Kentucky Politics Distilled: Pension Bill Struck Down

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This week in Kentucky politics, a judge struck down Kentucky’s new pension law, saying legislators broke the law by rushing the bill to passage. Kentucky’s health secretary says the state will have to cut benefits if a federal court blocks Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to the Medicaid system. And Democrats no longer make up a majority of registered voters in the state. 

Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com/Kentucky.com

Four Kentucky Wildcats and a U of L Cardinal were among those picked in Thursday's National Basketball Association draft. 

WKU Board Of Regents Considers Tuition Hike

6 hours ago
WKU.EDU

 

The Western Kentucky University Board of Regents will vote Friday on a proposal to raise tuition by 4 percent in the upcoming school year. That would equal about $200 more per semester for resident and undergraduate students. Online course fees would also increase by  $50 per credit hour.

Tuition and fees account for more than half of WKU’s budget. Student Regent Stephen Mayer says he feels the university is balancing the budget on the backs of students.

Kentucky.com

A former Bowling Green police officer has been indicted for making threats against President Donald Trump.

The indictment by a federal grand jury stems from Andrew Ryan’s threatening social media posts against President Trump in May.

The 37-year-old Ryan was previously a Bowling Green police officer who has recently been a resident of Greenbrier, Tennessee.

Stu Johnson

Lexington council members Thursday got more details about the land-street swap deal between city government and the University of Kentucky.  

 

 

 

The plan, already endorsed by the UK board, could come before council for final approval in the next few weeks.

 

wkms.org

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is set to adopt higher minimum admission standards for state universities.  The change increases the minimum from a 2.0 grade point average to a 2.5. 

Council President Bob King says the move sends a message to high school students to take their studies seriously.“Those students who enter the universities with at least a 2.5 grade point average in their high schools across the state tend to be more successful than students who may have scored well on an ACT, but had a lower grade point average,” said King.

CoalProgress.com

A suit filed Wednesday in West Virginia by the Center for Biological Diversity seeks to protect threatened crayfish.

The group alleges that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has missed the one year time frame set by federal law in which to designate habitat areas for the two crayfish species,

The Big Sandy crayfish and Guyandotte River crayfish were protected by the Endangered Species Act in 2016 because of habitat loss and water pollution.

WKMS

A U.S. Representative from Kentucky says he supports President  Donald  Trump’s plan to sign an executive order halting the separation of undocumented immigrants and their children at the Mexican border. First District Congressman James Comer says he was one of several lawmakers who met with the president this week to relay their concerns about the humanitarian crisis. The Monroe County Republican says the U.S. can both secure its borders and keep families together.

David Mistich/WVPB

The Trump administration today released a politically charged study on the health impacts of perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS chemicals, including the compound known as C8, which has been detected in some water systems in the Ohio Valley.

kentucky.com

A National Endowment for the Arts grant of $10,000 will support an arts-meets-activism initiative at Woodford Theatre. Tony Delgrosso is the managing director overseeing “The Girl Project.” “Federal funding from the NEA really puts “The Girl Project” and Woodford Theatre on the map a little bit as far as legitimacy goes,” noted Delgrosso.

Founded in 2012, “The Girl Project” empowers teens to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls in contemporary media.

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CoalProgress.com

A suit filed Wednesday in West Virginia by the Center for Biological Diversity seeks to protect threatened crayfish.

The group alleges that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has missed the one year time frame set by federal law in which to designate habitat areas for the two crayfish species,

The Big Sandy crayfish and Guyandotte River crayfish were protected by the Endangered Species Act in 2016 because of habitat loss and water pollution.

David Mistich/WVPB

The Trump administration today released a politically charged study on the health impacts of perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS chemicals, including the compound known as C8, which has been detected in some water systems in the Ohio Valley.

Lisa Graves-Marcucci, Environmental Integrity Project

Curt and Debbie Havens’ ranch style home is the gathering place for their family. Their two boys grew up playing in the streets in this quiet neighborhood in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Now, their grandchildren do the same.

“They played ball, all kinds of games,” Debbie recalled during a recent interview. Family photos and knick-knacks line the walls. One heart-shaped sign reads “May love be the heart of this home.”

 

“Everybody wants to come to grammy’s and pappy’s,” she added.

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