A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

More sick staff, fewer beds in rural hospitals as COVID-19 continues spread through region

By Corinne Boyer Ohio Valley ReSource Dr. Kirk Tucker, chief clinical officer of Adena Health Systems in Chillicothe, Ohio, said a week before Thanksgiving that the health system’s three hospitals in southern Ohio were bombarded with coronavirus patients. But it isn’t just the patients testing positive. The virus has also sickened 65 of his fellow caregivers. Recently, Tucker said, a doctor there...

Keith Taylor: My first holiday season without Mom — coping and trying to find best way to move forward

The holidays are here and it all begins with Thanksgiving. Since Mom passed away on Oct. 5, I’ve been looking for a starting point, a reboot if you will, in an effort to return to normalcy. I’ve discovered there isn’t really such a thing as starting over. Coping and taking things one day at a time is the best way to move forward. The ongoing and seemingly never-ending pandemic hasn’t helped...

Shorthanded Kentucky (3-5) faces tough task Saturday against No. 6 Florida (6-1) in Gainesville

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky owns just one win over Florida in the past three decades. The task could be even more difficult for the Wildcats (3-5) after Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops announced earlier this week that 18 players and 10 staff members will likely miss Saturday’s contest in Gainesville because of injuries and COVID-19 contact tracing. “We can’t afford (to lose) anymore,”...

Economic outlook grim across Ohio Valley as coronavirus relief programs come to an end

By Sydney Boles Ohio Valley Resource With hundreds of thousands across the Ohio Valley struggling to make ends meet, a suite of coronavirus aid packages, including rent and utility relief funding, eviction moratoriums, and expanded unemployment benefits, is set to expire at the end of December. (Photo from Courtesy Bytemarks, Creative Commons via Ohio Valley ReSource) The consequences could be far-reaching....

Kentucky retailers bracing for challenging holiday shopping season as pandemic continues

The year 2020 has been a series of challenges for Kentucky retailers, so why should the holiday shopping season be any different? A survey of the Commonwealth’s retailers by the Kentucky Retail Federation indicates the COVID-19 pandemic poses unusual circumstances this time of year. More than 100 retailers responded to the annual survey, and a majority indicate the pandemic has slowed their local...

Bill Straub: The Donny Show is a four-star laugh riot, and the funny thing is Republicans can’t count

Abbott and Costello – a grand remedy for the COVID-19 blues, by the way – used to perform a routine developed during their burlesque days in which Lou seeks to convince Bud that 13 x 7 = 28. What resulted over the proceeding five minutes was unstemmed zaniness, wherein Costello violated every conceivable law of mathematics, offering a presentation that certainly would have driven the likes of...

Richard Nelson: Beshear keeps casinos open while closing schools, restaurants, churches, and more

Gov. Andy Beshear issued more executive orders last week in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the Commonwealth. Beshear ordered K-12 schools, restaurants, event venues, and bars to close their doors beginning Friday. The order permits curbside pickup, delivery, and patio seating (which is rendered impractical by the winter weather). At the same time Beshear is allowing casino gambling...

Kentucky Main Street program encourages Kentuckians to shop local during the holidays

The Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet (TAH) is partnering with the Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS) for a special holiday promotion highlighting small businesses in Main Street communities across the Commonwealth. Kentucky Main Street works to encourage downtown revitalization and economic development through preserving historic buildings. KYMS features 29 participating local programs...

Gardens surge in popularity during summer; Quarles urged Kentuckians to grow Victory Gardens

This summer, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles encouraged people to get their hands dirty and get in touch with their agricultural roots. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) teamed up with the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky’s Nutrition Education Program (KYNEP) to motivate Kentuckians to plant a Victory Garden and enjoy the fruits and vegetables...

Brad Calipari’s return to UK postponed as Detroit Mercy drops out of Bluegrass Showcase

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Detroit Mercy won’t be playing in the Bluegrass Showcase this week and Brad Calipari’s return to the Bluegrass has been postponed. The Titans have dropped out of the four-team event because of COVID-19 protocols and a positive test within the program. Brad Calipari, son of Kentucky coach John Calipari, was scheduled to play the Wildcats on Friday night, but postponed...

Green River Area Development District seeking donations for 2020 Silver Bells project

The District Long Term Care Ombudsman Program invites individuals and organizations in the Green River Area Development District area to contribute to the 2020 Silver Bells project. Due to COVID-19, monetary donations are requested for the purchase of items to fill holiday gift bags for delivery to two personal care homes in the seven-county GRADD region at Christmas time. To ensure timely delivery...

Kentucky Chamber releases 2021 Federal Priorities following 2020 elections, advocating for businesses

As Kentucky looks to recover and rebuild its economy from the coronavirus pandemic, the Kentucky Chamber has released its 2021 Federal Priorities. In addition to advocating on behalf of businesses at the state level, the Kentucky Chamber also advocates for pro-business policies in Washington, D.C. “Through great relationships with Kentucky’s federal delegation and with our colleagues at the US...

Constance Alexander: Thanksgiving: Canned cranberry sauce with a side of family memories

When I was growing up, creamed onions and Scotch whiskey were essential to a proper Thanksgiving. The onions paid homage to Mother’s Irish heritage, and the whiskey a wink to Daddy’s ancestry. Besides the big bird, two kinds of potatoes — mashed white and sumptuous sweet – topped the list. Baskets of Parker House rolls added more temptation, with enough butter to clog even the spunkiest...

In south-central Ky., health workers and officials battle coronavirus fatigue, politicization of pandemic

Health officials are working “to convince a skeptical public in south-central Kentucky of the risk of catching the deadly virus racing through the region, taking lives and putting an ever-growing number of people in the hospital,” Deborah Yetter of the Louisville Courier Journal reports after a trip to Glasgow, Tompkinsville and Bowling Green. Courtney Calloway’s co-workers gave her...

Reviewing Biden’s plan for ‘building back better’ and what it could mean for the Ohio Valley

By Liam Niemeyer Ohio Valley ReSource David Meinschein’s teachers, staff and students have sacrificed a lot this year amid the staggering challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. He opens the door heading inside Ballad Memorial High School’s basketball gymnasium — known locally as the “Green Palace” for its school colors. The school’s emptiness is another reminder of COVID-19’s impact....

AAA: Majority of Kentuckians not traveling for Thanksgiving; virus keeping families at home

A new survey by AAA indicates that a large majority of Kentucky residents will not be traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday, and 36 percent of those staying home say it is because of COVID-19 concerns. “Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” said Lori...

Gov. reports another record day with 3,825 new virus cases as restrictions on restaurants, bars take effect

Gov. Andy Beshear once again reported the state’s highest ever number of new daily virus cases on Friday. He reported 3,825 new cases and 20 deaths. Fayette County had 297 cases. “This is exponential growth. It is shattering records over and over until we stop it. That’s why we are taking action – we have to,” said Gov. Beshear. “We’ve got more than 10,000 students quarantined right now...

Utilities unite to protect customers from scams; event raises consumer awareness, offers advice

Wednesday marked the fifth annual Utility Scam Awareness Day when Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company and Old Dominion Power Company joined more than 145 fellow U.S. and Canadian utilities to raise consumer awareness on how to recognize scams and offer advice to avoid them. These efforts have become more important this year during the pandemic, as reports of scams have risen...

KHSAA delays start of winter sports until January; Sweet 16 basketball tentatively set for late March

KyForward staff The Kentucky High School Athletic Association Board of Control has voted to delay the start of winter sports until Jan. 4 and is expecting to finish the virus-altered basketball season in late March. The basketball season was scheduled to begin on Monday, but the KHSAA’s decision will push back the start of play by more than a month. Boys and girls basketball teams will now be limited...

UofL’s new African American Theatre Program director connects humanity through performing arts

UofL alumni LaShondra Hood and Xavier Harris in The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. The Mountaintop was performed last year on campus and at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC. (Photo from UofL) By Julie Heflin University of Louisville It is part of what persuaded her to pursue a master’s of fine arts in performance at the University of Louisville, and now Sidney Edwards has...