A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Al Cross: Al Smith’s journalism was one of good faith, now often missing

Al Smith, my friend and mentor who died last weekend after a very full life, was known best as the host of “Comment on Kentucky,” KET’s Friday gathering of journalists to hash out the week’s news. He was also one of our state’s greatest public citizens, engaged in a host of good causes. I knew him best as a journalist, one who exemplified the craft that is supposed to make democracy work....

Al Smith, noted Kentucky journalist and long-time KET ‘Comment’ host, dies at 94 at his Florida home

The Rural Blog Albert Perrine “Al” Smith, Jr., a noted Kentucky journalist, public citizen and co-founder of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues (publisher of The Rural Blog), died peacefully Friday, March 19 at home in Sarasota, Florida. He was 94. Smith, who was born in Sarasota and grew up in Hendersonville, Tenn., once owned seven weekly newspapers in Kentucky...

KET’s Social Studies Shorts and virtual Capitol tours offer new civic resources for students

In a typical year, hundreds of Kentucky students make the trek to Frankfort to visit the Kentucky State Capitol and learn about the state government. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capitol has been closed to in-person tours since March 2020. Now, however, students can take a virtual tour of the Capitol — and learn about social studies and civics topics — thanks to a pair of new video resources...

KET to air Governor’s combined State of the Commonwealth and Budget address on Wednesday

Gov. Andy Beshear will deliver a combined State of the Commonwealth/Budget Address virtually before a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at 7/6 p.m. on KET and at KET.org/live. The speech will also be archived here. Prior to the address, KET’s Renee Shaw will host a brief conversation with political commentators. Scheduled guests at this time include: • Amy Wickliffe,...

Trey Grayson cared about voting, democracy early on, has earned national reputation as election expert

By Judy Clabes NKyTribune editor Those who watched Trey Grayson grow up in his Edgewood home remember the earnest kid with the computer. It was definitely not a computer for games, but for the serious stuff of learning. Trey Grayson The serious student headed off to Harvard after graduating from Dixie Heights, then came back to the University of Kentucky for a joint JD/MBA dual-degree program thanks...

Memorial service for Phyllis George, former Kentucky First Lady, to be livestreamed on KET Monday

KET will livestream the memorial service for Phyllis George, the former Kentucky First Lady, Miss America and pioneering female sportscaster, on Monday (May 25) at 3/2 p.m. at KET.org. George, who died May 14 of complications from a rare blood disorder, became one of the first women to have a prominent role in televised sports when she was hired by CBS Sports in the 1970s. In 1979, George married John...

Al Cross: On Memorial Day, we will get to see a story that was almost never told

Fifty-one years ago last month, my Clinton County High School classmate Paul Conner and I got on a bus in Lexington for a 4-H trip to Washington, D.C., our first visit there. We rode up with his parents, Murl and Pauline Conner, whom I knew mainly as mainstays of the local Farm Bureau. I also knew Murl from my work at WANY in Albany, where we would often read a notice that he would be at the courthouse...

Kentucky Tonight announces candidate programs for 2020 primary election; shows air May 27, June 1

KET continues its in-depth political coverage with Kentucky Tonight programs featuring candidates in the 2020 primary election races. Hosted by Renee Shaw, Kentucky Tonight programs with candidates will air May 27 and June 1 at 8/7 p.m. on KET. The programs also will stream live at KET.org/live and will be archived online. The scheduled guests for Kentucky Tonight’s candidate programs include: Wednesday,...

Kentucky soldier’s heroism, 20-year campaign for Medal of Honor, subjects of KET documentary May 25

As Americans honor patriotic sacrifice on Memorial Day, KET will premiere the story of a Kentucky soldier who repeatedly put his life on the line for his country – but wasn’t fully honored for it until 73 years later. “From Honor to Medal: The Story of Garlin M. Conner,” airing at 8/7 p.m. ET/CT on May 25, tells the story of one of the most decorated soldiers of World War II – who received...

KET provides free learning-at-home toolkit for families, educators in response to COVID-19 outbreak

In response to the urgent need for at-home learning resources while Kentucky schools are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, KET has created an online toolkit for families and educators at KET.org/learnathome. The toolkit provides families free high-quality educational resources for children of all ages. Educators can also visit this site to find helpful tips for making learning from home successful...

KET putting state’s signature bluegrass music into national spotlight via documentary on PBS

One of Kentucky’s most popular exports — bluegrass music — will get the star treatment later this month. Ricky Skaggs That’s when PBS stations across the country are scheduled to air the KET-produced documentary Big Family: The Story of Bluegrass Music, placing the state’s signature music into the national spotlight. The two-hour film, dubbed the most comprehensive documentary on bluegrass...

O. Leonard Press, who left lasting legacy across Kentucky through the founding of KET, has died

O. Leonard Press, a visionary who embraced the medium of television to deliver greater access to education to Kentuckians throughout the Commonwealth with the founding of KET, died Wednesday, at the age of 97. “While it is with a heavy heart that we share news of Len’s passing, it is also with tremendous pride and admiration that we can look back on a life well-lived, one that has made such a positive...

KET, Education and Workforce Development Cabinet unveil new resource to aid state’s demand for skilled workers

Kentucky’s workforce is ever changing. By the year 2020, it is projected that 63 percent of Kentucky jobs will require some postsecondary education or advanced training to meet workforce demands. Currently, Kentucky is facing a shortage of highly skilled workers to fill the approximately 115,000 open jobs available in the Commonwealth. To help address Kentucky’s workforce demands, KET and the Kentucky...

KET to host discussion of ‘Early Learning’ and impact on child’s school success

Research has shown that a child’s brain develops more from birth to age five than at any other time in their life. Brain development during those critical years has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and in life. Children without access to quality child care and early learning experiences may enter Kindergarten unprepared. To discuss what’s being done in Kentucky...

Woodsongs host, folksinger Michael Johnathon, releases ‘Dazed & Confuzed,’ to perform in Ohio

Michael Johnathon is heading north, to celebrate the release of his new album “Dazed & Confuzed” (PoetMan Records). The Kentucky-based folksinger, who lives in a log cabin outside of Lexington, will headline an evening of music at Leo Coffeehouse in Cincinnati on Sunday, April 14, as part of the Queen City Balladeers’ monthly concert series. Johnathon is best known as host of the internationally...

KET to accept entries for 2019 Young Writers Contest Jan. 2-April 15; open to K-12 students across state

Students in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to submit stories and poems for the 2019 KET Young Writers Contest. The contest, which runs Jan. 2 through April 15, encourages students in KET’s viewing area to celebrate the power of crafting stories, poems and illustrations by submitting their own, original work. Students in kindergarten through 3rd grade are invited to submit entries to...

Georgetown, Scott Co. featured in newest episode of KET’s Downstream; preview party set for Dec. 9

Georgetown and Scott County have starring roles in an episode of KET’s production of “Downstream,” and everyone is invited to a Preview Party on Sunday, Dec. 9, at Country Boy Brewery & Taproom to celebrate. Hosted by Georgetown/Scott County Tourism, the party will include a screening of the episode, entitled “Georgetown KY – Elkhorn Creek, Bourbon Blending and Local...

PBS documentary on the public pension crisis across the country highlights Kentucky’s pension woes

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky’s public pension woes aren’t unique in the United States, but a new PBS documentary that aired on stations across the country, including KET, focused much of its time on the public pension crisis in Kentucky, which led to teachers, state workers and others to hold rallies at the Capitol. 
Around half of all states don’t have enough money to pay for...

Prichard Committee: Student performance results are declining, achievement gaps widening in KY schools

Results from the Kentucky Department of Education show student performance declining in most subject areas and achievement gaps widening in many Kentucky schools and communities. Our public schools have made great progress in the last generation and today that progress is at risk. To stem the decline and chart a course of renewed progress, citizens must come together at the local level to understand...

Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in employee pension case at 10 a.m. Thurs.; here’s how to watch

There will be several ways for the public to view oral arguments when the Supreme Court of Kentucky hears the state employee pension case at 10 a.m. ET Thursday, Sept. 20. The case is Matthew G. Bevin, In His Official Capacity As Governor Of The Commonwealth Of Kentucky, Et Al. V. Commonwealth of Kentucky Ex Rel. Andy Beshear, Attorney General, Et Al.

 Supreme Court Justices Due to interest in...