Bytemarks via Creative Commons

Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration might partner with the federal government to build a new unemployment insurance system.

Like much of the nation, Kentucky struggled to keep up with a surge of applications for unemployment benefits during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Beshear administration has blamed the problems on understaffing, antiquated software and security issues that have led to delays in overhauling the system.

During a legislative hearing on Tuesday, Labor Cabinet Secretary Jamie Link said the federal government is forming a consortium of five or six states to share a “core unemployment system” and Kentucky is considering joining.

But he said the state may decide to overhaul the system on its own.

The number of colleges and universities requiring coronavirus vaccines for students and staff this fall is growing. Just over 600 schools, including the entire Ivy League, now say one or two doses will be mandated.

But that leaves plenty of other institutions — large and small, public and private — that are not.

Jess Clark/WFPL

School districts across Kentucky are in high gear as they prepare for a return to in-person classes.

But on top of recovering from the COVID-19 upheaval of changing schedules and virtual instruction, there’s another wrinkle in the preparation.

A state education leader said there’s an unusually large number of vacant positions.  

The Kentucky Education Association represents 44,000 teachers and other school employees, including cafeteria workers and custodians. 


Updated July 27, 2021 at 3:09 PM ET

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on wearing masks Tuesday. In a reversal of its earlier position, the agency is now recommending that some fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread.

Corrine Boyer

With weeks to go before the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year, state officials say the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19 has led to a quintupling of new cases since the beginning of July, mostly among unvaccinated people.

Monday afternoon, Gov. Andy Beshear took to the podium with state education leaders to urge school districts to adopt mask requirements, but didn’t mandate they do so.

“Our priority is not to play politics, our priority isn’t to do some red or blue thing, or get involved in some ridiculous so-called culture war. Our priority: It’s our kids, and it is having them in class every day,” Beshear said.

Beshear said he was issuing three “clear recommendations” or “expectations,” which are in line with the July 15 guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Stephanie Wolf

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed Charles Booker’s bid to unseat incumbent Republican Rand Paul in Kentucky’s senate race next year.

Warren is a second-term senator from Massachusetts and former Democratic presidential candidate who’s weighed in on Kentucky elections before.

She endorsed Booker in last year’s senate race after initially throwing her support behind retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath. She also endorsed Alison Lundergan Grimes in her unsuccessful bid to unseat Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in 2014.

In a statement, Warren said Booker has the “right vision and heart to reclaim Kentucky’s Senate seat for the people.”

Breya Jones

The front lawn of the Capitol building in Frankfort served as the backdrop for the “Worldwide Freedom Rally” on Saturday, where attendees railed against the unlikely possibility of mandated vaccines and the governor’s COVID-19 response.

The rally was held by America’s Frontline Doctors, a right-wing medical professionals organization. According to the organization, today’s rally was supposed to take place at several state capitols across the nation.  

The event’s speakers addressed critical race theory, concerns about communism in the US and the Kentucky government’s response to COVID-19. 

There was general fear about government-sponsored vaccine mandates, particularly requiring a COVID-19 vaccine for students attending public school, despite there being no discussion about that currently.

Julie Bowles

Born and raised in McComb, Mississippi, the home of Bo Diddley, Castro Coleman has, like the legends who pre-date him, made a name for himself in the blues and gospel field.

Starting in the church, like many of our most notable Black musicians, Coleman has grown to become an A&R, producer, songwriter and artist at the iconic Malaco Records. 


Paige Pfleger/ WPLN News

The bust of confederate general and KKK grand wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest has been removed from the Tennessee State Capitol. Advocates cleared the final hurdle Thursday, after decades of protesting and months of jumping through legislative hoops.

Gov. Bill Lee voted along with the majority of the state building commission to move the bust to the Tennessee State Museum.

But the vote was not unanimous: the speakers of the Tennessee House and Senate voted against relocation.

Several different state commissions have voted on the fate of the bust in the last few months, but Sen. Brenda Gilmore, D-Nashville, hoped this was the last.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky is creating an electronic search warrant system that allows police to request and judges to approve or deny warrants online.

The e-warrant system is being developed by research database company LexisNexis and comes amid scrutiny of search warrant processes in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s killing.

Members of Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s Search Warrant Task Force discussed the project on Thursday.

Troy Belcher, the lead developer of the e-warrant system with LexisNexis, said it will create more oversight of the search warrant process.

“Everybody looks at the history when it comes to the warrants. They want to see who created it, they wanted to see who sent it, who even looked at it. We’ll definitely have that information in there,” Belcher said.

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LRS Live Replay: Kyshona & Dax Evans

February's Lost River Sessions LIVE show at the Captiol Arts Center in Bowling Green was a special one. Fans saw local singer and songwriter Dax Evans take the stage, performing some heartfelt original songs. Meanwhile, Nashville artist, and former music therapist Kyshona, blessed the venue on the eve of her album release with new music.

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