Ryan Van Velzer (KPR)


Ryan Van Velzer has told stories of people surviving floods in Thailand, record-breaking heat in Arizona and Hurricane Irma in South Florida. He has worked for The Arizona Republic, The Associated Press and The South Florida Sun Sentinel in addition to working as a travel reporter in Central America and Southeast Asia. Born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Ryan is happy to finally live in a city that has four seasons.


Kyeland Jackson / WFPL

Kentucky has just 12 years to drastically reduce its reliance on fossil fuels to do its part to save the planet from the worst impacts of climate change, according to a new report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change.

Stephen George / WFPL

The mining engineer from Lexington, Kentucky, President Donald Trump nominated to lead the federal Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation and Enforcement has withdrawn his nomination over issues with the vetting process.

Erica Peterson / WFPL

The Trump administration has unveiled a replacement to Obama-era greenhouse gas regulations. The new plan, called the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule would give states more flexibility over emission standards at coal-fired power plants and save utilities hundreds of millions of dollars annually. But the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s projections estimate it would also increase the country’s carbon emissions and fuel more premature deaths.

Matt Markgraf / WKMS

The same river that Louisville uses as a drinking water source also receives discharges from coal power plants, raw sewage and trash from the cities that line its banks.

That’s the Ohio River, a nearly thousand-mile-long waterway that flows along the borders of six states before joining the Mississippi.

Courtesy John Blair / Valley Watch

Nearly two years after a state inspector discovered an arsenic-laced plume of coal ash seeping out of a landfill at a power plant in Western Kentucky, the state Energy and Environment Cabinet has negotiated a deal to clean up the pollution. But environmental activists are concerned the agreement lets the utility off too easy.

Courtesy Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

Kentucky’s aging drinking water and sewer systems need billions of dollars in investment to prevent system failures impacting public health and the environment, according to Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet.

Current investments aren’t enough and the state needs nearly $15 billion in additional infrastructure improvements over the next 20 years, said Deputy Cabinet Secretary Bruce Scott to the Senate standing committee on natural resources Monday.

Mercy for Animals

A Kentucky hog farm operator has fired three workers after an animal rights group video- taped alleged incidents of animal abuse at the farm.

Mercy for Animals

Update: Tosh Farms responds to alleged abuse. 

Pigs raised for slaughter in Louisville’s JBS Swift plant were punched, kicked and beaten with a pipe at a farm south of Bowling Green, according to a new undercover video released by animal rights activists.

Nicole Erwin / WKMS

Kentucky could receive additional federal funds to manage the spread of invasive Asian carp.