A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: Kentucky officeholders use their power, official and unofficial

The use of power in American politics is a subject of much study. In the last week or so, we’ve seen examples of Kentucky politicians using power from various sources, official and unofficial. It’s a lot to describe in 800 words, but here’s a try: The Kentucky constitution gives the General Assembly power to spend the state’s money, but a state law says the governor recommends an Executive...

Shorus Minella: The new year offers a new start, and the chance begin the path to more healthful eating

For many, the start of a new year is the perfect chance for a fresh start with your health and fitness. Especially after a busy holiday of indulgence, it is important to recalibrate with healthy choices in mind. The best way to start is with an open mind, knowing that simple, small choices can add up in the end to make big changes. (Photo by Wand_Prapan, iStock/Getty Images Plus, via University of...

Constance Alexander: There’s still time to do the right thing and remove symbols of country’s racist past

Imagine celebrating the bicentennial of Calloway County later this year. The official proceedings are likely to take place on the courthouse square, maybe with proud speeches, voices reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, marching bands pounding out tunes like “God Bless America.” Flags will flutter in the breeze, including the Stars and Stripes. The state banner with the slogan “United We Stand,”...

Joe Heller: The week in cartoons — a broad-brush, full color commentary in few words

                Joe Heller was the editorial cartoonist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wis., from 1985 until being laid off in July 2013. He still draws five cartoons a week and distributes them through his own syndicate. Through Heller Syndication, his cartoons regularly appear in more than 400 newspapers, making him the most successful...

Gay Adelmann: Two bills being considered by the Ky. House dismiss state’s most marginalized students

The truth is not always comfortable to hear. Those who are in a position to do so may simply refuse to participate in uncomfortable conversations. Others may even go so far as to prohibit the teaching of information that they consider “divisive,” simply because it makes them or others like them uncomfortable. However, this is a privilege that is not afforded to everyone, and especially not our...

Terry Brooks: The General Assembly should set some New Year’s resolutions to help Kentucky’s kids

This time of year, we all waver between setting New Year’s resolutions and simply dismissing the process as an inevitable failure. (Really? No snacks after 8 p.m.? I’m going to learn a new hobby? And, of course, I’ll be at the gym by 6 a.m. at least four mornings a week!) But “Psychology Today” lists several reasons why setting those new year’s goals are important: 1. Goals are how...

Bill Straub: Let us count the ways; just a question of where to start to name ways people don’t like Mitch

Chris Cillizza, an editor-at-large at CNN, penned a column recently in which he posed the question, “Why do so many people dislike Mitch McConnell so much?” Oh, Chris, dear boy, to pillage a phrase from Elizabeth Barret Browning, let me count the ways. Cillizza cited a Gallup poll showing McConnell is clearly the official held in the lowest public regard. Only 34 percent of those questioned...

Al Cross: Is our democracy in danger? Mitch McConnell doesn’t seem to think so

This is the week of Jan. 6, so we’re hearing a lot about democracy. In Kentucky, it ramped up Tuesday, when the legislature convened and began redistricting, the process by which politicians choose their voters and the majority party sticks it to the minority. Also, Republicans who hold 75 of the 100 House seats passed a rule allowing 60 members to immediately stop debate and repealed the oft-waived...

Amye Bensenhaver: Expecting disaster, House greets public with unwelcome news — rules limiting debate

What to expect when you are expecting disaster? The House majority greeted Kentuckians with unwelcomed news even before the 2022 Regular Session began. New rules of procedure issued by the majority on January 3 limit lawmakers’ opportunity to debate bills and may impair the public’s ability to monitor the movement of bills — further undermining foundational principles of representative government...

Constance Alexander: Before, during and after mothers give birth, doulas attend to their needs

Her tee-shirt says, “Do More of What Makes You Happy,” and the smile on Sarah Cunningham’s face as she describes her role as a doula makes it clear her calling gives her a sense of wonder and joy. What is a doula? Ask Google and in .50 seconds, 3.7 million definitions pop up. The Greek root of the word translates into female helper or maidservant. More current usage defines doulas as women trained...

Jim Waters: KYTC’s outdated road construction-bidding policies need to be revisited

A new year would be an opportune time for Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet to update its costly and outdated road construction-bidding policies in too many ways reminiscent of the days when smokey back-room deals sealed with a wink and nod dominated Kentucky’s political landscape. If good-ole-boy practices are no longer acceptable when it comes to choosing our political leadership, then neither...

Joe Heller: The week as told in cartoons — bright colors, broad strokes, few words

            Joe Heller was the editorial cartoonist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wis., from 1985 until being laid off in July 2013. He still draws five cartoons a week and distributes them through his own syndicate. Through Heller Syndication, his cartoons regularly appear in more than 400 newspapers, making him the most successful self-syndicated...

Joe Heller: The year in cartoons — and what a year it was . . .broad brush strokes, few words

Joe Heller was the editorial cartoonist for the Green Bay Press-Gazette in Green Bay, Wis., from 1985 until being laid off in July 2013. He still draws five cartoons a week and distributes them through his own syndicate. Through Heller Syndication, his cartoons regularly appear in more than 400 newspapers, making him the most successful self-syndicated editorial cartoonist in the nation. His cartoons...

Bill Straub: Let’s try to put our understanding around this — ‘legal’ voting is somehow a problem

Sen. Rand Paul is renowned for expressing some, well, shall we politely say, unorthodox views during his time on the public stage, like convincing the dull-headed to toss away their masks in seeming defiance of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now the ophthalmologist cum lawmaker from Bowling Green is branching out, spreading his unconventional wisdom into the field of political science, suggesting that the...

Alana Anton: The music of pandemics and epidemics — and the sorrow of ‘three chords and the truth’

There’s something about hearing a song for the first time and thinking, “I know this.” You’ve heard the lyrics in your mind, know the location, can feel the emotions — you already know the tune. Lately, many of the songs I hear reflect our current reality a little too seamlessly. It’s been a sad, grey space to live in, this timeline. On one side of the road, there’s a billboard warning...