The Forward Five – Thursday, 8/20/20

10 mins read

Five Things to Know Today

— Publisher’s Note —

Good morning! A week ago, I wrote a Publisher’s Blog piece about how some people were using their school systems as giant petri dishes, and that even though the students could opt out, the teachers and staff could not. And, as the schools opened to in-person instruction, we would get to see what the virus would do in those petri dishes.

While it’s too soon to tell if it’s possible to do in-person instruction safely at this point in the pandemic, early indicators are not encouraging:

  • The percentage of new cases in youth and young adults continues to rise.
  • UNC-Chapel Hill opened to on-campus classes, then had to switch to virtual after only one week.
  • A private school in southern Kentucky started with in-person classes early this month, then had to switch after two students tested positive.

There’s much that could be said about this, including the fact that ultimately the fault lies with the Trump administration and our nation’s dysfunctional, herky-jerky response to the pandemic – but here in Kentucky, the key is to drive the curve back down before we try in-person schooling.

So, if you want to get your kids back in school — and you would rather not have the school system use your children as guinea pigs in a medical experiment — do the only things we can do to drive down the virus: wash hands, socially distance, and #WearYourMask.

It’s how we will get through this, together – AND, how we will get our kids back in school.

Bruce Maples, publisher
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Today’s Five Things to Know

8/19 update – As cases rise among young people, state will report how many there are at universities

Gov. Beshear announced Wednesday that colleges and universities will be required to report coronavirus cases on campus just as other schools in Kentucky, and the state will publish the numbers. One piece of good news: the positivity rate dropped to 5.4%. (Forward Kentucky)

Beshear says Ky. opts in on plan to give $400 per week to unemployed

Gov. Beshear announced that the state of Kentucky will apply Thursday for the FEMA Lost Wages Assistance Program, which would provide an additional $400 per week for those who are unemployed. (Forward Kentucky)

Census response: Multiple counties get a ‘C’ or below

In the latest update on Kentucky’s census response, 40 of our 120 counties are under a 60% response rate. And, if we assign grades, only eight counties get an A, while 56 get a C+ or below. (Forward Kentucky)

US Senate report says Russian investor in Braidy Industries’ mill is a proxy for the Kremlin

A Russian company that has invested in Braidy Industries’ planned aluminum rolling mill in Eastern Kentucky was identified as a proxy of the Kremlin in a new report the Senate Intelligence Committee released this week. The Russian firm, United Co. Rusal, agreed last year to invest $200 million in the mill, which is expected to create hundreds of long-term jobs in a struggling region of the state if Braidy is able to raise enough financing to build the facility, which will cost well over $1.5 billion.

The Republican-led Senate committee released a report Tuesday that detailed extensive connections between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign advisers and people with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime. And it points to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska — a part-owner of Rusal, which is a major aluminum company that operates internationally — as a key figure. (Courier-Journal)

‘Camp Alexa’ and $2.5 billion over 20 years: What Louisville offered Amazon in HQ2 pitch

If Amazon brought its second headquarters to Louisville, city officials pitched the company, it could settle its employees on a riverfront campus spanning both sides of the Ohio River, retire to a “Camp Alexa” retreat location at General Butler State Park and enjoy $2.5 billion in incentives over 20 years “based on the sharing of future revenues.”

The 137-page bid for Amazon’s “HQ2” project, which Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration has refused to release for two years, offers city-owned land and facilities downtown for an urban headquarters and sells the city’s affordability, spirit of “exploration” and ability to serve as a regional talent magnet. (Courier-Journal)

Drive for 100 New Poll WorkersForward Kentucky is asking its readers to volunteer to become poll workers for the first time. Our goal is 100 new poll workers from our readership. You can volunteer at If you volunteer to be a new poll worker, let us know so we can add you to our list. Let’s show our civic values by helping the election run smoothly!

Update: Added another volunteer on Tuesday. How about you?

5Need 95 more

This Friday on The State of Kentucky

The Broihier Campaign:
Looking back, looking ahead

Join us as candidate Mike Broihier and his campaign manager Liam deClive-Lowe discuss running for the Senate, what the campaign was like in the midst of a pandemic, and what’s next for each of them. Streaming live at noon on both Facebook and YouTube.

Facebook link  ●  YouTube link

Recent Content on Forward Kentucky
[new] indicates item not in a Forward Five before

[new] Dear Repubs – YOU made it political – Kentucky Republicans are accusing Governor Beshear of making the pandemic “political.” Guess what, folks – that’s called “projection.” Especially when you look at the recent actions of those same Repubs. (Commentary)

[new] 8/20 – McGrath in Boone and Kenton – The McGrath campaign announced that Amy McGrath, candidate for U.S. Senate, will be in Boone and Kenton counties on Thursday, August 20th. Here’s the schedule. (News)

[new] Unfinished Business — the right to vote for all – With our democracy facing its gravest threat, activist women are again battling to ensure fair elections for ALL. Let us join with them in that work. We have Unfinished Business and lots of work to do! (Commentary)

[new] VoteDotGOP is a scam — don’t click it – Have you gotten a text message about voting from home? Did it link to Read this story to see why you shouldn’t click that link. (News Analysis)

White House report puts over half of Ky. counties in ‘red’ or ‘yellow’ danger zone – The latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report on Kentucky showed an increase in both red and yellow zones last week, with the number of counties in the red zone increasing by 54 percent. (News)

The Trump cult goes shopping – I never saw a Bush, McCain, or Romney souvenir trailer come to Mayfield, my deep western Kentucky hometown. But the proprietor of a Trump trailer has been doing a land office business. (Commentary)

Yarmuth releases statement on “no-confidence” resolution aimed at Fischer – Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) released this statement regarding the resolution for a “no-confidence” vote in Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer by the Republicans on Metro Council. (News)

“Which side are you on?” – new video from Four Rivers Indivisible – Four Rivers Indivisible is ON IT when it comes to calling out Mitch McConnell: Burma Shave signs, billboards in western Kentucky. Now they’ve got a new video out, and it’s a winner. Watch and share! (Media)

The “Masked Up and Mad As Hell!” Rally – The Mitch McConnell Retirement Committee held a rally they called the “Masked Up and Mad as Hell Rally!” It was held in Lexington, both beside a busy thoroughfare and in front of McConnell’s headquarters. Nick Lacy attended the event and snapped these photos. Some great posters and at least one great line that Amy McGrath should steal. Enjoy! (Media)

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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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