Mary Meehan

There is a fundamental disagreement over how radioactive waste at an Estill County landfill should be handled.  

Resident Mary Farmer spoke at Tuesday’s press conference at the Estill County Fair Grounds. She says Advanced Disposal knew it was placing citizens at risk by bringing the material into the county.  Farmer says the landfill operator should be responsible for taking it out.


As the country struggles through one of the worst flu seasons in a decade, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering free flu shots as there have already been nearly 5,300 flu cases across the Commonwealth, including 102 deaths.

Health department spokesman Kevin Hall says although flu season peaks in February, cases pop up as late as April or May. So it’s not too late to minimize exposure.

Meeting Planned On Radioactive Dumping In Irvine

Feb 9, 2018
Google Earth

A citizen's group will hold a public meeting Monday to discuss the proposal  from state environmental officials  for cleaning up radioactive waste dumped in an Estill County landfill in 2015. 

Members of Concerned Citizens of Estill County will explain their preferred methods of dealing with the waste at the Blue Ridge Landfill and answer questions.

Second Chance Employment

Feb 9, 2018

Join our new host, Tom Martin as he discusses the hardships of finding gainful employment for anyone with a criminal record, or disability, and the companies that are available to help in that process. With him in studio is David Boggs the President and CEO of O.W.L. (Opportunities for Work and Learning), and on the phone with Robert Perez, owner and operator of DV8 Kitchen in Lexington. 

This week on Eastern Standard, Second Chance Employment. Aired Thursday, 02-08-2018, rebroadcast Sunday , 02-11-2018.

Another weekly news conference on a proposed dollar increase in the state’s cigarette tax was held Thursday at the state capitol.  The Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky has been sponsoring a series of events, designed to raise awareness about the tax proposal.  Speakers this week talked about the high percentage of people with mental illness who smoke.  

Ramona Johnson is CEO of Bridgehaven Mental Health Services in Louisville. “Helping them to break that addiction and stop smoking then gives them some disposable income that they’ve not had before,” said Johnson.

A Kentucky House panel has reviewed state tax credits tied to private investments for businesses in the Commonwealth. A leading state economic official also spoke of future business growth   in eastern Kentucky.

The agenda item pointed to discussion about the so called “angel” investor program, and modifications found in legislation filed this session. 

Deal Keeps Cats At Rupp Through 2033

Feb 8, 2018

A deal signed today insures that the Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball team will be playing at Rupp Arena through the 2033 season.

The agreement was signed today by Lexington Center Corporation and university officials. It details that Big Blue Madness, Blue/White Games, some women’s basketball games and Winter and Spring Commencements will also be at the downtown arena.


A popular destination in west Kentucky partially destroyed by a fire this week is offering a look at the damage. Patti’s 1880’s Settlement in Grand Rivers posted a video on Facebook walking through the restaurant where the fire broke out Monday morning. The video shows the burnt remains of the kitchen, aerial footage of the severely damaged roof and water and smoke damage in other areas. Marketing Director Ann Martin addressed the more than 200 employees that work at the restaurant.

Kentucky employers would be required to provide workers with, quote, “reasonable accommodations” if they become pregnant under a bill that passed out of a legislative committee today.

Senate Bill 38 would require employers to give women the opportunity to transfer to less strenuous duties and other accommodations. 

Florence police officer Lyndi Trischler was put on unpaid leave when she became pregnant.

The Kentucky House Natural Resources Committee has advanced a controversial bill that would scale back Kentucky’s solar net metering program, an effort to compensate households with solar panels for putting energy back on the power grid. 

State law requires power companies to compensate those households with credits that can be used on future power bills. 

But under House Bill 227, the value of those credits would be reduced from the retail price of power to the wholesale price—a reduction of about two-thirds. 

Demolition Means Street Closures In Frankfort

Feb 8, 2018

As the long-awaited demolition of Capitol Plaza Complex begins, motorists will be facing some detours in Frankfort.  The changes begin Thursday.

During the first phase of demolition, Clinton Street will be closed between Wilkinson Boulevard and St. Clair Street. It will remained closed for five weeks. In addition to rerouting street traffic, several parking options will also be eliminated temporarily. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is working with the contractor to help drivers navigate the necessary street closures and detours.

Immigration Court Expansion in Ohio Valley Region

Feb 8, 2018
Stu Johnson

With Congress in a heated immigration debate, the Ohio Valley region is adding to its immigration courts. Sources within the Justice Department say Kentucky will have a new immigration court operating in Louisville as soon as April, and Ohio is adding additional judges to handle deportations and other immigration cases. The changes in immigration policy have left many people with an uncertain future.

House Panel Passes Gang Recruitment Measure

Feb 8, 2018
Stu Johnson

Legislation focusing on slowing gang recruitment across Kentucky got widespread support in a House committee Wednesday.  It calls for tougher penalties and longer sentences for those convicted of crimes tied to gangs.

Lexington Representative Robert Benvenuti calls gang-related activities the “most critical public protection issue facing the state today.”  Todd Phillips works in Lexington’s police gang unit. “It allows us to have the opportunity to have something with more teeth when we go after those gang members that are the most serious and most involved,” said Phillips

The commissioner for the State Department of Medicaid Services says targeted information about recent Medicaid changes will be coming to recipients in the next month or so.

Stu Johnson

A Kentucky senate committee has unanimously backed legislation which could help grow the state’s “blowout bar” offerings.

The Kentucky House Budget Committee acted Tuesday to put $7 million into an emergency school loan fund.  It’s aimed at helping 12 eastern Kentucky school districts struggling with coal-related financial issues.

If enacted, school districts could each tap into the loan fund for up to a half million dollars this fiscal year.  Money for the already existing fund comes from excess per pupil dollars in the seek program, the primary funding method for k through 12. 

Black Lung Study Finds Biggest Cluster Ever Of Fatal Coal Miners’ Disease

Feb 6, 2018

Stu Johnson

Kentucky Habitat for Humanity is launching a three-year initiative aimed at accelerating construction of affordable housing.  Habitat is joining about 50 non-profit housing providers.  The formal announcement of the 2020 Housing Vision project came Monday at the state capitol.

Governor Matt Bevin says the Commonwealth’s homelessness problem is troubling.  “Kentucky has more homeless students per capita than any state in America.  What a tragic and terrible statistic to lead the nation in.  This is why this matters.  Every single bit of it matters,” said Bevin.

Stu Johnson

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has named a veteran law enforcement officer to head the Division of Police.  A packed city hall lobby welcomed the news that Lawrence Weathers will be the city’s new police chief.

Mayor Jim Gray noted the community support before offering his formal remarks. “I will tell you something right out of the gate Lawrence, before we even talk that, this is by far the largest crowd that we have ever had in this room,” said Gray to an applauding audience.

Gov. Matt Bevin has announced a new website for Kentuckians to find help for drug addiction and search for treatment centers. has a search engine that allows users to find treatment centers based on location, facility type and type of treatment needed. 

 Bevin has launched an advertising campaign geared towards spreading awareness about the website and opioid addiction.

Kentucky lawmakers are considering legislation to help prevent ‘end of life’ pain medications from getting into the wrong hands.  The measure is backed by Kentucky’s palliative care groups. 

Kentucky Deer Population Challenges

Feb 5, 2018

The commissioner for Kentucky’s Department for Fish and Wildlife says it’s hard to predict how soon the state’s deer population will rebound from a decimating disease. Greg Johnson offered testimony last week to a House subcommittee.

Peabody Energy, Inc., via Wikimedia Common

Stu Johnson

Legislation calling for state regulation of online eye exams using a cell phone app has emerged from the House Health and Family Services Committee.  

The measure calls for, among other things, simultaneous interaction with a doctor and in-person exams every two years.  Dr. Ben Gaddie is an optometrist in Louisville. “Blinding eye diseases have no symptoms.  In fact, about 85 percent of all blinding eye diseases have no symptoms until it’s too late,” said Gaddie.


Three lawmakers have been added to a committee considering a controversial bill that would scale back incentives for homes with solar panels. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton says the move might help extend the life of the bill, which has been controversial. 

The net metering bill has been on the agenda of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee twice, but hasn’t gotten a vote—possibly signaling there aren’t enough votes for it yet. 

Kentucky Senate Passes Terrorism Related Measure

Feb 2, 2018
Stu Johnson

The Kentucky Senate has unanimously backed legislation making  terrorism a capital offense in Kentucky.  The bill sponsor says it’s a measure focusing on victim compensation and not terrorism prevention.

Cheri Lawson

Co-creators of the social justice artwork “Unlearn Fear and Hate” hosted their first coloring party in conjunction with the Lexington Public Library .

As WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports , dozens of people from all walks of life showed up for the first in a series of six parties 

Stu Johnson

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson has made his case for state financial support during what’s shaping up to be a very difficult budget year.  Benson testified before the House Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education. 

Unique HIV Testing Campaign Begins

Feb 1, 2018



A new HIV campaign in the Louisville area will pay people to be tested for the virus. 

The campaign is being managed by Volunteers of America, which will pay $10 to people who test themselves and another $15 if they refer others for testing. Funding comes from the Centers for Disease Control. 
Program Manager Marshall Keller says the campaign can make a big difference in Louisville. 


State lawmakers are once again considering a bill that would scale back how much homeowners with solar panels get reimbursed for putting energy back into the electrical grid, although  the legislation has stalled for the time-being.