A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

National leaders, UK officials launch HEALing Communities Study to stem tide of opioid deaths

Flanked by national leaders in the fight to reduce deaths from opioid use – including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar – the University of Kentucky Monday officially launched the HEALing (Helping End Addiction Long-term) Communities Study – Kentucky. “Today’s launch symbolizes – in the most powerful and compelling way possible –...

Bill Straub: Who’s paying attention to what KY’s DC delegation is doing? Your reps deserve scrutiny

WASHINGTON – Back in early April members of the Kentucky congressional delegation, quite appropriately, sent a letter to President Extremely Stable Genius supporting a request from Gov. Mad Matt Bevin that a large swath of the state be declared a disaster area. In the letter, the lawmakers maintained that the Commonwealth “experienced severe weather that produced strong wind and torrential rain,...

Bill Straub: Since it’s baseball season, let’s bat some things around – oops, out of strikes already

It’s baseball season once again — thank the lord — so let’s toss it around-the-horn political style: First. Give Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, credit – he’s not afraid to make a fool out of himself. And this time Wonder Boy, as the old saying goes, did it in front of God and everybody. Massie serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee,...

Bill Straub: Real winner of Tuesday’s election in Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin who wasn’t on ballot

The real winner emerging from Tuesday’s election in Kentucky wasn’t Rep. Andy Barr, who staged a come-from-behind victory in the Sixth Congressional District, or President “Tiny’’ Trump, who insisted to his supporters that this year’s vote was all about him. Nope. The honor goes to someone who wasn’t even on the ballot – St. Matt of New Hampshire, our boy Bevin, the reigning governor,...

Incumbent Andy Barr finds satisfaction in high stakes U.S. House victory against challenger Amy McGrath

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, savored a high-profile and hard-fought win over Democratic challenger Amy McGrath to retain his seat in the 6th Congressional District. Barr’s camp received a gigantic energy boost last month with a visit and endorsement from President Donald Trump, who came to Richmond on one of his many campaign stops in the past two months to try...

Bill Straub: Kentucky commands nation’s attention as Andy Barr-Amy McGrath race goes down to the wire

WASHINGTON – Kentucky doesn’t often command the nation’s attention unless it happens to be the first Saturday in May or the Wildcats are making a run in March. But during this vital political season, a lot of eyes are turning toward the congressional race in the commonwealth’s Sixth District, which could determine which party controls the House. The contest between incumbent Rep. Andy Barr,...

Trump in Richmond to support Congressman Andy Barr; Joe Biden rallied for Amy McGrath Friday

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today RICHMOND, Ky. (KT) – President Donald Trump urged his supporters to re-elect U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in the November midterm elections on Saturday at a raucous campaign rally and underscored the reason why. 
“The election of Andy is a really important thing,” Trump told the crowd of 6,100 in Alumni Coliseum on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University. “It could...

Bill Straub: Andy Barr is finding Amy McGrath a formidable opponent for 6th Congressional seat

It hasn’t been a very good last few days for Rep. Andy Barr, which is bad news for a financial industry that controls his every tic in Washington but potentially good news for the residents of Kentucky’s Sixth Congressional District. Barr, R-Lexington, whose accomplishments during his first five years in office couldn’t fill a thimble, unexpectedly finds himself in a tough re-election campaign...

Rural Blog: This is how former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath won the Democratic primary

The victory of former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District was based in part on a strategy of appealing to rural voters, especially through rural newspapers. That was the idea of campaign manager Mark Nickolas, who had quit political work more than a decade ago and “had never worked in a campaign in the digital era,” reports Michael...

It will be a Barr-McGrath match-up in November; Linda Gorton prevails as Lexington mayor

Staff Report In one of the most-watched primary election races Tuesday, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray lost by a surprising margin to political newcomer and retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Amy McGrath in the Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District. Republican incumbent Andy Barr won handily over challenger Chuck Eddy and will face McGrath in the fall. Gray conceded the race to McGrath...

Bill Straub: Go figure (if you can) the double-talk that doesn’t want to add to deficit except for ‘tax cuts’

Our old friend, the Wonder Boy, Rep. Thomas Massie, has built a well-earned reputation as a budget hawk, voting, for instance, against a measure sending disaster aid to communities damaged by Hurricane Harvey because it added to the federal deficit. Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty, has called adding to the national debt, which currently rests at $20.5 trillion, “lunacy’’ and that it “must...

Barr proposes legislation to strengthen U.S. sanctions against North Korea

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr, R-Lexington, has introduced legislation that would include the most far-reaching sanctions ever aimed at North Korea. The bill, sponsored by the Sixth District Congressman, would punish foreign banks and other financial institutions for dealing with those facilitating North Korea-related business, which he said would be an incentive for traders,...

Barr proposes legislation to give military sexual assault victims additional options

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Lexington Congressman Andy Barr introduced proposed legislation last week that would aid military sexual assault victims. Barr, who represents the Sixth District, gave statistics backing up his legislation, the Military Sexual Assault Victim Empowerment Act, or SAVE, that allows victims to receive the care that best meets their needs. “The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs...

Retired Marine fighter pilot McGrath announces she will challenge Barr for 6th Congressional seat

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Another Democrat has announced a run for Kentucky’s Sixth District Congressional seat, currently held by Republican Andy Barr of Lexington. Amy McGrath, a retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel and former F/A-18 fighter pilot from northern Kentucky, made her formal announcement in a two-minute YouTube video Tuesday morning. “I believe we need to elect a new generation of leaders...

Citing Barr’s vote on health care bill, group working to find an opponent in 6th district race

A Democratic-oriented political group is trying to drum up opposition for 6th District U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington, citing his vote for the Republican health-care bill. The first featured speaker at the kickoff event by The People’s Campaign was Colmon Eldridge, an aide to then-Gov. Steve Beshear when the administration embraced Obamacare in 2014. Asked afterward if he might be a candidate,...

House approves bill halting Medicaid expansion, clears way to higher premiums for pre-existing conditions

By Al Cross Kentucky Health News The health-care bill passed Thursday by House Republicans would end the expansion of Medicaid in 2020, limit the program’s funding after that to a fixed amount per person, and let states allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums to people with pre-existing conditions. On a 217-212 vote, the bill went to the Senate, which undoubtedly will change it. About...

Education Notes: Child Nutrition’s Dawson named Southeast Employee of Year; merit award for Albrecht

The School Nutrition Association has tapped Fayette County Public Schools food service employee Trish Dawson as its Southeast Region’s Employee of the Year. Dawson, who was also Kentucky’s 2017 statewide honoree, is now in the running for the national award, which will be announced this July in Atlanta. Trish Dawson “We come to work every day in hopes that we fill up hungry bellies, help children...

After meeting with Trump, Barr tells town meeting he will vote ‘enthusiastically’ for GOP health reform bill

A day after meeting with President Trump, Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr of Lexington told constituents Saturday that he would vote for the health-reform bill proposed by leaders of his party because it is the only alternative to Democrats’ 2010 reform law. Asked if he would vote against the bill, “I’m not going to vote no on something that’s better than the status quo. I’m going to vote...

Farm Bureau’s legislative agenda sets wildlife management, water resources among top priorities

Kentucky Farm Bureau’s board and delegates approved its priority issues for the 2017 legislative session at the organizations annual meeting last week. Wildlife management is one of KFB’s top priorities. Farmers across the state have long dealt with damage to crops and property caused by ever increasing wildlife populations. A priority issue seeks effective wildlife management that will reduce...

Kentucky Farm Bureau annual meeting in Louisville features luncheon appearance by Quarles

More than 2,000 Kentucky Farm Bureau (KFB) members from across the state will gather for the organization’s 97th annual meeting Nov. 30–Dec. 3 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville. Delegates from all of the state’s 120 counties assemble for the four-day event to participate in committee meetings, business sessions, award presentations, officer elections and to adopt 2017 priority issues and...