A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Stuart W. Sanders: Trinity Episcopal Church in Danville thrived after cholera epidemic, Spanish flu

When sickness sweeps through a community, institutions suffer. Because of COVID-19, schools and universities are empty. Businesses and restaurants are shuttered. Hospitals face shortages. Churches have closed. When looking at our history, the story of one Kentucky church reveals that institutions can thrive after enduring tragedy and illnesses. It also reminds us that historic buildings can teach important...

Constance Alexander: As social distancing drags on, book club thrives in the company of busy women

Sex, religion, race, money, men, marriage, kids, murder, politics, abuse, abandonment, addiction, romance, and real-life are just some of the topics my book group tackles each month. If the reading selection does not address those issues, no problem. Fueled by words, wine, an array of sweet snacks and some chocolate, we manage to discuss the book at hand, while also touching on current events at home,...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: A Letter of Common Ground about compelling support for free enterprise

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa We write today to present three compelling points favoring capitalism, all of which can serve as truthful, productive common ground. People who would prefer a different economic system often cite some negatives about these points. However, their compelling positives should encourage us to preserve free enterprise as the foundation...

Jan Hillard: Making sense of COVID-19 — the two faces of public opinion which vary dramatically

There are two faces of public opinion surrounding COVID-19. One face represents the roughly 75% of the public who support science, believe that COVID 19 requires widespread caution, and trusts the government’s response. This is the face of science and reason. The other face represents 25% of the public who does not believe the scientific facts about COVID 19 and are suspicious of government’s...

Bill Straub: Kentuckians excel at picking racehorses and UK ballgame spreads, not so much DC reps

Kentuckians over the decades have exhibited a great knack for picking the exacta at Keeneland and coming down on the right side of the point spread at UK basketball game. But that acumen seems to escape them when it comes time to choose their representatives in Washington, where winners have proved few and far between. The Commonwealth has long been saddled with Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch”...

Brian Bozeman: Earth Day’s 50th birthday worth celebrating as we build a better, sustainable society

Fifty years ago, on April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million Americans attended events across the country to support environmental reform. This first “Earth Day” is credited with launching the modern environmental movement in the United States. At Skanska, we believe in building for a better society, which includes constructing sustainable, resilient facilities such as schools, offices, hospitals,...

Constance Alexander: Nickole Brown’s The Donkey Elegies offers praise to the unsung beasts of burden

The other morning at 6:15, I finally plucked The Donkey Elegies from my bedside table. I’d waited to indulge my passion for poetry until I could no longer tolerate “social distancing.” Fluffing up the pillows and yearning to be transported to a world away from COVID-19, I sank back in the covers to read Nickole Brown’s amazing chapbook. From page 1, the poet’s metaphors made the beasts come...

Kevin Brown: Each day brings new challenges, and Kentucky’s students and teachers rise to meet them

Every day brings something different. Every day since the COVID-19 emergency began to take shape has brought new challenges for all of us who serve Kentucky’s students, and probably for all of you who are more intensively involved in your children’s education than ever before. On the other hand, every day also has brought new and encouraging examples of how families have adapted to non-traditional...

Billy Reed: I first met Mitch when we were the hapless Giants of the Pony League; what happened to him?

My relationship with Mitch McConnell began, oddly enough, on the baseball field at the Naval Ordnance Plant in South Louisville. It was the summer of 1956, and we were teammates on the hapless Giants of the Beechmont Pony League. Before Little League came along with its uniforms, equipment, and crazed parents, I learned to play the game on the empty lots and open spaces near my home in the cheap duplexes...

Dr. Julie Daftari: Kentucky needs to continue worthwhile conversation about telehealth

For Kentucky, one outcome of the COVID-19 crisis is the increasing and worthwhile dialogue about telehealth – which may enable people to connect 24/7 with a health care provider via a digital device and avoid potential exposure risks associated with in-person trips to health care facilities. Increasingly in Kentucky, telehealth can be a relevant tool in a person’s health care toolbox. This is especially...

Al Cross: The politics of coronavirus are tough and they are only going to get tougher

We figured the ides of April would be the first crucible of Andy Beshear’s governorship, with a Republican legislature rendering its verdicts on the Democratic governor’s proposals and vetoes. But for a month, Beshear has faced a much greater test: how to deal with a deadly pandemic that is tanking the economy and altering the political landscape. And it will only get tougher. In the first month...

Bill Straub: Some judges shouldn’t be considered for quick advancement, and Justin Walker is one

What, Pigmeat Markham wasn’t available? Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, fulfilling his primary duty as consigliere to an addled wanna-be king has, as always, convinced President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, to nominate U.S. District Judge Justin Walker, of the Western District of Kentucky, to...

John Winn Miller: What if Trump had been President of the United States during World War II?

President Trump claims he is a wartime president leading our national fight against the COVID-19 virus. Good thing he wasn’t in office during World War II. Imagine a conference call in which Mr. Wartime President admonishes Gen. George S. Patton in the middle of the Battle of the Bulge for not having stored up enough ammunition to deal with the Nazis’ surprise counter-offensive. “A small group...

Constance Alexander: ‘Joy is always imperiled’ the fictional doctor said, but Gov. Beshear delivers hope

On December 30, a Chinese physician, Dr. Li Wenliang, 34, tried to alert fellow medics about the coronavirus outbreak in China’s Wuhan Province. His message to fellow doctors in a chat group warned them about the disease and advised that they wear protective clothing to avoid infection. Three days later police paid him a visit and told him to stop, as if it were a crime to inform the public of impending...

Rob and Lauren Hudson: Letter of common ground about opposing unreasonable regulations

Letters for families based on the book “It Can Be Done” @studentsleadusa How could smaller government advocates oppose more regulations, many of which have been designed to protect citizens and keep them safe? As usual, we have two sides to the discussion. Neither side is evil and both sides think their approach is best. We write today to present a general case for simpler and fewer regulations,...

Tim Marena: Things shouldn’t end this way, but they did for John Prine. Somebody should write a song

I had to close my web browser early the morning after he died. Social media, news, emails, and forums were full of news of the death of John Prine (1946-2020) from complications from COVID-19. I don’t have the wisdom or stamina to write much about John Prine. He’s a songwriter who has been showing America the truth for a half-century. His loss is incalculable. If we could trade a million self-promoting...

Richard Nelson: Open letter to Church– do you want to spread a virus or be a force for good?

I just got off the phone with a pastor friend in Eastern Kentucky who shared some sad and disappointing news. A person in his community traveled out of state, contracted COVID-19, and attended a church service shortly thereafter where other congregants contracted it. I just learned that one of them died.  This happened before the travel ban and large meeting prohibitions were put in place. This person...

Bill Straub: The jig is up and nearly everyone can see president’s coronavirus failure but Trump himself

The time has arrived, as W.C. Fields once sagely noted, to grab the bull by the tail and face the situation. The jig is up. Folks who have placed one of the many smug portraits of President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, up there on the mantle next to Jesus and Ronald Reagan, have simply run out of excuses. This man who is singularly...

Brian Clark: Gas stations, convenience stores stepping up for everyone during COVID-19 crisis

I start my day like many of you. About a mile from my house, right on my drive to work, there is a convenience store. I say hello to Paige, the woman behind the counter, and we chat briefly about the latest news or the weather while I pour a cup of coffee. I know I’m not alone in this routine. Thousands of Kentuckians begin their day at their local gas station, filling up and buying a cup of coffee,...

Ron Daley: As the country faces coronavirus pandemic, getting to the truth proves a tall order

This past April Fools’ Day encouraged me to reflect on my two decades of publishing the Troublesome Creek Times in Knott County and harken back to a time when my readers believed what they read or saw in other news outlets. We “Baby Boomers” grew up watching and trusting the words of Walter Cronkite, Tom Brokaw and Harry Reasoner among others on the three networks. Those days have passed during...