Five Things to Know Today
Good morning! You may have heard of the protest at the state capitol on Saturday, with people calling for the economy to completely reopen immediately, saying we should forget about wearing masks, and comparing Governor Beshear to Hitler.
Don’t be too alarmed by that – A number of those protesters were from out of state, and some of them apparently go from state to state to protest. But even for the ones from Kentucky, they are definitely in the minority. We’ll have a story up later today of a nation-wide poll that asked hundreds of people in each state how they felt about the pandemic and about the government’s handling of it. In Kentucky, 81% of the people in the poll approved of what Beshear is doing to deal with the virus. So, I’d say most of the state is behind him in this, and the protesters are just a sideshow.
BUT, do be alarmed by this – My wife and I were out yesterday to get some groceries, and she noted how few people in the store were wearing masks. Even in the poll I mentioned earlier, people seem okay with all the other guidelines, but a majority didn’t want to wear a mask when out in public. It seems like a silly hill to die on (perhaps literally), but that is apparently a line for some.
So, it’s time to start being the example. Social pressure is not just for teenagers, and if enough of us wear masks when we are out in public, eventually the scoffers will be the ones standing out.
Wash your hands. Wear your masks, homemade or store-bought. And check on each other. We’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky
Bruce Maples, publisher
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Beshear: Sign up, show up; protest safely; wear a mask; and take time off from pandemic news
Gov. Andy Beshear made several pleas Sunday: Sign up for coronavirus testing; if you sign up, don’t fail to show up; if you disagree with his policies, do it safely, unlike some protesters Saturday; wear a mask in public; and take some time off and tune out news about the pandemic. (Forward Kentucky)
Is COVID-19 actually worse in Kentucky’s rural counties?
The numbers of cases and deaths are biggest in our cities. But when it comes to rates, how are our rural counties doing? Actually, worse than the cities. (Forward Kentucky)
State senator calls for criminal probe into Braidy
The head of the Kentucky Senate Appropriation Committee is calling for a criminal probe into Braidy Industries, amid fallout from revelations made in Delaware court filings. (Forward Kentucky)
Nearly one in three Kentucky workers may be out of a job
Although March’s official unemployment rate was 5.8%, once the unprecedentedly high volume of unemployment insurance claims made over the last 6 weeks is taken into account, Kentucky’s actual jobless rate could be as high as 32%. This number far exceeds historical peaks in the official unemployment rate in Kentucky – which hit 13.2% in 1983 and 11.9% in 2010 at the depths of the Great Recession.
Keeping people at home – and in many cases out of work – is key to ensuring the reduction of COVID-19 infections. But it also points to the need for much more help at the federal level for individuals and communities that will likely be digging out of this economic downturn for a long time to come. (KY Center for Economic Policy)
Kentucky voters will get free postage for their absentee ballots in June primary election
Kentuckians who decide to use absentee voting by mail for the June 23 primary election will not have to pay for postage, and county clerks will be able to hire temporary help to manage the unsual election during the coronavirus pandemic.
The State Board of Elections unanimously adopted the free postage and additional help for county clerks in a set of emergency regulations at a special meeting conducted online Friday morning. (Herald-Leader)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
— News —
[new] 🔥 Confederate flag, meet Unity Water Tower – The big Confederate battle flag on Interstate 24 east of Paducah might be in for some message competition from a neighboring water tower. (read or listen)
[new] KY facing budget shortfall of nearly $500 million for current fiscal year – A report by the state budget director shows a potential general fund revenue shortfall of $318.7 to $495.7 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30, due to conditions caused by the coronavirus. (read)
[new] Kentucky courts setting up task force for reopening plan – Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., announced Friday the creation of three task forces to oversee the re-opening of the state’s court system. (read)
[new] Beshear calls out Perdue Farms; restaurants say they’re being ignored – 5/1 update – Also, updates on unemployment rates, testing availability and numbers of people tested, and various changes in our “new normal.” (read)
🔥 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. (read)
🔥 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. (read)
Don’t let him fool you: #CoronaMitch is scared – McConnell the Deficit Hawk is back. But, worrying about the deficit seems to be a net loss for Repub chances in the fall. So, why is Mitch doing this now? (read)
🔥 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)
— 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 —
[new video] John Yarmuth and Nolan Higdon on “The State of Kentucky” – We talk with Cong. John Yarmuth about rescue packages, Joe Biden, and what he thinks of McConnell’s “bankruptcy” comments. Then, we’re joined by Nolan Higdon to talk about his book “The United States of Distraction.” Watch it here! (view)
[new podcast] Primary election update, more drama at Braidy Industries, and interview with Mike Broihier – On this week’s show, Robert and Jazmin get to talk about something other than the virus: changes in primary voting, Braidy drama, and an interview with Mike Broiher. Give it a listen! (listen)
[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)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Lawmakers, state officials condemn threats to Beshear (2,000+ shares)
- Reopen churches to in-person services or face legal action, AG says (1,000+ shares)
- ‘War Against the States’ — Yarmuth on McConnell (1,000+ shares)
- Confederate flag, meet Unity Water Tower (560 shares)
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