• They may have different uniforms and job duties, but one quality binds all first responders: They immediately run toward an emergency when the first impulse is to run away.

    They deserve recognition every day, but spring and fall are when we officially set aside time to commemorate their invaluable work and sacrifices. This week, for example, recognizes police officers, while May 4 was International Firefighters’ Day and early October is when the country holds National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend.

  • One of the great things about Kentucky is that we recognized the importance of protecting and promoting our past early on.

    The Kentucky Historical Society, for example, got its start in 1838, and received its first state funding in 1906. Still going strong, it is an integral part of a network featuring several hundred smaller historical organizations and museums that commemorate everything from our military contributions to quilts.

  • In the days since Governor Bevin vetoed a retirement bill affecting our quasi-governmental agencies and regional public universities, I have had many people ask me a lot of questions. Here are my responses to some of the more popular ones.

    1.) What is this issue about, exactly?

  • April 6, 1989

    (30 years ago)

    The eleven Trimble County stores that began lottery ticket purchases were already reporting sales numbers. Bob Rowlett, owner of the Kentucky Souvenir Shop, said more than 3,000 tickets were sold, including a $500 prize to Carl Raisor from Hanover, Ind. Video Now said they had 250 sales, Country General Store in Milton with 485 sales, Morgan Drug Store with 121 total tickets sold and Deer Run Golf Course also reporting four or five tickets sold in the span of a few hours.

  • Legislative sessions are mostly remembered for laws that are enacted, but for some people, keeping a bill from the governor’s desk is a victory, too.

    When the General Assembly wrapped up its work late last month, for example, teachers were especially pleased to see that two of the bills they strongly opposed never even came up for a vote in the House, much less the Senate.

  • When the General Assembly returned to the Capitol on Thursday to complete this year’s legislative session, one unresolved issue towered over the rest. Regrettably, the solution now set to become law is not the one we need, and the very way it was approved – late at night, before the bill could even be read – was a near-repeat of last year’s controversial and ultimately unconstitutional public-pension bill.

  • Coordinated efforts at the federal, state and local levels are making considerable progress in the fight against opioid and substance abuse. Unfortunately, Kentucky still ranks among the hardest-hit states in the nation. Reports continue to show record-breaking overdose deaths in our Commonwealth, and families are struggling as they watch their loved ones battle addiction.

  • March 23, 1989

    (30 years ago)

    The dream of a trip to the state tournament ended for the Lady Raiders as the Oldham County Lady Colonels defeated Trimble 49-41 in the Eighth Region championship. Tiffany Long and Heather Higgins were named to the girls region all-tournament team. Long led the scoring with 11 points followed by Brandi Purvis with eight points, Rene Sweazy, Higgins and Jackie Couch with six points each and Shannon Taylor with four points.

  • No matter what happens when the General Assembly returns to the Capitol on Thursday, the first 29 days of this year’s 30-day legislative session have certainly been memorable. While I wish we could have done more in some areas – and much less in others – here’s a brief look at what is poised to become law, barring a veto by the governor.

    Most bills that clear the House and Senate fall into five broad categories: education; health and well-being; criminal justice; economic development; and tweaks to the way government is run.

  • For Kentucky’s nonprofits, the last year has not been an easy one. A ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court last March – and a rushed overhaul of the state tax code less than a month later – left these critical organizations facing the last thing anyone wants: a much-larger tax bill.

    Our religious and civic organizations found themselves in this predicament through no fault of their own, and the cost hasn’t been small, either – about $30 million annually.

  • It just takes two words to sum up this year’s legislative session through the end of last week: “Stay tuned.”

    I say that because, with only four working days remaining, the General Assembly has a long list of bills still awaiting a final decision.

    I am no fan of this approach, because it makes it much more difficult for legislators, and especially the public, to keep track of and offer meaningful input on laws that would have an impact on Kentucky for years to come. We must re-commit ourselves to finding a better way.

  • The pace of activity inside the Capitol is picking up as we rapidly approach the end of the 153rd Regular Session. With only a few days left to pass bills, the Kentucky General Assembly has been working in overdrive to develop the best legislative policy for the Commonwealth.

    Many big issues have been addressed in this 30-day short session. This was one of our busiest weeks yet, as bills concerning abortion, medical marijuana, and education had Frankfort buzzing with visitors who attended rallies and committee meetings.

  • 30 YEARS AGO

    March 9, 1989

    Geraldine Kidwell wrote a how-to book for gum paste figures and fashions with numerous diagrams and pictures after building a full-time business with cake decorating. She also had the distinction of Kentucky Colonel, was made an honorary captain of the Belle of Louisville for a confectionary replica of the boat, a member of the Kentucky Cake Club and a charter member of the International Cake Exploration Society.

  • Editor's Note: Because of a technical issue, the regular Looking Back column was omitted from the March 7 edition. Our hope is to run two weeks worth of the column in the next edition.

  • As we approach the latter days of the 2019 Regular Session, the Capitol remains as busy as ever. Countless visitors from across Kentucky advocated important issues in a week that had no shortage of legislative activity.

  • We may be in the final third of the 2019 legislative session, but the arrival of hundreds of teachers at the Capitol last Thursday made it feel like 2018 all over again.

    They came to Frankfort to oppose yet another unfair and unnecessary bill directly affecting the Kentucky Teachers Retirement System. Last year’s rallies were focused on current and future benefits, while this year’s is about the very governance of KTRS itself.

  • When deciding how to vote on legislation, I ask myself two simple questions: Does it help more than it hinders, and what do those directly affected think?

    I believe that’s good advice for any policy maker to follow, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time in the Kentucky House, it’s that not everyone in the General Assembly answers these questions the same way. One of the best examples of that can be found in last year’s major tax overhaul.

  • We are halfway through the 2019 Regular Session, and the Senate is eager to continue making progress in these final weeks.

    The General Assembly did not convene on Monday in observation of Presidents Day. Before resuming legislative business on Tuesday, both the House and the Senate reconvened at the historic Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort.

  • March 2, 1989

    (30 years ago)

    Barbara J. Melvin was appointed postmaster of the Bedford Post Office. Melvin, a native of Bedford and Trimble County High School graduate, began her postal career at the Bedford post office in July 1970.

  • Deep roots grow leaders. That’s how Kentucky’s agricultural community develops leaders for our future.

    “Deep roots grow leaders” is also the theme of this year’s Ag Tag campaign to raise funds to invest in organizations building the leaders of tomorrow.