Governor Steve Beshear believes Kentucky should be willing to accept Syrian refugees as long as they are screened. 

Beshear comments came during a stop Monday in Lexington.  Governors from several states across the U.S. are expressing concern about accepting refugees. 

Beshear says the plight of these families deserves attention.   “If folks are truly refugees and not terrorists and truly are just looking for a safe haven, then truly Kentucky ought to step up with everybody else and do the Christian thing and that is to be your brother’s keeper,” said Beshear.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Kentuckians who complete the state’s substance abuse and chronic addiction recovery program now have a new aid in seeking employment.  The governor and first lady introduced the initiative Monday at Lexington’s Hope Center.  

Valvoline Breaks Ground on Global Headquarters in Lexington

Nov 16, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Valvoline has called Lexington home for more than three decades and now the company has decided to build its global headquarters in the bluegrass.  Corporate and government officials celebrated Monday with a ground breaking in Lexington.  President Sam Mitchell says the decision to stay in Lexington just reaffirms the company’s commitment to the community.  “It’s been our headquarters for the last 35 years, so we’re making a long term commitment to stay right here in Lexington,” said Mitchell.  “It’s a great place to live.  Our employees love it here and there’s a lot of talent here too, s

On Friday evening, we chose to preempt some of our evening programming, namely the Dinner Party Download, This American Life and SNAP Judgment so we could carry special coverage of the Paris attacks.  We’ve had numerous comments from listeners endorsing that choice. 

Among them is a tweet from Joe who wrote, “Great choice. Thank you for your continued excellence.”

Increased Deer Activity Means Greater Risks Along Roadways

Nov 16, 2015

It’s peak deer season across Kentucky.  That includes mating and hunting, as well as a spike in car accidents involving deer. During 2014, State Police Public Affairs Officer Kendra Wilson says there were more than 3,000 vehicle-deer collisions in Kentucky.  She says three people died in those crashes.  Wilson says deer are found along all roadways.  “It’s not limited to interstate travel," she said. "It’s not limited to back roads or rural areas.  Deer just saturate our areas just about everywhere."

Kentucky Grocery Shoppers Continue to Experience Spiked Egg Prices

Nov 16, 2015

The price for a dozen eggs in Kentucky has climbed substantially over the last few months.  The demand for eggs is only expected to increase.

Post Election GOP Rally

Nov 16, 2015

Fresh off a successful election season, Kentucky Republicans say they are dead-set on getting the entire state government under GOP control.

Party leaders met Saturday in Louisville to discuss next year’s election, plan for the looming presidential caucus and instate new chairman Mac Brown.

The newly elected state leaders, led by Governor-elect Matt Bevin, were in attendance.

Kentucky Joins Electronic Tolling Consortium

Nov 13, 2015


Kentucky is preparing to move into the electronic tolling age to help pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project near Louisville.  Tolling will begin about a year from now.

The aim is to keep traffic moving along all three crossings. The project is expected to be completed by the end of next year.  Area motorists can purchase a transponder, costing  about $15 , and have tolls automatically taken out of an account.  Those drivers without transponders will have their vehicle license plate photographed and sent a bill in the mail. 

Rich Copley, via Twitter

It’s time for our weekly chat with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader for a look at this weekend’s arts and cultural events.

With numerous plays opening and several concerts happening, Rich tells WEKU’s Jonese Franklin the Bluegrass is jam packed this weekend with things to do. 

Rich Copley covers arts and culture for the Lexington Herald Leader and, where you’ll find out more about the weekend’s events.

Consultant Studies Retail, Housing Opportunities Near UK

Nov 13, 2015

A housing and retail study of two Lexington corridors near the University of Kentucky is under review by city council members.  The 110 page consultant’s report focuses on Euclid Avenue, Avenue of Champions, and a portion of South Limestone.  Council briefly studied the report this week.

EKU Opens Regular Season at Home Against Coppin State

Nov 13, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team is hosting Coppin State Friday in its regular season opener.  

It’s a brand new season with a new coach.

Courtesy of Energy and Environment Cabinet

The Secretary of Kentucky’s Energy and Environment Cabinet has officially submitted his resignation to Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear. Secretary Len Peters’ last day in his position will be Dec. 7, which is also Beshear’s last day in office.

Peters’ resignation isn’t a surprise; as the head of a cabinet, his position is one that is typically appointed by the governor.

Although Governor-elect Matt Bevin, a Republican, hasn’t yet announced who he will choose to lead the Energy and Environment Cabinet, Peters included a farewell letter in the October issue of the cabinet’s magazine (which was published before the election) indicating he was planning on resigning no matter who took office.

Peters has led the cabinet since 2008. He’s a chemical engineer by training, and before working in state government he led the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He’s also held academic and administrative positions at the University of Kentucky and Virginia Tech.

Ryland Barton

The leader of the religious ministry constructing a massive replica of Noah’s Ark in Northern Kentucky says he won’t ask Governor-elect Matt Bevin to approve tax incentives for the project.

Instead, Answers in Genesis chief executive Ken Ham said he wants a federal court to rule on whether state tourism officials were right to decline more than $18 million in tax incentives for the project.

Lexington city council members are continuing to investigate ways to help taxi companies and transportation network businesses coexist.  TNC firms like Lyft and Uber have entered the transportation market in recent years.  They are regulated only under state law.  The public safety committee discussed the issue this week. Committee Chair Jennifer Mossotti asked Glenda George in the law department about TNC participation in local licensing.  “If they didn’t apply for a license we don’t know if they're legitimately operating, correct?” Asked Mossotti.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis has been laid to rest.  Thousands gathered Wednesday to pay tribute to the 33 year old who died last Friday after being shot while investigating a robbery.  Support for Ellis reached far beyond the central Kentucky community.

An estimated 5,000 people sat inside EKU’s Alumni Coliseum as Richmond police officer Casey Scott opened the ceremony with a rendition of ‘My Old Kentucky Home.’ 

The WEKU stations will provide "live" coverage of the funeral service for fallen Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis Wednesday morning beginning at 11:00.  

The radio broadcast, anchored by WEKU's John Hingsbergen and Roger Duvall, will continue until the end of the service being held at Eastern Kentucky University's Alumni Coliseum.

From the program for the service:

My Old Kentucky Home

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

A longtime proponent of abolishing the death penalty, Sister Helen Prejean, brought her message to Lexington Catholic High School students Tuesday. Prejean’s central Kentucky visit comes as public safety officers and community members prepare to pay last respects to a fallen Richmond police officer. 

Lexington Police Could Wear Body Cams By Next Summer

Nov 11, 2015

The city of Lexington is working toward a plan that would equip all police officers with body cameras next year. The council’s planning and public safety committee got an update Tuesday.

Mountain Parkway Expansion Meeting to Focus on Two Options

Nov 10, 2015

Eastern Kentucky residents will have a chance next week to learn more about options for widening the Mountain Parkway between Salyersville and Prestonsburg.  One option would add two lanes along the existing corridor, and the other would be to develop a new route just north of Kentucky 114.

Mark Cornelison / Lexington Herald Leader

State Auditor-elect Mike Harmon says he will continue outgoing Auditor Adam Edelen’s investigation of untested rape kits in the state.

Thousands are expected at Eastern Kentucky University’s Alumni Coliseum Tuesday and Wednesday to pay their final respects to Daniel Ellis, the Richmond police officer shot and killed in the line of duty last week.

Visitation is Tuesday from 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.  at the Coliseum, with funeral services at the same site at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Bond has been set at $2.5 million for the ex-convict accused of last week's ambush killing of Richmond police officer Daniel Ellis. Authorities say the suspect, Raleigh Sizemore Jr., has pleaded not guilty to charges including murder of a police officer during a court arraignment Monday in Frankfort.

Next year, state funding will enable the Fayette County Women, Infants, and Children program to provide clients transportation to area farmers’ markets.  A portion of the $3,000 grant will help pay for bus tokens that will be distributed to clients. Fayette County WIC Program Coordinator Rebekah Shoopman says the aim is to get more fresh produce into the hands of women and their children.  “They don’t always have a car or some way to get to the market," Shoopman said.

WEKU, the public radio service of Eastern Kentucky University, is among seven public media stations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia that will share a $445,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to establish an Ohio River Regional Journalism Collaboration. 

Kentucky governor-elect Matt Bevin has been vocal in his support for so-called "right-to-work" legislation.  On this week's show, we'll discuss the issue as well as the role of labor unions in Kentucky.

Send your questions, comments and personal stories before the show to:, post below or on the Facebook page.  You can send a tweet @wekuest or leave a voicemail at 859-622-1657.

On Thursday morning, Facebook visitor Peter posted, “Eastern Standard is interviewing a homeopathic doctor about the flu and vaccinations. Are you kidding me? Why not interview a faith healer while you're at it?” To which, Erik commented, “Not just a homeopath, a quantum nutritionist, whatever the hell that means.”   

That entire show is of course available at WEKU dot fm or downloadable as a podcast.

Listener Lee, from Lexington, responded to Tuesday night’s election coverage…

Central Kentucky Public Safety Officers Honor Fallen Comrade

Nov 6, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Police and other first responders gathered Friday along central Kentucky interstate overpasses to show support for a fallen Richmond police officer.  The gesture was to recognize Officer Daniel Ellis who was shot in the head Wednesday morning while investigating a robbery.

Dylan Buell / Courier Journal

Governor-elect Matt Bevin on Friday announced the early priorities of his administration: dismantling the state-run health insurance exchange and removing county clerks’ names from marriage licenses.

In his first news conference since the election on Tuesday, Bevin said he hopes to have Kentucky’s health insurance exchange, Kynect, dismantled by the end of next year.

“It adds no value,” he said.

Bevin said Kynect  is “redundant” because the state can instead participate in the federal health insurance exchange. But if the state switches to the federal exchange, Kentuckians will have to pay a 3.5 percent surcharge on insurance policies. Since the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2013, Kentuckians pay a 1 percent surcharge that funds the Kynect.

A Richmond police officer who was shot in the head while searching for a robbery suspect has died.

In a statement, Kentucky State Police Trooper Robert Purdy says 33-year-old Richmond Police Officer Daniel Ellis died early Friday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

Ellis had remained in the hospital after suffering life-threatening injuries following the shooting Wednesday morning.

Ellis and another officer went to a Richmond apartment, where police say the suspect, 34-year-old Raleigh Sizemore Jr., opened fire on Ellis. The second officer returned fire and struck Sizemore. He was treated at the hospital and released to police custody.

Sizemore was charged with attempted murder of a police officer and unlawful imprisonment first degree. His charge will likely be upgraded to murder.

Two others in the apartment during the shootout were also arrested.

KSP Spokesman trooper Robert Purdy told the Lexington Herald Leader that information on funeral arrangements will be released after services are planned over the next few days.

Lexington Council to Split $4M in Surplus Among Districts

Nov 6, 2015

Lexington’s city council has made some decisions on how to spend some $7 million in surplus funds.  The council voted Thursday night to set aside $4 million to be divided up equally among all 15 members. 

Council member Bill Farmer argued the approach may fall short of full disclosure perceptions.  “I think it’s important for us to make decisions on behalf of the community, with the community being present and giving input rather than running to our favorite spending list upstairs and making decisions that are not really part of what may be better for the whole,” said Farmer.