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Rebecca Kiger

Far from the ocean and Puerto Rico’s famous beaches, narrow roads wind into mountains not unlike the country roads of our home, West Virginia. After hours of driving we reach a rural community in the island’s center called Tetuan Tres. Like so many places in rural Appalachia, you don’t come here accidentally.

This week in Kentucky politics, candidates made their final pushes ahead of next week’s primary elections. Voters across the state will weigh in on who to nominate for Congress, the state legislature and several local offices on Tuesday. Plus Gov. Matt Bevin named a new secretary of the state health cabinet and headed off to Asia on a trade mission. 

Health Care Is Key Topic In Sixth District Race

May 18, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the most hotly contested race for the U.S. House this year in Kentucky is in the 6th  congressional district. The district includes Lexington and the surrounding area. Health care has become a central issue to the campaigns of six Democrats competing in Tuesday's primary for the party's nomination and they want to unseat incumbent Andy Barr. 

Over his three terms in Congress, Barr has voted dozens of times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

UofL Reaches Multi-Million Settlement WIth Tom Jurich

May 18, 2018

The University of Louisville has reached a $4.5 million settlement with former athletic director Tom Jurich, who was fired last year after two decades in the position. 

Jurich was terminated in October after the FBI announced an investigation into men’s college basketball recruiting that included U of L. That came following NCAA sanctions against the school for a prostitution scandal involving the men’s team. The new Athletic Director Vince Tyra said it’s a chance for the university to move on. 

kentucky.com

The announced end of the Southland Jamboree summer bluegrass series may have been premature. It appears fundraising efforts are paying off.

Coordinators of the Southland Jamboree had announced that the weekly bluegrass concerts would not happen this summer. 

But a GoFundMe effort online has already nearly enough money to support half a season.  Billy Sherrow helped start the Southland Jamboree in 2006. “The possibility that we could have a very shortened Southland Jamboree this year is very high,” said Sherrow.

Youth Mentors Sought During Lexington Event

May 17, 2018
Stu Johnson

An event linking mentors with young people took place Thursday in downtown Lexington.  The Youth Engagement Summit at the Lyric Theatre featured 14 different mentoring organizations.

Ky.gov

Governor Matt Bevin is on an economic development trip to Asia this week. The trade mission to Japan and the Republic of Korea will encourage more job creation in Kentucky.

Sixth District Democrats Discuss Campaign Issues

May 17, 2018
Stu Johnson

Earlier this week we heard from half of the Democratic candidates for the Sixth Congressional seat - Jim Gray, Reggie Thomas, and Amy McGrath.  The three remaining candidates Daniel Kemph, Geoff Young and Ted Green, face an uphill climb.

Never holding political office can create name recognition challenges which can make it more difficult to raise money for a campaign. That’s been a reality of American politics for a long time

Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

LaRue County, Kentucky, dairy farmer Gary Rock sits in his milking parlor, overlooking what is left of his 95 cow operation.

“Three hundred years of history is something that a lot of people in our country cannot even talk about,” Rock said.

That’s how long the farm has been in his family. While the land has turned out tobacco, soybeans and other crops over the years, since 1980 dairy has nourished the family in and out of tragedy.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray’s entrance into Central Kentucky’s congressional race immediately generated interest in the city’s top government job.

Now, a crowded, seven candidate field, is vying to make the cut to battle in the fall. 

Wednesday we heard from Linda Gorton, Ronnie Bastin, Teresa Issac, and Kevin Stinnett.  Three others are on the primary ballot, Ike Lawrence, William Weyman and Skip Horine.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

An innovative interchange in Lexington is getting national attention.  The traffic flow strategy was recognized this week in Frankfort.

The American Council of Engineering Companies award recognizes the redesign of the Versailes Road-New Circle Road interchange.  The Louisville-based Qk4 engineering consulting firm incorporated a unique design aimed at resolving safety issues at exchange.  The Versailles Road interchange is the second Kentucky project earning the national American Council of Engineering Companies award of excellence honor.  

EPA Administrator Faces Questions Over C-8 Report

May 16, 2018
Kentucky.com

 

EPA Administer Scott Pruitt today faced questions over recently released emails that show White House and EPA officials attempted to delay a new federal standard for toxic chemicals in drinking water. Brittany Patterson reports the chemicals includ the compound C-8 and other similar substances detected in several water systems in the Ohio Valley, 

At a Senate hearing, Republican West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito pressed Pruitt on the emails.

Radioactive Waste Will Stay in Estill County

May 16, 2018

Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has approved a plan that will enclose radioactive waste in an Estill County landfill. 

Last week state regulators agreed with operators of the Blue Ridge Landfill that keeping the radioactive waste in the ground is the best way to protect human health and the environment.

Energy and Environment Cabinet spokesman John Mura says digging up the material poses unnecessary health risks to workers and residents. It would also cause blowing dust, foul smells and increased traffic. 

 

Stu Johnson

The Sixth District Congressional race features six Democrats hoping to replace incumbent Andy Barr. As the May 22nd primary approaches, we’ll hear from three candidates who hope to be competing in the fall in the first of two reports.

Stu Johnson

With the May primary election less than a week away, Lexington voters are considering seven candidates to lead the Urban County Government.  In this first of two reports, we’ll hear from four contenders in the mayor’s race.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray deciding to run for Congress opened the door wide for potential successors to his city hall post. 

In this report, we’ll explore two primary issues, the future home for Lexington government and how the urban county government could help young people succeed.

Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are considering spending more money on neighborhood repaving.  The Council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee supported the plan Tuesday.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is suggesting $12 million dollars be set aside for street paving next year.  The current budget calls for 42 percent of funding to go toward local neighborhood streets.  Public Works Commissioner Dowell Hoskins-Squier says the yet to be voted on budget dedicates 65 percent of the funds to neighborhood streets.

Lexington Herald-Leader

A local white nationalist leader has been sentenced to 38 days in jail for violating his probation relating to a disorderly conduct conviction.

  Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced on Facebook new business prospects with Israel on Monday, following the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Colleges and universities in the bluegrass state are seeing an overall increase in the number of graduating students. According to new data from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, undergraduate degrees and credentials totaled more than 59,000 in the 2016-17 school year, a seven percent increase over the prior year. CPE President Bob King says the highest growth came from short-term certificates awarded by the Community and Technical College System.

parks.ky.gov

A new trail is opening up this week across Kentucky, but it has little to do with hiking, biking, or driving.  It’s the initiation of the Kentucky State Park Culinary Trail, right in line with the state parks’ administration focus on food.  

Stu Johnson

An effort to develop a strategy to reduce group related violence is expected to start this summer in Lexington.

Many members of a large-multi faith organization in the city heard what they wanted to hear during an annual assembly last week.

Representatives of B.U.I.L.D., or Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action, have had success in convincing government leaders to move forward with their researched initiatives. 

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin lashed out again at the judge who hears lawsuits brought against his administration. State lawmakers continued to weigh in on the potential state takeover of Louisville’s public school system. And Kentucky’s U.S. Senators again find themselves on the opposite side of a debate—this time over the nomination of Gina Haspel to be CIA director. 

Dairy Farmers Look For Lifelines In Flooded Market

May 13, 2018
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

LaRue County, Kentucky, dairy farmer Gary Rock sits in his milking parlor, overlooking what is left of his 95 cow operation.

“Three hundred years of history is something that a lot of people in our country cannot even talk about,” Rock said.

That’s how long the farm has been in his family. While the land has turned out tobacco, soybeans and other crops over the years, since 1980 dairy has nourished the family in and out of tragedy.

05-07-18

Amazon is testing a fully-automated store and the retail industry is watching closely. On this weeks Focus on Business, Tom Martin talks with Dan Sheehan, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of business nd Economics. He has done a lot of research on "smart shopping carts", customer facing tech, and customer engagement during shopping trips.

Dr. Dan Sheehan on "AmazonGo" pt2

May 11, 2018

05-07-18

This weeks Focus on Business, Part two of Tom Martin's conversation with University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Marketing Dan Sheehan about "AMAZONGO", the retail experiment in a fully automated retail store. 

Courier-Journal.Com

State lawmakers from Louisville agree that Jefferson County’s public school system needs to improve, but disagree along party lines over whether the state should intervene in the management of the district.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey said that state education officials haven’t shown that a takeover would solve any of the district’s problems. 

“There’s nothing suggested by the interim commissioner about how he’s going to fix that by taking away the voices of the people of Jefferson County from the process involved in governing their schools.” 

Courtsey Revolution

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” returns to his native Kentucky this week. But Vance isn’t selling books this time. He’s leading a bus tour of well-heeled venture capitalists looking for investment options in the region.

behavioralservices.com

A report this week makes new recommendations about prostate cancer screening.  A past president of the Kentucky Urological Association sees the screenings as beneficial.

Pavement Penetrating Radar Used in Lexington

May 9, 2018
lexingtonky.gov

Pavement penetrating radar was used as part of a demonstration project along a section of Lexington’s New Circle Road Wednesday. 

Clark Graves is associate director at the University of Kentucky Transportation Center. "You use this technology, potentially use this technology, to determine what the best treatment is, so that you basically then use the available funds that you have most efficiently,” said Graves. 

Bevin’s Lawyers Defend New Abortion Law In Court Filing

May 9, 2018
EMW

 

Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team says Kentucky’s newest abortion law seeks to prevent a “barbaric” procedure while a fetus is still alive in the womb.

His lawyers filed a motion urging a federal judge to deny a preliminary injunction that would delay the law’s enforcement.

The state’s only abortion clinic is challenging the new abortion restrictions in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU claims access to abortions in Kentucky would be “extinguished” for pregnant women in their second trimester who are covered by the law.

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