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Columns

  • Newspaper prepares to mark 150th year milestone in March

    The News-Democrat is preparing to hit a milestone that few businesses achieve: 150 years of service to the community.

    It was on Wednesday, March 25, 1868, that the first edition of The Carrollton Democrat hit the streets featuring a mix of national, state and local news. Over the years, the focus of the news coverage moved to primarily local happenings. In the 1930s, the Democrat merged with The Carrollton News, making one newspaper that became The News-Democrat.

  • House should take closer look at measures and ‘do no harm’

    My work as a state legislator may not have much in common with a doctor’s, but when I am considering which bills to support or oppose, I keep that profession’s primary rule in mind: First, do no harm.

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t tough decisions to be made. In an era where costs are outpacing revenues, we’re just not able to do all we would like.

    At the same time, I believe the state needs to do the most good for the most people whenever possible, which is why some of the legislation being considered this year raises concerns.

  • While waiting for pension reform, don’t ignore other bills

    The State Journal

    This week, the Kentucky legislature will pass the halfway point in the 2018 session and, if you’re wondering where pension reform stands, a bill still hasn’t been introduced by the Republican majority.

  • Cuts coming as General Assembly works to balance the state budget

    As a bill, the state budget isn’t particularly long, but it’s not a quick read, either, with blocks of text periodically broken up by rows of numbers.

  • Getting from here to there in the 1890s

    Travel is so easy now. We hop into a car, set the GPS and go. We fly to distant locations or take a bus or a train.

    How did Carrollton resident Sarah Eva Howe travel from town to town and state to state back in the 1880s, 1890s and early 1900s? Sarah wrote in her scrapbooks about trips she and her family took to Ghent, Vevay, Madison, Worthville, Cincinnati, Louisville and beyond. Those scrapbooks tell the story of travel in that era.

  • Senate recently passes bills addressing labor laws, domestic violence

    This week was the busiest yet in Frankfort with a number of bills moving through committees and on to the Senate and House floors for votes. We were also visited by a number of statewide advocacy groups that championed their great causes and rallied in the Capitol Rotunda. Between visiting constituents, committee meetings, and voting on the Senate floor, we continued to discuss the upcoming budget.

  • House discusses education, suicide-prevention legislation

    The one thing a legislative session guarantees is that no two days are alike.  My House colleagues and I may spend an hour or more debating a bill that could have a profound impact on education or public safety, and then pivot to discuss another important to farming.

    Since some bills move through the committee system faster than others, their arrival before the full chamber is generally not coordinated.  And yet, it is not uncommon for themes to emerge, as one did last week.

  • Your ‘Rome’ can’t be built in four weeks

    Every year people flock to the gym in January, motivated by their ambition to get into shape. However, the reality is there is only so much progress you can make within a short period of time.

    Yes, you can make significant improvements which then spur you on to keep improving. But, your goals should be matched with realistic time scales. I’m not here to lead you into believing that you’re going to get into the best shape of your life in four weeks, don’t let yourself fall for that!

  • Library serves patrons of all ages, including teens

    Libraries mean different things to different people. I do believe that it all depends on what you need from your library. It also means that we need to try to be many different things for different groups of people. There is the traditional view of libraries that I try to uphold. This includes books, programs for young children and cultural events for adults. While this view may not appeal to everyone, it really is the cornerstone of our industry. On the other hand, in order to stay relevant, we must shape our services to the demands of our community.

  • Be aware of tax scams

    Winchester Sun

    As that time of year when Americans anxiously await their tax returns begins, federal and state officials are offering cautionary advice, particularly about protecting personal information.

    With the right information, particularly a Social Security number, thieves can attempt to file false tax returns and take refunds, the Kentucky Department of Revenue warns.