A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kim Moser: We will get through this crisis together — because Kentucky is better when we are united

COVID-19, or the coronavirus, has blasted its way across our world, forcing citizens to worry for the safety of their families as reports of more cases and deaths continue to mount. This pandemic has reached our shores and will likely worsen before it gets better. There are nearly 30,000 documented worldwide deaths and that number rises daily. Last week, Congress finally passed a support package to...

Constance Alexander: Despite our inability to be together, you can go home again, if you write a poem

One of the best of all four-letter words, HOME is where most of us have taken shelter for a couple of weeks, trying to stay healthy in seclusion from the COVID-19 Virus. For some, it feels like detention, a Ground Hog Day version of “The Breakfast Club.” Others have seized the opportunity for spring cleaning, bringing seasonal order to confined chaos. Parents have been busy, struggling to homeschool...

Emily Postel: Kentucky voters deserve another opportunity to decide on Marsy’s Law

In this time of significant uncertainty, we commend the Kentucky General Assembly for moving forward on an effort to once again allow voters to decide what rights should be afforded to victims of crime. Following successful bipartisan Senate adoption and House committee approval, SB 15 (Marsy’s Law) is poised for passage by the full House of Representatives in the coming days. House members should...

Ron Daley: Will the coronavirus pandemic unite the country to become the next ‘Greatest Generation?’

Will we Americans meet the challenge as a united nation against the virus as the “Greatest Generation” did against Hitler’s Nazism, Italy’s Fascism, and the Japanese aggression as our patriots did on the battlefield and working in the factories in World War II. It is yet to be determined as we enter the early stages of the war against a new deadly contagion. We are the children, grandchildren...

Dr. Koffi Akakpo: It’s clear that higher education matters to Central Kentucky and to our entire state

As we discuss budgets and goals, review accomplishments and meet with our governor and legislators, it is clear that higher education matters to Central Kentucky and to our state as a whole. Emsi, a national higher ed research firm, conducted a study in 2019 that determined Bluegrass Community and Technical College’s total annual economic impact on Central Kentucky is $419M in added income and 6,516...

Bill Straub: A very good case can be made for mail-in ballots, but not everyone wants more turnout

When he hasn’t been fulminating over governmental overreach in addressing the coronavirus crisis or gnashing his teeth into dust over the pending economic recovery package, Rep. Thomas Massie has been using his copious free time to warn against the potential “end of our republic as we know it. And that menace on the cusp of achieving what the likes of Jefferson Davis and the Axis powers dreamed...

Rep. Chris Harris: General Assembly must take action to help Kentucky’s families, small businesses

Tragically, due to the COVID-19 virus, tens of thousands of Kentuckians will likely lose their jobs and thousands of our small businesses – from manufacturing and restaurants to apparel shops, beauty salons and gyms – will suffer financial hardship, some total devastation. We, as members of Kentucky’s General Assembly, must do what we can to minimize their pain. This health crisis will impact...

Constance Alexander: Celebrating Paducah’s Hotel Metropolitan, and the indomitable Maggie Steed

After Betty Dobson welcomed the Jackson Purchase Historical Society (JPHS) to Paducah’s Hotel Metropolitan for the organization’s March meeting, she stepped aside to let her alter-ego, Maggie Steed, talk about the landmark’s history. The original owner of The Metropolitan, Mrs. Steed landed in Paducah in the late 1800s. Before that, she’d worked in hotels in Indiana and Kentucky and understood...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about why government grows, Part II

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa Today we write to provide more reasons why government grows, to report on how large the federal government has become, and to ask some key questions about our country’s future. In recent decades, Americans have changed their approach to government. We often turn to government, rather than or in addition to private charity,...

Ashli Watts: State businesses are stepping up in the fight against COVID-19; we will get through this

I don’t think any of us could have imagined what has transpired over the last week. The coronavirus has not only plagued the world as a public health pandemic, but it has very quickly devastated our economy and upended our normal business and daily routines. Our new reality includes shocking statistics like more than 9,000 people filing for unemployment insurance benefits in Kentucky in a single...

Dustin Pugel: SB 150 would cushion the blow for unemployed workers and our economy

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing business closures and a drop in consumer spending that is resulting in major, widespread layoffs across every Kentucky community. The state could lose 67,000 jobs by the summer, according to one estimate that may prove conservative. Especially hard-hit industries like restaurants and retail make up 25% of all private-sector jobs in the state. As Kentuckians ride out...

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...

Bill Straub: There’s cringe-worthy and there’s cringe-worthy; in fact, these amazing actions are a pandemic

One of the most cringe-inducing moments amidst the chaos surrounding the coronavirus pandemic came last week when, during a meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, credited “the UK’s” handling of the crisis, noting “it’s got the border, it’s got very strong borders,...

Constance Alexander: Sisters’ printmaking inspires students through unique residency at Murray State

There was no sisterly squabbling or good-natured sibling rivalry last week when Carrie Lingscheit and Emmy Lingscheit served as artists in residence at Murray State University. Working in separate studios, the sister-artists were immersed in the process of editioning unique works of art, with the assistance of Professor Nicole Hand’s advanced printmaking class. Carrie Lingscheit’s intricate etching/mezzotint...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about why government grows, Part 1

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa Government grows because Americans want it to grow.Some Americans want higher taxes, more government spending, and more government programs. To pay for the programs, governments must spend more money by going into more debt, collecting more taxes, or both. Larger government advocates argue that with capitalism, many people...

Commentary: It’s Sunshine Week. Support public’s right to know; government is public’s business

By Amye Besenhaver and Jennifer Brown Kentucky Open Government Coalition March 15 through 21 has been designated Sunshine Week 2020. By no coincidence, the Kentucky Open Government Coalition celebrates its one year anniversary this week. The Coalition emerged during the 2019 legislative session as a voice for citizen opposition to lawmakers’ attempts to undermine the public’s right to know. Since...

Kevin Brown: As Kentucky schools close across the state, here are ways to keep your kids safe and healthy

Gov. Andy Beshear has recommended all public and private schools close for at least the next two weeks to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across Kentucky. The governor said while children seem to be relatively safe from the virus, they are able to spread it and we are taking the steps necessary to protect all Kentuckians. We were able to confirm with the superintendents at all of...

Billy Reed: We have no choice but to make best of it and hope that, in the end, coronavirus does not win

Broadway has gone dark, a couple of Disney theme parks have shut down, and professional sports leagues have ended their seasons prematurely. Even more concerning, hospitals are being overwhelmed, the airlines industry is on life support, the Stock Market is tanking, and our government seems completely befuddled by what to do about this worldwide scourge known as the Coronavirus. To the shock and dismay...

Bill Straub: Good ideas come and go — but for the Equal Rights Amendment, it’s an idea long past due

It was Victor Hugo who claimed “nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come,” yet here we are, in the year of our lord 2020 (complying with a directive from the nitwits in the Kentucky General Assembly) and the Equal Rights Amendment, initially offered to the 50 states for their consideration in 1972, remains in the dumpster, with the possibility of resurrection sketchy at best. That...

OJ Oleka: Tour of Ky. campuses indicates private colleges change the lives of low-income students

Setting the benchmark of your first 100 days is a good measure for most leaders. It is in those first few months that you get to set the vision, organize your team, and set out to achieve your goals. In my first 100 days as president of the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU), I have visited all 18 AIKCU campuses and learned how our institutions are changing the lives...