Eastern Standard

WEKU's weekly public affairs program discussing topics and concerns of Central and Southeastern Kentucky, hosted by Tom Martin

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KY has nation's highest rate of antibiotics over-use  ・ Green Room Exchange to bring World Music to Lexington stages  ・ Foster Ockerman, Jr., author of The Hidden History of Horse Racing ・ Humans of Central Appalachia featuring Russell Huff of Harlan, Ky.

Preview: Next Edition of Eastern Standard

Mar 18, 2019

  • KY has nation's highest rate of antibiotics over-use 
  • Green Room Exchange to bring World Music to Lexington stages 
  • Foster Ockerman, Jr., author of The Hidden History of Horse Racing
  • Humans of Central Appalachia featuring Russell Huff of Harlan, Ky.

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

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


A plan to highlight the railroading history of the Estill County town of Ravenna ∙ Lexington author Margaret Verble on her new book, Cherokee America ∙ Degree regret: second thoughts about college majors ∙ Details on Critical Mass III: boosting arts coverage in the Ohio Valley region ∙ The “what, where, and when” of this year’s Kentucky Crafted Market

Ex Coal Miners, New Futures ∙ Letting Kids Fail ∙ Brains Behind Vinaigrette Salads, Breakout Games ∙ Lexington's Local Food Coordinator Eyes Spring

 African American Millennials • The American Dream • Reniqua Allen • Kentucky Academy for Equity in Teaching • KAET • Dr. Wayne Lewis • Dr. Sherry Powers • Student Loan Debt • Humans of Central Appalachia • Malcolm Wilson • Kateena Haynes • TEDx-Corbin • Crystal Kinse

Steadman retrospective coming to Lexington ● Group purchasing of solar power ● The shortcomings at KY OSHA● Coal employment at all-time low ● Pikeville's painful loss: EnerBlu ● Debating with body language


KY Wild • Bugs and Spiders • Rescuing the Chestnut tree • Quilts made of wood

These stories are on the latest Eastern Standard:

Lexington's Mayor Gorton on priorities such as fighting opioid addiction and creating an Ag-Tech hub.

Aligning Kentucky education with the demands of the Kentucky jobs market

How federal benefits programs have failed black lung families.

Plus, a decision coming in Frankfort on medial marijuana

KY Tourism Commissioner Kristen Branscum on the prospects for tourism in E. Ky ~ Benham & Lynch and tensions between coal mining and tourism ~ Humans of Central Appalachia visits with Lynch resident, Melvin Hardy, Jr. ~ Interview with MSU history professor Thomas Kiffmeyer about his new book, Reformers to Radicals: the Appalachian Volunteers and the War on Poverty


The new farm bill legalized hemp for the first time in many decades. Kirsten Bohnert of The Kentucky Hempsters details what it could mean to the Kentucky economy. Plus, a Novel Look at Dirty Bluegrass Politics, Fashion Activism, and UnderMain brings the arts to ES.

The budgets of Kentucky's public universities have been slashed. To compensate, tuitions and fees continue to rise pushing degrees ever further from the reach for many. These are the conditions inherited by Aaron Thompson as he brings a unique background and perspective to the helm of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. Also: a solution to "parachute journalism" and the challenges of today's community newspaper.

  • A "to do" list for Kentucky lawmakers on behalf of our children
  • A special place where very young parents can find guidance and help
  • What's behind those winter blues?
  • Author interview: Former Kentucky Poet Laureate Richard Taylor on his new book: Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape

The latest edition of WEKU's signature current affairs program Eastern Standard features Stu Johnson's exit interview with departing Lexington Mayor Jim Gray; Tom Martin talks with UK HealthCare pain management specialist Dr.

~ Kris Kimel of Lexington-based Space Tango on manufacturing in Earth orbit  ~ EKU Psychology professor MyraBeth Bundy on screen-time and child brain development  ~ Milton Toby, author of Taking Shergar: Thoroughbred Racing's Most Famous Cold Case  ~ Eastern Progress editor Collin Overton on the pros and cons of the double major  


Overdoses killed more than 70,000 Americans in 2017, the latest full-year count by the Centers for Disease Control. It’s the highest drug overdose death rate in the world. And nowhere has it been worse than in the Ohio Valley: West Virginia had the nation’s highest rate of fatal drug overdoses; Ohio was second; Kentucky, fifth.


Eastern Standard: Our Drinking Water

Nov 29, 2018

We humans are roughly 60 percent water. So its purity and abundance make or break the quality of our lives, not to mention our physical well-being. But from Martin County, Kentucky to Karachi, Pakistan, drinking water is imperiled (Kentucky alone is estimated to have some $6 billion in needed water infrastructure upgrades.)


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.

Second Chance Employment

Feb 9, 2018

Join our new host, Tom Martin as he discusses the hardships of finding gainful employment for anyone with a criminal record, or disability, and the companies that are available to help in that process. With him in studio is David Boggs the President and CEO of O.W.L. (Opportunities for Work and Learning), and on the phone with Robert Perez, owner and operator of DV8 Kitchen in Lexington. 

This week on Eastern Standard, Second Chance Employment. Aired Thursday, 02-08-2018, rebroadcast Sunday , 02-11-2018.

Remembering John

Feb 1, 2018

Today on Eastern Standard, our station manager Roger Duvall takes us on a look back at the work of our late host John Hingsbergen. He discusses past episodes of Eastern Standard, and introduces the new host, Tom Martin. Together they remember John, and talk about what is to come with Eastern Standard in the coming weeks. 

During the broadcast there were several clips of past shows, and several more that there wasn't time to share. Those will all be available here as well as the full episode of this weeks Eastern Standard. 


NOTE: this is a special holiday weekend encore of a show that originally aired July 13, 2017.

According to the state’s association of food banks, Kentucky’s rate of “food insecurity” is declining.

But still 17% of our fellow citizens lack the certainty  of always knowing where their next meal will come from, especially in Eastern Kentucky.