Who loves a good ghost story? I guess you could say I'm a sucker for a good story, and I really love those rooted most in history. When I was a child growing up in Harrison County, I often heard one ghost story that has been told for years and it’s another reason why Kentucky is so special. Communities here are rich in stories and tales that have been passed down from generation to generation.
In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky I'm talking with Roger Slade, he is a storyteller extraordinaire in Harrison Co. He wears many hats, he is a schoolteacher, small business owner and a man who loves history. Take a listen as Slade and I talk ghosts, storytelling and how communities like his are using things like ghost walks to introduce outsiders to the history of the place he calls home.
Welcome to Uniquely Kentucky, a podcast built around chatting with some of the state's most interesting characters and the things they are doing to making Kentucky so unique. On this episode we are sitting down with Lexington author and life coach, Vitale Buford about her new book "Addicted to Perfect, A Journey Out of the Grips of Adderall." In this brutally honest memoir, Buford details the ups and downs during her time addicted to the prescription drug Adderall. She also looks at perfectionism and addiction and how each can feed off one another, but also how you can break free of both with healing and self-love. Buford is a transplant to Lexington but has made the Bluegrass home for several years.
The month of August is upon us and that typically means the start of a new school year is in sight for parents, but this year will look much different for students across the state as COVID-19 concerns cause schools to change up how students learns.
My guest this week on Uniquely Kentucky is a central Kentucky man that by day is one of those educators, but by night and weekend he is encouraging his fellow teachers through his hilarious social media posts shot from the inside of his car. Gerry Brooks draws from his years in the classroom and as a principal to put a smile on the faces of others through humor. Brooks has become a social media star with well over two million followers and tours the country taking his message to his fellow educators.
As host of this podcast getting the chance to talk with anyone musically talented is extra fun for me, probably because I have no musical talent. I love to learn how people in the music industry got their start, what inspires them to make music and I love learning about the behind the scenes aspect of country music itself.
The Bluegrass state is rich in musical history and the artists who have come out this state run the gambit from country, bluegrass, hip hop and even gospel. This week on Uniquely Kentucky I am sitting down with Wolfe Co. native Tyler Booth. He was born and raised in and around Campton and was recently signed to Sony Music Nashville. Since the pandemic started Tyler has had to scale back his touring, but he hasn't stopped writing music and he has a new song our right now, "In God and Trucks We Trust."
If you are like me, you continue to miss things that probably you took for granted before the world changed. I love live music and I adore sitting in a theater watching a live production. Hello Dolly, Mary Poppins, and Wicked are just some of my favorites.
The lights on Broadway went dark on March 12th, as COVID-19 cases skyrocketed in New York City. The closure of those shows left many performers out of work including two Kentucky natives. This week on Uniquely Kentucky I'm sitting down with Patrick Garr and Colton Ryan, both were performing in their respective shows at the time.
Colton Ryan gained a name for himself when he secured the understudy role on Dear Evan Hansen a few years ago. When COVID hit he had just opened in a new show on Broadway, Girl From North Country.
Patrick Garr found himself on Broadway in the smash hit Mean Girls. He was actually on the road touring with a national company of Hamilton when the lights went dark.
Both hope despite the shutdown that the great white way comes back stronger than ever when the curtain goes back up.
As we put this particular episode out it comes after a very trying week across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that sparked outrage and a call to action to end police brutality and inequality. Here in Kentucky we have seen protests in the name of George Floyd and for the death of Breonna Taylor back in March in Louisville.
Emotions have run high, there has been a lot of tension in a number of communities, but in the end we all deserve to live in a world where we are all equal and just because our skin is a different color shouldn't mean we are treated any differently from the police or anyone. My heart breaks right now for so many, but I also understand that this conversation must continue and it must push for change.
To keep this conversation going I wanted to talk with Devine Carama, he is a Lexington hip hop artist, activist and change maker. Through his music, his word and his mentoring he is putting positive vibes out in the world and is calling on all of us to use this time to be better.
Would you leave your home and go fight on the frontlines of COVID-19 in the heart of a hot zone? It is a big ask and this week as I am putting out another episode of this podcast it is National EMS Week. Our first responders are heroes, they go to work every single day not knowing what awaits them. They often walk into situations that many of us would simply run from.
That question of going into a hot zone was one that came to a Grant County EMT, Wanda Hammons and it was an ask that she accepted without a lot of hesitation. Hammons spent 35 days in New York City running an ambulance for some of the sickest patients. Now back home in Kentucky she has a serious warning for others about the battle she witnessed firsthand.
Matthew Mitchell will be entering his 13th season as head of the Women's Basketball program at the University of Kentucky this season. He came in with a vision of making the women's program a powerhouse program and he has done so using his three "winning tools" for success: honesty, hard work and discipline. Mitchell and his teams have helped build a fan base that is like any other having set attendance records in multiple seasons for women’s athletics.
For this week's episode of Uniquely Kentucky I checked in on a guy who is one of the most motivating and positive guys I know. For this episode I’m talking with Mitchell about basketball, but also what life has been like while healthy at home, why being a home school teacher is harder than coaching college ball he says and what he is and isn't getting to watch on Netflix.
This week in Kentucky should have been Derby Week, meaning we should have been celebrating the sights and sounds of one of the best traditions in the state. Unfortunately because of COVID-19 it has been postponed, so we will have to wait until September to experience the fun Derby brings.
I couldn't let Derby week pass without taking time on the podcast to talk about one of my most favorite parts of Derby, the hat fashion.
This week I'm chatting with Jenny Pfanenstiel, she is a master milliner and owner of Forme' Millinery Co. in Louisville.
Pfanenstiel is not a native Kentuckian, but fell in love with the bluegrass after coming here year after year to sell her pieces of head art. Now as the "Featured Milliner for the 146th Kentucky Derby" she owns and operates her shop in the Derby city and continues to create her unique style of hats year after year.
Normally this time of year we would be talking spring football and how the University of Kentucky Wildcats are looking for the fall, but with COVID-19 that is not the case. So to talk a little college football this week I'm sitting down with UK Senior Offensive Tackle and Lexington, Ky. native Landon Young. He decided to return to the Cats and forego entering the NFL draft. Young sat out in 2018 red-shirting due to an injury. He is known for his play on the field, but he is also known for his good works off the field having been named the 2019 Captain for the Allstate Good Works team. Landon is a guy that loves football, but also a farm kid at heart.
If you are like me you are probably longing for those things that you once loved prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that have had to be put on hold right now so that we can all stay safe. For me, one of those things is sports and namely this time of year its golf. I love the PGA, I love following golf and I dream of a day when I can walk the course of the Masters.
For now all of that will have to wait, so to get my golf fix I turned to a fellow Morehead State Eagle and PGA player Josh Teater.
Josh was just ahead me in school and through mutual friends I have gotten to know him over the years and more importantly follow his career in professional golf.
Josh grew up here in Lexington played at Morehead State and turned pro in 2001. He has been grinding it out now having moved around on different tours. Just last month in February he saw one of his best career performances on the course having come down the stretch and was barely edged out of the Puerto Rico Open.
One of the areas hit hard by the closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic is our restaurant industry. Here in Lexington and really all around central Kentucky we have a vibrant "foodie" scene if you will. Our tastebuds here in the city really run the gambit of different foods and we have so many amazing options.
This week on Uniquely Kentucky my guest is a gal who knows Lexington's food scene well. Sam Fore is the owner of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, she infuses a bit of a southern flare with her native recipes. This week we talk about her unique business, but also how so many in the food services industry have pulled together during this pandemic to support one another during these trying times.
This week for Uniquely Kentucky Amber is talking with a Kentuckian who loves to be home, but is also probably one of the busiest guys she knows. Jason Smith is everybody's favorite home baker having been the first one to win the Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network. While we are all being healthy at home, Jason is cooking up a storm and doing so for all the world to see on social media these days. He is also using his catchy phrases we all love to now help those in need.
While the world seems very heavy right now with the COVID-19 outbreak and our new normal has changed our lives and in some cases turned them upside down. Despite the state we may be in, there is hope and there are things to laugh and smile about it. For just a bit Amber Philpott would like to use Uniquely Kentucky to take your mind off of all the heavy and just smile. This week Amber is talking with James Line, chances are you have never heard of him, but if you live in Kentucky you probably over the last week have seen his work through the Facebook page "Andy Beshear Memes for Social Distancing Teens." The page has become become the go to place for people to share their love for the Kentucky Democratic governor. Amber sat down with Line who is the administrator of the page via Skype to talk about its cult following and how the page's creators hope to use this platform to inspire good deeds and putting some much needed positivity out into the world.
Here in Kentucky the last two weeks have been unprecedented, scary and uncertain we know. While Uniquely Kentucky is usually meant to give you a break from the hustle and bustle of the world around us, for this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Amber sits down with her co-anchor WKYT's Sam Dick to just talk about what has unfolded the last few weeks. In this episode they are talking about the headlines, what WKYT has been doing behind the scenes to keep you informed and also how this has changed the way WKYT covers news.
How many of us are guilty of not exploring more of the cities and states in which we live? Sometimes we forget that we can actually be a tourist in our own communities. Audra Meighan is helping people that live in central Kentucky explore one of the largest cities through a new book, “100 Things To Do In Lexington Before You Die.” Meighan is a central Kentucky native and considers herself an unofficial “Ambassador to the Commonwealth.” Her new book is meant to be a bucket list full of fun, quirky and historical stops throughout the city. Meighan is the guest on this week’s episode of Uniquely Kentucky with Amber to talk about the book and why this was a fun exploration into writing.
With the recent deadly tornadoes that ravaged Nashville, Tenn. and surrounding areas Amber checks in on a friend and musician living in the Music City. Brandon Holder is a Tennessee native who cut his teeth on music in and around the Lexington, Ky. area when he was getting his start. Holder can now be found playing some of the most popular spots on lower Broadway in the Music City.
Kimmery Martin is a critically acclaimed ER doctor turned author who just released her second book. Living now in the Charlotte, NC area, Martin grew up near Berea, KY living what she calls a very magical life that always included books.
She admits she is a lifelong literary nerd who reads two to three books a week in her free time. On the heels of her first book, The Queen of Hearts released in 2018, Martin has now released her second book, an issue driven story of what happens when a doctor is fired for treating transgender patients.
The Antidote for Everything was just released in February of 2020 and has Martin on a whirlwind book tour. She stopped in to be a part of the Uniquely Kentucky podcast while she was in Lexington on one of those stops. In this episode she talks with Amber about her life in Kentucky growing up, where her inspiration to write comes from and why she decided to leave the emergency room to become an author.
Please note, this episode of Uniquely Kentucky has mature content and may not be suitable for younger listeners. Human trafficking and sexual exploitation may seem like a big city problem, but places like central Kentucky are no stranger to the crime. The trafficking of humans, especially women is a nearly $10 billion industry in the United States. In Kentucky, the detectives and those working the frontlines to stop trafficking will tell you the drug epidemic only fuels it.
Deanna Lynn is the author of a new book called Purchased, Leaving the Sex Trade. She found her way to Kentucky through the help of an organization who helps rehab women leaving the sex industry, Refuge for Women. In this episode Amber and Deanna explore the path her life took her on that included being exploited and how she finally found the strength to get sober and leave. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888.
Kentucky is known for basketball, bourbon and horses, but music is also high on that list. From bluegrass, country, rock, jazz and more Kentucky has seen its fair share of amazing artists, musicians and songwriters. In Lexington, the live music scene is exploding with more and more, great music being heard in bars, clubs and breweries across town. Brett Higgins is a Winchester native who has been kicking it around musically for years now. He is one half of the duo Prototype and they have new music coming out soon. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Higgins sits down with Amber to talk about Kentucky’s music scene, where his inspiration comes from for his next song and why “Marvelous Monday” has become his jam on social media!
Spreading joy one t-shirt at a time, that has become the unofficial company motto for Shop Local Kentucky. The company, selling fun and interesting t-shirts was started by husband and wife Rick and Joni Paynter in their garage.
The grassroots style business quickly grew becoming the place many now turn for their favorite t-shirt. The Paynter's have grown their business by not just selling shirts, but also through giving back to their community.
Shop Local Kentucky has become synonymous with giving. In the last three years Shop Local has given away more than a half million dollars through the sale of some its most popular charitable shirts.
In this episode owner Rick Paynter talks about growing Shop Local Kentucky, how a simple t-shirt can bring such joy to people's lives and why he says Kentuckians are the best!
Since 1935 the Miss Kentucky Organization has evolved from a mere beauty pageant into a well-respected program that has provided thousands of dollars in scholarship money to young women in central Kentucky. For many young girls across the state becoming Miss Kentucky is a dream and the woman crowned each year becomes a role model for so many. In June of 2019 Lexington native Alex Francke was named Miss Kentucky and from day one she took her role and ran with it. Francke has spent the last several months working for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture promoting the state’s Kentucky Proud program. She is passionate about the nonprofit she runs Adopt An Art which provides free art curriculum to schools where there isn’t enough funding for these programs or they have been cut all together. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Alex talks about her time in what she calls her “sparkly hat,” motivating youngsters and she takes us inside the Miss America 2.0 pageant.
Every year many of us make resolutions or goals in the new year to change something in our lives, but sadly many of those fly right out the window in just a couple of weeks. One of the most popular resolutions for people is getting in shape and eating better. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Amber sits down with a Lexington, Ky. fitness trainer and motivator who uses positivity to inspire his clients to not only reach their goals, but encourage others. Jarad Foglesong first came to Kentucky to play football for Georgetown College, but after graduating he found a home in working with others in central Kentucky to help them reach their fitness and training goals. Foglesong is now the head trainer at Burn Boot Camp, a “community” first concept that helps women build confidence and muscle at the same time. In this episode Amber and Jarad talk about what holds us back from making fitness a part of our lives and the ways we can motivate and inspire ourselves to step out of our comfort zones.
On New Year's Eve the University of Kentucky football team pulled off a thrilling win in the 2019 Belk Bowl with a 37-30 win over Virginia Tech. One of those players still celebrating that win is linebacker and UK graduate Kash Daniel. The Paintsville, Ky. native has been a leader both on the field and off for the UK football team. Wearing number 56 he became a fan favorite and the pride of the 606 for folks back home in eastern Kentucky. Despite his season being over for the blue and white he now has his sights set on playing professionally and the NFL combine. Daniel was selected to play in the Tropical Bowl, an All Star game set to take place January 12. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Daniel talks about his time playing, he opens up about an incident on the field that caused a media firestorm and he talks about being in a dark place for much of the season and how he found his way out to finish up his final games on the field.
Two brothers, a couple hundred dollars and a dream of starting a business is what led to the creation of the small business, New Frontier Outfitters. Jared and Josh Ravenscraft of Morehead, Ky. started the outdoor lifestyle brand two years ago selling a clothing line that some consider to be Appalachian chic. The two grew up loving the outdoors, but felt like all of the clothing geared towards what they loved to do represented the American west and not the mountains and hills they call home in eastern Kentucky. The brothers now run an online store and have a brick and mortar in their hometown of Morehead. Their clothing line has a who’s who of people sporting the gear, folks like the country group Midland, country singer Tyler Booth and even actor Channing Tatum.
With the Christmas season upon us that can only mean one thing, it is Christmas movie watching season! Time for you to sit around glued to your television or smartphone taking in endless hours of Hallmark, timeless classics or the hilarious Christmas favorites we have all come to love and adore. No one loves Christmas more than Amber Philpott and Chris Bailey, both consider themselves Christmas junkies. In this episode Amber and Chris talk about their favorite movies, breakdown why they love each film and the two might just disagree a bit over some of the more obscure holiday movies. Merry Christmas!
Jacqueline Coleman will be officially sworn in as Kentucky's next Lt. Governor on Tuesday, December 10, 2019, Coleman has been hard at work since first being elected to the position back in November. Coleman will be busy serving in that role and as the Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. Coleman also has another new title coming as well, new mom.
Lt. Governor-elect Coleman admits there is no rest for the weary when you are assembling a new administration in Frankfort.
The educator and former high school girls’ basketball coach knows a thing or two about putting a winning team together.
She says her primary focus in office will be education, fighting for the teacher she says have felt left out in the past administration.
Makenzie Thomas is a soulful singer and semifinalist on season 15 of the hit NBC show The Voice. Thomas, a native of Fleming Co., Kentucky grew up singing in church at the just the young age of 3-years-old. She says she is inspired by gospel, R&B and soul music. While she may have been eliminated in the Top 8 on The Voice Thomas has made a name for herself and is pursuing her music career. Her new album Hym will be released December 17 across all music platforms. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Thomas talks about performing for millions, being mentored by Jennifer Hudson and how she says she overcomes incredible stage fright.
Tara Conner was crowned Miss USA in 2006, but the Kentucky native would encounter headlines of a different kind just a few short months later. Allegations of underage drinking and testing positive for cocaine put Conner’s title and career on the line. Her then boss and former owner of the pageant, Donald Trump gave her a second chance, but she was ordered into rehab. Now, nearly 13 years later Conner is still sober and an advocate for recovery. She travels the country speaking on addiction and reaching out for help. She was recently in Lexington speaking to the men and women of the Hope Center to show them there is hope and life after addiction. She now lives in Los Angeles and is the host of a new talk show called the Real Talk 100.
Uniquely Kentucky is rolling out season two, and episode one has a guest that knows her way around the kitchen and has her finger on the pulse of the food culture in central Kentucky.
Chef Ouita Michel is a James Beard Foundation Award nominee and queen of the Bluegrass culinary scene. She and her husband Chris bought Holly Hill Inn in Midway, Kentucky in 2000 and she now operates eight restaurants in and around Lexington. She believes in shopping and serving local food on her menus and strives to create a special experience for every person who comes through her doors. Chef Ouita is a big believer in empowering women and upcoming chefs. She strives to create a business environment where women are supported, heard and empowered. She has her finger on the pulse of the food culture in central Kentucky. In this episode she and Amber talk all things food and why so many of us have a special connection to the certain foods we love.
If you love ghost stories, paranormal activity and things that are just plain strange, then you will love Lexington husband and wife team Jerry and Tracy Paulley. Together the two host the podcast Hillbilly Horror Stories which focuses on the paranormal, true stories behind some of your favorite scary movies and even unsolved mysteries. The couple first released a podcast in 2016 and since then it has grown to have an audience of thousands of people who tune in weekly for their quirky talk. This week for Uniquely Kentucky Jerry and Tracy sit down to talk with Amber about their podcast, some of their favorite haunted spots around Kentucky and more importantly how they are trying to reach out to those who may be dealing with mental health issues.
Film director and writer William Robert Chadwell is a Corbin native who grew up watching classic 80’s films, idolizing people like Steven Spielberg and dreaming of one day producing a film of his own. With no formal filmmaking experience Chadwell has made that dream come true with his first film, Moonbow. Growing up in and around Cumberland Falls in southern Kentucky Chadwell had always heard the urban legends and myths surrounding the famous moonbow. It’s a phenomena that happens when there is full moon over Cumberland Falls.
Chadwell’s film, Moonbow follows friends on an overnight camping trip that quickly learn the legends and stories surrounding the hills around them just might be true. Shot on two Samsung Galaxy 9 phones and with a budget of $5000 this is Chadwell’s first film that is now showing in select places.
On September 6, 2018 a routine walk into work for 38-year-old Whitney Austin turned in anything but routine. Austin, who is from Louisville was on a conference call while walking into the Fifth Third Office Tower in downtown Cincinnati when she found herself in the middle of an active shooting scene. Austin was shot 12 times and played dead so the shooter would not shoot her again. In those moments while fighting for her life Austin made a decision that if she lived she would make it here life’s work to fight for gun safety and advocate for change when it comes to our laws. She survived and now the wife and mother runs Whitney Strong, a foundation that promotes awareness and aims to continue the conversation of stopping gun violence while sparking change.
Bourbon is just one of the things Kentucky is known for and its history is as rich as its taste. The stories behind the bottles though are an even bigger part of the experience. We know the distilleries of today, but what about those distilleries of days gone by and the stories that may have went with it. One man is using his love of history and archaeology to find those forgotten landmarks and help us all get a better taste of the state’s signature drink through the stories and people who were distilling spirits long ago.
September is Archaeology Month in the bluegrass and the guest in this edition of Uniquely Kentucky is a man who has been digging up the past and the stories behind some of Kentucky’s forgotten distilleries and has come to be known as a “Bourbon Archaeologist.” Nick Laracuente helped with the uncovering of a rare find at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Franklin Co in 2016. He helped with the discovery of what has come to be known as Bourbon Pompeii, a distillery dating back to the 1800s that had been filled in and built over until it was unearthed for visitors to see.
For twenty years a cart full of kindness has been rolling through the halls of Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington. The idea, born from the mind of a wise little boy who was very sick. Jarrett Mynear was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer when he was just 2-years-old. He spent most of his life in and out of the hospital and while he always had plenty of visitors and toys in his room, he quickly realized that was not the case for many other children undergoing treatment in the hospital. Jarrett created Jarrett’s Joy Cart to provide a little joy and brighten the day for others stuck in the hospital. Marvin Bartlett, co-anchor of the WDKY Fox 56 news was able to profile Jarrett and his Joy Cart two decades ago. In that time and over the years that followed a special bond was formed and Bartlett went on to write a book published in 2002 called “The Joy Cart.” With the 20th anniversary of Jarrett’s Joy Cart, Bartlett has released a new expanded version of his first book called, “The Boy Who Delivered Joy.” Bartlett sits down with Uniquely Kentucky to talk about Jarrett and how as a journalist this one story about one little boy on a mission to spread kindness changed his life.
Christi Thomas has the distinct honor of being the first female host of a network pre-game show in the Southeastern Conference! Thomas is the host of the two hour Countdown to Kickoff show on the UK Radio network for every home and away football game. Her co-hosts include two former UK football Wildcats, Jeremy Jarmon and Dusty Bonner. Thomas grew up loving football, her father coached at both the high school and college level and she jokingly says as was the water girl for countless big brothers she gained over the years. As a former sports anchor and reporter for both WKYT there is no one who loves sports more than Christi Thomas.
Football season in the bluegrass is right around the corner, with the University of Kentucky football team kicking off their season Saturday, August 31 at Kroger Field. For the last twenty years at every home football game you have heard one booming voice over the loud speaker, notably with his "First Down Kentucky" call! Carl Nathe has been the public address announcer for UK home football games since 2017, he admits it's the perfect job as a longtime UK fan. Nathe recently retired from his role as a University of Kentucky publicist after 29 years. He says his focus now is spending time with family and focusing on calling those games with more enthusiasm than ever.
Heather Watson is the founder and editor-in-chief of HerKentucky, a lifestyle website for the modern woman of Kentucky. She is a writer, blogger and influencer who loves style, bourbon and books. Watson, who is a Kentucky native turned her passion for style, good food and books into a very popular website that keeps its readers up to date on all things happening in the Bluegrass state. She also loves telling the stories of Kentucky women, who they are, the businesses they run and the passions they have. Heather holds degrees from Transylvania and the University of Kentucky. Currently Heather is working on her first book, The Women of Kentucky Bourbon.
Bethany Brook Anderson is a Lexington native who hails as the writer, producer and director of the independent film, Burning Kentucky. The film has been making its rounds this year on the film festival circuit and garnering awards like Best Picture and Best Actress. Anderson has deep Kentucky roots and it’s what led her to writing Burning Kentucky she says. The film, is one of star crossed love set in Appalachia and follows a young girl trying to unravel her family's tragic past. Anderson says 90% of the film was shot in Kentucky with 75% of the cast and crew hail from the state, making its premiere in Lexington, Ky. a homecoming of sorts for many involved. Anderson says she feels fortunate to be in filmmaking during this time, one where she says more and more women are finding and carving out their own paths.
In Kentucky farming is a tradition shared among many families and generations. Typically we think crops, cattle and now the resurgence of hemp, but new numbers released earlier this year from the 2017 Census of Agriculture show a new trend in the farming community. The census found more and more women are turning to the agriculture world to grow their own businesses. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Amber is headed to a southern Kentucky farm to talk with a mother and daughter duo who turned to lavender to honor their farming heritage while growing a successful business.
Sally Denton is an award winning investigative reporter, author and historian who has written a number of books, including The Bluegrass Conspiracy. It is an inside story of power, greed, drugs and murder and it blew the lid off of Lexington, Ky. when it was released. Denton was a WKYT investigative reporter from about 1980-83 and who worked several reports on corruption in the Lexington Police Department. Her book The Bluegrass Conspiracy was released in 1989 to both raves and jeers. It is a detailed account of the events that both surrounded and lead up to former Lexington Police officer Drew Thorton parachuting to his death with 150 pounds of cocaine, it was the beginning of a scandal that reached far beyond the rolling hills of the Bluegrass and became one of Lexington’s and the country’s most intriguing stories.
Lexington author and Jackson Co. native Gwenda Bond is a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than a dozen books. Her latest release, Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds is the prequel to the hugely popular Netflix series Stranger Things. Bond has been writing all of her life and had her first book published in 2012. Her books include a trilogy on Lois Lane as a teen, a series that follows a modern day circus and she has co-written a middle grade series with her husband and fellow author Christopher Rowe. Bond sits down with Uniquely Kentucky to talk about getting her start in the literary world, being hand selected to keep the Stranger Things story going and why Lexington and Kentucky inspire her to write.
Bourbon is Kentucky’s signature industry and it’s enjoying a renaissance of sorts in the Bluegrass. Congress declared bourbon America’s only native spirit in 1964 and the bourbon made here at home is enjoyed all around the world. In fact, Kentucky provides 95% of the world’s bourbon. According to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association bourbon is an $8.6 billion industry here in Kentucky, generating some 20,000 jobs. Right now there are 68 distilleries in 32 counties with more and more products coming on the market. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Eric Gregory, the President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association is talking all things bourbon!
There is nothing that screams summertime tradition like a trip to the ballpark for a little baseball. The Lexington Legends, a minor league affiliate of the Kansas City Royals have called central Kentucky home now for the last 19 years and currently they are the reigning South Atlantic League Champions! Andy Shea is the President and CEO of the Legends, running the family business and working his way up from parking attendant to leading the front office staff. Shea, a former Boston College baseball player loves the game, but he also loves giving back to the community that supports his team. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky we talk with Shea about life at the park, keeping it alive all 365 days a year and about why he opens up Whitaker Bank Ballpark to so many other events as a way to give back and pay it forward to the community.
We are talking health, wellness and being gluten free in this edition of Uniquely Kentucky! We have hit the unofficial start to the summer season and for many that also means the halfway point of either succeeding or failing at the New Year’s resolutions they made in January. Beth Kronenberg, a Lexington businesswoman, wife and mother is the creator behind Kitchen Shift. Kronenberg is a health and wellness coach focusing on how to help people make both mental and physical shifts around food. Kronenberg holds a degree in Psychology and Neurosciences from Miami University and is also a graduate of The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Take a listen as we talk about simple ways we can shift our thinking when it comes to what we eat and how we eat it.
May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Every year there are more than five million cases of skin cancer diagnosed.
Last July at the age of just 20-years-old University of Kentucky football player Joshua Paschal found out he had melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
Paschal attributes football with helping him find the cancer and he says the support of his family and team helped him along his journey.
Paschal has just a few treatments left and is now turning his attention to using his story to advocate for awareness about a disease he was unfamiliar with until he heard the words you have cancer.
Kentucky has one of the highest opioid addiction rates in the country and it isn't slowing down.
Recently WKYT traveled to Nashville and was given the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Erin Calipari.
She is the oldest of University of Kentucky Basketball head coach John Calipari's three children.
She may have a famous last name, but she is making her own mark in the world of science and holding her own court at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with her research on drug addiction and the brain.
Calipari says she has learned a lot from her father and his years in the coaching spotlight.
Her sport now, isn't basketball, but rather science where she is the head coach and her court is this lab.
"Sports are very similar right, you have a team of people working together to get to a common goal," said Erin Calipari, Ph.D.
Inside the Vanderbilt Center for Addiction Research you will find Calipari leading her team of scientists and researchers.
Officers are sworn to serve and protect the communities they call home, for one Kentucky State Police Trooper it’s also about going above and beyond to inspire those around him. Trooper Robert Purdy is the Public Affairs Officer with Post 7 out of Madison County, he is no stranger to WKYT as we often call upon him to get information about crime scenes or crashes. He loves what he does in uniform to keep the public safe, but he also loves to inspire others through social media. Trooper Purdy has made a name for himself with his often times fun, but meaningful posts meant to connect with the community around him. He believes in being kind and that no matter your circumstance everyone is important and deserves kindness. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky we sit down with Trooper Purdy to talk about his career in uniform, but also his other hat of being a small business owner and his new love for bees!
Cynthia Ellingsen is the author of several contemporary novels for women, including her bestselling Starlight Cove series, as well as a middle grade novel. Her other works include, Marriage Matters and The Whole Package. The wife and mother says she has been writing her whole life and dreamed of one day being a published author. Ellingsen's work has been translated into many different languages. She is a Michigan native and currently lives in Lexington, KY, with her family. Connect with her at www.cynthiaellingsen.com
He is an award winning filmmaker, author and musician who calls Georgetown, Ky. home. Michael Crisp first moved to the bluegrass when he was four and ever since has fallen in love with the history and stories that make this state so very interesting. You may know some of his works, he has written nine books, including “It’s a Kentucky Thing, Ya’ll Wouldn’t Understand. He has also produced several films, including a film depicting one of the country’s worst bus tragedies, the Floyd County bus crash of 1958-The Very Worst Thing.
Walker Montgomery is an up and coming country music artist with hits like Simple Town and Just Say When. He is a Kentuckian through and through, born and raised in Jessamine County, Kentucky. Montgomery is the 20-year-old son of 90's country chart topper John Michael Montgomery. Amber sits down with Montgomery to talk about getting his start, moving to Nashville and living in the shadow of his dad's success.
Grayson Jenkins is a central Kentucky musician who has been playing in and around the Lexington, Ky bar scene for the last several years. He is a little bit country, little bit folk rock and always loves to tell a good story with his songs. In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky he sits down with Amber Philpott to talk about how he got his start, his musical inspiration and why having a song that has now become a requested wedding and first dance song means so much to him.
Craft beer across the U.S. is booming and Kentucky is seeing huge growth in the industry, despite being in a state known for it's bourbon. In this week's episode of Uniquely Kentucky, WKYT's Amber Philpott sits down with one of the owners of Maiden City Brewing, Alex Caldwell. She is talking all things beer, starting a new business and why they now have a beer on tap named for Philpott herself.
The dynasty that is the University of Kentucky Cheerleading program has been dominating the sport for decades. In January the Division 1A Coed squad won its 24th national championship at the Universal Cheerleaders Association in Orlando, Fla. Kentucky won its first national title back in 1985. This year’s win is the fourth straight under the leadership of Coach Jomo Thompson. In this edition of Uniquely Kentucky, host Amber Philpott sits down with Thompson to talk about the pursuit of winning and how he motivates his team year after year to dominate in the sport.
Jason Smith is a Kentucky native who became the first home baker to win the Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network. Smith who grew up in Laurel County has since gone on to win two other competitions including Season 13 of Food Network Star. He is a down home chef known for his country talk, bold clothing and witty comebacks! In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Jason opens up about how his love of food and cooking has given him the outlet to give back to countless people all over the world. "Lord honey," we hope you like it!
Are you looking for a fresh start in the New Year? It's that time of year when many of us make those resolutions to eat better, get in shape or spend more time with our family and friends.
The real question, will we make that happen? In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky Amber sits down with Kentucky based Coach Colene.
As the brains behind Be More Consulting, Colene Elridge seeks to help individuals and organizations realize their full potential.
Coach Colene is known for her Monday Morning Pep Talks that help inspire her clients to make the week ahead a great one!
Coach Colene has now complied all of her Monday Morning Pep Talks and put them into a new book with the same title.
If you need a pep talk in the new year, take a listen to Coach Colene to help get our minds right about being the best version of ourselves in 2019!
In this edition of Uniquely Kentucky host Amber Philpott sits down with WKYT anchor Sam Dick and Chief Meteorologist Chris Bailey to talk about their Christmas traditions with their families. Also in this episode a conversation with Kentucky historian Ron Bryant about Christmas lore in Kentucky and why we have some of the traditions we do now.
In this episode of Uniquely Kentucky, WKYT's Amber Philpott talks with Twany Beckham who is a former University of Kentucky basketball player who came to UK as a walk-on in 2011. Beckham was a member of the National Championship team in 2012 before being sidelined with career-ending back surgery.