A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Outlier Massie becomes pariah, forcing colleagues to gather against public health advice for stimulus vote

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Thomas Massie, the congressman from Kentucky’s Fourth District, has long been at the limits of elective politics at the national level. He is more Libertarian than Republican, but his strong stands against the tax-and-spend mentality of the federal government harken back to Republicans of old, such as the late Sen. Robert Taft of Cincinnati, just across the Ohio...

This week at the Capitol: State budget, COVID-19 coronavirus matters take center stage in Frankfort

Progress continued this week on two matters considered top priorities by many state lawmakers: the next state budget and relief for workers and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the schedule for the General Assembly’s 2020 session abbreviated in response to COVID-19 precautions, the Senate and House convened one day this week. Lawmakers serving on a budget conference committee also...

Stimulus bill passes House by voice vote, goes to Pres. Trump; no second for Massie’s recorded vote

Staff Report The Washington Post reports that the House of Representatives approved the massive $2 trillion stimulus bill by voice vote. Lawmakers returned to Washington to be present for the vote, after Kentucky’s Rep. Thomas Massie threatened to object to the voice vote, which would have delayed approval. Massie tried to make a motion for a recorded vote, but failed to get a second, and it...

NTI Days require new methods of teaching, learning, but Kentucky schools are embracing the challenge

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor One of many unknowns in the world changed by COVID-19 is how teachers, students, and parents in Kentucky would handle the implementation of Non-Traditional Instructional (NTI) Days. NTI requires students to learn from home until the restrictions put into place because of COVID-19 are lifted. Joe Cordonnier talks to his AP Psychology students via video conferencing (Photos...

Kentucky’s college basketball broadcasters can’t help but wonder what might’ve been in postseason

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tom Leach can’t help but wonder what would have transpired if the COVID-19 crisis didn’t bring sports to a sudden halt earlier this month. Like many in the sports profession, Leach was busy preparing for the postseason after calling Kentucky’s thrilling 71-70 comeback win at Florida on March 7 in Gainesville. By March 13, the season came to a screeching halt. Kentucky...

‘Ratchet it up,’ Beshear says of next two to three weeks of fight to curb spread of coronavirus

(Click for larger image) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear says the next 2-3 weeks are going to be critical in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, and while the number of new cases dropped on Wednesday, there was also one new death. “Over the next two to three weeks, I need you to be Healthy at Home and I need you to ratchet it up multiple notches,” he said during his daily press conference....

Calipari foundation working to help struggling Kentucky families during time of uncertainty

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today John Calipari is doing his part to help struggling families during the current coronavirus crisis that has crippled the state, nation and the world. The Calipari Foundation, the Kroger Company, and Fayette County Public Schools will be providing food for families based in 37 elementary schools through April 20 and said if they “need more, then we will do more — eight...

Ethan’s Purpose: ‘There is no shame,’ say parents, whose nonprofit helps others after son’s suicide

By Maridith Yahl Special to KyForward “There is no shame in this. This was an opportunity to say, there is a problem out there and why are we not talking about it,” says Debbie Zegarra, co-founder of Northern Kentucky-based Ethan’s Purpose. Debbie’s son Ethan committed suicide in September 2018. Since then she has become an advocate for awareness, change, and counseling for kids. Debbie...

39 cases of COVID-19 added to state total (including one from a ‘coronavirus party’), says Gov. Beshear

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky had 39 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, the largest single-day number by far, bringing the state’s total to at least 163, Gov. Andy Beshear said. 
During a Capitol press conference, the governor expressed his disappointment that some people are not following the guidance and orders restricting the gathering of people and called out an action that led...

K-PREP testing has been canceled for the school year; state applied and received a testing waiver

The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) has notified all Kentucky public school superintendents that K-PREP testing for the 2019-2020 school year has been canceled. U.S. Department of Education (USED) officials announced March 20 that students impacted by school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can bypass standardized testing for the 2019-2020 school year. KDE applied for a waiver...

Support, resilience could be bright lining to dark cloud hovering about small businesses in Kentucky

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Katie Startzman, owner of Native Bagel Company in Berea, is going to ride out the upheaval brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and come out stronger on the other side. She’s sure of it, because of the strength and support she is receiving from her peers, customers and local resources. Mae Suramek feels the same way, as she puts in the long hours to save...

City of Lexington records first death related to covid-19 novel coronavirus, reminds residents to be vigilant

The first death related to COVID-19 (2019 novel coronavirus) in Lexington has been confirmed, Mayor Linda Gorton and Commissioner of Health Dr. Kraig Humbaugh reported Monday. The victim was a person in their 80s with underlying health conditions. Additional details about the person cannot be provided because of medical privacy laws. “This is a sad day for our city and especially for the family and...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Most outbreaks of disease like covid-19 trace to consumption of wildlife in China

Coronaviruses (CoV) are a family of viruses common in animals that can cause human illness ranging from the symptoms of the common cold to life-threatening respiratory infections. According to a posting on the World Health Organization website, COVID-19 is the latest version of Coronavirus, a strain discovered in 2019 that was not previously found in humans. Coronavirus is a zoonotic disease, meaning...

Gov. Beshear orders ‘nonessential retail’ to close as coronavirus count exceeds 100 in Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky saw its positive coronavirus cases climb over 100 and Gov. Andy Beshear said nonessential businesses would have to shutter Monday night. 
Beshear said the number of positive cases has reached 103, 16 more than Saturday’s total of 87. 

“We expected this, this is the way this virus works,” he said Sunday afternoon during his regular press conference. 
Beshear...

Kentucky’s covid-19 response compares favorably to major border states according to recent data

(Click for larger image) Kentucky compares favorably with major bordering states in dealing with the coronavirus, according to recent compilations of testing and case data. (Click for larger image) Among the six states, per person, Kentucky ranks second in the number of tests for the virus and is next to last in the number of reported cases, according to figures compiled by the Pegasus Institute, a...

Gov. Beshear’s message: Third KY coronavirus death; ring church bells; step up as good neighbor

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday that the state has confirmed the third death related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a 67-year-old male from Anderson County.  To show a small, yet significant message of compassion, empathy and renewal, Gov. Beshear said the Governor’s Mansion would be lit green in honor of every Kentuckian who passes related to the virus. Beshear continued by telling Kentuckians...

Gov. Beshear aims to stop the spread, help citizens; extends tax deadline to July 15, school closures

Gov. Andy Beshear announced more actions on Friday to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and assist Kentuckians trying to manage difficulties because of the virus. Gov. Beshear requested school superintendents keep schools closed for in-person classes until at least April 20 and delayed the state’s income tax filing deadline until July 15, consistent with the new federal deadline. “We...

This Week at State Capitol: Senate passes version of budget which goes back to House; dealing with virus

By LRC Public Information Thirteen days passed between the time that the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a proposed state budget on March 6 and the day the state Senate passed its preferred version of the spending plan this week. No one knew how much our lives would change in such a small span of time. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the state grew from 1 to 47 and claimed the lives...

Governor’s daily message about coronavirus, cites new cases (including a child); upset with budget plan

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky now has 47 positive coronavirus cases, a second death and a second child tested positive for COVID-19, said Gov. Andy Beshear on Thursday. 
Announcing the death during a Capitol press conference, the governor struck a somber tone. “This is an event that family never wants to face. A 64-year-old male from Jefferson County actually passed away on March 13, but...

Al Cross: Governor Andy Beshear is showing us what he’s made of; it’s sterner stuff than you thought

In a crisis that could be a catastrophe for millions of Americans, politics may seem irrelevant. But politics probably made the coronavirus crisis worse, and yet it could prevent catastrophe for many. And crises can change politicians, and reveal things about them, so this space will keep tabs on those we have chosen to lead us; if that isn’t your cup of tea right now, please move on. First, the...