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KET productions and programs nominated for 10 Regional Emmy Awards


KET productions and programs nominated for 10 Regional Emmy Awards

For Release: 06/07/17 2:58 PM

The Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) has nominated KET productions and programs for 10 Regional Emmy Awards.

The awards recognize excellence in the areas of local news, programming and individual achievement and are one of the industry’s highest honors.

“I congratulate our staff members for their individual and team efforts that resulted in these Emmy nominations,” said KET executive director and CEO Shae Hopkins. “The nominations serve as recognition of KET’s high-quality programming, which we’re dedicated to producing and presenting for our viewers across the state.”


Military – Program
Thomas Bickel – Kentucky Veterans of the Vietnam War: In Their Own Words

Narrated by Kentuckian Nick Clooney and rich in archival photographs and home movies, Kentucky Veterans of the Vietnam War: In Their Own Words focuses on the intimate, ground-level experiences of Kentucky troops in Vietnam. More than 40 Kentucky veterans share harrowing memories of their time in combat, while several recount the pain of watching their friends and fellow soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Documentary – Cultural/Topical
Tom Thurman and Teresa Day – Merle Travis: Guitar Man

From humble beginnings in the Western Kentucky coalfields, Merle Travis grew to worldwide stardom by the 1940s and 1950s. Today he is one of country music’s most celebrated stylistic pioneers. His life story and his musical legacy are explored in Merle Travis: Guitar Man, which chronicles the life of the balladeer best known for hits like “Sixteen Tons,” Nine Pound Hammer” and “Dark as a Dungeon” and as the developer of a unique thumb-picking guitar-playing style eventually dubbed “Travis pickin’.”

Documentary – Historical
Craig Cornwell, Shae Hopkins and Beth Kirchner
– Forgotten Fame: The Marion Miley Story
While her legacy has faded with the passing of time, in 1930s America, Lexington golfer Marion Miley was at the top of her sport. Her name was known nationwide – by both golf devotees and non-players alike. Tragically, her career was cut short when she was murdered during a burglary at the Lexington Country Club in September 1941.

KET’s 2016 documentary Forgotten Fame: The Marion Miley Story commemorates the 75th anniversary of her death at age 27, while detailing her pioneering work as one of the best female amateur golfers in the history of the game.

Magazine Program
Frank Simkonis – Kentucky Life “Haunted Louisville”
Kentucky Life
 explores Old Louisville, considered by some to be one of the most haunted neighborhoods in the country. With the help of local author David Domine, the program investigates the neighborhood’s haunted histories and re-enacts several of the eerie happenings lurking within the elegant exteriors of the Old Louisville mansions, including the Conrad-Caldwell House and the DuPont Mansion.

Magazine Feature/Segment
Paul Smith – Kentucky Life “Crittenden’s Watch”

Kentucky Life follows the circuitous route of 2nd Lt. John Jordan Crittenden’s pocket watch, which had been given to him as a gift by his father, Civil War general Thomas J. Crittenden. The younger Crittenden was part of the 7th Cavalry, which was led into battle against the Sioux and Cheyenne by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn. John Jordan Crittenden died at Bighorn, but it’s believed that his pocket watch was removed from his body by Native American warriors. The program traces the watch’s long journey from the battlefield to Canada and back to Kentucky, where it was loaned in 1949 to the Kentucky Historical Society and has remained ever since.

Steve Shaffer – Kentucky Life “The Pigeon Photographer”
Kentucky Life
spotlights Lexington photographer David Stephenson, a photojournalist who also breeds and raises pedigreed pigeons. Known as “The Pigeon Photographer” on Instagram – a platform on which he has thousands of followers – Stephenson produces a popular calendar each year with his photos, revealing the beautiful plumage and graceful flight of these often-unheralded birds.

Frank Simkonis – Kentucky Life “Underground Railroad in Boone County”
Kentucky Life explores the key role that Boone County played in the history of the Underground Railroad in Kentucky. While identifying and visiting several sites within the county that were instrumental on the Underground Railroad, the program uncovers fascinating facts about the work of Boone County residents who assisted in the Underground Railroad’s efforts to help escaped slaves sneak across the nearby Ohio River toward freedom in the North.

Nostalgia Program
Tom Thurman, Teresa Day and Shae Hopkins – The Hilltoppers

During the 1950s, an unassuming quartet from Bowling Green, Ky., made the astonishing rise from college singers to national fame – culminating in 21 songs on the Top 40 charts. This KET documentary showcases The Hilltoppers’ path to stardom via archival performance footage, rare home movie clips and interviews with those who knew the group best – including the group’s sole surviving original member, Don McGuire.

Arts/Entertainment – Feature/Segment
Amy Hess and Matt Webb – The Local Traveler “Appalachian Artisans” (Beloved Productions with The Media Collaboratory)
During a visit to Hindman, home of the Hindman Settlement School and Kentucky School of Craft, host Amy Hess explores this area’s rich arts and craft heritage with a visit to the Appalachian Artisan Center for blacksmithing lessons and a luthier workshop.


In addition to the above KET productions, Kentucky Afield, a production of the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, which airs on KET, received a nomination for its segment on “Backpacking Trout into Red River Gorge.”

The Ohio Valley Chapter includes 13 television markets from a four-state region, including parts of Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and Kentucky. The awards ceremony will take place August 5, 2017 at the Lawrenceburg Event Center in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, serving more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization on Twitter @KET and and at