Western Kentucky University has an annual economic impact of $672 million on the community, according to a new study by WKU’s Center for Applied Economics. The money that WKU spends for supplies and other items in the community and for the salaries of faculty and staff amounts to about $385 million a year. But the standard multiplier effect of 1.75 puts that annual impact at $672 million - or roughly 26 percent of the money spent in Warren County - the study said. WKU salaries account for about $252 million, or 10 percent, of all income earned in the county.
After an unexpectedly strong, but ultimately unsuccessful, showing in May’s Republican gubernatorial primary, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett had been looking for ways to capitalize on what he calls “political capital.” Moffett apparently found it. The Bowling Green-based Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions announced Monday that it has tabbed Moffett as its next president and CEO.
Kentucky has changed the formula it uses to calculate graduation rates, and it has caused local numbers to drop – and in one case, nosedive. The Kentucky Department of Education today released the data for the graduating class of 2010, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind program. To meet their federal goals, schools and districts will be required to have a graduation rate of 82.32 percent or close the gap between the previous year’s rate by at least 10 percent. Statewide, the 2010 graduation rate is 76.7 percent. In 2009 under the old formula, the state reported a rate of 83.9 percent.
Changes in the operation of the American Red Cross have led to the dissolution of the Boyle County chapter director position and prompted the chapter board to take matters into its own hands. In a letter received by The Advocate-Messenger, Emanual Gray, board chairman of the Danville-based Central Kentucky chapter of the Red Cross, which serves Boyle and Mercer counties, detailed what he said are troubling financial and administrative changes over the past several years.
A sculpture honoring the 49 people who died in the crash of Comair Flight 5191 will be unveiled this month at a service commemorating the fifth anniversary of the crash. The dedication service, which is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 27 at The Arboretum on Lexington's Alumni Drive, will include remarks by local ministers and family members of three people who died in the crash. More than 350 family members and friends of the crash victims are scheduled to attend.
A federal judge has thrown out two lawsuits that alleged class-action lawyer Stan Chesley, his Cincinnati law firm and one of its lawyers mishandled a multimillion-dollar sex-abuse settlement with the Covington Diocese. U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves cited a well-established legal doctrine in Monday's order that states federal judges generally don't have the authority to review state court decisions.
Nineteen hours before he was found with no pulse in a cell at the Fayette County Detention Center in June, Anthony Dwayne Davis requested to go to the jail's medical unit and was denied, jail records show. The Herald-Leader has obtained the information under the Kentucky Open Records Law as police continue to investigate Davis' death. A nurse and a mental health specialist evaluated Davis at 1:41 a.m. June 25, and the mental health specialist told a correction's officer that Davis, 26, was probably "manipulating the system," according to the records.
Despite public vigilance which has even seen the sheriff's vehicle reported as suspicious, theft of air conditioning units continues to be reported in Bracken County and surrounding counties. Law enforcement agencies are sharing information in an attempt to solve the crimes.
Fleming County Hospital officials are taking the next step toward hiring a full-time chief executive officer as the hospital board is set to interview candidates. It has been six months since former CEO Davie Lloyd resigned from her position in efforts to "pursue other career interests." Effective upon Lloyd's resignation, interim-CEO Joyce Hein took the position and the responsibility that came with it, and has since been working with the hospital board to cut losses totaling more than $3 million.
A Harlan County Hazmat trailer arrived at the site of a chemical explosion on Main Street in Lynch on Monday evening. Several individuals were injured in the incident.
Credit Anders Eld / Harlan Daily Enterprise
A chemical explosion in Lynch early Monday evening injured several people, including some children. Officials report that a local ambulance service was dispatched to a residence on Main Street. They reported smelling a chemical in the residence and experiencing burning skin. A neighbor reported having heard a boom around the time of the incident. Ambulance personnel and residents were removed from the residence.
Pre-school sweethearts Charlotte Saunderson and Ben Peach continued last year's tradition of holding hands as they walked through the halls to class after breakfast on Monday, their first day back at Second Street School in Frankfort.
Credit Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald-Leader
Amid blistering midsummer heat, summer vacation is ending as schools reopen this week in Frankfort and other Kentucky communities. Frankfort Independent Schools and Breathitt County Schools opened Monday for the 2011-12 school year. Most other districts open later this week or next, including Fayette County on Aug. 11.
Berea has a history of being in the forefront of social change, but an effort to protect citizens based on their sexual orientation faces an uncertain future. WEKU’S Ron Smith has the story. This report contains language that’s objectionable to many people.
With not one, but two water collection systems, sloped-ceiling classroom designs to incorporate both solar and natural lighting, an outdoor classroom and garden space, Wellington Elementary Principal Meribeth Gaines says the five hundred or so students that will soon call this place home, will be surrounded with daily lessons on sustainability.It's being billed as Fayette County's most energy efficient and sustainable elementary school building, and on Monday, administrators, teachers, and volunteers took time out to show off the new Wellington Elementary School.
A majority of Kentucky lawmakers assisted the US House in passing legislation to keep the government from defaulting on its loans. Lawmakers have gotten an earful from angry voters lately and that extended to the House floor. Nine protestors were arrested in the Gallery after chanting their opposition to the compromise measure on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
House and Senate leaders prepared for possible votes Monday on the tentative deal to raise the government's debt ceiling and prevent a U.S. default. Both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) told NPR the votes could come as early as Monday evening, depending on the outcome of meetings with members. Both House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY) pledged their support. However, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) promised to vote no.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has cited three Kentucky mines for safety violations. They were among 14 nationwide with a history of compliance problems targeted in MSHA’s special impact inspections. The mines cited were the Cheyenne Mining Company’s Number 11 mine in Pike County, D&C Mining Corporation’s mine in Harlan County and North Fork Coal Corporation’s Mine Number 4 in Letcher County. Together they received a total of 45 orders and citations.MSHA began the special impact inspections after the explosion last year at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia killed twenty-nine miners. Since then, the agency says it’s conducted nearly 300 impact inspections, which have resulted in more than 5,000 citations.
A tradition of having a law enforcement escort for funeral processions in Lexington will continue, but under a different chain of command. The Fayette County Sheriff's office took over funeral escorts Monday, a job that had long been handled by the Lexington Division of Police. Sheriff Kathy Witt says her staff was happy to oversee the free service in the wake of police budget cuts.
A healthy year for coal companies is an economic boon for many Kentucky counties. Higher than expected mining permit and acreage fees this year means nearly three dozen counties will share more than 612-thousand dollars in state refunds. Breathitt County gets almost 47-thousand. Judge Executive Jason Richardson already has plans for the money.
The Louisville Courier-Journal concurred with Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams in a weekend editorial, chastising Democratic Governor Steve Beshear for pretending to snub President Barack Obama during his recent visit to Kentucky.
The Berea, Kentucky City Council will meet tomorrow. No discussion of two pending anti-discrimination laws is on the agenda, but gay rights activists say the panel is moving closer to passing measures protecting LGBT residents. The Louisville Fairness Campaign has been instrumental in supporting an ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in Berea. Last month, a proposal for a city Human Rights Commission was introduced but it did not include any language saying the commission would investigate discrimination against LGBT residents.
The proposed Museum Plaza project in downtown Louisville has been canceled. The tower at 6th and Main streets would’ve been the tallest building in Kentucky. It was put on hold three years ago when the developers could not find a suitable bond deal to finance the project. Hope for the $490 million project was renewed last yearwhen city and state officials announced their intention to seek a $100 million loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The loan required the developers to find matching funds in the private sector, which they could not.
The post office in Wildie might be one of those targeted for closing by the U.S. Postal Service. More than 130 statewide might be shuttered, but not all under review will be closed.
Credit Hannah Potes / Lexington Herald-Leader
For shrinking rural communities in Kentucky, it's usually the local businesses that close first. Then the schools consolidate. And now, it seems, the local post offices in some of Kentucky's tiniest towns might be closing their doors. That's the plan, anyway, as the U.S. Postal Service considers shutting down 130 post offices across the state.
Alan New and Joey Weller of Sapper6 Inc. drill a hole for a radon mitigation system in a home in the Fox Fire subdivision in Elizabethtown.
Credit Gina Clear / The News-Enterprise
As the adage goes, “What we don’t know can’t hurt us.” According to local, state and national authorities on radon, lack of knowledge on the subject could, in fact, be killing us. “It’s astonishing, frankly,” said Professional Learning Institute Dean Steve Keeney, “but there’s nobody out there explaining the risk to the public.” According to the Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to radon in homes is responsible for an estimated 20,000 lung cancer deaths each year, second only to lung cancer caused by smoking. More people die from radon-related lung cancer each year than from gunshots.
In a trial that is likely to be watched closely by local residents, Nicholas County Sheriff Leonard "Dick" Garrett is scheduled to be tried this week on felony charges of theft and abuse of public trust. If convicted of the latter charge, Garrett, 48, could forfeit office and go to prison for five to 10 years. He is free on bond but has remained sheriff since he was indicted in October.
On July 15, opening night of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, moviegoers arrived early at Winchester's Sky-Vue Twin Drive-In. First-run movies are the norm now at drive-ins.
Credit Mark Cornelison / Lexington Herald-Leader
While 3-D technology increasingly becomes the norm in mainstream films, theaters boast the latest and loudest speakers, and moviegoing has become a predominantly indoor pastime, some people still seem to prefer the simplicity of the past: the drive-in. It's a past that dates back almost 80 years, and it allows people to be essentially in their own private movie theaters, free to create their own experience. That nostalgia and experience are what have kept people coming back to drive-in theaters, even when there was a time it looked as if they could die out, fans say. "People don't go to the drive-in or a normal theater for just the movie. It's the experience," said Chris Erwin, manager of Judy Drive-In in Mount Sterling. "The drive-in experience is one that can't be duplicated no matter what's on screen. Its charm is that it's simple."
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced that fiscal courts in 31 counties will receive refunds totaling $612,450 from mining permit and acreage fees. “Every effort is being made by my administration to help the mining industry extract coal in a manner that is safe, efficient and protective of our environment,” Beshear said. “Our coal-producing counties are our partners, and these funds provide a direct benefit for their efforts.”
The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan devastated parts of that country and shook the economy around the world. It did not, however, shake the resolve of several Kentuckians who are headed to Japan this weekend to start new jobs. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program hires English-speaking college graduates to teach in Japanese public schools. Adrienne Ledbetter is from Bowling Green and is headed to a city near Mt. Fuji that recently faced a food crisis after authorities found radiation-tainted beef.