Liam Niemeyer

Liam Niemeyer

Liam covers government and policy in Kentucky and its impacts throughout the Commonwealth for the Kentucky Lantern. He most recently spent four years reporting award-winning stories for WKMS Public Radio in Murray.

Second worker dies trapped in collapsed coal-preparation plant in Martin County

By: - November 3, 2023

The second of two workers who were trapped inside a collapsed coal preparation plant in Martin County has died.  Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear in a Friday afternoon post on the social media platform X confirmed the death. The Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper had identified the second worker as 57-year-old Alvin Nees, who had been missing after […]

One confirmed dead in collapse of idle coal prep plant in Martin County

By: - November 1, 2023

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency in Martin County Wednesday morning after an idle coal preparation plant collapsed on two people who had been working inside, killing at least one of them.   A Kentucky Emergency Management release Wednesday identified the collapsed building as the Martin Mine Prep Plant near Middlefork Wolfe Creek […]

‘Stackable’ tax credits for smaller renewable energy projects could benefit Eastern Kentucky

By: - October 30, 2023

A new federal tax credit program to help nonprofits and local governments afford to build small-scale renewable energy projects could benefit communities in Eastern Kentucky and Appalachia in particular, according to an advocate familiar with the program.  Applications for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Low-Income Communities Bonus Credit Program opened earlier this month. The program […]

Kentucky Supreme Court strikes down ‘random’ change of venue law

By: - October 26, 2023

The Kentucky Supreme Court in a 6-1 decision Thursday struck down a new law allowing “random” changes of venue in lawsuits challenging state laws and decisions. In its order, the state’s highest court said Senate Bill 126 violated the separation of powers among state government branches. The court said the law, among other unconstitutional features, […]

A newly built home with blue siding and a white trim sits on a lot covered in hay.

For one Kentucky city, a new home highlights the housing challenges rural communities face

By: - October 25, 2023

Along the Tennessee border in West Kentucky, Fulton County Judge-Executive Jim Martin traced his rural community’s economic challenges, and its coinciding lack of housing, back decades.  As the federal government built interstates throughout the country and in Kentucky in the mid-20th century, less traffic subsequently came through the county as new routes were planned. Garment […]

Federal funding is helping set up electric vehicle chargers across Kentucky

By: - October 23, 2023

More electric vehicle (EV) chargers are being planned along major transportation corridors in Kentucky with the help of federal grant funding.  A release from Gov. Andy Beshear’s Office Monday states eight more EV chargers are being built near cities across the state from Calvert City to London through funding from the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure […]

On the left: a leaking abandoned oil and gas well in Union County. On the right: a picture of the well site cleaned up in September 2023.

More than 600 ‘orphan’ oil and gas wells plugged in Kentucky with federal funds

By: - October 19, 2023

The director of the Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas told state lawmakers Thursday that 627 so-called “orphan” oil and gas wells have been plugged thanks to recent federal funding, though thousands of such abandoned wells remain across the state.  Dennis Hatfield, the Kentucky Division of Oil and Gas director, said the state officials estimate […]

Auto workers hold UAW strike signs in Louisville, Kentucky.

At Ford’s most lucrative plant, strikers say they don’t see their share of the profits

By: - October 12, 2023

LOUISVILLE — Tim Heil never expected Ford’s most profitable plant to go on strike, yet on Thursday morning he and dozens of others were on the picket line in front of the sprawling Kentucky Truck Plant. The walkout of about 8,700 workers in Kentucky came as a surprise Wednesday night after United Auto Workers President […]

A silver sedan sits at the entrance of Artemis Power Tech's facility.

Wolfe judge-exec says noise barrier planned for suspected crypto ‘mine’

By: - October 12, 2023

Wolfe County Judge-Executive Raymond Banks says a Houston company running a new data center — suspected to be a cryptocurrency mining facility — in his Eastern Kentucky county plans to erect a barrier to dampen its constant noise which has drawn complaints from neighbors for weeks. But Banks says he opposes calls for the county […]

A silver sedan sits at the entrance of Artemis Power Tech's facility.

In a rural Kentucky community, the roar of a suspected crypto ‘mine’ never ends

By: - October 9, 2023

WOLFE COUNTY — She couldn’t see it through the trees on a recent late September morning, but she’s felt its presence for weeks on end.  Up the hill across from her home along the Wolfe-Lee county line, 76-year-old Brenda Campbell can hear through the leaves a constant, high-pitched whirring that rivals the cicada screeches in […]

Kentucky among the most vulnerable states to climate change impacts, according to new research

By: - October 2, 2023

A new index measuring 184 categories of public data across more than 70,000 census tracts in the country shows Kentucky communities, particularly Eastern Kentucky, among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  The U.S. Climate Vulnerability Index, created in collaboration by researchers at Texas A&M University and the nonprofit advocacy group Environmental Defense […]

An up-close photo of a brown-shaded relict darter.

Wildlife officials downgrade protection status of West Kentucky fish to ‘threatened’

By: - September 26, 2023

A small fish native to a stream system in West Kentucky is having its federal protection status under the Endangered Species Act downgraded from “endangered” to “threatened” in large part due to decades of conservation efforts.  The relict darter, native to the Bayou de Chien stream system that runs through West Kentucky into the Mississippi […]