WUKY In Depth

In depth stories from the WUKY news team.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - Colleges and universities in central Appalachia are struggling to retain students. Roughly half the freshmen at the University of Pikeville don’t come back the following year. For the students who stay, many wonder if there will be jobs available in a region that for decades relied on coal mining as its primary industry.

“We feel like if you can teach them in the mountains, train them in the mountains, they’ll stay in the mountains,” says James Hurley, President-elect of the University of Pikeville.

PIKEVILLE, Ky. - For a lot of college students, summer is a chance to kick back and relax-- maybe do an internship -- before resuming classes in the fall. But some students in Appalachia won’t be returning to campus next August, at least not at the school where they originally enrolled.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - In his State of the Union address last month, President Obama made the case for expanding early childhood education. Adding more pre-K opportunities is also one of Governor Steve Beshear's goals, but budget constraints at both the federal and state level present significant challenges.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Each year around 5,000 babies are born in the United States with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that can impair mental abilities and development.  As they age, people with this condition are also at higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. As Brenna Angel reports, researchers at the University of Kentucky are examining what the effects of growing older have on Down syndrome.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Public high school students with an interest in music generally have three class options: choir, band, or orchestra. Over the past few years a school in Lexington has expanded its music department to include another opportunity.  Brenna Angel has the story of the guitar ensemble at Bryan Station High School.

photo by Brenna Angel

LEXINGTON, Ky. - It's a busy time of year for the movie industry. Oscar nominations were announced Thursday and the Golden Globes award show is set for Sunday.

Because of an ongoing shift behind the scenes, many theaters across the country may soon be unable to show movies.  Hollywood studios are expected to fully switch from 35 mm film to digital distribution sometime this year, and that’s putting a strain on local movie houses.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky Children’s Hospital treats some of the sickest and smallest patients from across central and eastern Kentucky. But for the past several weeks, pediatric heart surgeries have been referred to other hospitals. As Brenna Angel reports, UK Healthcare is reviewing its program, but the reasons why are unclear.

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky public school testing scores will be released Friday by the state Department of Education, marking the first data available under the state’s new Unbridled Learning accountability model. The new system is the result of legislation passed in 2009.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - This year nearly 400 veterans will seek help for alcohol dependence and drug abuse at the VA Medical Center in Lexington.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The U.S. military is no stranger to alcohol.

Ryan Donahue, a 27-year-old Louisville native, worked as an aircraft mechanic on the USS Eisenhower during Operation Enduring Freedom. The “party hard” mindset helped break up the monotony of constant training and work.

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