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Columns

  • Beshear calls special session to discuss Medicaid cuts, high school drop out age

    FRANKFORT – When the General Assembly arrived at the Capitol in early January, the top priority for everyone was already clear: Close an unexpected deficit in Medicaid.

  • Buena vista school 1933-1934, grades 7-8
  • Counting calories ends with spending more for less

    Not even a week into a diet and I am already realizing  just one package of Double Stuffed Oreos, with a giant glass of whole milk in a frosted glass is cheaper than eating apples and reduced fat peanut butter.
    Recently my wife went to the doctor and had her cholesterol and lipids (whatever those are) checked.
    Given her past medical history and her family’s medical history, it was no surprise that both were found to be almost four times the level that they should be.

  • New law could save $40 million in annual prison expenses

    FRANKFORT - The General Assembly wrapped up an especially busy week on Friday, putting the final touches on a number of prominent bills.
    None were more far-reaching than the one that Gov. Beshear signed on Thursday.  It’s a sensible first step toward trying to slow the growth of a prison population that is nearly 50 percent larger than it was a decade ago.
    We now spend well over $400 million a year to house about 21,000 prisoners, and that is taking money from other programs like education.

  • It was time to tweak state’s expensive criminal code

     FRANKFORT -Very few truly transformational reforms ever make it through the legislative process. Our two-chamber system was designed by the framers for just that purpose -- to slow down hasty overhauls and focus on incremental changes -- a tweak here and there to fix the current problems, rather than scrapping entire systems.

  • Hello March!

    I’m usually somewhat sluggish about flipping the calendar.
    I don’t know why. Perhaps someone with a bunch of letters after his name would say it has something to do with not wanting to let go.
    However, it was with exuberance that my February pages hit the recycle bin and heralded in the lamb’s version of March.
    I have three calendars in my office; two are flipped and one is a rip-away.
    It was with great fanfare that I tore off February.
    My theory:
    This winter has been interminably long.

  • Frankfort Focus

    Each legislative session essentially has two distinct periods, with the first dedicated to the House and Senate setting their respective agendas and the second, much shorter one seeing where both sides can find common ground.
    It is too soon to say what ultimately will cross the finish line, but this week is when most of those decisions will be made.  It promises to be a busy time.
    As we look for consensus, there is hope in the House that we can do something this year to help both our youth and our senior citizens.

  • Legislature moving numerous bills through shortened General Assembly

    As the General Assembly prepares for the final third of the 2011 Regular Session, it’s a good time to step back and see what has taken place.
    The Kentucky House of Representatives has approved what I think are some sensible moves forward for the Commonwealth. In some of the higher profile bills, we have worked to increase the high school dropout age from 16 to 18; we are trying to crack down on convicted drunk drivers to keep them from drinking and driving again; and we have attempted to close what would be a very sizeable gap in Medicaid if nothing is done.

  • Take a deep breath, but don’t choke on the smoke

    I am blessed.
    I’ve never had a near death experience... no heart attacks like Angie Walker suffered at 44 years old; no car wrecks with life-lasting injuries; no cancer or major surgeries.
    (Walker’s story of survival is on the front page.)
    Still, I know what it’s like to hold my breath so long that when I realize I’m getting light-headed, I have to remind myself to take a deep breath.
    Five years ago on Valentine’s Day, my daughter Erin had a horrific car accident. I was the first person to arrive at the scene.

  • A warm welcome

    I meant what I said in the very first article that I ever wrote as a news writer for the Cynthiana Democrat.
    I like real heart-filled stories. Now don’t get me wrong, if I have the opportunity to write an article that stirs up a little dust and gets citizens thinking about local government or if they are in tune with what is going on around them, then I will write those too.
    This week’s Democrat is special to me though. Special in the way that I have the distinct honor of introducing four new faces to the community.