A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Be prepared, ‘fanning the flames and condemning the fire’ has just gotten started

There was some strange fruit hanging from a tree on the grounds of the state Capitol in the hours before Memorial Day, fruit that was nowhere near as savage and ghastly as the sort Billie Holiday sang about, but strange nonetheless. A proud product of the Kentucky educational system, attending a rally to promote guns that morphed into a protest over state-mandated coronavirus restrictions, drove his...

Ashli Watts: Are we ready to reopen? As businesses do, please support them as they have supported us

As many businesses are reopening here in the Commonwealth, the question has been asked: are we ready?   And this is a valid question. For almost two months, we have seen the majority of Kentucky businesses close their doors, school taught remotely, churches not holding worship services and almost 35 percent of our population is now unemployed. The pandemic is unlike anything we have ever seen, and...

Stuart Sanders: Post-World War II ‘Greatest Generation’ teaches resilience against pandemic

For some of us, our resolve is cracking. Weeks spent at home avoiding the coronavirus has been tiring. We’re depressed. Our resilience is fading. To bolster my patience, I remember the Americans who endured the Great Depression and the shortages and horrors of World War II. Specifically, I think about my wife’s paternal grandfather and how he spent the first twenty years of his life. D. C. Neighbors...

Gov. Andy Beshear: Kentuckians prove we are a great people — strong, resilient, kind, compassionate

It is hard to believe that Kentucky saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19 just over two and a half months ago. The virus began spreading quickly, escalating like past pandemics such as the Spanish flu. Areas like New York and Louisiana saw spikes that exceeded their health care capacity, and the losses mounted. Here in Kentucky, we took quick and decisive action, declaring a state of emergency...

Aaron Thompson: Amid the uncertainty, Class of 2020, you’ll be better off with a college degree

As the head of public higher education in Kentucky, I’m usually asked to deliver at least one commencement address each May. If I were giving one this year, I’d probably start by offering both my congratulations and condolences. I’m certain you never imagined your high school or college career would come to a close during a global pandemic. I’m sorry that your graduation ceremony had to be...

Al Cross: On Memorial Day, we will get to see a story that was almost never told

Fifty-one years ago last month, my Clinton County High School classmate Paul Conner and I got on a bus in Lexington for a 4-H trip to Washington, D.C., our first visit there. We rode up with his parents, Murl and Pauline Conner, whom I knew mainly as mainstays of the local Farm Bureau. I also knew Murl from my work at WANY in Albany, where we would often read a notice that he would be at the courthouse...

Bill Straub: Where should the public invest its faith? Trust has always been the American way

The late Jimmy Breslin, my hero, said it succinctly: “You’re supposed to be despised.” Breslin was, of course, referring to newspaper reporters, that constant target of critics who complain that they are either paying inadequate attention to a critical subject or they’re paying too much attention to a trivial matter. Regardless, it’s true that reporters are always poking their collective...

Jan Hillard: The shape of things to come — What will the economy post-COVID-19 look like?

The devasting economic recession we now face is not news to anyone. We all know someone who is now out of work and struggling with living expenses. We all see shuttered local businesses, many uncertain of their futures, and often facing the prospects of bankruptcy. This is economic devastation. We are less certain of what the economic future holds. Will the economy rebound or will it continue in free...

Dr. Mark Evers: Kentuckians should make regular checkups, cancer screenings a priority

With COVID-19 dominating the headlines, it’s easy to forget – understandably – about many of the other actions we should be taking to keep ourselves healthy. You’ve heard a lot of guidelines about the importance of wearing masks, social distancing, washing your hands regularly, and much more – good advice that we should all continue to follow as we try to prevent the further spread of the...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about taxes and spending

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa In prior letters we wrote about how and why Americans created a large modern-day federal government. Today we ask the question of how smaller government advocates could be opposed to government growing even larger and spending more to help more people. Even before the pandemic, we racked up 23 trillion dollars of debt, a...

Commentary: Kentucky’s research universities — UK and UofL — answering the call now and for the future

By Neeli Bendapudi and Eli Capilouto When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Commonwealth this spring, Kentucky’s research universities – the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville — answered the call. Local and state leaders turned to us to lead the way in identifying and treating patients, addressing shortages in testing and protective equipment and conducting research close to...

Al Cross: As Trump’s virus work drags them down, Republicans seem frantic

Republicans facing an election amid a century-rank catastrophe made worse by their president are throwing anything they can against the political wall to see what sticks. Some of what they’re throwing is pretty slippery – trying to discredit experts, shifting the blame to China, or, well, just making stuff up. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had been a voice of reason, repeatedly volunteering...

Harold Tomlinson: Rural internet infrastructure lacking but improvement is coming soon

During this unprecedented time, we can see around us our many blessings, as well as our challenges. Carroll County is filled with traits that make life here great – friendly faces, recreational activities, beautiful landscape, and an unyielding work ethic, to name a few. It offers a small-town lifestyle while being within an hour of Kentucky’s three largest metropolitan areas. Carroll County is...

Bill Straub: Ugliness joins with falsehoods to come out in open, revealing McConnell’s disdain for Obama

It’s no secret that Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell has long looked upon former President Barack Obama with the sort of disdain the University of Kentucky faithful hold for Christian Laettner. Now it’s getting ugly. McConnell, of Louisville, is pulling out the falsehoods. And that sound you hear is the dog whistle growing louder. McConnell on Monday aimed some...

Brent Cooper: Newport gaming facility is good first bet, but state should double down on other gambling

The recent announcement by Churchill Downs to construct a $38.4 million gaming facility in the Newport Plaza Shopping Center that will open later this year is a trifecta for the Northern Kentucky region. First, when completed, the new facility will create about 70 new full-time jobs, not to mention the construction-related jobs the project will produce. Second, the project will help to revitalize one...