July 27, 2012

First one in two weeks and last one for two weeks. I’m heading to San Francisco Sunday for the Newspaper Association Managers convention and will return to the Bluegrass on August 4. Should rethink the trip though, the high next week in SF will be 66!! 

• Advertising hits $3.490 million as we enter August

• Board votes to lend support to Auditor’s Special Districts Initiative

• Have you signed up for the Woody/Chloe series, “Unleashed,” yet?

• We need judges — advertising for Pennsylvania and news for New Mexico — all in the comfort of your office, home

• Not too early to think “2013 Legislature” and opening juvenile courts might be on the agenda



The KPA Board of Directors voted unanimously July 20 to support Auditor Adam Edelen’s initiative on special districts, a project designed to identify who the special districts are, where they are, who runs them and how much money they spend and receive.

The discussion came after Stephenie Steitzer, communications director of the Auditor, explained the taxing district project and what the auditor is trying to accomplish. It was estimated that 1200 to 1800 districts – some “taxing,” some “non-taxing” – are scattered throughout the state and were established or authorized by local governments. And estimates range from a half-billion to a billion and a half dollars that these districts could be getting from taxpayers.

The problem is no one knows how many there are or how much tax revenue they receive.

KPA joins a growing list of local and statewide groups supporting the Auditor in this endeavor.

Additionally, KPA is researching language in the Public Notice law – KRS 424 – that defines “Publication areas” as “city, county, district or other local area.” The agencies coming under one of those definitions would be required to abide by most public notice advertising laws, including publication of officers of the organization, and potentially a summary financial statement.

KPA has begun the process of determining what these districts should be publishing and when, as well as them being subjected to provisions in both the Open Meetings and Open Records laws.


KPA staffers will be fanning the Bluegrass over the next few weeks. No, not fanning it from the extreme heat but fanning out, visiting newspapers. We have the plaques and certificates from the KPA Ad Contest to present and instead of doing a lunch and having people drive to Lexington or Bowling Green, the staff will be traveling. We need to visit newspapers anyway. It’s been two years since we visited every newspaper in the state and our goal is to make sure every newspaper gets a visit at least once every three years.

So don’t be surprised if you see Teresa, David S., David G. or yours truly pulling up in the front of your office in the near future. It won’t be a figment of your imagination; it really will be one of us.


If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, then you can deduce it is a duck.

But that’s not true with apps (applications for iPhones, Androids and Smartphones. David Spencer’s proved that. I learned recently about a process using a website that could then be put on an iPhone and it makes what looks to be an app.

In mentioning this to the KPA Digital Committee about a month ago, we came up with the idea of putting the “Reporter’s Guide to Open Meetings/Records” in an app-format to try. David S. started working on that and about has it completed. If you have one of the phones, in your browser go to www.kypress.com/foi and then save it as a Bookmark.

You should see the “app” show up as KPA FOI. We’d had some quotes of $5000 to $8000 for a KPA app and this one was no more than the time David S. spent setting it up.

You’ll see the format if you follow the directions I gave and you’ll see the questions as started on that long foldup guide we publish periodically. And soon David will finish putting in the rest and you’ll have most everything you need to know about Kentucky’s Open Meetings and Open Records laws.


It’s not to early to start locating all your pages from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012 (Yes, I know that date hasn’t gotten here so you don’t have those pdfs. But those are the publication dates for the 2012 Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers competition.)

We’re in the process of finalizing the contest and will be making the rules and entry information available in late August. The deadline for entering will be Friday, October 19, so you’ll have more than six weeks to get everything together and ready to enter.

And all entries this year will be submitted electronically in the program David Spencer wrote.

I’ve sent the contest materials to the KPA News Editorial Division, asking them to look over the categories and rules and to suggest any changes. With the move to fully electronic, we need to change some wording (about marking with a red check or stapling tearsheets together) because parts are not applicable anymore.

I’m having a conference call with the News Ed folks in mid-August and then we’ll revise the language and get it to you.


At least it appears that way. We’re getting ready to do the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association advertising contest and by mid-August, it’ll be the news contest for the New Mexico Press Association. Fortunately from this end, both are being doing electronically, meaning you don’t leave your computer, office or home.

That’s the one thing I miss with the electronic process. Used to mean trips to states from the Midwest to the Northeast and even down to the Gulf, taking entries and having them judged. With the electronic process, we just sit here at our desks and wait for the entries to judged and uploaded back to us.


This story was in the Wednesday Louisville Courier-Journal, by Jason Riley, and I pass it along because it’s something our newspapers and KPA have preached to the legislature for umpteen years. Maybe in 2013 there will be growing support..

Jefferson County Attorney Mike O’Connell announced his office will push to open juvenile court cases in Kentucky, citing the recent case of 17-year-old Savannah Dietrich, who was up for a contempt charge for tweeting the names of two boys who assaulted her.

“Kentucky is way behind the curve,” O’Connell said at a press conference, noting that the state has some of the strictest secrecy laws in the nation and is one of only 11 states that bar any access to juvenile proceedings. “… It is time for a change” and Kentucky needs to “join the ranks of the rest of the states throughout the country.”

O’Connell said juvenile court should be open to ensure accountability and alert the community to violent juvenile crimes. He said reform will have to come from the General Assembly and he is developing legislation to introduce at the next session and will be seeking sponsors.

“It has been my position, when I served as juvenile court judge, and the position of the County Attorney’s Office, that juvenile court should be presumptively open,” O’Connell said.

The press conference came just days after a contempt motion was dropped against Deitrich, who violated the gag order out of frustration with the plea bargain in her sexual assault case and for being told by a District judge not to talk about the case because juvenile court is confidential.

O’Connell said he has reflected on that case and it was “a factor in moving at the time I did. I think it’s important and it probably should have been done a long time ago.”

Asked if he would ask that Dietrich’s case be opened to the public, O’Connell said he couldn’t say right now, in part because there are “potential allegations” against a prosecutor in the case.

“So we will see where that goes and how we will respond to that should that occur,” O’Connell said. He did not elaborate

O’Connell said he would like the courts to be “as open as possible,” but stopped short of saying the public should have full access, noting that some juvenile crimes are minor offenses that would only further stigmatize the offender if it became public.

He also said the office, under Irv Maze in 2006, attempted to open juvenile court but the legislation stalled – as have similar movements several times over the years.


You can imagine my surprise when a release came in Wednesday from the governor’s office about David Thompson being named executive director of something. It was right there in the subhead, Col. David E. Thompson. Well, I’m not “E.” I’m “T” so glad to know I wasn’t leaving KPA. Kinda strange to see your name in a headline.

That reminds me of the time I was at the Georgetown News and Times. There were three David Thompsons in Scott County – one was a drug dealer, one was a deputy sheriff and then me. One night the phone rang and it was a lady who didn’t identify herself but she wanted to give me some information. She started talking, told me about the trouble she had been in, told me about the trouble she was currently in, what led up to all that, and how sorry she was for the things she had done.

I did little more than listen because I thought this was leading somewhere.

After two or three minutes, I’m thinking the lady has me confused with someone. She basically had admitted to breaking several laws and wanted me to help her. So I asked, “Ma’am, exactly what is it you need from me by telling me all this stuff?”

“Well, I hope you can help keep me from getting arrested,” she responded.

“Ma’am who were you trying to contact?”

“David Thompson, the deputy sheriff.”

“Ma’am, this is David Thompson, publisher and editor of the News and Times.”

“Oh (expletive deleted)!!” and she hung up.


It’s been operating since October 1, 2009, as a free service to member newspapers and publications and soon the Kentucky Press News Service will hit the 17,000-mark in number of stories shared with participating newspapers.

The service – originally called the Kentucky News Content Service – shares stories and editorials from the 67 participating news sites (including two public radio stations). News budgets are made available twice a day Monday through Friday and once on Sunday by KPNS Director David Greer. He recently added the editorial segment to the service and offers one afternoon budget for editorials Monday through Friday.

The number of participating newspapers will grow by one with the addition of Business Lexington, joining KPA to become a part of the KPNS.

It’s a tremendous service for news stories and ideas and is available at no cost “for the time being” to member publications. Want more information or want to sign up? Contact David Greer at dgreer@kypress.com or at 800-264-5721.


The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) is currently accepting nominations for the 2012 Kentucky History Awards. All nominations must be received by close of business Friday, August 3.

The Kentucky History Awards recognize outstanding achievements by historians, public history professionals, volunteers, business and civic leaders, communities and historical organizations throughout the Commonwealth. Individuals and communities across the state are encouraged each year to nominate projects and individuals for their efforts to promote the preservation, awareness and appreciation of state and local history.

Nominated projects must have been initiated or completed between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2011, and must either pertain to some aspect of Kentucky’s state or local history, or must be sponsored by or benefiting a museum, historical society, genealogical society or other history-related organization in Kentucky. An applicant may self-nominate and may nominate more than one project, individual or group.

For complete rules of entry and to download a nomination packet, visit www.history.ky.gov/historyawards. The Kentucky History Awards ceremony will be held Friday, Nov. 9, at the Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort. It is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

I’ve confirmed with Chelsea Compton at KHS that a special publication/section that promotes preservation, awareness and appreciation of state/local history is eligible especially if it was done to benefit a certain site, museum or organization.


Typically, we play a full-court defense when the legislature comes to town, wanting to defend what we have in open government public notices, etc., and not worried about offense.

With encouragement from Southern Strategy Group lobbyist Leigh Ann Thacker who’s helping us now in the legislative arena, the Board did look ahead to identify some areas we might consider putting on offense.

Those include ensuring that tax districts are required to publish certain information under KRS 424 and pushing the Open Meetings/Records aspect in respect to the districts; looking into opening meetings of those agencies currently responsible for open records if they receive 25 percent or more of their funding from government agencies/taxpayer dollars; and, worker’s compensation issues that are financially straining on newspapers.


Leigh Ann Thacker and I got started July 25 on part of that list with a meeting with Workers Comp Board Commissioner Dwight Lovan. We floated three trial balloons and only one got shot down. That doesn’t mean the other two will not have any opposition from the state, just that at the present time there’s no public position.

Initially I was encouraged, thinking maybe there wouldn’t be a major roadblock if we tried to get part of a law repealed or filed suit to get it deemed unconstitutional. Then after speaking with Ashley Pack and remembering a few things Commissioner Lovan said, it’s because neither effort would change Kentucky law.

While the IRS says three things must be in place to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, Kentucky has nine requirements that must be met. If any of those nine are absent, the person is an employee, not an independent contractor. And while newspapers strive to meet the three IRS components for carriers, they must meet all nine Kentucky requirements to get to that same point.


And we’re still looking for newspapers for this outstanding Fall Chapter Series. To sign up, go to www.kypress.com/nie and you’ll be ready!

And in the meantime, Kriss Johnson asks that you please get this information below to your local schools.

Thanx in advance for that.

Please share this email with Kentucky teachers, principals, superintendents and librarians.  And please share as needed so Kentucky teachers and students can participate in Kentucky’s 2012 literacy project to give students and families a free book.

The Kentucky Press Association is offering the annual book giveaway this fall.  We encourage teachers, principals and librarians to contact their local newspaper publishers and ask if they are participating in the 2012 KPA Literacy Project and ask how their school can join.

This year’s story, UNLEASHED, is written by Kentucky author Leigh Anne Florence and illustrated by Chris Ware.  The theme is fitness and Kentucky adventures with our favorite Kentucky dachshund characters, Woody and Chloe.

Starting the week of Sept. 9, participating newspapers will give away scrapbooks, with the story cover, for readers to use to collect ten chapters and illustrations and make their own book.  The chapters and illustrations to add to the scrapbook will be found weekly in the local newspaper.  The statewide literacy project also includes online, interactive chapter activities and 10 podcasts with the Woody character reading each chapter out loud. These will be at www.kypress.com.  Last year over 40,000 scrapbooks were given out.  We would love to double or even triple that number in 2012. Newspaper in Education at the Lexington Herald-Leader, and other participating newspapers, will offer teachers and students the weekly newspapers and the scrapbooks at NO cost.

The sponsors for this year’s project are Kentucky Utilities/LG&E, Kentucky Adventure Tourism, Lexington Herald-Leader Newspaper in Education and Kentucky Press Association.

Please contact your local newspaper publisher today (weekly and daily publications) and ask if they will be participating in the KPA free book project, UNLEASHED, and ask how your school can be included.


Kriss Johnson


The Van Heusen outlet store in Georgetown is going out of business and the Office Depot in Frankfort is moving to another location and having a big “Moving Sale.”

Those “sales” remind me to remind your advertising staff about a state law governing such situations. I try to do this once a year. And while the state won’t come down on the “messenger” – the media – it is good for you to let businesses know of this law if those situations take place. The only time the law (below) would not be in effect is if demanded by a court order and the judge suspends compliance with the law.

Keep this handy and if you have advertisers wanting to go out of business, having a moving or fire or lost our lease sale, give them a copy so they’ll be in compliance and won’t be hearing from the AG’s Consumer Protection Division.


As used in KRS 365.410 to 365.480 and 365.992:

(1) “Going out of business sale” means any sale, whether described by such name or by any other name such as, but not limited to, “closing out sale,” “liquidation sale,” “lost our lease sale,” “forced to vacate sale,” held in such a manner as to induce a belief that upon disposal of the stock of goods on hand, the business will cease and discontinue at the premises where the sale is conducted.

(2) “Sale” means a transfer of goods from the seller to the buyer for a price less than that for which the goods were originally offered to the public by the person conducting a sale hereunder.

(3) “Fire sale” means any sale held in such a manner as to induce a belief that the goods are being sold at a reduction in price due to damage by fire, smoke, water or otherwise.

(4) “Cost” means that price which the seller actually paid for goods.

(5) “Goods” means all goods, wares, merchandise and other personal property, excepting choses in action and money.

(6) “Person” includes a person, firm, corporation, partnership, association or two (2) or more persons having a joint or common interest.

(7) “Removal sale” means any sale held in such a manner as to induce a belief that upon disposal of the stock of goods on hand, the business will cease and discontinue at the premises where the sale is conducted, and thereafter will be moved to and occupy another location.


No person shall advertise, represent or hold out to the public that any sale of goods is an insurance, bankruptcy, mortgage foreclosure, insolvent’s, assignee’s, executor’s, administrator’s, receiver’s, trustee’s, removal sale, going out of business sale or fire sale unless he first obtains a license to conduct the sale from the county clerk of the county in which he proposes to conduct the sale.


With $185,387 already in-house for August, we have $3.490 million in placement for 2012. That’s buoyed by the Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric placement that ran in some 95 newspapers for the last three weeks.

And the $3.490 million means we’ve either exceeded or will soon exceed the full-year totals placed in Kentucky newspapers by KPS for every year we’ve been in existence, except for 2010. That was almost our first $6 million year and while we’ll hit the $5 million mark this year, it’s doubtful we’ll get to the $5.855 million record from that year.

But we’re not complaining.

With that great news, I’ll close, again for two weeks. I’ll be leaving Sunday for San Francisco and look to return to the Bluegrass late Saturday, August 4. I’ll be back in the office Monday, August 6.

In the interim, call or email if you need anything. The cell number is 859-608-2213.

I’ll be in most of the day with only an errand to the State Parks Office this morning and lunch and a tour of the new Marriott East in Louisville. It’s new only in the sense of a major renovation. It’s off Hurstbourne Lane and if you were around in the late ‘90s, you’ll remember it as a winter convention facility or advertising seminar facility we used extensively.

As always, call, email, fax or whatever if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, additions, deletions, clarifications or corrections. And until next we talk, THANX!


And congrats to Kriss Johnson for recognizing that as a box of Entenmann’s donuts behind me in the picture!

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