Ryland Barton

Kentucky Public Radio State Capitol Reporter

Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues, Ryland's reporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas. 

Ryland has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

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Republican leaders of the state House of Representatives have asked a top official from former Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration to answer questions about Kentucky Wired, a statewide broadband project that has racked up more than $180 million in costs associated with delays.

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As Kentucky’s drug overdose and incarceration rates continue to surge, some are renewing the call for the state to reform its criminal justice system and increase opportunities for drug treatment.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

Update 5:50 p.m.: 

Teachers got a lot of love from speakers during the Fancy Farm political speaking event.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky Democrats expressed optimism about their political future at the annual Marshall County Bean Dinner Friday, despite hitting a historic low point in elected Democrats and voters in the state.

Kyeland Jackson / WFPL

In another shakeup of Kentucky’s education leadership, the state board of education has elected charter schools advocate Hal Heiner to be its chairman.

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Next week, Kentucky’s Supreme Court will hear high-profile legal challenges dealing with the constitutionality of new laws, whether jailers should be held liable when an inmate dies of a drug overdose, and who appears on a ballot after a candidate dies.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Sen. Rand Paul is throwing his support behind President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh, after initially saying he wasn’t sure he would vote to confirm the nominee.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Amid a shortage of skilled workers, Gov. Matt Bevin says that the state and country need to focus on training young people to fill jobs in high-demand industries like manufacturing, health care and transportation.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

A federal appeals court heard arguments on Wednesday over Kentucky's ultrasound abortion requirement, which was blocked by a lower court last fall.

Ryland Barton / Kentucky Public Radio

On Wednesday, a federal appeals court will hear arguments over a Kentucky law requiring doctors to show and describe a fetal ultrasound to patients before conducting an abortion.