A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Commentary: Kentucky’s civil legal aid programs brace for unprecedented need for legal help

As we begin the process of reopening the economy and emerging from the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic, health, and social/emotional hardships facing our communities will become clearer. COVID-19 will leave countless Kentuckians with new and unanticipated challenges. Many of the challenges will involve civil legal issues: keeping one’s home, protection from abuse, securing benefits...

Supreme Court provides updates on how courts will expand services starting June 1

On May 15, the Supreme Court announced the court system’s reopening plan, which provides guidance on how the Judicial Branch will gradually expand court services starting June 1. As a follow-up to the initial order, the Supreme Court released six orders Friday that offer further direction to the courts and the public about court operations on June 1. “As the Judicial Branch carefully expands court...

Kentucky’s public defenders concerned about premature return to open court proceedings

As a precaution to protect participants from possible exposure and spread of COVID-19, most criminal court proceedings have been suspended since March, but that is about to change and public defender leaders are worried about what they may mean for the health of their attorneys and others in the system. On May 15, the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued an order that trial courts in June could “resume...

April unemployment rate in Kentucky balloons to 15.4 percent — a 10.2 percent increase from March

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary April 2020 unemployment rate was 15.4 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS). The preliminary April 2020 jobless rate was up 10.2 percentage points from March 2020 and up 11.1 percentage points from the 4.3 percent recorded for the state in April 2019. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April 2020 was 14.7 percent,...

KDA secures USDA grant to purchase 56 freezers, refrigerators for Kentucky food pantries

Fifty-two local food pantries across Kentucky will soon have more space to store food items, thanks to a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant secured by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. “Thanks to the hard work of our Division of Food Distribution and Kevin Peach applying for the grant, we were able to fund the purchase of 56 appliances to keep food fresh during the pandemic,” Commissioner...

Brent Cooper: Newport gaming facility is good first bet, but state should double down on other gambling

The recent announcement by Churchill Downs to construct a $38.4 million gaming facility in Newport’s Plaza Shopping Center that will open later this year is a trifecta for the Northern Kentucky region. First, when completed, the new facility will create about 70 new full-time jobs, not to mention the construction-related jobs the project will produce. Second, the project will help to revitalize...

Kentucky part of 18-state coalition asking for probe into China’s role in coronavirus pandemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Daniel Cameron announced on Monday he has joined an 18-state coalition calling on Congress to investigate the communist Chinese government’s role in the coronavirus pandemic. South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson led the effort, sending a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, and members of House and Senate...

AAA: Kentucky gas price jumps 15 cents in last week; demand increases, gasoline stocks decrease

The average price for a gallon of unleaded in Kentucky sits at $1.65, a jump of 15 cents week over week, the sixth-largest weekly increase in the nation. Despite continued increases across the country, Kentucky is among 40 states with gas prices that remain below $2 per gallon for regular unleaded. The national gas price average is 6 cents more expensive on the week at $1.84, but still cheaper on the...

Council on Postsecondary Education study shows growing demand for engineers in Kentucky

Offering more evidence that higher education matters, the benefits of an engineering degree will continue to climb in Kentucky over the next decade thanks to growing demand in the job market and competitive salaries, a new report shows. The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) released the analysis on Monday, projecting that engineering jobs will increase more than 11.2 percent in Kentucky...

Most bear problems preventable; residents urged to work together for the benefit of people and wildlife

The arrival of spring means bear activity is on the rise in Kentucky. An increase in activity can also mean an increase in bear complaints. For those experiencing problems, it may be easier to make some simple adjustments rather than trying to change the bear’s behavior. Most bear problems center around food. To a bear, garbage or an open dumpster can equate to a quick and easy meal. Even food scraps...

Wake Forest transfer Sarr looks to reboot career at Kentucky; averaged 13.7 points last season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky landed a future post player on Wednesday when Wake Forest standout Olivier Sarr announced plans to transfer and continue his career in Lexington. Sarr, a 7-foot center who averaged 13.7 points and nine rebounds per game last season, chose the Wildcats over Duke, Gonzaga, Florida State and Baylor. Sarr will have to sit out next season because of transfer rules. He...

Online merchants group files lawsuit against Kentucky Attorney General over internet sales

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A group representing online merchants has filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Daniel Cameron, alleging Kentucky’s ban on price-gouging is unconstitutional when it comes to internet sales. 
The Online Merchants Guild filed the suit against Cameron at U.S. District Court in Frankfort. They say their members are making important goods available for purchase during...

Board of Elections adopts emergency administrative regulation to allow absentee voting by mail

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The State Board of Elections on Friday unanimously adopted an emergency administrative regulation that will allow Kentucky’s primary election to be conducted largely by absentee ballot due to the coronavirus pandemic. In March, Gov. Andy Beshear, upon the recommendation of Secretary of State Michael Adams, issued an executive order moving the primary from May 19 to June...

Community Action agencies accept applications for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, Community Action agencies across Kentucky are now taking applications for an added spring open enrollment period for Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Applications will be accepted through June 30, or until designated funds are depleted on a first-come, first-serve basis. “The COVID-19 pandemic has put many families under unprecedented stress....

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...

Council on Postsecondary Education report shows college attainment remains on the rise in Kentucky

Kentucky moved ever closer to its educational attainment goals in the 2018-19 academic year as the combined number of undergraduate degrees and credentials conferred rose 3.5 percent, according to a report from the state Council on Postsecondary Education. Nearly 47 percent of Kentucky adults now have a postsecondary credential, up from 42.5 percent in 2014. That’s a 4.5 percentage point gain compared...

Calipari, Wildcats begin season against Kansas in State Farm Champions Classic on Nov. 10

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Kentucky will open the college basketball season against Kansas in the State Farm Champions Classic on Nov. 10 at the United Center in Chicago. The contest will be the fourth meeting between the two collegiate powerhouses in the four-team event. The Wildcats are 5-4 in the yearly classic and defeated Michigan State to open the season last November. Kentucky beat Kansas...

Kentucky voter registration flatlines in March; Adams encourages online voter registration

Secretary of State Michael G. Adams announced that Kentucky saw a flatline in voter registration in March, with the state holding a total of 3,469,912 registrants as of March 31. This is a 0.01 percent increase since Feb. 29, or only 504 additional voters. Michael G. Adams Democratic registrants represent just more than 48 percent of the electorate with 1,679,132 registered voters. Democratic registration...

Kentucky Attorney General releases joint PSA regarding fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites

Attorney General Daniel Cameron on Friday joined U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District Rob Duncan and U.S. Attorney for the Western District Russell Coleman to release a joint public service announcement regarding fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites. The 60-second PSA alerts Kentuckians to the dangers of fraudulent COVID-19 testing sites and urges them to work with a licensed healthcare provider if...

Kentucky unemployment rate rises 1.6 percent in March; jobless rate 5.8 percent in wake of COVID-19

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary March 2020 unemployment rate was 5.8 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics (KYSTATS), an agency within the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC). The preliminary March 2020 jobless rate was up 1.6 percentage points from February 2020 and up 1.6 percentage points from the 4.2 percent recorded for the state in March 2019. The...