By Blair Hoover, October 20 2015
Originally posted on UKNow website

Kentucky to the World, an organization that showcases the unique achievements of extraordinary men and women who claim strong Kentucky ties, will host University of Kentucky College of Communication and Information graduate, Louisville native and former New York Times Beijing Bureau Chief Michael Wines and award-winning New York Times journalist Sharon LaFraniere on Oct. 21.


Wines and LaFraniere, who met while working at The Louisville Times, will return to Louisville for the first time in 19 years to bring the public a glimpse into the fascinating world of their intersecting private and professional lives, which includes covering Russia’s invasion of Chechnya and the Iran Contra affair. The Oct. 21 program titled “Breaking World News from The Louisville Times to The New York Times” begins at 6:30 p.m. at The Henry Clay Building in Louisville with a reception at 5:30 p.m.


“While Sharon and Michael built their early careers in Louisville, they went on to cover some of the most important global events for the world’s top media outlets. Theirs is a story many don’t know locally and just what Kentucky to the World wants to reveal with its programs,” said Kentucky to the World founder Shelly Zegart.


Wines, who has covered national and international affairs for The New York Times since 1988,started his first newspaper at age 5 from his home in Shively. In 1980, he left Louisville for Washington D.C. where he first worked for the National Journal, then the Los Angeles Times. He is known for having broken a number of significant stories on espionage issues during the dying days of the Cold War. From 1998 to 2012, he lived in and reported from Moscow, Johannesburg, and ultimately Beijing, serving as The New York Times bureau chief in all three locations.


LaFraniere, now a national investigative reporter at The New York Times, has held a number of roles in journalism including a reporter and editor for The Washington Post for 20 years, where she covered territories such as the war zones in Chechnya and Afghanistan.  LaFraniere began writing for The New York Times in 2003, covering southern Africa and is now based in New York. LaFraniere is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Gerald Loeb Award in 2013, the Michael Kelly Award in 2006 and the Overseas Press Club Award in 1999.


A limited number of tickets for the evening event are now on sale for $25 and will include appetizers from Wiltshire Pantry with a cash bar available. The reception will start at 5:30 p.m. and presentation at 6:30 p.m. Guests can purchase tickets for this exclusive event and learn more about the series at No tickets will be sold at the door.

Kentucky to the World, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that showcases the talent, ingenuity and excellence of the world’s prominent men and women who claim strong Kentucky ties, to promote Kentucky’s image and educate and inspire people of all ages.  Kentucky to the World is funded through the generosity of involved community members.  To learn more visit

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