While surrounded by coal-state lawmakers and coal miners, President Trump signed a bill this week that rolls back an environmental rule designed to protect streams from coal mining debris.

Lawmakers have given initial approval to a plan to “defund” Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood locations in Lexington and Louisville by putting the organization at the back of the line for federal family planning dollars.

Bill sponsor Sen. Max Wise said the organization had a “notorious history as an abortion provider” and said he filed the bill in reaction to undercover videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of fetal organs — allegations denied by Planned Parenthood and later debunked.

Kentucky’s public pension system, which officially faces an $18.1 billion unfunded liability, might be in worse shape than previously thought.

The bigger potential problem for Kentucky Retirement Systems means taxpayers could be on the hook for much more money to honor pension commitments to about 365,000 public employees, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Copley/Hendren on Student Musicians, Other Weekend Performances

Feb 17, 2017
Lexgo.com

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring arts and cultural activities with Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren of the Lexington Herald-Leader. They begin this week by telling us that the UK Symphony putting student talent on stage this weekend.    

Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren cover arts and culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Lexgo dot com.

You can find many listings of arts and cultural activities at the events calendar link at WEKU dot FM. 

Kentucky Education Reform Bill Set For Vote

Feb 16, 2017
Kentucky.com

An education reform bill, a top of the Republican-led Kentucky senate is headed to the floor Friday.

A major thrust of is to give local schools more say in revising academic standards.  Bill Sponsor Mike Wilson said it increases local decision making and decreases bureaucratic burdens on educators.


Filson Historical Society

Kentucky’s bourbon industry is looking for legislative approval to open the door to new in-state sale of whiskey dating back decades.  Under current law, these, often discovered, bottles of aged distilled spirits can’t be resold. 

Stu Johnson/WEKU

The Kentucky Senate voted to double the amount of campaign contributions allowed for some donors after an emotional floor debate.

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky senate voted Wednesday to make all public school campuses tobacco free 

Bill Sponsor Dr. Ralph Alvarado told senators Kentucky’s youth smoking rate is higher than the national average for adult smokers. The Winchester physician was asked about having tobacco products in a vehicle on school grounds.


Singer, actor and dancer Ben Vereen brings his show called “Steppin Out” to the Norton Center for the Arts Saturday evening.  

WEKU’s John Hingsbergen spoke with the 70-year-old about his show, the value of the arts and some of his current efforts, including a project to help troubled kids.  

The Kentucky Senate has approved a resolution condemning a white nationalist organization’s planned spring rally in eastern Kentucky. 

 Members of the Traditionalist Worker Party along with the Nationalist Front and National Socialist Movement are scheduled to gather at Jenny Wiley State Park in late April.  A rally is expected to take place in Pikeville. 

Pike County Senator Ray Jones called it disgraceful for the participants to gather near a memorial to those who fought and died in World War II.

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Eastern Standard

WEKU's weekly public affairs program discussing topics and concerns of Central and Southeastern Ky. Call 800-621-8890. Email: wekueasternstandard@gmail.com Tweet @wekuest

Ohio Valley ReSource

Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley region once helped give rise to the labor movement. Now it’s shifting toward what’s known as right-to-work law. West Virginia and Kentucky have passed right-to-work laws and Ohio is considering a similar bill.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

Dona Wells walked through what’s left of the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Boxes fill what use to be offices. Sterilized medical supplies are in disarray. A light flickers on and off in the back hallway. She doesn’t see a point in fixing it. At 75, she still runs 25 miles a week, but Wells is tired.

“I was going to retire anyway, probably this year,” she said. But I wanted to do it on my terms, not Gov. Bevin’s terms.”

 

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

She asked to not be identified. And it’s understandable given the stigma attached to addiction. For this story, we’ll call her “Mary.”

 

Mary lives in eastern Kentucky and has struggled with an addiction that began with painkillers and progressed to heroin.

“As soon as I opened my eyes, I had to get it,” Mary said. “And even when I did get it, then I had to think of the next way that I was going to get.”

Mary was using when she learned she was pregnant with her first child. She sought treatment but the disease had a tight grip on her.

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