• Talk about your classic good news/bad news.

    The good news is it appears the "pill mill" legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in 2012 and tweaked in 2013 has made it harder to obtain pills.

    The bad news is, as law enforcement officials, prosecutors and judges recently told State Journal reporter Lindsey Erdody, some drug users are simply switching to heroin.

    Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate has been on the bench 14 years, during which time he said he had seen fewer heroin cases than you could count on one hand.

  • Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, who is Kentucky's health commissioner, recently told a legislative committee that a typical smoker in the state spent $2,237 last year on cigarettes.

    Reporting to the Program Review and Investigations Committee in Frankfort, the commissioner also said 450 million packs of cigarettes were sold to about 962,000 Kentuckians age 18 and older, while children, who cannot legally buy cigarettes, are continuing to pick up the habit.

  • The tragic loss of Officer Jason Ellis recently has left our community, the Commonwealth and the nation grieving for this outstanding member of the Bardstown Police Department, who was passionate about his work and the people he protected.

    As a seven-year member of the police force, Officer Ellis was well known to all of us. He was a dedicated public servant, a devoted family man and a wonderful resident. Without a doubt, the passing of this fine, brave man is a profound loss for all of us.

  • If what investigators have hypothesized about the death of Bardstown Police Officer Jason Scott Ellis is true, there is only one way to describe the still unknown killer: diabolical.

    Ellis was shot numerous times and killed in the early hours of Saturday, May 25, at a ramp to the Bluegrass Parkway in Nelson County.

    Investigators theorize someone put debris, the nature of which they have not identified, across the road. When Ellis, who was off duty and on his way home, got out of his car to try to clear the road, he was shot from an elevated vantage point.

  • I've shared with you many statistics over the last couple of years about Kentucky's prescription drug abuse epidemic.

    At the time of 2012 legislation aimed at cracking down on questionable pain-management clinics or so-called "pill mills," 1,000 Kentuckians were dying each year from pain pill overdose.

    I'm glad to report that 2012 and 2013 legislation is making a noticeable difference in the amount of narcotics being prescribed - and abused - in the commonwealth.

  • Even though his jersey hangs among famed University of Kentucky Wildcat greats along the rafters of Rupp Arena, the shine on former Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer’s legend and reputation is more than tarnished following his indictment on federal charges.

  • The leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases and stroke. Accidents rank fifth on the list.

    Those accidents, however, are deaths caused by unintentional injuries, not by a terrorist incident such as the one that happened Monday, April 15, in Boston.

    The three most common types of accidents that result in death are car wrecks, falls and unintentional poisonings.

    As we walk through life on a daily basis, we, of course, know an accident can happen at any time.

  • Today in Kentucky, 68 people will be told, “You have cancer.”
    The American Cancer Society is in your community to save lives and create more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well by finding cures and by fighting back.
    The American Cancer Society, Taylor Regional Hospital, community partners and its legion of dedicated volunteers are all working together with the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer as a major health problem.

  • There is a lot to be proud of if you live in the Bluegrass State, especially this spring.

    The University of Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball team just won a national championship and the school’s women’s team played for a championship against a Connecticut team that has been a dominant force for the past 20 years.

    Although they didn’t advance as far, Kentucky’s women’s team also reached the Elite 8, finishing the season as one of the top teams in the nation.

  • Brianna Brucker is charged with murdering her 3-month-old son, Charles Brett Hayden Jr. So why would she be released with out posting any bond?

    Brucker, 20, and her husband, Dale Brucker, 26, the boy’s stepfather, have been charged with her son’s death. Brianna Brucker was held in jail on a $100,000 cash bond, which was reduced last week to $50,000, unsecured.

    Dale Brucker has requested that his $125,000 bond be reduced, but that request has been denied.

  • Everyone was smiling. In every photo from the event, you can see someone grinning from ear to ear.

    And participants ran and walked in the event to bring smiles to other people's faces.

    On Saturday, Donna Wise, Will Patton, Katie Irwin and Jenny Jessie hosted the first Color to Conquer 5K Walk and Run, with money raised going toward the annual St. Baldrick's fundraiser to support children's cancer research. Runners paid entry fees and donations were accepted.

  • When it comes to the city of Campbellsville and her adoring politics, one topic seems to raise the hairs of everyone in the city. I am of course talking about the sale of alcohol.

    No matter what time of year or what side of the opinion you’re on, this always tends to be the hot topic of central Kentucky politics.

    Campbellsville is currently in gridlock on the subject. In a nutshell, alcohol can be sold only in restaurants and during certain hours of the day.

  • Congratulations are in order for our local schools. Taylor County elementary and middle and Campbellsville middle schools won multiple awards last Friday at this year’s Kentucky Junior Beta Convention in Louisville.

    TCES won first place in the Songfest competition, TCES fifth-grader Raegan Mardis won second place in the black and white photo category and fifth-grader Emma Sadler won third place in the color photo category.

    TCMS won first place for talent, campaign skit and candidate speech.

  • As we move rapidly into the final eight days of this short session, the General Assembly has come to a major turning point.

    As many of you know, Kentucky faces an immense unfunded liability in our public employee pension system.


    This week was significant as the first piece of legislation for the 2013 General Assembly was signed into law.

  • Have you ever made a mistake? Sure you have. Perhaps it was minor, and it had minor consequences.

    Even if your mistake was more serious, that, too, came with consequences.

    Did you suffer for your mistake and pay for it by dealing with those consequences? If so, then it’s all behind you, and you should be able to move on with your life. Shouldn’t you?

    That’s what some Kentucky lawmakers believe, and they will face legislation that supports that belief during the current legislative session in Frankfort.

  • For many victims of sexual assault, the physical attack is often just the beginning.

    But during this General Assembly, our lawmakers have an opportunity to make the ordeal a little less complicated for those who become pregnant by their rapists.

    Kentucky is one of 34 states where, because of a loophole in current law, women who become pregnant as a result of rape could face further harassment from their attackers when they sue for parental visitation rights to the child.

    Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, has filed a bill to close this loophole.

  • During his news conference in the wake of the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, President Obama pushed hard for Congress to quickly enact new and more restrictive gun control measures.

    He also signed 23 executive orders positioned as actions to keep our nation’s children safe.

  • When athletes score a touchdown or hit a home run, sportscasters often say, “Act like you’ve been there before.”

    That’s good advice, especially for politicians like presidents and governors who are re-elected to office.

    When being elected, there’s always a celebration for the official inauguration of a president or governor. That’s fine.

  • For too long, Kentuckians have been held back because of partisan bickering and political games when the legislature is in session. Hopefully, with new leadership, that will change.

    We don’t believe there was much love lost between House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, and former Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, and that applied to Williams and Gov. Steve Beshear as well. All were guilty of playing partisan games that, at the end of the day, only hurt Kentuckians.