A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Constance Alexander: The best advice for writing a weekly column remains: Just be yourself

If Russell Baker had a fan club, I would be a card-carrying member. I’d been a Baker groupie since high school, when I started reading his weekly essays in the Sunday New York Times. Last week, upon learning that he’d died, I went searching for a letter he wrote to me at the beginning of my career. I’d written to Mr. Baker regarding a column in which he mentioned he was taking a few weeks...

Climate Change: A look at the latest National Climate Assessment report — and a heads up

Staff report Thirteen federal agencies released findings this week in a 1,600-page report on climate change. The U.S. Global Change Research Program is a consortium of 13 federal agencies that include the Department of Defense, NASA and the Environmental Protection Agency. The fourth National Climate Assessment is the latest of required reports on federal research into climate change. Mandated by...

Constance Alexander: The wide world of sports is the most thrilling when it involves the home team

The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat are most keenly felt when it’s the hometown team we root for. Take, for instance, the time that Murray State University beat Vanderbilt in the first round game of the Western Region in the 2010 NCAA tournament. With 12.4 seconds left and a timeout with 4.2 seconds to play, Jermaine Beal’s two free throws gave Vandy the lead. According to the account...

Bill Straub: McConnell to become longest-serving GOP boss, takes home-run trot as ‘Rome’ burns

WASHINGTON – Back in January 2007, when Mitch “Root ‘n Branch’’ McConnell was just beginning what will become his historic run as the longest serving Senate Republican leader in history, Congress was held in broad contempt by the American public with only 35 percent of those questioned in the Gallup Poll expressing approval. Sen. Mitch McConnell Under McConnell, first as the minority leader...

WKCTC’s 10th annual One Book Read to feature bestselling author Karen Thompson Walker

It’s been 10 years since the first acclaimed author came to West Kentucky Community and Technical College for the inaugural One Book Read. The 10th anniversary is being celebrated with the New York Times bestseller, The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Walker, who will visit the WKCTC campus as the finale to the 10th anniversary One Book Read, will present a public presentation on March...

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Kristof to discuss global citizenship during UK appearance

The University of Kentucky International Center will welcome Nicholas Kristof, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and well-known columnist with The New York Times, on Oct. 26, to discuss “A Path Appears: How Students Can Change the World.” His appearance is sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Gatton College of Business and Economics, and the School of Journalism...

UK journalism alumna Canedy named new administrator for Pulitzer Prize Board

University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Media alumna Dana Canedy, author and Pulitzer Prize-winning former senior editor at The New York Times, will oversee journalism’s most prestigious awards program. The Pulitzer Prize Board and Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University, named Canedy as the new administrator last week. Her appointment began Monday, July 17. “It is an enormous...

Health care debate shifts away from politics with Obama gone, moves toward care, Guthrie says

“With President Barack Obama out of office, the debate over ‘Obamacare’ is becoming less about ‘Obama’ and more about ‘care,’ greatly complicating the issue for Republican lawmakers,” writes Jonathan Martin, national political correspondent in the Washington Bureau of The New York Times. “Polling indicates that more Republicans want to make fixes...

Rural Blog: Coal production in first quarter of 2016 hits lowest level since 1981 strike year

Coal production in the first three months of 2016 was the lowest quarterly level since 1981, when the industry had a major strike, but the decline appears to be accelerating. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that coal production declined 17 percent from the fourth quarter of 2015, the largest quarter-to-quarter drop since 1984. The biggest proximate cause was a warmer-than-expected...

Study shows Kentucky a leader in reducing uninsured because of federal health reform

The percentage of adults under the age of 65 who do not have health insurance decreased by double digits in approximately half of Kentucky’s counties, says Enroll America, which released county-level data showing who the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has helped most, Kevin Quealy and Margot Sanger-Katz report for The New York Times. “In 2013, the uninsured rate was 19.4 percent,...

Rural Blog: Silas House offers passionate retort to NY Times story on Eastern Kentucky

Silas House, author and National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in Appalachian Studies at Berea College, responded to The New York Times article What’s The Matter With Eastern Kentucky? in which Annie Lowery, referring to growing inequality, wrote, “What has happened in the smudge of the country between New Orleans and Pittsburgh — the Deep South and Appalachia — is in many ways as...

The basketball version of "Toddlers and Tiaras" is upon us, and it hits close to home

Nate Taylor of the New York Times has published Real Basketball Moms of Kentucky, a piece about a handful of Kentucky women seeking a reality-television deal profiling their lives as mothers of high-school basketball players. Taylor said six families have signed a deal with NorthSouth Productions, a television production company, but it’s unclear when or if the project will make it to screen...

Don McNay: What Washington can learn
from conversation at a Kentucky gun range

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it This brokenness inside me might start healing Out here it’s like I’m someone else I thought that maybe I could find myself”   – Miranda Lambert   The vast majority of my financial and structured settlement clients live in rural areas. Early in my career, I noticed a distinct husband and wife pattern. The man would...

Don McNay: What Washington can learn from conversation at a Kentucky gun range

“I thought if I could touch this place or feel it This brokenness inside me might start healing Out here it’s like I’m someone else I thought that maybe I could find myself”   – Miranda Lambert   The vast majority of my financial and structured settlement clients live in rural areas. Early in my career, I noticed a distinct husband and wife pattern. The man would...