A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Youth Advocates to hold Children’s Advocacy Week, virtually, to engage with legislators

Hundreds of youth advocates from across Kentucky typically gather in Frankfort for the annual Children’s Advocacy Day at the Capitol. This year, with the need to reduce in-person events and because one day is not enough for this important advocacy, we have shifted to Children’s Advocacy WEEK. Advocates, state leaders, youth, and media are invited to participate in a series of virtual events...

Anticipated armed protests don’t materialize at well-guarded state Capitol; KY man arrested in U.S. riots

After ramping up for a major protests at the state Capitol Sunday, few protestors showed up and they were peaceful. Frankfort State Journal photo The FBI sent warnings to all states to be prepared for protests at every Capitol. The National Guard was called to Frankfort in addition to Kentucky State Police and Frankfort police. A few people wandered in — some with rifles and handguns —...

Lexington Catholic, Scott County, Frederick Douglass to battle for 11th Region boys hoops championship

By Chad Hensley KyForward sports reporter The start of the delayed 2020-21 boys basketball season finally tips off Monday, and the 11th Region is stocked with talented teams. Lexington Catholic, Scott County and Frederick Douglass all appear primed to contend for the 11th Region championship. Henry Clay could face a major rebuilding season after losing 11th Region Player of the Year Marques Warrick,...

Kentucky’s contact-tracing program lacks specific data sought by Republican leaders in Frankfort

When Gov. Andy Beshear shut down indoor dining in restaurants and bars to slow the increasing spread of the coronavirus, “criticism from Republican leaders in Frankfort was both swift and predictable,” Joe Sonka of the Louisville Courier-Journal notes in a story about the effort to trace past contacts of those with the virus. Republican legislative leaders reiterated their complaint about...

Now more than ever, Kentucky restaurants need your support and business — here’s how you can help

By Dan Liebman Special to KyForward The National Restaurant Association estimates that by the end of the year, roughly 100,000 restaurants across the country will have closed permanently. As a small business/restaurant owner, I am disheartened by this staggering news, especially knowing it is not because of food quality or customer service, but rather due to an unforeseen worldwide pandemic. With the...

Kentucky Proud brings cheese for a cause into Kroger; partial proceeds to benefit local food banks

A new initiative to help food-insecure families across the state is bringing Kentucky Proud artisan cheese products to select Kroger grocery stores. Kentucky Cheese Cares lets consumers join the fight against hunger by purchasing award-winning Kentucky specialty cheese products at participating Kroger locations. Fifty cents from each unit sold will be used to distribute Kentucky dairy products through...

KYTC reaches milestone of 50,000 REAL ID-compliant licenses; pace of applications increasing

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has reached the 50,000 mark in number of REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards issued. Applicants increasingly are choosing the more secure credential ahead of a federal deadline for having verified identification for access to certain installations and activities. REAL ID licenses and IDs are issued only at KYTC Regional Driver Licensing...

Commentary: Sheila Mason’s 50-year career at the State Capitol is worthy of recognition

By Senate President Robert Stivers, House Speaker David Osborne, Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey and House Minority Floor Leader Joni L. Jenkins When General Assembly interns show up for their first day at the State Capitol, one of the first things they learn is that the well-being of our representative democracy depends on upholding the people’s trust in their government. Fortunately,...

Former Franklin County Board of Education finance director pleads guilty to $1.6 million theft

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A former finance director of the Franklin County Board of Education has pleaded guilty to federal charges involving the theft of more than $1.6 million from the school system. Lesley Wade of Frankfort entered the pleas to charges of money laundering and filing a materially false tax return at U.S. District Court in Frankfort, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for...

Beshear announces limited service in reopening of Frankfort regional driver licensing office

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced the regional driver licensing office at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) building in Frankfort has reopened for limited services. It is part of Beshear’s Healthy at Work initiative to safely reopen essential Executive Branch offices and services that were closed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Gov. Andy Beshear “We want to begin reopening our Commonwealth...

Kentucky facing budget shortfall of nearly $500 million due to conditions caused by pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A report issued Thursday by the state budget director’s office shows a potential general fund revenue shortfall of $318.7 to $495.7 million for the 2020 fiscal year that ends June 30, due to conditions caused by the coronavirus. In the Quarterly Economic and Revenue Report for the third quarter of fiscal year 2020, state Budget Director John Hicks said, “The revenue...

Lawmakers returning to Frankfort to pass budget, other bills; some possible health-related measures

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News As lawmakers head back to Frankfort to pass a budget — and other bills, despite Gov. Andy Beshear’s repeated request that they pass only a budget and anything related to the coronavirus — several big bills related to other aspects of health are pending, including some controversial measures. Beshear, a Democrat, denied the request of the Republican...

KentuckyWired fiber optic network increases internet speed 500 percent for State Police in Dry Ridge

State Police in Dry Ridge can respond to 911 calls more quickly and share information with other law enforcement agencies faster and more efficiently, thanks to a big increase in internet speed provided by the KentuckyWired high-speed fiber-optic network. Kentucky State Police Post #6 in Dry Ridge became the first State Police post to transition to the KentuckyWired network on Feb. 26, increasing their...

This Week at the Capitol: Immigration, public assistance reform highlight busy opening week

There’s always a guessing game among Capitol observers in the early days of a Kentucky General Assembly session over which issues will be designated as Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 1 – honorifics reserved for matters considered to be among top priorities by legislative leaders. Part of that answer was unveiled last week when legislation on immigration was filed in the Senate as Senate Bill 1. The...

Smoke-free advocates rally in Frankfort for measures to decrease soaring youth use of e-cigarettes

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Kentucky’s Coalition for a Smoke-free Tomorrow rallied in Frankfort this week to call on state lawmakers to pass several measures aimed at decreasing electronic-cigarette use among the state’s youth, a phenomenon that continues to surge. Between 2017 and 2019, e-cigarette use more than quadrupled among the state’s middle-school students and...

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration and Leadership Awards ceremony set for Wednesday

A celebration commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, January 15 at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort, including the annual presentation of adult and youth leadership awards. The event is presented by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission in partnership with the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic...

Kentucky’s 2020 General Assembly gets underway in Frankfort with leadership and procedural changes

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2020 General Assembly was gaveled in at noon in Frankfort on Tuesday, with lawmakers meeting on 60-days before wrapping up on April 15. There was a new look in House Leadership for both Republicans and Democrats on the opening day. Speaker Pro Tem David Meade, R-Stanford, took over the duties as Majority Leader from Rep. John “Bam” Carney, who has been hospitalized...

KY Transportation Cabinet expanding REAL ID-compliant card access to Frankfort; it’s open to LEX

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is expanding REAL ID-compliant card access at the Frankfort regional driver licensing office to serve Fayette County residents as the agency continues preparations to open a local regional office in Lexington. Fayette County residents who have an existing driver’s license, permit or identification card may visit the KYTC-run office in Frankfort to apply...

Alison Lundergan Grimes recognizes J. Graham Brown School with 2019 Georgia Davis Powers Award

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes presented students from J. Graham Brown School the 2019 Georgia Davis Powers Award on Wednesday. In 2016, Grimes created the Georgia Davis Powers Award, honoring the late state Senator Georgia Davis Powers, the first African-American and woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate. The award is presented to schools with 100 percent of eligible students registered...

Governor Andy Beshear asks Kentuckians to ‘come together for the common good of all people’

Gov. Andy Beshear and first lady Brittainy wave to the crowd. (Photo by Robin Cornetet, Kentucky Today) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today On a cold, blustery Frankfort day, Andy Beshear was sworn into office as Kentucky’s 63rd governor on Tuesday. He wasted no time heating things up, using an executive order to make good on a campaign promise to replace the Kentucky Board of Education and saying he will...