A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Bill Straub: Mitch McConnell has been called out, however gently; the permanent stain of failure is his

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell has spent 36 long years in the nation’s capital splitting asunder a once great political institution for his own partisan purposes at significant cost to the body politic. Now a group that can’t be ignored is finally calling him out, if only in a veiled manner. A bipartisan group of former senators has launched what can only be...

Col Owens: It’s time to raise the minimum wage, the single most effective way to undergird our economy

Henry Ford once said, when asked why he paid his workers so well, “so they can buy the cars they make.” He recognized that a robust market for goods and services requires consumers with the means to purchase them. The minimum wage is the single most effective public policy for ensuring that low-wage employers compensate employees more adequately. It also helps to undergird our economy, which is...

Constance Alexander: New poems by Kentucky’s Frank X Walker are born out of a churning cauldron

After the dedication to all survivors of father loss, readers of poet Frank X Walker’s new book — “Last Will, Last Testament” — are confronted with a startling statement: “In a family of secrets, he who asks hard questions sounds like a gun.” These compelling poems seesaw between fathers and sons, examining how those relationships pass sorrow and strength from one generation...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise and patriotism

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa With social media, a small group of negative, critical people can try to fool us into believing Americans don’t like their own country. We shouldn’t fall for it. A recent Gallup poll revealed that 72% of Americans claim to be extremely proud or very proud of their country, with another 16% describing themselves as moderately...

Ryan Quarles: Phoenix, Bloomberg uninformed about middle America — especially hard-working farmers

Hard-working people in middle and rural America are under attack from all corners of our country these days. No matter where you turn, actors and politicians are consistently misinforming people about the basics of agriculture and belittling working families across the nation. First came actor Joaquin Phoenix, who won the best actor award for the movie Joker. In his acceptance speech, he attacked...

Mitch McConnell: Obama’s regulatory ‘War on Coal’ is over, and we’re trying to repair the damage

For generations, our nation’s strength has been powered by the miners in Kentucky’s coalfields. Their hard work helps fuel American innovation and provides millions of families and small businesses with reliable and affordable energy. Unfortunately, the enduring pain from President Obama’s War on Coal has contributed to recent coal plant and mine closures in Kentucky. As a result, workers’...

Bill Straub: A look at Kentucky’s presidential primary May 19; R choice sure; D in the air, picking Sanders

As usual, this year’s presidential primary in Kentucky could be another case of closing the corral gate after the horse has escaped – the May 19 date comes so late in the candidate selection process that the results carry little or no impact in determining the parties’ eventual nominees. There exists a possibility that scenario might change a bit this year, at least on the Democratic side, with...

Aaron Thompson: Black History Month is urgent reminder to close Kentucky’s achievement gaps

Every February, we celebrate Black History Month because of the efforts of a Berea College graduate, Carter G. Woodson. Woodson was a prominent African American scholar and historian who started his higher education career as a part-time student at Berea. From there, he went on to receive degrees from the University of Chicago and, in 1912, a doctorate from Harvard University, only the second person...

Constance Alexander: Honoring the past and inspiring the future this Black History Month

Douglass High School, a historic educational institution of Calloway County does not show up in many official accounts of the past. An exception happens every year in early August, when the African American school from the Jim Crow era celebrates its reunion and local media cover the stories. Last year was the fiftieth, and a committee of devoted alums put together a booklet emblazoned with a crest...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letters of Common Ground on free enterprise, courage and competition

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write to make a case for promoting free enterprise because it has helped hundreds of millions of Americans develop a favorable approach of courageously competing. We want a system that rewards these positive attributes because they can help build a strong economy with resources to help more and more Americans. We have a...

Angela Crenshaw: Dr. J. Blaine Hudson’s popular ‘Ancestry’ topic a Black History Month legacy

“I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades For ever and forever when I move. How dull it is to pause, to make an end, To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!” — From “Ulysses” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 1833, an excerpt from one of Dr. Blaine Hudson’s favorite poems. Angela Crenshaw...

John Inman: Ky’s rural healthcare facilities are in crisis — and Senate Bill 50 will further reduce access

Kentucky’s rural healthcare facilities are in crisis. Our Commonwealth is ranked as having one of the highest percentage of hospitals at risk of closure in the nation with nearly one-fourth of rural hospitals in Kentucky at risk of closure. The most at-risk of closure are the small, nonprofit or public safety-net hospitals. These hospitals, along with nonprofit primary care clinics known as Federally...

Al Cross: McConnell surely cannot approve of Trump’s inappropriate behavior; why not say so?

Last Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a press conference in Louisville, which he had to cancel because his flight from Washington was canceled, his office said. Too bad; there are many questions that could have been asked and can still be. Here are a few. What did you think of what President Trump said at the National Prayer Breakfast about Mitt Romney, the only senator to vote...

Bill Straub: Does the Trump cult even remember when they first sold out? Does Rob Portman?

This is a column written more in sorrow than anger, stealing a reference from Shakespeare, about a man who once upon a time stood up to President Donald J. Trump but who has since succumbed to his wiles, folding like a cardboard suitcase in the presence of President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom. In 1994 I was chosen to serve as the Washington correspondent for the...

Opinion: Marsy’s Law for Kentucky — crime victims deserve it, and it’s time to stand up for them

Dr. Emily Bonistall Postel Special to KyForward No one asks to be a crime victim. For many, the experience is the worst situation they will ever face. And for some, it is also their last. My official role with Marsy’s Law for Kentucky began this past fall, but my journey as a crime victims’ advocate began nearly 15 years ago. On May 1, 2005, my cousin Lindsey was brutally raped and murdered in...

Constance Alexander: New Murray State exhibits celebrate creativity, visual cacophony, and silence

On a rainy winter day, a cold mist slaps you in the face as you make way from the parking lot to the tall building at 15th and Olive. The vision of a roaring fire, a cup of hot tea, and a good book seem more appealing than almost anything else, but my destination is Murray State University’s Clara M. Eagle Gallery, on the 6th floor of the Price Doyle Fine Arts Building. The exhibitions of works by...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about free enterprise and work ethic

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write to make a case for promoting freedom and capitalism because they have helped instill a productive work ethic in hundreds of millions of Americans. We want a system that features a productive work ethic because it takes extraordinary effort to build a strong economy and resources to help all Americans. A strong work...

Emily Beauregard: More Kentucky young children lack health insurance, but things could be changing

If you’ve ever had young children, you know how often they need to see a doctor. With well-baby appointments, routine immunizations for toddlers, and screenings for development milestones with preschoolers, pediatricians recommend that children have 15 check-ups by the time they’re 6 years old. That’s why it’s so alarming that the number of children under age 6 without health coverage is growing....

Stan MacDonald: Kentucky’s scholarly press is essential to telling our state’s story

The University Press of Kentucky is housed in a no-frills building with small offices on the periphery of a university campus. The understated appearance gives no hint at what this relatively small publisher of scholarly and general interest books has accomplished. The Press has gained a national reputation for its awarding-winning works of fiction and histories about Kentucky, Appalachia, the Civil...

Bill Straub: Something isn’t exactly clear; layers of wrongdoing were peeled back, but truth didn’t matter

When Stephen Stills penned the lyrics to “For What It’s Worth,’’ declaring, “There’s something happening here but what it is ain’t exactly clear,” he certainly had no reason to believe the expression would remain pertinent 53 years later. Certainly, the present situation differs from what was occurring in 1967. Stills wrote his timeless song at a time of mounting protests aimed...