A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Ben Wilcox shapes role of Kentucky’s first state school security marshal amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Jim Gaines Kentucky Teacher Ben Wilcox laughs a little when asked how COVID-19 has changed his job as Kentucky’s state school security marshal. He hadn’t been on the job long when the pandemic hit. The position of state school security marshal had only been created in March 2019. Wilcox formally started work July 1 of that year, but a month earlier he began traveling the state to share information...

State Treasurer Allison Ball critical of Gov. Andy Beshear; lawmakers foreshadow more to come

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State Treasurer Allison Ball took Gov. Andy Beshear to task over what she said was an unconstitutional executive order during the pandemic and other Republican lawmakers hinted that there could be legislative action in the next session. Ball said Beshear ordering churches not to hold in-person services during the spring was unconstitutional and infringed upon the free exercise...

Incoming UK basketball transfers Sarr, Toppin jump for joy after getting news of immediate eligibility

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Incoming University of Kentucky transfers Olivier Sarr and Jacob Toppin jumped for joy after receiving news concerning their eligibility late Wednesday. Sarr and Toppin were cleared to play this season by the NCAA and Southeastern Conference. “They were both hopping and skipping out of my office after getting the news because they’ve been waiting on this day,” UK...

Beshear reports new daily case record of 1,487; there were 21 deaths; Fayette is in top 10 with 85 cases

Gov. Andy Beshear reported 1,487 new COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths Wednesday, with Fayette County being in the top 10 for new cases. The new cases set a record for single-day reporting. The total number of deaths in the state reached 1,363. Fayette reported 85 new cases. He also said that Kentuckians living in red or orange counties, as identified by the White House, shouldn’t have gatherings...

Louisville Central (4-0) meets Franklin County (3-0) for district regular-season crown on Friday night

By Chad Hensley KyForward sports reporter A pair of unbeaten teams will battle for the Class 4A District 4 regular-season crown on Friday night in Frankfort as Franklin County plays host to Louisville Central. Franklin County (3-0) is 14-1 since the beginning of the 2019 campaign, with its only loss coming in the postseason district finals against Central by a score of 18-7 in a game that Flyers fans...

KOHS reminds parents: Before handing over car keys, make sure teens know rules of the road

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is helping empower parents to talk with their young drivers about the importance of driving safely. They are joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in their efforts during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 18-24. “I want our roads to be safe for all Kentuckians, including our youngest drivers. In just a few years, I’ll...

Beshear sounds alarm, preparing for COVID-19 surge; Jefferson, Fayette counties lead in cases

Gov. Andy Beshear delivered harsh news as the state begins to prepare for a fall and winter surge in COVID-19 cases. Not only were there 1,312 cases reported Tuesday, but Fayette County was among the counties with most cases. Tuesday marked the fourth-highest number of daily COVID-19 cases reported in the Commonwealth, including the day a backlog in cases was reported. This is also the first time since...

Kentucky environmental groups turn focus to inclusion, diversity in state’s outdoor spaces

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Environmental advocates and outdoor enthusiasts across the state are focusing on inclusion and diversity in hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. Despite wanting to experience nature, many people of color may not have the opportunity to explore Kentucky’s numerous trails, lakes and state parks. (Photo courtesy of The Explore Kentucky Initiatve) Gerry...

Kentucky couple healing from motorcycle accident experience God’s favor through ‘amazing’ gesture

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Doug and Molly Saunders are on the mend after a motorcycle accident on Sept. 19. They are also learning the lesson of how God works everything for good. Not only did they both survive the accident – Molly was in the hospital for a month and a day after three surgeries – but they have watched in amazement as Christian brothers and sisters who never knew them came alongside...

Kentucky crafted beers infused with Kentucky Proud products on tap for Oct. 28 release in annual series

Crafting Kentucky Proud beers with Kentucky agricultural products is the focus of this year’s Kentucky Proud Beer Series, Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced. Now in its fifth year, the beer series combines the best of what Kentucky has to offer from its breweries with its farms. “Every October, Kentucky’s craft brewers use locally grown products to brew one-of-a-kind beers...

Wolfe County extension celebrates addiction recovery stories: ‘Drugs do not discriminate’

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky Recovering from drug addiction can take many years with many bumps in the road along the way, as Wolfe County resident Dena Brooks can attest. Brooks has been in recovery for nearly six years. Today, she stays busy raising her daughter and working as the director of the Wolfe County senior citizens center. “My life is finally where it should be now,” she said....

Answers from the doctors: This is not the year to risk it — get a flu shot, which is especially important now

By Monalisa Taylor, Lewis Hargett and Heidi Margulis Special to KyForward This is not the year to risk it. Get a flu shot. As physicians, we now end each patient visit like this: “I am encouraging all of my patients to get the flu shot this year. With both the flu and the coronavirus going around, it will be a difficult season. Having more than one virus increases your risk of going to the hospital....

FCPS physical therapists develop workarounds, alternative ways to connect with students

One of the challenges with distance learning amid COVID-19 is to provide school-based physical therapy for students with special needs, but the PT team in Fayette County Public Schools has come up with alternative ways to stay connected with these children and support their families. “We’re a very close-knit group, and we meet about every week to bounce ideas and concerns, and talk about caseloads,...

UK looks to carry offensive momentum from win at Tennessee into Missouri contest this Saturday

By Tim Letcher University of Kentucky It was the University of Kentucky defense that garnered much of the attention during and after Saturday’s win at Tennessee, and rightfully so. It was the UK defense that accounted for the Wildcats’ first two touchdowns in the 34-7 victory, with Kelvin Joseph and Jamin Davis each returning interceptions for touchdowns. And it was the defense that...

Lafayette High School theatre students devise pandemic pantomime ‘Cardboard Stories’ play

Playfully stacking boxes with her 5-year-old at home inspired theatre director Amie Kisling to challenge her Lafayette High School students to design a sort of pandemic pantomime performance. The result was an entertaining nonverbal play called “Cardboard Stories: Thinking outside the Box,” which the group videotaped for online distribution. “You made a piece. You created it from nothing! You...

Beshear reports 812 COVID-19 cases, 5 deaths on Sunday; ‘We can get where we need to be together’

Gov. Andy Beshear on a slow-reporting Sunday said there were 812 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths, bringing the state’s totals to 87,607 cases and 1,317 deaths. One hundred and sixteen of the newly reported cases were from children up through age 18, of which 28 were 5 and under. The youngest was just 1 month old. Fayette County reported 67 cases. “Once again, we are seeing our case numbers...

Billy Reed: Joe Morgan, first of Big Red Machine to pass away, was ‘manager on the field,’ likeable guy

And then there were seven. The starting eight players for the Cincinnati Reds’ back-to-back World Series champions of 1975 and ’76 – the “Big Red Machine” – are still revered as legends 44 years later. The Reds still sell paraphernalia with their names on it. It’s almost as if time stopped for the Reds when the last out was made in their ’76 World Series sweep on the New York Yankees. Every...

Prayers answered for pastor’s wife; Bowling Green church embraces Congolese friendships

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today A few years ago, with her husband’s church struggling, a diligent pastor’s wife prayed a simple prayer. She asked God to bring the church 10 families. God answered her prayer, but it was far different than she expected. More than a dozen Congolese families joined Forest Park Baptist Church in Bowling Green and now make up the largest part of the congregation. Pastor...

UK defense dominant, Wildcats crush Tennessee in 34-7 blowout; first triumph in Knoxville since 1984

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today KNOXVILLE — The University of Kentucky football team accomplished a rare feat by defeating Tennessee on Saturday afternoon, and and it wasn’t even close. For the first time since 1984, UK left Knoxville with a 34-7 victory, bringing an end to a 17-game losing streak at Neyland Stadium and handing the 18th-ranked Volunteers their second straight setback. Tennessee...

University of Kentucky alum named outstanding intern at NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Awards

By Lindsey Piercy University of Kentucky University of Kentucky alumnus Monon Rahman concluded his dream internship with NASCAR by being named Outstanding Intern during the 2020 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Awards. The ceremony honors the motorsports industry’s diversity leaders and recognizes top achievements. In 2019, the awards moved from Daytona Beach, Florida, to Charlotte, North Carolina....