en GSP, GSA and others great opportunities for gifted Ky. students <img src="" alt="Rick Rand" title="Rick Rand" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Some of Kentucky&rsquo;s most successful academic programs take place, oddly enough, when the school year is over.</p> <p> Several of these got their start in the 1980s, and they have since given thousands of our brightest middle and high school students a chance to come together in a college setting and learn in ways that often extend beyond the traditional classroom.</p> <p> The Governor&rsquo;s Scholars Program is perhaps the most well-known of these.&nbsp; It began in 1983 and now serves more than 1,100 students each summer over several campuses across the commonwealth.</p> Republican-led Senate builds on accomplishments for American people <img src="" alt="Senator Mitch McConnell " title="Senator Mitch McConnell " align="left" hspace="6" /><p> In my travels across the state, I hear constantly from Kentuckians whose lives have been devastated by the opioid and heroin epidemic that is ravaging our country. The Bluegrass State has been particularly hard hit: 1,248 people died from drug overdoses last year alone, a record high for Kentucky. It&rsquo;s clear that something must be done.</p> Dump the fitness slump <img src="" alt="Melanie Groves" title="Melanie Groves" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Are you finding yourself in a fitness slump? Motivational slumps are very common and happen to the best of us. Let&rsquo;s talk about some ways to help get out of these slumps.</p> <p> Don&rsquo;t stress about it. Fitness should be a pleasure and not a chore. That may be one of the reasons you sunk into your slump in the first place. Stress can immobilize you and that&rsquo;s the last thing you need when trying to break a fitness slump. So relax and enjoy the process!</p> Summer Reading Program aids in learning for children <img src="" alt="Hillary Arney" title="Hillary Arney" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> It is hard to believe we are coming toward the end of what we typically consider summer. After 13 or more years of schooling, I think we have all been conditioned to accept June and July as our summer months.</p> <p> During my tenure at the library, I have noticed a trend with our Summer Reading Program that I would like for you to help us change.</p> <p> We begin Summer Reading Program with a bang. Everyone is fresh off of a great school year and looking to continue learning over the summer.</p> Enforce new laws on golf carts before someone gets hurt <img src="" alt="Jeff Moore" title="Jeff Moore" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> Everywhere I go these days, I see folks riding around in golf carts, UTVs or side-by-sides.</p> <p> They&rsquo;ve become so popular that Carroll County and the city of Carrollton have put ordinances in place requiring setting new safety requirements they must meet. The new laws make good sense with them on our roadways, mixing in with regular traffic.</p> State should show small surplus; Most new laws went in effect July 13 <img src="" alt="Rick Rand" title="Rick Rand" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> The halls of the Capitol may be relatively quiet when July arrives, but that doesn&rsquo;t detract from the month&rsquo;s importance when it comes to running state government.&nbsp; It marks the start of another fiscal year and, in even-numbered years, is when most new state laws take effect.</p> Criminal justice reform necessary in Kentucky <img src="" alt="Justice, Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley" title="Justice, Public Safety Cabinet Secretary John Tilley" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> We&rsquo;ve reached a critical point in Kentucky &ndash; one where our prisons and jails are full, overdose deaths continue to rise and far too many children have parents who are imprisoned.</p> <p> We can no longer afford to cling to the outdated idea that prison is the only way to effectively hold people accountable for their crimes. Instead, we need to take a smarter, more measured approach to criminal justice.</p> States learn from sharing during southern legistaltive conference <img src="" alt="Rick Rand" title="Rick Rand" align="left" hspace="6" /><p> States have often been called laboratories of democracy, and for good reason: That&rsquo;s where most cutting-edge ideas to improve government are first tested.&nbsp; The good ones are widely copied while the unworkable ones teach a valuable lesson as well.</p>