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Shame, addiction, and stigma — what do all these have in common and at the end of the day what can we do to help addiction in our community?

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Travel back with me to the first Pentecost and join the apostles, staying behind secured doors and trying to get their heads around all that had happened in recent days.

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The past year has been brutal for many Kentucky families, but particularly for those who have lost a job because of the pandemic. As a legislator, I receive more calls about unemployment insurance from our district than I do about any other issue. Sadly, many come from constituents waiting f…

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We, at the Graves County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, are dedicated to protecting our community from crime and from the criminals who commit them. The prosecution of felony drug crimes is vital to this mission. Substance abuse issues have been known to have a positive correlation with all…

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The Graves County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office strives daily to hold criminal offenders accountable for their conduct and seek justice for those victimized. We do so in accordance with state and federal law, while respecting the constitutional rights and protections granted to every citi…

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This week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would eliminate barriers to educational opportunities for Kentucky children, no matter their economic status or where they live. The bill, HB 563, contains two major provisions as well as funding for full-day kindergarten across the state.

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As we begin March, it is hard to believe that this will be our last full week of this year’s session. Last Wednesday was the last day lawmakers could file new legislation and though this is considered a short session, nearly 900 bills have been filed for consideration in both the House and t…

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Severe winter weather here in the Commonwealth has left thousands without electricity and some without heat. It is my sincere hope that you and your family remain safe and warm.

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The old adage is that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Trash along — and sometimes in — our streets and roads have not made a good first impression for any one who happens to be passing through.

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One of the greatest honors of serving as Commissioner of Agriculture is the opportunity to travel around the state, put the tailgate down on a farm truck, and have a conversation with a farmer about how the year looks.

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Of all the things we can be thankful for this Thanksgiving, let’s not forget that American farmers are selling rice to China.

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I try to do something each Thanksgiving to highlight certain things people are thankful for. Last year, I wrote about Graves County basketball coach Josh Frick who would be soon starting a new basketball season after a heart scare earlier in the year.

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Veterans Day is coming at a very good time. As we are still engaged (as of this writing) in a contentious campaign for votes to determine our next president, we all should pause to take time and remember those men and women who served, fought and died so that we could be free and have the fr…

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Across the nation and around the world, the number of coronavirus cases is on the rise. This alarming trend has raised concerns that the economic lockdown from the spring could return. Leaders in Frankfort can and should be creative in using available resources and developing guidelines to p…

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Have you ever locked yourself out of your car or your house? What a frustrating, helpless feeling! “What will I do now?” “I have someplace I need to be or someone to meet.” “It’s too cold outside or someone won’t be home for hours.”

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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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This bizarre presidential election year has suffered from acute shortages of both wit and wisdom, a fact that was highlighted for me by the passing of Roberta McCain, the remarkable 108-year-old mother of the Arizona senator and 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

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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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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.