New EKU Student Group to Hear from Violence Survivors

Apr 4, 2016

A new student-based organization at Eastern Kentucky University is looking to hear from survivors of violence. Organizers of Students Against Violence at EKU, or SAVE, are staging their first meeting Tuesday night. Sierrah Anderson, EKU sponsor for the student group, says it’s about increasing awareness and involving students in changing the campus climate. 

Focus On Business: Vincent Smith on SCORE

Apr 4, 2016

Tom Martin talks with Vincent Smith, chair of the Lexington Chapter of “SCORE,” an organization of volunteer business mentors helping small businesses and startups work through business issues.

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From the Listener Comment Line, “Whoever the gentleman was that just made a reference to the Spoonbread Festival controversy in Berea, accidentally referred to it in the first phrase of the All Things Considered report that it was a decision made by the Berea City Council. That’s not correct. "

Bourbon Barrel Expansion in West Ky.

Apr 4, 2016

A company that produces bourbon barrels is expanding their operations in Kentucky, investing $12 million dollars in a new mill in Marshall County.

The American Stave Company is bringing around 48 full-time jobs to the area. The mill will produce wooden staves that will then be shipped to the company's cooperages to make bourbon and whiskey barrels.

Ky. General Assembly Backs Additional 9-1-1 Funding

Apr 4, 2016


The Kentucky General Assembly has taken action to help localities across the Commonwealth maintain emergency 9-1-1 services.  It comes with increased costs for some cell phone users.

State Budget Impasse Remains an Issue

Apr 4, 2016

Kentucky lawmakers are deadlocked on a state budget but have to come up with a compromise by April 15th—the last day the state constitution allows them to meet.  If the stalemate continues, state government could be partially shut down. 

Leaders of the Democratic-led House refuse to accept cuts to K-12 and higher education proposed by Senate Republicans and Gov. Matt Bevin. GOP leaders say the cuts are necessary to put more money into the state’s ailing pension system. 

Attorney General Tells Bevin To Rescind Education Cuts, Threatens Suit

Apr 1, 2016

A day after Republican Gov. Matt Bevin issued an order cutting the state’s current contribution to higher education by 4.5 percent, Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear said that move is illegal.

In a news conference late Friday afternoon, Beshear — the state’s top law enforcement official — told Bevin to rescind his order, which made the cuts to state colleges and universities. He said if the governor did not do so within seven days, his office would file suit.

Rice Leach, Lifelong Public Health Professional Remembered

Apr 1, 2016
Fayette County Health Department

Lexington Commissioner of Health Rice Leach passed away Friday morning following a battle with cancer.   

A Kentucky native with public health professional experience at the federal, state, and local levels, Leach served as state public health commissioner from 1992 to 2004. 


Louisville State Representative and retired surgeon Bob DeWeese put Leach’s impact in six words.  “That was his life, public health."


Reaction to Governor Bevin's Higher Ed Funding Cut

Apr 1, 2016

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s executive order cutting all state universities’ funding by four point five percent in the current fiscal year is drawing reaction from the higher education community.  That includes officials at Eastern Kentucky University.

Shaker's ‘Mammoth Bones’ Exhibit Opens This Weekend

Apr 1, 2016

Shaker Village in central Kentucky is opening an exhibit of mammoth proportions this weekend.  The brand new display brings attention to a Shaker find from the 1800’s.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Thousands of Kentuckians have erroneously received letters notifying them that they would no longer receive state benefits like Medicaid or food stamps.

Meanwhile, access to the new state system that handles those programs has been restricted and service spotty in many instances, leading to long wait times, frustration and a loss of benefits for countless Kentuckians.

Anti-Violence Advocates Applaud Passage of Kentucky’s SAFE Act

Mar 31, 2016

Advocates of survivors of sexual assault are hailing passage of the SAFE Act during the current Kentucky legislative session.  The Sexual Assault Forensic Exam measure addresses a backlog of more than 3,000 untested rape kits and calls for more training and data collection.  Gretchen Hunt is director of the Attorney General’s Office of Victim Advocacy.  “So many rape cases are truly acts of serial rapists and the sooner we can identify those individuals and bring about justice, the more sexual assaults we can prevent in the future,” said Hunt.

Ky. Workgroup to Review State Water System

Mar 31, 2016

    Tom Fitzgerald with the Kentucky Resources Council will support the workgroup. Fitzgerald says the most recent evaluation of Kentucky’s water systems shows no major problems.  “There’s no particular issue that I’m aware of that drove creation of the group,” said Fitzgerald.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

State lawmakers have once again called off budget negotiations, hoping to hammer out a compromise on Thursday.

Lawmakers met in small groups privately on Wednesday afternoon, but they provided no indication that they were any closer to an agreement by the end of the day.

Sen. Chris McDaniel, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, offered no details of which parts of the budget lawmakers still couldn’t agree on.

EKU Announces Plans for Football Stadium Upgrades

Mar 30, 2016

Work is expected to begin this summer on a $10 million upgrade to Eastern Kentucky University’s Roy Kidd Football Stadium.  In addition to 3,000 new bleacher seats, the facility will also feature a new locker room, equipment room and game day training area.  EKU Deputy Athletics Director Matt Roan says total capacity will be about 15,000.  “It’s one thing to have a stadium that holds 40,000 people, but it’s a quarter of the way full," Roan said.

Kentucky Budget Negotiations Coming Down to the Wire

Mar 30, 2016
J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL

Lawmakers are still trying to produce a compromise budget to delineate $22 billion in state spending over the next two years.

Leaders from the Republican-led House and the Democratic-led Senate have spent much of the last week trying to come up with a final version of the budget.

Partisan squabbling and disagreements over how to fix the state’s ailing pension systems and whether to cut higher education spending have complicated negotiations at the closure of the legislative session.

College Tuition Rates Featured During State Budget Talks

Mar 30, 2016


Budget talks this week in Frankfort have focused quite a bit on funding for the state’s colleges and universities, and the impact on tuition rates.  

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Members of the Kentucky House and Senate will not meet in session Wednesday, but budget negotiations will continue.  After talks came to a standstill this week, leaders from both chambers decided to work on the spending plan Wednesday and likely Thursday, and then call members back into session on Friday.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo was asked if this strategy would work.  “If it doesn’t work, it won’t be because we didn’t try,” Stumbo said.  “This is pretty normal in the closing days of a lot of sessions, there is a little bit of confusion.  We are working very desperately to get a budget,

Kentuckians who have committed certain felony offenses would be able to clear their records under a bill that passed the state Senate Tuesday. The bill’s passage marked a milestone for the Senate, which has largely ignored the issue for more than a decade.

The new policy would apply to 61 Class D felonies, which constitute about 70 percent of Class D felonies committed.

Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a Republican from Hopkinsville, shepherded the bill through the Senate.

Governor Calls Out Stumbo, Democrats on State Budget Impasse

Mar 29, 2016
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Republican Governor Matt Bevin and GOP legislative leaders held a news conference Tuesday morning to address the state budget standoff. Bevin said House democrats are unwilling to compromise on the spending plan. He maintained that all parts of the budget are up for negotiating.  “We are here, we are in session,” Bevin said.  “We will be here at any hour, on any day for the next two weeks to meet at any time to talk about this issue.”

Omnibus Alcohol Bill Moves Toward Final Approval

Mar 29, 2016

Legislation impacting Kentucky’s bourbon, beer, and wine industries appears headed for final passage.  The omnibus alcohol measure won House approval by a vote of 76 to 20 on Monday.   

Wilder Representative Dennis Keene says the bill supports growing businesses.  “This bill will expand current licensing and provide for new ones, and provide needed support for our bed and breakfasts, our distillers, our brewers, and most of all our small farm wineries,” said Keene.

Natural Hair Braiders' Bill Goes to Governor Bevin

Mar 29, 2016


Legislation that aims to help natural hair braiders in Kentucky has won the support of both Houses of the state General Assembly. The legislature Monday easily approved a measure that would exempt hair braiders from cosmetology regulations.

Eastern Standard

  Some experts are claiming that human beings are entering and staying in adolescence longer than ever before.

On this week’s Eastern Standard, we’ll discuss this modern phenomenon and we’re interested in hearing your stories, comments and questions.

Write to us now at or call 859-622-1657 and leave a message. You can also post you comment below in the "comments" box or on the WEKU Facebook page. Send a tweet @wekuest

Stumbo: Compromise on State Budget Unlikely

Mar 28, 2016


Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo is suggesting that the current general assembly session may end without passage of a state budget. House and Senate budget conferees met during a public session Monday afternoon. 

Stumbo says the prospects of reaching agreement on a spending plan are slim.   “Well, I thought this morning there was a glimmer of hope, but it seems that’s vanished in the afternoon session," Stumbo said. "So I think we’re still light years apart."

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Sharp Learning Curve for New House Members

Mar 28, 2016

  The last few days of Kentucky's legislative session seem to be moving in spurts.  That may be felt even more by the House’s newest members.

Four members of the Kentucky House started serving in Frankfort on March 15, following special elections held to fill vacant seats. Retired Greenup judge Lewis Nicholls says there are significant differences between the House floor and a courtroom.  “It’s a whole different set of procedures and the information that they’ve given to us," he said. "It’s kind of like drinking from a fire hose."

House, Senate Budget Negotiations Resume Monday

Mar 28, 2016

House and Senate conferees will go back to the table Monday to continue working toward a state budget agreement.  One of the remaining points of contention is funding for higher education. Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer said on Friday that it was difficult to predict what a compromise would look like.  “That’s why we have a conference committee and it would be premature for me to comment at this time as to where that’s gonna go,” said Thayer.

The White House says President Barack Obama has telephoned the parents of a Lexington native and her husband who died in last week's terror attacks in Brussels.


The White House says Obama offered his condolences Sunday and praised Stephanie Shults and her husband Justin as epitomizing all that was good about America.

The Kentucky House on Friday approved a Senate bill aimed at giving the city of Louisville more authority in dealing with dilapidated housing.  Louisville Representative Jerry Miller says there are some 6,000 vacated properties in the river city.  “These areas unfortunately were hard hit by the recession and they’ve not bounced back," Miller said.  "So what we have are just some properties where the copper and all the metal has been stolen out of them. It is a true crisis in Louisville.”

State Budget Negotiations Continue

Mar 25, 2016
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Kentucky House and Senate leaders are continuing negotiations on a compromise $21 billion two-year state budget.  Conferees worked through a number of issues Friday, but no firm decisions are expected just yet.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo says each side has key sticking points.  “We have large philosophical differences in how we should spend these tax dollars, obviously between the two chambers, and I don’t know if those are insurmountable,” said Stumbo.