A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky unemployment rate in December rises 0.3 percent; state jobless rate now at 6 percent

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary December 2020 unemployment rate was 6 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The preliminary December 2020 jobless rate was up 0.3 percentage points from November 2020 and up 1.7 percentage points from the 4.3 percent recorded for the state one year ago. The...

Enrollment for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Crisis Component open through March 31

Community Action Agencies across Kentucky are now accepting applications for the Crisis Component of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Open enrollment will run through March 31 or until designated funds are depleted on a first-come, first-serve basis. Qualified residents should apply at their local Community Action Agencies. To locate your local office, please call 800-456-3452. “Many...

UK offers numerous online beef education opportunities for Kentucky cattle producers

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment has been offering online education for many years, but even more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. Faculty in the UK Department of Animal and Food Sciences are using a variety of methods to teach beef producers. “We’ve had to get really creative to reach producers in the past year,”...

Kentucky art contest increases pollinator awareness; children ages 5-18 encouraged to participate

Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles invites Kentucky’s youth to participate in the Kentucky Pollinator Stakeholders Art Contest. The contest is designed to educate the public on the benefits of pollinators and encourage behaviors that promote pollinator habitats across Kentucky. “In agriculture, we know the importance of pollinators,” Quarles said. “This contest will allow children from...

AAA: National gas price average rising to pre-pandemic levels despite plummeting demand

At $2.31, the national gas price average is at its highest in 10 months. Pump prices have increased, despite gas demand falling from 8.1 million barrels a day to 7.4 million barrels a day ― the lowest level recorded since the end of May 2020, according to the Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest weekly report. Today’s national average is 6 cents more than last week, 16 cents more...

General Fund receipts in December increase by $1,258,755,431, second-highest monthly total ever

State Budget Director John Hicks reported Friday that December’s General Fund receipts reflected the second-highest monthly total ever, $1,258,755,431, a 16.1 percent increase compared to December of last year. Total revenues rose by $174.4 million over last December, with increases in all the major taxes: individual income, sales, business and property taxes. December is one of the three largest...

National gas price average holds steady for 12 days; Kentucky price drops 3 cents from last week

The new year has started, but the national gas price average remains unchanged, holding steady at $2.25 for the last 12 days. Meanwhile, after climbing over a dime during the past couple of weeks, the average gas price in Kentucky began edging back downward, although the average price has been stable the last couple of days. Pump price stability at the start of the year is credited to consistent crude...

BrightView acquires four Renew Recovery Centers in Kentucky; services continue without interruption

BrightView, a comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment provider with 28 locations throughout Ohio and Kentucky, has acquired Renew Recovery Centers with locations in Louisville, Georgetown, London, and Crestview Hills. All four locations officially began operating as BrightView centers on Jan. 1, 2021. Originally opened in 2014 in London, Renew Recovery was founded to address the opioid epidemic...

Christmas for the Fishes replenishes habitat; donation program collects live Christmas trees

Recycle your real Christmas tree after the holiday season by donating it for use by Kentucky’s underwater inhabitants. Starting Dec. 26, the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will be accepting natural Christmas trees at more than two dozen drop-off locations across the state for its annual Christmas for the Fishes program. Tree collection will continue between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily through...

Kentucky unemployment rate drops 1.7 percent in November; jobless rate now at 5.6 percent

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary November 2020 unemployment rate was 5.6 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The preliminary November 2020 jobless rate was down 1.7 percentage points from October 2020 and up 1.3 percentage points from the 4.3 percent recorded for the state one year ago. The...

Keturah Herron: Castle Doctrine and no-knock warrants blatantly contradict each other

If someone pounded on your door and kicked it open in the dark of night, what would you do? When I learned of the Breonna Taylor case, I tried to put myself in the mind of Kenneth Walker, Taylor’s boyfriend. As police broke through their door in the middle of the night on March 13, 2020, neither knew who was forcibly entering their home. Fearing for their safety, Walker – a licensed gun owner –...

Brown-Forman, RNDC partner with APRON to support Kentucky restaurant and bar workers

Brown-Forman Corporation, the largest American-owned spirit and wine company selling brands in more than 170 countries, and Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), one of America’s largest family-owned distributors, is partnering with APRON, Inc., to provide support and relief to restaurant and bar workers impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions, in Brown-Forman’s home market of...

Three hospitals, including Baptist Health, administer first COVID vaccines in Kentucky, a ‘historic day’

Gov. Andy Beshear and UofL Health officials marked a historic moment in the fight against the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) as the first vaccines shipped to Kentucky were administered Monday morning at UofL Hospital. Three Kentucky hospitals, UofL Hospital, Baptist Health Lexington and the Medical Center at Bowling Green, each received 975 doses Monday and began their vaccination plans. Seven Kentucky...

UK equine extension specialist says Kentucky horse owners should check hay supply as winter nears

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky Kentuckians have already experienced the first effects of winter. A University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment specialist said that was a good reminder that many horse owners will soon be feeding more hay and need to check their supplies. “While most horse owners purchased hay months ago and neatly stored it away, it’s a good idea...

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...

Kentucky housing sales volume through October just shy of 2019 total; median sales price moderates

The unlikely story of the 2020 Kentucky housing market continues to be written. As 2020 began and the super-charged market took a hit from the pandemic restrictions that were put in place, doubts were cast on the speed of recovery and what the market’s year would end up performing. Here is that story in a nutshell. The total home sales volume figure for 2019 was $10.4 billion. The October 2020 year-to-date...

Keven Moore: As the pandemic continues, are temporary outdoor dining structures really safe?

As a second surge of COVID-19 cases spreads across Kentucky, indoor dining is once again restricted. As the weather begins to turn colder, restaurants in a last-ditch effort to survive are scrambling to erect tents to continue to serve patrons in an outdoor dining environment. I respect their efforts and up until now, restaurants have been able to rely on their sidewalks and outdoor patios to allow...

AAA: National gas price average edges upward following Thanksgiving; Kentucky up a penny

Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the national gas price average has edged upward. At $2.12, it is two cents more than a week ago, but remains cheaper compared to last month (-2 cents) and last year (-46 cents). Across the country, motorists in nearly 30 states are paying more at the pump than they did last week, with states along the I-95 corridor seeing the largest jump: Delaware (+15 cents), Maryland...

First-time winners take home two awards in Kentucky wine competition; event showcases state’s best

Two of the five Commissioner’s Cup awards went to first-time winners at the eighth annual Kentucky Commonwealth Wine Competition and Commissioner’s Cup on Nov. 14 in Lexington. Silver Springs Farm Eqwine and Vineyard and Talon Winery, both of Lexington, took top honors in two of the judged categories. “Once again, Kentucky wines showed their continued quality at this year’s competition,”...

Two national grants worth more than $107K provide telehealth for special needs children in Kentucky

Kentucky’s Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs (OCSHCN) has received two national grants to bolster telehealth services. One grant for $100,000 comes from the Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs (AMCHP), while the other is a minigrant for $7,500 from Family Voices. “The delivery of health care has evolved throughout the course of this pandemic – it has expanded...