A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Home-based childcare alternatives face obstacles, but could play an important role beyond pandemic

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Community advocates say home-based family child care could play a major role in closing gaps in access across Kentucky during the pandemic and beyond, but current zoning creates obstacles for individuals interested in opening licensed and regulated home child-care centers. In a recent survey conducted by Kentucky Youth Advocates, one in four current family child-care...

A quarter of Ky’s community health center visits are via telehealth; bill would codify temporary rules

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News A bill to codify telehealth provisions that were put into place during the pandemic to temporarily relax some of the regulations has passed out of committee and awaits a hearing in the full House. Rep. Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, who is the co-sponsor of House Bill 140, told Kentucky Health News that it is very important for this telehealth bill to pass. “I...

Kentucky by Heart: Despite intrusion of virus, we’ve made positive changes and learned valuable lessons

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist The pandemic experience has been a bummer for most of us. I passed through my own bout with COVID-19 early in January and fortunately had minor symptoms: a dry cough, no fever, and some lower back issues temporarily. Almost surprisingly, my wife, Suzanne, tested negative on two separate occasions, certainly a blessing. I figured there must be something good to come...

‘I wanted to go in there and help’: Nursing schools see enrollment bump amid pandemic

By Michelle Andrews Kaiser Health News Last December, Mirande Gross graduated from Bellarmine University in Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in communications. But Gross has changed her mind and is heading back to school in May for a one-year accelerated nursing degree program. The pandemic that has sickened more than 27 million people in the United States and killed nearly 500,000 helped convince...

Critics of vaccine ‘opt-out’ legislation say it unnecessarily puts Kentuckians’ health at risk

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Medical experts and health-care advocacy groups warn legislation to expand Kentuckians’ ability to opt-out of vaccinations against infectious diseases is dangerous and unnecessary, especially during a pandemic. Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, the majority whip, said he filed the bill because some of his constituents voiced concern the government might...

Pandemic metrics continue to fall in Kentucky, but state’s infection rate remains one of the highest

County infection-rate ranges since start of pandemic, with lowest and highest marked. For other counties, via an interactive map from the American Communities Project, visit www.americancommunities.org. By Al Cross Kentucky Health News Two major measures of the pandemic in Kentucky, new cases of the novel coronavirus and newly listed Covid-19 deaths, dropped sharply Saturday. The state reported only...

Ground zero for Kentucky’s first COVID-19 case, Harrison County nears return to in-person instruction

By Jacob Perkins Kentucky Teacher Harrison County Superintendent Harry Burchett described the atmosphere as “unsettling.” Thirty leaders from the Cynthiana and Harrison County area gathered together on March 7, 2020, as Dr. Crystal Miller, public health director of the WEDCO District Health Department, delivered the news that Cynthiana was ground zero for the first case of COVID-19 in Kentucky. “We...

Timothy Lonesky: COVID-19 pandemic underscores the need to put Kentucky’s patients first

As a rheumatologist, I work with patients every day who are suffering from complex, chronic conditions, such as arthritis and rheumatic illness. These diagnoses do not have one-size-fits-all solutions, and effective management often requires many doctor appointments and specialty medicines — expenses that can add up quickly. In my 17 years of working in medicine, I’ve seen too many patients...

Kentucky’s Farms to Food Banks program a lifeline for many as pandemic increases food insecurity

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service As the food-insecurity crisis continues, Kentucky growers are stepping in to fill the void. Last year 371 farmers participated in the state’s Farms to Food Banks program, and advocates say a funding boost could help feed more families at a time when many are facing financial hardship, while also financially compensating growers. (Click for larger graphic) Karena...

Beshear, legislative leaders address Kentucky’s road to recovery during virtual Chamber Day event

By Jacqueline Pitts Kentucky Chamber of Commerce The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce held their signature Chamber Day event virtually last week to keep participants safe and emphasize the great work of Kentucky’s business community in putting the health and safety of Kentuckians above all else throughout the pandemic. Gov. Andy Beshear thanked the Chamber for their efforts and said while we have endured...

Keeneland’s 15-day Spring Meet to feature 18 stakes, including 97th running of Toyota Blue Grass

Keeneland will present 18 stakes, featuring the 97th running of the $800,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and the 84th running of the $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1), worth a total of $4.1 million during its 2021 Spring Meet from April 2-23. Post time for the first race during the 15-day season will be 1:05 p.m. ET. Keeneland will be closed Easter Sunday, April 4. “Keeneland is excited to welcome racing...

Beshear files lawsuit to stop legislators from stripping governor of executive orders on pandemic

Gov. Andy Beshear filed a lawsuit to stop lawmakers from stripping the Governor of his ability to implement lifesaving public health measures during a pandemic that has killed more than 3,700 Kentuckians at a time when the country is experiencing the emergence of new COVID-19 variants and vaccine supplies remain limited. Just over two months ago, the Kentucky Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision,...

New initiative aims to introduce Ky. businesses to European companies, foster long-term relationships

The Discover Kentucky Initiative, a new partnership between Team Kentucky and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, aims to introduce Chamber members to European companies interested in the U.S. market, lay groundwork for partnerships and build long-term relationships aimed at creating new investments, jobs and economic strength. While the pandemic disrupted operations for many businesses and blocked several...

Kentucky teens say pandemic has led to increased vaping and other tobacco use among peers

More than a third of Kentucky middle and high schoolers responding to a recent survey say the pandemic has increased students using e-cigarettes, or “vapes,” and other tobacco products. And more than 14 percent said they believe e-cigarettes are safer for them to smoke than traditional cigarettes, according to the survey, which was announced today by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky...

Real estate sales in Central Kentucky hit new record through pandemic; inventory lags demand

Real estate sales shattered previous records in 2020 despite an ongoing pandemic. Transactions topped last year’s totals by 8 percent, hitting 15,309 in 2020 compared to 14,153 in 2019. For the month, December saw a monthly record of 1,284 sales, outpacing the previous year by 22 percent when sales were 1,054. With the exception of the second quarter (April through June), each month in 2020 tallied...

Constance Alexander: Pandemic leaves legacy of loose ends and unanswered questions

The only photo we have of my maternal grandparents is typical of the Victorian era. Sitting ramrod straight in an ornately carved chair, my grandfather, Sydney John Kelly, is decked out in his Navy uniform. My grandmother stands beside him, solemn and stalwart, her right hand on his shoulder. Her hat features a stylish tilt to the brim, and she wears a brooch on the lapel of her fitted coat. In her...

Jason Bailey: General Assembly should strengthen recovery by approving much-needed relief

The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly will reconvene in early February, and the remaining piece of essential business is agreement on a new state budget. The legislature faces a choice: deploy extra resources to build a bridge to the other side of this crisis, or pursue austerity and leave us facing a slower and more treacherous recovery. Kentucky’s opportunities in this budget are surprising. Given...

KCTCS suspends presidential search amid pandemic, Paul Czarapata to remain interim president

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) is ending the search for the next president of for the time being. The search committee completed its work and the KCTCS Board of Regents had selected four finalists. The next step of the process was to conduct in-person interviews, which were planned for later this month. Given the current situation regarding COVID-19 cases and the uncertain...

Beshear unveils ‘Better Kentucky Budget’ during virtual State of the Commonwealth address

The State of the Commonwealth is stronger and more prepared than most to defeat COVID-19 and sprint into the future, Gov. Andy Beshear declared in a speech to a joint meeting of the General Assembly Thursday, while thanking Kentuckians for the many sacrifices made during the pandemic. The Governor delivered his combined State of the Commonwealth and Budget Address in a virtual speech recorded in his...

COVID relief is on the way. But as hunger persists, is it too little too late for some Kentuckians?

By Liam Niemeyer Ohio Valley Resource He asked her if she was cold. Wind whips around the park in western Kentucky a couple of days before Christmas. He puts his arm around her as they move closer together on the bench. Blake Livesay, 27, met Laura Brooke, 31, online earlier in 2020, and they’ve been inseparable since. She liked his way with words, “like a walking, talking Hallmark card.” He...