A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

This is the last week to sign up for health insurance at Healthcare.gov; deadline is Saturday, Dec. 15

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News With just a few days left to enroll in a health insurance plan on Healthcare.gov, it’s time to sign up if you want federally subsidized coverage for 2019. Enrollment under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, ends Saturday, Dec. 15. If you need help with enrolling or simply have questions, there are more than 600...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow set to outline troubling increase in e-cigarette use among teens

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Health groups in Kentucky say teens in the state have the wrong idea when it comes to the safety of e-cigarettes. Ben Chandler with Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow said 1-in-5 high school students uses e-cigarettes – also called vaping. That’s a 78 percent increase in the past year. With flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy, health experts believe...

President Trump’s recent visit to Kentucky caps long history of presidential visits chronicled in new book

By Wayne Onkst Special to KyForward When President Trump visited Kentucky this fall, he was adding to the long history of presidential visits to the Commonwealth. For 200 years, presidents have traveled to Kentucky for public business, using the state’s centrally located rivers, railroads and airports. Kentucky has also played an important role in national politics at various times during U.S. history,...

Pew Trusts: Kentucky among states to strengthen school-based suicide prevention laws in 2018

By Christine Vestal Pew Charitable Trusts For Portland resident Stephen Canova, thoughts of suicide came unexpectedly one December night. Then 20, a sophomore in college, unhappy and disconnected from his tightknit home community, he tried to kill himself. “I had no idea I had it in me,” Canova said. “I don’t remember a lot about that night. But I do know this — when I tried to kill myself,...

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. Venters announces retirement after 35 years on bench

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A 35-year career in the Kentucky judiciary system is coming to an end when Supreme Court Justice Daniel J. Venters retires in January. Venters was appointed to the high court by then-Governor Steve Beshear in 2008 to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Justice Joseph Lambert, in the 3rd Supreme Court District, which includes 27 counties in southern and southeast...

Six-year-old Lilly Chitwood receives one Christmas gift she always wanted, a family of her own

By Roger Alford Kentucky Today Sure, six-year-old Lilly has the typical wish list for Christmas, including Barbie dolls and a dollhouse. But it was something much more meaningful that she longed for most: a family of her own. For the past three years, Lilly had been in foster care through Sunrise Children’s Services, a Kentucky Baptist organization that ministers to abused and neglected kids. Her...

Chef John Foster: Use the apple, of course, but take a moment to consider the pear, the forgotten fall fruit

The mention of fall and winter fruit conjures images of apples, pumpkins and cranberries. Fruit vibrant in both color and flavor, and well suited to the dishes that provide warmth and comfort at a family get-together or a chilly night at home. Of the three, apples are probably the most utilized during these seasons, not only for their flavor and texture but their versatility as well. Spanning the...

UK’s Travis, Montgomery looking forward to return to MSG for Saturday’s contest against Seton Hall

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today EJ Montgomery is looking forward to a return visit to Madison Square Garden. Montgomery’s high school team won in the Dick’s National Championship game and the freshman forward hopes the trend continues at the collegiate level when the No. 9 Wildcats (7-1) take on Seton Hall in a noon contest Saturday in New York City. I’m hoping to get another win,” he said....

Advocates urge Congress to act to address harsh sentencing laws during lame-duck session

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service People languishing in federal prison for decades on nonviolent drug convictions may get a new chance at justice if the U.S, Senate finds the political will to pass sentencing reform in the final weeks of the lame-duck session. Groups on both left and right on the political spectrum support the First Step Act, a series of measures to give judges more freedom to get...

University of Kentucky named most bicycle-friendly out of 45 American colleges by Bicycle Magazine

Bicycling Magazine, the world’s leading cycling magazine, has named UK the most bicycle-friendly College in America out of 45 universities, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large, public universities. Amelia Neptune, program director at the League of American Bicyclists (LAB), said the university stood out from other schools because of the creative incentives offered to students, staff...

Hospitality industry veteran Barry Kuhnke named general manager of Lexington City Center Hotels

The Lexington Marriott City Center Hotels have announced Barry Kuhnke has been named General Manager of the Lexington Marriott City Center and Residence Inn Lexington City Center. Kuhnke, a Marriott award-winning General Manager, brings over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. “After searching the entire nation for over a year to find the best of the best, we have found the right...

Concerns increase that Louisville’s Jewish Hospital could close or be sold as result of financial woes

Louisville’s Jewish Hospital continues to lose money, apparently raising the chances that it could be closed rather than sold. The hospital and St. Mary’s Healthcare, which operate as a unit of KentuckyOne Health, “recorded operating losses of $17.7 million in the quarter ended Sept. 30, which was slightly better than the period a year earlier, when operating losses exceeded $20 million,”...

Department of Education announces proposed changes to high school graduation requirement

In a news conference at Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington Monday, Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis announced proposed revisions to 704 KAR 3:305, minimum high school graduation requirements, in response to input received from educators and other education stakeholders. Commissioner Lewis will present the revised proposal to the Kentucky Board of Education at its meeting Dec. 5...

Kentucky to take on Penn State in Citrus Bowl Jan. 1 in Orlando in ‘huge, huge deal’ for program

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Terry Wilson was elated when he heard about Kentucky’s bowl destination on his Twitter account on Sunday. “I was excited,” he said. “This is a huge, huge deal for this program and we’ve worked so hard to get to this situation that we’re in right now. Like Mr. (Mitch) Barnhart said we’re going to be thankful and we’re going to be grateful and we’re deserving...

BBB Trends: Protect your holiday packages from being stolen; porch pirates threaten holiday cheer

By Sandra Guile Better Business Bureau Online shopping is a great time saver during the holiday season but the shipped packages left on the doorstep provide a great opportunity for theft. According to insurancequotes.com, 26 million Americans have had holiday packages stolen from their homes since 2015. This often happens because people aren’t home when items are delivered, allowing thieves...

Flags lowered to half-staff in honor of George H.W. Bush, 41st President of the U.S., dead at age 94

In accordance with the proclamation by President Donald J. Trump, both American and state flags at public office buildings are lowered to half-staff beginning immediately until sunset on Dec. 30, 2018, to honor President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Friday evening. “President Bush dedicated the majority of his adult life as a public servant to our great nation. For this, we will be forever grateful,”...

Kentucky Wildcats fights to the finish to overcome gritty UNCG Spartans, 78-61, at Rupp Arena

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky was in the fight of its life until the final 13 minutes. That’s all the time the Wildcats needed to overcome upset-minded UNCG Saturday at Rupp Arena. UK’s Keldon Johnson slams home a dunk as Kentucky wins over UNCG 78-61 (Photo by Bill Thiry) Kentucky (7-1) stretched its winning streak to seven with a 78-61 win in a game that lived up to the initial...

Kentucky Senators Adams, McGarvey recognized for efforts supporting victims of domestic violence

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Kentucky advocates for sexual and domestic assault survivors are gathering in Lexington to reflect on their successes of the year, and examine what’s needed in the future. The three-day Ending Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Conference wraps up today with special awards for people who have gone above and beyond to help victims. Executive Director of the...

Advocates concerned over rise of uninsured children in Kentucky, as 41,000 remain without coverage

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service For the first time in nearly a decade, the number of children without health coverage in the United States has risen; in Kentucky, it stands at 41,000. According to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Children and Families, the number of uninsured kids rose by more than 275,000 in 2017, and nearly 4 million children in the U.S. now lack coverage. The...

Chef Foster: Finals approach and nerves and dread, but as professionals every day is a ‘finals’ day

Talk about stress, culinary finals are upon us beginning today through next week. The reality for some of my students is that they’re finishing their programs and moving into their externships. For others, it’s the next step to the next quarter. For all students, it should be the culmination of nine weeks of hard work, and hopefully the validation of the quality of their work. There are many...