A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Graham casts ‘mainstream media’ as primary evil; not true really — but all have sinned

By Al Cross Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues “The Lies of Mainstream Media” is the headline over the cover story in the February edition of Decision magazine, which touts itself as “the evangelical voice for today.” Its editor-in-chief is Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and son of its namesake and founder.  The story by...

Cathe Dykstra: Investing in Kentucky’s single-mother students will strengthen Commonwealth’s economy

Kentucky’s economy is changing: this year, an estimated 60 percent of jobs will require post-secondary education. Accordingly, Kentucky has set an ambitious goal to graduate 60 percent of Kentuckians with a college credential by 2030. To meet this goal, Kentucky must recruit and graduate “non-traditional” students—who are often part-time students, working adults and/or parents, and encompass...

Jack Moreland: Southbank Partners river cities have banner year in 2019 — here’s a progress roundup

For the seven Northern Kentucky river cities that comprise Southbank Partners, 2019 was a banner year in terms of economic growth, development, and job creation. These cities saw more than $500 million in construction, development, and infrastructure projects take place last year – the most productive year for these cities since I became president of Southbank Partners more than 10 years ago. Also...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise, community and charity

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write to make a case for free enterprise because it has promoted America’s commitment to community and charity. We want a system that emphasizes community and charity because these features of American society involve coming together, voluntarily, to help one another. We want a system that elevates beneficial, personal...

Commentary: Three reasons why health advocates just won’t leave ‘vape’ retailers, makers alone

By Ben Chandler, Terry Brooks, Ed.D., Ashli Watts and Brent Wright, M.D.   Manufacturers and retailers who sell Juul and other brands of e-cigarettes, or “vapes,” wonder why health advocates won’t just leave them alone. We have at least three reasons: Kids, kids and kids. 1 Kentucky teens are using e-cigarettes at three times the rate of adults and many of them would never have touched a...

Stan MacDonald: Kentucky’s scholarly press is essential to telling our state’s story

The University Press of Kentucky is housed in a no-frills building with small offices on the periphery of a university campus. The understated appearance gives no hint at what this relatively small publisher of scholarly and general interest books has accomplished. The Press has gained a national reputation for its awarding-winning works of fiction and histories about Kentucky, Appalachia, the Civil...

Al Cross: ‘Modest’ or ‘moderate,’ Gov. Beshear’s budget plan is a small risk for him

The last time Kentucky had a governor of one party and a legislature of the other party, the governor proposed increasing a relatively new 3 percent sales tax to 5 percent. Asked why he asked for a 67 percent increase, Republican Louie Nunn said something like, “You get in just as much trouble for stealing a sheep as you do for stealing a lamb, so just take the sheep.” In other words, if you’re...

Bill Straub: Which side are you on? Who you going to believe? Sounds like the start of a sad song

There’s an old labor song emanating out of the Harlan County Wars of the 1930s, popularized by the great Pete Seeger, that posed a simple question: Which side are you on? As the impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, rumbles onward it’s becoming increasingly obvious that the Republican majority...

Commentary: Family farmers speak out against family separation bill, other impacts of SB1

By Ben Abell & Bree Pearsall CFA farmers We are Ben Abell and Bree Pearsall, a husband and wife team running a mid-sized diversified farm in Oldham County. As small business owners, farmers, and employers we are deeply concerned about the impact that Senate Bill 1 could have on the immigrant employees who make our business a success. As many Kentucky farmers know, immigrants not only provide a...

Constance Alexander: With “English Lit,” poet and Louisville native Bernard Clay is on his way

The woman on the cover of Bernard Clay’s first book of poems has stars in her eyes. Literally. Perhaps she is enchanted by glitz and glamor and dreams of celebrity, or maybe she looks to the future with high expectations. The blurbs on the cover of “English Lit” — from four distinguished Kentucky writers – are more down to earth than starry-eyed: Fellow Affrilachian poet Frank X Walker...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise, honesty, and integrity

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa This letter addresses common ground all of us want in America. We want an economic system that rewards and encourages people who have a moral compass. We write to make a case that America’s already has that system. It’s free enterprise. Our system works because of voluntary interactions between people each day across...

US Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr.: It’s time for a permanent ban on fentanyl analogues

In 2017, almost 50,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses. To put that number into perspective, the amount of American lives lost due to opioid overdoes is more than twice the amount of people that Rupp Arena can hold. Duncan It’s apparent that Kentucky has been particularly hard hit by opioids. In fact, Kentucky is eighth of the states with the most opioid overdose fatalities per capita. Many...

Trudy Lieberman: Low-value tests are costly, can lead to harm; limit medical costs by avoiding them

We know too well the cost of American health care keeps rising as far as the eye can see. In 1995 health care accounted for 13.4 percent of GDP; in 2018 it consumed 17.7 percent. It is projected to rise even more. Despite all the talk about how patients should become wise consumers of medical care, they can’t really do much to stop the big hospital systems, big physician groups, or powerful drug...

Jerry Rickett: Progress on the promise: Promise Zone makes strides in jobs, tourism, education

It’s a promise made six years ago – a promise to improve the lives and livelihoods of families in a region hit hard by economic distress and hampered by educational attainment. Progress continues to be made in the Kentucky Promise Zone, a 10-year commitment that established one of the first five federal Promise Zones in the country and the first one in a rural area. Bell, Harlan, Letcher, Perry,...

Bill Straub: Making a hash of impeachment hearings — and of country; thanks McConnell, Barr and Paul

It’s no secret that Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has made a hash of the impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump but less noticeable thus far is Sen. Rand Paul’s determination to sling the same mélange out like a short-order cook at the corner greasy spoon. Paul, of Bowling Green, drew attention four years back when he emerged as one of the Republican Party’s biggest...