Katie MyersOhio Valley ReSource Reporter, Eastern Kentucky
Katie Myers is covering economic transition in east Kentucky for the ReSource and partner station WMMT in Whitesburg, KY. She previously worked directly with communities in Kentucky and Tennessee on environmental issues, energy democracy, and the digital divide, and is a founding member of a community-owned rural ISP. She has also worked with the Black in Appalachia project of East Tennessee PBS. In her spare time, Katie likes to write stage plays, porch sit with friends, and get lost on mountain backroads. She has published work with Inside Appalachia, Scalawag Magazine, the Daily Yonder, and Belt Magazine, among others.
Two major funds meant to address those legacy impacts depend almost entirely on the declining revenues of the coal industry and the will of Congress to remain solvent. Now, both are due for renewal, and could be reduced, or even allowed to expire.
George Floyd was murdered by police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, a cold and faraway place from the vantage point of Harlan County, Kentucky. But the energy of that long, hot summer reached a group of Harlan high schoolers, and soon enough, this small, rural town was in the midst of a national movement.
Last year, Riegel returned to Jackson with a film crew in tow. The town was tapped for a starring role in the new movie “Holler,” which she both wrote and directed. She says it was unlike any experience she ever had.
Though small towns and rural counties may offer cheaper housing compared to larger cities, residents of those areas often make less on average than their urban peers, while lacking urban amenities such as public transportation.