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Thursday News & Notes

Shorter list of stories today, but still some important ones.

UAW making push to unionize Georgetown Toyota plant after strike win in Louisville

Fresh off landmark victories for workers at Louisville’s Ford plant and other automakers, the United Auto Workers union is targeting a second major Kentucky employer. The UAW announced on Wednesday simultaneous campaigns at non-union plants across the South, including Toyota in Kentucky, where nearly 8,000 people work at the company’s largest assembly plant in the world. A spokeswoman for the Georgetown Toyota plant said the company is not commenting at this time. (Herald-Leader)

Longtime Kentucky lawmaker Kevin Bratcher announces plans to seek a metro council seat in Louisville

Kentucky state Rep. Kevin Bratcher announced his plans Thursday to run for a Louisville Metro Council seat next year, which would culminate a long statehouse career that put the Republican lawmaker at the forefront of school safety, juvenile justice and a host of other issues.

Bratcher has been a fixture in the Kentucky House since 1997. He was part of House leadership as majority party whip when Republicans took control of the chamber in the 2017 session, following a tidal wave of GOP victories statewide in the 2016 election. That completed the GOP's control of the Kentucky legislature, since the party already was in charge of the Senate. Bratcher is now chairman of a House committee that wields jurisdiction over election legislation and proposed constitutional amendments. (Herald-Leader)

Study shows Kentucky schools achieve highest improvement in internet connectivity, from 49th to 5th in nation

A national non-profit group based in Bowling Green has released a study showing most U.S. School districts are now meeting the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) internet connectivity goal, with Kentucky listed as the state with most improvement over last year.

The latest data show that 74% of school districts (9,573) across the country are now providing internet access at speeds that are sufficient to support digital learning in their classrooms every day and impacting 27.1 million students, an increase of more than 5 million students since 2022.

Kentucky saw the biggest leap from 2022 to 2023, jumping from 49th in the country to 5th with 97% of districts now having access to the FCC benchmark. (NKY Tribune)

Joe Meyer announces he won’t seek a third term as mayor of Covington

Mayor Joseph U. Meyer, who has twice been elected the city’s leader, will not be seeking a third term, he announced at the end of the Commission’s regularly scheduled caucus meeting Tuesday night.

Even though he is eligible to run again, he explained in his announcement that he felt his age — he will be 80 at the end of a third term — would prohibit him from continuing to do the job with the same “energy and drive.” His decision leaves more than a month for others to decide if they want to run. Decisions must be made by the filing deadline, Jan. 5. (NKyTribune)

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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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