Kentucky editorial roundup

November 13, 2019

Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:

Nov. 12

The State Journal on how Kentucky leaders and the public are responding to Matt Bevin’s loss in the gubernatorial election:

Though Gov. Matt Bevin has refused to concede the gubernatorial general election to Democratic challenger Andy Beshear and has requested a recanvass, fellow Republicans U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have faced the reality that the unpopular governor’s stint has most likely come to an end after one term.

“Barring some drastic reversal on the recanvass, we’ll have a different governor in three weeks,” McConnell told reporters Monday, comparing the race and the slim margin of victory to his first election. “We had a recanvass, added them up, it didn’t change and we all moved on.”

Bevin, who trailed Beshear by roughly 5,000 votes out of the 1.4 million cast in last week’s election, said there were voting irregularities in the race but did not specify what they were. ...

To those who point to Bevin’s apparent loss as proof that Republicans are losing their grip in Kentucky, we say not so fast. Like Paul, we think Bevin’s defeat was more about him as a person than the party he represents.

We aren’t the only ones. In a recent State Journal online opinion poll an overwhelming majority, 75.6%, or 621 of the 821 respondents, said the governor’s personality caused his failed reelection bid. A little more than 16% (134 voters) thought his efforts to reform public pensions were his downfall, while 6.5% (53 respondents) blamed his position on social issues. Only 1.6% (13 folks) said Bevin was a good governor who simply lost to a better candidate.

We realize that Franklin County is a Democratic stronghold and that some candidates — such as Greg Stumbo, who ran for attorney general, and Heather French Henry, who was in the secretary of state race — won here but lost statewide. Yet, the fact of the matter is that Republicans won all the down-ticket races in the state.

The recanvass isn’t likely to change the outcome of the governor’s race, but Democrats still have much work to do if they want to flip Kentucky to a blue state.

Online: https://www.state-journal.com/


Nov. 9

The Richmond Register on officials reminding drivers to stop for school buses:

You see the school bus coming toward you slowing down. The stop sign arm is slowly coming out, but you know you’re running late. What do you do?

Unfortunately, many run the sign putting lives in danger.

Last year in Indiana, the lives of three children were taken after a driver illegally passed the bus as students were boarding. Those three, a 9-year-old girl and her twin 6-year-old brothers, are not alone.

And while a tragic incident hasn’t happened in Madison County, many drivers are running the signs.

Matt Hoskins, a bus driver for Madison County Schools, has been a school bus driver for about three years. His one goal is to keep children safe.

It’s a task that shouldn’t be as difficult as it is, but on most days, a lot of drivers don’t stop when his bus’s stop sign is extended.

“The biggest problem is it’s not just a stop sign. It’s kids’ lives,” he told The Register. “They have to cross over in front of my bus. I usually don’t let my kids off — I won’t even open the door … until I see that all traffic has stopped. Child safety; that’s my biggest thing.”

That’s just one bus. If you take into consideration the amount of routes in the county, the numbers are scary when thinking about how many times people put students’ lives in danger.

People who fail to stop when a bus has its flashing stop sign arm out often don’t realize that with enough evidence, usually bus surveillance video, drivers can still face repercussions for their actions. Something as simple as knowing the license plate number can help identify the owner of the vehicle, who can be charged even if they weren’t behind the wheel at the time of the incident. Passing a loading/unloading school or church bus is a class B misdemeanor offense. Generally, it could result in a citation with a mandatory court date, according to police officials.

Richmond Assistant Police Chief Rodney Richardson said anyone who notices unsafe driving behaviors, and when they notice drivers passing by buses that are stopped, should call police. He said when a bus’s stop sign is extended, all drivers have to stop. ...

We hope citizens and the many drivers on the road take notice that this dangerous activity needs to stop. And not just when it’s is convenient for them.

Hoskins said it best: ”...If people see the red lights flashin’, don’t be passin’. That’s my motto.”

Online: https://www.richmondregister.com/


Nov. 7

Bowling Green Daily News on a historical marker at a cemetery where many enslaved people and those who held them in bondage lie buried:

It’s easy to stroll past Pioneer Cemetery, which stands unassumingly at College Street and East Sixth Avenue, as Bowling Green’s oldest public burial ground.

Many enslaved people and those who held them in bondage lie buried there, along with more than 100 soldiers from conflicts as far back as the Revolutionary War, according to an online history by the city of Bowling Green. By 1861, the burial ground had swelled to near capacity, becoming the resting place for those who died from railroad accidents, typhoid fever and other ailments and the outbreak of the Civil War.

But the cemetery was a place of life as well. It served as the original site of Bowling Green’s Presbyterian Church, which has long since relocated to State Street.

On Sunday (Nov. 3), church congregants gathered at the cemetery to dedicate an official state historical marker, a development we were glad to see.

Passers-by will now no doubt be able to appreciate the fullness of the cemetery’s significance through a sign that offers a glimpse into its past.

The marker references the Rev. Joseph Lapsley, the Presbyterian Church’s founding patriarch, who established the church on the site in April 1819. Dying just four years later, Lapsley’s remains were interred at the spot where his pulpit once stood.

Lapsley’s church has lived many lives through the years, at different points in history hosting a school for girls and a Civil War hospital.

At the time of its founding, the church boasted just 28 members. On Sunday, several of their descendants gathered for a dedication ceremony while a portrait of Lapsley looked on, leaning against the stone cask that marks his gravesite.

We applaud one of the church’s congregants, Thomas Moody, for working to secure a marker in time to celebrate the church’s bicentennial this year.

“Since we were celebrating 200 years, it seemed right that this place be marked,” Moody said of the project, which was done with support from the Kentucky Historical Society. “I thought ‘Well, this is the original cemetery for Bowling Green and there’s no marker here, and a lot of people don’t know it exists.’ Preservation’s a good thing.”

We wholeheartedly agree.

Online: https://www.bgdailynews.com/