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.


Ryan Van Velzer

  Kentucky is racing to mount widespread testing and contact tracing to manage the spread of the coronavirus with little more than a week left before restaurants reopen their dining rooms.

Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

The U.S. Forest Service has marked and illegally sold thousands of trees in excess of its own plans for the Daniel Boone National Forest, according to a survey from the Kentucky Heartwood forest advocacy organization.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

  Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s schedule to restart the economy appears to contradict his administration’s own benchmarks for when it is safe to reopen.

Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

The first Earth Day was 50 years ago today, April 22, 1970. Marking the anniversary and celebrating the planet present unique challenges for people around the globe while social distancing in the middle of a pandemic. But some young activists in Kentucky believe they’ve found a way, through technology.

Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

  Kentucky re-wrote the rules for trash collection in an emergency bulletin posted in late March after hearing from a national coalition of private waste haulers.

Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

Despite the onset of the coronavirus in Kentucky, emergency calls actually decreased about 20% in March over the the same period last year. That’s according to the Kentucky Board of Emergency Medical Services, which oversees more than 220 ground and air ambulance services in the state.

Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

  Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says his administration is doing everything it can to prepare hospitals to be inundated with cases of COVID-19, but nearly every time the state has placed an order for medical protective gear, the federal government has prevented its transfer.

Federal guidelines have so far prioritized the sick, the vulnerable and health care workers for coronavirus testing. That’s vital for directing care and resources right now, but as the pandemic continues and testing capacity grows, practices will need to change if we want to understand how far this virus has spread.

Nam Y. Huh / Associated Press

The University of Louisville has begun drive-thru coronavirus testing for a limited number of high-risk patients.


  State officials warned coronavirus is spreading in Kentucky during a press conference Monday morning.