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Ewell Balltrip

Ewell Balltrip

2019

An effective and persistent community journalist, often under difficult circumstances, he was publisher of the Harlan Daily Enterprise, the Middlesboro Daily News and the State Gazette in Dyersburg, Tenn. He started at the Enterprise as an intern and returned to his hometown after graduating from Baylor University in 1972 with degrees in journalism and political science. He became editor in 1979, publisher in 1985, added the Middlesboro job for The New York Times Co. in 1989 and went to Dyersburg for it in 1990. He was known for covering the coal industry and the War on Poverty, earning the confidence of especially sensitive local audiences, commentary on local and broader issues, First Amendment advocacy, and many civic activities. He returned to Kentucky in 1996 to be executive director of the Kentucky Appalachian Commission for Gov. Paul Patton. In 2004 he founded the National Institute for Hometown Security in Somerset. He ran it until shortly before his passing in 2019.