A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Stuart Sanders: Ring tells the story of an 1801 Kentucky duel, part of display at Old State Capitol

At first glance, the ring in the exhibit case appears to be unremarkable. Sanders Made of thin brass, the ring’s crown includes more than two dozen small seed pearls that encircle a plate of beveled glass. Twisted under the glass lies a wisp of brown and gray hair, woven into a minute design reminiscent of a Celtic knot. But the story it tells is anything but unremarkable. On display in “Dueling...

Constance Alexander: Veteran Hopkinsville journalist says there is no substitute for shoe leather reporting

“People who leave great footprints in the community do that just by showing up.”  Leaving great footprints starts with showing up So says Jennifer P. Brown, a Hopkinsville woman who knows about getting things done. The veteran journalist illustrates her point by telling a story about an editor assigning a young reporter to the courthouse beat. When the rookie asks, “Do you want me to go online?”...

Opinion: Gov. Matt Bevin: Calling All Men…

I have been a U.S. Army officer responsible for the welfare of other soldiers, a business owner responsible for the livelihoods of my employees, and now a governor responsible to more than 4 million Kentuckians and 30,000 state employees. Yet, by far, the greatest and most sacred responsibility I have is to be a good husband to my wife and a good father to my nine children. Gov. Matt Bevin Though at...

Al Cross: More questions arise about governor’s race as Bevin continues to dig hole and Beshear advances

When America’s most unpopular governor limped through last month’s four-way Republican primary with 52 percent of the vote, losing 31 counties to an obscure legislator, some of us still thought – and said publicly – that Matt Bevin was still the favorite in the general election. We had plenty of reasons: Kentucky’s encouraging economy; Bevin’s incumbency and personal wealth; the strong...

Rich Storm: This Father’s Day, take time to remember those dads who lost their lives in the line of duty

As a father, I cherish the memories already made with my two daughters and anticipate the milestones still ahead of them. (Left to right): Col. Eric Gibson, Karen Ratliff and Major Larry Estes at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial on May 13 in Washington, D.C. Ratliff is the widow of the late Bernard Dean Ratliff. (Kentucky Fish and Wildlife photo) High school graduation. College graduation....

Bill Straub: Questions surrounding Sec. Chao not surprising, considering the company she keeps

WASHINGTON – The family that grifts together sticks together. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, ostensibly a resident of Louisville even though she shows up about as frequently as the visiting team at Slugger Field, has been in the news lately, and not in a particularly flattering way. Apparently she’s taking lessons on how to soil her vaunted office from her husband of long standing, Senate...

Mitch McConnell: Elected officials must work with parents to protect our youth from nicotine addiction

The youth vaping crisis is putting the health of our children at risk. To address this rampant and dangerous new trend, I’ve introduced the “Tobacco-Free Youth Act,” a bipartisan federal bill with my fellow tobacco state colleague, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA). Once enacted, our legislation will raise the minimum purchase age for all tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 and help protect...

Constance Alexander: Asking the right questions prepares students for careers that don’t yet exist

A surefire way to ignite a spark of indignation into Taylor Clements’ brown eyes is to call him a “Math Person.” True, he graduated from Murray State University with a major in Mathematics, but he also minored in music, played trumpet in the Racer Band, and was a Resident Counselor in the Commonwealth Honors Academy program. He did not define himself according to his major. He remembers his mother’s...

Kim Moser: We must attack growing meth crisis in our communities from every possible angle

The epidemic of illegal drug abuse is one of the most difficult challenges facing our communities. Our region’s harrowing experience with opioids has been well documented and remains an ongoing struggle for those who are addicted and their families. Increasingly, the scourge of methamphetamine abuse has grown alongside opioids as a destructive force tearing apart our communities. A recent local article...

Ryan Quarles: Hemp History Week — take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been with this versatile crop

George Washington. Thomas Jefferson. Henry Clay. These great Americans grew hemp in the United States long before it became illegal over much of the 20th century. This year, Kentucky has around 1,000 licensed hemp growers and more than 130 licensed hemp processors who are joining the ranks of the great Americans who have grown hemp. This Hemp History Week, it’s important to remember where our state...

Wayne Lewis: Pursuing traditional, alternative pathways to address serious teacher shortages

The most important school factor in a child’s academic success is having access to high-quality, effective teachers. While we have continually sought to improve the quality of instruction provided to students, particularly those who have been historically underserved, we are now facing teacher shortages in Kentucky and across the nation like we never have before. The factors influencing the shortages...

Bill Straub: Who’s paying attention to what KY’s DC delegation is doing? Your reps deserve scrutiny

WASHINGTON – Back in early April members of the Kentucky congressional delegation, quite appropriately, sent a letter to President Extremely Stable Genius supporting a request from Gov. Mad Matt Bevin that a large swath of the state be declared a disaster area. In the letter, the lawmakers maintained that the Commonwealth “experienced severe weather that produced strong wind and torrential rain,...

Mitch McConnell: After a long fight, chemical weapons stored in Kentucky will soon be destroyed — safely

For decades, families in Madison County have lived alongside more than 500 tons of deadly chemical weapons stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot. Now, after years of engagement from the local community, the Depot will begin safely destroying its stockpile. I was honored recently to join this community to cut the ribbon and begin sending these awful weapons to the ash heap of history where they belong.   The...

Constance Alexander: Murray State University’s CHA offers an uncommon wealth of millennial talent

For the past three years, I’ve been honored to be a faculty member of Murray State University’s Commonwealth Honors Academy (CHA), which was launched in 2001. Every year as I’ve watched teens arrive on campus, I have been struck by the differences between the Baby Boomers of my youth and Gen Z post-Millennials. While we frittered our summers away when we were that age, these kids are...

Stuart Sanders: Controversy over Kentucky Derby finish continues, but at least there wasn’t a brawl

While this year’s Kentucky Derby lasted about two minutes, the controversy surrounding the race is far from being over. Stewards at Churchill Downs disqualified the horse Maximum Security for interference. Shortly thereafter, they suspended that horse’s jockey, Luis Saez, for 15 days. Saez said that he will appeal his suspension. Furthermore, the owners of Maximum Security have filed a federal...

Melissa Caldwell: Two million registrants a major milestone for Kentucky’s Organ Donor Registry

Kentucky’s Organ Donor Registry has just reached a remarkable milestone: the number of organ, eye and tissue donation registrants residing in the Commonwealth has surpassed the two million mark. The announcement was made during a press conference in Lexington on May 13 by representatives of Trust for Life, the charitable arm of the Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks, whose lifesaving...

Aaron Thompson: Don’t listen to skeptics about its value — college is still worth it for many reasons

To all of the students who recently graduated from a Kentucky college or university, thank you for having the fortitude and determination to make it to the finish line. You’ve achieved something powerful and transformative that will dramatically improve the quality of your life — a college credential. You may have noticed that people are more skeptical about the value of college than they used...

Bill Straub: True to his character, McConnell changes his stance on potential U.S. Supreme Court vacancy

WASHINGTON – Sometimes it seems Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is bound and determined to prove to the world that he is a malevolent cad and, in the stated view of one respected historian, the “grave digger of American democracy.’’ McConnell Most successful politicians try to hide their personal flaws to attract public support. McConnell, of Louisville, forges...

Amye Bensenhaver: Recent Fayette Circuit Court decision another major victory for open records law

With very little fanfare, the open records law recently claimed another victory in the Fayette Circuit Court. On April 25, Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell affirmed a 2015 open records decision issued by the Office of the Attorney General in a dispute concerning access to the records of the Kentucky Medical Services Foundation. The issue presented to the Fayette Circuit Court in Kentucky Medical...

Constance Alexander: Author’s visit to Calloway County Library kicks off summer of reading

If they are opened at all, most local libraries don’t unlock the doors until 1 p.m. on Sundays, leaving enough time for church and dinner afterward. Most weekends, library patrons drift in from mid-to-late afternoon, but last Sunday in Calloway County things were different. According to library employee Madeah Daubert, “People started arriving before we opened the doors. Some were already...