A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Billy Reed: Birthday remembrances with a baseball soundtrack playing prominently in the background

Today is my birthday, and a lot of things go through your mind when you reach my age. I remember, for example, Mickey Mantle’s famous quote before he died: “If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d taken better care of myself.” I think a lot about baseball because the season always was in full swing on July 12. Not this year, of course, due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But I still...

Bill Straub: Art and history, statues and reality — removing any offending art does not change the past

A few years ago I had the privilege of visiting the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid to view Picasso’s Guernica, one of the most amazing and unsettling works of art imaginable. It depicts the April 1937 bombing of the Basque city of Guernica by the Nazis at the request of the Nationalists, led by Generalissimo Francisco Franco, during the Spanish Civil War. The painting, in stark black and white and greys,...

Berea College allowing prospective students to apply for admission without standardized test scores

Berea College will now allow its prospective students to apply for admission without requiring standardized test scores. Berea College joins more than 1,000 elite institutions like Harvard, Princeton, Stanford and Notre Dame who are offering test score optional admissions to their fall 2021 class. The COVID-19 pandemic has created insurmountable barriers for standardized testing for students across...

UK marketing experts explain how, why brands are tackling current social justice issues

By Lindsey Piercy University of Kentucky Ben & Jerry’s. Nike. Patagonia. These are just a few of the major brands and companies taking a firm stance against racial injustice and demonstrating their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. In the wake of protests across the United States, corporate America is shifting away from “business-as-usual” and instead, sharing messages of solidarity...

Al Cross: Does Amy McGrath have any chance against Mitch McConnell?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell surely smiled as he watched Amy McGrath slip, stumble and nearly fall to state Rep. Charles Booker in the Democratic primary for his seat. The first challenger who could match Mr. Money dollar for dollar had to drain half her campaign fund to fend off an upstart who was the ideal surfer of a historic wave of outrage about police treatment of his fellow African...

Bill Straub: Amy McGrath has won nomination to challenge Mitch McConnell; what will she do with it?

So, now that Amy McGrath has won the Democratic nomination to challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell in the fall, what is she going to do with it? Not much, if you listen to the analysts who are paid to handicap this sort of thing. Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball, ramrodded by Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, and the Cook Political...

BBB Trends: Face mask exempt cards are phony; DOJ issues warning to consumers about frauds

The U.S. Department of Justice has issued a warning regarding phony face mask exemptions cards. These printable cards found on social media from the Freedom to Breathe Agency claim to be issued by the Americans with Disabilities Act for citizens to be exempt from wearing face masks in public. One card read: “I am exempt from any ordinance requiring face mask usage in public. Wearing a face mask...

140th Fancy Farm will just be picnic on Aug. 1 — no political speeches this year; more details coming

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Fancy Farm’s annual picnic is still a go for August, but without the political speeches, organizers said this week on social media. 
Rev. Darrell Venters of St. Jerome Catholic Church posted on the Fancy Farm Facebook page about the 140th picnic on Aug. 1. He said there will not be any political speeches, WPSD and the Mayfield Messenger reported. Fancy Farm last year...

Beshear reports 316 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death, cites poor air quality; KHN provides roundup

Gov. Andy Beshear on Saturday updated Kentuckians on the Commonwealth’s ongoing efforts to fight the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). As of Saturday afternoon, Beshear said there were at least 15,167 coronavirus cases in Kentucky, 316 of which were newly reported, and one death, a 78-year-old woman from Fayette County. The death brings the state’s total to 554 lost lives. “This virus is...

Billy Reed: Dream worth pursuing is black athletes with good education, fully part of whole society

For as long as I can remember, and that’s longer than most, people in the sports world, including myself, have been proud of our history of integration. We point to the likes of Jesse Owens, the African-American star of the 1936 Olympics, held in Hitler’s Nazi Germany; Joe Louis, the heavyweight boxing champion in the 1930s and ‘40s; and Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier in...

David Bolt: Racial injustice and inequality must end; it’s time to shine the light for change

I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe! That phrase is much more than the last words of a dying black man in Minneapolis.  It is the symbolic position of all people of color and many others of various races, nationalities, and ethnicities who we have been left behind in the American Dream. David Bolt Yes, George Floyd’s death was tragic and reprehensible, at the least. But to allow this intolerable...

U.S. Customs seizes largest-ever shipment of synthetic drugs at Port of Cincinnati, Erlanger

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized an air shipment at a local cargo examination station in Erlanger, which has turned out to be the largest synthetic drug seizure in the history of the Port of Cincinnati, as well as other items. 
This shipment came from China and was headed to a single importer in Aurora, Colorado. When officers examined the shipment, they...

Education Commissioner Kevin Brown: Letter to Public School Families on school reopenings

Dear Kentucky Public School Families: As discussions continue about reopening schools in the fall, I am sharing with you Kentucky’s Healthy at School guidance released Wednesday. The Department for Public Health guidelines state that all students will be expected to wear a mask on buses and at school except for kindergartners and students with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks....

UK’s James B. Beam Institute receives donation of distilling equipment to advance teaching, research

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits at the University of Kentucky received a large donation of distilling equipment from the institute’s founding partner, the James B. Beam Distilling Company. Jim Beam’s donation included two tractor-trailer loads of stills, tanks, pumps and instruments from the historic craft distillery in Clermont, reducing...

Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center, KCTCS partner to train leaders from all 16 community colleges

The Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) have partnered to train Workforce Solutions leaders from all 16 colleges across the state in the Talent Pipeline Management (TPM) Academy. This is the second statewide TPM Academy for Kentucky following an inaugural class of 40 community leaders selected and trained in 2018. “The partnership between...

New literacy initiative features books with children of color as main character by African American authors

Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk will help launch a new literacy initiative spotlighting African American authors who write books with children of color as the main character. Beginning at 4 p.m. this Sunday (June 28), and continuing on Sundays this summer, different guest readers will read aloud on Facebook Live. The program – called 4-Reading Out Loud – is sponsored by...

Community Farm Alliance encourages investment in food security through redirecting police budgets

The Community Farm Alliance has issued the following statement: Community Farm Alliance (CFA) is advocating for local communities to redirect funds from police department budgets toward food security efforts and other preventative programs that make our communities more safe. We join those across Kentucky that are demanding these changes because CFA knows firsthand how programs facilitating increased...

Kentuckians warned that massive dust cloud from Sahara Desert could make weekend air quality poor

Kentucky Department for Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack warned Kentuckians that air quality in the state may be poor this weekend and into next week. An enormous cloud of dry and dusty air that originated over the Sahara Desert will move across the southern United States over the next three to seven days. “We absolutely need to be cautious this weekend and next week, monitor the air quality...

Kentucky Lottery enjoys strong performance in May; total of $132.1 million in sales helps KLC rebound

The Kentucky Lottery Corporation’s board of directors announced strong sales in the month of May have helped get the KLC back on track to meet budgeted sales amounts for the year. According to Interim Chief Operating Officer Maggie Garrison, May sales were $132.1 million, which is $33.7 million or 31.9 percent more than budgeted. “This was led by increases in our Scratch-off ticket sales, which...

Beshear reports 256 new COVID-19 cases, 7 deaths; wash hands, wear masks, stay 6-feet apart

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 256 new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky and seven new deaths. “Kentuckians have what it takes to move into a new normal,” said Beshear. “It will be tough, but we can do it. Just remember: hands, face and space. Wash your hands, wear a mask on your face and stay six-feet apart from other people. “The simple preventative steps we all know about – wearing masks, social...