A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: WKy NOW invites grades 6–12 to celebrate 100 years of women’s suffrage

Except for smudges of white clouds that blur the glare of afternoon sun, the sky is blue as the eye of eternity. Along with a few slender evergreens discreetly pointing to heaven, sturdy clapboard houses claim the distant background. In the foreground, the courthouse square is thronged with a raucous crowd. A few stovepipe hats blend with other old-fashioned details, but the vitality of this small-town...

Analysis: Americans are relying more on faith in time of pandemic; faith provides comfort, fellowship

By Jan Hillard Special to KyForward While most American houses of worship were shuttered in response to COVID 19 (over 90% of churches nationally), their congregations, as well as others, say their faith is growing daily. In times of threat and uncertainty, it is of course understandable that faith provides comfort and fellowship to many. A national, representative survey released in April by the Pew...

Stuart Sanders: Bemoaning statues? Then support places where history actually happened

Confederate monuments are in the crosshairs. Officials in Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and beyond are calling for the removal of memorials to rebels and their cause. In Kentucky, authorities evicted the Jefferson Davis statue from the capitol rotunda. Members of Congress have also considered striking rebel names from military bases and might remove 11 statues from the U.S. Capitol. This news...

Al Cross: Charles Booker, Mike Broihier harvest votes on a field Amy McGrath planted

When Amy McGrath ran for the U.S. House in 2018, Cameron French was with her. He was a campus organizer at the University of Kentucky, where he is a student. But now, as McGrath seeks the Democratic nomination for senator, he’s organizing for state Rep. Charles Booker. French said he abandoned McGrath on the second day of her Senate campaign, when she told the Courier Journal that she would have...

Bill Straub: Georgia Davis Powers represents all that should be celebrated by a statue in Capitol Rotunda

Unless you’re a devotee of Turner Classic Movies – I plead guilty – you’ve probably never come across Judge Priest, a 1934 film starring Will Rogers and directed by the American master, John Ford, who, a year before his passing, said it was his favorite movie. Based on the writings of Paducah native Irvin S. Cobb, Judge Priest takes place in an unidentified Western Kentucky town sometime around...

Ron Daley: Jefferson Davis forces Kentuckians to decide when we wish to be on right side of history

Kentuckians who wish to be on the “right side of history” and be proud of their heritage advocated for the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue in the Kentucky Capitol rotunda. This has encouraged both emotional divisive dialogue and reflection on our Commonwealth’s heritage. Those who called the statue removal did not want to see the slave holder and president of the Confederacy honored in...

Constance Alexander: Katerina Stoykova’s ‘Second Skin’ tackles the serious and sobering through poetry

“How Are You Feeling, Child?” is the question that haunts Katerina Stoykova’s newest book of poems, “Second Skin.” The three main characters in this collection – mother, father, child – are as tight as a clenched fist and as detached as severed limbs. Deeply embedded in the poems, domestic violence is not merely a metaphor, but a recurring horror in the life of the child whose mother...

Billy Reed: Finally, at long last, Jefferson Davis’ statue out of Rotunda. Bring on Muhammad Ali

So the statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, finally is being removed from the rotunda of the Kentucky state capital building. Gov. Andy Beshear made the announcement on Thursday, June 12, giving credit to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission for acting “pursuant to my request.” I had to smile because on June 6, 2016, in a column for a Louisville television website, I...

Richard Nelson: Racial reconciliation begins with the Church; conversations bring understanding

I recently moderated a forum on racism, justice, and the Church, where three black pastors from Kentucky and Tennessee joined me and a colleague in a helpful conversation that brought a better understanding of the black community’s response to the senseless murder of George Floyd. Pastor Richard Dixon of Bethel Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee, reminded us that when black people saw the...

Commentary: Time for Beshear to fix unemployment insurance disaster, live up to promises

By Kentucky State Senators Danny Carroll, Matt Castlen, Stephen Meredith and Robby Mills Special to KyForward Since the coronavirus pandemic came to Kentucky in early March, our state has been hit hard – more than most others. Due to Gov. Andy Beshear’s executive orders, more than 800,000 Kentuckians lost their livelihoods and were forced to file unemployment insurance claims. As Kentucky state...

Al Cross: National shift makes Booker the Senate candidate of the moment, at least for now

It is easy for some to say that the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd was an outlier, not representative of his own department, much less police in general. But he was representative enough – of a streak in police, and in society, that still regards people of color as second-class beings, not worthy of full respect. It is a poisonous streak, one that keeps America from overcoming...

Bill Straub: It’s the autocratic way — using (or threatening) military force against U.S. citizens

The nation dodged a bullet, figuratively and, perhaps, literally, this week when President Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, failed to follow through on his threat to deploy the military to deal with the generally peaceful protests generated in wake of the death of George Floyd up in Minneapolis. Floyd, an African-American, died when a white policeman,...

Kim Buckler Hydes: Tourism is an investment in economic recovery, both nationally and in Kentucky

Tourism was hit first and hit hardest by the economic impact of the coronavirus. Travel industry losses will exceed any other sector. Nationally, they are expected to be nine times the losses after 9/11, with a total economic damage of more than $1.2 trillion. That also translates into more than $50 billion in reduced tax revenue. In Kentucky, 75 percent of workers in our industry were laid off or...

Constance Alexander: Learning at lunch with Dr. Hammonds means listening, challenging yourself

Read this sentence and count the f’s: Finished files are the result of years of scientific study combind with the experience of years. Seems like a no brainer. At least that’s what I thought when I encountered this statement in a recent Lunch & Learn Zoom session at the Calloway County Public Library. The presenter, Dr. MarTeze D. Hammonds, talked to the online audience about the topic “Basics...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of Common Ground about how communication can help unite America

We close our series of letters by encouraging more Americans to re-engage with one another to discuss matters of significance. Silence and fear set the stage for harmful ideas to carry the day. By re-engaging in good faith, more Americans can arrive at a better understanding of productive common ground centered around freedom. It helps to consider the source of most conflict in our political discussions....

Letter to the Editor: Col Owens says support Amy McGrath and healthcare for all — realistically

A major issue facing Kentuckians in this fall’s U.S. Senate election is health care. All Democratic candidates support universal access to coverage. How to get there is what differentiates them. Amy McGrath recognizes that access to health care, like access to basic education, enhances our quality of life while undergirding our nation’s security and competitiveness. She proposes a thoughtful, realistic...

Commentary: An open letter to the Commonwealth from the Kentucky Council of Churches

Dear White Christians, Events of recent weeks have broken the heart of all faithful followers of a loving God and Jesus, the Prince of Peace. While we decry the violence and senseless destruction of property in Louisville and across the nation, we must humbly and unrelentingly understand AND WORK TO HEAL the long-term systemic violence of white privilege and white preferences that makes rage and anguish...

Dr. Sonja Feist-Price: There is an opportunity to chart a new path forward, starting now

• Ahmaud Arbery, age 25, Brunswick, Georgia — February 23 • Breonna Taylor, age 26, Louisville, Kentucky — March 13 • Steven Taylor, age 33, San Leandro, California — April 18 • George Floyd, age 36, Minneapolis, Minnesota — May 25 • Tony McDade, age 38, Tallahassee, Florida — May 29 These individuals reflect the most recent unjust killings of African Americans. These repeated...

Bill Straub: Quite a pair. As Trump disintegrates, McConnell just keeps digging grave for democracy

America’s Il Duce, one Donald John Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, in MacArthur-returns-to-the-Philippines mode, stormed Lafayette Park like a ground sloth on Monday to stand in front of a church and display a book he has never read, The Bible, whose passages he couldn’t distinguish from a limerick that starts “There once was a man from...

Prichard Committee: We call for racial equity and justice — in education, income, health and safety

We can no longer wait for another generation to pass while the slow lever of policy change takes hold. We must insist on a new kind of change now, change that will remedy the injustices that have been waged on Black communities for generations and end deeply embedded and persistent racism. We stand with our communities of color to insist on justice. We have simply not done enough to ensure equitable...