June 28, 2013

• SPJ/IRJCI accepting Al Smith Award nominations

• Someone’s using Open Records Law to scam businesses

• A male doesn’t have to be named David to work at KPA after all

• Interns get stories posted on KPNS

• Start thinking about Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers -2013; It’s almost that time


David Greer’s first news budget this week for the Kentucky Press News Service — Monday morning’s posting of stories from around the state — had 12 stories on it.

And two of those stories were by current KPA interns. Rachael Aretakis is interning at the Lexington Herald-Leader and wrote a story about KIDS COUNT and the state of child wellness in Kentucky. The other was about alpacas and was written by Ashley Scoby, interning with the Spencer Magnet in Taylorsville. Both are UK students and interning this summer through the KPA/Kentucky Journalism Foundation program.

And Keith Kappes, publisher at the Morehead News, is experiencing the first intern that newspaper has ever had. And he’s quite happy with Lana Bellamy, a student at Morehead State. She graduates in December and Keith’s hoping she’ll join the staff full-time after graduation.


I’m on a couple of Newspaper Pro sites just to see what’s going on in the industry in case I need to pass along information to you.

So Monday, came a question from a guy who currently prints a paper every other week (free circulation) but is wanting to move to a weekly basis. And his question was which day of the week is best for a weekly newspaper to print on?

I started to respond with just some information/stats about the number of weekly newspapers in Kentucky and the days of the week those weeklies print. Thought that would show him simply that a majority in the Bluegrass are available on Wednesday or Thursday. So one of those two days should be preferable.

But after reading one suggestion he received, I thought twice about that and didn’t say anything. Because I really can’t decipher what this person is saying. Here’s what she wrote:

I think the best day could be on friday, one of the reasons is that most of the people is more available or get better the message on weekends, if its’t posible on friday could be on thrusday. (Those are not mistakes in my typing; it’s copied directly from the comment. I was able to find out the person writing it is with a newspaper in the “Greater Atlanta area.”

That’s sad.


Recognizes public service through community journalism

The Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues seek nominations

Al Smith

Al Smith

for the Al Smith Award, given annually for public service through community journalism over a lifetime by a native or resident of Kentucky, or someone who has spent a significant portion of his or her career in the state.

The award is named for its first recipient: Albert P. Smith Jr., who owned weekly newspapers in Kentucky and Tennessee, was founding host of KET’s “Comment on Kentucky” and was main co-founder of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, whose national advisory board he long chaired. He is now chairman emeritus and writing books: Wordsmith: My Life in Journalism, Kentucky Cured, and more to follow.

The Smith Award is based on news coverage and editorial leadership that serve needs of communities. Preference is given to journalists in smaller markets, to recognize the restrictions that market size can place on the ability to perform outstanding public service through journalism. If a publisher or station owner is nominated, the judges may consider the publisher’s civic service and the successful management of conflicts that can arise between journalistic, managerial, ownership, and civic roles. The winner will be selected by judges chosen by the Bluegrass Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Last year’s Smith Award winners were Jennifer P. Brown, opinion editor and former editor of the Kentucky New Era in Hopkinsville, and Max Heath, retired vice president and executive editor of Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., based in Shelbyville.

Nominations, supporting letters and documentation should be submitted by July 20 to:

Al Smith Award

Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

122 Grehan Journalism Building, University of Kentucky

Lexington KY 40506-0042

For more information about Al Smith, the award and the nomination process, please contact Institute Director Al Cross at (859) 257-3744 or al.cross@uky.edu.


Earlier this week, I emailed publishers across the state that a form they might have received from Corporate Records Search is a scam. It looks official and even had me fooled. So much was the appearance like the annual report form we get from the Secretary of State, I forwarded it on to Bonnie. And as one who questions anything out of the ordinary, Bonnie had reservations about this. So she called our CPA and found out it’s a hoax and “don’t fill it out.”

I found out from that email to publishers the form did go statewide as several weeklies reported receiving it. And numerous businesses complained to the Better Business Bureau, the Secretary of State and even the Attorney General.

Is there anything illegal about this? Perhaps not, though it is a scam. Unethical might be a better term. But the form required a $125 payment from each business to have the report filed, presumably with the Secretary of State’s office. Only problem is, filing the same report with the SOS requires only a $15 payment. So whoever concocted this scheme would turn around, file the report with the SOS, pay the $15 required and pocket the remaining $110. Not a bad return on the investment.

The address on the envelope was to a PMB (Private Mail Box) at an address not far from our office. Turns out the address is the UPS Store and there are small private mail boxes that individuals can rent. The investigative reporter part of me made me go on an expedition to the store. I mentioned the scam for PMB 116 and he acknowledged he was already aware. “The Attorney General has already been here.”

For the Kentucky Press Service Inc., the information was correct. The person(s) had taken the time to complete all the preliminary information — name of business, address, year incorporated, and business number. It also quoted three state laws requiring businesses to file the form with the state. Even made it more official looking. Of course, every bit of that information is available through the Open Records Law.

A little more examination of the form, though, would have been the tipping point that it wasn’t on the up and up. The name of the city where state government is headquartered was spelled Frankfurt!


As you know, the KPA Digital Committee set up a Pilot Project with four newspapers for 2013. The four are the Lewis County Herald, Mountain Advocate in Barbourville, Citizen Voice and Times in Irvine and The Lake News, Calvert City. Originally, the idea was to have the committee members help the individual newspapers as they had time.

We were kinda spinning our wheels and it would appear with a dozen or so committee members, the four newspapers could get information overload, conflicting information or maybe little or none at all.

During a conference call several weeks ago, Peter Baniak, editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader and a committee member and KPA Board member, suggested a mentor program be established, with one committee member working with one newspaper. Great idea as it turns out.

The four mentors and the newspaper they’re assigned to are John Mura to the Lewis County Herald; Liz Hansen/Jim Gleason to the Citizen Voice and Times; John Preston to The Lake News; and Peter Baniak to the Mountain Advocate. This morning I got a note from Jay Nolan, publisher of the Mountain Advocate about the mentor program and I share that note with all of you:


Here’s a comment on mentoring for you to share with Digital Committee:

Having mentors for the pilot newspapers in our digital program was a brilliant idea, and Peter Baniak has done a fantastic job as a mentor!!

The Mountain Advocate staff commented that the training he provided yesterday in Barbourville was precisely focused on our exact needs, and very professionally presented. He was personable, poised, extremely knowledgeable, and able to motivate our entire staff.

Thanks to Peter, to the digital committee, and KPA for making this possible. It was great!

Jay Nolan, Publisher

Eddie Arnold, Editor


Over the last few years, people have chuckled when they found out the three male employees at KPA/KPS are all named David. And they’d ask, “Do you have to be named David to work there?”

“No but it helps” would be the response.

We’re breaking that mold now with Rick Covington coming on board Monday as the Statewide, ARK and BANK networks coordinator. Rick has a lengthy career in the media stemming from a journalism degree at Morehead State. He’s been sports information director with several colleges and universities

Here’s a link the to KPA/KPS Organizational Chart with the staff member’s name, position and hire date.

Organizational Chart

You’re invited to the Kosair Charities’ Media Appreciation Reception on Tuesday, July 23 in Louisville. This is not limited to just Louisville-area media but to all KPA members.

Here’s is a flier with more information and Kosair does request you to RSVP if you will be attending.


One year ago to the week, I wrote in this that I was on my soapbox. The issue was the Kentucky State Police weekly update on traffic accidents. And specifically, it was about the large number of motorcyclists dying because they weren’t wearing helmets.

The driving (four-wheel vehicle) public has to wear seat belts or face stiff penalties if found that we don’t. But the motorcycle lobby was able to get the legislature to do away with the helmet requirement. Sorry but I do not understand the difference.

Anyway, a year ago, 32 motorcyclists had lost their lives through mid-June because they were not wearing helmets. Others had died in wrecks but they had helmets on. Then through December, 2013, 38 total had died without helmets on of the 73 motorcyclists who had died.

KSP did a story about the spike in motorcycle deaths last year, that by this time in 2012, those deaths had increased over 2011.

So through last week, one year later the, the statistics aren’t a whole lot better. Twenty-six of the 37 killed on motorcycles this year were not wearing helmets. That’s 70 percent of motorcyclists were not wearing helmets when they crashed. And if you surveyed all who do not wear helmets it might even be higher than 70 percent.

But the point is, that’s 64 fatalities in the last 18 months that might have just been injured and survived. I’m not a motorcyclist and have no desire to ride one. But I think if I did, I’d want the helmet on. The stats are against me surviving if I don’t. And all the legislature has to do is put the requirement of helmets back in the books.


Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) report is “go to” source for city information

The Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) has released the most complete report ever published about how city governments in Kentucky actually work. Today’s Kentucky City: A Comprehensive Analysis of City Operations provides a wealth of information on how city governments function based on their population and classification.

Today’s Kentucky City combines original research with publicly accessible data to offer a thorough analysis of city spending, taxation, personnel, service provision and more. Using over 100 sources and citations, the report offers a large amount of data on some of the most frequently asked questions about cities and how they operate.

Some of the key findings of the 100-page report include the following:

• Many of the state’s policies negatively impact urban areas.

• Total compensation paid to city employees has declined by three percent from FY 2007 to FY 2011, but benefit costs have increased 19 percent in that time.

• There are around 11 full-time equivalent employees per 1,000 city residents, which is almost the exact same ratio as in 1997.

• Cities spend more on wages and benefits for public safety personnel than they do in all other areas combined.

• Pension reforms passed during the 2013 Regular Session of the Kentucky General Assembly are projected to save cities around $1.6 billion over the next 20 years.

• Around 39 percent of vehicle miles traveled on local roads are in urban areas that receive only 16 percent of the funds shared through the state’s road aid formulas.

• Statewide median tax rates for the primary taxes levied by Kentucky cities include the following:

◦ Real property – 20.0 cents/$100

◦ Personal property – 18.1 cents/$100

◦ Motor vehicles – 17.0 cents/$100

◦ Payroll – 1.00 percent

◦ Net profits – 1.35 percent

◦ Insurance premium – 7.00 percent

• The current city classification scheme chooses winners and losers among cities and encourages cities to change classes – even if they do not meet the statutory population criteria – for more favorable treatment under the law.

• A local option sales tax, which is currently not allowed under the Kentucky Constitution, could have a significant impact on the quality of life of those who live, work, learn and play in cities. A tax of this nature would enable local voters to determine what significant investments, if any, are best suited for their community.

A few of the other questions answered in this report include the following:

• How many employees do most cities have?

• How do cities structure their boards and commissions?

• What types of utilities and other services do cities provide?

• How many police and firefighters do cities employ?

• How much do cities spend on wages and benefits?

• How do cities procure services?

For over 80 years, KLC has been the primary source for information important to and about the cities of the commonwealth. In addition to popular member services such as legislative, legal, training, financial and insurance services, KLC provides research assistance and analysis to city officials, legislators, members of the media and the general public.

Requests for printed copies of this publication may be directed to the KLC office at 859.977.3700. A fee may be charged for printed copies. A copy of the report is here TodaysKYCityFullReporWeb


Last week, I wrote about the study to be released June 24 on KIDS COUNT. The mobile app access was there but somewhere in cyberspace the link to the full report went missing.

After realizing that Monday morning, I emailed editors to give them the source of the information. They were likely to be the ones needing it right then and that’s why the others of you didn’t get it.

But if you’re interested in a wealth of information about child wellness in Kentucky, just go to http://datacenter.kidscount.org/


I know of one paper in Kentucky Ed Henninger has redesigned that uses justified left, or more commonly known, in my early days, as “ragged right.” Looking at the layout each time it’s printed, it appears with everything in the paper only flush left, there’s a lot of wasted space.

I talked with Ed briefly about this at the Winter Convention and yes, my position is much like those who say, “Well, we’ve always done it that way.” And a large majority use justified columns, except perhaps with feature stories and columns.

So Ed’s column this month was one I read in its entirety and I share it with you. It states his thought on justified left and disputes the concept that a story “ragged right” takes up a lot more room.

On the idea of justified versus ragged right, he and I will continue to disagree. Probably because, as a Southern Baptist and a Kentuckian, I always use the reason, “We’ve always done it this way.” Of course, except this weekly update. It’s ragged right.

Anyway, Ed invites you to share your thoughts with him, whether you agree or not. Or you can just read his column and see if you’re convinced to change how your newspaper treats news copy.



Below is the Ad-Libs column by John Foust, who has done some KPA ad seminars. His topic this month takes me back to the days at the Georgetown News & Times. And specifically to one advertiser.

The lady didn’t want to spend a lot and would usually end up taking a 2×3 or maybe a 2×4 if business was good. But she’d bring in pages of hand-written copy and ask me to fit that in the space. The encyclopedia was shorter than the copy she wanted in that space.

So if you have an advertiser who wants to cram a lot into a small ad and then complains because the ad looks cluttered, check out John’s column:



Well you have some time but toward the end of August, we’ll be sending you the information about the Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers – 2013 competition information. I made all the material available to the KPA News Editorial Division yesterday, asking them to read through it, see if any of the categories need updating, if categories need to be added or deleted.

I don’t expect there to be many, if any, changes. And we’ll know in before long how the 2013 version is taking shape. Regardless, it’s not too early to start searching your archives for the best stories, columns, pictures and layout/design. The entry period will be for all issues published between October 1, 2012, and September 30, 2013.

The entry deadline will be Friday, October 18, 2013.


KPA promotes webinars throughout the year for all disciplines of the newspaper operation. Most webinars last an hour and require a computer and telephone to participate.

Online Media Campus is a partnership of the Kentucky Press Association Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, Online Media Campus and some state press associations.

Online Media Campus provides high-quality, low-cost online training to media professionals. More than 20 programs are offered annually on writing and editorial topics, print and online advertising sales, technology, social networking, management issues and much more.

Each program runs approximately 60 minutes and is designed to be interactive. A post-webinar follow-up by presenters is included to ensure that all questions are answered. These cost-effective and time-efficient webinars are designed to offer fresh ideas to improve job skills, without the need for travel and time away from the office. View all OMC webinars


For the last couple of years, the KPA Winter Convention has had both the Kentucky News Photographers and Kentucky Intercollegiate Press associations join with us for one massive convention. In January, 2013, this consortium, plus the Kentucky High School Journalism Association brought together 1150 current and future journalists under one roof.

I’ve learned recently that KIPA probably will go it alone in the future as a way to cut costs. You can expect a lot of college students will still attend our convention since nine schools are College Publication members of KPA. And as that, they certainly will be invited and welcome to attend KPA.

I think KIPA is going to try a retreat style format, possibly in August right before the school year starts.


This went earlier this week to editors but in case your editor missed the email, or you’re interested in road projects for your county, here’s the information:

More than $54 million in asphalt rehab projects were awarded this month by The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

The latest round of projects brings this year’s total for asphalt rehabilitation contacts to more than $140 million.

The asphalt contracts recently awarded are taking place in 59 of Kentucky’s 120 counties.

Asphalt rehab project list


We’ve been here 21.5 years and throughout a large concrete area has been showing in the KPA parking lot. The developer never came back and resurfaced the lot. And with all the ice and cold weather in recent years, the surface was deteriorating.

In fact, the parking lots for the nine buildings in this complex have had nothing done to them since November, 1991. So the association condo association let bids recently to have the parking lots updated. Our concrete-exposed area got a coat of asphalt yesterday in preparing for coal emulsion and tarring the cracks scheduled for later this fall. And when it’s all done, we will even be able to see the lines for parking spaces. It’s been “guess where the parking spot is” for the last few years.

Doesn’t take much to get us excited!!


Specifically aiming this at editors as a reminder to check www.accesskpa.com regularly for news releases. These are really no different from ones you receive at the office except (a) they normally have statewide appeal and (b) are in a text format so you don’t have to type them. And that saves a lot of time when you’re needing something to fill a whole. Just download the release and use it to fill that space.

Here are some posted at accesskpa.com within the last few days:

• 2013-06-28 – THE KENTUCKY CLUB – Kentucky RAILWAY MUSEUM


• 2013-06-20 – Berea Family Hosts 32nd Annual Berea Craft Festival

• 2013-06-17 – Kentucky Blackberry Research Company and Kroger Team Up to Improve Oral Health with BerryCare Toothpaste Gum

Think that will do it for another week. I’ll be here on Friday, July 5, probably one of only two KPA staffers working as others take vacation time so not certain if I’ll do your Friday Update on Wednesday, or wait til Friday. Either way, it’ll be a short one.

As always, call if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions or deletions.

Otherwise thanx!!! And have a safe Fourth of July.

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