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Guest Columns

  • Legislators dash to finish agenda of current session

    If legislative sessions start like a marathon, they end like a 100-yard dash, as the House and Senate make a final push to turn their goals into law.
    Leading the agenda, of course, is the state’s two-year budget and highway plan.  Legislative leaders began meeting Wednesday to hammer out a compromise, and the good news is that there is some broad area of agreement.

  • Tears over lost and found

    When the phone rings here at the newspaper, you never know who’s on the other end and what the person will say.
    That’s why we have an antacid dispenser in the break room. (Not really.)
    One day last week I got a call from a woman who sounded greatly distressed; she had lost her wedding rings.
    It happened several months ago when she was going through cancer treatment. She said the treatment muddled her brain, made her absent-minded and forgetful.

  • Build your energy level
  • O death, where is thy sting?

    For me, last week began and ended with funerals.
    On Monday, I attended the funeral of Mary Zawalich, whom I’d never met, or maybe I have and I don’t remember.
    About a month ago, she called me. She told me her name and said she was 92 and she was dying, but that it was OK, that it was a “happy death.”
    She had called to say that she’s been a reader of my column and that I’ve been a “wonderful part” of her life. She called to thank me, to say that she admired me, that she has loved me.

  • The joy of being a sinner

    Every once in a while, like 20 or 50 times a day, I wonder if I’ll ever get better.
    I wonder if my faith will ever grow deeper or stronger, if I’ll ever have more passion for God, more desire for holiness.
    Sometimes I think I must surely be the sorriest excuse for a Christian in the history of Christendom.
    Sometimes people ask me when my next book is coming out, and I tell them probably never. I explain that the publishing market has changed dramatically, which is true, and that people don’t buy books the way they used to, also true.

  • Senate awaits action on House budget

    As March rolls along, we are near the end of our work in Frankfort for this session. Although we did not have session on Monday due to the wintery weather conditions, the Senate continues to work on bills to make governmental processes more efficient, clean up statutes and save taxpayer money.

  • Juvenile issues, medical decisions studied by House

    The week may have been cut short by a day because of another round of winter weather, but the Kentucky House of Representatives didn’t let that stand in the way of approving a broad collection of bills.
    Those ranged from the relatively simple – helping sheriff’s departments fill vacancies – to the morally complex, which in this case would build on the current directives people have regarding what life-saving measures, if any, they want taken.

  • General Assembly nears halfway mark

    One of the country’s great success stories over the last several decades has been the steep and steady decline in highway fatalities.
    It’s a welcome trend that has been especially pronounced here in Kentucky.  According to the state’s Office of Highway Safety, you have to go back to 1949 to find a year that had fewer than the commonwealth had in 2013.

  • Hornback’s communication infrastructure bill gets nod

    This week in Frankfort, the Senate passed key pieces of legislation that help our students and school districts, provide economic development and access to better communications, and give law enforcement time-saving investigation procedures.

  • State’s education gets attention of General Assembly

    With more than half of state government’s revenue dedicated to education, it shouldn’t be a surprise that many of the bills considered by the General Assembly every year are also centered on the subject.
    That was certainly the case last week in the Kentucky House of Representatives, which sent to the Senate several pieces of legislation designed to improve different facets of our schools.