en Community support sought for nickel tax <p> Dear Readers,<br /> Kentucky home to summer academic opportunities <p> Some of Kentucky&rsquo;s most successful academic programs take place, oddly enough, when the school year is over.<br /> Several of these got their start in the 1980s, and they have since given thousands of our brightest middle and high school students a chance to come together in a college setting and learn in ways that often extend beyond the traditional classroom.<br /> The Governor&rsquo;s Scholars Program (GSP) is perhaps the most well-known of these. It began in 1983 and now serves more than 1,100 students each summer over several campuses across the commonwealth.<br /> Judge Goodwin announced for November election <p> Editor:<br /> The retirement of Family Court Judge, Honorable Timothy Feeley, presented an opportunity for me to apply for the vacancy he left in the Twelfth Judicial Circuit. I am honored to be the Governor&rsquo;s choice for the position of Family Court Judge for Trimble, Henry, and Oldham Counties. I am grateful for this decision and the confidence in my experience as a family law practitioner and Master Commissioner.<br /> New fiscal year begins with new laws taking effect <p> The halls of the Capitol may be relatively quiet when July arrives, but that doesn&rsquo;t detract from the month&rsquo;s importance when it comes to running state government. It marks the start of another fiscal year and, in even-numbered years, is when most new state laws take effect.<br /> Ky. Medicaid reform may face election test <p> By Al Cross<br /> Courier-Journal<br /> As Gov. Matt Bevin continues what may be the greatest recoupment of executive power in Frankfort since the 1947-50 gubernatorial term of Democrat Earle Clements (who had no meaningful Republican opposition), most of the talk in the state capital is about executive orders reorganizing boards that are supposed to have varying degrees of independence.<br /> Criminal justice reform in Kentucky <p> Joint opinion by Gov. Matt Bevin and Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Sec. John Tilley<br /> <br /> We&rsquo;ve reached a critical point in Kentucky &ndash; one where our prisons and jails are full, overdose deaths continue to rise and far too many children have parents who are imprisoned.<br /> We can no longer afford to cling to the outdated idea that prison is the only way to effectively hold people accountable for their crimes. Instead, we need to take a smarter, more measured approach to criminal justice.<br /> SLC enables states to learn from each other’s successes <p> States have often been called laboratories of democracy, and for good reason: That&rsquo;s where most cutting-edge ideas to improve government are first tested. The good ones are widely copied while the unworkable ones teach a valuable lesson as well.<br /> Churches encouraged to fill the pews with shoes for local students July 10 <p> Do you remember the week or so before school when you were not ready for school to begin, but were excited to see your friends from across the county?<br /> Would I get the teachers and classes I wanted? Thoughts in my head were of what I would do with my hair, which dress would give that grown up look for my new year? Which pair of shoes would I wear?<br /> What about our youth that are dreading the school experience because they do not have any shoes to wear? What will the others think of the holes and the taped up soles are the questions on their minds.<br />