A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky continues to see sky-high unemployment claims as pandemic downturn drags on

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service More than 800,000 Kentuckians have filed for unemployment insurance since the start of the new coronavirus pandemic, and experts warn the economic downturn will likely have ripple effects that could last for years. Ashley Spalding, research director with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy says a major issue for many states is the lack of a rainy day fund,...

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...

Kentucky State Police announce cancellation of 2020 Trooper Island camp due to coronavirus pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There’s been another casualty due to the coronavirus pandemic as the Kentucky State Police announced Monday that the Trooper Island Kid’s camp this summer has been cancelled. It was supposed to be a celebration as state police planned to host the fifty-fifth year of the camp, but out of concern for safety, KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer made the tough decision to cancel...

Catrena Bowman-Thomas: Despite plentiful goodwill, an undercurrent of injustice — #ismysonnext?

As I look at our nation I stand in awe and dismay at the same time. I’m in awe of how the community has come together to deal with the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic. So many businesses, community organizations, local governments and private citizens have banded together to help fight COVID-19. People have given of their own personal resources to help those impacted in the community, we’ve...

Reviving a depression-era program could help put young Kentuckians work in time of national crisis

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The nation’s youth unemployment rate is the highest it’s been since the Great Depression, and some are calling for creating a new Civilian Conservation Corps to help rebuild the country’s parks and public lands at a time of national crisis. Unemployment in the Commonwealth has soared to 15.4% amid the coronavirus pandemic. And Ward Wilson, executive...

Billy Reed: College athletics directors need to think outside box in this brave new world of coronavirus

So here we are at Memorial Day weekend, and there’s no baseball being played in the major leagues because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Not only that, but the sleek racing cars won’t be vroom-vrooming around the Indiana Motor Speedway in the classic Indy 500, a Memorial Day staple since Ray Harroun dove something called a Marmon Wasp into victory lane. As actor William Bendix would have put in “The...

Beshear announces new coronavirus cases in Kentucky are ‘in a decline’ during Friday briefing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today “We now think we have not just plateaued, but we are in a decline,” Gov. Andy Beshear said on Friday during his daily press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. “It doesn’t mean we are out of the woods, because we are changing our level of contacts, but it is really good news,” he said. “No one has actually seen what the decline looks like with this virus or...

Gov. Andy Beshear outlines seven-month contact tracing program as Kentucky reopens economy

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Contact tracing, as well as increased testing, will be a large part of reopening the state’s economy, Gov. Andy Beshear said Monday during his daily press briefing on the coronavirus pandemic. “Contact tracing which is funded by the federal CARES Act is expanding to meet both the White House and my benchmarks for reopening. Remember this is something that, under the...

Beshear announces June 1 reopening for Kentucky’s State Parks; make reservation starting May 19

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear announced the schedule for reopening recreation and tourism-oriented entities which had been ordered closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Kentucky State Resort Parks, recreational parks, lodges and cabins, will be open to the public for normal business beginning June 1,” he said on Friday at the daily briefing. “It’s going to be required social...

Kentucky part of 18-state coalition asking for probe into China’s role in coronavirus pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on Monday he has joined an 18-state coalition calling on Congress to investigate the communist Chinese government’s role in the coronavirus pandemic. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson led the effort, sending a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, and members of House and Senate...

Gov. Beshear outlines schedule and requirements for the reopening of various businesses starting May 22

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear gave a tentative timetable on when restaurants, gyms, campgrounds and childcare centers may reopen, due to the coronavirus pandemic, as the number of positive cases rose above 6,000. To start Healthy at Work phase 2, restaurants will be able to reopen to limited inside capacity on May 22. “That’s 33 percent, plus they can do unlimited outdoor seating...

Rural Blog: Coronavirus spreading through South’s high-risk populations; reopening makes it worse

The coronavirus pandemic “is becoming a silent disaster” in the rural South because of health-care and health inequalities and more, even as some governors push to reopen businesses, Ann Cafer and Meagan Rosenhal report for The Daily Yonder. “As University of Mississippi sociologists who work with rural communities on a range of resilience issues, especially health, we are concerned...

Governor Andy Beshear outlines road ahead for gradual reopening of Kentucky’s economy

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday unveiled the first parts of his plan to re-open Kentucky’s economy, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including dates and types of entities. The Governor moved his daily press briefing from the Capitol to the Emergency Operations Center at the Boone National Guard Center. Before they can re-open, he said there are 10 prerequisites...

Feeding Kentucky purchases more than 13,000 Kentucky ground beef hamburgers to aid initiative

Feeding Kentucky has purchased 3,408 pounds of Kentucky ground beef with funds from Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance’s historic half-million dollar donation as part of Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles’ Kentucky Hunger Initiative. The purchase translates into more than 13,000 4-ounce hamburger patties that will go to vulnerable Kentuckians during the coronavirus pandemic. “Hunger doesn’t...

Beshear, six other governors unite in efforts to form plan on reopening Midwest region economy

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is one of seven governors of both parties who have announced they will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region, which has been decimated due to the coronavirus pandemic. Beshear is joining with his counterparts Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Mike DeWine from Ohio, Wisconsin’s Tony Evers, Tim Walz of Minnesota, J.B....

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass reminding Kentuckians of changes to SNAP during coronavirus pandemic

In an attempt to counteract the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Kentucky has recently announced some important changes to the SNAP Program. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a federally funded food assistance program that provides vital nutritional support to people all across the United States. Kentucky recently received an emergency allotment waiver. This means...

Rural Blog: Citing costs of pandemic, coal companies ask Congress to reduce black lung coal tax

Citing the economic cost of the coronavirus pandemic, coal companies are asking Congress to let them pay less of the excise tax that pays for miners’ black-lung benefits. The move would force the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, a Labor Department program already about $4 billion in debt to the Treasury, to borrow more money from the federal government to remain solvent, Will Englund reports...

Louisville coaches, athletics administrators taking pay cuts in AD Vince Tyra’s belt-tightening move

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today University of Louisville coaches and athletics department administrators are doing their part to soften the blow of anticipated severely reduced revenues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. UofL vice president/director of athletics Vince Tyra said during a teleconference with the media Thursday afternoon that the school’s head coaches in 21 sports as well as 13 senior...

Louisville standout Emina Ekic’s upcoming stint with U-23 National Team canceled due to COVID-19

Throughout her playing career, Emina Ekic has not been a stranger to representing Team USA in the national spotlight. Following a successful four years at DuPont Manual High School, where she was twice named the Kentucky Gatorade Player of the Year, the Louisville native was a member of the U-17 and U-19 U.S. Women’s National Teams. Those opportunities allowed Ekic to train and play against tough...

Lt. Governor issues waiver of high school graduation requirements due to coronavirus pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two provisions in state law that might have prevented some high school students from graduating this year have been waived due to the coronavirus pandemic. Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman, in her capacity as Secretary of the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, issued a waiver that suspends the requirement that students who plan to graduate from high school in 2020 pass...