Wednesday, September 8, 2010

KY Backroads Features Part Of What's Good In Local TV News Coverage

There is a lot of justified criticism of Lexington TV news, including the unrelenting diet of fender bender crimes, each week, a new "parents' worse nightmare", and sexual peccadilloes by the various and sundry citizenry, but that ought not to blind us to a few gems on the local air.

Among my faves is the "Kentrucky's Backroads" series on WTVQ-36. Reporter Greg Stotelmyer searches out the overlooked, off-the-beaten-path places, and people..(he seems partial to old ladies who paint and collect, and some of them are just wonderful).

His pieces are well filmed and edited. His current cameraman, Chris Woosley, did a marvelous job recently catching the spirit of Yahoo Falls, as Greg introduced us to the Native Americans who call the place sacred and why. It's a sad tale of a massacre conducted by frontier Kentuckians who just didn't like Indians, so they murdered them; mainly women and children, before the returning braves exacted revenge---and justice.

By the end of the piece I wanted to go there for a visit, for its beauty, for its history, for a tribute to forgotten Native Kentuckians so badly treated by we who were "civilized."

So I turned to my well-used copy of the Kentucky Encyclopedia. The best thing I can say about this volume is that it is the best thing out there; it is also the worse thing out there because it is the only thing out there. It has its share of mistakes, including an inexplicable filing of people by their first names not last. (And the people who issued it don't seem interested in correcting their mistakes or issuing a new, updated, corrected version. Pity.)

Among its mistakes I soon found out was, no listing for Yahoo Falls. No listing actually for any of our waterfalls. Maybe the compilers just didn't know about Yahoo Falls, or maybe they were too ashamed to remind us of the unprovoked murders of the innocent.

Yahoo Falls is in McCreary County near Whitley City, in the Big South Fork Recreation area and is on federal land supervised by the U.S, Forestry Service. It is off U-S 27 at KY road 700; go west four miles and signs to the Falls should start to appear. It should be pretty in the fall but the falls may be only a trickle. In spring the falls can run over 100 feet high, and are believed to be the highest in our state.

And watch "Kentucky's Backroads" for more gems. It's on WTVQ-36 in Lexington, Thursdays on the 6pm newscast, and Sundays on the 11pm newscast.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

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