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Guest Columns

  • Veterans’ benefits in Kentucky topped $1.7 billion in 2010

    Veterans Day is always a special time for our country, but it promises to be even more memorable on Friday because of its location on the calendar.

    That’s because, for the first time ever, the year aligns perfectly with the holiday’s specific time of remembrance. It will be another century before anyone else can pause to honor those who have served our country on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year.

  • State takes lead in science, technology

    Over the last few decades, Kentucky has gained a well-earned reputation for its groundbreaking work in science and technology.

    We will forever be home to the world’s first self-contained artificial heart and the nation’s first hand transplant, for example, and two of our researchers were behind the world’s first 100 percent effective cancer vaccine.

  • Discover what friendship means

  • State government offers assistance to first responders

    They may only number in the tens of thousands out of a state of more than 4.3 million people, but it isn’t hard to imagine how much more difficult life would be without our first responders.

    While their work is mainly a function of local government, the state plays a role as well in helping law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency workers do their job.

  • Postsecondary education in Kentucky

    When the General Assembly overhauled the state’s postsecondary system in 1997, it set some ambitious goals to reach by the year 2020.

    Last month, the Council on Postsecondary Education gave us an update  on just how far we have come since then – and how much further we need to go in the next few years to stay on track.

  • Thoughts on death and life

    Ed Preston died Oct. 5. He lived across the street from us. He had been at the Hospice House and his wife, Lillian, asked my husband to watch over their house while she stayed with him.

    They were married 64 years. Ed turned 94 on Sept. 30.

    The evening of Oct. 5 — it was a Wednesday — I saw our other neighbor drive off with Lillian. When they returned a few hours later I knew something had happened.

    My husband and I went across the street, and as Lillian got out of the car she said, “Ed died.”

  • Planning a visit to Washington, D.C.? Try these tips

    Are you planning a visit to Washington, D.C.?

    Whether you are coming on a school trip, family vacation or business trip, my office can help you make arrangements for some of the more popular attractions and landmarks in our nation’s capital.  We are available to help you reserve tours of the U.S. Capitol Building, Pentagon, and White House.  These tours are an excellent way to see the highlights of Washington at no charge to you.

  • Kentucky has a rich history in the arts

    While Kentucky is widely recognized for such things as fried chicken, horses and bourbon, it could be argued that our connections to the arts are just as considerable.

    Legend has it, for example, that Kentucky was the first state to see a performance of a Beethoven symphony, which was conducted in Lexington in 1817.

    Several weeks ago, meanwhile, the world marked the 100th birthday of an American legend, William “Bill” Monroe, the founder of Bluegrass music whose Ohio County home has become a shrine to many.

  • Legislator reviews KSP report on state highway safety

    While no one can accurately predict where a traffic accident might take place, information gathered by the Kentucky State Police gives us a pretty good idea of when the odds are certainly more in our favor.

    Based on its latest annual report, which was released last week, one of the safest places to be on the highway in 2010 was in a vehicle driven at dawn on a Sunday in March by a woman in her late 60s or early 70s who was making her way between Owensboro and Henderson on the Audubon Parkway.

  • State has 60 nature preserves totaling 25,000 acres

    “Buy land,” Mark Twain once said.  “They’re not making any more of it.”

    That investment advice has been taken to heart by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, which formally celebrated 35 years of service last week.

    Since it began, the commission has permanently set aside more than 25,000 irreplaceable acres for future generations.  Their 60 nature preserves range from the Blanton Forest near Virginia to Three Ponds along the Mississippi River.