Bowling Green Daily News. April 27, 2021.

Editorial: Public deserves details on grand jury decision in fatal Rockfield shooting

The fatal shooting of Russell Heard on his property in February was nothing short of a tragedy. Heard, 74, a farmer in the Rockfield community, was a respected citizen who will be sorely missed by his many friends and family.

News last week that a Warren County grand jury failed to indict the shooter who was charged with first-degree manslaughter in Heard’s death is nothing short of a mystery.

Here is what we do know based on media accounts of police reports and court proceedings.

Daniel W. Moore arrived at the Heard property on Galloway Mill Road looking for Bradley Heard, Russell Heard’s son, who lived on the property. Moore later told police he had gone to the property to retrieve a gun that had been taken from him.

Witnesses at the scene said Moore was holding a firearm pointed at the ground in front of his belt buckle.

Russell Heard asked his son to come outside in an effort to get his son and Moore to resolve whatever problem they had.

At some point, Bradley Heard came out of the house carrying a knife in each hand. Moore fired a warning shot into the ground.

In the altercation that followed, Moore, who suffered a knife wound, fired multiple rounds. Several struck Bradley Heard and one struck his father, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

Moore was arraigned on a charge of first-degree manslaughter. Bradley Heard recovered from his wounds and is charged with first-degree assault. We have seen no report to indicate that the gun that was alleged to have been taken has been found.

When Moore showed up at the Heard property with a loaded firearm in his hand, his decision had the potential for tragedy, which indeed was the outcome. A good man, who wasn’t involved in whatever issue there was between Moore and his son, was killed.

Had Moore simply let law enforcement handle the matter of the gun he said was taken from him, Russell Heard would be alive today.

Russell Heard’s family and friends are understandably puzzled, upset and angry over the no true bill returned by the grand jury. They want to know why the grand jury failed to indict.

They wonder if the grand jury heard from witnesses to the shooting and law enforcement officers who conducted the investigation.

The grand jury process is cloaked in secrecy so we do not know who may have testified or what, if any, information the grand jury might have been privy to that was not known to the general public.

To have closure, we believe the family and general public needs to know what that decision turned on. We call on Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron to provide some public insight on this.

This would not be unprecedented. We recall that Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who was the special prosecutor in the tragic Breonna Taylor death, made public statements after the grand jury finished its work and several jurors on that panel were quoted in the media as well.

If that information is not forthcoming, we would urge that a future grand jury take another look at that case.

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Ashland Indepedent. April 23, 2021.

Editorial: Treat Earth with care

Kudos to those who observed Earth Day this week, including the Ashland Town Center, which hosted KidX: To-Go Earth Day, teaching children about reusing materials and reducing waste. The mall also planted a tree, dedicated to local employees “who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.”

Also on Earth Day, which was Thursday, The Daily Independent reported Beam Suntory, producer of Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark bourbons, plans to cut companywide greenhouse gas emissions and water usage in half by 2030 and to remove more carbon than is emitted from its operations and among its supplier base by 2040. It also aims to plant 500,000 trees annually by 2030.

Manmade climate change is a fact. Earth’s response to the change in human behavior as a result of COVID-19 shows that to be true.

Because many people reduced their amount of driving because of stay-at-home orders and working at home, deforestation in some areas slowed, air pollution diminished, water quality improved and snow has become more reflective, meaning cleaner. That’s based on preliminarty research by NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey and the European Space Agency done by using Earth-observing satellites.

Science.org even reported the decrease in pollution was first detected in Wuhan, China, where the virus is thought to have originated. Then, the decrease spread throughout China. It seems to have followed the path of COVID-19, giving us another reason to believe our lifestyle changes have led to improvements in the environment.

While more study is needed to confirm these results, it’s pretty clear humans can make changes that affect Earth. The morally correct changes are the ones that make our home planet healthier. It’s also simple common sense to take care of the place where we live.

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Frankort State Journal. April 22, 2021.

Editorial: Jersey projects link athletics, history

It’s not every day that college students get an opportunity to wear history, but that is just what Kentucky State University baseball players were planning to do Wednesday until Mother Nature intervened with a rare late April measurable snowfall.

Brothers Michael and Darnell Carter, of Dayton, Ohio, arranged to loan their collection of more than 50 authentic replica Negro League baseball jerseys to the Thorobreds during their game against Georgetown College in the Jackie Robinson/Negro Leagues game. When the Tigers backed out, KSU decided to make it an intrasquad scrimmage, but that too was nixed due to the weather.

While the game didn’t materialize, the idea of celebrating and honoring players of the past for their contributions is a great way to introduce student-athletes — especially those at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) — to the history behind the game. It fits right in with K-State coach Rob Henry’s philosophy.

“In our program, we talk a lot about who came before you. We have nameplates over our lockers so they can see the names of players who were here before,” he told The State Journal.

“This is a much more global scale of players who came before and made a difference, people who sacrificed all those years ago so they can play this great game we love.”

The Negro League jersey project reminds us of when the Frankfort High School boys basketball team honored the city’s former African American high school, Mayo-Underwood, in 2019 by wearing its jerseys. FHS planned the event for the first game in February to kick off Black History Month. Mayo-Underwood was opened in the late 1920s and closed in 1956.

In that game, then-FHS player DaJuan Davis wore his great-grandfather Henry Davis’ (Mayo-Underwood Class of 1953) number, and both the elder Davis and Frederick Green (MU Class of 1954) were recognized.

Both projects, which bridge history with athletics, remind us of the importance of embracing our heritage and never forgetting where we came from.

“Not to be cheered by praise, not to be grieved by blame, but to know thoroughly one’s own virtues or powers are the characteristics of an excellent man,” said Satchel Paige, who is considered one of the greatest Negro League players of all time.

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