A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

House Speaker says governor not providing data to legislators, calls court’s decision a setback

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne said the appellate court’s decision to uphold Gov. Andy Beshear’s order to shut down privately run religious schools is a setback. But that wasn’t his only disappointment. He said the governor needs to involve stakeholders and share data, if any exists, in the decisions that are being made during the coronavirus. Republican leadership...

Digital divide means Ky. kids risk falling behind, especially as pandemic limits in-person instruction

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service More than 1 in 3 students of color in the Commonwealth, and 30% of all students, lacked adequate technology at home before the pandemic, putting them at higher risk of falling behind in school, according to a new KIDS COUNT County Data Book. Alicia Sells, director of innovation and communication at the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative, works with high school...

University of Louisville study indicates COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County are higher than reported

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today An ongoing study at the University of Louisville indicates the number of COVID-19 cases in Jefferson County has increased exponentially in the past two months, according to results released this week. Researchers with the Co-Immunity Project at UofL’s Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute say virus infections in Metro Louisville likely are far higher than the already...

Constance Alexander: Thanksgiving: Canned cranberry sauce with a side of family memories

When I was growing up, creamed onions and Scotch whiskey were essential to a proper Thanksgiving. The onions paid homage to Mother’s Irish heritage, and the whiskey a wink to Daddy’s ancestry. Besides the big bird, two kinds of potatoes — mashed white and sumptuous sweet – topped the list. Baskets of Parker House rolls added more temptation, with enough butter to clog even the spunkiest...

Commentary: As pandemic continues, more emergency assistance needed for affordable homes

By Marilyn Harris, Tiffany Marthaler and Adrienne Bush Special to KyForward In times of natural disasters, providing housing for those in need is one of the first steps taken in rebuilding communities. We must ask our legislature, why in the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent economic disaster, are long term housing strategies not playing a larger role in stimulating our economy and...

UofL’s new African American Theatre Program director connects humanity through performing arts

UofL alumni LaShondra Hood and Xavier Harris in The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. The Mountaintop was performed last year on campus and at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC. (Photo from UofL) By Julie Heflin University of Louisville It is part of what persuaded her to pursue a master’s of fine arts in performance at the University of Louisville, and now Sidney Edwards has...

Maridith Yahl: I report about COVID, but having been exposed, quarantined and scared, please wear mask

The day had been an ordinary day, nothing outstanding or special. I was relaxing on the couch, snuggling with my dog when I got the text. A friend I had just seen was sick. At first, she was just not feeling. Nothing specific, just worn out and tired. The next night, she told me she was feeling achy and hurt all over. No fever though. Later, the fever came, then nausea and vomiting, and then the unmistakable...

It’s not a drill: Beshear reports cases (1,449, 3 deaths) with limited reporting, urges ‘uniting’ against COVID

Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday asked all Kentuckians to recommit to following safety guidelines as Kentucky again set a record for cases reported in one week. The current report also represented the highest number of new cases ever reported on a Sunday. “Coronavirus is present in every corner of the Commonwealth and it’s spreading at a truly alarming rate,” the Governor said. “This is not a drill;...

Local programs in many counties helping Eastern Kentuckians prevent diabetes during pandemic

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Local diabetes prevention programs in many eastern Kentucky counties are helping people stay healthy and prevent pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes during the pandemic. Research has shown that diabetes can increase the risk of complications from COVID-19. It’s estimated one in six Eastern Kentuckians has Type 2 diabetes, with many cases undiagnosed. Far more...

Christian Co. health director goes behind daily data to tell covid-19 “stories to pull at your heart strings”

The front-line fighters against the coronavirus are employees of local health departments, who find their jobs increasingly difficult. People exposed to the virus won’t self-quarantine, or won’t answer the phone if they think the call is from a contact tracer at the health department. And as the pandemic accelerates, health-department employees lose more of their friends and relatives to...

Kentucky in White House task force’s worst zone for coronavirus as cases continue rising in past week

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Again, Kentucky is in the worst danger zone for its coronavirus case numbers, with the 18th-highest rate in the country, according to this week’s White House Coronavirus Task Force report. Being in the White House red zone for cases means the state has 101 or more new cases per 100,000 residents. Kentucky’s cases have been increasing for weeks. The...

UK Art Museum fall virtual events invite art lovers to enjoy exhibits from comfort and safety of home

By Whitney Hale University of Kentucky In conjunction with “This is America*” and an exhibition of sculptor Jeanne Silverthorne’s work, the University of Kentucky Art Museum will offer several virtual events for arts lovers to enjoy from the safety and comfort of their homes as the winter months approach during the pandemic. All of the events are free and open to the public. Rhea Combs will give...

Kentucky by Heart: Return to family gravesite with relatives offers moment of solace during pandemic

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist It had been more than seven months since my wife and I took an extended car trip. We’ve been cautious about the virus since the pandemic, we had followed precautionary rules to avoid infection, and we stayed close to our home in Versailles. During that time, we had some contact with her daughters, though quite limited. Other than phone calls, there had been no...

Lexington Christian knocks off Pikeville, 35-13, in dream matchup of top-ranked football teams

By Chad Hensley KyForward sports reporter The nightmarish pandemic caused a dream matchup on the football field Friday night as the top-ranked team in Class 2A (Lexington Christian) squared off against the state’s No. 1 squad in Class 1A (Pikeville). When it ended, Lexington Christian owned a 35-13 win over visiting Pikeville in a game that would have never been scheduled without the unprecedented...

For student teachers, preparing for a career in the classroom looks very different amid COVID-19

By Meg Mills University of Kentucky Each semester, the University of Kentucky sends education students into the classrooms of experienced teachers to observe and learn best practices for their own future classrooms. For student teachers this year, the experience has been very different. Most area schools are using non-traditional instruction (NTI) to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Margaret Mohr-Schroeder,...

As Halloween approaches, here are basic precautions for pet owners to keep furry friends safe

Halloween is almost here, and to prevent this holiday from becoming a scary one for you and your pets, it’s important to consider common items and activities that can be dangerous to your furry friends. The holiday will undoubtedly look different this year due to COVID-19, and Halloween activities will vary vastly between communities. Whatever Halloween ends up looking like this year, candy and...

Al Cross: Good, evil, McConnell and the Supreme Court

After decades of writing about politics, never have I been so eager – anxious may be a better word – for an election to be over. That thought came when I read an Oct. 20 story in the Somerset Commonwealth Journal about a Republican rally where Sen. Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jonathan Shell, declared, “This campaign is about good versus evil.” U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers had a similar theme:...

To celebrate or not to celebrate Halloween this year, that is the question; there’s no easy answer

As Halloween 2020 approaches, many families want to know if it’s safe to let their children go trick-or-treating in the middle of a pandemic. There is no easy answer to this question, but here is some expert advice on how to make the experience as safe as possible. Step 1: Figure out how much health risk your household is comfortable assuming. Do you live or regularly interact with people who...

Keven Moore: As Halloween approaches, is it a safety hazard to visit haunted houses during a pandemic?

Well, if 2020 hasn’t been scary enough for you, here comes Halloween during a pandemic. This is the season in which many of you are seeking out a haunted attraction to fuel that jolt of adrenalin while being scared out of our wits. However, how will COVID-19 come into play, and will many of our usual haunted attractions even be open this season? Will it minimize how scary they can be while visiting...

Commentary: Managing an invisible enemy, UK crosses halfway point of an unprecedented semester

By Eli Capilouto and Robert DiPaola University of Kentucky We reached an important milestone recently at the University of Kentucky. With about 50 days left until Thanksgiving, we crossed the halfway point of this unprecedented semester. We know we confront an invisible virus that attacks indiscriminately. What seems to be manageable today can escalate tomorrow, particularly when we let our guard down...