A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

David Adkisson: Ky’s pro-growth policies create more jobs, high incomes, business confidence

Two recent studies conducted by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce show that business confidence is growing among Kentucky business leaders and that Kentucky is growing faster in jobs, incomes, and population than most of its bordering states. The Chamber believes that recent pro-growth policy changes in Kentucky (for example, Kentucky moving this year from ranking 33rd to 23rd among states in our tax...

Commentary: Make substance abuse disorder treatment available when needed; it’s common sense

By Kim Moser and Bruce Scott Years of struggling, lost employment, disconnection from family, a feeling of hopelessness — all common issues faced by those suffering from substance abuse disorder. In many cases, interaction with the criminal justice system can also be added to the list. But what if someone wants assistance before they hit rock bottom? There is hope. Addiction is a chronic brain disease...

Bill Straub: Trump lies because he can, but with the numbers stacking up, few seem to care

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday of this week USA Today, which fancies itself a newspaper, published an op-ed piece from the president of the United States of America, one Donald J. Trump, in which he declared, among other things, that he had kept his campaign promises regarding health care, maintaining “that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new health care...

Jeff Hoover: Mitch McConnell cements legacy with Supreme Court confirmations; bold action prevailed

It wasn’t long ago in our nation that boxing was one of the preeminent sports. Like almost everyone near my age, I grew up watching some of the greats like George Foreman, Joe Frazier and Larry Holmes. Of course, none was greater than Kentucky’s own Muhammad Ali.   For nearly 20 years, Ali was the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. He took on fighters younger and older than him, bigger...

Constance Alexander: Studying music at a young age leads to a lifetime of skill and satisfaction

BOOM-boom-boom-boom. BOOM-boom-boom-boom. Those are the opening measures of my first recital piece, “Indian Drum,” by Katherine K. Davis. Playing it today, so many years later, I understand why my piano practice was limited to the hours when Daddy was at work. My stalwart, stay-at-home mother endured the worst of it by turning up the volume on her radio soap operas to drown out those early musical...

Ryan Quarles: Kentucky’s Farm to School Programs a win-win for state’s students and farmers

October is Farm To School month, and here in Kentucky we have plenty of reasons to celebrate. Our hard-working Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) staff has recruited 907 schools in 77 school districts to participate in our Farm To School program. Some school districts are the largest food procurers in each county, so this program provides many benefits to Kentucky farmers and students alike. Farm...

Terrance Sullivan: Louisville’s family recovery court back after 10 years, addresses whole-family issues

Family is important. When a member of the family is going through a hard time, the rest of the family shares in that struggle, and when the family experiences successes, the rest of the family can revel in that joy as well. In light of the rise in substance use disorders both nationally and especially here in Kentucky, many families are facing more of those low times and, unfortunately, the children...

Bill Straub: Trying to figure out Mitch McConnell and apologizing for being too soft on him over the years

What happened to Mitch McConnell? It’s a question that has been bugging me and many others for years now. What transformed the Senate Republican leader, a seemingly earnest, hardworking lawmaker from Louisville into a political animal who has repeatedly in recent times brought disgrace to not only the legislative body he represents but, to a great extent, the republic as a whole? This is the man...

Constance Alexander: The wide world of sports is the most thrilling when it involves the home team

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are most keenly felt when it’s the hometown team we root for. Take, for instance, the time that Murray State University beat Vanderbilt in the first round game of the Western Region in the 2010 NCAA tournament. With 12.4 seconds left and a timeout with 4.2 seconds to play, Jermaine Beal’s two free throws gave Vandy the lead. According to the account...

Prichard Committee: Student performance results are declining, achievement gaps widening in KY schools

Results from the Kentucky Department of Education show student performance declining in most subject areas and achievement gaps widening in many Kentucky schools and communities. Our public schools have made great progress in the last generation and today that progress is at risk. To stem the decline and chart a course of renewed progress, citizens must come together at the local level to understand...

Bill Straub: Through the Valley of Death, Republicans (and McConnell) ‘pushing (Kavanaugh) right through’

WASHINGTON – I experienced an epiphany over the past few weeks that may seem counter-intuitive but nonetheless is the only reasonable explanation for Republicans, especially Sen. Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, marching into the Valley of Death to assure that U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed for a seat on the Supreme Court. McConnell, of Louisville, and others, particularly...

Karen McCuiston: Kentucky Safe Schools Week Oct. 21-27 offers important opportunity for engagement

Every third week of October, schools across Kentucky have an opportunity to partner with their local lawmakers, first responders and community members to observe Kentucky Safe Schools Week. The week is designed to raise awareness of school safety issues and initiatives at the local and state level. This year, the Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS) has announced that Kentucky Safe Schools Week...

Constance Alexander: Speaking up, speaking out, speaking the truth even when it hurts

Last week in Murray, about a hundred twenty citizens showed up for a town hall discussion about plans for expansion of the Calloway County Public Library. The same night, close to a hundred people gathered at the Market House Theatre in Paducah for “Democracy & the Informed Citizen,” a statewide project to encourage civil discourse, focused on the novel, “All the King’s Men,” by Kentucky...

Melissa Martin: The tragedy of suicide when veterans who fought for us die by their own hands

Those who fought for our freedom are also dying by suicide on American soil.   “On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind,” proclaimed Dan Lipinski. In 2015, an average of 20 active duty service members, non-activated guard or reserve members, and other veterans died by suicide...

Mary Quinn Ramer: Lexington boosts tourism by leveraging partnerships with signature industries

There are two trends dominating the tourism industry – technology and authenticity. Travelers have an amazing amount of resources at their fingertips when they book their trips, and they want to experience something different. That has worked in Lexington’s favor as people expand their searches beyond the standard tourist stops to immerse themselves in their destinations, complete with genuine...

Amanda Kool: Alliance for Lawyers and Rural America fills needs, creates opportunities

Last summer, I quit my job at Harvard Law School and moved to Kentucky. Notable Kentuckian Albert “Happy” Chandler once said, “I never met a Kentuckian who wasn’t either thinking about going home or actually going home,” and I was no exception, finally fulfilling half-baked plans to return home that had formed the moment I left Kentucky for law school over a decade prior. Yet in spite of...

Commentary: Kentucky organizations urge protection of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

By Dustin Pugel Policy Analyst, Kentucky Center for Economic Policy One in seven Kentuckians has food on their table in part thanks to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP lifts 164,000 Kentuckians, including 73,000 children, out of poverty. It sends nearly $1 billion a year to grocery stores and our state’s economy, and injects even more into our local communities during hard...

Bill Straub: Taking bets on McConnell’s choice of doing what’s best for (1) the nation or (2) his party?

WASHINGTON – Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell is facing a dilemma. McConnell, of Louisville, has, on numerous occasions, been justifiably criticized for placing the priorities of his Republican Party ahead of the nation’s welfare. It was, after all, ol’ Root-‘n-Branch who vowed rigid non-cooperation with anything President Barack Obama, a Democrat and the...

Constance Alexander: Three little words from classic book spark timely discussion of timeless issues

Politics, power, and corruption. Can you think of three better words to spark a lively community discussion? On Monday, September 24, at 6:30 p.m., the Calloway County Public Library is hosting a program focused on Robert Penn Warren’s groundbreaking novel All the King’s Men. The book reflects those three little words and provides a launching pad for civil discourse on timeless issues. Readings...

Bill Straub: While McConnell is ‘shaking the treat box’ for money, Republicans will likely keep the Senate

Anyone who has cats (we have four, which, at times, is five too many) can tell you they can be very, well, cat-like sometimes, leaving you wondering if they’re off hiding somewhere or if they somehow snuck out of the house when you weren’t looking and are out in the street ducking traffic. The only way to get them out of their undisclosed location, to cite a chestnut from the President George W....