A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Grant allows former Ky. governor to start treatment, housing for addicts in 101 rural counties, 47 in state

An organization headed by former Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher will get $6.6 million in federal funds “to establish a center of excellence for substance-abuse disorder and . . . provide treatment and housing options for low-income and high-risk individuals in 47 Kentucky counties,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a press release. Dr. Ernie Fletcher spoke in...

McConnell lashes out at critics on Senate floor, citing ‘absurd smears’ from ‘hyperventilating hacks’

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell fired back on his critics from the Senate floor Monday, angrily calling them “hyperventilating hacks” and saying they engaged in “absurd smears” against him. 
McConnell blistered MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough, who last week dubbed McConnell “Moscow Mitch,” and Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, who...

Pew Trusts: Kentuckians among farmers forced to reckon with push to raise tobacco-buying age to 21

By Max Blau Pew Charitable Trusts Burley tobacco once lined nearly every road in Shelby County. But when Paul Hornback drives through his hometown, the 62-year-old tobacco farmer rarely sees the leafy crop. Despite his fears about tobacco farming, long the lifeblood of his community, Hornback supports the push to ban teenagers from buying cigarettes. Last month, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,...

Pew Trusts: With Congress on the brink of fully legalizing hemp, legal challenges still remain

By Sophie Quinton Pew Trusts It’s a giddy time for the U.S. hemp industry. Farmers are planting more acres. Businesses are selling more products. And with Congress on the brink of fully legalizing hemp, industry insiders are eagerly anticipating a boom. But even if the legalization provisions in the 2018 farm bill pass, hemp will remain a tightly regulated crop facing plenty of regulatory and legal...

Grant County native Hayley Leach nearing end of reign as Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival queen

By Jaime Vaught Special to KyForward   The reigning queen of the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival has just completed a memorable spring semester in college and is ending her reign as Mountain Laurel Festival queen as well.   Hayley Leach, a junior-to-be political science major at the University of Kentucky, spent the semester working as an intern for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Leach...

Rural Blog: Former aide to Mitch McConnell takes helm at Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission, long a target of Republican presidents, has a new chief executive with strong ties to the most powerful Republican in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has helped secure its funding. Tim Thomas attended the East Kentucky Leadership Conference in Hindman Thursday. Former Gov. Paul Patton of Pikeville is at right (Photo by Al Cross) Tim Thomas,...

Senate Majority Leader McConnell on midterm elections: ‘The wind is going to be in our face’

By Roger Alford Kentucky Today Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was instrumental in marshaling forces to pass the largest tax overhaul in 30 years to spur an economic resurgence. Yet, that doesn’t top McConnell’s list of what he considers his most consequential political accomplishments as the Senate’s top lawmaker. Top of the list for him is the rapid confirmations of conservative judges...

Sen. Mitch McConnell: Across the state, the message is clear: Make Washington work for Kentucky

After celebrating our nation’s Independence Day, I traveled around the Commonwealth to hear directly from Kentuckians. By engaging with families, individuals, and community leaders across the state, I am better able to bring their concerns to the United States Senate and serve as their voice in Washington. During a visit to Paducah, I was proud to stand with local officials to announce that the...

Lifting federal ban on funding needle-exchange programs hasn’t benefitted Kentucky yet

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky’s top Republicans in Congress, played a key role in lifting a longstanding ban on federal funding for needle-exchange programs in the budget deal enacted in December. McConnell and Rogers said they acted to help thwart the spread of disease from increased intravenous drug use in Kentucky,...