2009 KIDS COUNT Data Book Released

The 2009 Kentucky KIDS COUNT County Data Book has been released. For the 19th year in a row, the publication focuses on key indicators of child safety that include child and teen deaths, child abuse and neglect and juvenile justice.

From the book, some data highlights that will make your head spin:

  • From 2000 to 2007, the rate of Kentucky children living in poverty increased from 21% to 24%
  • Between 2000 and 2008, the average monthly number of Kentucky kids receiving food stamps rose from 177,569 to 251,318, a 42% increase
  • From 2000 to 2008, the average monthly number of children enrolled in KCHIP increased from 45,063 to 57,379, a 27% increase
  • After more than a decade of improvement, the number of births to Kentucky teens aged 15 to 19 increased to 7,340 in 2006 – a rate of 54 per 1,000
  • From 2000 to 2006, the percent of low-weight births increased from 8% to 9%
  • From 2003 to 2008, the number of Kentucky youth held in secure detention facilities rose from 7,736 to 9,834, a 27% increase
  • From 2003 to 2008 the rate of youth placed in out-of-home care due to abuse or neglect rose by 9%

Check everything out for yourself. These data should be required reading for everybody in the Commonwealth. But I’m betting less than 1% of Frankfort will ever take the time to digest any of the information.

Hump Day Dept of More Beshear Disappointment

Deep Thought: D.C. approves gay marriage and Oral Roberts keels over dead. Coincidence? [Deep Thinking]

Jack Conway is holding a fancy fundraiser in Northern Kentucky, a foreign land. [Amanda Vablerberew38uter358]

Greg Stumbo says he’s open to raising taxes. More importantly, he doesn’t shy away from tax reform. And Jim Gooch repeats a right-wing talking point about shrinking government. [Stephenie Steitzer]

Hotline On Call says Ben Chandler is vulnerable. [National Journal]

Greg Stumbo knows comprehensive tax reform is necessary in this state. Unfortunately, the governor does not. Also, Jim Wayne and Mary Lou Marzian shall win fancy awards from us for their hilarious remarks. Many, many whore diamonds to Ronnie Ellis for always writing what needs to be written! [Ronnie Ellis]

See what happens when you have common sense? Stumbo supports tax reform and the Herald-Leader ed board writes a glowing piece about him. [H-L]

Never you worry your little heart, though, cause the Governor’s office can do nothing but release embarrassingly awful statements.  I can’t decide if he’s just ignorant or stupid? [More H-L]

Did you know? We are all gonna die of the $1.2 billion poverty in the next budget cycle. [Roger Alford]

Do you have eleventy billion dollars? Then buy up some Kentucky Derby and Oaks tickets today at 12 Noon on the internets. A total of 3,000 tickets will be made available. [Churchill Downs]

Maybe some day a news outlet will report that Steve Beshear was at a payday loan shark executive’s home for a gigantic fundraiser in Nashville not long ago? [AP via WSAZ]

Steve Beshear says money for child welfare will be tight. All that in the midst of news that the state does a half-assed job protecting abused children as it is and that social workers barely have enough to get by. Way to go, Frankfort. [Debby Yetter]

Time Magazine’s person of the year, Ben Bernanke, responded to Jim Bunning’s written questions. [Financial Times]

Jane Beshear Gives Back to Hospitalized Kids

Today First Lady Jane Beshear delivered wrapped toys to 65 young patients at Kentucky Children’s Hospital in Lexington.

“This is what the spirit of the season is really all about—giving back,” said Mrs. Beshear. “I know how hard illness can be not only on young children but on the families as well. I hope this celebration today and these toys provide a little bit of joy in what can be a difficult time.”

Here she is in action:

Pictured above: Mrs. Beshear greets Jeanna Muschong, age 7, and her mother, Kelly.

Maybe some day she’ll run for office herself?

Tuesday Evening Dept of Papaw Is Sinking

Papaw Steve Beshear’s approval rating has taken a major hit. At its lowest since 2009. Just 44% approve. One-termer? [SurveyUSA]

Jefferson County Family Court judges don’t think dating violence is as important as other forms of domestic violence. Way to go, folks! [The ‘Ville Voice]

The 18 biggest falsehoods in Sarah Palin’s book, which she couldn’t even write herself. [HuffPo]

Kentuckians should take note: Republicans are headed for a bloodbath in Florida. It could happen here. Though, we don’t have a gay Republican governor. [CNN]

New county-level education data is available from the Kids Count Data Center. [Click Here]

Kentuckians are smart. They don’t want Sarah Palin to run for anything ever, because she is insane. Also, who cares? This is a non-story and this wench is more of a media whore than me. [Joe Arnold]

Rand Paul hates Medicare and rights a fancy unicorn, ladies. [Barefoot & Progressive]

ATTENTION! Rand Paul wants it both ways! This is why Ronnie Ellis is our favorite dirty journalist. Hahaha. [Ronnie Ellis]

Quick, everybody feel sorry for Steve Nunn. He pleaded not guilty to six charges of wanton endangerment in Hart County. [WHAS11]

Uninsured emergency room patients are twice as likely to die. [MSNBC]

Hey, science geeks: the birth of a new species witnessed by scientists. [Wired]

FACES of Coal PR folks descended upon Breathitt County’s elected officials. [Business Lexington]

It’s Not Just the Rain That’s Messy Today

Worst kept secret ever? Richie Farmer says he’s considering a run for governor. If he runs? Steve Beshear is finished. [Bluegrass Politics]

Heh. Going Rouge goes live on the teevee. This book mocking Sarah Palin is sure to be a hit and will confuse mouthbreathers. [The Nation]

Want some surplus gubmint property? Hit up the state site. [Clicky Clicky]

Jerry Abramson has a disgusting mess on his hands in Louisville these days. He knew his pick to head Metro Animal Services has a corrupt and sickening past and he still appointed him. And he’s stood by as more and more corruption has surfaced over the years. Read it all. [The ‘Ville Voice]

Oh, wait, the guy was finally forced to resign. [More ‘Ville Voice]

Despite student protests and national media embarrassment, trustees approved the silly Wildcat Coal Lodge on the University of Kentucky campus. [H-L]

The U.S. Census Bureau released poverty data on Kentucky counties with populations of 20,000+. Of those 55 counties, 41 have higher rates of poverty than the national average of 13.2%. 27 have rates higher than the state average of 17.3%. Of the 44 counties with child populations 20K+, three have child poverty rates higher than 40%: Floyd, Harlan and Perry. [Kentucky Youth Advocates Press Release]

If you can’t beat em, appoint em. That appears to be Governor Steve Beshear’s new credo as he uses his appointment powers to try to reduce the number of Republicans in the GOP-controlled Senate. It’s the governor’s latest tactic in his bid to bring casino gambling to the state. [Tony McVeigh]

Mitch RED CHINA McConnell says a vote for cloture is a vote for Democratic health care reform. Duh. [The Hill]

Frankfort is abuzz with talk about Helen Mountjoy. Dozens of questions are flying about. Many folks want to know why the KCTCS is suing the Messenger Inquirer to keep the former President’s (of OCTCS) evaluation secret. Especially in light of the recent Jefferson County ruling from the Office of the Attorney General. [Frankfort Rumor Mill]

Louisville Public Media’s fall membership campaign raised more than $400,000 and generated 1,133 new members. [Business First]

Dental Help Comes to Eastern Kentucky Kids

Governor Steve Beshear has launched an initiative that he says will improve dental health among children of Eastern Kentucky.

“With this announcement I have made improving Kentuckians’ poor dental health a priority, especially when it comes to our children,” Gov. Beshear said in announcing this initiative this morning in Frankfort. “This funding will allow us to aggressively focus on increasing the number of dentists who treat young patients by offering more and better training opportunities for these professionals, as well as providing special resources targeted at building community involvement in distressed counties in Appalachia and ensuring communities have access to needed equipment.

Papaw does not approve of loud children

The Beshear Administration will use $1.6 million+ in federal grants over the next three years to focus on:

  • Training more dentists to work with children
  • Creating community coalitions throughout Eastern Kentucky to help tailor health care programs to impacted counties
  • Providing two sets of portable dental equipment to community coalitions to increase access and use of dental services for children and adults

The Kentucky Oral Health Program in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services will coordinate.

The Appalachian Regional Commission will also provide Kentucky with two additional grants to focus on the 40 counties currently designated as distressed. The funds will help financially offset the time taken off from practice for dentists in the ARC region who participate in Access for Babies and Children to Dentistry program.

To kick things off, Governor Beshear will be in four Eastern Kentucky towns tomorrow to hold press conferences:

  • 9:00 A.M. @ Russell Primary School
  • 11:00 A.M. @ McBrayer Elementary School
  • 1:30 P.M. @ Highland Elementary
  • 4:00 P.M. @ Dennis Wooten Elementary

Man, What a Political Day This Has Been!

Don’t miss these stories about the Daniel Mongiardo mess:

Everybody in Kentucky should be taking these words to heart. [Bullet Counter Points]

What the crap is with Newsmax? Wow. Talk about Obscene. [Crooks & Liars]

The Kentucky Association of Counties has implemented speeding reforms and has created a code of ethics. [Ryan Alessi]

Kentucky Equine Education Project says that David Williams’ attacks cement industry unity. [Paulick Report]

What’s ahead for children and families in the 2010 General Assembly? [Kentucky Youth Advocates]

Prescriptions for controlled substances are up in 118 or 120 counties in Kentucky. So when are we going to begin addressing the pill problem we’ve got in this state? [Bluegrass Politics]

You’re absolutely going to love this great Bernie Madoff art. Trust me. [HuffPo]

Greg Stumbo is going to China to represent Kentucky and we don’t have to foot the bill. The State Legislative Leaders Foundation will be paying for air fare, lodging and meals. Stumbo will be part of a group of legislators from more than 30 states who will travel to Red China in November to attend the Sino-US Provincial Legislative Leaders Forum. Stumbo is bill this as a “major trade mission” and has asked the Kentucky Coal Association to “provide him with information about opportunities in Eastern and Western Kentucky that he could share with the Chinese business leaders and government officials.” [Press Release]