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Frank Harris

Frank Harris

Frank Harris

Renee speaks with Frank Harris, Kentucky's 6th Congressional District Libertarian Party nominee, about the economy, health care, legalization of marijuana, reducing the national debt, and more.
S14 E9 Length 25:17 Premiere: 11.2.18

Frank Harris

A decade ago, Frank Harris says he didn’t know what a Libertarian was. Then the Lexington man volunteered for the 2008 presidential campaign of former Texas Congressman Ron Paul. He followed that up with work on Rand Paul’s 2010 bid for the U.S. Senate and Thomas Massie’s 2012 run for Congress in Kentucky’s 4th District.

As he grew more politically savvy, Harris realized he had to make a change. In 2012, he left the GOP for the Libertarian Party.

“I felt like I had had enough,” he says. “I could no longer tolerate what we allowed our Republican candidates to get away with, with overspending and things like that.”

Now Harris is making his own bid for office as the Libertarian candidate in the state’s 6th Congressional district. He appeared on KET’s Connections to discuss his views on issues ranging form health care to government spending to gay marriage.

In previous programs host Renee Shaw spoke with incumbent Republican Andy Barr and Democrat Amy McGrath.

Addressing the Federal Debt
Even though he didn’t know what a Libertarian was, Harris says he thinks he’s probably been one most of his life.

“Libertarians believe in less government – they want to keep the government out of our private lives and out of our pocketbooks,” he says. “I think that most people, when they really examine what their beliefs are… are 80 percent Libertarian.”

For Harris, the key concern is what he sees as government overspending, and the federal debt of some $21.5 trillion that’s accumulated as a result. He says interest on that debt consumes 22 cents of every dollar the government spends.

“That’s just money thrown away,” says Harris, “and that number’s only going to get bigger as the debt increases and as interest rates go up.”

To address the problem, Harris says he would allocate 2 percent of the federal budget each year to paying down the debt. Whatever money is left would be put towards all other government spending. If lawmakers can’t agree on how to allocate it, Harris says all spending should be cut by the same percentage.

As for the Republican tax cuts enacted last year, Harris says he probably would have voted against the legislation that reduced individual taxes for eight years, and permanently lowered corporate taxes. Economists estimate those cuts could add at least a trillion dollars to the federal debt.

“Instead of focusing on tax cuts, we need to be more focused on cutting government,” says Harris. “If you cut taxes and don’t cut spending, you’re still growing the debt.”

Harris says he would also make Social Security voluntary instead of mandatory.

“If you’re capable of saving your own money, why should you be forced to give the government some of your money, which is supposed to be for your benefit,” he asks.

In addition to reducing the size of government, Harris says he would save money by scaling back on Congressional perks. He contends it’s a conflict of interest for those in the House and Senate to vote for their own pay and benefits.

“Wouldn’t you like to be able to give yourself the salary that you wanted, as opposed to having to ask for a raise and be granted a raise by somebody else,” says Harris. “Wouldn’t we all like that?”

If he elected, he pledges to return 50 percent of his salary to the treasury. He says he will also decline the health care coverage and retirement package offered to federal representatives.

Health Care Policies
The Libertarian has a simple plan for the Affordable Care Act: He says he would repeal it and “replace it with nothing.”

He says the government has been too involved in health care since at least the 1980s, which he contends is the cause of higher costs. He wants a free-market health care system where competition would result in lower prices for insurance, pharmaceuticals, and medical procedures, he says.

Because of federal budget concerns, Harris foresees cuts to Medicare coverage.

“You cannot have an open-ended promise of medical care on a finite budget,” he says.

On abortion, Harris says the national Libertarian Party has a pro-choice stance that he summarizes by saying that people of good conscience will do the best they can given their circumstances.

“We’re not condemning abortion, he says. “We’re not advocating for it either.”

Harris says his personal view on the issue is somewhat different. He says he would allow abortions even though he believes life begins at conception. He says neither mothers who seek the procedure nor doctors who provide it should be punished. But he also supports informed consent laws that require expectant mothers to have an ultrasound. He says that gives the woman an opportunity to develop an emotional connection with the fetus. He contends that could persuade mothers considering an abortion to carry their baby to term even if they ultimately decide to give the child up for adoption.

The libertarian also says pro-life advocates should be required to do more than simply call for a ban on abortion.

“As a human being, as a Christian, you need to step up and say how you’re willing to help that young woman to want to carry that baby to term,” he says. “You need to be willing to step up financially and emotionally to help that mom.”

Social Issues
According to Harris’ campaign website, he is a Lexington native and University of Kentucky graduate. He worked as a computer systems analyst and engineer as well as a technical support specialist. He is now a stay-at-home grandfather raising two grandchildren.

His Libertarian leanings also influence his views on social issues. Harris says any two consenting adults should be able to marry, and he says he supports legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana. Harris says adults should be allowed to do with their bodies what they wish as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. But he understands concerns that removing restrictions on marijuana use could lead to problems such as impaired driving. Still, he says alcohol is far more harmful yet is legal for adults to consume.

“We’ve got a laboratory now of states [that allow recreational marijuana] that we can get data from,” says Harris. “We are going to be able to see real soon what the effects of legalization are.”

Harris also wants to legalize industrial hemp. He calls the crop a “no brainer” because it can be used to make many different products, including goods now derived from petroleum.

“Once we get a real base of farmers growing it here, and industry starts to moves in, we’re going to be creating tens of thousands of jobs in the textile markets and other places through industrial hemp.”

Program Details

Connections

About Connections

Each week, host Renee Shaw and a variety of interesting and engaging people - including business leaders, entertainers, authors, celebrities, and more - explore a broad array of topics impacting Kentucky and the world.

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Dr. Janet Taylor - S9 E29

Renee speaks with Dr. Janet Taylor, psychiatrist, certified life coach, and national commentator on work-life balance and mental health issues.

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Djuan Trent - S9 E30

Former Miss Kentucky Djuan Trent talks about her decision come out as a gay woman, reaction from family and friends, her activism in advancing gay rights and marriage, and more.

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Carol Cecil; Resa Gonzalez - Youth Mental Health - S14 E5

Renee speaks with Carol Cecil, executive director of the Kentucky Partnership for Families and Children, a statewide support, training, and advocacy group that works with families and caregivers of children with behavioral health challenges. Also, Resa Gonzalez talks candidly about her son Shawn's trials with depression, bipolar disorder, and a form of autism, and how he's now thriving and helping others.

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DV8 Kitchen - S13 E17

Renee visits DV8 Kitchen, a restaurant and bakery in Lexington that provides second chance employment opportunities for people in substance recovery who are trying to redirect their lives. She speaks with Rob and Diane Perez about their vision for the restaurant and its support from the community. Renee also talks with employees at the eatery to hear their stories of recovery and how DV8 Kitchen helps them.

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Hasan Davis - S9 E31

Renee speaks with former Kentucky Commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Hasan Davis, about recent juvenile justice reform. Davis was featured in the recent PBS Frontline program "Prison State," about Kentucky's correction system, and interviewed for KET's follow-up program, Prison State: A Kentucky Community Conversation.

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Prison Reform In Kentucky - S9 E32

Renee continues the discussion about Kentucky prison reform recently highlighted on the PBS Frontline program "Prison State." Her guests are: Mark Bolton, director of the Louisville Metro Department of Corrections; Sheila Schuster, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and mental health advocate; and Ray Larson, Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney.

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Ted Strader - COPES - S9 E33

Ted Strader, the director of the Council on Prevention and Education: Substances, Inc. (COPES) in Louisville, discusses how partnering agencies with the corrections system can help former inmates with successful re-entry into society.

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Colene Elridge - S9 E34

Renee speaks with human resources professional and life coach Colene Elridge, better known as Coach Colene, owner of Be More Consulting.

  • Thursday August 20, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Rape Culture - S9 E35

Renee's guests are Mae Suramek, executive director of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center and Rus Funk, executive director of MensWork- Eliminating Violence Against Women.

  • Friday August 21, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Connections

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Mental Health Courts - S9 E36

Kelly Gunning, director of advocacy and public policy, NAMI Lexington (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and Public Defender Jon Landon, discuss mental health laws in Kentucky.

  • Monday August 24, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Dr. Timothy M. Houchin - S9 E37

Renee speaks with Lexington psychiatrist Dr. Timothy M. Houchin about attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Houchin is a board-certified adult, child/adolescent, and forensic psychiatrist, and the founder and president of 360 Mental Health Services in Lexington.

  • Tuesday August 25, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Charisse Gillett - Lexington Theological Seminary - S9 E38

Renee speaks with Dr. Charisse Gillett, president of the Lexington Theological Seminary. Dr. Gillett is the first woman and first African-American selected to lead the seminary.

  • Wednesday August 26, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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African Americans and Mental Health - S9 E39

Renee speaks with Sycarah Fisher, associate professor in the College of Education at the University of Kentucky, and Shambra Mulder, an assistant professor in the School of Education at Kentucky State University.

  • Thursday August 27, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Wil James - S9 E40

Renee talks with Wil James, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky.

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Dr. Robert Hilgers - S9 E41

Renee speaks with Dr. Robert Hilgers, founder and president of the Global Women's Cancer Alliance (WGCA). The WGCA works to advance women's health, addressing particularly those in need of cancer care in developing countries.

  • Monday August 31, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Judi Jennings - S9 E42

Renee's guest is Judi Jennings, former executive director of the Kentucky Foundation for Women, feminist art advocate, and writer.

  • Tuesday September 1, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Marta Miranda - S9 E43

Renee speaks with Marta Miranda, chief empowerment officer of the Center for Women and Families in Louisville.

  • Wednesday September 2, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence - S9 E44

Lexington moms LaTosha Reynolds and Tonya Lindsey talk about losing their sons to gun violence and how the group they founded, SWAG - Sisters and Supporters Working Against Gun Violence, is working to keep youth safe.

  • Thursday September 3, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Frontier Nursing University - S9 E45

Drs. Susan Stone and Julie Marfell of Frontier Nursing University discuss the institution's 75-year legacy as the longest continually-operating and largest midwifery program in the nation.

  • Friday September 4, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Tanya Torp and Holly Houston - S9 E46

Community Activist Tanya Torp, program director for Step by Step, a mentoring ministry for at risk single mothers, and Holly Houston, a family court lawyer and co-founder of GLOW - Greater Louisville Outstanding Women, discuss social justice, youth empowerment, leadership development, and girl power.

  • Monday September 7, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Chris Rabb - S10 E1

Chris Rabb, author of Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, explores how behind-the-scenes factors - human, cultural, and social capital - affect whether a business will be successful.

  • Tuesday September 8, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Bloggers on Personal Development - S10 E2

Meet two women who share their personal journeys through life's challenges by writing blogs. Writer Emmie Sandford is a corporate marketer who owns a social media consulting company. She has been chronicling her journey to a healthier weight on her blog, authenticallyemmie.com. Sheryl Withers Woolverton, a Lexington clinical social worker and therapist, is a former grief counselor with Hospice of the Bluegrass who has shared her journey of grief over a miscarriage and the death of her mother and grandmother. Her blog is called How to Make a Life.

  • Wednesday September 9, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Soreyda Benedit Begley and Chris Begley - S10 E3

Honduras native Soreyda Benedit Begley is dressing up Lexington's fashion scene by showcasing the blossoming talents of designers, like herself, right here in the Bluegrass. Her one-of-a-kind originals have graced runways in New York, Chicago, and Atlanta.

  • Thursday September 10, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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Kevin Chapman - S10 E5

Renee speaks with Kevin Chapman, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist who provides evidence-based treatment for anxiety and related disorders to clients in his private practice in Louisville. Dr. Chapman also specializes in Exposure and Response (Ritual) Prevention for OCD and Prolonged Exposure for PTSD.

  • Friday September 11, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
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MaryLee Underwoood and Chastity Ross - CCDD - S9 E27

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Aaron Thompson - S9 E26

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50th Anniversary of the March on Frankfort - S9 E22

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Carol Cecil; Resa Gonzalez - Youth Mental Health - S14 E5

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Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X Walker - S9 E21

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Vershawn A. Young - S9 E20

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Sabrina Butler and Kate Miller - S9 E19

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History Maker; Tuskegee Airmen Historians - S9 E14

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Middle Class Struggles and Poverty - S9 E13

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Sharon Price; Damon Cobble - S15 E7

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The Forgotten Minority - S9 E12

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Human Trafficking - S9 E11

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Diabetes Prevention and Control - S9 E10

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Innocence Project - S9 E9

  • Tuesday July 28, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 28, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 28, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 28, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pop Culture and Commodification of Women - S9 E8

  • Monday July 27, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 27, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 27, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 27, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 27, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 27, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Tiffany Manuel - Affordable Housing - S13 E42

  • Sunday August 2, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday August 2, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday August 1, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday August 1, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 29, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 29, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday July 29, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 29, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday July 26, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday July 26, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday July 26, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 26, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY

Ruth Brinkley - KentuckyOne Health - S9 E5

  • Friday July 24, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 24, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 24, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 24, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 24, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 24, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Malcolm Ratchford - S9 E4

  • Thursday July 23, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 23, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 23, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 23, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Roszalyn Akins - S9 E3

  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Betty Baye - S9 E1

  • Tuesday July 21, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 21, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 21, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 21, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 21, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 21, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Nikky Finney - S8 E43

  • Monday July 20, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 20, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 20, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 20, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 20, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 20, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Joshua A. Douglas - Voting Rights Reform - S14 E25

  • Sunday July 26, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 26, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday July 25, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday July 25, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 22, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Dorothy J. Edwards - S8 E41

  • Friday July 17, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 17, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 17, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 17, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday July 17, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday July 17, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Food Security (Part 2) - S8 E39

  • Thursday July 16, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 16, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 16, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 16, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday July 16, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday July 16, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Food Security - S8 E38

  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Shevawn Akers - S8 E37

  • Tuesday July 14, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 14, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 14, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 14, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 14, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday July 14, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Dana Branham - S8 E36

  • Monday July 13, 2020 10:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 13, 2020 9:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 13, 2020 2:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 13, 2020 1:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Monday July 13, 2020 5:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Monday July 13, 2020 4:30 am CT on KETKY

Pastor Edward Palmer - Racial Bias and Juvenile Justice Reform - S15 E2

  • Sunday July 19, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 19, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday July 18, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday July 18, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 11:30 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 10:30 pm CT on KET
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Wednesday July 15, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 4:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 3:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 11:00 am CT on KET

Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland - S15 E10

  • Sunday July 12, 2020 8:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday July 12, 2020 7:00 am CT on KETKY
Top

Season 14

The 'I Was Here' Project

S14 E36 Length 27:42 Premiere Date 8.4.19

Mike Runyon and Sherita Miller; Wendy Kobler

S14 E35 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 7.28.19

Filmmaker Lynn Novik

S14 E33 Length 28:27 Premiere Date 7.14.19

Brent Hutchinson; Christine Thompson - Education

S14 E32 Length 27:37 Premiere Date 7.7.19

Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton - Youth Mental Health

S14 E31 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 6.2.19

Julie Cerel - Youth Suicide Prevention

S14 E29 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 5.19.19

Dale Suttles - Sunrise Children's Services

S14 E28 Length 27:33 Premiere Date 5.12.19

Education in Rural Eastern Kentucky

S14 E27 Length 28:13 Premiere Date 5.5.19

Joshua A. Douglas - Voting Rights Reform

S14 E25 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 4.21.19

Jay Box - Ky. Community & Technical College System

S14 E24 Length 26:32 Premiere Date 4.14.19

Author and Life Coach Colene Elridge

S14 E23 Length 26:19 Premiere Date 4.7.19

FIRST STEP Act - Criminal Justice Reform

S14 E22 Length 27:44 Premiere Date 3.31.19

Cheryl A. Oldham

S14 E21 Length 26:38 Premiere Date 2.22.19

Linda Hampton - Early Childhood

S14 E20 Length 29:47 Premiere Date 2.15.19

Donald Mason

S14 E19 Length 26:34 Premiere Date 2.8.19

Community Action Council; First 5 Lex

S14 E18 Length 28:53 Premiere Date 2.1.19

Seamus Carey

S14 E17 Length 26:57 Premiere Date 1.25.19

Michael Benson

S14 E16 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 1.18.19

Dr. Aaron Thompson

S14 E14 Length 28:13 Premiere Date 1.11.19

Mary Todd Lincoln and Lincoln Lexington Walking Tour

S14 E13 Length 28:55 Premiere Date 12.14.18

Youth Suicide

S14 E12 Length 29:22 Premiere Date 12.7.18

Jean Schumm and Amanda Gale

S14 E11 Length 28:22 Premiere Date 11.16.18

M. Christopher Brown II

S14 E10 Length 28:02 Premiere Date 11.9.18

Frank Harris

S14 E9 Length 25:17 Premiere Date 11.2.18

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr

S14 E8 Length 29:16 Premiere Date 10.26.18

Amy McGrath

S14 E7 Length 29:02 Premiere Date 10.19.18

Kevin Chapman - Youth Mental Health

S14 E6 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 10.12.18

Carol Cecil; Resa Gonzalez - Youth Mental Health

S14 E5 Length 26:03 Premiere Date 10.5.18

Joe Bargione - Youth Mental Health

S14 E4 Length 28:57 Premiere Date 9.28.18

WKU President Timothy Caboni

S14 E3 Length 28:40 Premiere Date 9.21.18

Dr. Neeli Bendapudi

S14 E1 Length 28:47 Premiere Date 9.14.18

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