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Columns and Editorials

  • Obama’s jobs plan: More of the same

    While traveling the Fourth Congressional District during August, it was clear to me that the top priorities of Kentuckians are jobs and economic growth.  The need for these issues to be our top priority is reinforced by the latest jobs report that zero net jobs were created in America last month, and the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high at more than 9 percent.

    As lawmakers returned to Washington last week, President Obama addressed a special joint session of Congress to outline his plan to get the economy moving again and create jobs.

  • State investment in land has been worth it

    “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.

  • 9/11/01 will forever be remembered

    There are only a handful of days in which a whole country collectively remembers what it was doing.  Some have been high points in our history, like V-E and V-J Day at the end of World War II and Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.  And some have been moments we wish had never occurred, like Pearl Harbor, President Kennedy’s assassination, and the tragedies of Sept. 11, 2001.

    For those old enough to remember that last date, it seems hard to believe that 10 years have slipped by since that cool and clear morning.

  • Commit random acts of kindness

    On April 20, 1999, the staff of the Evansville Press was plugging away at that day’s edition. We were minutes away from sending the pages to the press when we got word: About a dozen students were dead, and many more injured, at a high school in Colorado.

    Page production stopped as we gathered around the news editor’s television to get a glimpse of the initial reports. The Associated Press had a story in short order, and we were able to get word of the Columbine High School tragedy in that afternoon’s edition.

  • Sense of charity has defined country

    Winston Churchill once famously remarked that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

    That sense of charity has defined our country from the beginning, and even when times are tough, we don’t hesitate to reach out and help.

  • Back-to-school resources for students, parents and teachers

    August is a special time of year, full of new beginnings.  Whether it is the first day of kindergarten, middle school, high school or college, each new school year brings excitement and new challenges for families, students, teachers and administrators.  Pat and I have two kids in college, three starting a new school year, and our eldest daughter is a teacher.  Our family is getting ready for an exciting new school year. 

  • COLUMN: Adult Education has been critical for Kentucky

    It has been a little more than a decade ago since the General Assembly revamped the state’s adult education programs, a high point in the legislature’s ongoing efforts to improve the classroom from preschool to the workplace.
    While a lot of work remains, the past decade has been exactly what we had hoped. In fact, from 2005 to 2009, adult education enrollment grew by 30 percent – faster than any other state over the same period. There are now about 40,000 citizens who are helped academically each year.

  • You’re probably from Henry County if...

    Do you remember the days when cruising was a weekly event?
    Or the days of the Eminence v. Henry County football games?
    Or how about B&D Video or Lola’s Restaurant in Eminence?
    Or, better yet, do you remember the days of Big Henry?
    If so, you’re probably from Henry County.
    It’s the latest Facebook rage — community pages where folks share their favorite memories from the communities they grew up in. The memories are touching, funny, sad and some a smidge risque.

  • Needed reform: The REINS Act

    Some utility companies in Kentucky announced in May that they would need to raise electricity rates by about 20 percent  over the next five years in order to pay for the upgrades necessary to meet stricter federal environmental regulations.

    These new rules and the resulting increase in utility rates will make it more difficult for families to pay their bills, and will leave job creating businesses with less money to grow and hire new employees.

  • Broadband becoming a common utility

    For a growing number of Kentuckians, broadband internet is given no more thought than any other utility. Like television and electricity, it’s just expected to be there.

    In fact, it can now be found in about 40 percent of the state’s homes. While that is positive, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we need to see that number grow. According to a Federal Communications Commission report, most states have moved ahead of us when it comes to providing access to this fast-speed connection.