Summary of recent Kentucky newspaper editorials:

July 9

The State Journal on Democrat Amy McGrath challenging Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in next year's election:

On Tuesday, Kentuckians woke to the news that Democrat Amy McGrath will challenge 34-year U.S. senator and current Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for his seat in next year's election.

Pundits were quick to label McGrath the underdog in the race. In fact, the Bluegrass State has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since Wendell Ford in 1992.

However, after her narrow loss to U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in last year's midterm election, McGrath has the name recognition and financial backing to give McConnell, well, a run for his money. During her first congressional bid her coffers reached roughly $8.6 million — out-fundraising Barr by $3 million.

The Dems, in particular Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, handpicked McGrath because "she is the one that has what it takes" to defeat McConnell, who relishes the nickname "Grim Reaper" of the Senate graveyard — a place where House majority legislation goes to die. It's also true that Kentuckians don't care much for outsiders meddling in our elections, so support from Schumer and other national liberals could prove a curse as much as a blessing for McGrath.

Seeking his seventh term and on the same ballot as his ally President Donald Trump, the 77-year-old senator is expected to rely on the same message that has served him well for decades — he can help stop Democratic bills from reaching the Oval Office.

While still in its infancy, the race pits old against new. There is more than just a 33-year age gap and the letters "D, E, F" separating these two. Will the incumbent's power persevere or does his lengthy tenure make him more vulnerable? Only time will tell.

Speaking of timing, McGrath's — though most likely orchestrated — was impeccable. Perhaps piggybacking on the "girl power" momentum following the U.S. Women's World Cup victory earlier in the week, the former Marine fighter pilot took to the web to announce her candidacy in a three-minute video clip.

The clip shows a 13-year-old McGrath writing a letter to McConnell telling him she wanted to fly fighter jets in combat and that women should be allowed to do so. She goes on to say he never wrote back and wonders how many other Kentuckians the senator didn't take the time to respond to during his three-plus decades in office.

However, the biggest question ultimately goes to the voters: Will Kentuckians stick with the status quo, or has the time for change come?

Online: https://www.state-journal.com/

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July 9

The Bowling Green Daily News on a possible way to stop robocalls:

Telemarketers calling our phones, many times on a daily basis, could not be more annoying.

It's a common experience these days to look at an incoming call and see a number originating in a faraway state or in some cases another country. These telemarketers have also began using our area code and the first three digits of your number to appear as if they are local callers.

The problem is they're not. You answer to hear a computer telling you of ways to save money, ways to help pay off student loans — when you probably don't have any student loans to pay off — or you've been selected to win a cruise or sum of money.

Most of the time, these are scams. Sadly, those responsible for hacking in to find your telephone number do convince some people to give them their personal information and, in some cases, their credit card numbers.

These people are predators and nothing else.

Our state needs to do something to stop these predators from being able to call our numbers to solicit money and other things. The current "no call" list in our state clearly isn't working and hasn't worked for many years now.

It's time for that to change.

The people of this state don't deserve to have their busy days interrupted by people who are bothering them with questionable phone calls. We believe a majority of our readers would agree with us on this issue as we know that some likely have been victims of these very annoying calls.

We know Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear has a lot going on now with lawsuits, dealing with the opioid epidemic in our state and running for governor, but we urge him to make this a priority.

At this newspaper, we have received phone calls and talked to people who have been victims of these scam artists and received calls from them, which saddens us. We are certain that if it's happening in our city it is happening to citizens all across the state.

There is simply no reason to have a "no call" list in our state if it is not going to do what it is intended to do. We urge Beshear to take a serious look at this issue and see what can be done to get a "no call" list that actually works and will put an end to these annoying and, in many cases, illegal calls that are compromising people's identities and hitting their pocket books for illegal purposes.

It's the right thing to do and we are hopeful that Beshear takes steps to address this serious problem.

Online: https://www.bgdailynews.com/

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July 8

The Daily Independent on a long term solution to keeping up roads:

Carter County deserves credit for getting innovative about its road surfacing efforts.

It is no secret that Carter County has its budget challenges. So does every rural county in America these days. Adding to the mix of course are the challenges that come with road upkeep and surfacing requirements. In light of the always rising cost of asphalt paving, these cost increases can absorb a huge chunk of rural counties' budgets if counties go at this from a do it the way we've always done it approach.

Carter County Judge Executive Mike Malone said recently the county is moving forward with its plans to use claycrete. "Claycrete" is a term used to define the product that stabilizes soil and reduces the likelihood of gravel and road surfaces washing away during heavy rain.

"The one thing that is neat about Claycrete is it permanently changes the way that clay repels water and you never have to add it again," said Judge-Executive Mike Malone.

The county first implemented the use of Claycrete on two gravel roads off Ky. 7, Clearview Drive and Princess Lane. The road crews and Mr. Malone like what they've seen so far.

The county has ordered equipment that is expected to arrive in early July. They will start working with it immediately, weather permitting.

The magistrates of each district will randomly draw the order at which they will use the new equipment.

"For the first go around whoever wins it will get to do a road in their district," said Malone. "So, the people can see that we are doing something."

The product costs relatively the same as a gravel road. What makes the monetary difference is the reduction in the amount of times a road needs new gravel.

"We have so many miles of gravel roads in our county and it costs so much to pave (or gravel) them that I didn't see a way that we could ever get there absent finding a pot of gold," said Malone.

Carter County has its fair share of road issues. Every rural county does. As long as the technology works, you can't go too wrong considering what it costs to pave or lay asphalt. It is our understanding of this technology that there is much less maintenance resurfacing required on down the road. Yes, you have to pay up front for the equipment but as with anything, investment up front can pay long term dividends over the long haul.

We commend the county on trying something different and being willing to think outside the box when it comes to road surfacing.

Online: https://www.dailyindependent.com/

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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