Editorial Roundup: Kentucky

Frankort State Journal. May 6, 2022.

Editorial: Robinson is proof that dreams do come true

Perhaps nothing is more magical than watching someone’s dream come true. That is exactly what happened to University of Kentucky wide receiver and Western Hills graduate Wan’Dale Robinson last week when he was selected by the New York Giants with the 43rd pick in the NFL Draft.

Pre-draft prognosticators predicted that he wouldn’t be picked until the later rounds due to his smaller stature. The Frankfort native is 5-foot-8 and weighs 178 pounds.

“I’ve heard that my whole entire career, so it’s nothing new to me,” Robinson said. “At the end of the day (it’s) just another obstacle you’ve got to overcome just with what people think. For myself, I don’t think it’s a challenge or anything.”

However, Robinson, who ran the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds at the NFL Combine and forced 22 missed tackles in his lone year as a Wildcat, was confident he’d be taken earlier in the draft. And once again, like he has done so many times throughout his career, he proved the doubters wrong.

“I always felt like I was talented enough to be picked this early,” Robinson said. “I just felt like somebody just had to believe in me and not believe in the hype thing and just believe in the football player.”

The Giants traded the No. 36 overall pick to the New York Jets for No. 38 and a fifth-round pick and then turned around and dealt the 38th pick to the Atlanta Falcons for No. 43 and an extra fourth-round selection.

Robinson, who was named Kentucky Mr. Football in 2018 — perhaps you’ve seen this accomplishment near the welcome to Frankfort signs around town, had an outstanding season at UK last fall after transferring from the University of Nebraska.

He was ranked third in the country with 104 catches for 1,334 yards — a Kentucky record — and scored seven touchdowns. He also amassed 111 yards rushing on seven carries and was named second-team All-SEC.

Becoming an NFL player is something Robinson has dreamt about since he first suited up at 5 years old. Having followed his career from Friday night games in high school and Saturday games in college, we are now looking forward to watching him play on Sunday.

Congratulations to Wan’Dale and his family. We are proud of the man he has become both on and off the field and know he is destined for greatness.

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Ashland Daily Independent. May 10, 2022.

Editorial: Music to our ears

It’s hard not to beam with pride when someone from our own back yard hits the national landscape — for good reasons.

The Country Music Highway runs through northeastern Kentucky for a reason. This region has produced some of the most influential voices, songwriters and musicians of all time.

People like late legends Tom T. Hall, Naomi Judd and Keith Whitley paved the way — and musical talent continues to flow from this area.

The most recent examples are stars from hit shows “The Voice” and “American Idol.”

Holly Forbes wowed the country with her versatility, style and range as she was one of the last 10 standing. The Catlettsburg woman continues to showcase her talents when she gets the opportunities.

Noah Thompson is now taking the nation by storm with his exceptional voice. American Idol judge Katy Perry said his latest performance — a rendition of “Landslide” — was the Louisa construction worker’s best so far.

Thompson battled through COVID-19 to deliver his top-notch effort, complete with some extra rasp in his voice — much to the delight of Lionel Richie.

After his mad dash to the Top 5, no one in his home county of Lawrence or surrounding counties will be shocked if he wins.

We will break a cardinal rule of journalism here and show a little bias: We’d love to see Thompson win, too.

If you’ve missed Thompson’s journey to this point, be sure to check out the rest of his wild ride which resumes Sunday night on ABC.

Lawrence County Tourism is planning a special event to celebrate Thompson next Tuesday. Keep an eye out for details on that, too.

Local restaurants and other venues deserve some credit, too. They’ve given Thompson, Forbes and others a platform to display their gifts. and it gives people who’ve witnessed them in person a few cool stories to tell their friends. “Hey, I remember when I saw (Forbes or Thompson) at (fill in the blank).”

Keep it up, Noah!

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Bowling Green Daily News. May 10, 2022.

Editorial: Gaines’ legacy honored in Hall of Fame nod

We learned with tremendous pride last week of the selection of the late John B. Gaines – a longtime publisher and president of the Bowling Green Daily News – for induction into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

Gaines, a Bowling Green native who died in 2007 at the age of 92, worked for nearly 70 years at this newspaper, which his grandfather founded in 1882 and remains under Gaines family ownership to this day. Sixty of those years were spent as publisher and president, and Gaines made an indelible mark on this community and state through his commitment to principled journalism and generous philanthropy.

Pipes Gaines – John B. Gaines’ son and publisher emeritus of the Daily News – wrote in his nomination letter to the Hall of Fame committee at the University of Kentucky of the newspaper’s strong editorial stances on local issues during his father’s tenure, some of which went against prevailing community sentiment. The newspaper supported a countywide library tax and the creation of an airport – both of which became reality. The Daily News also endorsed every proposed public school tax, even though most of them failed in public referendums, Pipes Gaines wrote. He also described an instance in which an editorial position resulted in the loss of $75,000 in advertising revenue, illustrating his father’s belief that the public good outweighed profits.

Such community advocacy earned John B. Gaines – along with his brother, J. Ray Gaines – the nod as co-recipients in 1980 of the Edward H. Templin Memorial Award, presented annually by the Lexington Herald-Leader to a state newspaper employee demonstrating outstanding community service.

“John B. Gaines was a journalist’s journalist,” Pipes Gaines told Daily News reporter Don Sergent last week. “He loved facts, especially printed facts, although he once observed that not everyone liked facts.”

Beyond Bowling Green, John B. Gaines was a board member for the Kentucky Press Association, serving as president of that organization in 1962. He also sat on the board of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association, now known as America’s Newspapers, and twice served as director.

Gaines’ philanthropy was equally notable, with gifts that helped aspiring journalists through establishment of a scholarship fund for journalism students at Western Kentucky University. And in 2004, he helped the Daily News set up a perpetual fund at WKU that established the Gaines Family Lecture Series that brings in speakers who have achieved prominence in journalism. Other recipients of Gaines’ generosity included the Community Foundation of South Central Kentucky in Bowling Green and the University of Alabama, from which Gaines graduated with a degree in journalism.

Gaines will enter the Hall of Fame alongside seven other highly accomplished journalists, all of whom are deserving of the distinction. We applaud them all, and we extend our gratitude to the Hall of Fame selection committee for choosing to honor John B. Gaines’ lifetime of service and achievement.

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