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12:27pm

Tue September 6, 2011
All Politics are Local

Williams Launches Second TV Ad

After going over a month without running any television ads, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams released his second commercial Tuesday. The spot entitled “Better” takes swipes at Democratic Governor Steve Beshear for job losses and pledges Williams will stand up to President Obama and other “Washington liberals.” The ad alsocites an online newsletter that says the state is one of the “worst-run” in the country.

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11:42am

Tue September 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Interstate Exit Ads Cash Cows

They're staples of each trek down every open highway in the country: the interstate exit business signs. The ones that point you to the nearest gas station or restaurant. But how do they work? Which businesses are chosen? How much do they cost? And how often do they change? In Kentucky, the state has handed off the operation of the sign program to a private company, Kentucky Logos, and receives a portion of the sales. The company, which has handled the program since 1997, is a subsidiary of Interstate Logos, which handles similar programs in 22 of the 28 states that have privatized the service.

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11:39am

Tue September 6, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Surcharges Confound Energy Cost Cutters

The three coal-fired units along Herrington Lake opened in 1957. KU plans to spend $402 million to comply with new regulations.
Kentucky Utilities

There's no doubt that Kentucky's electricity bills are on the rise, as utilities sort out how much it will cost them to comply with new federal environmental regulations. Kentucky Utilities, the largest electricity provider in Central Kentucky, has asked the state Public Service Commission for permission to increase the average customer's monthly bill more than 12 percent by 2016. But this case is far different than those that are familiar to most people. It's not about base rates, which look at the price for a kilowatt hour of electricity. It's about the environmental surcharge you find on your bills.

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11:35am

Tue September 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

30-Degree Drop Ends Near-Record Heat

Sometimes a 70-degree day feels downright balmy, but that wasn't the case Monday. Bet you grabbed a sweater or a jacket before leaving the house, right? That's because over the weekend, Central Kentucky sizzled when it hit 98 degrees Friday and Saturday. That was close to the record of 100 for both days. "When you get a 30-degree switch, you're obviously going to feel a shock," said Ryan Sharp, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Louisville.

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11:33am

Tue September 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Road Repair Work Continues into Fall

Pothole patching, sweeping, drain and ditch cleaning, pavement marking, and maintenance crews may work on major interstates in the Louisville Metro area only during non-peak daytime hours and at night. Motorists should watch for roadside maintenance and pavement marking crews on interstates and highways throughout the rest of the district on a daily basis.

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11:25am

Tue September 6, 2011
Statehouse News

Tougher Ethics for Lawmakers

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has made a number of recommendations to tighten the code of ethics for state lawmakers. In its annual report, the panel calls for 16 changes to state laws that apply to the conduct of legislators, lobbyists and political candidates. Among the recommendations is a repeal of the provision allowing lobbyists to spend a total of $100 annually on food and beverages for each legislator and their family members.

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11:23am

Tue September 6, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Labor Troubles Grow at LOU Orchestra

Louisville Orchestra management is expected make two decisions regarding its ongoing labor dispute this week. After months of talks with no agreement, Mayor Greg Fischer joined contract negotiations with the management and musicians. Last week, he announced that an anonymous donor had come forward to pay for a nationally-recognized consultant to work with mediators. The mayor is encouraging both sides to welcome the help. Orchestra CEO Robert Birman says the management will decide this week whether to accept the offer. The musicians had previously sought to bring in an outside expert, but Birman says it didn’t work out.

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11:19am

Tue September 6, 2011
Business and the Economy

Hearings on KU/LG&E Rates Underway

One of the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s public meetings on proposed utility rate increases is scheduled for tonight in Louisville. Commissioners will give an educational presentation about the request, then take testimony from the public.Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have requested that the PSC allow them to raise utility rates to pay for environmental upgrades to their power plants. LG&E estimates total electric bills will rise by about 19 percent by 2016 for their customers, and KU customers will see bills increase by about 12 percent.

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11:17am

Tue September 6, 2011
All Politics are Local

Civil Rights Group Faces Shutdown

Three years after the death of its founder, the Justice Resource Center is at risk of losing its non-profit status.The civil rights organization was founded by the late Reverend Louis Coleman in 1972 to address racial discrimination, gun violence and police brutality. Coleman died in 2008 after suffering a series of seizures. The social justice group has been led by the Rev. James Tennyson of New Golden Star Baptist Church since then.

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11:15am

Tue September 6, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Making Fuel with Sunlight and Water

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have discovered an alloy that could possibly split water into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy. With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and supercomputer technology, Professors Madhu Menon and Michael Sheetz found that the alloy is a mixture of gallium nitride and a small amount of antimony. Menon says he thinks the technology could someday be accessible to everyone and available on the open market.

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11:13am

Tue September 6, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Free Download Makes Book "Best Seller"

A spokesman with the University Press of Kentucky says response has been phenomenal to a special online promotion involving a new book from former NPR personality, and Kentucky native, Bob Edwards. Publicity Manager Mack McCormick says the decision to offer "A Voice In The Box, My Life In Radio" as a limited time, free download has put the Lexington-based publishing company on the national map.

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6:16am

Tue September 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

Hearing on Power Rate Increase on Tap

One of the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s public meetings on proposed utility rate increases is scheduled for tonight in Louisville. Commissioners will give an educational presentation about the request, then take testimony from the public. Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities have requested that the PSC allow them to raise utility rates to pay for environmental upgrades to their power plants. LG&E estimates total electric bills will rise by about 19 percent by 2016 for their customers, and KU customers will see bills increase by about 12 percent.

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8:44am

Mon September 5, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Historic Sites in Kentucky Considered

Thirteen sites across Kentucky are being considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The sites must first be approved by the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board, which meets this week in Harrodsburg.

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8:28am

Mon September 5, 2011
Statehouse News

KET Political Forums Get Underway

The first of eight special election episodes of Kentucky Tonight will air on KET this evening. All candidates for statewide office this year have agreed to appear live on the show. Monday, the candidates of Agriculture Commissioner will debate. Democrat Bob Farmer and Republican James Comer will appear for one hour starting at 8 pm.

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6:25am

Mon September 5, 2011
All Politics are Local

Fall Campaign Season?

In a little over two months, Kentucky voters decide who will hold a series of statewide offices, including governor.  But, between now and then, there will likely be a whole lot of politics to sort through. Traditionally, the political season begins with Labor Day. But, that’s changing.  Political ads are now common in the summer.…Governor Steve Beshear launched a new one just before the holiday.  Republican challenger David Williams is also advertising. These days, Transylvania University political scientist Don Dugi says campaigns start whenever the candidate things the timing is right.

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6:22am

Mon September 5, 2011
Sports

Issues Off the Field

Coaches at the collegiate level have responsibilities that extend beyond instructing players on the x’s and o’s of their specific sport.  Coaches are asked to help mold and shape the character of team members.  Eastern Kentucky University football coach Dean Hood admits that comes with challenges.

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11:40am

Sun September 4, 2011
The Commonwealth

After Days of Heat, Relief On Way

Central Kentuckians who suffered through the sweltering heat of the past several days can take heart: Monday's high should be about 30 degrees lower than Saturday's. Saturday's high of 98 degrees in Lexington was 2 degrees shy of the record for the day, set in 1953, said Brian Schoettmer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Louisville. It was the fourth straight day with a high in the 90s. But he said "the first powerful cold front" of the season is on the way.

11:35am

Sun September 4, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Book Shows Side of Frankfort's Crawfish Bottom

In writing his book about Crawfish Bottom, Douglas Boyd drew on oral history interviews conducted by James E. Wallace in 1991.
David Perry Lexington Herald Leader

Crawfish Bottom, a neighborhood set on 50 swampy acres along the Kentucky River in north Frankfort, was destroyed between 1958 and 1984 as part of urban renewal. Though many African-Americans lived there, it was an integrated community in a time of segregation. Often called "Craw" or the "Bottom," it was labeled for decades by outsiders as crime-ridden, a place marked by prostitution, gambling and bootlegging, according to Douglas Boyd, author of a new book called Crawfish Bottom: Recovering a Lost Kentucky Community.

11:27am

Sun September 4, 2011
Business and the Economy

Toyota Plant Chief at Home in Driver's Seat

Wil James, center foreground, president of the Georgetown Toyota plant, shook hands with team members before a live webcast last month to introduce the redesigned 2012 Camry. After four years away from Georgetown, James is glad to be back at the plant.
David Perry Lexington Herald Leader

 When the first in the latest generation of Toyota's best-selling Camry sedans rolled off the lines in Georgetown last month, it was a sight that plant president Wil James hadn't expected to see. He had been at Georgetown more than five years earlier when planning began for the redesigned Camry, but the rising executive who had spent two decades in Georgetown was soon to be tapped to lead other Toyota sites, first in California and then in Indiana. "I went out there with the thought that one day I would be able to work my way back home," James recalled.

5:04pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Obama Withdraws Stronger Ozone Standards

As Louisville suffers a string of bad air quality days due to high ozone levels, the Obama Administration has announced that it’s withdrawing a proposal to strengthen the nation’s ozone standard. President Barack Obama has asked Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw a draft proposal that would tighten the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. The proposal would have placed stricter regulations on polluters and required major environmental upgrades for most industries to comply with the Clean Air Act.

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4:16pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Anonymous Gift Aids LOU Orchestra Talks

Mayor Greg Fischer just released the following statement regarding the ongoing dispute between the Louisville Orchestra and its musicians: “An anonymous donor has stepped forward with an offer to provide some funding to bring a nationally recognized consultant to our city to work with the mediator, Henri Mangeot, as an additional resource for both management and the musicians. I strongly encourage both sides to take advantage of this opportunity. I urge the parties to continue talking and be creative as the orchestra is an important part of Louisville’s cultural footprint and all options for preserving it should be pursued. My hope is that a sustainable financial artistic solution can be achieved.”

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4:13pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Climate Change, Higher Ozone Levels Linked

Louisville is mired in a string of unhealthy air days, and the ozone levels expected today and tomorrow will be the highest the city has seen so far this year. A study recently released suggests links between climate change and increased ozone exposure. Ozone happens when pollution from exhaust and industries combine and chemically react in the presence of heat and sunlight. So, as average temperatures in some regions rise, we could see more bad air days.

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4:11pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Science/Health

Humana, UofL Doctors Announce Agreement

The two sides in a longstanding health care contract dispute have announced an agreement. Humana, Incorporated and University Physicians Associates say they’ve reached a contract that will become effective October 1. UPA is a group of hundreds of doctors affiliated with the University of Louisville.

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4:09pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Science/Health

Bullitt County Awaits Smoking Ban

Bullitt County is waiting to hearing whether smoking will be banned in restaurants, bars and other public places. A county judge is expected to make a decision before Sept. 19, when the ban is scheduled to take effect. The Bullitt County Health Department passed a smoking ban that puts restrictions on where people may smoke, citing health reasons for the ban. But the county government says it can’t do that.

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4:05pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

School Cuts Energy Use by Half

Josh James Kentucky Public Radio

An area elementary school is being honored for its efforts to go green. Rosa Park Elementary was rewarded with a visit from Mayor Jim Gray and Congressman Ben Chandler. When students and staff at Rosa Parks Elementary decided to make their school greener, they set what they thought was a realistic goal - a ten percent reduction in overall energy use, saving the school around 15 to 20 thousand dollars. But a year later Principal Leslie Thomas took a look at the numbers. 

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4:02pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Lincoln Trail Open this Weekend

Lincoln Trail and Trailhead will be open during the Labor Day weekend. “The (trail) construction is close to being finished,” Mammoth Cave National Park Superintendent Pat Reed said in a news release. “There are still some piles of gravel at the trailhead, but our crew has cleared the way for folks to be able to use the area over the holiday weekend. “We will go back in after the weekend to put on the finishing touches.”

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4:00pm

Fri September 2, 2011
All Politics are Local

Rand Paul Draws Large Crowd, Some Protest

Few political figures incite more interest than U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and his appearance Thursday in Danville didn't fail to draw crowds of both supporters and detractors. Paul was the featured speaker at the Danville-Boyle County Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Series luncheon at the Danville Country Club. He drew easily the largest crowd yet — well over 100 people — as well as the first throng of protestors to show up for one of the events.

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12:37pm

Fri September 2, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Boating During Disasters

National Association for State Boating Law Administrator Deputy Director, Ron Sarver on left with Mike Fields, Kentucky's boating law administrator.
Stu Johnson Weku

A national boating safety organization based in Lexington can play a key role during disasters.  The National Association for State Boating Law Administrators has been headquartered in central Kentucky since the 1980’s.  Deputy Director Ron Sarver says the association often works with emergency managers.

“Here in Kentucky in fact, the boating law administrator works with the emergency operations center very closely because..and this seems to be the case around the nation…our folks tend to have the equipment for water related events,” said Sarver.

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10:18am

Fri September 2, 2011
Sports

UK, UofL Win Football Openers

The Kentucky Wildcats opened their 2011 football season with a 14-3 victory over Western Kentucky last night in Nashville. UK notched the win despite struggling offensively for most of the game. Meanwhile, the University of Louisville Cardinals defeated Murray State 21-9 tonight in the football season opener for both teams.

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10:08am

Fri September 2, 2011
All Politics are Local

State Senator Won't Seek Re-election

Jack Westwood didn't have much political experience in 1996 when he decided to take on Democratic incumbent state Sen. Joe Meyer. He served one term on the Erlanger/Elsmere school board and, about three decades earlier, won an election as class president at Lloyd High School, where he later taught English for 27 years. Westwood, armed with the campaign slogan, "One man can make a difference," pulled off what some at the time called one of the biggest upsets in Northern Kentucky political history when he beat Meyer with 54 percent of the vote. He will enter his 16th and final year next year as state senator from Erlanger.

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