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Opinion

  • A little less than a year from now, our state will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Kentucky Education Reform Act, widely considered to be one of the most important laws ever adopted by the General Assembly.

    The legislation filled more than 900 pages, and within them were about 30 distinct ideas that, like the inner workings of a clock, depended on each other for reform to work.

    It was a bold step at the time, but an array of national studies since then has repeatedly shown that our students have made significant strides in less than a generation.

  • This is the time of the year when cold Arctic air frequently meets warm Gulf air thereby spawning the tornados that plague the Midwest. Kentucky gets its share, which concerns me. Growing up in New York, there just weren’t any tornados. The Wizard of Oz afforded the sum total of my knowledge about those swirling winds and I was quite impressed at an early age by their capacity for destruction. Since then, I lived in Kansas long enough to gain serious firsthand knowledge.

  • In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to understand and monitor our family budgets and personal finances.  Americans are facing a lot of uncertainty these days, so it is vital to educate yourself on the best ways to save and protect your finances for the future.  Since April is Financial Literacy Month, I wanted to share some tools that will help individuals and families better manage personal finances, assist those who may be having trouble with mortgage, and protect against identity theft and scammers.

  • To better understand just how much the country’s economic crisis has affected Kentucky, it may help to look at some hard-to-imagine statistics in a different way.

    If the number of people seeking unemployment insurance for the first time in February came together, for example, they would immediately become Kentucky’s third-largest city, slightly ahead of Owensboro.

    The total number of unemployed is of course much higher.  Its size easily outranks the combined populations of Owensboro, Bowling Green, Covington and Richmond.

  • General Manager

    It’s an exciting time here at the Local. After weeks of settling in, we’re finally ready to show off our new home!

    We invite you to visit our new office at 18 South Penn Avenue, in Eminence, this Thursday from 1 to 6 p.m.

    Stop by, meet the staff and see just what it is we’re so excited about!

    The new office, undoubtedly isn’t the only change you’ve noticed for the Local.

  • Underage drinking is a serious problem, with roots deep in our culture. Teens are in a constant state of searching for who they are and who they want to become. They have a desire for adventure and excitement as well as a desire to feel more grown up. Unfortunately, many teens turn to alcohol to fill this need for enlightenment, exhilaration and maturity. These reasons are often compounded by their belief that they are indestructible.

  • Years from now, when we look back on Kentucky’s growing role in helping the country become more energy independent, the first few months of this year will undoubtedly be considered a pivotal time.

  • As a motorcycle rider, I have to be constantly on guard for road hazards that can cause me to lose control of my bike. Small things like loose gravel or animals darting across the road are perilous for a biker.

  • Geoff Davis

    U.S. Representative

    On April 2, Speaker Nancy Pelosi succeeded in passing her federal budget that outlines more than $3.5 trillion in spending for fiscal year 2010.  The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projected a $1.8 trillion deficit for the current fiscal year, and that does not include the stimulus bill that will cost Americans more than $1 trillion, which was signed into law by the President on Feb. 1.  As of April 7, the U.S. national debt stands at more than $11 trillion.

  • Let me preface by saying that I’m in no way judgmental or sexist here. My honest stance has always been “live and let live.” I’m simply being observant.

  • April has again been recognized as Donate Life Month nationally and here in Kentucky. I felt that this is a good time to thank the many Countians who have supported organ and tissue donation at our drivers license counter by donating $1 in support of our Kentucky Circuit Court Clerks Trust For Life and by placing their name on the new Kentucky Organ Donor Registry.

  • Back in February, when Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the federal stimulus package for the states, the only thing we knew for sure was that a significant amount of money was about to come our way.

    It could not have come at a better time.  Economists predict the states are looking at a combined deficit of $250 billion between now and 2011, and in Kentucky, we have already cut nearly $900 million since Governor Beshear took office.  There is growing evidence that a significant deficit is likely during the next fiscal year as well.

  • Every day, Kentuckians tell me about the sacrifices they are being forced to make during these difficult economic times.  Across the Fourth District, families are monitoring their spending more carefully and weeding out unnecessary expenses to streamline their budgets.  It is unacceptable that Washington is not exercising the same kind of common sense as people throughout our Commonwealth.

  • At Henry County High School it’s senior project time and throughout their senior year students had to pick a mentor to work with them.  I wanted to take the time to acknowledge a wonderful woman in this county who gave of her time, her talent and wisdom when she didn’t have to. Most of you may know her as she is involved in lots of different clubs and activities here at home. Her name is Malissa Beatty.  She really is a hometown hero.  She is a local artist here in town and an outstanding member of our small community.

  • April is a very special month at OVEC Head Start and Early Head Start!

    Since the 1970s, April has been recognized as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Blue ribbons, the national symbol for child abuse and neglect awareness, can be seen almost everywhere — tied to car antennas, street lamps, business doors and pinned on the shirts of people who care about children and families.

  • It’s a scary time in newspaperland lately.

    Just a few weeks ago, a paper I’ve long respected — The Rocky Mountain News — closed its doors and shut down production after almost 150 years of continuous printing.

    Other newspapers have fallen by the wayside in a dazzling, and frightening display in recent months.

  • The General Assembly finished its legislative session late last week, ending nearly three months of work that will have a positive impact for years to come.

    Highlights range from a plan to overcome a large budget deficit to significantly revising the tests that determine how well our schools are progressing.  We covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time, especially when considering that this was a “short” session – so named because it is half as long as those in even-numbered years.

  • In these difficult economic times, more Americans are turning to non-profit and charity organizations for assistance.  From local soup kitchens and homeless shelters to major philanthropic organizations, like the Red Cross and Goodwill Industries, charities across the nation are reporting an overwhelming increase in demand for their services.  However, due to a short-sighted provision included in President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint for fiscal year 2010, some charities may be unable to continue to respond to the needs of our communities.

  • The U.S. Labor Department recently released the unemployment numbers for February. More than 650,000 jobs were lost last month, pushing the national unemployment rate to 8.1 percent, up from 7.6 percent in January.  

    Since the recession began in December 2007, 4.4 million jobs have been cut. February’s report further underscores the importance of creating and protecting American jobs.  

    It is through this framework that we must examine President Barack Obama’s budget blueprint for fiscal year 2010.

  • The 2009 Regular Session – which wraps up on Friday this week – will long be remembered for several reasons.  During this time we overcame a large budget deficit, overhauled the state testing system for our schools and set in motion nearly $2 billion in road improvements.  We also sought to slow our skyrocketing prison growth by providing more substance-abuse treatment to those whose addiction has led to an arrest.

    There were quite a few other bills about to become law, though, that in ways large and small will make a difference in our lives.