Jay Leno is appearing in Richmond next spring in an event being billed as a tribute to Officer Daniel Ellis, the Richmond police officer killed in the line of duty this month.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Leno will perform at 8 p.m. April 23 at Richmond's St. Mark Catholic Church.

    The majority of independent retailers surveyed this fall expect to carry the same amount of holiday inventory as a year ago.  They were polled through a questionnaire from the Kentucky Retail Federation.

Incoming Auditor Calls For State Pension Director’s Resignation

Nov 25, 2015

Incoming state Auditor Mike Harmon is calling for the resignation of the executive director of the state’s most under-performing pension system.

The Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees recently extended the contract of Executive Director Bill Thielen and gave him a 25 percent raise.

The pension fund covers 120,000 state employees and retirees in non-hazardous positions. It has only 19 percent of the money it needs to make future payouts.

Workplace Injuries, Illnesses at All-Time Low in Kentucky

Nov 25, 2015

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet announced this week that the state has reached its lowest rate ever for workplace injury and illnesses.

In 2014, Kentucky’s incidence rate was 3.8 per 100 equivalent full-time workers. That’s the lowest rate in Kentucky since 1996, when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics began recording the data.

EKU Beats Thomas More in Rare Afternoon Weekday Contest

Nov 25, 2015


In a rare mid week afternoon game, the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels took to the hardwood. EKU proved too strong for Thomas More College.

Eclipsing the 100 point mark for the third time this season, Eastern defeated Thomas More 101 to 67 at McBrayer Arena. Freshman big man Nick Mayo led Colonel scoring with 21 points as EKU picked up its fourth straight win. Thomas More fell to one and two. Eastern concludes a stretch of five home games Saturday afternoon. in taking on Southern Utah.

Kevin Goldy / The Daily Independent

A landfill in Eastern Kentucky will shrink after the company, state and citizens’ groups reached an agreement Tuesday.

The Big Run Landfill in Boyd County is Kentucky’s largest landfill, and the final repository of garbage and sewage from many East Coast states. In June, the Citizens of Boyd County Environmental Coalition filed a lawsuit against the company and the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, arguing the measures that expanded the landfill a decade ago weren’t constitutional under the Kentucky Constitution.

Southeast Kentucky Road Crews Prepare for Snow

Nov 25, 2015

While temperatures are anticipated to climb over Thanksgiving holiday, workers in the southeastern Kentucky transportation office are still preparing for snow removal duties.  Les Dixon is with the District 11 office. He says preparations have been underway for several weeks. “We’ve been inspecting the snow plows since October along with calibrating the salt spreading equipment,” said Dixon.  “We’ve also been developing snow storm response procedures to keep our district 11 state roads passable during inclement weather.”

Mark Cornelison / Lexington Herald Leader


University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has decided to cover a campus mural from 1934 that shows scenes from state history, including black workers in a tobacco field and a Native American with a tomahawk.

Capilouto wrote on the school's website Monday that he met with a group of students recently and understood their frustrations over the mural.

Gov. Steve Beshear has signed an executive order restoring voting rights to non-violent felons in Kentucky who have completed their sentences.

Beshear made the announcement Tuesday in Frankfort. The executive order excludes people convicted of bribery, sex crimes or treason, he said.

Kentucky Adds to ‘Trail Town’ Program

Nov 24, 2015

 The Harlan County cities of Lynch, Benham, and Cumberland are the newest additions to the Trail town program.  The state run initiative aims to bolster local economies through increased adventure tourism traffic. 

Kentucky Adventure Tourism Assistant Director Seth Wheat says efforts are made to count the number of out of town visitors, but he admits it can be challenging. 

J. Tyler Franklin /

Saying he’s unwilling to give up his sports commentary gig just yet, Kentucky Sports Radio founder Matt Jones announced Monday he won’t run for political office in 2016.

Jones, a Democrat, spent much of the summer and fall entertaining the possibility of running for Congress in Kentucky’s 6th District, which includes Lexington. Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican, currently holds the seat.

Prosecutor Seeks Death Penalty for Murder of Richmond Police Officer

Nov 23, 2015

The death penalty will be sought for the alleged shooter of slain Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis and for the man who failed to warn Ellis he was in danger.

The Lexington Herald Leader reports Raleigh Sizemore Jr., and Gregory Ratliff pleaded not guilty Monday to various charges during arraignments before Madison Circuit Court Judge William Clouse Jr.

Berea College students, faculty, and administrators rallied Monday to show support for the college community following harassment aimed at international students, the LGBT community, and students of color.

EKU Dismisses Football Coach Dean Hood

Nov 23, 2015

Eastern Kentucky University has relieved Dean Hood of his duties as head football coach, Director of Athletics Steve Lochmueller announced Monday.

“I want to thank Dean for his service to Eastern Kentucky University,” Lochmueller said.  “These decisions are never taken lightly.  After a careful review of our football program, I feel a change in leadership is needed.”   

Hood compiled a record of 55-38 in eight seasons as head coach.  The 2015 squad finished 6-5 and in fourth place in the OVC with a 5-3 mark.

Here’s an email we received from listener, Andrea, “I love getting my news and features from WEKU and NPR. I’ve noticed that when the local announcer gives the weather during station breaks many times the forecast is given but not the current temperature." 


Compressed Natural Gas Filling Station Coming to Lexington

Nov 23, 2015

Compressed natural gas is likely to be used in greater amounts in the Lexington area over time.  A CNG filling station project has been a topic recently at Lexington city hall.

Governor-elect Talks Philosophy and Policy Before County Officials

Nov 20, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin has outlined a few of his policy and managerial plans to a large group of county officials.  Bevin spoke Friday during the closing session of the Kentucky Association of Counties conference meeting in Lexington.

Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered nursing homes and other health care providers to run national background checks on all new employees or risk losing their license to operate in the state.

Beshear signed the emergency regulation on Friday. It takes effect on Jan. 1 and will apply to about 1,300 providers, including nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, adult day health care programs and assisted living facilities.

Kentucky officials say the state's unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest level since the spring of 2001.

The state Office of Employment and Training said Thursday that last month's preliminary jobless rate was 4.9 percent, down from a 5 percent rate in September. The statewide rate in October 2014 was 5.6 percent.

Last month's statewide rate matches the 4.9 percent rate in May 2001.

A federal agency is reporting a sharp drop in Kentucky's homeless rate since 2010.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development says communities in Kentucky reported a total of 4,538 people who experienced homelessness on a given night in January 2015. It says that rate is down 31 percent since 2010.

It says the statewide homeless rate was down 11 percent from 2014 to 2015.

Lexington Council Votes to Increase City Minimum Wage

Nov 20, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


After some eight months of debate, Lexington’s city council has approved a minimum wage increase.  Council heard public comments Thursday night right up until the last minute. 

After hearing comments from more than 30 residents, followed by discussion among council members, a vote on the proposal to raise the minimum wage was taken.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    Kentucky legislative leaders Thursday spelled out their party’s 2016 priorities before a large group of county officials in Lexington. They spoke at the Kentucky Association of Counties conference.

A proposal to increase the minimum wage in Lexington is up for a final vote by city council on thursday.  An eight to six vote in late October put the plan on the docket.  Council member Jennifer Mossotti is the proposal’s sponsor. She says she’s unaware if any members have since changed their minds.  “I have not heard from any of my colleagues that were supportive before that they’ve changed their position,” said Mossotti.

A grand jury has indicted four co-defendants in the fatal shooting of a central Kentucky police officer and in the attempted robbery he was investigating. Multiple media outlets report a Madison County grand jury Tuesday indicted 34-year-old Raleigh Sizemore of Richmond, the man accused of shooting 33-year-old Daniel Ellis.

According to the Lexington Herald Leader, Sizemore was indicted on charges of murder, two counts of attempted murder, first-degree unlawful imprisonment, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, first-degree persistent felony offender, and first-degree attempted robbery.

In the final weeks of Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration, state regulators and legislators haven’t closed the door on the possibility that Kentucky will create its own plan to comply with upcoming federal carbon dioxide regulations.

Len Peters, secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet, spoke Tuesday before a special legislative task force made up of lawmakers and industry representatives.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Additional public grant funding will go toward the advancement of Lexington’s downtown linear park project.  Governor Steve Beshear made the announcement at city hall on Wednesday.

The $2.7 million will go to support design and construction of Town Branch Commons along a section of Vine Street.  Governor Beshear says a protected pedestrian crossing will be established near the Lextran Transit Center.  “The signal for the pedestrian crossing will include a phase to allow buses to safely exit the transit center,” said Beshear.


The speed limit on some downtown Lexington streets could be lowered within the next year. A proposal to do just that received council committee backing Tuesday.

It’s been 24 years since Magic Johnson told the world he was HIV positive.

As we approach the celebration of Thanksgiving, our nation observes Native American Heritage Month in November.  It's intended as a way of recognizing the contributions of Native Americans and continuing to strengthen government-to-government ties with tribal nations.

On this week's show, we'll welcome the EKU Chautauqua Lecture Series' keynote speaker for Native American Heritage Month, Dr. Anton Treuer. He is Executive Director of the American Indian Resource Center and Professor of Ojibwe at Bemidji State University.

Focus On Business: Jerry Rickett on the "Promise Zone"

Nov 17, 2015

President Obama designated Eastern Kentucky as one of the first five rural regions in the country to benefit from the administration’s “Promise Zone” program. Federal agencies partner with local communities and businesses to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, build private investment and improve public safety. All of this is being coordinated by the Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation where Jerry RIckett is president and CEO. He shared details with Tom Martin.