• Make plans now for Inaugural Border War Golf tournament
• Legislation moving, though not rapidly, as session enters final eight days
• Georgetown city council votes to turn over police records though AG ruled in city’s favor
•KPNS growing with 71 signed up; two more interested and another new KPA Associate Division member
•Enquirers new size will make them — Cincinnati and Kentucky — trendsetters
KPNS REACHES 71; TWO MORE INTERESTED
The Kentucky Press News Service continues growing. David Greer’s letter to editors earlier this week, inviting non-participating newspapers to join, resulted in one doing so, two others requesting access to the application and other materials online.
The Marshall County Tribune Courier signed up this week, giving us 71 participating news media in the press service.
KENT-ESSEE BORDER WAR GOLF TOURNAMENT
(Kent-essee sounds better than Tenn-Tucky Border War golf tourney.)
Mark your calendar with a tentative date for the Inaugural Kent-essee Border War golf tournament, bringing together KPA and Tennessee Press Association members. We’re looking at Monday, September 9, (that’s in pencil!) for the event at Fairvue Plantation Country Club. It’s near Hendersonville and Gallatin, Tennessee, and is one of the top golf courses in Tennessee.
The event is being sponsored as a fund-raising event for the foundations of both state press associations. Proceeds will be divided equally and for KPA, the proceeds will be used for the internship program offered to Kentucky newspapers.
Each foursome will have two KPA members and two TPA members and each will be a two-man team representing their state association. Fees will be $75 and will include green fees, cart, lunch and a brief reception following.
We hope to have 32 representatives from each state press association. So pencil in September 9 for the Inaugural Border War golf tournament and let me know that you WILL participate. A good portion of the entry fee from you will be tax deductible since proceeds go to our charitable organization.
Tennessee already has 30 people committed to play so it’s time for Kentucky Press members to step up and commit. Let me know if you can/will/want to play!!
SUNSHINE WEEK — MARCH 10 – 16
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has set March 10 -16 as Sunshine Week. You can find all kinds of information, as well as this year’s “Toolkit,” to help you promote Sunshine Week at www.sunshineweek.org
Sunshine Week, sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Bloomberg LP, American Society of News Editors and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, is a nationwide discussion about the importance of access to information and what it means for you and your community.
Help promote Sunshine Week 2013 by:
• Follow Sunshine Week on Twitter for updates on open government news and toolkit resources for participants;
• Need an idea boost for Sunshine Week? Check out examples of FOI in Action and find resources in the Idea Bank and participants’ toolkit;
• Join the growing roster of Sunshine Week participants and check out the events calendar to find out what’s happening during Sunshine Week.
ENQUIRERS — CINCY AND KENTUCKY — BECOME TRENDSETTERS
Cincinnati/Kentucky Enquirer publisher Margaret Buchanan informed readers this week of the “new” Enquirer format that begins March 11. Here’s a portion of her column:
“I’m pleased to formally announce that after more than 170 years in its current form, we at The Enquirer will unfold our new newspaper in just two weeks. Monday, March 11, we’ll debut the new Enquirer in an easy-to-hold, easy-to-read size. We’ll be one of the first newspapers in the country to introduce this new size. It will be easier to navigate with bolder headlines and fewer stories that “jump” off of section fronts. Expect to see vibrant colors and a new approach to storytelling. Most importantly, while the size of the paper will change, we’ll continue to provide the same depth and breadth of news coverage you’ve come to expect from us.
“This change is historic. It has been years in the making, and our readers and advertisers have been along every step of the way. Getting to this point required significant effort and expertise from employees across Enquirer Media, and I want to publicly thank them. I also want to thank our more than 742,000 readers who read The Enquirer each week and our advertisers for their patience. We’ve been as anxious as you are to unfold this new Enquirer.
“This new format requires a complete transformation in printing technology. We all know new technology sometimes brings unexpected challenges. We’ll have teams ready to respond if we encounter issues, because meeting your needs is at the core of what we do.”
MEDIA INVITED TO PREVIEW RENOVATED KENTUCKY MILITARY MUSEUM
If you’re interested and looking for something to do on Friday, March 8, here’s an invitation to head to Frankfort and tour the renovated Kentucky Military History Museum.
Who: The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) and Kentucky Department of Military Affairs (KDMA)
What: Opportunity to visit the newly renovated museum; to view “Kentucky Military Treasures” exhibition, including recently-restored piece of the D-Day glider Fighting Falcon; and to speak to KHS curators and KDMA archivist for Old Wars Records
When: Friday, March 8, 10-11 a.m.
Where: Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal, 125 E. Main St., Frankfort, KY 40601
For those not familiar with the area, the museum is located almost at the corner of Main and Capitol Avenue at the bridge that crosses the river for Capitol Avenue.
For more information, contact Chelsea Compton, 502-564-1792, ext. 4504; firstname.lastname@example.org
CITY TO TURN OVER POLICE RECORDS TO GEORGETOWN NEWS-GRAPHIC
You’d almost need a road map to follow what’s going on with a police records case in Georgetown but I’ll try to give you the “Cliff’s Notes” version.
Last fall, the News Graphic received word that a “manager/suspect” of a Georgetown business was being charged with theft from the business. The newspaper requested the records from the Georgetown Police and received a heavily redacted police report. But the newspaper could put together that the manager/suspect of the business abruptly resigned his manager position and the “suspect” was also a Georgetown city council member.
The News Graphic appealed to the Attorney General who ruled several weeks later that the city acted appropriately in what was redacted. The News Graphic filed suit earlier this year in circuit court to appeal the AG’s opinion. The suit was filed but soon after that, word was coming that Georgetown would instead comply with the request and release the report with negotiated redactions. Those redactions would be limited to the identity of witnesses. The “manager/suspect” would be identified through the report as well as other information pertinent to the case.
It took a couple of weeks for it to get to that point but Monday night, the Georgetown City Council voted 5 to 2 to release the report to the Georgetown News Graphic. The city council member who is reportedly the subject of the report left the council meeting prior to that vote being taken.
LEGISLATURE — THINGS ARE GETTING INTERESTING
Today is the 22nd day of the 2013 General Assembly, meaning just eight days left. Technically. There would appear to be four hard working days next week, then limiting March 8 and March 11 to concurring on changes in bills in either chamber; then two weeks away before returning March 25-26 to override any veto.
However, don’t count on them limiting their work to concurrence or even overriding. They can do what they want, when they want, to whom they want.
SB89 — This it the legislation we’ve been involved with for several months, trying to get it established that carriers are independent contractors not employees; we’re working on House leadership and Democrats because they don’t appear to have interest in moving the bill. It’s not because of the newspaper part but some of the other language offered by the Small Business Coalition;
HB290 — Legislation to address the transparency issues of the “cabinet” and the external review panel sits in Senate Health and Welfare Committee. We don’t like the way it came out of the House even though the House argues it establishes openness. It falls short of that. So we’ve given our language to Sen. Julie Denton, chair of the Senate committee, in hopes that language can be incorporated into the bill and offer more openness, more transparency.
HB392 — Legislation by Rep. Jill York on Open Meetings and putting in black and white that public meetings should be held in places convenient to the public that offer access, enough seating, ways to hear what’s being discussed. It did pass the House State Government Committee yesterday, unanimously, but for some reason Rep. Johnny Bell wants to discuss the issue more on the House floor and state his concerns. Have a call in to him to see what his issues are. This is not a KPA bill, as such; Rep. York did it on her own. But we support it, the Kentucky League of Cities endorses it, and the Kentucky Association of Counties has no issue with it. I want to talk to Rep. Bell to see what his problem is with the bill.
HB83 — One of the few bills moving through the process. This one, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Graham, D-Frankfort, would change the time frame that public agencies must give its elected or appointed members a copy of “Your Duty Under the Law.” This publication, done by the Attorney General’s Office, details the language and meaning of the state’s Open Meetings and Open Records laws. Previously, the publication was to be made available right after each primary election. With the change, because some out-going public officials weren’t disseminating “Your Duty,” it must be given to each elected or appointed official within 60 days after that person takes office. Here’s a good Open Records request for you to test if public agency heads are doing their jobs: Ask each for the signed documents that a newly elected/appointed official acknowledges receiving a copy of the publication. Chances are many aren’t doing it in the first place though it’s been on the books for some 10 years.
HB1 — Got to testify briefly Wednesday on the special taxing districts legislation, House Bill 1. It’s in the Senate and that was our best place to get a change made. I asked the Senate Committee, and Auditor Adam Edelen told the panel he had no problem with the request, to ensure that these special districts publish their financial statements in newspapers are required. The final version of the Senate’s rewrite isn’t public yet but I think Sen. Thayer will include our “two words” to get the language changed to our liking. While some changes made in legislation require lots of wording and explanation, the request from KPA amounted to changing two words. In one of the sections of the bill, we asked, “In lieu of” be changed to “In addition to.” Nothing’s finalized on the bill in the Senate but with Adam Edelen acknowledging he had no problem with the request and committee chair Sen. Joe Bowen saying it “is a reasonable request,” we should be hopeful the change will be made.
HB203 — Legislation proposed by Secretary of State Allison Grimes about absentee ballots that would keep the names of those requesting or voting by absentee ballot confidential until after the election. After surveying some newspapers, KPA did not oppose the legislation. Those editors said they don’t see any reason to request the names of absentee ballot voters prior to the election, as long as the number of people requesting is available. The legislation ensures the number of ballots requested would be made available prior to the election upon request. HB203 passed the House 98-0 and is now in the Senate.
Expungement — I can’t list all of the expungement bills by memory but I think there are seven. And it’s possible only one — dealing with misdemeanor driving records — could get through both chambers. We understand any other expungement legislation won’t see any more daylight.
The future of odd-year sessions — discussion about changing the odd-year session has been frequent and maybe there will be some changes on the horizon. Those changes need to be made, short of taking a public vote on whether we should have annual sessions. But legislators this year are acknowledging things are out of control with more than 600 bills introduced and major issues not getting all the attention. In fact, so little appears to be serious on the important stuff that you can look for one, maybe two, who knows three? special sessions coming up. Legislators have stated this week that the structure of this session needs to be changed. Perhaps giving both chambers two or three major issues to put on the agenda and limit action to only those topics.
The session is only 30 days and four of those were taken in January with leadership elections. But it still seems like one of the longest sessions in history.
ANOTHER OPEN RECORDS REQUEST
Do you know, does the public know what some local officials are being paid? Some recent stories would indicate that’s probably not the case. And as is the case in a state audit report released concerning the Jackson County sheriff, it’s possible other employees within a department are receiving higher pay as well.
So if you have NOT received a copy of the salaries for all employees from the school system or fiscal court, KRS 424.220 (5) requires a factual list be mailed to the newspapers and the list made available, too, for public inspection.
First, this is NOT something that is required to be published. But the language details what school boards and fiscal courts are to do and how that list of salaries can be used.
KRS 424.220 (5) states: “The local board of education and the fiscal court shall have accessible a factual list of individual salaries for public scrutiny and the local board and the fiscal court shall furnish by mail a factual list of individual salaries of its employees to a newspaper qualified under KRS 424.120 to publish advertisements for the district, which newspaper may then publish as a news item the individual salaries of school or county employees.”
So request that list if you haven’t received one and you can cite both the Open Records laws (KRS Chapter 61) and KRS 424.220 (5) as the requirements for making that available.
And watch for more stories in the near future on some public officials getting more salary than people know about.
ANOTHER NEW ASSOCIATE MEMBER
We welcome Carol Robert and TownNews.com to the KPA Associates Division. Carol is the regional sales manager for TownNews. We’ve witnessed a growth in the Associate membership in the last few months!!
FIRST AMENDMENT CENTER – MADISON AWARD PRESENTATION
Monday, March 4, the Scripps-Howard First Amendment Center at UK will be announcing the recipient of its 2013 James Madison Award. The festivities take place in the auditorium at the Young Library on the UK campus. Former Secretary of State Trey Grayson will be the keynote speaker.
LEGAL DEFENSE FUND NEWSPAPERS – WATCH YOUR MAIL
Publishers of newspapers participating in the KPA Legal Defense Fund should be watching their mail next week as we begin requesting reimbursement applications for consideration. LDF is our largest participatory network with 98 newspapers participating. It requires a minimum of one-quarter page of advertising each year, the proceeds being deposited into the LDF.
The KPA Legal Defense Fund has reimbursed newspapers more than $500,000 since its inception in August 1996.
The application deadline will be in late March, after which the LDF Committee will meet in person or by conference call to discuss applications and award any reimbursements approved.
If your newspaper is not a participating newspaper, let me know and I’ll get you the information. You have to be in the network for one year before being eligible to request any reimbursement for legal expenses.
It’s still General Assembly time in the Capitol so I’ll be around all next week. I will leave about 4:30 Monday and head to UK for the First Amendment Center program at the Young Library Auditorium. Don’t think there’s anything else on the agenda, at least at the present.
As always, call, email or stop by if you have questions, comments, concerns, issues, clarifications, corrections, additions or deletions.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Now through March 26, 2013 – 2013 Kentucky General Assembly Session – Part Two
Monday, March 4, 2013 – 5:30 p.m. – UK First Amendment Center, presentation of 2013 James Madison Award; Trey Grayson, featured speaker; UK Young Library auditorium
March 10 – 16, 2013 – Sunshine Week
March 13 – 15, 2013 – National Newspaper Association’s “We Believe in Newspapers” Leadership Conference – Crystal City Marriott, Washington, D.C.
March 14, 2013 -12:30 – 5 p.m. – NNA/Newspaper Industry ‘Day on the Hill’ in D.C., visiting Congressional members
August 6 – 9, 2013 -Newspaper Association Managers Annual Convention, Marriott Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Nova Scotia
September 12 – 15, 2013 – 127th Annual National Newspaper Association Convention and Trade Show, Phoenix, AZ
October 24 – 25, 2013 – Tentative Dates for 2013 KPA Fall Board Retreat
November 3 – 5, 2013 – 2013 Southeast Region Newspaper Association Managers (SERNAM) Fall Conference, Park Vista Hotel, Gatlinburg
January 23 – 24, 2014 – 2014 KPA Winter Convention, Hyatt Regency, Lexington
January 22 – 23, 2015 – 2015 KPA Winter Convention, Marriott East, Louisville
Sometime in 2017 – We’ve been asked to judge the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest in 2017. Please hold the year open for further information on when, where and what media format Mississippi papers will be in that year.
Sometime in 2018 – Colorado judging KPA Excellence in Kentucky Newspapers Competition