(Publisher Note: As I scan the news, Twitter, and other sources, I gather tidbits that either would be a good story for ForwardKY, or are just worth being shared as they are. "News and Notes" is published whenever that collection of bits and pieces grows large enough to justify a post on the site. Do you find this valuable, or a waste of pixels? Let me know at Bruce@ForwardKY.com.)
▶︎ Federal judge blocks Beshear’s mask mandate for schools; KDE mandate stands – A federal judge temporarily blocked Gov. Andy Beshear’s mask mandate for K-12 schools Thursday, saying the executive order violates laws passed by the General Assembly this spring that limited the governor’s emergency powers.
“The Executive Branch cannot simply ignore laws passed by the duly-elected representatives of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Therein lies tyranny,” Judge William Bertelsman wrote in his opinion.
The ruling means private schools will not have to require masks. However, a separate mask mandate from the Kentucky Department of Education means masks are still required in public schools. (WFPL)
▶︎ Kentucky lawmaker Max Wise eying possible run for governor – Republican state Sen. Max Wise, who has played a key role in shaping Kentucky education policy as a committee chairman, said Wednesday he's strongly considering a bid for governor in 2023.
The Campbellsville lawmaker said he'd bring solid conservative credentials on social and economic issues if he enters what could become a crowded field of GOP candidates for the state's top elected post. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear has said he intends to seek a second term. (KY Today)
▶︎ Mask mandate could be in Kentucky's future, governor says – Gov. Andy Beshear warned another statewide mask mandate could come as cases of COVID-19 continue to increase at an alarming rate, leading to hospitals in Kentucky being close to capacity or above.
During a press conference at the Capitol Thursday afternoon, the governor played videos with leaders from healthcare systems around the state, who warned that they were running out of staffed beds including ICUs, due to the spike in cases, which could affect all emergency care. (KY Today)
▶︎ Facebook takes action against 'disinformation dozen' after White House pressure – On Wednesday, Facebook announced it had taken action against the so-called "disinformation dozen," one month after the White House singled out the 12 people and argued that they were responsible for a majority of coronavirus misinformation.
In making the announcement, Monika Bickert, vice president of content policy at Facebook, pushed back against the narrative that the 12 accounts were primarily responsible for the spread of vaccine misinformation, writing that focusing on them "misses the forest for the trees."
But, Bickert said, "Any amount of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that violates our policies is too much by our standards — and we have removed over three dozen Pages, groups and Facebook or Instagram accounts linked to these 12 people, including at least one linked to each of the 12 people, for violating our policies." (WLKY)