Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:
The State Journal on the success of three local women and the accomplishments of other women on the national stage:
From the rugged outdoors to the hardwood and the classroom, if you haven’t been paying attention you may have missed the amazing feats three female high school seniors have accomplished in the past few weeks.
Eighteen-year-old Emily Reed, of Frankfort, became the first female to earn Eagle Scout ranking in the Bluegrass Council of Boy Scouts of America.
The Western Hills senior earned 22 merit badges - one more than required - in the two years since BSA began allowing girls in the organization.
Across town at Franklin County High School, Brooklyn Miles’ name has been synonymous with the Lady Flyers basketball team since her middle school days.
Now a senior and candidate for Miss Kentucky Basketball, Miles - who has signed to play college ball at the University of Tennessee - has been nominated for the 44th annual McDonald’s All-American Games team. The final team roster of 48 players will be announced later this month.
Meanwhile at the Gatton Academy, Kentucky’s first residential STEM program for gifted and high ability high school juniors and seniors on the campus of Western Kentucky University, another Western Hills senior is also making a name for herself.
Diksha Satish, of Frankfort, has been named a candidate for the 2021 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program - one of the nation’s most distinguished graduation high school seniors. The finalists will be selected in May.
Each of these young women is making history in their own way and they aren’t alone. Over the past four months, we have witnessed the smashing of the so-called glass ceiling.
In November, Kamala Harris was elected vice president, becoming the highest-ranking female official in U.S. history. She is also the first African American and first Asian American VP.
In December, 21-year-old Sarah Fuller, a goalkeeper on the women’s soccer team at Vanderbilt University, became the first woman to score in a Power 5 college football game when she knocked through two extra-point attempts against Tennessee.
Football history was also made earlier this month at the Super Bowl when 47-year-old Sarah Thomas became the first female referee to officiate on the sport’s biggest stage.
As women across the world continue to breaking down barriers, we are proud of Reed, Miles and Satish and can’t wait to see what they do next.
The News-Enterprise on an upcoming podcast that will explore cold cases:
The passing of time can be a cruel part of life.
If you’re a loved one of a homicide victim in a case that has gone unsolved from one year to so many other years, it certainly can be paralyzing memories.
Leeanne Wilson and Shana Norton can’t imagine what it must be like for a family to have no sense of closure for a murder when the case remains cold and someone has gotten away, at least to now, with murder.
The loss of a loved one is devastating enough, but to know that nobody has been held accountable, well, that’s quite another level of pain to endure.
To help keep local cold cases on the minds of residents, Wilson, a nurse, and Norton, a deputy coroner for the Hardin County Coroner’s Office, have started a podcast, Voiceless Victims, looking at unsolved crime in Hardin County, particularly murders.
At the heart of what they will do, is be a voice for the victims.
“Victims do not have a voice anymore. They’re gone and they need justice and they deserve to have that justice for their peace and their family deserves that peace,” Wilson said.
The podcast, which is expected to be weekly and last between 30 to 60 minutes in length, can be heard at VoicelessVictims@protonmail.com and will be available free, at least initially.
Wilson and Norton will interview investigators in the cases and bring many cases that rarely have been discussed publicly to the public’s forefront.
They hope to make people think about the cases with the possibility that someone will remember something about the cases that could aid investigators. They will deal only in case facts and not rumors or theories, they said.
The first podcast will be on the 1992 killing of Elena Sanchez Hawkins, 29, inside of her Bardstown Road residence not far from the Nelson County line.
Hawkins, who was found the morning of Jan. 8, 1992, had been sexually assaulted, had her hands tied behind her back and her throat slashed in the living room of the home.
“The purpose of this is to just bring these cases back to life,” Norton said.
It’s quite an undertaking and they should be complimented for trying to ease the pain of people they don’t know and may never meet.
The podcast could strike a nerve, stir an idea or trigger a memory in people that could aid investigators down a road that to date has been undiscovered. Helping to solve a murder case would be a quite a way to bring a voice to victims.
The Bowling Green Daily News on internet access in rural areas:
The slow spread of high-speed internet access into rural areas of Warren County received a needed – but, alas, not an immediate – boost last week when Charter Communications acknowledged its intention to use federal funding to expand its service in the area.
Charter, which operates in Warren County as Spectrum, told Warren Fiscal Court on Friday that it will use $1.2 million in federal money to bring broadband internet service to about 1,600 Warren County homes that are not currently covered. This is good news, but it comes with a catch: There is no clear timeframe for when it might happen.
Such is the conundrum for rural residents aching for internet service that is robust enough to keep up with the pace of modern life. On one hand, local governments and private business both realize there is a need and are trying to fill it. On the other hand, regulatory and logistical hurdles make progress frustratingly difficult.
Charter’s apparent plan will occur alongside an ongoing initiative by North Central Communications Inc., a subsidiary of Lafayette, Tenn.-based NCTC, which has started serving customers in parts of the Alvaton and Boyce communities. A partnership between Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. and NCTC, which was announced in 2019, originally was intended to bring broadband internet service to nearly 800 homes that currently have no high-speed access.
Fiscal court, using funds from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, voted last October to allocate $300,000 toward expanding the WRECC-NCTC initiative.
WRECC Director of Communication and Public Relations Kim Phelps said the extra funding should allow NCTC to extend service to about 350 more WRECC members.
Any progress is good progress, but right now the combined coverage of these plans would include less than 3,000 homes in Warren County, where officials have said perhaps 30% to 35% of residents do not have access to high-speed internet service. As we’ve seen over the past year – when remote-work and nontraditional instruction scenarios increased during the coronavirus pandemic – many Warren Countians are at distinct professional and academic disadvantages if they lack fast and reliable internet service.
The fact of the matter is that our culture’s reliance on technology is advancing at a much faster pace than is the rural infrastructure that provides such services. That dichotomy must be corrected as quickly as possible – if it is not, huge swaths of rural America will fall so far behind the rest of the nation that catching back up could prove nearly impossible.
We applaud entities such as Charter, WRECC, NCTC and local governments for doing what they can to address this vital issue, which – at least at its current pace – isn’t going away anytime soon. Any stakeholder in southcentral Kentucky’s communities should prioritize and incentivize the expansion of high-speed internet service until everyone who wants it has the opportunity to get it.
If Warren County and surrounding areas are to continue to thrive in the coming decades, modern communication infrastructure simply must become more widely available. If it is not, we fear that the economic and population growth of this region could be at risk of hitting the proverbial brick wall.
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