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Eastern Kentucky University Public Relations

On a cold day when indoor recreation might be the best choice, Eastern Kentucky University officials broke ground Monday morning for a new student recreation and wellness center. The $40 million dollar facility is financed through a student fee.

When completed the student rec and wellness center will be twice as big as EKU’s existing facility and will include basketball and racquetball courts, a pool, a weight room and a rock climbing wall. 

KCIR

Both of the state’s major political parties are calling for a state representative to resign after allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor and attempted to commit arson.  The Bullitt County Republican mentioned in the allegations is also a preacher.

According to the report from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, a woman alleges that Rep. Dan Johnson groped and molested her after a New Year’s party in 2012 when she was 17 years old.


Kentucky.com

The backlog of untested rape kits in Kentucky has grown larger than the initial 3,000 discovered in 2015.

While testing is complete on the original backlog, officials uncovered 1,500 so-called “boomerang kits”.

Those are rape kits sent to the crime lab, not tested for various reasons, and then returned to law enforcement agencies.

The state recently received a nearly $3 million federal grant to test those kits from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Benny Becker | Ohio Valley ReSource

 

  

The sound of power tools blends with teenage chatter as students clamber around, under, and over a trailer bed that they’re busy turning into a home. They’re part of a project called “Building It Forward,” which has vocational classes building tiny houses as a way of gaining practical skills and new confidence.

fcps.net

The Lexington council has taken the first step toward rebranding the city’s day treatment center.  It would rename the facility in honor of Audrey Grevious.  The educator and civil rights leader died in January.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay believes the naming of the center for Grevious is appropriate. “She had a really good feisty attitude.  She was outspoken.  She was clear.  You know exactly what was on her mind,” noted Kay.  “She was really a treat to work with, so I think this would be a fitting honor for her.”

Lexington Leaders Look for New Tourism Strategies

16 hours ago
kentuckytourism.com

Lexington is developing new ways to draw tourists to the central Kentucky community. The council recently got briefed on a Destination Development Plan.

Stu Johnson

Sunday will be moving day for 53 cancer patients at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Center as they relocate to a newly opened floor in the hospital. 

Patient Sarah Lister shared her experience at the center Friday morning during the official unveiling.

damonthayer.com

A leader of Kentucky’s state senate says a “watered down” version of Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension proposal is being drafted but it would still shift future workers onto 401(k)-type retirement plans.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said the move is a “cornerstone” of the plan. 

“It’s critical that if we’re going to get this state back on a sustainable pension path that all new employees after July 1 go on a 401(k),” he said. 

Flu Season Could Be Harsh This Year

Dec 8, 2017
Kentucky.com

The upcoming flu season may be a harsh one in the U.S. judging from data in the southern hemisphere, where the flu season is waning. The New England Journal of Medicine has reported that the flu vaccine used this year in Australia, which has the same composition as the vaccine used in the U.S., had a low rate of effectiveness. But State Epidemiologist Jonathan Ballard said the current vaccine is working well in Kentucky. Even if that weren’t the case, Dr. Ballard said some protection is better than none.

Kentucky Cabinet for Health And Family Services

Leaders in Barren County are deciding whether to join some other Kentucky communities in establishing a needle exchange. Under the program, intravenous drug users could swap dirty syringes for clean ones at the local health department, and do so anonymously. The goal is to stop the spread of Hepatitis-C and H-I-V. Ron Lafferty heads the Barren River Drug Task Force. He says while the county has a problem with I-V drug users doing crystal meth, he fears a needle exchange will bring in addicts from surrounding areas.

Retiring Lexington Police Chief Recognized

Dec 8, 2017
Stu Johnson

Lots of well-wishing last night at Lexington city hall for police Chief Mark Barnard. The recognition came for the retiring head of the division of police who’s spent three decades in law enforcement.

Lexington Council Approves New Cable Franchise

Dec 8, 2017

Lexington’s council has given final approval to a new ten year utility franchise.  Last night’s action paves the way for MetroNet to begin work on a high speed fiber optic network in the Fayette County community.  

Pension Fix Is Top Priority For Kentucky Chamber

Dec 7, 2017
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

The state pension issue is at the top of the list of legislative goals the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce would like to see addressed in 2018. President Dave Adkisson spoke to members of the Paducah Chamber Thursday.  

Kentucky Chamber President Dave Adkisson says the pension issue is the QUOTE “number one threat” to the state’s financial stability and must be addressed in order to pass the 2018 budget.

garrardcounty.us

The Garrard County Animal Shelter is coping with an unusually large influx of dogs and cats. It’s the result of a hoarding case involving 23 animals.

LBJ Library

Law professor Philip Alston is a United Nations expert on extreme poverty. In his position as a U.N. Special Rapporteur  he reports on places where pervasive poverty and human rights issues intersect, places such as Haiti, south Asia and central Africa. His latest work, however, is taking him to parts of the U.S., including the Ohio Valley.

WEKU file photo

About a dozen refugees have seasonal jobs with the Lexington government.  

Workforce Development Manager Elodie Dickinson told council members this week that refugees have helped with leaf collection in the streets and roads department.  She says it’s part of a pilot program designed to build job skills. “To try to help them gain some work experience and gain some work referrals, references.  So, that they can move to a different position maybe with another seasonal position within the city or a permanent position,” said Dickinson.

Associated Press-Adam Beam

A gay man who was denied a marriage license by Rowan County’s Clerk has officially filed to run against her in 2018.

David Ermold filed Wednesday to run for county clerk.

Dogs Quarantined at Lexington Humane Society

Dec 6, 2017
Stu Johnson

Workers at the Lexington Humane Society are continuing with intense cleaning this week.  The animal shelter is closed under a 14 day quarantine of its dogs.

Two dogs succumbed to an aggressive bacterial infection and that led  to the closure.  Senior Manager of Donor Relations Ashley Hammond says everything at the adoption center is being scrubbed.  She says for the time being, strays should be taken to Masterson Station Park.

 

 

 

In the wake of the hearings the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted in West Virginia last week, the agency has decided to schedule more public hearings about the repeal of the Clean Power Plan - carbon regulations that aimed to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Shuttershock

A new study of elder abuse protections ranks Kentucky the fourth worst in the nation.

The study by WalletHub looked at a few key areas--prevalence of elder abuse, resources, and protection. Kentucky ranks 47th in the quality of its nursing homes. The commonwealth also ranks in the bottom for the most gross neglect and exploitation complaints.

Tennessee is ranked 15th in elder abuse protection, while Indiana is 27th.

LRC.GOV

An ongoing investigation into sexual harassment in the Kentucky legislature still hasn’t determined who paid to settle the claims and for how much. Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and his accuser are denying the hush money came from political donors.

Kentucky.com

State legislators say a special session to discuss Kentucky’s ailing pension system probably won’t happen this year. 

Gov. Matt Bevin suggested a special session to address the state’s pension in November. It’s currently one of the most underfunded systems in the nation. But in a WEKU news special Tuesday, Democratic State Senator Morgan McGarvey said a special session now would waste taxpayer dollars. 

Republican Representative. Jerry Miller, also a guest on the show, agreed. 

FSU.Edu

A former player and head coach at Western Kentucky University will soon be in charge of one of the most prestigious football programs in the country.

Willie Taggart is being introduced as the next head coach at Florida State University at a news conference Wednesday.

The 41-year-old Taggart just completed his first season as head coach at Oregon, where he went 7 and 5.

Taggart grew up in Palmetto, Florida, and was a four-year starting quarterback at WKU.

He went on to become WKU’s head coach from 2010 to 2012.

Stu Johnson

A number of recommendations for improving accessibility to buildings in Lexington were brought before council members yesterday.  Much of the emphasis was on pre-construction planning.


lexingtonky.gov

Veteran Lexington council member Kevin Stinnett plans to seek the office of mayor.  The announcement comes on the day Lexington Mayor Jim Gray launched his campaign for 6th District congressman. 


Kentucky.com

 

When Eric Conn stepped into a Pizza Hut in La Ceiba, Honduras on Saturday, he likely had no idea that meal would be his last as a free man.

UofL

The University of Louisville’s accreditation is no longer under probation.  The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or SACS, announced today  that U of L had done enough to have the probation lifted.

Matt Markgraf

Congressman James Comer faced a crowd of constituents upset over the Republican-led tax bill at a town hall in Hopkinsville Monday. Representatives of the progressive group Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and others say the bill benefits the wealthy and corporations at the expense of individuals who benefit from deductions for health care and graduate school. Comer said most of the 1st District would benefit from the bill.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has announced he will seek the Sixth District congressional seat currently held by Republican Andy Barr. 

The mayor, in his second term leading Lexington government, joins three other Democrats in the May primary race.  Those candidates are state Senator Reggie Thomas, retired Marine Colonel Amy McGrath, and retired state engineer Geoff Young. 

Hardin County students are bringing their knowledge of coding to their community with a week of activities. This is the third year the school district has participated in the “hour of code” program.

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