After mocking the Tea Party while discussing the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations Wednesday, Sen. John McCain, R-Az., is being pummeled by freshman members of Congress and activists for the remarks. The former Republican presidential candidate called activists associated with the movement “tea-party hobbits” while dismissing the possibility of a Balanced Budget Amendment passing the Senate.
Fayette County men and women who have a passion for the welfare of children are being encouraged to serve on the local court system's Citizen Foster Care Review Board. The Kentucky General Assembly created the panels back in 1982 to decrease the time children spend in foster care.
With the Army’s current emphasis on saving money and cutting costs, running operations at Blue Grass Army Depot has become a tougher job. But the depot’s new deputy commander, Steve Sharp, believes he is ready for the challenge. Sharp became the new deputy commander/civilian executive assistant for the depot on April 24. As the new CEA, Sharp is the commander’s right-hand man and the highest-ranking civilian on the depot.
Drug dealers and methamphetamine cooks in Logan County are taking advantage of funding cuts and manpower shortages at the South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force and the Russellville Police Department. The task force that investigates drug crime in Logan and Simpson counties is down from six investigators to four, and funding has been cut for the second straight year, hindering efforts to track and prosecute drug dealers.
Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is urging members of his state’s federal delegation to support Speaker John Boehner’s plan aimed at averting the first default in U.S. history. What’s interesting is that Daniels, who served as Director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget under former President George W. Bush, indicts his former administration when criticizing “past…overspending and future overpromising (sic)” in the federal government.
Ordinarily, customers of the Georgetown CVS pharmacy walk in on two legs, but on Tuesday evening, the store got one of the four-legged, stinky variety. A skunk that had been lingering outside the pharmacy entered the store’s vestibule — the area between the outer and inner automatic doors — around 7:30 p.m., according to CVS surveillance footage. The animal never got further into the store but did spray in the vestibule before leaving.
Following growing tensions between health care executives and those opposing the proposed merger among University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and St. Mary's HealthCare, and the St. Joseph Healthcare System, Gov. Steve Beshear and Attorney General Jack Conway are weighing in. Beshear issued a statement Wednesday citing "growing concerns within the community about issues related to the hospital's future level of access to medical services" as a reason to conduct a "deliberate and thoughtful" review of the merger.
The National Quartet Convention will host former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft at its annual event in Louisville later this year. Ashcroft served as attorney general under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He is scheduled to deliver the keynote speech at the Kentucky Exposition Center on Sept. 15 and will also sing several gospel songs he has written, according to a convention spokesperson.
Kentucky has set new immunization guidelines for the upcoming school year. The updated immunization requirements went into effect July 1, said Denise Baldwin, director of nursing with the Hopkins County Health Department. These guidelines were set by the state and are based on national standards from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, she said.
Some lawmakers continued to voice concerns about the potential for fraud if someone exploited the state’s policy for registering homeless voters. Others questioned if it is even an issue. Secretary of State Elaine Walker told legislators this week she doesn’t see any evidence that homeless voters have been used to commit voter fraud and said homeless voters across Kentucky are few.
This week's steamy weather is making outside activity tough, whether you're doing construction work or practicing to march in a high school band. Lexington's five public high schools are starting their band camps this week, and band directors say they're taking precautions to keep students safe as heat indices climb above 100.
Attorney General Jack Conway Wednesday filed suit in Daviess County against the owners and operators of Daymar College over allegations the for-profit college violated Kentucky's Consumer Protection Act. The lawsuit alleges that Daymar Learning, Inc., Daymar Learning of Paducah, Inc., Draughons Junior College, Inc., Daymar Colleges Group LLC, Daymar Holdings, Inc. and the president of these companies, Mark Gabis, violated the Consumer Protection Act by engaging in unfair, false, misleading, and deceptive trade practices.
Early next month, a panel of preservationists will select a house in Louisville to be rehabilitated under a new project called Preservation S.O.S.—Save Our Shotguns. It’s a style of house that symbolizes many of Louisville’s older neighborhoods. There are many variations, but shotgun houses typically have a long, rectangular floor plan: one room wide, three to five rooms in a row with doorways often on the same side of the house.
Construction Workers Weather the Heat Wednesday near the UK Hospital
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News
The current heat wave in Kentucky could be a record breaker….and Thursday could be the hottest day, so far this year. It makes one wonder how Kentuckians coped before air conditioning was invented. It was a scant half century ago when air conditioned homes or cars were rare. Today, one would be hard pressed to find an average wage earner who lives without air conditioning. Doctor Tom Wayne, who’s a professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky, says certain people could find the 90 plus degree heat more physically oppressive than our ancestors.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has weighed in on the pending merger between University of Louisville Hospital, Jewish Hospital and a division of Catholic Health Initiatives. Under the merger, U of L Hospital will not be able to provide abortion, stem cell research, vasectomies, treatments for infertility, emergency contraception for rape victims and birth control counseling.
In its latest list of Fittest and Fattest States, the online medical reference resource WebMD placed Kentucky in the top ten ‘fattest states’. Kentucky’s obesity rate for adults is 31.5%, placing the state at number six on the list. But the rate of 10-17 year old kids came in at 21%, which is third in that category. The list makes reference to the 2.8 mile stretch of Broadway that’s populated by 24 fast-food restaurants, as well as the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Movement.
Mayor Greg Fischer announced on Wednesday that The Kentucky Derby Festival will add another week to its schedule. It’s called Give a Day and for one week before Thunder Over Louisville it asks individuals, businesses and non-profits to volunteer their service throughout the week.
After a southern-Indiana teen died of heat stroke last week, questions arose about the accusation that he was denied treatment at an immediate care center. According to accounts, the boy’s stepfather took him to the Norton Immediate Care Center in Lyndon before calling EMS at the center’s advisement. A Norton Spokesperson said this week that the boy was not denied care and was not actually brought into the clinic. Rather, his stepfather described his symptoms to the doctors, who referred the man to an emergency room.
A recent quarterly report issued by the state found 291 deficiencies in Kentucky's nursing homes and advocates say they see see little change each quarter. The information, obtained through an Open Records request by Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, shows only one nursing home, Tanbark Health Care Center in Lexington, boasting no deficiencies. Meanwhile, nine facilities had 10 or more.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear announced Wednesday that the state closed Fiscal Year 2011 with a $156.8 million General Fund surplus, on the strength of positive revenues that exceeded budgeted levels. More than 75 percent of that surplus - $121.8 million - will be deposited into the Budget Reserve Trust Fund, the state’s so-called “rainy day fund.” This is the largest such deposit in state history from an end of year surplus.
Part of a storm sewer grate along Fourth Street in Corbin has been missing for weeks. Officials say it is one of 16 taken from around the city.
Credit Corbin/Whitley News Journal
Authorities are on the lookout for those responsible for a recent epidemic of storm-drain and sewer grate thefts going on in Corbin. In the past three weeks, 16 different sized grates, valued at more than $3,000, have been removed from their matching drains, city officials said. "This has become a bad problem," Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said. "This could cause someone to wreck, bust a tire or tear the whole front end off your car."
Corbin's top city official is mired under the weight of an ever-increasing pile of unpaid property taxes, owing more than $4,500 to Knox County on three separate properties - and some of the unpaid bills date back a decade. Based on a News-Journal assessment of Knox County tax records, Corbin City Manager Bill Ed Cannon currently owes roughly $4,561 in property taxes to the county.
Clark County was classified as having some of the “highest” reported numbers in robbery offenses, aggravated assaults, burglaries, larcenies and murders in an annual report detailing the state’s crime rates. The Kentucky State Police’s 2010 Crime in Kentucky Report was recently released, and the numbers reflect offenses reported to or known by police.
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced more than 60 million dollars in federal homeless prevention grants this week - and Fayette County is among the recipients. The grants are part of a new program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families, which aims to identify and aid at-risk veterans and their families with the help of private non-profit organizations. 17 Kentucky counties, including Fayette, Jefferson, Jessamine, and Woodford, will receive a share of the funds.
Despite challenges within the Republican Party and projections that other congressional plans would result in more savings, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., reiterated his support for House Speaker John Boehner’s plan Wednesday. Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell said the proposal will prevent a government default before the August 2 deadline and reduce Washington spending. And unlike President Barack Obama, McConnell points out Boehner was courageous enough to provide the country with an option.
Boyle County has a new way to dispose of wood waste from both industries and individuals that should save the county money while helping power a Campbellsville company. Boyle Fiscal Court approved an agreement Tuesday with Cox Interiors Inc., a business that mills interior doors and windows, under which the company will chip and haul untreated wood to be used as fuel.
The state Wednesday announced the awarding of $773,447 in On-Farm Energy Efficiency & Production Incentives grants. The program is a partnership between the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy and Kentucky’s Department for Energy Development & Independence with funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act through the U.S. Department of Energy.
Most people would never know the Town Branch of Elkhorn Creek runs under downtown Lexington if they were not told. There has long been no visual or audible evidence of the rushing water that runs just below the high-rise buildings and busy streets of the city — until this week.
The federal government has decided to stake a claim in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed by two former employees against Lexington-based Nurses' Registry and Home Health Corporation, a health care company run by businessman Lennie House. The lawsuit, which alleges Medicare fraud spanning nearly a decade — and retaliation against employees who refused to take part in the fraud — was filed in 2008 by Alisia Robinson-Hill, former vice president of operations, and David Price, a former case manager and office administrator for the company.
Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to the city of Loretto in Marion County to help renovate a city-owned, former nursing home facility to a new senior citizen’s center.