ARC of Kentucky

  A statewide nonprofit that provides training and advocacy for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is marking one year since the state cut all its funding.

On July 1st, it will be one year since the state cut the $125,000 previously allocated to The Arc of Kentucky. The group is not getting any federal funding either. 

So programs to offer advocacyand training for individuals with disabilities like Down Syndrome, Autism or fetal alcohol syndrome are on shaky financial ground.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says he will back legislation that requires commercial truck drivers to undergo training to help spot and report sex trafficking. His office made the announcement Tuesday. Beshear and Colorado based Truckers Against Trafficking pushed for bipartisan legislation requiring the training the past two regular legislative sessions, but each time the measures failed.

University of Louisville

Two University of Louisville coaches are getting contract revisions. The U of L Athletic Association board Tuesday approved the upgrades for women’s basketball coach Jeff Walz  and baseball coach Dan McDonnell. 

A group of school safety experts shied away from controversial policies like arming teachers or new gun regulations. Instead, they advised schools improve security, hire more school resource officers and find new ways to detect and prevent possible shootings. 

Lexington Approves Budget, Sets Spending Priorities

Jun 12, 2018
City of Lexington

Lexington approved a $371 million budget  Monday.

Mayor Jim Gray says that changes in the state pension did represent a challenge. But, he says, the increase in pension contributions is offset by anticipated increases in revenue.

Some tangible changes folks may see over the next year include new fire and police equipment, new playground equipment at Shillito Park and a major renovation to Rupp Arena that will involve significant job growth. 

Federal Judge To Hear Kentucky Medicaid Case

Jun 12, 2018
Kentucky.com

A federal judge could decide later this week if Kentucky can move forward with changes to its Medicaid program. Governor Matt Bevin’s administration received a waiver from the federal government to require able-bodied adults to work or volunteer to maintain their Medicaid coverage. Enrollees would also pay small premiums and face lockout periods for failing to renew their benefits on time. Kentucky saw one of the country’s largest drops in the number of uninsured 

WKU.EDU

 

The longest serving professor at Western Kentucky Univeristy has passed away.   

Mary Ellen Miller taught English at the school for 54 years. She died over the weekend in Bowling Green at the age of 83.

She had been recuperating at Greenwood Rehabilitation Center after suffering a fall.

A post on the WKU English Department’s Facebook page said Miller’s death—quote—“is an enormous loss for the English Department, WKU, our region, and the arts community”—end 
quote.

Early this year, Republicans advanced version of the pension bill that stalled after intense opposition from state workers, especially teachers. 
Republican leaders of the legislature repeatedly said that the pension proposal wasn’t going to pass this year. 
Then, on one of the final days of this year’s legislative session, a new version of the bill materialized and swiftly passed out of committee and both chambers of the legislature in matter of hours. 

White Water Rafting Could Expand In Kentucky

Jun 11, 2018
KentuckyTourism.Gov

Fans of white water rafting may have more chances to hit the river in eastern Kentucky as Senator Mitch McConnell is working to expand the rafting season.

The current white water season at the Breaks Interstate Park is just four weekends in October. That’s because the rafters depend on the Army Corps of Engineers to release enough water to create white water conditions.

McConnell announced Monday that he is working with the corps to extend the rafting season and boost tourism in Pike County.

3DaysCount

Kentucky’s joining a national effort to reduce the number of people held in jail during pretrial. In Kentucky, counties pay the cost of housing inmates who are awaiting trial.

Pretrial is defined as the period from a person’s first contact with law enforcement through the resolution of any resulting charges, usually through trial, plea or dismissal.

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Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal Ash Uncovered: New Data Reveal Widespread Contamination At Ohio Valley Sites

Jun 18, 2018

For generations, coal power has fueled American prosperity. But for each shovelful thrown into the furnaces, a pile of ash was left in its place.

Today, as coal’s dominance in the power sector wanes, those piles of ash have grown into mountains as coal ash became one of the largest waste streams in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

 

Special Project: Coal Ash Uncovered

Jun 16, 2018
Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal has long powered the Ohio Valley. But it left behind a legacy of waste: dozens of massive coal ash disposal sites. As the Trump administration changes the regulation of coal ash, the Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL have analyzed new data from the region’s waste sites. The analysis found widespread evidence that coal ash sites are leaking contaminants into surrounding groundwater. 

In the first of a three-part series, reporters Brittany Patterson and Ryan Van Velzer share what they found and what it might mean for nearby communities.

Steve Pavey, Hope In Focus

Anti-poverty activists say they will continue a campaign of demonstrations and civil disobedience throughout the Ohio Valley despite arrests at some events and being blocked from Kentucky’s capitol building.

The Poor People’s Campaign has rallied in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia and campaign leaders returned to Kentucky Wednesday after the group was denied access at earlier demonstrations.

 

MORE STORIES FROM THE OHIO VALLEY RESOURCE