Eastern Standard

Eastern Standard for August 8, 2019

Aug 8, 2019

A critical shortage of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and other talents in the skilled trades. AppHarvest begins construction of a 60-acre greenhouse near Morehead. Historian Richard Bailey on the works of Kentucky writer Wendell Berry. Will the arrival of a vintage steam locomotive bring prosperity to Ravenna? Scuba diving safety with Great Outdoors guru Chris Begley.

Contact: Tom Martin at es@eku.edu or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

Eastern Standard Preview

Aug 5, 2019

The Building Institute of Central Kentucky responds to a severe shortage of skilled trades talent. The most in-demand skill? Showing up. An update on the 60-acre, high-tech AppHarvest greenhouse project in Rowan County. A study of the works of Kentucky novelist and poet Wendell Berry.  Vintage steam locomotive 2716 arrives in Ravenna. Our “Great Outdoors” series focuses on scuba diving.





Contact: Tom Martin at es@eku.edu or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

Eastern Standard for August 1, 2019

Aug 1, 2019

A pushback against claims that rural America is a lost cause. University of N.C. Research Fellow Brian Dabson begs to differ. Daily Yonder editor Tim Marema on how a Tennessee county is becoming a model for rural renewal. And, a conversation with Lexington-based web-marketing guru Scott Clark on some of Google's life altering - and life-like - digital tools.

Contact: Tom Martin at es@eku.edu or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

Eastern Standard Preview

Jul 29, 2019

Pushback against claims that rural America is a lost cause. A conversation with Brian Dabson, research fellow at the University of North Carolina School of Government. Learn from Daily Yonder editor Tim Marema how a Tennessee county is becoming a model for rural renewal. And, Lexington web business consultant Scott Clark joins us for a peek into the Google digital toolbox.

Contact: Tom Martin at es@eku.edu or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

Eastern Standard for July 25, 2019

Jul 25, 2019

As Eastern Kentucky considers its future, what can be learned from the past? What’s happening in the present that could serve as a model for entrepreneurs? Opioids and an overwhelmed foster care system. The Mayo Clinic alternative to opioids. And some pointers if whitewater rafting is on your agenda.

Eastern Standard for July 18, 2019

Jul 18, 2019

A Richmond Police Detective reflects on the dark side of his job. A visit with members of What's Next EKY, a grass roots organization looking to reshape the region's future. And, the booming economy hasn't helped everybody. Habitat for Humanity has a nationwide campaign to make housing affordable. Learn what's being done here in Kentucky.

Eastern Standard Preview

Jun 24, 2019

On this edition of Eastern Standard: How’re we doing here in Kentucky when it comes to raising kids? A report card from the Annie E. Casey Foundation looks at the issue; A recent report from the United Nation detailing mass species extinctions is viewed through a Kentucky lens; What’s in store for the Lexington Theatre Company’s 5th summer season?; Major exhibitions and a poignant event at the Speed Museum. 




Eastern Standard Preview

Jun 17, 2019

On the next edition of Eastern Standard: New York Times columnist Paul Krugman draws a "beg to differ" response from rural America. An update on the Kentucky "Promise Zone,” now in its 5th year.

Renewable energy is winning over some Kentuckians.

The latest in our series, "Humans of Central Appalachia": Ronnie Walker of Harlan, Kentucky.

Listen on Thursday at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday at 6 p.m. and on-demand your WEKU mobile app and esweku.com


"The cavalry's not coming, we're it." Kentucky towns work on their economies and quality of life.

Meanwhile, solar: Coalfield towns and non-profits look upward for power from the sun.

Race horse deaths on the rise: why Kentucky is more secretive than other racing states.

Looking to Montana’s Artrepreneurs Program for tips for the artists of rural Kentucky. And, details on Lexinton's Juneteenth celebration.

Photo courtesy of WKYT

People like you value experienced, knowledgeable and award-winning journalism that covers meaningful stories in Central and Eastern Kentucky. To support more stories and interviews like those featured in this edition of Eastern Standardplease consider making a contribution.

Contact: Tom Martin at es@eku.edu or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

MACED's Ivy Brashear on New Day Appalachia: A Positive Vibe for E. Ky. ・ EKU Psychologist MyraBeth Bundy on Kentucky's ranking as worst in the nation for child abuse ・ The Brushy Fork Institute's Donna Daniels and Troy Price on Youth Homelessness in the region  Reporter Mason Adams on what's become of Coal Severance dollars

Preview of April 11 Eastern Standard

Apr 8, 2019

A preview of this week's edition of WEKU's signature public affairs program, Eastern Standard, hosted by Tom Martin.

Preview: Next On Eastern Standard

Mar 11, 2019

  • Elizabeth Leonard, author of "Slaves, Slaveholders and a Kentucky Community's Struggle Toward Freedom"
  • Wavelength adjustment: education and the job market
  • Big boost for an EKU aviation program
  • Help for would-be Kentucky exporters
  • Telemedicine technology as  a lifesaver in cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault
  • Packing local jails keep some Kentucky counties afloat
  • Kentucky's latest cellphone scam


The 2018 KY General Assembly slashed state funding of the University Press of Kentucky. How has the Press fared? Tom Martin talks with its executive director, Leila Salisbury.

EKU President Michael Benson speaks out in support of the Press.

State historian James Klotter discusses the 2nd edition of A New Kentucky History.

NPR's Angela Evancie reports on how Millennials are merging books and the internet.

Author and Poet Crystal Wilkinson discusses the influences of a childhood in the isolation of rural Eastern Kentucky.

Voting machine security and how your vote really can make the difference


Our guests:

  • Kentucky Secretary of State and Board of Elections Chair Allison Lundergan Grimes
  • Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins
  • Madison County Clerk Kenny Barger
  • CivicLex Director Richard Young
  • Film actor (and get-out-the-vote activist) Michael Shannon



Host Tom Martin discusses Happiness, Health, and Hillbillies in this edition of Eastern Standard.

Cornell University psychologist Tom Gilovich is coming to EKU to speak about "Happiness in Troubled Times." Gilovich has a converation with Martin about the things that get in the way along the road to joy and contentedness.

There are promising developments in the quest to prevent Alzheimer's. Tom Martin talks to a leader in the field, Dr. Sanjay Asthana, a keynote speaker at the forthcoming Markesbury Symposium on Aging and Dementia. 

Reading, Talking (civilly), Baking

Oct 18, 2018

On today's edition of Eastern Standard, Host Tom Martin explores reading, talking, and baking.

Being able to read is pretty essential to making your way in this world. Yet, more than half of Kentucky 4th graders are not proficient in reading. There's a camp for that and we talk with its director, Sarah Harcourt Watts. 

With Thanksgiving around the bend - and the prospect of things getting dicey when Uncle Joe brings up politics - we have a pair of takes on the art of conversation about difficult things in troubled times. 

Eastern Standard: October 11, 2018

Oct 15, 2018

In this special edition of Eastern Standard, Host Tom Martin talks with WEKU General Manager Mike Savage on what makes public radio such a valuable resource and the sustaining power of listener contributions. 

Steve Inskeep, MSU graduate and co-host of NPR's Morning Edition talks with Tom Martin about "living the news" and getting to work super early while finding the time to write books. 

James Mustich, the former Editor in Chief of the Barnes & Noble review discusses his new book, 1,000 Books You Must Read Before You Die. 

Eastern Standard: October 4, 2018

Oct 4, 2018

Eastern Standard dives into the dismal nursing home picture in Kentucky. Host Tom Martin speaks with John Cheves, Lexington Herald-Leader investigative reporter, who has spent the summer crisscrossing the state to gather information about Kentucky's nursing home situation. Cheves also shares his insights on the state of investigative reporting.

Eastern Standard: September 28, 2018

Sep 28, 2018

This week, Eastern Standard looks at a new report that focuses on ways to help young Kentucky parents overcome challenges. 

Host Tom Martin talks to University of Kentucky's Special Collections Librarian Reinette Jones, the curator and creator of the Notable Kentucky African Americans Database.

WEKU's Stu Johnson gives us details on the importance of the recent mock chemical weapons disaster drill at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond.

Eastern Standard: Kentucky's Opioid Crisis

Sep 20, 2018

This special edition of Eastern Standard focuses on Kentucky's opioid addiction crisis. Yes, it's a crisis with the Centers for Disease Control reporting that Kentucky has one of the nation's highest rates of pregnant women addicted to these drugs.

Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky is guest co-host and interviews Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Barry Meier, author of "Pain Killer," the book that exposed the roots of opioid addiction.

Eastern Standard: September 13, 2018

Sep 13, 2018

On this week's Eastern Standard Host Tom Martin speaks with explorers Amy and Dave Freeman about their many experiences that will launch tonight's EKU Chautauqua lecture series.

The 'Joy' of Travel on Eastern Standard

May 23, 2017
Julia Dake

It’s the time of year when people are either beginning holiday and summer travel or finalizing their plans.

On this week’s Eastern Standard, we’ll discuss the Joys of Travel, in light of recent events and changes, especially in the airline industry.



Kentucky Humanities Council

President Trump’s proposed federal budget includes a plan to zero-out funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

On this week’s Eastern Standard, we’ll discuss what such cuts could mean for Kentucky.

Fake News and Challenges to Journalism on Eastern Standard

Mar 14, 2017
Marisa Hempel

We’ve been hearing a lot about “fake news” and “alternative facts” lately. Some folks say these are symptoms of challenges to journalism.


On this week’s Eastern Standard: Fake News and other Challenges to Journalism.


Celebration of Black History on Eastern Standard

Jan 30, 2017
Marisa Hempel

February is Black History Month; and on this week’s Eastern Standard we’ll kick off the month with a discussion of African American achievements, heritage and culture in Kentucky.


Israeli/Palestinian Conflict On Eastern Standard

Jan 3, 2017
Marisa Hempel

The US abstention from a UN vote to halt Israeli settlement activity in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem has renewed discussions about our nation’s role in relations between Israel and Palestine.


On this week’s EST, we’ll discuss the issues with Kentucky scholars, former residents, and a former ambassador who have insight on the area..

Marisa Hempel

At this time of the year, we tend to focus on celebrations of our own religions or cultures. But the winter holidays can also bring people of differing backgrounds together.

On this week’s EST,  we’ll discuss ways to enjoy the  “most wonderful time of the year” while including the traditions and customs of those unlike our own.


Diversity in Media on Eastern Standard

Jul 27, 2016
Marvel Inc

What do the latest Ghostbusters, Spider-Man and Star Trek’s Mr. Sulu have in common?


On this week’s Eastern Standard, we’ll be answering that question and others as we examine the increasing diversity in the media.

We’re interested in your questions and comments before the show at wekueasternstandard@gmail.com.  You can leave a voice message at 859-622-1657 or call in when you tune in for EST Thursday morning at 11:00 on 88-9 WEKU.


Pokémon GO!es Mobile on Eastern Standard

Jul 18, 2016
Marisa Hempel

In the midst of the political conventions and other serious news, we’re running the other direction with this week’s Eastern Standard.


Whether you are aware of it or not, Pokémon Go is taking over. We’ll discuss this new gaming fad that has both adults and kids alike chasing “pocket monsters” with their phones.