The Forward Five – Thursday, 6/25/20

8 mins read

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

Five Things to Know Today

— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! I want to call your attention to one of the stories below – the one about agritech, the Dutch, and Appalachia.

On the surface, this looked like the Braidy steel plant announcement in the Bevin administration: a too-good-to-be-true story about jobs and high tech, from a part of the state that really needs some good news.

The more I read it, though, the more I thought this could actually become real … AND make a big difference.

Basically, it’s about bringing technology and agriculture together to produce much more food in much less space with much less waste. It’s based on the work of AppHarvest, a startup in Morehead that is building the world’s largest greenhouse.

Go read the story from the Lane Report, then visit the AppHarvest web site, and you’ll see why I think this could be a Big Deal.

As always – Wear those masks, wash those hands, get a test. COVID-19 is going to be with us for a while longer, but we’re going to get through this, together. #TeamKentucky

Bruce Maples, publisher
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New cases still at plateau; Myrtle Beach a problem – 6/24 update
Cases and hospitalizations remain in a “manageable” range. Dr. Stack used Myrtle Beach as an example of how quickly things can change if people don’t take the virus seriously. (Forward Kentucky)

#HealthyAtSchool: Masks, social distancing, temperature checks
The KY Department of Education released their “flagship document” on schools reopening on Wednesday, spelling out some of the requirements for local schools. Story has many more details. (Forward Kentucky)

The 15 remaining cases on the SCOTUS docket
Here is a list of the cases that have not yet been decided by the Supreme Court, along with predictions about who may be writing the decisions. Included are cases related to abortion, Trump’s tax returns, and more. (Forward Kentucky)

Settlement secures $383M for rural hospitals
Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday $383 million in state and federal dollars for 54 rural hospitals by settling a 13-year-old dispute regarding Medicaid funding rates.

The settlement negotiated by Beshear, with support from McConnell, successfully convinced the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer funding in combination with the state’s liability of $93.9 million. The governor said the settlement saved the state more than $300 million and provides long-awaited funds immediately back to rural hospitals. (Lane Report)

Netherlands, Kentucky partnering to create America’s AgTech capital in Appalachia
AppHarvest, which is building one of the world’s largest controlled environment agriculture facilities, announced today it has brought together more than a dozen organizations, including the governments of the Netherlands and Kentucky as well as universities and private companies, to commit to the creation of America’s AgTech capital in Appalachia.

An agreement, which was signed Wednesday by 17 organizations, calls for a series of research programs, construction of a center of excellence and the building of additional private infrastructure similar to AppHarvest’s 2.76-million-s.f. farm that opens this fall in Morehead, Ky. As part of the agreement, the parties commit to opening a Dutch representative office in Kentucky to spur investment in the state by Dutch companies, which are recognized as the world’s AgTech leaders. (Lane Report)

Did you miss any of these?

Featured Content on Forward Kentucky

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

— News —

The Louisville voting story – an update – Want to know how Louisville voting at the Expo Center turned out? I went there to see, and took these pics to share. (read and view)

Primary election has few problems, state officials say – Members of the State Board of Elections are saying the unusual primary election has gone smoothly and could see a record turnout when final numbers are submitted on June 30. (read)

Would everyone please get the Louisville voting story straight? – To all the people out there with hot-takes on voting in Louisville: Get your story straight. There is not ONE voting location. There is one building with EIGHTEEN polling locations. (read)

— Commentary —

[new] No good deed … – People on the left can sometimes be as quick to judge, and as quick to cry Foul, as people on the right. A PubBlog post by Bruce Maples. (read)

[new] CFA encourages investment in food security through redirecting police budgets – Community Farm Alliance is advocating for local communities to redirect funds from police department budgets toward food security efforts and other preventive programs that make our communities more safe. (read)

[new] Tick tock – it’s past time for passing the Heroes Act! – Senator McConnell – The clock is ticking. Pass the HEROES Act now! (read)

— Policy —

[new] A new program, Pandemic EBT, puts food on the table for Kentucky’s children – Tens of thousands of Kentucky children are food-insecure, and school closings have made things worse. Enter P-EBT! Read on to learn more. (read)

— Media —

🔥 [videos] The closing ads for Booker, Broihier, and McGrath – Here are the final ads before the primary for each of the Democrats running to take on Mitch McConnell in the fall. These were taken straight from their YouTube channels. (watch)

🔥 [photo gallery] Booker campaign stops in Lebanon, Danville – The Charles Booker campaign bus tour stopped in Lebanon and Danville on Sunday, and Nick Lacy was at both stops to capture them in photos. (view)

[videocast] #DefundThePolice on ‘The State of Kentucky’ – Here’s our show on #DefundThePolice, an important topic that we all need to learn more about. Rep. Attica Scott and Emily Galvin-Almanza (founder of Partners for Justice) help us understand the topic. (watch or listen)

[podcast] Can Mayor Fischer fire Breonna Taylor’s killers? – This week on My Old Kentucky Podcast – COVID-19, protests, and the primary election. In addition, the show dives into the reasons why Mayor Fischer says he cannot fire the officers who executed the no-knock warrant on Breonna Taylor’s home. (listen)

Posts with Most Social Media Shares in Past Fourteen Days

(🔥 indicates post with surge of recent shares)

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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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