• I spent nearly an hour on the old blue bridge Monday afternoon watching crews lower the first of four, nearly 70-ton beams, down onto pillars as they worked on the new span that will cross the Salt River when completed.

    I walked away with a renewed appreciation for knowledge, the kind not necessarily learned in a lecture hall or from a book, but from doing.

  • With the 2015 election season nearing the finish line, voter guides of all political stripes have made their rounds, including the Commonwealth Policy Center’s. It focuses entirely on social issues and asks candidates’ views on the defense of the unborn, opposition to the industrialization of gambling, the protection of religious convictions in the public square, and marriage between a man and a woman.

  • I found myself teaching elementary-age students about civics and public service in Casey County this week as part of America’s Legislators Back to School Program.

  • I was fascinated by the media coverage given to Pope Francis’s visit to America last week. I was even more amused by watching the differing groups in America lining up to use the Pope’s words to bolster their own agenda.

    Liberal groups were salivating for the Pope to echo their concerns about social justice issues like poverty and immigration.

    Social conservatives were there to shout a hearty “Amen” when the Pope addressed issues like abortion.

  • Congratulations are in order to Spencer County. The Kentucky Department of Education last week released it’s report card on schools and districts across the Commonwealth, and Spencer County got very respectable grades. In fact, it could be said that Spencer County is moving to the head of the class.

    Out of over 170 districts in the state, Spencer County is ranked 38th in the latest report, continuing its steady ascent. For the first time, the district has earned ‘distinguished’ status.

  • I would like to take a moment to bring to the readership’s attention the dedication of our middle school principal. I had a question regarding the middle school and decided to look up Principal Matt Mercer’s e-mail address and drop him a line. To my surprise, I’d hardly hit the ‘send button’ before a professional, courteous reply was returned.

  • I’m an old codger of sorts, and have been for a long time. I think old music is much better than the new stuff. Old cars and trucks turn my head much more than the newer models and they don’t make good television shows like Andy Griffith any more. Now get off my lawn!

    Ok, I’m not that bad, but I do have an affinity and appreciation for days gone by. I think we, as a culture, too often cast aside the old in preference of the new, often with little regard for how practical, useful and effective the old was.

  • Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s recent stop in Kentucky to try and convince businesses to move south to the Sunshine State was met with predictable derision from the political establishment.

    Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer used Scott’s visit to remind people of the Florida governor’s baggage from his past tenure as CEO of the Columbia HCA hospital chain, which purchased Humana’s “Galen” hospitals in the early 1990s.

  • Hemp has come a long way, increasing from 33 acres in 2014 — the first legal crop in Kentucky — to more than 922 acres planted this year.

    “Welcome to Kentucky, the leading industrial hemp-producing state in the country. It feels good to say that,” Agriculture Commissioner James Comer told a sold-out crowd Monday at the annual Hemp Industries Association Conference in Lexington.

  • In my travels I often hear about the many ways that Washington fails to stand up and fight for worthy causes. Among the most notable is the fight to protect innocent life. That’s why last summer I said that a new Republican majority would prioritize legislation that aims to protect unborn children after 20 weeks in the womb, and that’s why I will be proud to vote for it this coming week.

  • The most exercise many Americans today get is sitting in front of their computer screens or televisions and rushing to judgment or jumping to conclusions. While these exercises don’t help us burn calories, they do help agenda-driven journalists in their quest to fan flames.

    Last year we saw it in Ferguson, Missouri, and last week we saw it in Irving, Texas, where a 14-year-old boy was punished by school authorities for bringing a ‘clock’ to school that resembled a homemade bomb.

  • Several years ago, this newspaper ran a photograph taken at the county line on Highway 155 going into Louisville. The purpose of the picture was to illustrate the seemingly never-ending string of cars that crossed the border each day, taking their occupants to jobs elsewhere.

    Of course, that was prior to the recession of 2008, when Spencer County was repeatedly listed as the fastest growing county in the state of Kentucky, and one of the fastest growing in the entire U.S.

  • Kentucky is embarking on one of the biggest infrastructure projects in more than 50 years – developing a robust, reliable, fiber “backbone” infrastructure that will bring high-speed Internet connectivity to every county of the Commonwealth.

    The network, called KentuckyWired or the I-Way in eastern Kentucky, will break down geographic and financial barriers to education and economic development by providing affordable, high-quality Internet service to connect Kentuckians to the world.

  • After spending several days abroad and purposely disconnected from any news, I was startled upon returning to learn of the jailing of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis. I was aware of the possibility, but jail? Really? Perhaps my return flight landed me in the wrong country—one foreign to its founding ideals, namely the one promising religious liberty.

  • Kentucky lost another law enforcement officer late Sunday evening when State Police Trooper Joseph Cameron Ponder, 31, was shot and killed by a suspect who opened fire on his cruiser following a high speed chase.

    Sadly, reports are now surfacing that Ponder, a Navy veteran who graduated from the KSP academy in January, was initially going to give the 25-year-old suspect a break.

  • While I love our little hometown paper, I often get frustrated with the coverage. The amount of coverage that certain sports are always receiving is upsetting. This week, I opened the sports page and immediately saw a picture and a nice article about the win this past Friday over East Jessamine that’s continued on page 9. That is approximately one and a half page coverage on football alone. Volleyball and Soccer had a couple pictures and little coverage and Cross Country had a little snippet.

  • The Obama Administration recently unleashed its latest attack on Kentucky coal jobs, miners, and their families by unveiling the final version of its so-called Clean Power Plan, which seeks to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. This move demands and deserves a forceful response from those of us who seek to protect Kentucky coal.

  • Political Correctness—the emphasis of sensitivity over truth, and the sometimes watering down of straight talk to preserve people’s feeling, is in the news again thanks to the pugnacious and attention-grabbing GOP frontrunner who told a crowd in Cleveland earlier this month “the big problem this country has is being politically correct.”

  • While Americans put a cap on the summer and enjoyed a three day weekend, Kim Davis sat in a Kentucky jail cell for refusing to act in a way she said would violate her first amendment freedom of religion.

    Much has been said and written about the plight of Davis. There are plenty who detest the Rowan County clerk, and yet there are an equal number of folks who admire her. Count me among the latter.