Five Things to Know Today
Good morning! Couple of quick notes this morning:
Scary / depressing virus news – We don’t publish many stories on national news, as we feel that is covered by other outlets. However, the latest projections about new cases and deaths from COVID-19 are both scary and depressing. The New York Times reports that an internal White House document they obtained projects that confirmed cases will rise to 200,000 new ones a day by June, and deaths will rise to 3,000 per day. Even while this is happening, the White House has refused to let Dr. Fauci or members of the Coronavirus Task Force testify before Congress … and President Trump continues to push for more reopening of the economy.
Lighter / interesting ForwardKY news – We have added a new feature to the site: artificial-intelligence! No, not for me (although that might be a good idea). It’s a text-to-speech plugin that uses AI to produce an audio version of a written story. It puts a streamable MP3 at the top of the story, and you can either listen to it (and adjust the speed) or download it for listening later. I’ve added it to a few stories to try it out, including some in today’s FF. Let me know what you think.
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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As projections warn of resurgence, Beshear talks about ‘a very scary virus’ – 5/4 update
The update includes a long discussion of uptick of cases in other states, and learning from their experiences. Also, an update on plans for the Green River correctional facility, which has had an outbreak. Many other details are in the story as well. (Forward Kentucky)
Indivisible KY endorses Broihier in Senate race
Indivisible KY today announced their endorsement of Mike Broihier for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate race. This makes four Indivisible chapters from across the state that have endorsed Broihier. (Forward Kentucky)
Reactions to Saturday’s “Freedom Rally” at the Capitol
KYGA Dem leaders denounce racism at rally and the leges who participated
The Democratic leadership in both chambers of the General Assembly issued a statement denouncing Saturday’s protest at the Capitol as a “racist exercise,” and calling out the legislators who participated in the event. (Forward Kentucky )
KY Black Legislative Caucus condemns ‘rally’ at Capitol
“It didn’t take long for those attending the so-called Freedom Rally to show their true colors, from waving Confederate flags and automatic weapons to flashing white supremacy symbols.” (Forward Kentucky )
Judge upholds Ky. mass gathering ban, says no to travel ban
A federal judge has ruled that Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s restriction on travel amid the coronavirus pandemic is unconstitutional.
But U.S. District Judge William O. Bertelsman sided with the governor on his ban of mass gatherings in a ruling issued Monday. A trio of plaintiffs who attended a church service in Louisville had filed suit challenging the two bans. The plaintiffs argued the mass gathering ban unfairly singles out religious gatherings.
“To the contrary, the plain text of the challenged order categorically bans all ‘mass gatherings’ as a means of preventing the spread of a life-threatening virus,” Bertelsman wrote in the ruling. (Herald-Leader)
COVID-19: How is Kentucky doing compared to its neighbors?
It seems that Kentucky is ahead of the game when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus – but what do the numbers show? Here’s a look at some data. (Forward Kentucky)
And a bonus Congratulations story
Courier Journal wins Pulitzer Prize for coverage of Matt Bevin’s controversial pardons
The Courier Journal has been awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news for its unrelenting coverage of more than 600 pardons and commutations that former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin issued during his final weeks in office.
The Pulitzer Prize committee awarded The Courier Journal staff first place “for its rapid coverage of hundreds of last-minute pardons by Kentucky’s governor, showing how the process was marked by opacity, racial disparities and violations of legal norms.”
“This is an incredible honor rooted to three journalistic pillars: Get the story right, get it first and leave no stone unturned in reporting and telling it,” Courier Journal Editor Richard Green said Monday. “There’s never been an editor more proud of his entire staff than I am this afternoon.”
The Courier beat out finalists The Los Angeles Times for its coverage of a “devastating California boat fire that killed 34 people” and The Washington Post for its reporting of “back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that contextualized these events for a national audience.”
This is The Courier Journal’s 11th Pulitzer Prize and its first since 2005. (Courier-Journal)
Did you miss any of these?
Featured Content on Forward Kentucky
([new] indicates new since last Forward Five; 🔥 indicates lots of reads)
— News —
[new] 🔥 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. (read)
[new] UofL study shows social distancing slowed virus spread considerably – A study released by the University of Louisville says social distancing measures have significantly slowed the spread of COVID-19 in Jefferson County. (read)
[new] Beshear: Sign up, show up; protest safely; wear a mask; and take time away from the 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. (read)
[new] 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. (read)
🔥 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)
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)
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 —
🔥 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)
[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)
Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days
(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)
- Reopen churches to in-person services or face legal action, AG says (2,000+ shares)
- ‘War Against the States’ — Yarmuth on McConnell (1,000+ shares)
- Confederate flag, meet Unity Water Tower (604 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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