A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky legislators say options are limited, COVID relief must come from Congress, not state

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky legislative leaders say it’s up to Congress to help Kentucky’s struggling families and businesses get through financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I think our options are certainly limited on the financial side,” said House Speaker David Osborne, R-Prospect, speaking to reporters after a Legislative Research Committee meeting on Wednesday....

Constance Alexander: Will we witness the end of an error or beginning of the end? It’s time we spoke out

Even though I am the youngest of five children, I am the keeper of family history, including momentous events that predated my birth. For as long as I can remember, I listened to the stories told by my parents and older siblings about life before I was in the picture. As the “baby,” I learned to shut up, stay out of the way, and pay attention, which is how I learned about my family’s life during...

LaDonna Koebel: Employment and work-from-home scams prevalent during COVID-19 pandemic

Reports of scams to the Attorney General’s Office have skyrocketed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with dollar losses up as much as 8,000 percent compared to 2019. In August 2020, employment and work-from-home scams accounted for nearly half of the dollar losses reported to our office. Scammers are preying on the vulnerabilities created by the pandemic and know that employment scams are...

‘Everybody’ can watch UK Theatre and Dance productions on demand during 2020-2021 season

By Whitney Hale and Jennifer Sciantarelli University of Kentucky Following in the footsteps of many professional theatre and dance companies, University of Kentucky’s Department of Theatre and Dance is finding new ways to connect with audiences this season. Each school year, the department typically produces a season of five to six productions at the Guignol Theatre in the Fine Arts Building. But...

Ky. Office of Rural Health accepting applications for Elder Wellness Enrichment Initiative Grant

The Kentucky Office of Rural Health (KORH) is accepting applications for its new Elder Wellness Enrichment Initiative Grant, which will provide funding of up to $5,000 to nonprofit rural health care organizations and community-based organizations to create or enhance services for older adults — to help them age in place in rural Kentucky. Up to three awards will be made. Projects submitted for consideration...

UK’s ‘Girls Can’ program goes virtual in effort to encourage young girls to lead healthy lifestyles

By Allison Perry University of Kentucky Launching last fall, the Girls Can program set out to achieve a simple goal: to empower young girls to become physically active. This free outreach program, part of the Active Women’s Health Initiative at the University of Kentucky Sports Medicine Research Institute (SMRI), encourages girls to be their healthiest selves by promoting physical activity, healthy...

Ryan Quarles: Kentucky needs to support farmers and restaurants during COVID-19 pandemic

Across the nation and around the world, the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise. This alarming trend has raised concerns that the economic lockdown from the spring could return. Leaders in Frankfort can and should be creative in using available resources and developing guidelines to prevent further damage to Kentucky’s economy this winter while also encouraging Kentuckians to follow CDC guidelines. When...

Proposed plan to ‘Reimagine Appalachia’ touts jobs, justice and sustainability for the Ohio Valley

By Brittany Patterson Ohio Valley Resoure A coalition of progressive policy and environmental groups has released a “blueprint” that provides a framework for how Ohio Valley communities could reap the benefits of federal action to address climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan, titled “Reimagine Appalachia” envisions a future economy for the traditionally extraction-based economies...

Judge orders state to keep Anthem in Medicaid, cites role of former Beshear aide in bidding process

A Frankfort judge ordered the state Friday to keep Anthem Inc. as one of its managers of Medicaid, an $8 billion program that pays for health care for one of every three Kentuckians. Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd’s order “comes just days before the state is set to begin enrolling people in Medicaid health plans for 2021 on Nov. 2, and as the state is facing record enrollment of...

Formerly disenfranchised Kentuckians cast their ballots after Beshear’s order restores voting rights

By Becca Schimmel Ohio Valley Resource For many in the Ohio Valley, voting is a choice, a right they are free to exercise if they want to. But for Jackie McGranahan and the more than 175,000 other formerly disenfranchised Kentuckians, this election is special. It’s her first chance to vote since 2008. She won’t be going to a voting booth. Elections are a bit different this year because of the...

University of Louisville reports coronavirus pandemic has spurred interest in public health careers

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The University of Louisville says the coronavirus pandemic has sparked interest in public health careers at both the undergraduate and graduate levels over the last school year. Enrollment in the discipline at UofL is up, with a 34 percent increase in students pursuing an undergraduate degree in public health, the largest percentage surge for any baccalaureate degree program,...

Spare Key executive director embarks on journey of lifetime to raise money for Kentucky families in need

At the end of 2019, Kentucky welcomed the non-profit Spare Key as a registered organization to provide commonwealth families with the financial support they need to pay major bills when faced with critical illnesses or serious injuries. Founded in 1997, the organization has expanded its national footprint immensely in recent years, and through their “Help Me Bounce” platform, Spare Key helps families...

University of Kentucky musicians continue making beautiful music behind the mask

By Whitney Hale University of Kentucky Although audiences aren’t gathering at the Singletary Center for the Arts and other similar arts and entertainment venues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, music can still be heard around campus as University of Kentucky’s instrumentalists and vocalists adapt to the “new normal.” To make sure these Wildcats can continue to make music, several precautions...

Many rural hospitals teeter on a financial cliff as COVID Medicare loans begin to come due

Note to Readers: Sarah Jane Tribble spent more than a year and half reporting on a small town in Kansas that lost its only hospital. This month, KHN and St. Louis Public Radio will launch “Where It Hurts,” a podcast exploring the often painful cracks growing in America’s health system that leave people vulnerable — and without the care they need. Season One is “No Mercy,” focusing on the...

As many put off checkups, men encouraged to get prostate exam; early detection key to beating cancer

By Steve and Heather French Henry, Kristy Young and Melissa Karrer Special to KyForward Cancer screenings save lives among men. But with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, too many Kentuckians are forgoing or delaying their annual health exams and cancer screenings. By putting off these important doctor appointments, we risk trading one public-health crisis for another. We cannot risk more late-stage cancer...

Community volunteers continue to advocate for abused children during COVID-19 pandemic

Despite COVID-19, community volunteers have continued to answer the call to be the voice for abused and neglected children in our community. CASA of the River Region completed its first virtual training class, spread over five weeks, graduating 11 dedicated citizens to become CASA advocates. “For the second year in a row, Kentucky has had the highest number of child abuse and neglect cases in the...

Fayette County Public Schools teachers step up their game for virtual arts class during distance learning

What happens with hands-on electives like music, theatre, and art when students are learning remotely, distanced from each other and their teachers? Those instructors simply expand their creative approaches and find ways to make it work! Check out these three examples. Phil Kent, orchestra teacher at Lafayette High School Lafayette orchestra teacher Phil Kent connects with his students via Zoom. (Photo...

Dr. Ty Sullivan: Don’t let COVID-19 prevent your child’s annual doctor visit; check immunizations

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the way of life in Kentucky, our country and across the world. In recent months, stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing and social distancing measures have created a “new normal,” and all of us have put activities on hold to reduce the spread of the virus. But one activity that you should not put on hold is a child’s annual doctor visit. With schools back in session...

UK dance students adapt to live audience restrictions with ‘Once Vacant: Bodies in motion… still’

The University of Kentucky Department of Theatre and Dance students cannot take the traditional stage with a live audience, but that is not stopping them from creating and performing. UK dance students will pivot to a new venue and present “Once Vacant: Bodies in motion still” Oct. 17 at a location more conducive to safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic — a parking lot. “Once Vacant”...

Health chief says nothing could have fully prepared him for the ‘Groundhog Day’ he’s living

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the state Department for Public Health, has become a familiar face to many Kentuckians during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he has offered the public little information about himself and how he’s dealt with it — until now. Stack told writer Sara Berg of the American Medical Association, of which he was president a few years ago, that the experience had helped...