Lexington Council Gives First Reading to Minimum Wage Hike

Nov 6, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Lexington council members have given first reading to an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 over three years.  Final action is expected November 19.

Efforts to amend the proposal came during Thursday night’s meeting. Council member Jennifer Scutchfield sought to exclude businesses with 50 employees or less from the hike.  “Your Walmarts, your McDonald’s, they’re large corporations," said Scutchfield. "They’re able to handle this a little bit better.  These small companies, they can’t."

Kentucky motorists could soon see more electronic LED billboards along area roads.  The Legislative Transportation Committee on Thursday reviewed an administrative regulation on the matter.  That was the last step before it officially became effective.  It sets a policy for erecting electronic billboards, including provisions for cutting vegetation around the signs.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis has lost another bid to delay issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday denied her latest request for a reprieve.

Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage in June. Four couples sued her, and U.S. District Judge David Bunning then ordered her to issue the licenses. He later clarified his order to include all couples, not just the four who filed suit.

The team advising Republican Gov.-elect Matt Bevin includes a Brown-Forman executive, a former Supreme Court justice and a former political rival whose allies once aired ads attacking Bevin's business record.

Bevin announced Thursday that Brown-Forman Vice President J. McCauley "Mac" Brown will lead his transition team. Bevin was elected Tuesday with more than 52 percent of the vote. He will be sworn in on Dec. 8.

Few saw it coming.

Leading into Tuesday’s elections, political prognosticators were predicting a close race for governor of Kentucky. If anything, public polling suggested a slight edge for Democrat Jack Conway.

But GOP candidate Matt Bevin defeated Conway by 9 percentage points, leading to elation for Republicans gathered in Louisville on Tuesday and deflation among Democrats watching results in Frankfort.

Upsets happen. But statewide polls — most notably the Bluegrass Poll, conducted by Survey USA in partnership with four state media outlets — were way off this election cycle, just as they were in Kentucky in 2014.

@KYGOP via Twitter

The dirt on the grave of Democrat Jack Conway’s campaign is still fresh, but Republicans already have their sights set on the state House.

Republicans captured the Kentucky governor’s mansion for only the second time in more than four decades, and they have control of the state Senate. But Democrats still have an eight-person majority in the House.

“On the horizon, what should really be concerning for Democrats is their ability to hold onto the state House of Representatives in 2016,” said Kentucky Republican Party Chair Steve Robertson.

Governor-Elect Matt Bevin Aims to Change Political ‘Tenor’ in Kentucky

Nov 4, 2015

A candidate who barely made it out of the primary ended up leading Kentucky Republicans to one of their most successful election days in recent history.

Matt Bevin will be just the second Republican governor of Kentucky since 1971, a distinction he earned Tuesday with 53 percent of the vote — 9 percentage points better than Democrat Jack Conway. Independent Drew Curtis had less than 4 percent of the vote.

Police identified the Richmond police officer wounded in a shootout with a robbery suspect as Daniel Ellis, a 7-year veteran of the force.

Kentucky State Police investigators say Ellis was shot in the head at an apartment while searching for a man suspected of trying to mug a woman in a gas station parking lot several hours earlier. He suffered life-threatening injuries and remains hospitalized.

Independent Drew Curtis Unsure of Political Future

Nov 4, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    The political future of independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis is difficult to predict.  In fact it appears to be a 50-50 proposition for the Versailes resident.

Kentucky clerk Kim Davis asked a federal appeals court to scrap a series of unfavorable rulings issued by the district judge who sent her to jail.

In a 126-page filing with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Monday, Davis' attorneys called U.S. District Court Judge David Bunning's order that Davis license same-sex marriage a "rush to judgment" that trampled the clerk's religious liberty.

WEKU brings you complete coverage of the 2015 Election throughout the evening. 

Stay with us for hourly updates from NPR followed by reports from Kentucky Public Radio at four minutes past each hour, starting at 7:04.

Brilliant Sunshine Greets Voters Across Kentucky

Nov 3, 2015

Tuesday is an unseasonably warm fall day across the Commonwealth.  It’s also Election Day as Kentuckians go to the polls to choose a new governor and several other state officials.

Lexington resident Jim Love voted Tuesday morning at Tates Creek High School. With predictions of low voter turnout, Love shared his own ideas of what could help boost participation.  “I guess have more charismatic candidates that want to support the people and represent the people,” said Love.


As statewide political races go, the 2015 general election campaign in Kentucky has lacked the exciting moments or game-changing controversies that grab voters’ attention, political observers say.

Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Jack Conway spent Monday campaigning throughout the state in last-minute bids to drum up support. Some local elections officials are expecting turnout in the 40 percent range. Others are expecting much less.

Nonetheless, the state’s chief elections officer is optimistic that Kentuckians will turn out to the polls on Tuesday.

Ky. Secretary of State Ups Prediction of Voter Turnout

Nov 2, 2015

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says there’s been a surge in the number of people voting absentee this election. 

Grimes says because of the spike, she’s now predicting Tuesday's voter turnout will equal or even exceed that of the last governor’s race. 

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins says absentee voting is not a guaranteed predictor of participation.  “There’s a loose correlation between absentee turnout and the actual turnout at the election," said Blevins. "I don’t know that it tracks exactly one for one, so it’s gonna be hard to say.” 

Independent Candidate for Governor Relaxed on Election Eve

Nov 2, 2015

Independent gubernatorial candidate Drew Curtis isn’t making any solid predictions about voter turnout for Tuesday’s election. Curtis, founder of the news aggregation site, says predicting his placement in the three man race is difficult.  “Right now I’m gonna call low end two percent, high end 15 percent," Curtis said. "The real question mark here is what’s the turnout gonna be like? Because the lower the turnout, the better I’m gonna do because all of my people are coming.” 

Mayor Jim Gray Denies KKK Affiliation

Nov 2, 2015

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray issued a statement on Monday strongly denying that he has any ties to the Ku Klux Klan after an anonymous hacker released his name as one of several U-S elected officials with alleged ties to the hate group.

The flu season of October 2014 through May 2015 was one of the most severe in recent years. This year’s flu season has kicked off with the first cases being reported in Jefferson and Kenton counties.

On this week’s show, we'll focus on the flu season already upon us and the efforts we can all make to avoid catching the bug.

Guests: Dr. Kraig Humbaugh- Deputy Public Health Commissioner for the Kentucky Department of Public Health.

Phyllis Bryden - Associate Professor of Health Promotion and Administration. 

If you go online to ArtsCouncil-dot-ky-dot-gov, you’ll find a trove of information about programs and resources available to anybody interested in participating in Kentucky’s creative industry.  In 2014, the Kentucky Arts Council produced an in-depth report on this sector of our economy and the report has served as a roadmap for Lori Meadows in her role as executive director of the Kentucky Arts Council.  She spoke with Tom Martin.

First up, thanks to Facebook fan Mick Jeffries of Lexington who posted, “Don't miss Lexington's own Kurt Gohde talking about the Kentucky Meat Shower on America's Test Kitchen on 88.9 WEKU between 11-noon!” 

For those who missed it, we’ve posted a link to this week’s America’s Test Kitchen within our web post of this week’s Feedback at WEKU dot FM.

Keeneland Kicks Off November Sale

Nov 2, 2015

Keeneland racecourse in Lexington took center stage over the weekend for the 32nd Breeders Cup Championships.  Now the historic track remains in the limelight with the launch of the November Breeding Stock Sale.  Keeneland Spokeswoman Amy Gregory says the event is likely to keep some Breeders Cup attendees in town for a little longer.  “We sell broodmares, weanlings, stallion prospects, horses of racing age," she said. "It’s the premiere sale of its kind in the world and a lot of the owners and trainers that are here for Breeders Cup will also attend this sale.”


Reporters and photographers from around the world came to Keeneland last week.  Among them was Ron Flatter. Flatter is a freelance radio reporter from California, who currently lives in New York, and works for Australia’s Racing and Sport Network. 

Breeders Cup at Keeneland Doesn’t Disappoint

Nov 1, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


For horse racing fans in Kentucky and elsewhere, this year’s Breeders Cup Championships came off just as advertised.  American Pharoah made one more historic run.

The traditional bugle call only further hyped up a huge Keeneland crowd.  Moments later, spectators saw the Triple Crown winner set a track record, pull away down the stretch and take the Breeders Cup Classic in record time.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — American Pharoah is going out on top.


The first Triple Crown winner in 37 years gave a commanding performance in the Breeders' Cup Classic, pulling away down the stretch to win the final race of his career.

Jockey Victor Espinoza sent American Pharoah to the lead coming out of the gate and guided him to the wire-to-wire win over the mile and a quarter at Keeneland. His time of 2:00.07 set a track record.

Effinex finished second by 6 1/2 lengths and Honor Code was third.


Saturday afternoon in Lexington, a thoroughbred champion will run in his final race.

For many people, American Pharoah has already accomplished a feat previously unseen in their lifetime: The thoroughbred is the first Triple Crown winner since 1978. On Saturday, he could take an unprecedented leap into the history books by winning the Breeders Cup Classic.

Fans Come From All Over for Keeneland Breeders Cup

Oct 30, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Racing fans came out in large numbers Friday for the first four races in 2015’s end-of-year championships.  Among them was Bud Ferguson from Lombard Illinois, just outside Chicago.  He won in an earlier race and told WEKU’S Stu Johnson he expects an upset in Saturday’s final race, the Breeder’s Cup Classic.

“Do you think American Pharoah’s gonna do it?,” asked Johnson.

“No, I think this Irish colt, Glenn Eagles, trained by Aidan O’Brian and ridden by Ryan Moore.  He’s number one in Europe. I think he’s gonna take it,” said Ferguson.

Jack Conway Makes Careful Run for Governor

Oct 30, 2015


One of the most significant moments of Attorney General Jack Conway’s career was his refusal in 2014 to appeal the state’s same-sex marriage ban in federal court.

It was a bold move in Kentucky, where polls have shown that most of the state’s likely voters disapprove of same-sex marriage. During his campaign this year for governor, Conway has had to answer to critics who say he shirked his duty by not defending a state law.

Eastern Travels to #1 Jacksonville State Saturday

Oct 30, 2015

With the top spot in the Ohio Valley Conference on the line, Eastern Kentucky University on Saturday takes on number one Jacksonville State University.  Both teams are 4-0 in the league. During this week’s OVC teleconference, EKU Coach Dean Hood said the Gamecocks are solid in every aspect of the game.  “No question they’re the number one team in the nation and deserved so," Hood said. "I thought a year ago when we played them that they were the best FCS football team we’ve ever played.” 

Matt Bevin Running For Governor On His Own Terms

Oct 29, 2015


One of the more unusual moments of the 2015 race for governor came in August during the Fancy Farm Picnic, famous for its unruly crowds.

Republican Matt Bevin approached the lectern where for decades Kentucky candidates faced deafening heckles and jeers — and asked the audience to join him in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Fancy Farm speech and other moments this election cycle depict a candidate who isn’t particularly interested in the conventions of Kentucky politics, and who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.

Bevin’s entry into Kentucky politics was a shot at political convention — a primary challenge against one of the most powerful men in the state and in the nation, Sen. Mitch McConnell. Bevin lost by a lot.

Champion Beholder Pulled From Breeders’ Cup Classic

Oct 29, 2015

Beholder, considered to be one of American Pharoah’s biggest challengers for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, has been pulled from the race.  The news comes just two days before the high profile race at Keeneland. 

All Systems are Go for First Breeders Cup at Keeneland

Oct 29, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    Lexington’s Keeneland Racecourse was chosen almost a year ago to host this year’s Breeders Cup World Championships. Since then, the track and the city have worked to prepare for what’s expected to be a record setting crowd in the bluegrass for thoroughbred   racing’s end of season highlight event.