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July 31, 2018

Nearly 1,800 local newspapers have closed their doors since 2004

A growing number of digital media startups are taking the place of traditional community news organizations, but it's unclear whether they can be economically solvent enough to fill the news vacuum left when traditional community newspapers close down.

The news gap is a growing problem: "Nearly 1,800 local newspapers have closed their doors since 2004, according to a 2017 study conducted by the University of North Carolina’s Center for Innovation and Sustainability in Local Media . . . And Local Media Association's February survey of almost 200 media leaders in charge of small digital operations. Fewer than a quarter of the operations surveyed said they had enough staff to meet revenue goals.Local Media Association's February survey of almost 200 media leaders in charge of small digital operations. Fewer than a quarter of the operations surveyed said they had enough staff to meet revenue goals.

small-town newspapers with circulations of fewer than 20,000 are the markets taking the biggest hits," Phil McCausland reports for NBC. Meanwhile, "U.S. daily newspaper circulation — print and digital combined — fell an estimated 11 percent in one year to 31 million in 2017. That’s half of the readership that newspapers enjoyed in the late 1980s and early 1990s."

Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, told McCausland that community journalists play a vital role in holding local governments accountable. "What happens when people aren’t being watched?" Cross said. "As they say, when the cat’s away, the mice will play."

Cross was skeptical that digital startups would have the bandwidth to cover local issues in small towns. Another problem is finances: some startups are non-profit and some are for-profit, but many are having trouble creating coherent financial strategies to achieve solvency, according to the Local Media Association's February survey of almost 200 media leaders in charge of small digital operations. Fewer than a quarter of the operations surveyed said they had enough staff to meet revenue goals.

Non-profit ventures like Report for America could help with staffing though; the program places journalists in local newsrooms. "In the past five or 10 years, there’s been a lot about how technology is going to save journalism, and a lot of that is partly true," Steve Waldman, the nonprofit's co-founder, told McCausland. "But we’ve now discovered that none of that matters if there’s not enough reporters. At the end of the day you’re not going to improve local journalism without local journalists."

Written by Heather Chapman

July 30, 2018

BIG MAC IS HERE TO STAY!

NEW YORK (AP) - McDonald's is fighting to hold onto customers as the Big Mac turns 50, but it's not messing with the makings of its most famous burger.

The company is celebrating the 1968 national launch of the double-decker sandwich, whose ingredients of "two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions and a sesame seed bun" were seared into American memories by a TV jingle.

But the milestone comes as the company reduces its number of U.S. stores and customers visit less often. Other more trendy burger options are reaching into the heartland.

The "Golden Arches" still have a massive global reach, and the McDonald's brand of cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and french fries remains recognizable around the world. 

 

 

July 28, 2018

ALLIANCE RESOURCE PARTNERS, L.P. Increases Second Quarter 2018 Unitholder Distribution to $.52 Per Unit

TULSA, OKLAHOMA, July 27, 2018 – Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. (NASDAQ: ARLP) today announced that the Board of Directors of ARLP’s general partner approved an increased cash distribution to its unitholders for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 (the "2018 Quarter").

ARLP unitholders will receive a cash distribution for the 2018 Quarter of $0.52 per unit (an annualized rate of $2.08 per unit), payable on August 14, 2018 to all unitholders of record as of the close of trading on August 7, 2018.

The announced distribution represents a 4.0% increase over the cash distribution declared of $0.50 for the quarter ended June 30, 2017 and a 1.0% increase over the cash distribution declared of $0.515 for the quarter ended March 31, 2018.

As previously announced, ARLP will report financial results for the 2018 Quarter before the market opens on Monday, July 30, 2018 and Alliance management will discuss these results during a conference call beginning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern that same day.

As a reminder to former common unitholders of Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (“AHGP”), ARLP and AHGP recently completed the Simplification Transactions pursuant to which AHGP became a wholly owned subsidiary of ARLP and all of the ARLP common units held by AHGP and its subsidiaries were distributed to the unitholders of AHGP in exchange for their AHGP common units. (Please see press release dated May 31, 2018.) As a result of the closing of the Simplification Transactions, AHGP ceased to be a publicly traded company and no further distributions or public announcements with respect to AHGP are expected to be made in the future.

To participate in the conference call, dial (877) 506-1589 and request to be connected to the Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. earnings conference call. Canadian callers should dial (855) 669- 9657 and all other International callers should dial (412) 317-5240 and request to be connected to the same call.

Investors may also listen to the call via the “investor information” section of ARLP’s website at http://www.arlp.com. An audio replay of the conference call will be available for approximately one week. To access the audio replay, dial US Toll Free (877) 344-7529; International Toll (412) 317-0088; Canada Toll Free (855) 669-9658 and request to be connected to replay access code 10121817. 

CONTACT: Brian L. Cantrell Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. 1717 South Boulder Avenue, Suite 400 Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119 (918) 295-7673 

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This announcement is intended to be a qualified notice under Treasury Regulation Section 1.1446- 4(b), with 100% of the partnership’s distributions to foreign investors attributable to gross income, gain or loss that is effectively connected with a United States trade or business. Accordingly, ARLP’s distributions to foreign investors are subject to federal income tax withholding at the highest applicable tax rate. About Alliance Resource Partners, L.P. ARLP is a diversified producer and marketer of coal to major United States and international utilities and industrial users. ARLP, the nation’s first publicly traded master limited partnership involved in the production and marketing of coal, is currently the second largest coal producer in the eastern United States with mining operations in the Illinois Basin and Appalachian coal producing regions. ARLP currently operates eight mining complexes in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland and West Virginia as well as a coal loading terminal on the Ohio River at Mount Vernon, Indiana. ARLP also generates income from a variety of other sources, including investments in oil and gas mineral interests and gas compression services. News, unit prices and additional information about ARLP, including filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, are available at http://www.arlp.com. For more information, contact the investor relations department of ARLP at (918) 295-7674 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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