A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Pew Trusts: Bookmobiles are still a thing, and Kentucky has more of them than any other state

By Jen Fifield Special to KyForward The van comes to a stop just as it reaches the hens. A bleating lamb is the first to greet Sandra Hennessee as she opens the van door and lets in the midday sun. To get here, on an Amish farm in rural western Kentucky, Hennessee headed west from the small town of Mayfield and drove for miles on a two-lane road, passing churches, farms and open fields. With every...

Pew Trusts: Overdose deaths have declined in 14 states; Kentucky records a 14 percent increase

By Christine Vestal Special to KyForward New provisional data released this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drug overdose deaths declined in 14 states during the 12-month period that ended July 2017, a potentially hopeful sign that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working. In an opioid epidemic that began in the late 1990s, drug deaths have been climbing...

Pew Trusts: Free tuition spreading from cities to states; Work Ready KY targets specific interests

By Marsha Mercer Pew Charitable Trusts To churn out more workers with marketable skills, an increasing number of states are offering residents free tuition to community colleges and technical schools. The move also is a reaction to fast-rising tuition costs — increases that stem, in part, from states reducing their financial support of public colleges and universities. Morley Winograd, president...

Pew Trusts: Seven 2017 statistics that informed, inspired us to tackle today’s toughest challenges

Pew Charitable Trusts takes on some of today’s toughest issues, by applying a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public police, inform the public and invigorate civic life. Here are the stats that drove Pew’s work in 2017: 1. Opioids claim 91 American lives daily That sobering stat stems in part from two others: • More than 20 million Americans have a substance use disorder (so...

Report shows rise in inmates released without supervision; Kentucky’s reforms highlighted

  Nationwide, more than one in five state inmates maxed out their prison terms and were released to their communities without supervision in 2012, undermining efforts to reduce reoffending rates and improve public safety, according to a report released today by The Pew Charitable Trusts.   A wide range of laws and policies adopted in the 1980s and ’90s has resulted in a sharp increase...

New legislation strengthens HANDS program, which helps parents with at-home visits

Gov. Steve Beshear signed legislation May 8 to strengthen Kentucky’s voluntary home visiting program known as HANDS, the Health Access Nurturing Development Services program.   HANDS is offered through local health departments across Kentucky and serves overburdened young families by offering information and support for parents with the goal of helping their children grow to be healthy and safe...