A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky is turning the tide against substance abuse, but there’s more work ahead

Families in nearly every neighborhood of our country have suffered because of the opioid and substance abuse epidemic. For years, the situation just seemed to get worse as addiction hurt more families. Kentucky has tragically been among the hardest-hit states. Thankfully, however, our years-long efforts are finally producing a glimmer of hope. A new report released this summer showed overdose deaths...

Constance Alexander: Author Janice Morgan’s new memoir reveals addiction, recovery are a family affair

Something is out of kilter on the cover of Janice Morgan’s memoir, “Suspended Sentence.” The landscape is a-tilt. A human figure with outstretched arms balances on a thin beam. One misstep and the person will fall. The sky above is partially obscured by tree branches, but there is enough light to keep moving forward. The image presents an apt metaphor for the book, and the copy on the cover makes...

Lauren and Rob Hudson: Positive messages on exceptionalism through community involvement

Columns for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa What is a community? Communities can include our immediate neighbors, our streets, our neighborhoods, our cities, or even entire regions. They can also include groups of people within our region and elsewhere who have common interests and join with one another for a common cause. With technology, we now have online communities...

Vitale Buford: Addicted to Perfect — a journey out of the grips of Adderall, a story of hope and healing

September is a month of beginnings – it marks the changing of the seasons, and the fall season, and school being back in session. September has a special place in my heart because it’s also National Recovery Month – and I’m five years sober from a 10-year addiction to Adderall. Because of this, it’s a month of reflection for me – and coincidently it’s also the same month...

Jessica Brown: New federal law gives Kentucky chance to reduce number of children in foster care

This summer, Kentucky social workers, educators, judges, prosecutors, nonprofit leaders, state legislators, and many others traveled across the state to learn about the federal Family First Prevention Services Act, its implementation in Kentucky, and what it will mean for families in the Commonwealth. The Family First Regional Convenings sought to share information about the federal legislation, the...

Al Cross: Bevin resorting to scare tactics on immigration in ad designed to appeal to Trump’s base

On Sept. 9, Gov. Matt Bevin accused his opponent for re-election, Attorney General Andy Beshear, of using a “scare tactic” by running a TV ad alleging that Bevin’s “education cuts” could leave some communities without schools. Bevin had a point. But a week later, he started an ad of his own that is nothing but a scare tactic – a base, simplistic appeal to fear of immigrants. This, from...

Bill Straub: Bevin has high-flying aspirations; loves taxpayer-owned airplane, fending off immigrants

Give Gov. Matt Bevin credit. His highfalutin aspirations are frantically taking him from local embarrassment to national laughingstock. Say what you will, but the man we lovingly call St. Matt the Divine of New Hampshire continues to display grand ambitions. And there appears to be no bottom to the depths he’s willing to plunge to achieve whatever nasty goal he sets. St. Matt’s inanity consists...

Ron Daley: Eastern Kentucky can be a loser again in 2020 Census; School Districts are joining effort

Eastern Kentucky stands to be a loser in the 2020 U.S. Census unless successful efforts are made to count all its citizens especially its youth five years of age and under. The loss can be in federal funding and representation in both state and federal government. According to a study by George Washington University, Kentucky stands to lose an estimated $2021 annually for each person not counted...

Constance Alexander: FBI historian to share family stories, great moments at annual Easley Lecture

At age four, when the rest of us were playing in the sandbox and learning to tie our shoes, Douglas Charles was paying attention to history in the making. He even remembers the 1976 bicentennial in detail, including a picnic, carnival games, and the blue plastic tri-cornered hat he wore as he watched the fireworks over the local elementary school. His appreciation for family stories developed at an...

Lauren and Rob Hudson: A positive message about nation’s difficulties with saving money, avoiding debt

Columns for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa America’s people and America’s government experienced difficulties in saving money and avoiding debt. Fortunately, savings and debt is a matter largely within our control. Today’s older generations chose not to control their debt. For more than a century, our federal government had very little debt. Leading up...

Amye Bensenhaver: KY citizens own the plane, Governor, and have a right to know how you use it


“The information is out there. The people can see all of the flights that have been taken and can see where the money came from. “The real question is: Why does it matter what the purpose (of the trip) is? Did taxpayers pay for it? If they did, then they should know the purpose. If they didn’t pay for it, it’s none of their business.” This, according to the Bowling Green Daily News,...

Al Cross: As race for governor heats up, both sides are missing an honest discussion of health care

The race for governor has begun in earnest, with both sides using scare tactics. But both sides also seem scared of saying the wrong thing about the most important issue to voters, health care. Yes, health care. That may have been the most surprising news of the week, in the Prichard Committee’s release of its poll, taken in June. Asked which issue “should be the top priority for your elected officials...

Bill Straub: Standing ready to protect Constitution, John Yarmuth stands out in congressional delegation

Rep. John Yarmuth has to be one of the loneliest guys in the nation’s capital. Since he was elected to represent the Third Congressional District, which includes the city of Louisville, in 2006, Yarmuth has served much of his tenure as the lone Democrat in the sea of red that constitutes Kentucky’s congressional delegation. When former Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Versailles, lost his re-election bid...

Constance Alexander: With a little help from their friends, libraries continue to improve communities

Like most friends of public libraries, Wayne Onkst is an unabashed bibliophile. As an author, historian, and advocate for literacy, he is proud of Kentucky libraries. “Kentucky has done a good job of establishing a statewide system,” he said. “In 1950, the legislature passed a law that provided for the neutrality of libraries, outside of county government,” he explained, also mentioning the...

Lauren and Rob Hudson: Positive messages for youth about saving money and avoiding debt

Columns for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa Saving money and avoiding debt is another topic big enough for two columns. This first column will cover why people should try to save money and avoid debt. Next week’s column will explain why it’s important for the country to do the same. Saving money and avoiding debt is one of the most important issues faced by families...

Amye Bensenhaver: Resisting tranparency at all costs — and that’s why open records laws exist

It is deeply disturbing that a public agency — whose compliance with state transparency laws is found by the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts to fall “drastically short” — concludes its response to the auditor’s examination with the statement that it “compl[ies] with all governing statutes *to the extent possible.*” This is how the Kentucky Retirement Systems responded to Auditor Mike...

Jeff Rubin: Sunday is Grandparents Day; age matters — and with it, comes love and wisdom to share

This Sunday September 8th is Grandparents Day. Signed into law by presidential proclamation in 1978, the statue marking this day lists three purposes for the designation: 1) to commemorate and pay respect to grandparents, 2) to recognize the importance that older people can have on the lives of the young, and 3) to give grandparents the opportunity to show love and support for their children’s children. Not...

Commentary: Skilled-workers law would be a boon for Kentucky businesses, say Chamber executives

By Dave Adkisson, Brent Cooper, Kent Oyler and Bob Quick Special to KyForward Earlier this year in a speech discussing immigration, former President George W. Bush declared Americans need to “dial down the rhetoric, put politics aside and modernize our immigration laws.” The Kentucky business community agrees. Kentucky businesses know we need to get past the rhetoric and divisiveness of the issue...

Bill Straub: Deja Vu all over again — gun massacres, promise of controls, then nothing; repeat rapid fire

All right, let’s break this one down to its component parts. On the morning of Aug. 3, a gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others in El Paso, TX. About 13 hours later, in Dayton, OH, a second gunman shot and killed 10 people and injured 17 others. The incidents brought to 251 the number of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States of America...

William McCann: ‘Appetizer plays’ could serve as an answer to the need for the development of new works

Kentucky Playwrights Workshop, Inc. is a non-profit that provides opportunities to and for the state’s playwrights, with the goal of encouraging the development of new works. As part of that mission we commission new plays and sponsor the Kentucky New Play Series. In prior years the KNPS’s winning plays have been produced at the Kentucky State Fair; some of those plays have also been anthologized....