Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio en Lawmakers Respond to KRS Audit <p>Lawmakers are promising legislation addressing issues raised in a state audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.&nbsp; The 118-page audit made 92 recommendations for strengthening Board of Trustees&rsquo; oversight and governance of the Kentucky Retirement Systems.&nbsp; The board manages investments of nearly $13 billion for 300,000 active and retired state workers.&nbsp; State Auditor Crit Luallen says the audit primarily focused on the use of placement agents, which she defined for House and Senate State Government Committee members. Thu, 30 Jun 2011 04:02:17 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 7587 at Lawmakers Respond to KRS Audit KRS Audit Finds No Wrongdoing <p><span class="article-content"><span>State Auditor Crit Luallen says she found no evidence of wrongdoing in an audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. But&nbsp;Luallen says&nbsp;the audit does raise several areas of concern.&nbsp; The audit primarily focused on the use of placement agents, who act as middlemen to secure investments from entities like KRS.&nbsp; Placement agents have been at the center of &quot;pay-to-play&quot; scandals in other states, but Luallen says that does not appear to be the case in Kentucky.<br /> Tue, 28 Jun 2011 18:12:05 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 7528 at KRS Audit Finds No Wrongdoing Instant Racing At the Gate <p><span class="article-content"><span>Instant Racing is another step closer to leaving the gate at Kentucky horse tracks. But opponents of the new form of gambling still hope to block it.&nbsp; Instant Racing, which involves electronic gambling on previously-run horse races, has never won legislative approval in Kentucky. But last month, a legislative oversight panel refused to block regulations allowing it. Mon, 27 Jun 2011 23:52:26 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 7466 at Instant Racing At the Gate Crane Hunt Moving Forward <p><span class="article-content"><span>The legal hunting of sandhill cranes in Kentucky has moved another step closer to becoming a reality, but final approval is still pending.&nbsp; Earlier this month, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a sandhill crane hunting season in Kentucky. The season, with a mid-December start, would last for 30 days, or until 400 of the huge, migratory birds have been killed, whichever comes first. Fri, 24 Jun 2011 22:04:34 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 7344 at Crane Hunt Moving Forward Patton Recalls Higher Education Reforms <p><span class="article-content"><span>Pikeville College President Paul Patton served two terms as Kentucky&#39;s governor, but his first-term accomplishments likely will be his legacy.&nbsp; And the reason is higher education reform.&nbsp; In 1997, two years into his first term, Patton convinced lawmakers to approve a comprehensive package of&nbsp;post-secondary education reforms. The most controversial prong required the University of Kentucky to relinquish control of the state&#39;s community and technical colleges. Fri, 24 Jun 2011 01:09:54 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 7276 at Patton Recalls Higher Education Reforms Kentucky Firefighters Head South <p>More Kentucky firefighters are headed south, this time to help battle wildfires in southeast Georgia.&nbsp;&nbsp;Kentucky already has a crew&nbsp;in Florida.&nbsp; Several fires are consuming large tracts of timberland and threatening homes in and around the Okefenokee Swamp near Waycross, Georgia.&nbsp; Fire crews are stretched thin, so Kentucky is sending some help. Tue, 21 Jun 2011 19:53:23 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 7094 at Kentucky Firefighters Head South Gubernatorial Campaigns Battling for Cash <p><span class="article-content"><span>With the fall election 20 weeks away, the two major gubernatorial slates in Kentucky are beating the bushes for campaign dollars.&nbsp; So far, Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear and his running mate, Jerry Abramson, are out-raising Republican Senate President David Williams and his running mate Richie Farmer, but both campaigns are&nbsp;loading up&nbsp;for the fall campaign. Mon, 20 Jun 2011 21:10:12 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6986 at Capital Projects Lists Are Long <p><span class="article-content"><span>Kentucky public colleges and universities are already compiling their capital project wish lists.&nbsp;&nbsp; They&#39;re getting ready for next year&#39;s legislative session.&nbsp; A $33 million Engineering-Physics building tops the projects list at Murray State University, but President Randy Dunn says the school also badly needs a new $62 million library. Fri, 17 Jun 2011 20:58:14 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6803 at Capital Projects Lists Are Long Beshear Sells Surplus Property <p><span class="article-content"><span>Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is selling surplus state property again. This time it&#39;s a vacant lot in Frankfort. Since taking office in 2007, Gov. Beshear says his administration has generated nearly $7.5 million through surplus real estate sales. Included in that figure is nearly $79,000 Beshear says the state got for a vacant, two-acre industrial lot in Frankfort.</span></span></p><p><span class="article-content"><span> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 20:15:46 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6652 at Beshear Sells Surplus Property College-Educated Kentucky Lawmakers <p>The Chronicle of Higher Education has been studying the <a href="">education levels of state lawmakers </a>in the United States.&nbsp; The state with the most college-educated lawmakers is California, with 90 percent.&nbsp; New Hampshire, with 53 percent, has the least.&nbsp;&nbsp; The national average is around 75 percent, slightly lower than <a href="">Kentucky&rsquo;s 77 percent</a>.&nbsp; Tue, 14 Jun 2011 21:44:17 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6450 at College-Educated Kentucky Lawmakers Hospital Partnership Formally Announced <p>Three major hospitals are joining forces to provide a statewide healthcare delivery system for Kentuckians. The partnership involves University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital in Louisville and Saint Joseph Health System in Lexington. They&rsquo;re still working on a name for the joint effort, but James Taylor of U-of-L Hospital says the partnership means better healthcare for Kentuckians. Tue, 14 Jun 2011 17:49:31 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6417 at Assessment Exams to Begin <p>New statewide, end-of-course, assessment exams begin this coming school year for Kentucky high school students.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The tests&nbsp;were authorized in education reforms approved by Kentucky lawmakers in 2009.&nbsp; The statewide tests measure student achievement in graduation-required courses of English, Algebra, Biology and U.S. History.&nbsp; Mon, 13 Jun 2011 20:22:27 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6329 at Assessment Exams to Begin For Profit College Debate <p>Complaints about for-profit colleges in Kentucky continue to raise eyebrows in Frankfort.&nbsp;&nbsp; But, the schools also have many legislative defenders. Currently there are 141 for-profit colleges in Kentucky, which are seeing significant growth.&nbsp; National enrollment in proprietary colleges is nearing two million students, compared to a half-million in 1998.&nbsp; The schools cater mostly to students seeking employment skills. Mon, 13 Jun 2011 11:40:17 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6262 at For Profit College Debate Beshear Says No Furloughs <p>It&rsquo;s been another stellar month for state revenue receipts in Kentucky.&nbsp; And&nbsp;Gov. Steve&nbsp;Beshear says&nbsp;that means no furloughs for state workers next fiscal year.&nbsp; General Fund receipts in May were $750 million, a whopping 18 percent increase over May 2010 receipts. Sat, 11 Jun 2011 00:04:54 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6163 at Beshear Says No Furloughs Medicaid Managed Care Coming <p><span class="article-content"><span>Statewide Medicaid managed care is coming to Kentucky, but maybe not as fast as some lawmakers thought. Gov. Steve Beshear says the state can save millions of dollars by letting private health care organizations manage services for the state&#39;s 820,000 Medicaid recipients. Acting Medicaid Commissioner Neville Wise says proposals from interested organizations are under evaluation. Fri, 10 Jun 2011 03:06:30 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 6049 at Medicaid Managed Care Coming History Made in High Court <p><span class="article-content"><span>Deputy Chief Justice Mary Noble of Lexington has become the first woman to preside over oral arguments in the Kentucky Supreme Court.&nbsp; The issue before the Supreme Court was ineffective assistance of counsel in a criminal case. It&#39;s a fairly routine issue of appeal, but the proceedings were unique because, for the first time, a woman was sitting in the chief justice&#39;s chair.<br /> Wed, 08 Jun 2011 21:23:30 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5861 at History Made in High Court Aviation Needs Under Review <p><span class="article-content"><span>Kentucky lawmakers want to know more about aviation needs,&nbsp;including aircraft owned and operated by the state.&nbsp; The Department of Aviation has 35 employees and an annual budget of around $10 million. The department oversees three fixed-wing aircraft and one helicopter. Two other planes under the department&#39;s control were sold at auction last month. Wed, 08 Jun 2011 01:24:48 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5813 at Aviation Needs Under Review Primary Vote Tally Certified <p>The results of Kentucky&rsquo;s May 17<sup>th </sup>primary election have been officially certified.&nbsp; It took the State Board of Elections less than an hour to go over the numbers and certify the primary vote tallies.&nbsp; Secretary of State Elaine Walker says the only exception to the election night vote count was addressed in a recanvass conducted two weeks ago.&nbsp; Tue, 07 Jun 2011 04:40:51 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5705 at New Look for Hall of Governors <p><span class="article-content"><span>The newly renovated Hall of Governors at the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort reopened over the weekend.&nbsp; </span></span><span class="article-content"><span>The Hall of Governors is literally a wide hallway in the west wing of the history center. It&#39;s lined with the portraits of dozens of Kentucky governors. In years past, visitors often breezed through the room, because there was no historical or biographical information accompanying the paintings. That&#39;s no longer the case, says Scott Alvey, who&#39;s overseeing the hall&#39;s redevelopment.</span></span> Mon, 06 Jun 2011 04:01:01 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5496 at New Look for Hall of Governors Gunsights on Sandhill Cranes <p>FRANKFORT, KY&nbsp; - <span class="article-content"><span>Over the objections of a bevy of&nbsp;birdwatchers, a sandhill crane hunting season may soon become a reality in Kentucky.&nbsp;&nbsp; Sandhill cranes are large, migratory birds that were almost completely wiped out in the early 1900&#39;s, but rebounded with federal protection. The population east of the Mississippi River now numbers around 60,000 and many of the birds winter in Kentucky. Sat, 04 Jun 2011 00:25:42 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5563 at Gunsights on Sandhill Cranes Coal Rules Blamed for Power Rate Hikes <p>Power rates will rise.&nbsp; That&rsquo;s the bottom line of testimony in Frankfort on the costs of meeting new&nbsp;federal environmental standards for coal-fired utilities in Kentucky.&nbsp; Representatives of several coal-fired utilities in Kentucky say meeting federal clean air standards already in the pipeline will require investments of billions of dollars.&nbsp; John Voyles of LG&amp;E and KU says their capital costs could rise by four billion dollars over the next ten years Fri, 03 Jun 2011 10:31:44 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5449 at Six Random Counties Selected for Audits <p><span class="article-content"><span>Six Kentucky counties have been chosen at random for mandatory, post-primary election audits. Attorney General Jack Conway conducted the drawing, and the counties chosen at random to be audited are Wolfe, Boyd, Muhlenberg, Nelson, Estill and Clark. Pendleton County was drawn before Clark, but disqualified, because it was audited in the previous election. Conway says investigators will now be dispatched to the six counties drawn.</span></span> Wed, 01 Jun 2011 21:44:13 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5313 at State Program Designates Cultural Districts <p>The Kentucky Arts Council wants to help local communities showcase and market cultural amenities like museums, theatres, historic sites, and even farmers&rsquo; markets and festivals. Along those lines, the council is overseeing a statewide cultural district certification program announced by Governor Steve Beshear. Beshear says the designated districts will get focused training, as well as &ldquo;assistance in planning, marketing, programming, identification of grant and incentive opportunities, developing art education components and developing and implementing signature events and activities.&rdquo; Tue, 31 May 2011 22:57:22 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5196 at Former Rep. Eddie Ballard Dies <p>Praise is pouring in for former Kentucky Rep. Eddie Ballard of Madisonville, who died Tuesday at age 81.&nbsp;&nbsp; The Hopkins County Democrat, who retired from the legislature last year,&nbsp;had served in the&nbsp; Kentucky House since 1987.&nbsp; He was chairman of the Tourism, Development and&nbsp;Energy Committee and vice-chair of the State Government committee.&nbsp; Tue, 31 May 2011 21:49:24 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 5188 at Former Rep. Eddie Ballard Dies Beshear Claims Growing GOP Support <p><span class="article-content"><span>Gov. Steve Beshear&#39;s campaign says the list of Republicans backing the Kentucky Democrat&#39;s re-election bid this fall is growing.&nbsp;&nbsp;But the man Beshear faces this fall says there are many reasons why some Republicans would be donating to a sitting governor&#39;s re-election campaign. On the day before Kentucky Republicans held their post-primary unity rally at GOP headquarters in Frankfort, Gov. Beshear&#39;s campaign released the names of 70 Republicans backing his re-election bid. Among the names was former lieutenant governor Steve Pence.</span></span> Fri, 27 May 2011 17:50:15 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 4863 at Beshear Claims Growing GOP Support Legg Concedes After Recanvass <p>Bill Johnson of Elkton has again prevailed in the Republican primary for Kentucky Secretary of State.&nbsp; On election night, Johnson defeated Hilda Legg of Somerset by just over 1,100 votes, but Legg&nbsp;sought a recheck of voting machine tallies.&nbsp; The recanvass shows Johnson picking up five votes, and Legg gaining 11. Thu, 26 May 2011 19:29:50 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 4740 at Legg Concedes After Recanvass Marathon Petroleum Prevails <p>A Frankfort judge, in a&nbsp;price gouging case against Marathon Petroleum, has refused to force the oil company to roll back gas prices in Kentucky.&nbsp;&nbsp; The ruling comes in a case originally filed several years ago, in which the oil company was accused of price gouging&nbsp;following disasters. Wed, 25 May 2011 20:15:17 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 4683 at Thomas Williams, Top Trooper <p>The 2010 Kentucky State Police Trooper of the Year is a veteran of Post&nbsp;1 in Mayfield,&nbsp;in far western Kentucky.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;Senior Trooper&nbsp;Thomas Williams&nbsp;was honored along with a host of other state troopers in an awards&nbsp;ceremony in Frankfort. Wed, 25 May 2011 03:29:13 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 4650 at Thomas Williams, Top Trooper GOP Claims Unity at Frankfort Rally <p>Kentucky Republicans held a post-primary rally at state GOP headquarters in Frankfort Saturday to show a united front for the fall.&nbsp; But&nbsp;despite claims of party unity,&nbsp;it appears the&nbsp;Republicans&nbsp;may&nbsp;have a few chinks in their armor. Mon, 23 May 2011 03:40:11 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 4434 at GOP Claims Unity at Frankfort Rally GOP To Rally; Legg Seeks Recanvass <p>In the wake of Tuesday&rsquo;s primary election, Kentucky Republicans, including&nbsp;Senate President&nbsp;David Williams,&nbsp;will hold a unity rally Saturday at state GOP headquarters in Frankfort. &nbsp;But&nbsp;the man Williams faces in the fall&nbsp;is already&nbsp;trying to spoil the party. Fri, 20 May 2011 18:56:12 +0000 Tony McVeigh, Kentucky Public Radio 4334 at GOP To Rally; Legg Seeks Recanvass