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EKU Awards PZ Grants

Eastern Kentucky University recently awarded 2
community grants in the Promise Zone.

The communities of Corbin and Hazard recently received a
$10,000 grant each from CARES (the acronym for EKU's Center for Appalachian
Regional Engagement and Stewardship). By design, the initiatives include
partners at EKU and focus on one or more of the five following areas: economic
and workforce development, education, environment, collaborative government,
and health, wellness and safety.

The two projects that were funded are:

Corbin Rail Museum – A partnership between the EKU College
of Arts and Sciences (Dr. Stephanie McSpirit, Sociology) and the Corbin Tourism
and Convention Commission, the project will pair an EKU senior sociology
student with a Corbin tourism official to develop a railroad museum for the
southeastern Kentucky community. It is hoped the museum will open in 2015.

InVision Hazard – The partnership between the Foundation for
Appalachian Kentucky in Hazard and EKU Geography Professor Dr. Alice Jones will
advance InVision Hazard. The goal of the citizen-led downtown revitalization
initiative is to create and sustain a community-based leadership training
program that will engage young professionals (ages 18-25) in Hazard to yield
three small-scale community improvement projects and one large-scale capstone
service project involving EKU students.

"We are pleased to announce these grant awards from CARES in
support of our ongoing stewardship efforts at EKU to link communities with our
greatest resource: faculty, staff and students," said CARES Director Ian
Mooers, also executive director of the Center for Economic Development,
Entrepreneurship and Technology (CEDET) at EKU. "We had 26 proposals from
across the EKU service region that were very worthy of our funding, and we
appreciate the hard work that went into preparing each one. I want to thank our
internal and external grant reviewers who gave valuable time to carefully
consider each application."

PZ Coordinator Speaks to the Tri Cities

By Nola Sizemore of the Harlan Daily Enterprise 

Sandi Curd, Promise Zone coordinator with Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp., told members of the Tri-Cities Heritage Development Board on Wednesday that Promise Zone planning is underway.  Earlier this year, an eight-county area in southeastern Kentucky was named one of five Promise Zones in the nation. The initiative will give the area a competitive advantage in applying for federal grants as well as additional assistance from various federal agencies that oversee housing, education, economic development, agriculture and safety.  The Promise Zone is comprised of Harlan, Bell, Letcher, Perry, Leslie, Clay and Knox counties, as well as part of Whitley County.

Curd said the six key focus areas include creating jobs, increasing overall economic activity, improving career education opportunities, reducing drug-related problems, improving broadband access and improving healthy food access. Curd added Harlan County has two representatives on an advisory council who report directly to her. She said those two individuals are local businessman and Meridzo Ministries Director Lonnie Riley and Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop. She said Grieshop will be replaced in January when a newly elected judge-executive takes office.

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