Toyota Motor Corp. announced Monday that its production dropped 23.3 percent worldwide in the first six months of 2011. Company officials say the March 11 earthquake and tsunami severely affected the parts supply, leading to production slowdowns. The supply issue remains a concern at some North American and Japanese plants. But in Georgetown, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky has been running at 100 percent production since June.
Members of the Patriot Guard salute as the casket is taken from the aircraft Monday.
With members of his family and community standing near, the flag-draped casket of Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers was lowered from a chartered jet to the waiting grasp of an honor guard from the U.S. Army, Forward Support Company, 19th Engineering Battalion, at Bluegrass Airport on Monday. Summers, 27, died in Afghanistan, July 14, after a small arms attack by enemy troops on July 13.
The NFL lockout officially ended Monday, which means the Cincinnati Bengals are returning to Georgetown for their pre-season training camp. "I'm sure the city in general has just breathed a sigh of relief," Georgetown Mayor Everette Varney said. "If they didn't come, it would have been a huge hit for the college. Not only the revenue, but the recognition of having Georgetown's name on the national spotlight."
Eastern Kentucky University and Somerset Community College have made the Chronicle of Higher Education's annual list of great places to work in academia. The list was compiled by anonymous surveys of workers at 310 institutions and included evaluations of features including leadership, careers and compensation. The Chronicle survey identified 111 colleges and universities across the country as superior workplaces. While EKU and Somerset were the only Kentucky schools to make that list, Hazard Community College, Murray State University and Transylvania University were recognized in individual categories.
Kentucky insurance companies have been spared another year of having to comply with a portion of the new federal insurance reforms. Kentucky is one of six states that asked for and received a waiver from the federal government. Under the new agreement insurance companies that received a waiver will spend 75 percent on customer premiums. States that didn’t receive a waiver will pay 80 percent.
“Okay, here’s our ash pond!” Steve Turner exclaims. He’s the general manager at Louisville Gas & Electric’s Cane Run Power Station, and he is giving Kathy Little and her husband Tony a tour of the plant. “You can see bottom ash, but it’s down at the water level, so it stays wetted.” Cane Run is one of the two coal-fired power plants within the Louisville city limits, and both store byproducts, like coal ash, on site. LG&E has invited three nearby families to the plant to discuss the results of recent dust sampling. The Little family, as well as the Walkers and the Cunninghams, were invited because samples taken off their homes showed high concentrations of coal ash. LG&E is doing damage control.
Dismissing both plans as insufficient, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., quickly released a statement opposing the dueling debt ceiling deals being proposed by House Republicans and Senate Democrats on Monday. The proposed deals being discussed today by House Republican and Senate Democrat Leaders do not make cuts to our debt. They do not solve our debt problems. They do not balance the budget, ever,” says Paul.
One of Lexington’s best known social service agencies has suffered funding cuts from three different sources, totaling close to 120 thousand dollars. Tough to swallow’ news about funding cuts was delivered this summer to officials with the Salvation Army. United Way cut its contribution by 73 thousand dollars, the city of Lexington cut another 20 thousand dollars, and the agency lost 25 thousand dollars in federal support.
New recycling-waste container at Waverly Park in Lexington
New recycling containers now enhance the landscape of Lexington parks. 59 containers with one section for waste and another section for recyclables are being situated in parks. Bill Clarke, who's with Parks and Recreation says the container handles various recyclables. “Primarily aluminum cans and plastic bottles, cardboard, paper. We don’t like to get items that have been soiled or contaminated with food,” said Clarke.
Parenting Magazine has listed two Kentucky cities in their top 20 cities for families. Louisville rounds off the top ten, while Lexington ranks 18th. The magazine looked at factors such as quality of schools, prices of homes, crime rates, available jobs, and parkland. Here is the list…
Lexington may be Men's Health magazine's most sedentary city, but it's also the sixth best "value" city. That's according to Kiplinger magazine. In the newly published list, the business and finance magazine ranks Lexington number six in what it calls its ten best value cities.
While Lexington is still feeling the effects of the housing downturn, a new report issued by the Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator's office shows the city weathering the storm better than many. The report compiled by Fayette County PVA David O'Neill shows Lexington property values remaining relatively stable, despite a steady decline in home sales for the past five years. O'Neill says, while not immune to the downturn, the city's housing market hasn't seen the kind of fluctuations other cities have.
Congress will continue discussions this week to work out a deal to continue funding the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA ran out of money on last Friday and some 4,000 employees were put on furlough. Airport modernization projects were also put on hold this week. None of that should affect the Louisville Airport, though.
A 2008 beating of a Floyd County jail inmate that court documents say involved him being "brutally and savagely tortured" by as many as 10 inmates over three days is now the focus of several criminal trials set for early next year and a pending civil trial in federal court.
Three people died in motor vehicle crashes in Eastern Kentucky on Saturday night. A fatal motorcycle accident took one man's life in Leslie County while a head-on crash between two vehicles took both drivers' lives in Knott County
Keeping the pressure on Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, a group fronted by the Republican Governor’s Association has launched a second advertisement in support of gubernatorial candidate David Williams, highlighting the state Senate president’s toughness and personalizing unemployment in the state.
A Clay County constable, Jackie "The Tireman" Roberts, 50, charged in a drug case sold prescription pills to an informant and snorted a crushed-up pain pill in front of that witness, according to a court document. Details about the investigation and arrest of Roberts — an elected constable with arrest powers — and his wife Jennifer, 41, were included in a sworn statement from an ATF special agent who has taken part in the case. Police arrested the couple Wednesday.
After two years, the federal government has released new guidelines for surface coal mines. In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency announced it would increase scrutiny on a number of mountaintop removal permits in Appalachia and would release guidelines for future permits.Those guidelines were released last week. Mine operators will now find it much harder to get permits for valley fills—where valleys and streams are filled with debris from mining.
The newly-formed federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the power to regulate payday loans. But a Kentucky lawmaker who has repeatedly attempted to cap payday loans says the feud in Congress over the bureau doesn’t make him confident that any progress will be made. State Senator Gerald Neal, D-33, has spent years trying to cap the annual interest for payday loans at 36 percent. That’s something the protection bureau could theoretically do…if it had a director. Currently, a Republican-led effort in the U.S. Senate has kept the president’s appointment to the bureau unconfirmed.
By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader and Linda J. Johnson, Lexington Herald-Leader
The percentage of people renting a place to live went up far more in Kentucky than those buying a home between 2000 and 2010, according to U.S. Census data. The downturn in jobs during the recession and tighter credit were key reasons, several real estate agents said. Statewide, the percentage of people renting their residence was 16 percent higher than in 2000, while the percentage of owner-occupied housing was up just 5 percent.
Kentucky State University President Mary Sias got a glowing annual review and a raise at Friday’s meeting of the Board of Regents. Chairwoman Laura Douglas said the regents were impressed in particular with Sias’ participation on national boards and committees, her handling of the budget and students’ academic achievements.
Preparations have been completed to have the body of Bracken County soldier, U.S. Army Sgt. Jeremy R. Summers brought home to Kentucky for burial. According to officials, a flight will arrive at 9:25 a.m., today at Bluegrass Airport in Lexington with Summers' casket and remains.
A pilot flying out of Warren County was forced to land his single-engine plane on the Natcher Parkway late Sunday morning after losing engine power while flying over Ohio County. Bentley Floyd and grandson Caleb were flying in his RV-6 kit aircraft around 11 a.m. CDT, when he lost power at 7,000 feet. Floyd said looking below he quickly identified the parkway as the most-suitable landing area. The plane touched down in the southbound lanes, about a mile south of the interchange with the Western Kentucky Parkway. The plane sustained damage to the right wing, which scrapped along a guardrail, the right front landing wheel and the rear landing wheel. Floyd said the plane was likely totaled in the parkway landing.
The USO and the Kentucky National Guard are teaming up to entertain the troops and their families back at home. The audience for Montgomery Gentry's next Louisville show won't just be sitting in the KFC Yum Center; it'll also be stationed around the world.
You can’t see the smokestacks of the Cane Run Power Station from Stephanie Hogan’s home, even though she lives a block away. And while the power plant isn’t visible, it’s still a looming presence in Hogan’s life. “Oh, he breathes so bad, he sounds like Darth Vader.” Hogan shakes her head, and Cody wheezes. “You ain’t even been running.”
Recruitment Commander Rick Saint-Blancard says the KSP training academy in Frankfort can accommodate as many as 120 cadets. He says applicants must be prepared for the physical and mental rigors of a 23-week training program.
An interracial couple in Berea says they’re overwhelmed by community support since they were victimized by a hate crime two weeks ago. Melanie Stamper, who is white, and her African-American boyfriend, Damon Dunson, awoke to find their vehicles spray painted with racial slurs. Stamper says she’s been surprised by the response.
A growing shortage of dentists who specialize in the treatment of children worries health experts at the University of Kentucky. Children once waited until they were three years old before they made their first trip to the dentist. The dean of the University of Kentucky’s College of Dentistry says that first trip should now come at age one. But, Dr. Sharon Turner is increasingly worried finding a dentist qualified to treat toddlers will grow difficult. Turner says both U-K and the University of Louisville graduate about eight pediatric specialists each year.