A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Student-led Campus Kitchen shares nutritious meals with UK peers and greater Lexington community

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky University of Kentucky students are spreading the message of good nutrition by preparing healthy meals for their peers and the greater Lexington community. Since 2014, student members of the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky have recovered food that would otherwise go to waste from campus dining halls and community partners around Lexington and repurposed...

King’s Ovation could put Jeff Ruby in the winner’s circle at Turfway today to pick up his own trophy

By Jennie Rees KY HBPA Communications Prominent restaurateur Jeff Ruby figures to be in the Turfway Park winner’s circle for the stakes he sponsors. His partners in King’s Ovation just hope their horse is in there as well after today’s $250,000, Grade 2 Jeff Ruby Steaks. Ruby is a partner in Peacock Stable, headed by a pair of iconic sports personalities in retired NBC Sports broadcaster Tom...

‘Look at us!’ Brad Fritz (Wheelchair Waver) to make swimsuit calendar for those with disabilities

By Ryan Clark
 Special to KyForward Brad Fritz has a joke he likes to tell his classes. He knows that when he’s speaking to them, one student will inevitably ask what Fritz does for a living. It’s a logical question. People always wonder — how can someone who has trouble speaking and walking actually earn a living? Brad and friends Fritz then nods and waits a beat before answering, which he...

2021 off to a ‘twinspirational’ start for Baptist Health Lexington as hospital welcomes 17 sets of twins

As the Central Kentucky community continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing joy to an unprecedented time is off to a doubly happy start for Baptist Health Lexington. The hospital, known for its maternity care since opening its doors in 1954, has welcomed 17 sets of twins born since January. While there has been speculation about birth rates going down during the pandemic, births at Baptist...

Kentucky’s legendary ‘Cocaine Bear’ story to be subject of new movie directed by Elizabeth Banks

By Rachel Nix Building Kentucky A new movie will dive into the fascinating true story of a legendary Kentucky bear. Kentuckians may know the history of “Cocaine Bear,” a 175-pound black bear found dead of an apparent drug overdose after consuming more than 75 pounds of cocaine in the mid-1980s. How the drugs made it to the Appalachian woods where the bear was found and the bear’s wild ride to...

Kentucky by Heart: New book provides look at life of Rowan County’s first female school superintendent

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist One might not expect a San Francisco resident would have any serious understanding of life in Rowan County, Kentucky in the early 1900s, especially if they hadn’t lived there. But then one might not be familiar with Suzanne Woods Fisher, who authored the recently published book, The Moonlight School (Revell, Division of Baker Publishing Group, 2021). Suzanne Woods...

Kentucky Derby 2021 will look different because of the pandemic; here’s a guide to this year’s festivities

By Hayley Robb Building Kentucky Whether you’re celebrating at home or at Churchill Downs, there’s plenty of ways to honor the state’s most beloved event — the Kentucky Derby. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Derby 2021 has made some changes this year. Here are a few ways you can play it safe and have a good time leading up to Derby Day 2021. Dress Up And Decorate For The 2021 Pegasus Parade April...

Al Smith, noted Kentucky journalist and long-time KET ‘Comment’ host, dies at 94 at his Florida home

The Rural Blog Albert Perrine “Al” Smith, Jr., a noted Kentucky journalist, public citizen and co-founder of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues (publisher of The Rural Blog), died peacefully Friday, March 19 at home in Sarasota, Florida. He was 94. Smith, who was born in Sarasota and grew up in Hendersonville, Tenn., once owned seven weekly newspapers in Kentucky...

Broadway star Angie Schworer, NKY native, to star in new virtual musical, Electric Island, to benefit charity

By Natalie Hamren KyForward reporter Native Kentuckian Broadway star Angie Schworer is starring in a new virtual musical, Electric Island, available for streaming on March 25 at 8 p.m. All proceeds will benefit The Actor’s Fund’s Phyllis Newman Woman’s Health Initiative. Angie Schworer (Photo by John Ganun Scenairo) Electric Island was conceived in March 2020 — written by Rachelle Rak with...

Office of Highway Safety reminding Kentuckians to plan ahead as they celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

While this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations will look a little different, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in reminding motorists that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving. “We understand it’s been a tough year and Kentuckians are looking for a reason to celebrate; however, safety must be top priority,” said Gov....

Kentucky by Heart: Kentucky’s rich, and growing, selection of literary works a treat for any bibliophile

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist As a genuine Kentucky bibliophile, I’m always ready to share books with my readers written by the state’s authors and/or about the state. Some books, for whatever reason, may have gone under the radar. Here are some, along with my synopses, that have been released in the last couple of years. I’ve used as a source some parts of my book reviews for Kentucky...

A longstanding Ky. summer tradition to return in 2021 as 4-H Camps to open with COVID protocols in place

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky A long-cherished summer activity is returning in 2021. Kentucky 4-H’s four regional camps will open their doors to campers with new, enhanced COVID-19 protocols in place. “We are taking additional steps this summer to protect our campers, volunteers and employees,” said Joey Barnard, Kentucky 4-H principal specialist for camping. “We are closely monitoring...

AAA: Spring forward, but don’t drive drowsy — sleepy drivers are a major safety risk

The arrival of Daylight Saving Time this weekend means one less hour of sleep and the potential for more sleepy drivers on the road.  AAA is reminding drivers to adjust their clock and sleeping habits to make sure they’re alert behind the wheel. (Don’t forget to move your clocks forward one hour.) According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the percentage of crashes involving...

As you start planning to get away, consider a ‘staycation’ and become a local tourist – some ideas

By Nicole Childress Building Kentucky While the pandemic has made long-distance travel difficult, Kentuckians are lucky to have great choices for destinations close to home worth exploring. Rediscover Kentucky’s beauty, history and culture by becoming a local tourist this spring! Camp Bespoke, Williamstown Camping got a serious upgrade last fall when Camp Bespoke opened. The majority Black female-owned...

WKU Organizational Leadership student Erica Materkowski serves as Space Force Guardian

By Lauren Weitlauf Special to KyForward Western Kentucky University Organizational Leadership Master’s student Erica Materkowski never thought she would remain in the military after her commitment to ROTC ended. During her undergraduate career, Materkowski studied chemistry and biology and participated in the ROTC Air Force program to pay for schooling. Due to her educational background, she was...

When it comes to Kentucky’s best doughnut, Louisville’s Nord’s Bakery takes the cake

Topped with bacon and a mouth-watering maple glaze, it’s no wonder Louisville’s Nord’s Bakery was voted “Best Doughnut” by Food & Wine, a national food and drink publication, in its 50-state list. This isn’t the first time Nord’s Bakery has been voted the best. Insider.com also featured the Louisville gem in their list of best doughnuts in every U.S. state in January 2021. (Photo...

Kentucky by Heart: A lifelong die-hard EKU Colonels basketball fan, this Kentuckian bleeds maroon

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist I don’t bleed much, but when I do, I bleed maroon. I’m an Eastern Kentucky University Colonels men’s basketball fan, and it started way back in 1971 as a freshman student at the school. Sports is an interest of mine, but more accurately, I follow a few specific teams and when any of those teams lose and are out of the post-season mix, I lose interest in any...

UK Cooperative Extension dishes out cookbook jam-packed with tasty, budget-friendly recipes

In today’s fast-paced world, many people find themselves waiting in line or zipping through the drive-thru at fast-food restaurants more often than gathering around the dinner table with loved ones. Cooking and eating together can help families grow closer, but it can be challenging for parents to put a meal on the table when time is limited and money is tight. “Cook Together, Eat Together”...

In ‘Learning War: Selected Vietnam Poems,’ R. L. Barth speaks truth to war through poetry

By Vicki Prichard Special to KyForward There is a poem in R.L. Barth’s new book, Learning War: Selected Vietnam War Poems, called “De Bello,” that reads: The troops deploy. Above, the stars Wheel over mankind’s little wars. If there’s a deity, it’s Mars. Beyond the stages of combat, the varied geographies of strife – jungles, sand, and sea, where both soldiers and civilians suffer...

Speed Art Museum to continue free Owsley Sundays; renewed funding extends program four years

On the fifth anniversary of a landmark gift making attendance free for all Sunday visitors, the Speed Art Museum has announced the Owsley Brown II Family and Brown-Forman Foundation will continue to support “Free Owsley Sundays” at the Speed Art Museum for an additional four years. The announcement comes as the Speed continues to reach out and offer broader community access to the Museum’s permanent...