Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Kentucky editorial roundup

Associated Press Updated: October 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Recent editorials from Kentucky newspapers:


Oct. 21

Kentucky New Era, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, on being aware of state's deer:

Deer do not outnumber humans in Kentucky, but it might seem that way on our highways every fall when whitetails begin breeding. The romantic season puts the estimated 1 million Kentucky deer on the move, especially at dawn and dusk, and they more likely at this time of the year to run into the path of motorists. The peak of the breeding season occurs in November, which coincides with the state's deer season for hunters with modern guns.

It is a good time to remind drivers to watch out for deer. Christian County ranked sixth among all Kentucky counties for deer-automobile collisions between 2009 and 2013.

According to Kentucky State Police, there were 410 crashes involving a deer in Christian County for the five-year period. To our north, Hopkins County had 582 deer-auto collisions.

It turns out that deer pose more danger to people than any other animal, KSP notes. We might shake in our hunting boots to encounter an alligator or a rattlesnake, but more people are killed in accidents caused by deer on highways than any other incident involving animals.

Each year, there are 1.6 million deer-auto collisions in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute. These collisions are linked to 150 fatal accidents and $3.6 billion in damages. Thousands of people are hurt every year when cars hit deer.

Almost half of all highway accidents involving deer occur during the last three months of the year.

Gabe Jenkins, the deer and elk program coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, has advice to help drivers avoid collisions and to limit damages and injury when a collision cannot be avoided.

State highway officials have marked high traffic areas for deer with yellow safety signs. In these areas, drivers should use high-beam highlights at night. Drivers see twice as far with the high beams.

Drivers who come upon a deer on the road should slow down and resist swerving. Even after one deer has left the road, drivers should remember that other deer could be nearby.



Oct. 22

The Gleaner, Henderson, Kentucky, on money for Ebola:

President Barack Obama is under pressure to do something about Ebola as if his critics expect the president to dust off his Gilbert chemistry set and go down to the White House basement and get to work on a vaccine.

The president could do something, but he needs help from Congress and that hasn't been forthcoming. Maybe after the election. In the meantime, a handful of lawmakers have confined themselves to sniping at the National Institutes of Health for problems that are partially, maybe largely, of Congress' own making. NIH Director Francis Collins, who is hardly a firebrand, has told reporters that if it were not for federal spending cuts, "we would probably had a vaccine in time" for this Ebola outbreak.

According to figures published in The Washington Post, NIH's hometown newspaper, between fiscal 2010 and 2014, NIH funding dropped 10 percent in real terms. Research on an Ebola vaccine, a disease that was then low on the radar, was more than halved, from $37 million in 2010 to $18 million in 2014. The budget cuts forced NIH's infectious disease division to shelve 14 Ebola-related grants, which the Post said was roughly a quarter of the total.

Pressed to do even more, Obama turned to a strategy from the early days of his administration and appointed a "czar," Ron Klain, a veteran trouble shooter with considerable White House experience, having served as chief of staff to both Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore.

Klain, who has been instructed to concentrate on Ebola, his principal job, in which he can speak with the authority of the president, is to coordinate the efforts of and resolve turf disputes among the host of federal agencies involved in the Ebola war — NIH, the Centers for Disease Control, its parent organization, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Defense Department, Homeland Security, and the Food and Drug Administration.

If Klain, who certainly has the resume for it, can get these organizations all pulling in the same direction it will be a major and positive step in bringing Ebola under control and calming public hysteria, which threatens to overwhelm hospital emergency rooms.

Klain, at best, can bring some kind of order to the Ebola-fighting bureaucracy, but the real work will be the methodical, painstaking, unglamorous work of the researchers in government labs and the health workers and troops dispatched to the field.

And maybe, although it's unlikely, the Ebola czar and keep Congress off their backs while they do it.


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