A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Julie Raque Adams: Vaping, a trend among nation’s youths, is really a public health epidemic

If you’re a mom like me, you’re likely alarmed over the recent spike in vaping among teens. Unfortunately, vaping has become a trend for our youth. But as parents, we know it’s really a public health epidemic. Here in Kentucky, almost half of high school students — with developing brains that are extremely vulnerable to harmful nicotine — have tried vaping. As the Kentucky Senate...

Al Cross; Now that the governor’s race is down to a grudge match, expect scorched-earth campaign

Kentucky voters delivered two mild surprises in Tuesday’s primaries for governor: Rocky Adkins ran a strong second to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, and Robert Goforth ran a comparable second to Republican incumbent Matt Bevin. What does that mean for the fall? The performance of Adkins, the state House minority leader, has several threads that relate to the Beshear-Bevin contest. First,...

Bill Straub: Bevin didn’t get a landslide, but don’t count him out; Beshear faces uphill battle

Landslide Matt Bevin, the incumbent, didn’t exactly set the world on fire in Tuesday’s Republican gubernatorial primary, garnering just 52 percent of the vote against three other jamokes who aren’t even substantial enough to be referred to as nobodies. But don’t kid yourself. When November rolls around, the Commonwealth’s least-liked-in-the-nation governor could very well earn sufficient...

Dr. Paula Grisanti: Curing today’s incurable diseases begins in the classroom — by middle school

Earlier this month, for the first time in the history of space travel, a marshmallow “astronaut” named Marvin traveled to space in an experiment designed by the National STEM Scholar Program. Marvin was launched into space May 2 in a NanoLab onboard a Blue Origin New Shephard rocket from its launch facility in West Texas. A NanoLab is about the size of a full-size Kleenex box and designed with...

Constance Alexander: Doris Day, a paragon of ‘good girl’ virtue that many young women aspired to be

C. Alexander_Doris Day
When I was growing up, there was no such thing as middle school. In fact, grades six, seven, and eight might have been called Purgatory because those adolescent years were somewhere between heaven and hell. Pre-teen girls were filled with giggles and tears, aching with non-specific longings and precise aversions. We were curious about things the nuns called “near occasions of sin,” but uncertain...

Richard Nelson: Tomorrow is primary election day in Kentucky; can we defy the low turnout prediction

Kentucky’s primary election is Tuesday and if voter participation in 2015 is any indication, the turnout will be in the neighborhood of a dismal 12 percent. Low turnout is partly because Kentucky is one of a handful of states that elects its governor and constitutional officers in odd-numbered years.  Fewer races mean less campaign advertising. Less advertising means less buzz around the workplace...

Al Cross: The primary looms and so do choices; voters may be asking, ‘Who am I most tired of?’

The race for governor of Kentucky is occasionally a harbinger of the contest that begins or ends the four-year election cycle, the race for president. In 1995, Democrat Paul Patton defeated Republican Larry Forgy, who had hoped to ride the GOP wave of 1994 but got caught in the undertow, and Bill Clinton carried the state in 1996. This year, Democrats see the possible ouster of Republican Gov. Matt...

Bill Straub: With King Coal’s reign about over in the Commonwealth (and elsewhere), it’s on to natural gas

To paraphrase that great American intellectual, Sarah Palin, how is that beautiful, clean coal stuff working out for ya? Well, not so hot, thanks. Cloud Peak Energy, the nation’s third-largest coal mining company, headquartered in Wyoming, where the mineral is still as plentiful as kudzu in Georgia, has filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. It was one of the last of the nation’s big energy players...

Commentary: Sky-high jump in retirement costs an issue that cannot be ignored by Kentucky’s leaders

By Rocky Adkins, Derrick Graham and Joni Jenkins Special to KyForward Sometime before the end of June, Gov. Matt Bevin is expected to call the General Assembly to the Capitol to address an issue that cannot be ignored: a sky-high jump in retirement costs for nearly 120 human-service agencies and our regional universities. Time is truly of the essence, because few if any can afford that increase, which...

Constance Alexander: AIR program helps small towns strengthen community, economy

I, wife of a coffin maker, have no idea where I will be buried, or even if I want a final resting place. These days, I’m leaning toward cremation, with ashes to be scattered maybe on Cape Cod, or else strewn from the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge. So when a classmate at a workshop I attended this week declares, “From the time I was 8 or 9, I knew where I would be buried,” it caught my attention. The...

David Meade: Legislature maintains commitment to overhaul foster, kinship care programs

Recently, I read an article in the Frankfort State-Journal about a young man, Cameron Galloway. Cameron has lived most of his life in and out of foster care. He has seen firsthand how our state’s foster and child welfare system struggles to meet the needs of the very children it exists to serve. Cameron’s story reads like so many of the more than 10,000 children currently in foster care. Since...

Jeff Rubin: A Mother’s Day story to say ‘have a happy day’ to all Moms as we learn to appreciate wisdom

I always felt loved by my mom. I never doubted it for a minute. Her wisdom, on the other hand, was something I didn’t learn to appreciate until much later in life. Happily married for 46 years, my mother was a woman of her time. Yet in many ways as I came to understand, she was way ahead of her time. I was the youngest in a household of three boys. Mom always reminded us that she loved each of her...

Al Cross: Primary candidates trying to attract voters with largely irrelevant, misleading arguments

If you’re one of the relatively few Kentuckians who will vote in the May 21 primary for statewide constitutional offices, beware. Several candidates are seeking your vote with arguments that are largely irrelevant and sometimes misleading. Irrelevant political pitches are nothing new, but they dominate this month’s TV ads, videos, mail pieces and online chatter in a way we haven’t seen before. That’s...

Bill Straub: In rear-guard action, McConnell declares ‘case closed,’ while plenty of questions remain

Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell took to the chamber floor this week and did everything but croon the lyrics from an old Stevie Wonder standard – “Ooo baby, here I am, signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours’’ – in dedication to the true object of his current affections, President Donald J. Trump (ACK!). In so doing, McConnell, of Louisville, firmly established...

Constance Alexander: City’s Quilt shows a testament to Paducah’s planning and community cooperation

As a person who failed Home Economics in high school, I have hesitated to attend the quilt show in Paducah for years. But when my niece drove all the way from Montana to attend the springtime extravaganza, I realized I needed to get over my feelings of inadequacy regarding needlework. It was time for me to see the show. What I expected and what I experienced are two very different things. The day I...

Elizabeth Caywood: New service array gives relative caregivers more options; improves outcomes for kids

Across the Commonwealth, relatives and fictive kin are unsung heroes of our Kentucky Department for Community Based Services child welfare program. Kentucky leads the nation in utilization of kin placements: Thousands of families care for children who would otherwise be in foster care. Because of the tremendous commitment from these families, more children have the opportunity to continue to thrive...

Bill Straub: There’s Trump and his ‘Mini-Me’ Bevin — but one of them benefits from distance

WASHINGTON – Unlike Superman and Clark Kent, President Trump (good golly!) and Kentucky Gov. Matt “Yosemite Sam’’ Bevin have been seen together in a room, so one can assume they are not one and the same person. But that’s about the only way to tell the two of them apart. By personality, attitude and politics there is no apparent separation between The Donald and the man who seems to be constantly...

Al Cross: Welcome, Derby visitors, to Kentucky; here’s a brief introduction to the political landscape

Welcome, Derby visitors! This column continues our longstanding tradition of giving folks who are in Kentucky for the big race, and those looking at Kentucky news media online, a snapshot of our current political landscape. We’re in the middle of a race for the Democratic nomination for governor. It’s our first contested Democratic primary for the office since 2007, an indicator of how the party’s...

Tom Wiedemann: AAA campaign sets sights on battling epidemic of ‘intexticated’ driving

AAA has launched a far-reaching safety campaign in Kentucky and other states to advocate for you as a driver and passenger. Our campaign targets drivers who would never consider getting behind the wheel after drinking a beer or any other alcoholic beverage and, yet, will regularly use mobile devices while driving that dangerously take their eyes and minds off the road. The campaign “Don’t Drive...

Constance Alexander: Even Jeopardy! champ James Holzhauer would have trouble with this right answer

You know the routine. You forgot your password, and you didn’t write it down because you were sure you’d never forget it. Without a password manager to secure your digital life, you finally surrender, call the 800 number, and subject yourself to answering your very own magic questions to establish your identity so you can get a new password. Answering question #1 is easy. #2, a piece of cake....