The Forward Five – Wednesday, 4/29/20

13 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

Good morning! One of the joys of doing this work is having a great team to work with. And a part of that team that many of you have never met is our great group of visual artists.

We’ve been blessed for a long time with the writing talents of Berry Craig – but did you know he’s also a photographer? His photos have graced our pages for a while, both as accompaniments to stories and used in photo galleries. Seeing Berry at an event with a hand-held recorder in one hand and a camera (or two) around his neck is a familiar sight in west Kentucky.

A recent addition to our team is Del Ramey, a retired Ph. D. in electrical engineering who has been “the guy with the camera” for many years. He is an activist in Louisville, taking pictures wherever he goes, and graciously shares them with all of you in galleries of events.

Then there’s Nick Lacy. Instead of getting into photography as a hobby like Berry and Del, Nick is a professional photographer who has done both news coverage and art photography for years. He moved to Kentucky and got involved in local politics, and covers some events with his camera. He has a special interest in black-and-white photograpy, creating some of the most striking photos we’ve shared.

The work of all these contributors is often in photo galleries on our site. When you see one listed (like the drive-thru testing story listed in the Media section), you need to check it out. There is something about the visual element provided by these three team-mates that just can’t be conveyed with words.

And finally, there is our resident editorial cartoonist, Aaron Smith. Like the photos, Aaron’s cartoons can often say more in one panel than a 1,000-word editorial can convey. His work is pointed but not mean, and is always timely. His Matt Bevin “Remember” series from last year was a great summary of the low-lights of the Bevin administration. And his latest cartoon, “What modern-day heroes REALLY want,” should be seen and shared widely. It, too, is in the yellow Featured box below.

I am gratified to be able to share the work of these four with you, and you should be glad we can. Please take time to view their work when it comes up – you’ll be glad you did.

Thank for reading, AND for viewing. Take good care of yourselves. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Attorney general threatens lawsuits, Beshear responds – 4/28 update
AG Cameron has filed one court order, joined another, and threatened a third over Gov. Beshear’s executive orders. Beshear commented on those in today’s update. Also, he laid out the ten guidelines of the “Healthy at Work” initiative. Many other news items in this update. (Forward Kentucky)

Report: Bouchard misled everyone
Former Braidy Industries CEO Craig Bouchard misled the Ashland community, the company’s board of the directors and investors, and crushed any dissent within the company’s ranks, according to a report filed in Delaware Court. (Forward Kentucky)

Reopen churches to in-person services or face legal action, AG says
Attorney General Daniel Cameron is calling upon Gov. Andy Beshear to reopen churches to in-person services or face legal action. (Forward Kentucky)

As KY payday lenders see business dropping, they seek forgiveable loans
As members of Congress push for allowing payday lenders to access federal loans, data show that their business in Kentucky dropped precipitously when the pandemic struck. Payday, or deferred deposit, loan products offer small-dollar loans to borrowers, typically those with poor credit or without access to a traditional bank account. Critics of the industry say the loans are designed to trap borrowers into a cycle of debt.

The industry turned to Congress for help to manage the downturn, and a group of lawmakers asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration head Jovita Carranza last week to allow short-term, high-interest lenders to access funding from the Paycheck Protection Program. Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican from Lexington, was among those who signed it.

If granted, the lawmakers’ request would allow payday lenders offering annual interest rates as high as 469% to tap into forgivable loans with a 1% interest rate. (KY Center for Investigative Reporting)

As Trump orders meatpackers to stay open, Health Department complaints allege Louisville plant failed to protect workers
As President Trump ordered meatpacking plants on Tuesday to keep operating amid the coronavirus pandemic, more details are emerging about the concerns workers had about their safety at a facility in Louisville, where dozens of workers were infected and one died. 

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services reported as of Monday, the state was aware of 220 coronavirus cases at four meatpacking plants, including 34 cases at a JBS Swift plant in Louisville. The cabinet also reported one death — at that Louisville plant. (Ohio Valley Resource)

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

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

— News —

[new] Beshear, Stack lay out timeline for reopening health care and other segments of the economy – Four phases with dates for health care facilities; guidance on masks and social distancing; WaPo story on extra deaths that could be from COVID-19. (read)

[new] More details on expanded absentee voting in primary – We have gathered additional details about the voting procedures for the June primary, including the expanded absentee voting. There’s still more to work out about the processes, including building the online portal, but the outline of voting in the primary is coming into focus. (read)

[new] Booker releases “Not Mitch, Us” ad – Candidate Charles Booker just released a new ad focused on the grassroots nature of his campaign, called “Not Mitch, Us.” He noted that after the ad was initially released on Facebook, many people responded to the central message of the ad. (read)

[new] 🔥 McGrath releases ad … attacking Mitch’s ad – Senator McConnell recently released a campaign ad where he took credit for passing the CARES Act. In response, the McGrath campaign released their own ad, as well as a series of tweets attacking McConnell. (read)

‘Reopen’ protest movement created, boosted by fake grassroots tactics – In recent days, there have there been public protests against continuing the coronavirus lockdown. The people who are doing the demonstrating may really be frustrated and upset, but new research, and journalistic investigation, is revealing that there are powerful forces behind them, egging them on, who want their influence to remain secret. (read)


[new] When Trump shafts Fox News – It’s coming, you can count on it – Donald Trump is going to put the shaft to Fox News, just like he has so many other loyal allies. (read)

[new] Unions still mourning the dead – and fighting like hell for the living – It’s the 50th anniversary of the Workers Memorial Day. And in the midst of the pandemic, what do we find? Workers still required to work in unsafe conditions, and a federal government that encourages that. (read)

[new] 🔥 Dear Kentuckians – Here’s the new normal for us as individuals – We keep hearing Governor Beshear and others refer to the coming “new normal.” But what does that mean? Some people think it will be just going back to the old normal – but they are wrong. Here are Bruce Maples’s predictions on what the new normal will look like for us as individuals. (read)

🔥 Dear Kentuckians – Don’t get played – In these days of social media, getting played is a constant danger. Here are three ways that it can happen if we are not careful – and how to prevent it. (read)

— Cartoons —

What modern-day heroes REALLY want – During this pandemic, we’ve taken to calling our front-line responders and essential workers the “heroes” of this crisis. Some people have even made capes for them. Aaron Smith, though, captures what many of these modern-day heroes are REALLY thinking. (view)

— Media —

[photo gallery] 🔥 Drive-thru testing in Louisville’s West End – a photo gallery – Del Ramey traveled to Louisville’s West End on Sunday to observe a drive-thru testing site and how the process worked. Here’s a gallery of what he saw there. (view)

 🔥 Anti-Trump Repubs post new coronavirus ad: “Two Americans” – The Lincoln Project has released a new ad, focused on the coronavirus and the contrast between those who are sacrificing and those who are demanding. Watch it here. (view)

[show] TSOK – Native Americans and COVID-19; plus KY Senate 23 candidate Ryan Olexia – Join us for this week’s The State of Kentucky, as we talk with Tiffany Pyette about the challenges indigenous people are facing in dealing with the coronavirus. Then, we welcome Ryan Olexia, who is running for state Senate. (watch)

[podcast] COVID protests and end-of-session shenanigans – This week, Jazmin goes through all the new COVID-19 news, including updates about cases, testing, and the emerging protests that are appearing in Frankfort. Robert talked about the end of the legislative session, which saw a surprise abortion bill passed and the confirmation of all but one of Governor Beshear’s nominees to the Board of Education. Plus, Quick Hits! (listen)

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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