The University of Kentucky plans to relax it’s on- campus alcohol policy for students of legal drinking age. The specifics of how the alcohol consumption policy will change are still to be worked out. The announcement came from UK President Eli Capilouto. He took recommendations from a student health and safety workgroup.
Former state Auditor Crit Luallen says she will not run for governor in 2015. Luallen has been mentioned as a possible Democratic contender as Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear finishes his second term. Luallen says she decided not to run because it was the best decision for her family. Luallen's decision could open the door for Attorney General Jack Conway.
Dentist Nikki Stone of the UK Center for Rural Health
The next step in the "Shaping Our Appalachian Region" or SOAR initiative is scheduled to take place today. Ten working groups will be mapping out strategies and preparing to take more suggestions from eastern Kentuckians.
The ten SOAR working groups cover everything from agriculture to broadband to business recruitment. Dentist Nikki Stone with the University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health heads up a group examining health issues.
On April 11th, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray named the city's first director of the Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention, a newly created office. This comes after the announcement earlier this year that $3 million of the city's $13 million surplus would be allotted for affordable housing and 500,000 for homeless initiatives.
The Kentucky Horse Park has an interim director to take over the reins following the quickly approaching retirement of its long-time director John Nicholson. The Kentucky Horse Park Commission has chosen Ted Nicholson, no relation to John Nicholson, to serve as interim director of the Horse Park.
Ted Nicholson will begin his tenure in May and serve until a permanent executive director is hired later this year. He is currently a partner with a horse racing consultant firm. Before that, the interim director was general manager of the KFC Yum Center in Louisville.
City officials in Lexington are considering ways to enhance safety in neighborhood parks throughout the bluegrass community. A number of recommendations are made in a just-released task force report.
It comes on the heels of a fatal shooting this past weekend in Duncan Park. Lexington Council member Chris Ford says the death of 21 year old Antonio Franklin Junior demonstrates a need for the initiative.
"That is an example and an illustration of why we need to go forward as fast as we can with some of these recommendations," said Franklin.
Discussion of funding for the Rupp Arena Project consumed parts of two city council meetings yesterday afternoon at city hall. Rupp Project Manager Frank Butler took questions during a committee meeting and then before the full Council.
Discussion centered on the state legislature's decision not to provide 80 million dollars in financial support. Butler says state lawmakers wanted some assurance about city and University of Kentucky support. He says the financing plan calls for UK to contribute almost eleven million dollars annually for 30 years.
Lexington city leaders are looking into new ways to coordinate workforce training services. The Council's Social Services Committee discussed the matter at its Tuesday meeting. These services have been carried out through the Bluegrass Area Development District. The matter must still go before the full Council.
The Bluegrass ADD was the focus of a scathing state audit earlier this year. Committee Chair Chris Ford won approval to look for a new fiscal agent for the Bluegrass Workforce Investment Board.
A new ten million dollar Athletics Complex at Transylvania University benefits both on and off campus sports teams. A dedication is planned this Saturday afternoon at the fourth street facility in Lexington.
Most of the talk about moving forward with plans to re-work Lexington's Rupp Arena and build a new convention center has come from local and state government officials. But, the business sector in the Bluegrass region also has a stake in downtown development.
As we approach the May 7th date for the first-ever WEKU Day Sponsor reception, we've received numerous emails from listeners wondering about how to convert their existing memberships into Day Sponsorships.
It’s time for our preview of weekend events with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader.
Rich tells WEKU’s John Hingsbergen that, in addition to all the Easter holiday-related events are a performance of Japanese comic theatre, a gallery hop and a concert by singer and activist Melissa Etheridge.
Former Northern Kentucky University athletic director Scott Eaton has pleaded guilty to stealing more than 311-thousand dollars from the school. State attorney general Jack Conway says Eaton entered his plea Thursday in Campbell County Circuit Court. He will serve the maximum term of ten years in prison.
Now that the Kentucky General Assembly has acted on a state road plan, individual communities are preparing for construction crews. The spring through fall period is traditionally road building season.
A state economist says an uptick in the Kentucky unemployment rate is no reason for alarm. Kentucky's jobless average for March stood at seven point nine percent. It increased one tenth of a percentage point in both February and March.
The waning hours of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly session found senators debating nuclear and coal-based power. The discussion occurred during consideration of a bill to help AK Steel, a manufacturer suffering sizable job loss.
The Kentucky House and Senate Chambers aren't always restricted to partisan disagreements, resolutions or passage of legislation. The last day of the 2014 general assembly also included some impromptu singing.
Five lawmakers of both political parties and a senate page gathered around a desk just before going into session.
Just moments after the rendition of Amazing Grace, Frankfort pastor Gary Hagger noted the singing during the opening prayer for the 60th day of the legislative session.
Lawmakers waited until the last few hours of the 2014 General Assembly session before they approved a statewide road plan. House and Senate members agreed to spend more than 3 billion dollars in state money over the next two years for repair and replacement of roads and bridges. The Senate voted 37-to-1 for the measure. Senate Speaker Pro Tem Katie Stine cast the only "no" vote. Her concern focused in part on a source of funding for a new outer loop highway in northern Kentucky.
Proponents of Lexington's Rupp Arena project will likely be looking for new sources of funding to re-work the downtown complex. Kentucky lawmakers left Frankfort just after midnight Wednesday without backing a plan to borrow 80 million dollars toward the capital construction effort. Lexington Senator Reggie Thomas called it disappointing that legislators didn't come up with support for a project which could create five thousand jobs.
Kentucky's bourbon industry is about to gain an income tax credit. Beginning next year, distilleries can get the credit for state and local property taxes paid on aging barrels of bourbon. Governor Steve Beshear signed the bill into law Tuesday afternoon. Former Maker's Mark President Bill Samuels Jr. says Kentucky needs to maintain its position in the industry.
Tuesday April 22 is Earth Day. This year marks the 45th observance of the annual celebration of our planet and its environment. On this week’s Eastern Standard, we’ll discuss community gardening and other efforts to bring about a sustainable Kentucky.
Leaders in the House and Senate appear closer to reaching an agreement on a three billion dollar road plan. Differences between the two chambers have made negotiations difficult. House Budget Review Committee on Transportation Chair Leslie Combs says there's still some details to work out.
"We're back and moving forward. It's never done until it's done. As far as a time frame, I've been asked that a couple of times, we've got til midnight tonight," said Combs.
As the hours pass on the 60th and final day of the 2014 General Assembly, it looks more unlikely Kentucky legislators will reach agreement on state funding for the Rupp Arena project. The governor initially suggested borrowing 65 million dollars to go toward construction of the new Rupp facility. The senate opted to delete that funding. If not passed, House Speaker Greg Stumbo doesn't believe it's an issue which deserves special session attention.
State of Kentucky and Lexington officials are considering revised strategies for funding the proposed Rupp Arena project. Governor Beshear said yesterday it would not involve any increase in the hotel/motel tax in Lexington, but it does call for the state to increase its commitment from 65 to 80 million dollars.
In his budget address last week, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray called for borrowing 40 million dollars for the downtown project.
A new Kentucky law banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors is being hailed as a step to curb teenage use of tobacco products. With the official signing by Governor Beshear, the sale of all types of e-cigarettes to minors is now illegal.
Kentucky lawmakers return to Frankfort Monday to consider any vetoes penned by Governor Steve Beshear. One of those vetoes focuses on capital construction strategies. Beshear has vetoed a public-private partnership measure which gives state and local governments more leeway in using private companies to move forward with typically expensive construction projects. The bill, approved by the General Assembly, would prohibit the use of tolls to help finance a bridge linking Kentucky and Ohio.
An early spring forest fire has led to the closure of a Southeast Kentucky state park. The woodland fire fed by gusty winds forced the Sunday shut down of Kingdom Come State Park in Harlan and Letcher counties. Local fire departments and about 50 Division of Forestry firefighters worked to contain the fire, which at one point covered about 465 acres including some state park property. Forestry officials set up an emergency command center at the park.