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February 2, 2023

On the calendar today we have, of course, Groundhog Day. Our nation’s premiere meteorological marmot is here to proclaim whether or not his shadow will extend across the realm and plunge us into dark winter evermore.

Prepare for this, our day of groundhog reckoning, and catch up on the latest news from the Lexington Herald-Leader.

News to Know

There are hundreds of free-roaming horses in Eastern Kentucky that have long grazed the pasture lands of reclaimed mine sites.

Though rarely penned up, the free-roaming horses aren’t exactly wild. Many are owned and comfortable near people. Some, but not all, horse owners throughout Eastern Kentucky have engaged in the practice of free-roaming their horses for decades.

The Appalachian Horse Project was established in 2017 to help solve some of the perceived issues surrounding the region’s growing free-roaming horse population. Read this story from the Herald-Leader’s Rick Childress about the caretakers of Eastern Kentucky’s free-roaming horses.

Hundreds of free-roaming horses walk on mountaintops and graze on reclaimed mine land in southeastern Kentucky near Elk View in Breathitt County, Ky., Tuesday, December 13, 2022. The Appalachian Horse Project helps to care for the horses, especially in the winter time when grass on the mountaintop is more scarce.
Hundreds of free-roaming horses walk on mountaintops and graze on reclaimed mine land in southeastern Kentucky near Elk View in Breathitt County, Ky., Tuesday, December 13, 2022. The Appalachian Horse Project helps to care for the horses, especially in the winter time when grass on the mountaintop is more scarce.

Here’s more news you don’t want to miss:

Politics & Government

An independent party should be allowed to inspect Kentucky’s violence-plagued juvenile detention centers and speak freely with the staff and youths, a panel of lawmakers said Thursday.

The legislature’s Juvenile Justice Work Group, which has met in recent weeks, announced recommendations at a Capitol news conference.

Herald-Leader reporter John Cheves has the details here.

Opinion columnist Linda Blackford traveled to the southern border (of Kentucky) to see what all these candidates for governor are talking about. This is what she found.

And Kelly Craft’s initial opioid ad was criticized by some as misleading. Now the campaign is pushing back on those criticisms as “malicious” and “insensitive,” a move indicating the campaign’s commitment to its messaging.

If you want the top headlines and political insights in the commonwealth delivered to your inbox every week make sure to sign-up for our Bluegrass Politics newsletter.

Sports

For a few minutes Saturday night in Rupp Arena, the numbers on the scoreboard won’t matter.

When the Kentucky Wildcats and Florida Gators head to their respective locker rooms at halftime, the 20,000 or so left behind looking out onto the basketball court won’t be reveling in a UK lead or rueing a deficit for the Cats.

For those few minutes, the spotlight will shine on 22.

The latest in sports:

Scroll on for more news, sports and opinion from the Herald-Leader. See you back here tomorrow, same time and same place.

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Lexington Herald-Leader audience growth producer Andrew Henderson
Lexington Herald-Leader audience growth producer Andrew Henderson