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Data can tell a story but not the full story. It might be a good starting point but often there is more than meets the eye.

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It is hard to believe there are only a couple of months left before we convene the 2021 Regular Session, but we are making progress on the issues we must tackle in January. Some of the challenges we face existed well before the COVID-19 pandemic but the pandemic also provides us with an unpr…

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In this age of uncertainty and crisis, American voters have been given the critical task of choosing their leaders through the democratic process. The growing number of COVID-19 cases and the economic ramifications of the pandemic, have taken center stage. In our own commonwealth, we have en…

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In February of 2018, Amanda and I hiked Abrams Falls trail in the Cade’s Cove region of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It is a beautiful five mile round trip hike which is highlighted by Abrams Falls; a 20 foot waterfall with high water volume. The hike involves going up and over th…

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In communities across the country, children are taught from a young age about the importance of getting out on Election Day and voting. The right to vote is the cornerstone of any democracy and an important tool for making our voices heard in the political process.

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As if this year hasn’t been fun enough, we are now less than three weeks from Election Day, with the presidency and other offices on the line.

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Animals are interesting and mostly predictable in their behaviors. You can count on them to behave a certain way based upon what kind of animal they are. You would be surprised to find a cat who didn’t at least swat at a mouse that ran by. You would be amazed if a dog never sniffed around as…

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Gov. Andy Beshear’s abundance of executive orders — more than 150 since COVID-19 surfaced — is matched only by the largeness both of his good intentions and the unintended upheaval wrought by those edicts.

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If we live 65 years, we have about 600,000 hours at our disposal. Assuming we are 18 when we complete high school, we have 47 years, or nearly 412,000 hours to live after graduation.

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Most people want one thing above all else when it comes to dealing with the criminal justice system: fairness. But fairness only comes when both sides start out with an equal footing. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t the case for victims of crime in Kentucky who are not provided the same lev…

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Over the course of the year, Mary and I have seen new neighbors move in on both sides of us and behind us.

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What are the qualities of a good Supreme Court Justice? The question is relevant since Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the nation’s highest court last weekend.

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In Luke 7:11-17 we read the remarkable account of what happened when Jesus encountered a large funeral procession. A grieving widow was on her way to bury her only son. Feeling compassion for the woman, he spoke to her, touched the coffin, and commanded her son to rise up out of the coffin!

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I just signed up to be a mentor at my law school, and did something that is atypical for me: Display a preference for female law students. It even surprises me when I look at that sentence, since my entire career as a columnist has been dedicated to the proposition that gender, race, sexual …

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When President Donald Trump demands that we “get rid of the ballots,” everyone knows exactly what he means. Since last spring, the aspiring tinpot dictator in the White House has spit out daily tweets full of falsehoods about mail ballots, which he calls “awful,” “terrible” and “ripe for FRA…

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In the presidential elections of 2000 and 2004, the Democratic nominees, former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry, were both seen by the nation’s voters as more knowledgeable and more intelligent than the Republican standard-bearer in both elections, George W. Bush. But those same v…

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The political shadowboxing before presidential debates is cleverly choreographed. Take the 2000 contest between then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush and then-Vice President Al Gore. Before that year’s first general election debate, the Bush team did a superb job of lowering expectations for Govern…

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The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about abrupt technological changes to our society. 2020 has been defined by students completing class assignments at home, adults performing day-to-day tasks from their kitchen tables, and the virtual meetings that have become common to many of us.

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Looking at this page, you may notice the absence of the traditional editorial cartoons. The reason is that The Mayfield Messenger has received some complaints and even had cancellations of subscriptions over editorial cartoons about President Donald Trump. The most recent one depicted the pr…

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On Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, America held its first Labor Day celebration. In 1894, then-President Grover Cleveland officially made Labor Day a national holiday. Since that time, America has recognized the first Monday in September to celebrate the people who keep our economy…

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In the midst of a global health pandemic caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), as a Democratic Governor and a Republican Secretary of State we have proven that we can put partisanship aside to make our elections safer for our people.

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My grandfather was 19 years old when the Great Spanish Influenza struck southeastern Kentucky in 1918. His brothers were already in Europe or on their way to fight World War I. Grandpa told me that there were not, for months, enough people to dig all the graves that were needed to bury the d…

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Gov. Beshear’s administration wants to make in-person reopening of schools during COVID-19 an either-or proposition — either districts delay opening back up to the end of September or Kentucky Department of Education bureaucrats in true Corleone-like fashion will make them an offer they can’…

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When revenue shrinks by 1% of GDP and spending increases by 51% over 10 months, you get a $2.8 trillion deficit. That figure, according to the Congressional Budget Office, is significantly larger than the deficit Uncle Sam accumulated over the first 10 months of 2019. Yet, many in Congress d…

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Summertime in Appalachia means trying to develop immunity to poison ivy and having legs decorated in countless chigger-bites. It’s long, wonderful days in a garden, around the creekbank, and breezy naps on a porch swing. We were sweaty, dirty, and wild until one warning would stop and bring …

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It’s not a coincidence that the same folks who wrongly predicted Kentucky would face a half-billion-dollar budget shortfall at the end of the fiscal year on June 30 continue to pitch a gloom-and-doom scenario to pressure Congress to spend $1 trillion to bail out states.

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The Graves County Health Department has had plenty on its shoulders this year related to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Friday, Graves County had reported 12 new cases for a total of 545 positive cases since March.

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The massive crowds were absent. No signs lauding one side and demonizing the other were to be found. Folks weren’t dressed up as a particular founding father. No one was waving any flag — American, Confederate, Trump 2020, Don’t Tread On Me coiled snake.

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Together, We Are Stronger Than Opioids. It’s a uniting mantra we use as part of our Kentucky Opioid Response Effort to guide our purpose, affirm our hope, and call upon our greatest asset in this Commonwealth — one another. Together, we are building a system of care to reduce harms associate…

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When someone says, “Let that be a lesson to you,” it usually means something bad has happened. I don’t think anyone has ever said that to me after they’ve handed me an ice cream cone. But lessons aren’t all bad. In fact, they can be quite helpful.

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I laughed when I saw The Washington Post headline: “Minneapolis had progressive policies, but its economy still left black families behind.”

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Mainstream media publications are hammering fiscally conservative groups opposed to wasteful spending of tax dollars for accepting temporary financial help in the form of a publicly funded Paycheck Protection Program loan to counter COVID-19 shutdowns.

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The line “For fools rush in where angels fear to tread” was first written by Alexander Pope in his 1711 poem “An Essay on Criticism.” I suppose that should be the title for my column.

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Protesters say America’s criminal justice system is unfair. It is.

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America’s Founders regarded a free press as so vital to the new nation that they took care to include that right in the First Amendment to the Constitution.

With all the talk and ink being spilled on the issue of the Civil War statues in the South being taken down, it’s worth a glance at history to see how folks like Jefferson Davis might have felt about it. The symbols of the old Confederacy come down hard and late these days. The proponents of…

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New York Times/Siena College has Democrat Joe Biden at 50% and Republican President Donald Trump at 36%; CNN has Biden at 54% and Trump 36%; Fox News has Biden at 50% and Trump at 38%.

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Across the nation, the coronavirus has highlighted issues in our food supply chain, our reliance on foreign countries for medical supplies, and the difference between strong, data-driven leaders and weak ones.

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The economy is reopening. Consumer spending increased by almost 18% last month, sending the stock market soaring. That’s the good news. The bad news is that with no COVID-19 vaccine or cure on the horizon, consumers have not fully resumed their prepandemic activities, and they might not do s…

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Most of the time, helping the people of our community navigate state government is one of my favorite parts of being a legislator. While the Kentucky Constitution does not grant legislators any direct authority over an executive branch program, I am often able to help cut the red tape and ge…

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The word “Juneteenth” may be a new term to many, but the Mayfield community embraced it in full Friday. And it was another step, we feel, in a long process of racial harmony throughout our community and country.

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Well, the 140-year streak of the St. Jerome Fancy Farm Picnic will not be broken by a global pandemic.

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In the nine presidential elections between the 1952 victory of Dwight D. Eisenhower and George H.W. Bush’s 1988 win, just two Republicans won the White House: Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. One man was indispensable to the winning campaigns of these two very different Republicans. His name…

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Things have been touchy lately. Chalk that up to being an understatement. So far, 2020 has ushered in a global pandemic, historic unemployment, guidelines on being around friends and neighbors, fear and anger.

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History can be cruel. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who was unquestionably America’s most prominent prophet and practitioner of nonviolence, was followed by riots, arson and looting in 168 American cities and towns.

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Here we are again, sadly, for current events in our nation are pushing me to address where we are as a people. I am currently reading “White Fragility” by Robin Di Angelo, who is a white person. Her premise is that we white Americans are so “fragile” that we cannot talk about our complicity …

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The text alert arrived with a call to action. I needed to verify with my data breach monitoring company that a cable company had my permission to check my financial background, allowing me to consider them as a streaming entertainment provider.

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We have seen a lot of heroes in the past few months and heard about a lot of heroes in the past few days.