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Where the Past Meets the Future
Settlers moved here before America became a nation. Their history is revealed in music, art and architecture. But what brings folks like fishing pro Tony Grant are the giant muskies.
At the 42nd annual Western Kentucky University's Mountain Workshops, more than 90 visual journalists from across the country and around the globe spent October 24 - 28, 2017 documenting Rowan County's people and places. These are their stories.
Photo: James Collier
Discovering the spirit of Morehead
by Mountain Workshops
Come visit Morehead, Ky. and take a look at how Western Kentucky University documented the lives and places that make up this Eastern Kentucky city.
A rare breed
by Zac Popik
Tobacco farmer may call it quits for much-loved lifestyle reaching back three generations
by Ida Marie Odgaard
Donna Christian drives the windy roads of Rowan County, delivering mysteries and romances, but her true focus is connecting with locals.
Heart of the matter
by Mira Laing
Dr. Mansha Kahloon keeps his Muslim faith, career and family life in balance
Fingerprints in space
by Nilo Tabrizy
Bob Twiggs is launching satellites into space, something he’s been doing for over three decades.
Father to all
by Mhari Shaw
A coach does more for kids than teach them sports
My angel wing
by Chris Janjic
Greg Wing’s passion for playing his trumpet is only rivaled by his love for his wife, Paula.
Rowan County in the camera's eye
by Mountain Workshops
With 48 photojournalists roaming the county for five days, hundreds of photographs reveal the beauty of the land and the spirit of its people. Here are some of the best.
Getting the job done
by Michelle Hanks
A veteran gives his all to recognize and support others whose sacrifice he believes far exceed his own.
by Srijita Chattopadhyay
Joe Sartor has always been a painter, but he found his purpose after he met the love of his life.
Fishing for more
by Lydia Schweickart
Biologist Tom Timmermann passes on his love for nature to the next generation
by Andrea Cornejo
In a screen-obsessed world, David Dummer tries to pass along his love of nature to his grandchildren.
Where Morehead meets
by Soyoung Shin
Holbrook Drug is more than a drug store; it has been a community gathering place for generations.
Days gone by
by Naomi Schware
Jeremy Short’s passion for the blues transports his audience to his inner world charged by grief, love, loss, and soul.
by Shaban Athuman
After fleeing Africa as a refugee, Denise Luke found community and a path to success.
Morehead in space
by Maureen Stewart
Morehead State University students have been instrumental in launching satellites for purposes of educational outreach and exploring the universe.
Farm family has it together
by Erin Ilisco
Everybody pitches in when the Pecco family handles chores on fields spread around the region
All for this
by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin
Melissa Caskey, the self-proclaimed queen of part-time jobs, channels the blues to take on the challenges of life.
Dogs' best friend
by Nate Manley
Jackie Matthews came from New Jersey to Kentucky because the dogs needed her.
Old mountain music
by Josephine Holtzman
A first-generation Kentuckian, Thomas Albert finds a sense of belonging through traditional music.
Don't judge, take care
by Madelyn Wigle
Leading Rowan County EMS, Danny Blevins encourages a growth mindset to help raise the town that raised him.
by Skyler Ballard
Lesley Jackson chose to return to Eastern Kentucky when she finished medical school, because she wants to make a difference in a rural community.
Mother en pointe
by Erik Kruthoff
A former ballerina finds joy in motherhood
by Chi Zhang
Sherridan Keltner has devoted herself to family and God after her daughter Kinlee nearly drowned seven years ago.
A crucial camaraderie
by Brianna Spause
Logan Young embraces brotherhood on the road to recovery
Surprising Morehead facts
by Jacob Lindberg and Addie Hogan
Rowan County is a stereo-type breaking part of Eastern Kentucky. Many think coal would be the driving economic factor but this assumption could not be further from the truth.
Beauty inside and out
by Caroline Brehman
Robyn Cline, beauty salon owner, connects her work to her relationship with God.
by Sarah Baker
Robert Franzini carries on the tradition of print-making in a world filled with glowing screens.
The Queen of Morehead
by Daniel Krieger
Surmounting Down Syndrome, an 18-year-old Morehead senior was elected Rowan County Homecoming Queen by wide margin
A sense of belonging
by Ashley Cooper
Nestled into the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Morehead combines traditional folkways with modern innovations. A time-lapse story.
Moving toward independence
by Sangsuk Sylvia Kang
Tony Wilburn meets health and cognitive challenges with the help of the community
Chick’s game plan
by Chris Hintz
Claudia “Chick” Hicks might be retired from basketball coaching, but she is far from being done with following her passions.
by Carter Jones
A father and son lead a local lumber company through years of change.
Sugar of the earth
by Elizabeth Young
The journey to happiness has a surprisingly simple solution for Debbie and Fred Howes: handcrafted traditions, love of nature, and a quiet existence.
Death and life
by Matthew Merchant
This coroner is much more: comforter, father and community leader
by Brielle Domings
Marty Stevens examines the world through collecting anything old: cars, signs, knickknacks, antiques and ephemera.
For the love of animals
by Fran Ruchalski
From horse-riding girl to farm-loving ambassador, this woman is happy to be ankle-deep in manure
Rooted but free
by Min Xian
Toby Pettit’s loyalty to his home-place keeps him grounded, and also gives him the freedom he craves.
The last ride
by Abigail Dollins
Megan Newsome has always loved riding horses but has found an outlet for her passion through her programs of study, agribusiness and animal science.
A pipeline dilemma
by Lesley Garrett
A nearly 60-year-old pipeline that crosses southern Rowan County is once again being used to transport highly volatile gasses leaving many residents concerned for their safety.
What a catch
by James Collier
Cave Run Lake unites a local guide with anglers in pursuit of muskie.
by Marianne Barthelemy
Nadia Richardson loves learning, despite the stresses involved in being a 17 year old in college.
The third place
by Nikos Frazier
Fuzzy Duck Coffee Shop and CoffeeTree Books bring two favorites under one quaint roof
A sense of duty
by Perry Aston
Bill Miller, a Vietnam vet, is a master craftsman who builds hand-made wooden flag boxes to give to the families of deceased vets.
A cut above
by Brooke Warren
In this forested region, second-generation logger Mark Donahue is always in demand.
by Jeff Gilmore
Tim Cantrell drives a truck but it’s his passion for his family that drives him.
Ahead of her time
by Anna Miller
A 17-year-old strives for academic perfection.
by Sean Loftin
For the last 35 years, Stephen Tirone has been on a mission to bring art into public spaces.
A burning passion
by Madison Simmons
Fire Chief Jeff Anderson lives apart from his family to run the department in Morehead
Baker and the Bandit
by Matthew Atkins
After years of service to his country and his family, Baker Hollis has formed a close bond with his K9 partner, Bandit.
Soap and service
by Angelo Angel
Couple with a community commitment are out to reclaim a former brickyard property for use as a center for Haldeman
The steady one
by Abbey Tanner
Dr. Phil Prater credits horses with teaching him patience and helping him grow into his best self.
Spreading healthcare across the valleys
by Morgan Lieberman
Two clinics, staffed by volunteer medical professionals, provide free services for Eastern Kentucky's uninsured.
Friend, farm, food
by Patrick Connolly
Jenny and Lee Pennington are committed to fostering community and helping people connect with fresh local food, through their farm to table store.
The art of mentoring
by Nic Huey
Jason Ratcliff inspires Rowan County High School students with his passion for art.
by Greg Biondo
Jason Jones overcame alcohol and drug addiction after ten years of using prescription pills.
A prayer answered
by Evan Mattingly
Caregiver Madge Plank is the saving grace for the Trent family.
by Jonah Jabbour
Katina Solis navigates the busyness of life as a single mother of six, and love is the driving force.
All they want
by Alyssa Keown
Katie and Hershall Salyer fell in love because of their shared love of horses and dreamed of owning their own farm. Today they are living their dream.
Little man's world
by Kassi Jackson
Despite challenges, Alvie Bemount Jr. contributes to the community he\'s found at Heritage Place.
Making it on their own
by Nic Antaya
A single mom bonds with her daughter while running the family bakery where their laughter cuts through the stress of business and early mornings.
The art of loneliness
by Sung Chul Lee
A sculptor lives alone but finds solace in his work.
Love and pizza
by Kendall Warner
Jerry and Susan Hart infuse Rise & Roll Brick Oven Company with fresh ingredients, quality customer service and love for good food and each other.
It’s an Osborne thing
by Tyger Williams
For Joey Osborne, becoming a farmer means embracing a family legacy.
by Jack Zellweger
Scott Creek Marina prepares for the coming winter at Cave Run Lake
Building a strong family
by Craig McClure
It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes strong families to create that village.
He teaches it, plays it, loves it
by Jennifer Kerrigan
Rowan County band director strikes many notes in lifetime devoted to music
To love is to teach
by Kelsea Hobbs
Suzanne Meadows home schools her children, but hopes to teach them more than the facts found in their textbooks.
The smoke you can taste
by Caitlin Penna
At Pop’s BBQ, you can trust two things: The smoker is on and the people are hungry.
Faith and empathy on the land
by Dimitri Staszewski
A couple return to create a family farm on the wife's homeplace
Up in the air
by Megan May
A flight instructor and airport manager shares his love of flying with his students
A veteran vet
by Carly Geraci
For four decades, Dr. Ralph Derrickson has cared for animals and earned their owners' trust.
Reaching for the moon
by Joseph Barkoff
Tech-savvy MSU students have space on their radar.
A Harley-Davidson family
by Jinhwan Hong
Motorcycles have been a part of Philip Cooper's life since he was a boy
Tall boats and fish
by Madeleine Cook
A fishing and boating community on the largest man-made lake in eastern Kentucky
The perfect pair
by Lex Selig
Music majors Caroline Copley and Elizabeth Bowman find friendship and a future in folk music.
The woman Hood
by Clint Datchuk
A life dedicated to a love for children
Coffee, conversation and more
by Donghoon Sung
The Hogtown Gas & Food Mart is the hub of the community
Day in the life
by Mountain Workshops
Craig McClure is a photojournalist in Virginia Beach, VA. During his time at Mountain Workshops, 2017, he documented the Blevins family in Morehead, KY.