News

Associated Press

— Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin apologized Sunday for saying that children were sexually abused because they were left home alone while teachers rallied to ask lawmakers to override his vetoes.

The Republican issued his apology in a nearly four-minute video posted online, saying "it is not my intent to hurt anybody in this process, but to help us all move forward together."

Volunteers Bring Spring Cleaning to Kentucky

Apr 15, 2018
Mary Meehan

 

It turns out spring cleaning isn’t just for homes—it’s for entire regions of the commonwealth.

The non-profit group “Eastern Kentucky PRIDE” is holding its 20th annual Spring Cleanup this month.

An estimated more than 25,000 volunteers across 42 counties in eastern and southern Kentucky will clean up trash near homes, businesses, parks, and roadways.

PRIDE C.E.O. Tammie Wilson says more than 430,000 volunteers have participated in the Spring Cleanup over the past two decades.

Stu Johnson

The 2018 Kentucky General Assembly session ends today in an unusual Saturday session. The second to last day was a busy one.

The day began with a bit of deju vu as massive crowds of teachers inundated the capitol, lobbying for additional school funding. Lawmakers relatively quickly dispatched vetoes issued by Gov. Matt Bevin.  When the second to last day was done, House and Senate members had blocked Bevin’s vetoes on the budget, a tax bill and legislation to stretch pension payments for municipalities out over time.

KY Lawmakers Easily Override Governor's Veto

Apr 13, 2018
Kentucky.com

 

The Kentucky House of Representatives has overridden a veto from Gov. Matt Bevin to make it easier for some agencies to leave the state's troubled retirement system.

Mary Meehan

 

 

U.S. Congressman James Comer says the 2018 Farm Bill he helped introduce Thursday in the House agriculture committee is the most important piece of legislation to the agriculture industry. The bill increases work requirements for food-stamp benefits, preserves provisions for federal crop insurance and the conservation reserve program. Comer says the biggest change from the 2014 version is work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Lisa Gillespie

Kentucky’s local health departments are facing massive increases in pension costs starting in July. And this, many of them say, could cause them to have to lay off employees, cut back or even close public health programs as a result.

“This is a watershed moment for public health, it’s a tipping point, where we need to assess how we do business and look at every aspect of operations in local health departments and what can we do differently,” said Scott Lockard, the director of the Kentucky River District Health Department, which covers several eastern Kentucky counties.

Teachers Plan to Protest Again in Frankfort Friday

Apr 12, 2018

Teachers from across Kentucky are expected to converge on the state capitol again Friday/today as lawmakers return for the final days of the legislative session. Teachers are protesting pension cuts and encouraging lawmakers to override Gov. Bevin’s veto of the state budget. 

The statewide teachers union has called for lawmakers to override Gov. Matt Bevin’s vetoes of the two-year state budget and revenue bills, which set aside more funding for public education than Bevin’s proposed budget did. 
 

Stu Johnson

Professors, students, and staff at Eastern Kentucky University rallied in support of higher education Thursday in the heart of the Richmond campus.  

Stu Johnson

An array of Lexington officials is urging area residents to take dog bite prevention tips to heart.  It comes during a national observance of mail carrier related dog bite concerns.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is recommending $200,000 to fund the Fayette Mental Health Court over the next year.   It’s included in the budget he spelled out to council members Tuesday.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to block a new Kentucky law putting more restrictions on abortions.

The law bans a second trimester abortion procedure known as "dilation and evacuation."

During legislative debates, the bill's supporters called the procedure "gruesome.” 
 

Beshear, Teachers, Police Sue Bevin Over Changes To Public Pensions

Apr 11, 2018
wkms.org

A day after Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill overhauling retirement benefits for public workers, Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed a lawsuit to try and block it.

The statewide unions for public school teachers and police also joined the challenge.

 

 

 

 

Beshear argues the new law will lead to mass-retirement of current employees, creating an “imminent” threat to the state.

Old Lake Barkley Bridge Crumbles in Scheduled Demolition

Apr 11, 2018
wkms.org

The old Lake Barkley Bridge is no more. The explosive demolition of the 86 year old structure occurred Wednesday morning.

Spectators gathered in boats and along the shores of the eastern waterway connecting Land Between the Lakes and Trigg County to watch the detonation.

Mary Beth Baker of Trigg County had the winning $16,500 dollar bid in the Cadiz Rotary Auction to push the button that set off the explosion. After the demolition, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet workers checked the new, neighboring bridge for any debris.

Lexington Mayor Proposes $370 Million Budget

Apr 10, 2018
Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray presented his $370 million budget recommendations Tuesday for consideration by the urban county council. One significant expense is still being debated by lawmakers and the governor in Frankfort.

Mary Meehan

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams visited Florence, Kentucky today [Monday] to urge all Americans who are in contact with someone abusing opioids to learn how to administer the overdose drug, Naloxone.  

Bevin Says He Will Veto Tax Reform, Budget

Apr 9, 2018
Kentucky.com

Gov. Matt Bevin says he will veto the entire two-year state budget and revenue bills passed by the legislature last week, saying that the tax plan isn’t comprehensive enough and the budget spends too much money. 

Is fraud contagious? Can even the most honest employees become more likely to commit misconduct if they work alongside a dishonest individual? Will Gerken looked into the question.  Dr. Gerken is an assistant professor of finance at the University of Kentucky and he talked with Tom Martin.

Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

Billy Hobby’s days are largely filled by two things: church and pool.

“I play everyday, mostly,” Hobby said, sitting next to his wife, Barbara.

“Well, I enjoy watching him play,” Barbara Hobby said. “He’s got health problems, can’t go out of town and play all the time.”

 

 

Billy and Barbara were in Cadiz, Kentucky, about 20 miles from their home in Princeton so that the 86-year-old pool player could compete in a weekly tournament.

wkyt.com

What has been a very significant and, in some cases, deadly flu season appears to be winding down across the Commonwealth.  

State Epidemiologist Dr. Jonathan Ballard says data at the end of March showed 251 flu associated death including four pediatric deaths.  Ballard says that compares with 76 such deaths a year ago.  The state health official says it’s been a few years since Kentuckians have experienced a somewhat similar flu season.

Stu Johnson

The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents decision Friday to suspend a number of academic programs brought with it silent protests.  One of those involved EKU’s nursing program.

Mary Meehan

President Donald Trump says Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue will take the lead in handling current trade disputes with China. But Perdue, who is visiting Kentucky, is keeping his plan vague.

Perdue toured Lexington’s Keeneland racetrack followed by a gaggle of reporters. When asked whether crop insurance could be a way to help support farmers Perdue had this to say.

Eastern Kentucky University’s Board of Regent adopted a two-year, $25 million savings plan Friday.  It includes reducing Eastern’s workforce by about 140 jobs. Some of those jobs are currently vacant but 96 others will be cut. EKU President Michael Benson said the board faced a difficult task.

news.psu.edu

More than two dozen utility workers are expected to return to the bluegrass Friday after working to restore power in Puerto Rico.   Some 30 Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric employees spent more than a month in the hurricane ravaged U.S. territory.

Companies Warn Ky. Broadband Project Could Fall Apart Without Funding

Apr 6, 2018
wkms.org

Businesses that have invested in Kentucky’s delayed statewide broadband network are concerned that the budget passed by legislators earlier this week doesn’t provide enough certainty that the state will hold up its end of the public-private partnership.

 

Governor Bevin Vetoes Pension Phase In Measure

Apr 5, 2018
kentucky.com

Governor Matt Bevin has vetoed legislation allowing local governments to cover pension cost increases over time.  In his veto message, Bevin said it’s not the phase-in section of the measure which worries him.  The governor says some buy out provisions create too much risk to retirement systems and could burden taxpayers. 

Trump Visits West Virginia Hints at Utility Bailout

Apr 5, 2018
Associate Press

President Donald Trump today visited West Virginia for a roundtable discussion on the recently-passed tax bill. The president also indicated the administration is looking closely at a recent emergency request made by regional electric utility FirstEnergy.  

Trump told a crowd in White Sulphur Springs he is looking closely at a request by the Ohio-based utility for emergency aid to keep its struggling coal and nuclear plants running.


WKMS.org

The Democratic National Committee is paying close attention to recent teachers’ rallies in Kentucky and other states. 

Kentucky educators have been rallying at the state capitol in an effort to fight for their pension benefits and increased state support for public education. 
 

DNC chairman Tom Perez says the teacher rallies in Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma are inspiring. He says he’s glad to see teachers standing up and taking action. He told WKU Public Radio the renewed activism and energy is an opportunity for the Democratic party… 

Soy Vey! Ohio Valley Farmers Caught Up in Trade War

Apr 5, 2018
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

 

China buys more than half of the soybeans produced in the Ohio Valley. While a new 25 percent tariff is just a threat from the region's largest buyer, the signs of a trade war between President Trump’s tariff list and China’s has farmers caught in its crosshairs. This all comes as the US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue visits the region this week.

Each morning Davie Stevens wakes up to check commodities online, Wednesday morning was no different, except the market price of soybeans had dropped almost 40 cents.

“At a projected crop of 4.3 billions bushels of soybeans this year. Soybean farmers by overnight have lost 1.72 billion in value. So is it a big deal? It's a huge deal.”

 


FDA Weighs Pros and Cons of Vape Flavors

Apr 5, 2018
Vaping.com

In 2014, about one in four teens nationwide reported smoking an e-cigarette, which are lauded y the vaping industry as a safer alternative to cigarettes. But the Food ad Drug Administration is looking at potentially limiting or banning of these e-cigarette flavors.

For exaple, something called Cutwood that has hints of Golden Honey Graham cereal, roasted nut clusters creamy milk and sliced bananas.

Bureau of Prisons

The Bureau of Prisons has issued a record of decision signaling that it is moving ahead with plans to build a federal prison on the site of a former strip mine in the hills of Letcher County, Kentucky. But local opponents of the prison say they’re not giving up and are considering a legal challenge to prevent the construction of a new prison.

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