Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:


May 12

The Bowling Green Daily News on local school districts' alternative graduation plans:

The ongoing COVID-19 epidemic has disrupted the daily lives of everyone in the nation, and that is highly unfortunate.

It has particularly affected schools, which have been closed since mid-March and will not reopen this term. Students have done their studies from home and submitted their assignments via computer or by turning paperwork in to schools for grading.

For two months, this whole epidemic has changed life as we’ve known it and there is no indication that an end is in the near future.

Knowing that, we feel bad for everyone whose lives have been altered and affected by this epidemic, especially those who were about to graduate high school. Graduating high school is a big time in a young person’s life. They are ending one chapter and beginning a new one, whether it be going to college, entering their chosen trade or going into the military.

One of the big excitements for a graduating senior is the actual graduation ceremony. Sadly, due to this epidemic, area high schools had to announce that they will not be able to hold commencement ceremonies this year.

This is extremely unfortunate and we know puts a damper on the senior years of those who looked forward to walking the line with their friends. But we understand and appreciate the difficult decisions made by the Bowling Green Independent School District and the Warren County Public Schools to cancel the ceremonies.

The districts are working to make up for the cancellations by giving graduating seniors some options.

BGISD Superintendent Gary Fields said the district is planning to hold a virtual ceremony at 2 p.m. May 24. Viewers should expect remarks from Fields, Bowling Green High School Principal Kyle McGraw, school board Chair Jane Wilson and the senior class president.

The week leading up to the ceremony – May 17-20 – will be “Graduation Week.” During those four days, the district would like graduates to schedule appointments to come to the high school’s arena dressed in their caps and gowns. With a small number of family members present, each senior will be able to collect their diploma and walk across the stage, with opportunities for photos and video.

The Warren County Board of Education is also working to get graduation plans in order during this epidemic. WCPS Superintendent Rob Clayton said graduations will take the form of an alternative celebration May 22-23 with the hope of holding an in-person ceremony Aug. 1 or Aug. 2, if public health guidelines permit.

The plans laid out by both school boards seem like reasonable attempts to allow graduating seniors the chance to feel like they are part of a graduation ceremony. It had to be hard for the school boards to make these decisions in such trying times, but we believe they made good calls regarding graduations and commend them for doing so.

In closing, we would like to say congratulations to all high school graduating classes of 2020. Good luck in the next chapters of your lives.



May 8

The Daily Independent on fact checking and misinformation amid the pandemic:

Back in 1986, Genesis released the song, “Land of Confusion.”

Although it’s believed to be a song about the dangers of excessive political power — a message backed up by a strange, attention-grabbing, popular music video — the first few lines of the chorus apply to a certain sector of our society today.

“There’s too many men, too many people, making too many problems; and not much love to go around,” sang Phil Collins 34 years ago.

Social media platforms are today’s land of confusion — sometimes that’s a result of simultaneously being the “land of conspiracy.”

If you pulled up your Facebook feed this week, specifically the middle of the week, chances are you came across someone posting about the viral YouTube video entitled “Plandemic” just a few moments after you began scrolling.

Somehow, just because it was getting shared and viewed by so many, it further verified its contents as truth.

However, upon researching the key figure in the video, one will quickly realize — if looking at it through a clear lens — that perhaps it falls into a long line of debunked conspiracy theories.

A year after that Genesis hit was released, “Dragnet,” the movie, starring Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks came out. Aykroyd played Sgt. Joe Friday and said the famous line, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

We as a society struggle to form an opinion based on solely facts simply because there’s so much information (and misinformation) floating out there.

Our job as a newspaper is to bring you facts. And when we do screw up — and we are human, so we do — we strive to immediately make corrections.

The point of this editorial is not to tell you you’re wrong for believing every word the doctor says in “Plandemic.”

The point is to do as much research and gather as much knowledge as you possibly can on a particular subject before shaping your opinion.

We too often jump to the “land of conclusion,” all the while the path leading you to that point is filled with delusion.

It all goes back to the third line of the Genesis song — “making too many problems.” Don’t be the “too many men (or women)” who fall into that category. Be part of the solution.

Gather the facts.



May 7

The State Journal on compensating essential workers:

The Frankfort Independent Schools Board of Education recently unanimously approved HERO pay — a temporary $8 per hour pay increase — for its food service workers for a 7½-week period.

“This is frontline work and there’s not enough that can be said to express our appreciation for these folks,” FIS board Chairperson Jina Greathouse said of the food service employees, who have been providing meals to the district’s students during Nontraditional Instruction days.

However, a week before, when Judge-Executive Huston Wells asked the Franklin County Fiscal Court to consider a temporary $2 per hour pay hike for its employees who are at a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, the magistrates squabbled back and forth about whether it was an administrative decision that Wells alone could approve or whether they needed to vote on the measure. And then, ultimately, did nothing.

Wells recommended a $2 per hour pay bump for firefighters, inspectors, animal control, deputy jailers and deputy sheriffs. As salaried employees, deputy coroners would have received a weekly $50 stipend. The additional pay would have lasted for 10 weeks and cost the county $155,820.

While we realize the COVID-19 crisis is affecting revenue in the county budget, making it difficult for departments to predict their future needs, $155,820 is less than a drop in the bucket of the county’s $27 million budget.

But it’s less about the money as it is about the way the court went about its rejection of the idea.

Magistrate Lambert Moore flat out said no — saying it’s money the county doesn’t know if it will have. JW Blackburn was also hesitant, adding that holding off on a pay increase now might reduce the chance of layoffs later. Marti Booth waffled on her decision, originally saying she was in favor of it, then changing her mind.

Scotty Tracy, Sherry Sebastian and Michael Mueller danced around a vote by trying to throw the ball back in Wells’ court, citing that a declaration of emergency authorizes the judge-executive to make the decision and that it should be handled administratively. While County Attorney Rick Sparks explained that the court would have to vote on it, Sebastian interrupted to say it felt like “the court is trying to get railroaded on this.”

Sparks fired back. “I hear the court’s not wanting to do its job. That’s not railroading. You’re faced with the decision to vote it up or down.”

In the end, no vote was taken and the item was removed from the agenda — a thoughtful gesture for those on the frontlines during a global pandemic that the court squandered.