Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:
The State Journal on how residents in Kentucky's Franklin County can help the community during the coronavirus pandemic:
With the coronavirus continuing to rage in communities across the country — including Franklin County — it may seem that 2021 is already shaping up to be a continuation of last year. But it doesn’t have to be.
Last week the county recorded its highest weekly COVID-19 case count with 277 newly confirmed cases. Those pushed the monthly case count to 652 — setting the record for the largest number of coronavirus cases the local health department has reported since the pandemic began in March.
And while we all need to do our part to prevent the coronavirus from spreading — such as wearing face masks, practicing social distancing and proper hand hygiene — that doesn’t mean we can’t do something nice to help someone else.
That’s just what Buddy Bennett, Eddie Hortenbury and Allan Oakland, who work for Lee Buildings Products, did at the corner of Second Street and Capital Avenue on Saturday by handing out 100 free brown bag lunches to those in need.
“We felt that in these crazy times we’re living in with COVID, unrest and people having lost jobs and unemployment not coming through, that there was a need,” Bennett told The State Journal. “Even if you don’t need someone to buy you lunch, it’s here.”
The trio plans to continue distributing the lunches as long as there is a need and will be back in the parking lot at VFW Post 4075 on Second Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s their way of giving back during these trying times.
Another way to help the community is by donating to the Franklin County Humane Society’s new animal shelter fund. The organization is in the midst of a $1.6 million fundraising campaign for a new shelter on the city-owned Carpenter farm off the East-West Connector.
Currently, the humane society has raised more than $603,000 for the animal shelter, which would replace the aging facility on Kentucky Avenue. Donations may be made online or by sending a check to FCHS at 1041 Kentucky Ave., Frankfort. Please be sure to specify that the funds be used for the new shelter to make sure the donation goes to the proper account.
There are also plenty of ways to help others without spending money. Give blood. Volunteer at a school, church or charity. Coach a youth sport. Donate nonperishables or unused gift cards to a local organization in need. Pick up litter. Hold the door or offer a compliment to someone else.
This year let’s choose to think of and lift up others in our community. Kindness doesn’t cost a thing and its rewards are immeasurable.
The News-Enterprise on a Kentucky man accused of being part of the mob who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6:
The arrest of a local man on federal charges resulting from his alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol is an embarrassment for the community.
Michael Nelson Sparks, 43, is one four Kentuckians among more than 100 individuals to date arrested or charged in connection with the attack. He was booked Tuesday into the Oldham County Detention Center following arrest by the FBI. Sparks is identified on jail booking documents as a resident of Cecilia while federal court documents list his residence as Elizabethtown.
Like all criminal suspects, Sparks is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
According to the FBI, three separate people turned in tips to the bureau’s National Threat Operations Center, after spotting Sparks among the swarm shown in widely distributed videos and photographs of rioters who breached and illegally entered the Capitol.
According to the FBI affidavit, Sparks was identified by tipsters in 10 photographs, one of which reportedly shows him to be the first illegally entering the building through a smashed window and another confronting a U.S. Capitol officer when inside.
Sparks was one of untold thousands who trekked to D.C. that day in protest of the outcome of the presidential election. Only he knows why he chose to cross the threshold from lawful and peaceful protest to criminal, riotous action in breaching the U.S. Capitol. Only he knows what he had in mind once he got inside the building.
It’s clear that these decisions resulted in loss of life and serious injury to others. It’s also a miracle many more were not killed or maimed amid the chaos inside and on the Capitol grounds.
This newspaper has long held and voiced the position that folks here and elsewhere should be active participants in the electorate process, from the local through the national level. Voicing one’s views and desires as a voter at the ballot box and as a candidate for office is what makes our country an example to others around the globe.
But making a decision to break the law and attempt to control an outcome because it didn’t go one’s way isn’t an act of saving democracy, it only serves to destroy it. It knocks America back into the company of desperate dictatorships and violent regimes of the third world.
Sparks’ alleged actions do not speak for other Hardin Countians. He and others like him who have and are soon-to-be arrested and charged should be held accountable in a court of law for their actions.
All reasonable-minded Americans condemn their actions.
There can be no excuse for what took place that day. We’re better as a nation than what occurred. And as a nation, we cannot allow such violent, ill-intended action to happen again.
The Daily Independent on Gov. Andy Beshear's leadership during the coronavirus pandemic:
Kentucky might not be at the top in terms of speed of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, but Gov. Andy Beshear has shown top-notch leadership in the fight against the coronavirus from the beginning.
His daily media briefings were consistent, dependable and truthful from Day 1. His leadership was needed and appreciated.
His leadership also continues.
This week, Beshear’s office announced increased funds to Kentucky’s 112 hospitals to help improve the quality of care via inpatient Medicaid payments. These funds are aimed at helping hospitals meet challenges that reach beyond the COVID-19 pandemic and require hospitals to “abide by higher quality standards.”
It also was announced this week that Beshear will help lead a national task force offering states guidance on economic recovery from the pandemic.
Beshear will be co-chairman of the Economic Recovery and Revitalization task force, working with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on issues such as energy, environment, infrastructure, land management and taxes.
Beshear recognizes the gravity of the task.
“This global health crisis has upended economies all over the world, and there isn’t a state or territory in the United States that has been spared from its devastating impacts,” Beshear said.
We thank our governor for his dedication, hard work and transparency in the past and what we expect him to do in the future.