A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

USDA Rural Development investing $313.4 million to improve electric service for Kentuckians

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Kentucky State Director Hilda Legg has announced the USDA is investing more than $313.4 million to help build and improve rural electric infrastructure in Kentucky. “Big Rivers Electric Corporation and East Kentucky Power Cooperative should be commended for their dedication to their customers,” said Legg. “As it has for over 80 years, Rural Development...

Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul touch on impeachment issue in speeches to Federalist Society in Frankfort

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Both of Kentucky’s U.S. Senators weighed in on the impeachment inquiry involving President Donald Trump while in Frankfort Monday to speak to the Federalist Society. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Louisville, wouldn’t talk to reporters after his speech but did make a brief comment on impeachment during his remarks to the group. “People think of it as a judicial-type proceeding,...

Bill Straub: Deja Vu all over again — gun massacres, promise of controls, then nothing; repeat rapid fire

All right, let’s break this one down to its component parts. On the morning of Aug. 3, a gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, shot and killed 22 people and injured 24 others in El Paso, TX. About 13 hours later, in Dayton, OH, a second gunman shot and killed 10 people and injured 17 others. The incidents brought to 251 the number of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States of America...

Bill Straub: There’s Trump and his ‘Mini-Me’ Bevin — but one of them benefits from distance

WASHINGTON – Unlike Superman and Clark Kent, President Trump (good golly!) and Kentucky Gov. Matt “Yosemite Sam’’ Bevin have been seen together in a room, so one can assume they are not one and the same person. But that’s about the only way to tell the two of them apart. By personality, attitude and politics there is no apparent separation between The Donald and the man who seems to be constantly...

Bill Straub: Hail, hail Fredonia; America is mired in Duck Soup under President Donald J. Trump

Perhaps the time has come to consider changing the name of the United States of America to Freedonia. For the uninitiated, Freedonia, land of the free and brave, is the country ruled by Rufus T. Firefly, as played by Groucho Marx, in the classic 1933 film, Duck Soup. Groucho Marx (courtesy of Wikipedia) The manner in which Firefly operated, it seems, serves as a precursor to the administration of President...

Pew Trusts: Kentucky leading the way as Farmer’s hope for riches from legalized hemp, despite risks

By April Simpson Pew Charitable Trusts Michael Calebs begins feeling nostalgic standing in the airy barn on his rolling, 400-acre farm. He recalls the hard labor of his youth: climbing up to horizontal beams to hang floppy tobacco leaves to air cure so the leaves could develop a sweet taste. Calebs places a small amount of Kodiak snuff between his cheek and gum on a recent afternoon while walking about...

Bill Straub: Unavoidable to broach this subject again but to clarify — it’s not voter fraud, it’s election fraud

In a week where President Trump (Egads!) traveled to Vietnam — a country he assiduously sought to avoid some 50 years ago — to play footsie with a half-mad dictator who has killed thousands of his subjects, and where the president’s former lawyer served him up on a silver platter before a congressional committee, we are here once again visiting Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’...

Gov. Bevin on US-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Trade modernization benefits Kentucky and North America

Throughout the very complex trade negotiations to replace NAFTA via a trade deal known as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade or USMCA, President Trump, Secretary Ross and the Trump Administration have been the subject of no small amount of criticism. Gov. Bevin As Governor of Kentucky and as a businessman with decades of experience across a wide array of industries, I have intentionally...

Kentucky’s Kelly Knight Craft nominated to be U.S. Ambassador to United Nations by Pres. Trump

President Donald Trump has announced that he will nominate Kentuckian Kelly Craft, currently U.S. Ambassador to Canada, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. She will have to be confirmed by the Senate. Craft, who is a native of Glasgow, lived in Lexington until her appointment to Canada in October 2017 when she and her husband, Joe, moved to Ottawa. Kelly Knight Craft “The President made an...

Bill Straub: McConnell has abdicated his leadership of the U.S. Senate to President Donald Trump

Well, the good news is Addison Mitchell McConnell has at long last abdicated his position as Republican leader of the U.S. Senate. The bad news is he has turned the reins of the erstwhile world’s greatest deliberative body over to President Trump (yecch!), further enhancing the perception that ol’ Root-‘n-Branch is the worst majority leader since the position was created 94 years ago. McConnell,...

Bill Straub: Trump lies because he can, but with the numbers stacking up, few seem to care

WASHINGTON – On Wednesday of this week USA Today, which fancies itself a newspaper, published an op-ed piece from the president of the United States of America, one Donald J. Trump, in which he declared, among other things, that he had kept his campaign promises regarding health care, maintaining “that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions and create new health care...

Bill Straub: McConnell is Trump’s primary enabler as the walls come tumbling down around the President

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is so smitten with the idea that he’s playing “the long game” in politics that he titled his self-penned hagiography after that empty phrase. But it’s quickly becoming obvious, as the walls come tumbling down around President Trump (OMG!), that the sage of Louisville, misspoke. He isn’t playing the long game. He’s playing the wrong game. And...

Pew Trusts: What President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court could mean for states’ rights

By Elaine S. Povich and Alayna Alvarez Pew Trusts Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s rulings on federal regulatory power, and his approach to the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, provide the best hints of how he might rule on cases involving states’ rights. Kavanaugh was nominated by President Donald Trump Monday to take the seat being vacated by Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh...

Bill Straub: It take a certain talent to spew gibberish on a consistent basis, and McConnell has talent

Looks can, indeed be deceiving. Take Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, for example. McConnell, of Louisville, comes across as your dull, standard issue white-man-in-a-suit with a droning voice who would turn the head of absolutely no one at the neighborhood Piggly-Wiggly. But the fact is ol’ Root-‘n-Branch is one of the most outrageous figures to hit the American scene since Huey Long,...

World War II veteran, Kentuckian Garlin Murl Conner to be posthumously awarded Medal of Honor

Kentuckian and World War II U.S. Army veteran First Lieutenant Garlin Murl Conner, of Clinton County, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The announcement came Thursday from President Donald Trump, who will host 1st Lt. Conner’s widow, Pauline Conner, at a White House ceremony at a later date. First Lieutenant Conner had previously received four Silver Stars, one Bronze Star, three...

Governor asks for Presidential Disaster Declaration for flood damage in 22 eastern KY counties

Governor Matt Bevin had sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 22 eastern Kentucky counties that were impacted during a severe flooding event last month. The flooding caused over $18 million in damages to highways, bridges and local infrastructure. “The requested Presidential Disaster Declaration will provide eastern Kentucky counties with federal...

Pew Trusts: Trump administration’s historic move to retool Medicaid goes beyond work requirements

By Michael Ollove Special to KyForward Requiring able-bodied adults to work for their Medicaid is just part of the Trump administration’s drive to remake the decades-old health insurance program for the poor. The administration signaled late last year that it welcomes state-based ideas to retool Medicaid and “help individuals live up to their highest potential.” At least 10 states have requested...

Retired Marine, Winchester native who lost legs, sight in Iraq, to be guest at State of the Union Address

Retired Kentucky Marine Matthew Bradford in uniform while assigned to the Wounded Warrior Battalion East at Fort Bragg (KyForward file photo) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A retired Marine from Winchester, who lost both legs and was blinded in an explosion in Iraq 11 years ago, will be one of President Donald Trump’s special guests when he delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday evening. On...

Mitch McConnell: A year of extraordinary progress has Senate poised for productive 2018 session

In November 2016, the American people sent President Trump to the White House and Republican majorities back to Congress. We worked together to make 2017, by any objective standard, a year of extraordinary accomplishment. While the national media may overlook or downplay any of these successes, the fact remains that Congress has achieved a number of priorities this past year for the people we represent. One...

Louisville attorney Jennings nominated for U.S. District Judge seat by Trump

A Louisville attorney has been nominated for U.S. District Judge by President Donald Trump. Rebecca Grady Jennings, a director at the law firm Middleton Reutlinger in Louisville, would serve as a district judge for the Western District of Kentucky. Rebecca Grady Jennings According to her biography on the Middleton Reutlinger website, Jennings is chair of the litigation practice group. Her experience...