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Guest Editorial

Good luck, class of 2016!

The Kentucky Standard

Will Rogers once said, “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” At least the Internet says he did, so it must be true.
Graduation season is upon us, and there are more sappy sayings and cliché advice floating around online and in speeches than are typically found in the aisles of entire stores devoted to selling greeting cards.
Everyone thinks his or her words will make you better, stronger or more successful. We aren’t sure it works that way but, like everyone else, we’re going to say them anyway.
First, trust Will Rogers. Don’t just sit there. Dead ends, much like the path to hell, are paved with good intentions. You have to keep moving. Waiting gets you nowhere. The job market might be sketchy. You might have to eat light or work a few part-time jobs, but you really can do what you want to do with your life if you work for it and don’t let misadventures or mistakes convince you to quit. Failure only controls you as long as you let it. And it really does feel good to accomplish your goals. Good intentions are vital, but they’re only the first part of the process.
Second, enjoy life. Adulthood makes it easy to get trapped in an endless cycle: Go to work/school, go home, sleep, wake up, go to work/school. Break that cycle. Yes, you need money and an education, and we just explained that working is important. But vacations, people you love, hobbies, those have a place, too. Those experiences will shape more than your resume. And those memories will be with you through high and low checking account balances. You have more to offer the world than your job title, and it has a lot to offer you, too.
All that being said, we return to the fact that advice can be mostly useless. No matter what anyone says, you’ll have to find your own way. But you can. You will. And it’s quite likely you’ll end up better for the quirks along the way.
Congratulations, class of 2016. And good luck!


Darts & Laurels

A laurel to the Kentucky State Police for honoring their fallen officers last Thursday as part of National Police Officers Memorial Week.

A dart to low voter turnout during the last week’s May primary election. Do your civic duty, go out and vote! You can’t express your voice if you don’t let it be heard.

A laurel to Paintsville Main Street and Paintsville Tourism for another successful Spring Fling Celebration that was held this past Saturday throughout the downtown area.

A dart to the recent arrest of a Magoffin teacher and other adults that allegedly assisted in juvenile drinking at a party. This party sent two juveniles to the hospital due to critical levels of intoxication.

A laurel to Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s student clubs and organizations that presented the Shriners Hillbilly Clan 1, Outhouse 2 with a $1,150 check to help the Shriners Children’s Hospital.


Guest Editorial

Proud to secure $4.5 million to fund justice for victims of rape
“Protect me from the hands of the wicked people, O Lord. Keep me safe from violent people.” Psalms 140:4.

By Andy Beshear
Kentucky Attorney General

When I was sworn in as Attorney General, I made a commitment to spend every day protecting Kentucky families. I do that through a four-part core mission that the Attorney General’s office works on every day.
That mission is prosecuting and preventing child abuse, protecting our seniors from scams and abuse, finding workable solutions to our drug epidemic and seeking justice for victims of sexual assault.
My office recently took several giant steps in seeking that justice through law enforcement, legislation and education.
On law enforcement, our state faces an unacceptable backlog of sexual assault forensic evidence kits (SAFE kits). In 2015, Kentucky’s state auditor uncovered the fact that more than 3,000 sexual assault forensic exam kits (SAFE kits) were languishing in police departments and in the Kentucky State Police (KSP) forensic lab. The kits were going untested, and the victims who submitted to the tests were not receiving the justice they deserved.
Take my friend Michelle, who was sexually assaulted near her home in 1994. It took 17 years for her to see justice, which happened after a felon’s DNA matched the DNA from the forensic exam Michelle had the courage to take after the assault. The exams from two other women were also linked to the same man, and he was sentenced to more than 30 years in prison for his crimes. 
Each of the 3,000 or more kits represent a victim just like Michelle, and their courage is currently trapped in a kit that is sitting on a shelf.
Sexual assault is pervasive and impacts every person, every family, in every community. Nearly 50 percent of women in Kentucky and one in 16 men are victims of sexual violence.
Some of the reasons provided for the backlog were lack of funding or shortage of staff. But to me, no excuse was acceptable.
That’s why May 9, I transferred to the KSP $4.5 million that my office had secured through a lawsuit to purchase new equipment, to test SAFE kits and to hire additional personnel to perform those tests. This money will ensure that no backlog ever occurs again.
And in one of the best moments of my tenure as Attorney General, Michelle pressed the computer key to electronically transfer the funds to KSP. It was a profound moment of meaning and justice. 
At the same time, I repeated my commitment to using the full power of the Attorney General’s Office to seek justice for those victims whose kits have still not been tested. My pledge is to spend an additional $1 million from settlement funds to increase my office’s investigations and prosecutions of sexual assault cases.
On the policy front, I want to make sure we have the laws in place to further prevent any future backlog. That is why I also supported Senate Bill 63, the SAFE Act, which unanimously passed the 2016 General Assembly. The law makes sure all kits are submitted and tested within set timelines, and that police are trained to conduct victim-centered sexual assault investigations.
Through these actions, we are making sure that those who commit violent sexual assault crimes are punished. And, I will not rest until every rapist identified in the backlog testing is brought to justice.
Finally, we are also working to prevent sexual assault through education and outreach efforts. 
We’re partnering with the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) to raise awareness for sexual assault on college campuses through the #VoicesofHope program. We’re educating law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates, medical and behavioral health professionals and others through a yearlong, collaborative series of child sexual abuse trainings. We’ve already educated more than 350 professionals throughout the state on how to better recognize, investigate and prosecute child sexual abuse cases – and 13 trainings still remain. 
Last month, my Office of Victims Advocacy hosted Victims Advocacy Day at the Capitol, bringing together survivors and supporters, law enforcement and prosecutors to celebrate what we have accomplished and to tackle the challenges we face.
And we are raising awareness in personal ways: in April we opened the Hope Gallery, a rotating art exhibit in the Attorney General’s Office featuring artwork by children who have suffered from physical and sexual abuse to let them know their voices are heard and inspire us, every day, to strive to end violence in the Commonwealth.
Protecting Kentucky families is my top priority, and my office, in coordination with rape crisis advocates, will continue to work on behalf of victims, providing them the support they need to restore hope and rebuild trust.”


Darts and Laurels

A laurel to Johnson County Health Department for applying and receiving a grant from the Kentucky Cancer Screening Program, a Pink Counties Initiative. This grant will offer the women of Johnson County a $25 gas coupon when they complete their annual cancer screening.

A dart to the suspected Combs Drive arsonist for the May 1st fire in Wittensville. If you have any information regarding this incident, call the Johnson County Sheriff’s department at (606) 789-3411.

A laurel to the Big Sandy Shrine club for all their efforts in our community. The club provides area families with children in need, transportation to Shriner’s hospitals in Lexington and Cincinnati.

A dart to the most common insect in the state of Kentucky – the mosquito – this nuisance insect is known to carry disease. Homeowners should eliminate all standing water around their homes as they are breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

A laurel to Matthew O’Bryan, a senior at Johnson Central High School, who has received an appointment to attend West Point United States Military Academy in New York. O’Bryan is a prime example of a local youth setting his goals and achieving them.


Guest Editorial

Stop the Frankfort bickering, go to work

By the Bowling Green Daily News

It is quite obvious that there is no love lost between Gov. Matt Bevin and the Beshear family.
That’s a shame really, but it’s a reality unfolding before our own eyes.
In the past few weeks, some serious accusations have been made by Bevin against former Gov. Steve Beshear and his administration. And some serious allegations have been made against Bevin by Beshear’s son, Attorney General Andy Beshear.
Andy Beshear has asked for an ethics investigation of Bevin to find out if he fired some politically appointed state workers because they donated money to his political rivals and whether such actions violated the state’s ethics code.
Bevin accused the former governor of coercing state employees to donate to Democratic candidates, including Andy Beshear’s 2015 campaign for attorney general. Bevin has called for Andy Beshear to return any questionable contributions and announced he would use public money to hire a private law firm to assist with his own investigation of Steve Beshear, including whether he violated state procurement laws.
Andy Beshear, who is also suing Bevin over his 2 percent mid-year budget cuts to most state colleges and universities, says Bevin is within his right to investigate financial mismanagement. But he said Bevin cannot investigate ethics code violations. He says that responsibility falls to the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, made up by five people who were appointed by Steve Beshear. Andy Beshear has asked the ethics commission to take over Bevin’s investigation and to tell Bevin he does not have jurisdiction.
These are some very serious allegations that have been levied against Bevin and Steve Beshear. It’s quite obvious that if there is merit to these allegations then they must be investigated and answers revealed to the public in due time.
It would really be a disservice to the voters of this state though to learn that all of these allegations are over petty grievances. In suing Bevin, Andy Beshear said it wasn’t personal.
Sure it is.
Andy Beshear doesn’t like Matt Bevin and the feeling is very mutual. Steve Beshear is also obviously no fan of Bevin either. He gave a nearly 14-minute speech this week bashing Bevin. That is his First Amendment right, but Steve Beshear really needs to first realize that he is no longer our governor, return quietly to his law practice and let the current governor do his job.
We sincerely hope that all of this doesn’t turn out to be grandstanding by Bevin and Andy Beshear. If it indeed is, then both men have failed the people of this state and should really be ashamed of themselves.



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