A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: McConnell, his power tested, needs a deal at this critical time for him and the nation

The last two times Kentuckians have re-elected Mitch McConnell to the U.S. Senate, his best logical argument has been his growing power: as minority leader in 2008, and would-be majority leader in 2014, why should a state with many needs give up such influence? Voters say it again and again. For most of his current campaign, McConnell has made a similar pitch, overtly in ads and subtly in “earned...

Bill Straub: Where is the Senate traditionalist now? Could he be the Emperor with no Clothes?

After what seems like centuries masquerading as the grand wizard of the U.S. Senate, a man whose ingenious strategies and maneuvers left the likes of Daniel Webster and Lyndon Baines Johnson disheveled in his imperial wake, Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has been revealed for what he really is – a gutless wonder. He is the emperor with no clothes. He is, as the...

Patti Gleason: Quality early childhood education is at center stage — and funding has to be more than a band-aid

Childcare, Early Learning, Early Childhood Education or the dirty word we never like to hear…..Daycare, whatever you like to call it I have devoted 39 years fighting to make it better. I could not have chosen a more rewarding career, despite the great frustration that comes with providing a service families desperately need but often cannot afford. The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated that our...

Nick Covault: Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, a unique state treasure, invites input

The Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA) is a unique treasure. Very few states offer a program that convenes young artists for college-level instruction and community building with peers who share their passion for creativity. In fact, GSA is arguably the only program of its kind in the country that is offered tuition-free to Kentucky students. Alumni of the program receive access to lifelong mentorships,...

Billy Reed: Look for Billy’s cutout in the Reds stands and don’t play golf with Trump (integrity matters)

I freely admit that I have enjoyed watching the Cincinnati Reds on TV, even though I seriously doubt if major-league baseball will be able to continue dodging the Coronavirus pandemic that has shut down so many things we love. For example, the Louisville Bats canceled the entire season months ago. They’re the Reds’ Class AAA farm team, and I miss going to Slugger Field on the banks of the Ohio...

Col Owens: Of course we can — we must search our souls if we really mean to find the end to racism

Distinguishing between races began in America in 1619, with the importation of Africans as slaves. The American economy was built on that system and it survived for 250 years. While slavery was dominant in the South, all of America benefited from it, with the interdependency of the economy. The Civil War and amendments to the Constitution freed the slaves. And under Lincoln, Reconstruction promised...

Ashli Watts: Road to recovery depends on legal liability, unemployment fund, education/childcare

As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the road to Kentucky’s economic recovery will no doubt be longer than we would prefer, but the length of the journey will ultimately be decided by how we address three key issues: unemployment insurance, legal liability and the education and care for our children. Kentucky’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund now has a balance of $0. Mandated business...

Jan Hillard: Mail-in Voting is both safe and effective — and deserves broad adoption across the states

With COVID’s reach growing daily and the presidential election 3 months away, we must rationally look at alternatives to in-person voting. Vote At Home photo We cannot cast off alternatives with unsupported generalizations that claim widespread fraud. The evidence from years of using in-home and absentee voting does not support the claim of widespread fraud. Instead the evidence shows that mail-in...

Bill Straub: Jobless wait nervously while McConnell dawdles on the unemployment supplement they need

More than 30 million jobless workers – including about 140,000 in Kentucky – will soon find that their unemployment checks used for superfluous purposes like, oh, food and rent and various other play pretties, are a little lighter during these mean economic times because, apparently, a bunch of folks here in Washington could care less. Topping that list, unsurprisingly, is Senate Republican Leader...

Advancing Equity: Women’s Crisis Center staff repeats this phrase and means it — ‘We are still here’

Part of a series by NKY’s nonprofits who stand together against racism and any acts that dehumanize people. “We are still here.” As the impact of Covid-19 became increasingly evident, Women’s Crisis Center’s staff repeated this phrase quite often. Power-based personal violence such as sexual assault, stalking, and partner violence didn’t disappear just because a pandemic showed up....

Constance Alexander: Denied their humanity, these women of history must be remembered

The preface to DaMaris B. Hill’s new book of poems, “A Woman Bound is a Dangerous Thing,” confronts readers with a startling statistic: “Between 1980 and 2015 the number of incarcerated women increased by more than 700%.” As indicated in the book’s sub-title – The Incarceration of African American Women from Harriet Tubman to Sandra Bland – DaMaris Hill stands in solidarity with the...

Emily Beauregard: Medicaid is essential for many Kentucky families in midst of economic downturn

With COVID-19 cases on the rise and key provisions of the CARES Act expiring at the end of July, the prospect of losing unemployment benefits, facing eviction, being unable to put food on the table, and having to return to school or work in an unsafe environment is looming for many Kentuckians. Any progress Kentucky has made in keeping our residents safe and healthy could be undone without the sustained...

Jan Hillard: Conspiracy theories and COVID-19 — better the devil you know than a world you don’t

COVID 19 is fraught with fear, uncertainty, inconvenience, and threat. In times like these, most Americans rely on science, medicine, and the legitimate media to make sense of and take individual action regarding the virus. There are however some Americans who follow a much different path to navigate the virus. For these individuals, conspiracy theories provide explanations of the origins of the virus,...

Al Cross: Local, trusted voices are needed in a pandemic and doing the right thing should be exalted

Norman Chaffins and Donnie Keeton probably never expected to see their name in a column about Kentucky politics. But they’re elected officials who have done the right thing when it comes to the coronavirus, and they and their kind should be exalted. Chaffins, a Republican, is the sheriff of Grayson County, in west-central Kentucky. Keeton, a Democrat, is a magistrate in Morgan County, in Eastern...

Ben Brandstetter: Higher education shows commitment to power through COVID-19 pandemic

It would be an understatement to say that the last few months have been difficult. For me personally, it has been mentally exhausting to keep spirits up for my family and employees at our firm. However, these efforts have strengthened many of my personal relationships while also showing our company new ways that we can continue to serve our clients. Ever since becoming chair of the Council on Postsecondary...