Five Things to Know Today
Good Monday morning! Hope your weekend was exactly what you needed, whatever that was. Ours was a combination of family and celebration and social distancing, and we made it work.
This weekend was also a “high holy day” for a number of faith communities, and while about 7 of them decided to meet in person in spite of the danger of spreading the virus, over 5,000 honored the governor’s request and figured out other ways to celebrate. In his update, Governor Beshear made a point of thanking those communities, and said that the story should be more about them than about the 7.
I’ll have a general newsletter coming out later today, to share some news about Forward Kentucky and ask for your feedback. When you get it, please open, read, and respond.
And finally, if you have family or friends who don’t think the coronavirus is serious, point them to the visualization on our site of the spread in three weeks. While some counties have no confirmed cases yet, others went from none to hot spot in just those three weeks.
Take care of yourself. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Over 99.8% of faith communities didn’t meet in-person; new testing program announced – Beshear 4/12 update
Gov. Beshear made a point of thanking the 5,000+ faith communities who honored his request to not meet in person. He also announced a new testing program in partnership with Kroger. And, he talked about the impact on nursing homes. (Forward Kentucky)
Churches, COVID-19, and the First Amendment: An analysis
How do we balance First Amendment rights with the public good in a pandemic? Dr. Neal Turpin looks at the issues involved and lays out some principles. (Forward Kentucky)
Ky General Fund receipts up 6.8% in March from year ago, Road Fund up 6%
The Office of State Budget Director reported Friday that March’s General Fund receipts rose 6.8% compared to March of last year, an increase of $56.0 million. Total revenues for the month were $876.1 million, compared to $820.1 million during March 2019. Receipts have now grown 3.9% for the first nine months of FY20.
“The COVID-19 virus will have a profound impact on the economy and tax collections, and its effects on tax receipts will begin to be seen in April,” according to the Office of the State Budget Director. “The temporary suspension of most retail activity and many other sectors of the economy has led to a dramatic increase in claims for unemployment insurance, which will lead to lower income tax withholding in the coming months. These business suspensions will also profoundly affect sales tax revenues as well. Individual income and sales taxes comprise about 77% of General Fund revenues. Essentially the well-being of the state’s economy and tax revenue is intertwined with the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the upcoming downturn in revenue collections will not abate until the public health crisis improves.” (Lane Report)
State forms COVID-19 task force for nursing homes, long-term-care facilities
State officials have formed a task force to advise them about how to prevent the coronavirus from devastating the state’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, which have already suffered 18 deaths from it. (Forward Kentucky)
Visualization: The spread of COVID-19 in Kentucky in 21 days
Want to see how COVID-19 has spread across the state? Here is a neat visualization using two maps three weeks apart. Pretty dramatic. (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.
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
[new] Repubs call out Beshear for actions on mass gatherings – 4/11 update – Gov. Beshear got pushback on his mass gathering actions. He took a good amount of time in his Sat update explaining why he did what he did. (read)
[new] 🔥 Beshear says violators of mass-gatherings order will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks. – On a Good Friday that he announced the most new cases of COVID-19, Gov. Andy Beshear said people attending mass gatherings on Easter weekend, against his emergency order, would be subject to a two-week quarantine. (read)
🔥 Beshear says about 17 churches planning services ‘can probably expect to see us’ – Gov. Andy Beshear said Wednesday that about 17 churches and other entities in Kentucky are still planning to hold gatherings this weekend, despite his order against it and his grave warnings that they will spread the coronavirus and kill people. He said he hopes they will change their plans, but in case they don’t, he is talking to local officials about what to do. And he got the support of a religiously focused lobbying group that urged churches not to meet. (read)
🔥 On this subject, the opinions of Paul, Massie, and KY GOP are worthless – Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, and the KY GOP are attacking Beshear for his approach to large gatherings. Based on their actions, we should not care what they say. (read)
These Sanders voters know what they’re going to do – A story about an orphan, his family, the lessons he learned and shared with his children, and how those children are going to vote. (read)
🔥 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 show] 🔥 TSOK: Robert Kahne, Jazmin Smith, Dr. Alexandra Owensby, and Republicans in Wisconsin and Kentucky – Join us this week with guests Robert Kahne and Jazmin Smith to talk about their show My Old Kentucky Podcast. Then, we interview Dr. Alexandra Owensby, who is a health care professional in the midst of a pandemic AND a candidate running to face Thomas Massie in KY-04. Finally, our publisher Bruce Maples shares his thoughts about the the Wisconsin primary and the insistence by Republicans to vote in the face of a pandemic, and compares that to Kentucky Republicans and what they may do this coming week. (watch)
[new podcast] COVID-19 lawsuits, PPE bidding wars, and interview with Shirley Flynn Mitchell – This week’s My Old Kentucky Podcast features multiple updates about the COVID-19 crisis, Justin Walker going to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, and Shirley Flynn Mitchell interview. (listen)
Broihier releases “Thank you Bernie” video – After Bernie Sanders announced he was suspending his campaign, congressional candidate Mike Broihier released this video, thanking Senator Sanders for the difference he has made in the presidential campaign, and indeed in our national discourse. (view)
A video to thank our health-care workers – Brave New Films has released a video to say “Thank you” to all the health-care workers around the world who are giving their all while putting their own lives on the line. Watch, share, and say Thank You. (view)
[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)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Gov. Andy Beshear calls on 3M to release patent for N95 respirator amid pandemic (2,000+ shares)
- Beshear even firmer against gatherings, including small family ones (1,000+ shares)
- Beshear says about 17 churches planning services ‘can probably expect to see us’ (1,000+ shares)
- 🔥 Kentucky church leader vows to hold Easter services even after getting Beshear stop order (550 shares)
- 🔥 Churches, COVID-19, and the First Amendment: An analysis (431 shares)
- 🔥 On this subject, the opinions of Paul, Massie, and KY GOP are worthless (398 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.
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