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Columns

  • Redistricting, budget, education top state lawmaker’s agendas

    Gov. Steve Beshear will help set the stage when he gives his State of the Commonwealth address this week and, later this month, presents his two-year budget proposal. 

    Redistricting, something done each decade to align the state’s legislative and Kentucky Supreme Court boundaries to changes in population, will also be a major issue in the session’s opening days.

    There will be dozens of other bills to consider as well, and as is often the case, they will generally focus on education, health and safety and economic development.

  • Challenges face lawmakers as 2012 legislature begins

    As most of you are aware, the 2012 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly gaveled in at noon Jan. 3. Being an even numbered year, this is considered a long session because legislators will be developing the two-year budget for the state.

  • Remembering Evelyn ‘Tricky’ Welch

    I wrote a piece saying farewell to my friend Tricky back in August.  She was moving to a different home, a different job.  Last week I wrote another farewell and was one of many who shared our thoughts at the service celebrating her life.  This week, through the heartbreak and tears that so many feel, I share those remarks with you.

  • Private donations help with treatment of abused animals, stronger welfare laws needed

    Two weeks ago, I was on the scene of a puppy mill raid in Henry County. I saw hundreds of animals living in unspeakable conditions. There were dogs in crates stacked two and three high; in most cases, the animals were standing almost knee deep in a mixture of their own feces and urine. There were cats in crates with litter boxes filled to the brim in waste. They had no water and little food.

  • Beshear’s inauguration continues the tradition of Kentucky’s govenors

    Steve Beshear was formally sworn into his second term as governor Tuesday, kicking off what is Kentucky’s 59th inauguration.

    While the governor is often the most well-known official in the state – like presidents, their tenures serve as guideposts to our history – the truth is that few of our past leaders are well known beyond the counties named in their honor.

    This week is a good time to learn a little more.

  • Walking group helps battle aches, pounds

    I met a friend from Owen County for lunch last week and we headed north to shop.  While she is three years younger than me, we both kinda creep for the first few steps after getting out of the car and spend a few minutes each visit detailing each new ache we are experiencing.

  • Pippa finds a ‘forever home’ after a ‘failed’ attempt at fostering

    It’s been almost three years since my wonderful dog Sable died. She was a black standard poodle, one of the big ones and at her top weight was 50 pounds — not exactly a lap dog, but I loved her beyond all reason and still think of her often and can tear up when I speak of her.

  • Thankgiving takes work, despite an attempt to reduce the work

    How did my grandmother do it? Well past her 75th birthday, she was still having holiday dinners at her house and with her five children and their children and spouses and their grandchildren, she fed a real house full. 

    Granted, everyone (the adults) took a dish. But just getting the house ready, the dishes out and the tea made would have done in a lesser person (such as I).

  • Services help to address mental health conditions

    One of the country’s most persistent challenges is finding ways to help those struggling with mental health and substance abuse issues beyond their control.

    Federal figures show the number to be significant. In 2008, it was estimated that 30 million Americans had received treatment for a mental health issue in the previous year, and about 22 million were believed to be addicted to drugs or alcohol.

  • Kentucky prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving, parks offer meal

    As we take time out of our schedule this week to enjoy the kick-off to the holiday season, I want to wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    We are now just one decade away from the 400th anniversary of that famous feast enjoyed by the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who helped them weather especially tough times.

    Though that harvest meal is the foundation for the holiday, it didn’t settle into its familiar place on the calendar until nearly 150 years ago, when President Lincoln declared it should be held on the last Thursday of November.