A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Familiar face tapped to lead Kentucky State Police into 2020 as Rodney Brewer comes out of retirement

The longest-serving Commissioner in Kentucky State Police history has been reappointed to serve once again. Governor Andy Beshear has brought Rodney Brewer out of retirement to take the lead of an agency with which he has a 33-year history. Rodney Brewer During his previous tenure, Brewer served in numerous assignments including uniformed operations, special investigations, narcotics, strategic planning,...

Federal ‘Duck Stamp’ funding approved for land acquisition at Green River National Wildlife Refuge

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Gov. Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced the approval of federal “Duck Stamp” funding for land acquisition purposes at the newly-established Green River National Wildlife Refuge in Henderson. “Duck Stamps,” purchased by hunters, conservationists, and stamp collectors, provide revenue to support federal conservation and outdoor recreation efforts. In...

Registration for UK’s CSA Project opens Jan. 24; CSA vouchers offered to eligible UK employees

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky Registration for the 2020 season of the University of Kentucky’s Community Supported Agriculture Project opens Jan. 24. All UK faculty, staff and students are eligible to enroll in the program, which provides members with fresh produce from May 21 through Oct. 15 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified organic farming unit of the UK Horticulture...

Shawnee Park boat ramp project will provide Kentucky access to Ohio River in Louisville

One of Louisville’s signature parks is adding a new feature certain to draw more visitors to the area and enhance the opportunity for the recreational enjoyment of the Ohio River. A public boat ramp and accompanying parking area planned for Shawnee Park will provide boaters with convenient river access below McAlpine Locks and Dam and the renowned Falls of the Ohio. On Friday, Kentucky Tourism, Arts...

Kentucky Distillers’ Association, Distilled Spirits Council partner on ‘Spirits United’ grassroots platform

The historic Kentucky Distillers’ Association has announced that it is partnering with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) in joining Spirits United as a partner to expand the grassroots network throughout the birthplace of Bourbon. Spirits United features important information on key issues facing the spirits industry, hospitality professionals and consumers, and provides...

UK Extension Service to offer Woodland Stewards webinar series on how to improve forest health

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service will offer a series of free, web-based woodland seminars on five successive Thursday evenings in February and March. The goal of the webinar series, Getting to Know Your Woodlands: Next Steps, is to empower woodland owners to promote environmental and forest health through increased awareness, experience...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: The Cedar Waxing’s unique plumage, eating habits most often observed in winter

A lasting image of the Cedar Waxwing is a beautiful tan bird perched amid the dark green leaves of an American Holly tree, eating red berries. Most often observed here during the cold weather months, the Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) is a nomadic bird that moves irregularly, throughout both its breeding and wintering range, often from year to year, depending on food supplies. This bird is easily...

West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area deer hunt spots reduced because of recent flooding

High water from the Ohio River continues to impact portions of West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in McCracken County. Due to flooding, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is adjusting the number of spots available for the area’s open firearms deer hunt scheduled Jan. 18-20. The first 115 hunters who appear at the designated check-in station from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. local...

Summit to promote local, sustainable food systems in Ky. set for Feb. 26 at UK’s Gatton Student Center

The second annual Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit will bring together the Commonwealth’s farm and food community for a day of workshops, networking and conversations. The event will take place on Feb. 26 at the University of Kentucky’s Gatton Student Center. “The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is proud to support the second annual Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit,” Agriculture Commissioner...

Collaboration between UK colleges results in hiring of cooperative extension fine arts specialist

By Carol Lea Spence University of Kentucky A unique collaboration between the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and College of Fine Arts has resulted in the hiring of one of the few cooperative extension arts specialist in the country. Stephanie Richards, who was hired in 2005 in Pike County as the first fine arts extension agent in the nation, accepted the job. Richards’...

Indiana sportsbooks end year with $160M month, close 2019 with more than $430M in bets

Indiana retail and online sportsbooks capped their inaugural year in the state by surpassing $160 million in bets in a month for the first time. Indiana’s record handle in December pushed the state to more than $430 million in bets since the first wager was accepted in September, a staggering pace that has set the stage for a momentous 2020, according to analysts from PlayIndiana. Hollywood Lawrenceburg...

Department of Fish and Wildlife researchers to begin major new study on Kentucky’s elk population

Researchers will use a helicopter to locate and capture elk this month as part of a major research study on elk reproduction and population growth. The research will be conducted throughout Kentucky’s elk zone and will launch this month. “Netting by helicopter is the best way to live-capture elk for this important study on reproduction and survival,” said Kyle Sams, acting deer and elk program...

Quarles encourages Kentucky farmers to submit Leopold Conservation Award nominations by April 1

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles is encouraging Kentucky farm families to consider submitting nominations for the Leopold Conservation Award by April 1. “Kentucky agriculture has a long history of being responsible with the earth’s natural resources,” Quarles said. “The Leopold Conservation Award recognizes a Kentucky farmer or forester who is a great steward of the land. The Kentucky...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Rotator cuff injuries are a real risk for those who participate in outdoor activities

A lifetime in the outdoors can take a toll on hips, knees, ankles and shoulders. Problems may develop from decades of walking over uneven ground, overuse, repetitive motion or degeneration of the joints due to aging. No injury is more debilitating than a tear of the rotator cuff, which weakens the shoulder. Strong, healthy shoulders are imperative to enjoying the outdoors, but a lifetime of carrying...

Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne featured on cover of Kentucky’s 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide

The Kentucky Department of Tourism unveiled the 2020 Official Visitor’s Guide cover featuring Kentucky native and Nashville recording artist J.D. Shelburne. This issue includes many Kentucky artists highlighting 2020 as the Year of Music in Kentucky. “Tourism and hospitality create and support thousands of jobs and help to grow our economy across the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Our...

Kentucky Humanities centers statewide literacy initiative on Wendell Berry’s ‘Hannah Coulter’

Kentucky Humanities has selected Wendell Berry’s Hannah Coulter for its 2020 Kentucky Reads. The novel will be at the center of statewide conversations on the changes in rural America, rural Kentucky and including what it means to be part of a rural community. Hannah Coulter was selected in conjunction with the arrival of the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America coming...

Kentucky felons among those gaining a voice as more states move to restore voting rights

Matt Vasilogambros Pew Charitable Trusts A mistake Rynn Young made decades ago, when he was just a teenager, cost him the right to vote. Twenty-one years after his drug possession conviction, he got his ballot back when newly elected Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed an executive order last month restoring voting rights to nonviolent felons after release. “It’s been a very long time...

Kentucky Humanities adds KyForward columnist Constance Alexander as featured speaker to its roster

KyForward columnist Constance Alexander, award-winning columnist, poet, and playwright from Murray, was chosen by Kentucky Humanities as a presenter, statewide, on the organization’s Speakers Roster. Alexander has been a featured speaker since 2009. In 2020, her two presentations focus specifically on Kentucky topics. One relates to Kentucky poets and their works, and the other highlights the experiences...

Kentucky National Guard chaplain first-ever from state to be nominated for MacArthur award

Kentucky Today A Kentucky Baptist pastor and a chaplain in the Kentucky National Guard has been nominated as the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award for Kentucky. 
Capt. Joshua Tyler Shields, the pastor of Rockhouse Baptist Church in Leslie County, joined the Kentucky National Guard out of high school in 2006 as an infantryman and then branched as a field artillery officer after college. Shields...

Council of Churches to host Prayer in Action Days at State Capital on Tuesdays during legislative session

The Kentucky Council of Churches is hosting Prayer in Action Days at the State Capitol each Tuesday during this year’s General Assembly to pray for government officials and act on behalf of Kentucky’s most vulnerable citizens. The kick-off event will be held on Tuesday, January 7 at 11 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda. Subsequent gatherings, listed below, will begin at 9:30 a.m. 1/14/20 Criminal Justice 1/21/20 Healthcare/Disabilities 1/28/20 Voting...