Protest

Ryland Barton/WFPL

  Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis says it is not within the Kentucky Department of Education’s authority to investigate political emails sent from a private individual to teachers’ professional email accounts.

On Wednesday, the Kentucky Education Association called for Lewis or the Kentucky Board of Education to lead a state investigation into political emails teachers in several rural Kentucky school districts received at work. 

Sydney Boles

The nearly two-month blockade of a Kentucky railroad track is coming to an end as unpaid coal miners end their protest in order to take new jobs, start classes, or move away from their coal-dependent communities.

  The Burgess family received Greg’s owed wages late last week, but is still waiting for the check to clear a bank hold. Blackjewel’s bad check created a series of challenges. The first few unemployment checks the family received went straight to the bank to get the account out of the red. In total, Christina said Blackjewel’s bankruptcy has cost her family about $3,000 in penalties and fees. Greg quickly found new work after the Pax Mine closed and the family had some money saved in preparation for a downturn in the local industry.

Curren Sheldon

Curtis Cress at in the gravel beside a railroad track in Harlan County, Kentucky. Tall and thin with a long, black beard, Cress is every bit a coal miner, or, he was until a month ago.

UPDATE FULL TWO-PART AUDIO, Extended web text. WEKU/Ohio Valley ReSource Exclusvive

“It’s part of my heritage, you know? My dad and papaws had always done it,” he said. “And I’m proud of that heritage.”

Cress had been at these railroad tracks for days, with little sleep. Not far down the rails sat a row of hopper cars filled with coal from his former employer, Blackjewel Coal.

Blackjewel Miners Continue Protest As Bankruptcy Hearing Looms

Aug 5, 2019

 

Miners left unpaid by the bankrupt Blackjewel coal company say they are prepared to keep up their protest on railroad tracks in Harlan County, Kentucky, where they are blocking delivery of a load of coal. As their protest grows and gains attention, a bankruptcy court hearing on Monday could determine whether and when the miners get their paychecks.

The blockade began simply enough Monday when five out-of-work miners organized via social media to block a coal train leaving one of the Blackjewel facilities.

  The board of Jefferson County Public Schools has unanimously passed a resolution that asks Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis to withdraw his request for the names of school employees who called in sick in recent weeks. Lewis said he won’t withdraw the request.

The school board held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the Kentucky Department of Education’s request for the district’s attendance records. 

 

Prichardcommittee.org

Members of a legislative budget subcommittee got a status report on teacher training Thursday.  Officials representing elementary, secondary and postsecondary teachers testified before the House panel.  

Taylorsville Representative Jim Tipton chairs the subcommittee. “We hear a lot that a lot of our communities and schools are having challenges, having qualified applicants for teaching positions,” said Tipton.

Stu Johnson

Representatives from a number of federal government agencies staged a protest Wednesday at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Lexington office.

They gathered to express frustration at the month-long partial government shutdown.