A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Andrew Aiello: Transportation matters for workforce; Transit Authority drives work of local career centers

The workforce development system in Northern Kentucky is consistently working with job seekers to prepare them for their next employment opportunity. This comes in the form of training, résumé support, job matching, etc. What is less obvious is that transportation to and from a potential job opportunity is a fundamental part of the equation. Does a job seeker have his or her own reliable automobile?If...

Bill Straub: Through the Valley of Death, Republicans (and McConnell) ‘plowing (Kavanaugh) right through

WASHINGTON – I experienced an epiphany over the past few weeks that may seem counter-intuitive but nonetheless is the only reasonable explanation for Republicans, especially Sen. Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, marching into the Valley of Death to assure that U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court. McConnell, of Louisville, and others, particularly...

Constance Alexander: Speaking up, speaking out, speaking the truth, even when it hurts

Last week in Murray, Ky., about a hundred twenty citizens showed up for a town hall discussion about plans for expansion of the Calloway County Public Library. The same night, close to a hundred people gathered at the Market House Theatre in Paducah for “Democracy & the Informed Citizen,” a statewide project to encourage civil discourse, focused on the novel, “All the King’s Men,” by...

Stuart Sanders: Kentucky communities, historic sites, focus more on diversity and inclusion

By Stuart W. Sanders Civil Rights activist Marcus Garvey once said, “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” Sanders Were Garvey alive today, he would likely commend the efforts of several Kentucky communities that are allowing those roots to flourish. From Russellville to Lexington and points beyond, our communities are telling more...

Melissa Martin: The tragedy of suicide when veterans who fought for us die by their own hands

Those who fought for our freedom are also dying by suicide on American soil.   “On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind,” proclaimed Dan Lipinski. In 2015, an average of 20 active duty service members, non-activated guard or reserve members, and other veterans died by suicide...

Commentary: Kentucky organizations urge protection of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

By Dustin Pugel Policy Analyst, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy One in seven Kentuckians has food on their table in part thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP lifts 164,000 Kentuckians, including 73,000 children, out of poverty. It sends nearly $1 billion a year to grocery stores and our state’s economy and injects even more into our local communities during hard...

Richard Nelson: Little-known organizations, like KY’s faith-based pregnancy care centers, have big impact

More often than not there are enterprises within our communities that we know nothing about. But when little-known organizations have an outsized impact on improving lives, it becomes obligatory for everyone to know. Such is the story of Kentucky’s pregnancy care centers (PCCs)—faith-based organizations that help women in the middle of unplanned pregnancies. Of course, it’s much easier...

Bill Straub: Taking bets on McConnell’s choice of doing what’s best for (1) the nation or (2) his party?

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is facing a dilemma. McConnell, of Louisville, has, on numerous occasions, been justifiably criticized for placing the priorities of his Republican Party ahead of the nation’s welfare. It was, after all, ol’ Root-‘n-Branch who vowed rigid non-cooperation with anything President Barack Obama, a Democrat and the...

Commentary: Protecting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program in Farm Bill is essential

By Dustin Pugel One in seven Kentuckians has food on their table in part thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Pugel SNAP lifts 164,000 Kentuckians, including 73,000 children, out of poverty. It sends nearly $1 billion a year to grocery stores and our state’s economy, and injects even more into our local communities during hard times when they most need it. For decades,...

Commentary: The telephone was a wonderful invention, though it can be a nuisance at times

By June Rice for Kentucky Today When I was in elementary school we learned who invented the cotton gin – Eli Whitney; the steam engine – Robert Fulton; the electric light – Thomas Edison,  and the telephone – Alexander Graham Bell.  I have not been personally involved with the cotton gin or the steam engine, but Mr. Edison and Mr. Bell have enriched my life considerably. Rice In...

Raymond Gardinier: Low Back Pain is a global problem, accountable for many opioid prescriptions

Low Back Pain (LBP) is one of the most common injuries endured across the globe and is a major health problem worldwide, affecting 60-80% of people of all ages and income levels at some time in their lives. There has been a 54% increase in the number of years lived with disability in those suffering from low back pain between 1990 and 2015. It is now the leading cause of disability and has been shown...

Dr. O’dell Owens: Nicotine is always unsafe for youth; we must be diligent in protecting them from tobacco

Smoking in the United States continues to decline, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that 15.5% of American adults smoked cigarettes in 2016, a decrease of 5% since 2005. Smoke-free policies are now common across our region. Problem solved, right? Wrong. Dr. O’dell Owens Tobacco continues to affect the health of many in our region. Many think they are safer by using...

Beth Underwood: We will never forget — sharing one of many stories from a tragic 9-11 that remind us

Writer’s Note: As this week marks the 17th anniversary of 9/11, I’d like to share the story of Rick Rescorla. Chances are you know who he is — several documentaries feature his story as a 9/11 hero. He was also in the battle of Ia Drang. Remember the book and movie, We Were Soldiers Once… and Young? That’s him on the cover of that book jacket. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I came...

Bill Straub: While McConnell is ‘shaking the treat box’ for money, Republicans will likely keep the Senate

Anyone who has cats (we have four, which, at times, is five too many) can tell you they can be very, well, cat-like sometimes, leaving you wondering if they’re off hiding somewhere or if they somehow snuck out of the house when you weren’t looking and are out in the street ducking traffic. The only way to get them out of their undisclosed location, to cite a chestnut from the President George...

Beshear: High-quality broadband internet essential for KY small businesses, skilled workforce

I’m fighting on behalf of every Kentuckian to protect our open internet and to keep broadband and wireless providers from slowing or blocking Kentuckians’ internet service. My fight includes an attempt to keep federal protections in place that are known as net neutrality. I recently joined other state attorneys general in asking a federal appeals court to vacate and reverse the 2017 rollback of...