.5 percent of Kentuckians lived in poverty last year, down six-tenths of a percent from 2014, but still higher than just before the recession hit.

Jason Bailey, the executive director for the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said there's a lot of work left to do to address the core challenges of poverty.

"We need to be raising the minimum wage, so families have more to live on," he said. "We need to be making college more affordable, so folks can get the credentials they need to move up. We need to be investing in Eastern Kentucky more at the federal level, so that that region can transition to new opportunities."

Kentucky's poverty rate is even worse among children and African Americans. The Census Bureau estimates one-fourth of children (25.5%) live in poverty and nearly a third (30.8%) of the state's black population.

Adrienne Bush, executive director of Community Ministries is on the front lines in Hazard, where her group provides child care and other services. She said while improvements have been made to address childhood poverty and expand child-care assistance, it's still hard to "move the needle."

"There is reason for optimism, because we are doing some really cool things in Kentucky, but at the same time, we are under-investing in these programs that we know work," she said.

Danielle Bozarth is the programs director with God's Pantry, which distributes food to the hungry in 50 eastern and central Kentucky counties. She said they see firsthand the cycle of generational poverty.

"Things definitely haven't gotten slower in regards to feeding people," she said. "Children and seniors are the two most vulnerable."

On the positive side, Bailey said the census numbers show wages are growing and unemployment is going down as median household incomes in Kentucky rose by over $2,000 last year. But there's still a "regional divide."

"The more urban parts of the state, their economies have recovered, they're growing quickly, wages are growing, folks are better off; in the more rural parts of the state, there's been job loss and nothing has come in to replace those jobs," Bailey said.

The report also found Kentucky is one of eight states where income inequality increased last year.

get more stories like this via email

California has collected more than 600 tons of unwanted prescription drugs since the Take-Back Day program began in 2010. (Dodgerton Skillhause/Morguefile)

Health and Wellness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, when the Drug Enforcement Administration encourages everyone to clean out …

Health and Wellness

BALTIMORE - This month marks the four-year anniversary of the #MeToo movement, and an art project aims to help incarcerated survivors heal by telling …

Social Issues

OGDEN, Utah - Utah is one of only a handful of states that taxes food, but one state legislator says taxing groceries should become a thing of the …

In a new poll, 71% of all registered voters support strengthening rules to reduce oil and gas methane pollution, including 73% of Independents and 50% of Republicans. (Adobe Stock)


CASPER, Wyo. - A strong majority of voters across party lines say they want national rules similar to those passed in Wyoming to reduce methane …

Health and Wellness

ARLINGTON, Va. - Although COVID-19 rates have gone down, the virus continues to hit the Hispanic community especially hard. Now, a new campaign aims …

Child-care advocates say if North Dakota doesn't boost funding for the system, more families might pull out of the workforce because of access issues. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. - A portion of American Rescue Plan funding sent to North Dakota has yet to be divvied up. Groups that want to improve the child-care …

Social Issues

PITTSBURGH - As businesses across the country deal with a massive labor shortage, Pennsylvania aims to entice people back to the workplace by …


ALBANY, N.Y. - Environmental groups want Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that mandates monitoring the state's drinking water for "emerging …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021