A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Melissa Martin: Summer is a time for children to have fun — and we need to be sure they are safe

Summer is a season for running in the yard, swimming, and playing in a tree house. But for some children summer becomes a dangerous or deadly season. Lawn Mower Safety Data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that when visits to doctors’ offices and clinics are included, more than 17,000 children and teens are treated for lawn mower injuries each year, according to the American...

Melissa Martin: Profanity has trickled down to the playground; is potty-mouth really the new norm?

Kids cuss behind the teacher’s back. And the playground is the opportune place for potty-mouth. No adults listening. That’s what children tell me—the ones that are upset by swear words. Offensive language is common language in some homes and taboo in others. Toddlers start out by mimicking words and phrases. They don’t know what words are taboo and what words aren’t until a shocked parent...

Melissa Martin: An alternative history of Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte, a rebuttal to Hillbilly Eulogy

The Appalachian region, defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, includes 420 counties in 13 states in the United States. All of West Virginia, parts of Kentucky, and parts of Ohio are considered Appalachian. The story of an Appalachian family was told by J.D. Vance in his 2017 book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis. It will soon become a Ron Howard Hollywood movie. Many...

Melissa Martin: Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock — looking back so we can look forward to do more, be more

So long 2018 — Hello 2019. Another year (2018) has departed — 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days have ticked away. The residue of events, happenings, and goings-on of 2018 dwell in newspapers, history books, human memories—and in the bowels of computer hard drives, cell phones, and other techno devices. More time has passed — 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,536,000 seconds have ticked away....

Melissa Martin: Close your eyes and imagine your favorite holiday memory. Anything to do with food?

The main purpose of food is to nourish the body to keep humans alive. But, the taste experience around the holidays is a flavor festival. The sense organ of taste is the tongue. The receptors for taste, called taste buds, are sensory cells. Adults have between 2,000 and 4,000 taste buds in total. It’s a papillae palapalooza! Sweet, sour, salty, bitter and savory tastes can be sensed by all parts...

Melissa Martin: Five things to say to yourself everyday; simple morning ritual can change your life

I am alive, I will choose my attitude for the day, I will be kind to myself, I will be kind to others, and I will not take anything personally. The goal is to begin every day focused on how you want to think, feel, act, and react.   However, the purpose is not a Pollyanna denial about our problems, or to put a guilt trip on ourselves, neither to pretend in painful situations. The point is to start...

Melissa Martin: The tragedy of suicide when veterans who fought for us die by their own hands

Those who fought for our freedom are also dying by suicide on American soil.   “On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. As a nation, let it be our pledge that when they return home, we leave no veteran behind,” proclaimed Dan Lipinski. In 2015, an average of 20 active duty service members, non-activated guard or reserve members, and other veterans died by suicide...

Melissa Martin: Stop hating all carbs — some carbs are ‘good guys:’ avoid fad diets and seek a balance

Carbs or fats? Muffins or bacon? This or that? I’m befuddled when fad diets pull the wool over American eyes—common sense proclaims moderation in food variety. But, of course, media madness picks out juicy research tidbits to sensationalize weight and health studies without telling the rest of the story. And authors dash to flash their new diet books.   This year, Medical News Today reported on...

Melissa Martin: Humans love their stuff, but do you own your stuff, or does it own you?

Humans love stuff — all kinds of stuff. Small, medium, large. We love different sizes of stuff. We just love our stuff! But, do you own your possessions or do your possessions own you? Think about it. Our houses, garages, attics, basements, and sheds are full of stuff. Then, we rent storage space for the rest of our stuff. And we visit it, to make sure its safe. We don’t want our items stolen,...

No More Bullying: Conversation about prevention, intervention begins at home

  This column on bullying in schools will run periodically on KyForward.   By Melissa Martin Special to KyForward     Parents please read this article to your kids and then go to www.stopbullying.gov and watch videos of kids talking about bullying and animated videos. Discuss bullying prevention and intervention with your children often. Invite your kids to read about bullying at...

No More Bullying: Biracial, multiracial and ethnic minority kids more likely to be bullied

This column on bullying in schools will run periodically on KyForward.   By Melissa Martin Special to KyForward   Bullying is a form of aggression used to gain power, and targeting peers based on racial differences is another misuse of power. Biracial and multiracial youth are more likely to be bullied than youth who identify with a single race, according to the National Voices for Equality...

No More Bullying: Growing problem requires understanding, intervention and prevention

This series on bullying in schools will run periodically on KyForward.   By Melissa Martin Special to KyForward   The Kentucky Department of Education reported 15,520 incidents of bullying during the 2012-13 school year. How do schools in Kentucky prevent and intervene with bullying? Do they help or hinder? What is the bullying policy at your child’s school?   First, let’s look...

Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation awards 25 college scholarships

A total of $28,000 in scholarships was awarded to 25 students across Kentucky by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation. The Gerald F. Healy Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial Foundation Scholarships were awarded to telecommunicators, law enforcement officers’ dependents and survivors of officers killed in the line of duty.   Telecommunicators and officers’ dependents were awarded...