KENTUCKY (WEHT) – Governor Andy Beshear delivered his weekly Team Kentucky update with First Lady Brittainy Beshear and Dr. Steven Stack on Thursday. During the press conference, the governor provided updates on the following topics:

Here are the highlights from this week’s Team Kentucky update.

Economic development

On Wednesday, the 2022 Governor’s Cup rankings were released, with Kentucky placing second nationally in economic projects per capita, and first in the south central region. The state also secured the ninth spot in the country for total qualifying projects, moving up two spots from the previous year. The state also took the second spot in the south central region for overall qualifying projects, secured 11 of the top 100 micropolitan areas and tied for third nationally with 40 micropolitan projects.

The governor also announced that Kentucky will receive a $117 million award to expand access to capital for small businesses across the state through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s State Small Business Credit Initiative.

Read Across America Week

First Lady Britainy Beshear encouraged Kentuckians to join her in celebrating Read Across America Week, starting on March 2 and ending on March 6.

The National Education Association launched the Read Across America program in 1998 and focuses on motivating children and teens to read through events, partnerships, and reading resources.

KSP cadet class

The governor announced that Kentucky State Police welcomed 103 new cadets to the training academy in Frankfort on Sunday, making it the largest starting cadet class since 2014.

The cadets will receive 24 weeks of basic training with more than 1,000 hours of law enforcement education. The cadet class will also receive training on integrated video recording systems and be equipped with body-worn cameras upon graduation.

The governor recognized the KSP recruitment branch for working to recruit more troopers and increase diversity.

Eastern Kentucky flood

Governor Beshear said 203 families impacted by the eastern Kentucky flood are now housed in travel trailers. Kentucky State Parks are now housing 20 people, down from the 360 people sheltered on September 1.

According to a release from the governor’s office, over $12.6 million in awards have been approved for the buy-out program. The awards account for 75 properties from Perry County, the city of Jackson, Breathitt County, Letcher County and newly approved Knott County applicants.

The Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund has raised over $13.1 million from more than 41,500 donors.

SAFE Fund awards

Governor Beshear announced nearly $5.5 million in awards from the western and eastern Kentucky SAFE Funds on Thursday.

From the western Kentucky SAFE Fund, Taylor County will receive more than $60,000 to help with ineligible debris removal. Awards from the eastern Kentucky SAFE Fund include the following:

  • Over $1.75 million to the city of Hazard to help with strained finances after the floods.
  • $3.5 million to the Knott County Fiscal Court to fund a FEMA match.
  • $160,000 to Letcher County to fund a FEMA match

Public health update

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, updated Kentuckians on measles and upcoming changes to COVID-19 reporting.

Last Friday, DPH confirmed a case of measles in an unvaccinated Jessamine County resident. Measles is a contagious respiratory virus that causes a high fever, rash, cough, runny nose and red eyes. DPH says those who develop symptoms should self-isolate and call their medical provider to arrange testing. Dr. Stack encouraged Kentuckians to get vaccinated against the virus.

Dr. Stack also provided an update on the federal COVID-19 public health emergency, which is set to end on May 11. The dedicated DPH COVID-19 question hotline will end May 12 and starting March 6, DPH will standardize its COVID-19 dashboards into a single platform. DPH will continue COVID-19 surveillance through

“COVID-19 is not over, but the formally declared public health emergency will soon end,” said Dr. Stack. “Thank you, all Kentuckians, for your engagement, kindness and care for each other during this generation-defining, once-in-a-century pandemic. We have gotten through this, and we got through it together.”

Team Kentucky All-Stars

Governor Beshear named all advocates working to fight against cancer as this week’s Team Kentucky All-Stars.

In February, the governor recognized Childhood Cancer Research Advocacy Day and met with children and families affected by the disease. On Wednesday, the governor and first lady recognized Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and emphasized the importance of regular screenings. On Thursday, Beshear met with Daphne’s Legacy, a Frankfort-based nonprofit working to raise awareness and help those affected by Triple Negative Breast Cancer.

“So many Kentuckians are impacted by cancer, including me and my family. It’s hard to lose someone we love, but when we work in their honor to help others it gives a meaningful way to honor and remember them,” said Gov. Beshear. “Today’s Team Kentucky All-Stars are working daily to raise awareness around different types of cancer and help more people affected go on to live full lives.”