You’ve heard of working for the weekend. When you add a holiday to the weekend, it makes it that much sweeter. With that in mind, we’ll keep this week’s roundup short and sweet.
Rebuilding plans announced in Eastern Kentucky
The state was able to secure 75 acres of land in Talcum, located near the Perry and Knott county line, which could later be expanded to nearly 300 acres for future new businesses and community growth.
Beginning plans for the Olive Branch Community include small, medium, and large home lots, senior apartments, park and recreation space and an elementary school.
The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund will partially fund affordable, energy-efficient homes with the help of local nonprofits assisting and building those homes.
One of those nonprofit builders is the Housing Development Alliance and Homes, Inc. which will receive $600,000 in funds from the EKY Flood Relief Fund. That money will help build eight new homes. The fund will also help provide $75,000 per home for building materials.
A new partnership was created with Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky to help flood survivors with home repairs. The EKY Flood Relief Fund will provide $200,000 in matching funds for a grant from the Eckstein Foundation. The total investment of $800,000 will provide repairs for nearly 80 flood-damaged homes and the money will go directly to people and families for much needed repairs with no administrative costs.
Work is expected to begin in early 2023 for the Olive Branch Community and will include an improved water treatment facility, roads and utilities to the area.
The state is still looking at other locations within Breathitt, Knott, Letcher, and Perry counties, where 75% of homes were lost to flood damage.
Flood survivors can find a list of resources including information on new home construction and assistance with home repairs HERE.
To date, the EKY Flood Relief Fund has raised more than $12.6 million from more than 41,000 donors. To contribute, click HERE.
For other information regarding flooding in Eastern Kentucky, click HERE.
Ashland Middle & High School students become national finalists
They are just two of six Kentucky schools and were chosen among more than 1,000 competition entrants!
Each state finalists won a package of $2,500 in technology and school supplies.
In May, three schools will be selected as national winners where the winning schools will receive a $100,000 prize package.
The Solve for Tomorrow STEM competition challenges U.S. public middle and high school students to explore the role STEM can play in solving some of the biggest issues in their local communities.
Congratulations to our Ashland schools and we wish them the best for the national competition!
Kentucky Congressional App Challenge Winner Selected
More good news as several other high school students in our region were awarded competition winners!
Belfry High School students Natalie Fite, Reese Varney, and Ian Belcher were titled Kentucky’s 2022 Congressional App Challenge Winners!
Congressman Hal Rogers and Appalachian Regional Commission Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin visited with students to learn more about their projects.
The Belfry High School students created an app called “Sm;)e” to provide people with mental health resources on their mobile devices.
The Team was one of sixteen who submitted an app design for the national competition.
The student’s app will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year, representing the most innovative students of southeastern Kentucky.
Click HERE for more information about how to compete in the Congressional App Challenge in 2023.
You can learn more about student opportunities HERE.
Starter Lab Winners Announced
Finally, one last announcement for more winners in our region.
For its second consecutive year, the Starter Labs East Kentucky High School Pitch Competition, invited students to pitch potential businesses, win cash, and expand their minds.
The competition asked students- or groups of students- from schools in the 606 area code to submit an application along with a 60 second presentation video, pitching a business that addresses a problem with a unique solution.
The presentation was judged by a panel of professionals via Facebook live on December 13th.
Students were judged based on the presentation, customer identification, clear pathway to marketing, and other markers.
Here are the winners:
1st Place: Prominent Plastics
2nd Place: Sunshine Clay
3rd Place: Simple Time Farms and Lauren’s Sweet Treats
Congratulations to all of our wonderful students in our Eastern Kentucky region!
EKY Gala rescheduled, nominations extended
The new date is April 29, 2023 at the Mountain Arts Center.
The gala will include a red carpet arrival, awards ceremony, and reception celebrating those moving Appalachia Kentucky forward. The red carpet will open at 1 p.m. with the awards ceremony set for 2:30 p.m. with the reception to follow at 4 p.m.
Registration is $75 and is all-inclusive. The reception will feature heavy hor devours, refreshments, and local entertainment. A cash bar will also be available.
The awards ceremony will feature more than a dozen awards.
Due to the date change, we have extended gala nominations to January 31, 2023.