Chatter: NYTimes profiles Ky.'s odd couple; Herald-Leader spotlights Eastern Ky. coal

06/16/2013 03:27 PM

From a bumpy start to their relationship in 2010 to a partnership of “expedience,” Kentucky’s U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul have become Washington’s most interesting odd couple, as a New York Times declared on the front page of Sunday’s paper.

The article revisits Paul’s 2010 race in which the two were on opposite sides and the “awkward” unity rally after that primary election. . And it outlines the mutually beneficial nature of their partnership now as Paul eyes the Republican nomination for president in 2016 and McConnell seeks to avoid a primary from his right flank in 2014 and keep together the GOP Senate caucus.

Coal is latest chapter in H-L’s revisiting of Night Comes to the Cumberlands

In their latest chapter examining the continuing struggles in Eastern Kentucky, Herald-Leader reporters Bill Estep and John Cheves profiled the decline in the coal industry.

Specifically, the article focused on Knott County miners, who have taken a huge hit economically as coal production in the region constricted because of economic forces (the competition of easier-to-mine coal and of natural gas) and regulations that have slowed new mine permitting. From the article:

In Knott County, 63 percent of coal jobs disappeared in 2012. The loss hurt worse than in most other places because coal had been the backbone of the local economy for decades, accounting for a larger share of local wages some years than in any other county in Kentucky.

It’s the sixth chapter in their revisiting of Henry Caudill’s book Night Comes to the Cumberlands, which was first published 50 years ago.


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