The Forward Five – Thursday, 4/9/20

13 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! I’ve gotten out a few times, and impact of the #HealthyAtHome guidance is certainly noticeable on the roads, with traffic mostly down to a trickle compared to normal. There’s also the changes at the stores, and the various closings and other “signs of the times.”

Our three photographers — Nick Lacy, Del Ramey, and Berry Craig — all do wonderful work. So when Del suggested a photo collection of “life during the coronavirus in Kentucky,” the three of them took and shared a number of pix that show how our collective life has changed … and how we are adapting. You can see the results in Kentucky in the coronavirus – a photo essay. (And, if you are into Pinterest, you might want to pin some of them for safe-keeping.)

As I say, people are adapting, and people are making sacrifices, some small and some very big. Let’s do our part to make sure those sacrifices are not in vain by taking this virus seriously and following the guidance we’ve been given.

Take care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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204 new cases; more limits on store access; violator tip line gets 30,000 calls
In yesterday’s update, it was the toughest day yet for cases in the state, yet there was also good news about unemployment benefits. And, a tribute to John Prine at the end, singing “My Old Kentucky Home” while showing pictures of green-lit homes and buildings across the state. (Forward Kentucky)

From 12 to 1200, state ramps up number of employees to handle unemployment claims
That increase comes as a response to the historic number of Kentuckians who have filed for unemployment in recent weeks, straining the system well beyond its capacity and leaving many applicants either unable to file for unemployment or unsure of the status of their claims. (Forward Kentucky)

Workers say UPS not doing enough to protect them from coronavirus
UPS employees say one of Kentucky’s largest private employers is violating city and state rules intended to prevent the spread of coronavirus by not enforcing social distancing. They also say the company is not providing adequate protective gear. Concerns are heightened after an employee at the UPS Worldport, the Louisville-based global shipping hub, died over the weekend. Three employees who work at two different UPS facilities said they first heard about the death on the news.

“I don’t even know what my risk is, because I’m not being told anything,” said one Worldport employee, who asked not to be named to protect her job. “There have to be more cases out there. They’re just not sharing that with us.” 

This employee said her whole job is done from a computer, and she has asked to work from home, but has been told that is not possible. But this employee said her workspace is not the concern so much as the congregating that happens when people are waiting for shuttles, at the security checkpoint, in the break areas and throughout the facility. (KY Center for Investigative Reporting)

COVID-19 hitting Louisville African Americans, Asians harder, but not at nation’s levels
While African Americans are dying in dramatically disproportionate numbers from the coronavirus across the country, early figures show that is not happening in Louisville. But black and Asian residents in Kentucky’s largest city are being hit harder in terms of their percentage of positive COVID-19 cases.

Figures released by Mayor Greg Fischer’s office on Wednesday show about 20% of the 27 people who have died from the virus in the city have been African American. That is slightly lower than their proportion of the population, which is 23.5%, according to census data. But black residents in Louisville have been infected at a slightly higher rate — 27% —  among the 400 confirmed cases. (Courier-Journal)

Kentucky church leader vows to hold Easter services even after getting Beshear stop order
Despite Gov. Beshear’s pleas for places of worship to hold virtual services, Maryville Baptist Church is planning on in-person services this Sunday. (Forward Kentucky)

Not all stories on Forward Kentucky make it to the top “Five Things” section of the Forward Five! Many stories only show up in the yellow section below, which is a running list of pretty much everything published. So, be sure to scan the lower section each day as well, so you don’t miss anything.

Tomorrow’s “State of Kentucky” Show

Robert Kahne and Jazmin Smith of “My Old Kentucky Podcast”
Dr. Alexandra Owensby, candidate for Congress in KY-04 (Massie’s district)

Live at noon Eastern on Facebook and YouTube
Recording available afterward on FB, YouTube, and Forward Kentucky web site
Also available as a podcast wherever you listen to podcasts

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)


[new] Beshear esp concerned about nursing homes, state facilities – 4/7 update – 147 new confirmed cases, 7 new deaths; getting PPE still a struggle, donations needed; virus appears to have more impact among POC. Summary and video. (read and view)

[new] FBI, Attorney General’s Office say they are focused on preventing scams – AG Daniel Cameron, the FBI, and the Better Business Bureau are concerned about coronavirus scams, including pop-up testing and calls about relief funds. (read)

[new] Let’s get the statistics right about the coronavirus pandemic – Lots of numbers are being thrown around about COVID. But how helpful are they? Here’s a call for better use of stats in the reporting about the pandemic. (read)

[new] 🔥 Two models of KY COVID impact – we’re better in one, worse in the other – A group of epidemiologists has a model which projects that Kentucky will lose less of its population to COVID-19 than any major bordering state except West Virginia. However, the latest forecast from another model also shows Kentucky not doing as well as it did in the previous forecast. (read)

[new] KY Congressional candidate releases infrastructure plan to rebuild the economy – A candidate for Congress from northern Kentucky says the U.S. should use a massive infrastructure rebuilding program to help the economy recover. (read)

🔥 Beshear even firmer against gatherings, including small family ones – Monday update included multiple strong warnings against gatherings of ANY size. State had 54 new confirmed cases and 14 deaths. (read)

A tale of two campaigns – Josh Hicks and Al Cunningham both planned on winning their elections through old-fashioned, in-person campaigning. Here’s what they’re doing instead. (read)

Gunfight at the Supply Chain Corral – The medical supply chain has become like something out of an improbable science fiction film, with renegade brokers and dead-of-night thievery. Here’s why. (read)

🔥 A physician explains why and when to wear a mask – Now that the CDC has changed its guidance on wearing masks during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s good to know the facts. A doctor lays it out for us. (read)


[new] 🔥 Gov. Beshear is what Kentucky needed to fight voter suppression – Gov. Edward T. Breathitt made the history books for signing the landmark Kentucky Civil Rights Act of 1966. Gov. Beshear might not earn as much ink for vetoing SB 2, the Republican voter suppression bill. But he’s what Kentucky needs at this moment. (read)

[new] Union solidarity — a great community asset in times of trial – One of the greatest assets a community can have when facing adversity is groups that are ready to step up and help. Guess what? Unions fit that bill. (read)

🔥 In ‘Mitch, Please,’ Matt Jones takes on McConnell county by county by county – Linda Blackford of the Herald-Leader interviews Matt Jones about his new book, “Mitch, Please,” and about how to run as a Dem in Kentucky. (read)

🔥 Dear pastors: Get over yourselves – I have spent much of my life serving in church. So with that background and insight, I have a simple message to those still holding in-person services: Stop. (read)


[new photo collection] 🔥 Kentucky in the coronavirus – a photo essay – Our three photographers have been doing what they do: taking pictures. So, we created a photo essay to show the striking effects of the coronavirus across Kentucky. (view)

[show] TSOK for April 3: Joni Jenkins, Amy McGrath, and Becky Dutch – It’s The State of Kentucky for Friday, April 3! Our guests: Rep. Joni Jenkins to talk about the budget and about voting from cars; Amy McGrath, talking about her campaign and what she would say to progressives and others about why they should vote for her; and Dr. Becky Dutch of UK College of Medicine, explaining why it is so hard to get COVID-19 testing. Enjoy! (watch)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

The Forward 5 is published Monday to Friday by Forward Kentucky, an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky, and is re-posted with permission. You can sign up for the email version of the newsletter on their website.

DemCast is an advocacy-based 501(c)4 nonprofit. We have made the decision to build a media site free of outside influence. There are no ads. We do not get paid for clicks. If you appreciate our content, please consider a small monthly donation.

Forward Kentucky is an independent media organization focused on progressive news and issues in Kentucky. Our objectives are to provide journalism that is objective, policies that are effective, and commentary that is progressive. Our goal is to help Kentucky become all that it can be through government that works, for all. We are "the progressive voice for Kentucky politics."

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