Kentucky's national education ranking has risen more dramatically than virtually any other state since 1990. That's according to the Index of Educational Progress prepared by researchers at University of Kentucky. The index combines multiple educational attainment and achievement factors. Kentucky climbed from 48th in 1990 to 33rd in 2009. Only one other state (North Carolina) advanced out of the bottom 10 with double-digit gains.
Controversy continues over the possibility of wind turbines being erected in western Mason County. Concerned citizens attended the regular monthly meeting of the Mason County Joint Planning Commission last week. NextEra Energy Resources, a Florida-based company, began conducting studies last year to determine if wind turbines could be feasible in Mason and Bracken counties.
Haley Cunningham is warning of the dangers of the "choking game."
Two years ago, Hayley Cunningham lost her cousin to a deadly game she'd never heard of. Her cousin was found dead in his bedroom after accidentally choking himself, the result of an increasingly fatal practice gaining popularity among middle-school students known as the "choking game." It involves near-strangulation that provides a brief floaty feeling and fainting. After grieving her cousin's death, Cunningham decided she wanted to educate others and maybe save a life.
Very hot and humid conditions will dominate Kentucky's weather today. The National Weather Service predicts heat index values will reach over 110 degrees west of Interstate 65 for a few hours this afternoon. East of I-65, expect the highest heat index values to range from 100 to 109 degrees. If spending time outdoors today, remember to drink plenty of water if you plan to be outdoors and try to reschedule outdoor activities for the morning or late evening, the NWS said.
Ron and Lori Coffey, at Machpelah Cemetery in Mount Sterling, are members of Gateway Paranormal Society. The group looks for reasons before they look for ghosts.
Their conventional occupations as a retired school teacher, emergency room clerk and firefighter don't hint that in their spare time, Ron and Lori Coffey and Howard Hamilton investigate reports of ghost sightings. The trio are members of the Mount Sterling-based Gateway Paranormal Society, one of numerous teams statewide that investigate paranormal activity in private homes, historical sites and cemeteries. The groups say that as the pastime has become more popular, the stigma is beginning to end. Known as ghost hunters, they consider the searches not just a hobby but services to provide help to people.
Kentucky’s treasurer says the state is now holding about $300 million worth of unclaimed assets. Unclaimed property typically includes savings and checking accounts, stocks and personal property forgotten by their owners. Sometimes the owners have died and their heirs aren’t aware of the property.
National correspondent for The Atlantic James Fallows is in Louisville this week. Fallows is a keynote speaker at the Kentucky Chamber’s annual meeting. Fallows will deliver a speech based on his recent article “Dirty Coal, Clean Future.” The story, which was published in December, examines the future of coal in the United States.
Farm subsidies were once a sacred cow on Capitol Hill, but with the federal deficit soaring, Kentucky lawmakers say it’s time to reassess all federal spending. In the past sixteen years Kentucky received more than three billion dollars in farm subsidies. A lot of that was for crop insurance but more than one and a half billion dollars propped up corn and tobacco farmers…according to data from the Environmental Working Group. So, Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers says it’s a good time to reassess where federal dollars go.
CAMP ATTERBURY, IND. - The United States invaded Iraq in 2003. Now eight years later, the Department of Defense is ready to finalize the military drawdown. Helping in that effort are soldiers from the Kentucky National Guard and three other states. Brenna Angel reports on what some are thinking about as they prepare for the historic mission.
On a day that marks the end of an era for the U-S Space program, students, staff, and interested onlookers at the University of Kentucky gathered to watch the launch. They were in a room designed to give them a feel for what’s happening at NASA. Just minutes before the final launch of the space shuttle in Florida, everyone jammed inside a simulator modeled after mission control in Houston. Senior Jason Rexroat offered some insight to prospective students, while other eyes focused on the simulator's television monitors and live coverage of a real space flight
The inaugural season at Eastern Kentucky University’s Center for the Arts is packed with popular performers and entertainment. The lineup of about dozen acts was released Friday. Among the performers are public radio’s Garrison Keiller, country icon Willie Nelson and soul music queen Aretha Franklin. Center executive director Debra Hoskins is pleased with the way things have fallen into place, especially since she was hired only five months ago.
A series of at least 30 car crashes in a short period closed Interstate 75 in Lexington on Friday afternoon. The northbound and southbound lanes were closed and heavily congested between mile markers 110 and 116, officials said. Police and fire officials warned motorists to stay away from the area, which is between exit 110, at U.S. 60/Winchester Road, and exit 115, at Newtown Pike/Ky. 922. That stretch of I-75 is likely to be congested well past rush hour, police said.
A central Kentucky company is again sponsoring the largest equestrian event in the world. Alltech President Dr. Pearse Lyons announced Friday that his animal nutrition and brewery business will again be the title sponsor for the World Equestrian Games.
Under the direction of the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board, the Cabinet for Economic Development Friday announced it has engaged Boyette Strategic Advisors, an economic development consulting firm, to develop a statewide economic development strategic plan. Called "Kentucky’s Unbridled Future," the plan will provide direction to enhance job creation and investment in the state over the next several years.
Nicholasville's Trim Masters plant, located at 401 Enterprise Drive.
The Nicholasville Trim Masters plant anticipates laying off more than 100 employees, Jessamine County Economic Development director Wayne Foster said. The said the factory will remain open. The company makes door trim, including injection molding and assembly, seat assembly and vacuum forming and assembly for the automotive industry.
Bill Sammons (left) of Lexington and Clarence Stanley of Sylvania, Ohio, talk about the similarities between Pontiac and Chrevrolet car tops Thursday during the 2011 Pontiac-Oakland Club International Convention at the Sloan Convention Center.
For many years, tales of the existence of a 1959 Pontiac El Catalina were the stuff of legend. Rumor had it that Pontiac had built two of these prototype sedan pickups, and one was in the hands of a collector. The vehicle hadn’t been seen in public in years, but that changed this week when it was on display at the Pontiac-Oakland Club International Convention at Bowling Green's Sloan Convention Center.
By Katheran Wasson, Frankfort State Journal and Paul Glasser, Frankfort State Journal
Kentucky has risen to sixth in nationwide obesity rankings, according to a report released Thursday by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Now 31.5 percent of Kentucky adults are obese, up from 30.5 percent last year. Twelve states now have obesity rates above 30 percent – four years ago, only one state was above 30 percent. The obesity rankings for Kentucky kids are even worse – third in the nation at 21 percent of children ages 10 to 17.
For the first time in its 146-year history, Lexington Theological Seminary will be led by a woman. Charisse Gillett was named the seminary's 17th president Thursday morning at a special meeting of the school's board of trustees. She will take office Sept. 1. Gillett will be the first woman and the first African-American to hold the top post at the seminary.
Aureilio Beltran, an employee of Doyle's Lawn and Landscaping of Winchester, cut away a thicket of weeds around the edge of the fort. The landscaping company has donated labor and material to help the cash-strapped historic site.
The Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission was introduced to the Civil War Fort at Boonesboro — which is in its sixth summer open to the public — in 1998. Now, the commission can no longer afford to maintain the site on its own and is asking the county and city for help.
Robert George's body has been in the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital's morgue for more than three months, and UK officials say they can't get anyone to claim it.The Fayette County coroner's office has refused to take the body. So has the coroner's office in Pulaski County, where George apparently lived. Relatives who have been contacted by UK also have not stepped forward to claim George's remains.
Kyle Busch’s mastery of NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series continued Thursday night when the Cup star racked up his fifth series win of the season during a green-white-checkered finish in the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway. As is typically the case whenever Busch ventures into the Truck ranks, his No. 18 Toyota pretty much had its way with rivals as it picked its way through the field.
Members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council have decided to let stand three budget vetoes by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. Mayor Gray made three line item vetoes to the council approved budget. Only one veto was challenged by the council Thursday night. Members were asked to over-ride the mayor’s action and restore funding for more than 20 outside agencies.
For the first time in more than 80 years, Kentucky state government is depositing its receipts in a new bank. Earlier this year, the state awarded to JP Morgan Chase the contract to be its depository. Chase took over as the state’s new banker this week. Frankfort-based Farmer’s Bank had held the contract continuously since 1928.
The federal Environmental Protection Agency is finalizing a new air pollution rule that’s meant to reduce power plant emissions. The rule will affect Kentucky, but not immediately. The EPA’s new rule is meant to control sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions, which are often blown across state lines. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson says regulating such interstate pollution is essential, because a state shouldn’t be penalized for pollution it can’t control.
There’s no need to trade your kingdom for good drama this summer weekend. Summerfest begins in Lexington with Shakespeare’s “Richard III,” Studio Players recaptures past glory with a revival of “Forever Plaid,” and actor-comedian Adele Givens, who’s a Lexington native, performs at the Lyric Theater. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader has this preview.
A battle is brewing over how much authority Lexington's Urban County Council should have over contract agreements reached through collective bargaining. Council members tussled for hours Thursday night over a resolution put forward by Councilman Ed Lane that would clarify the procedure for approving collective bargaining agreements. Lane and his supporters argued the resolution is needed because the police and fire pension system is unsustainable and the council deserves more input.
All three of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray's historic line-item vetoes of the Urban County Council-approved budget will remain in effect. The council put up resistance to only one set of cuts. In what Councilman Jay McChord called a "heartfelt" decision, the body voted 11-4 to keep Mayor Gray's 10-percent across-the-board cut to the government's partner agencies intact, shaving close to 315-thousand dollars off the budget. Councilman Doug Martin, who voted against overriding the mayor's veto, said slashing the budgets of organizations like the Salvation Army and Hope Center in the midst of difficult economic times was painful.
Starting today at 5:oo this afternoon, Ford will begin hiring 1,800 workers for the newly re-tooled Louisville Assembly Plant. The plant recently underwent a $600 million renovation project to prepare it to build several new types of vehicles, including variations on the popular Escape. Ford says the plant is the most modern and flexible in the company. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer praised the move as an important step in his plans for the city.