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2:42pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Coal Ash Found in Louisville Homes

A new report has confirmed that coal ash is contaminating the homes of residents who live near a Louisville power plant. Residents have complained about dust from the Cane Run Power Station traveling onto their properties.A study commissioned by Louisville Gas & Electric took six samples off of nearby homes, and all came back showing significant amounts of coal ash.

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2:40pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Orchestra Musicians Stage Protest

Some members of the Louisville Orchestra’s musicians union are staging a protest at the orchestra’s headquarters this afternoon as their contract impasse continues. The musicians had already said they would reject management’s latest contract offer. They had until today to consider a proposal that outlines specific expectations for rehearsal and performance attendance.

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2:39pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

No Decision On Fire Chief's Claim

Embattled Lexington Fire Chief Robert Hendricks will have to wait a while longer to learn whether he will receive a disability pension from the city. On Wednesday, the Lexington Police and Fire pension board said it needed clarification regarding discrepancies between the two medical evaluation reports presented to the panel. By law, Hendricks is required to be evaluated by two physicians before the board can vote to approve or deny his application.

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2:37pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Cooking It Up in "Hell's Kitchen"

What started as a joke between friends turned into Natalie Blake’s big break when she was chosen to be one of 18 contestants on the upcoming season of the Fox reality show “Hell’s Kitchen.” Blake, a 23-year-old chef from Harrodsburg, went to culinary school at Sullivan University in Lexington and currently works as a sous chef at Beamont Inn in Harrodsburg.

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2:32pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Fireworks over Fireworks in Frankfort

People are fired up about where and when their neighbors chose to set off fireworks, saying it’s been a month-long barrage of big blasts hitting too close to home at all hours of the night. “I went weeks without sleep,” says Heather Kash, who took her complaint to the Frankfort City Commission during Monday’s work session.

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2:16pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Business and the Economy

Ale-8-One Marks 85 Years

One of Winchester’s most well-known businesses will celebrate another milestone Wednesday. Eighty-five years ago today, Ale-8-One founder G.L. Wainscott sold the first bottle of the local soft drink. The company has no official celebrations planned for the day, but the public is invited to share stories about Ale-8-One.

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2:11pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Meth Labs Uncovered in Whitley County

Whitley County Sheriff's deputies discovered three one-step methamphetamine labs early Tuesday evening while answering a complaint about suspicious activity inside a vacant Woodbine house. The caller told police that the home had been boarded up and was suspected to be a drug house, a sheriff's spokesman said. But when police entered the residence, a male escaped through a window. A closer examination of the empty residence turned up two females inside, who were passed out.

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2:08pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Statehouse News

Flags Lowered to Honor Deputy Fire Marshal

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday in honor of Deputy State Fire Marshal Charles Sparks, who passed away on July 8 from a heart attack he suffered while battling a fire in Adair County.

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2:06pm

Wed July 13, 2011
All Politics are Local

McConnell Defends Debt Plan

Calling for a real debate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., went to the Senate floor Wednesday to defend his debt proposal to avoid the first-ever government default before the August 2 deadline. The McConnell option gives President Barack Obama new power to request increases of up to $2.5 trillion in three separate installments over the next year as long as they’re coupled with larger spending cuts.

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12:50pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Coal Mine Safety up to Miners, Supervisors

Once again Kentucky mine safety officials are asking what could have been done to prevent a death on the job. 26 year old Ryan Thatcher of Salyersville died Monday while working at a Martin County mine.  His was the third coal-related death this year. Kentucky Mine Safety and Licensing executive director Johnny Green says tools, technology and regulations are in place to prevent deaths and accidents in the mines.  Green traces some problems to miners themselves and those people who supervise them.

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12:16pm

Wed July 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

Group Presses for End to Bridge Suit

The newly-formed group "Kentuckians For Progress" continues its public relations push to persuade the River Fields conservancy to drop is lawsuit that seeks to delay construction of an east end bridge. River Fields and the National Trust for Historic Preservation filed the federal suit two years ago, claiming the Federal Highway Administration did not follow federal law when it approved the Ohio River Bridges Project in 2003.

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11:14am

Wed July 13, 2011
All Politics are Local

GOP Divided Over McConnell Debt Plan

Speaking to WHAS-AM radio personality Mandy Connell on Wednesday morning, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., defended his proposal to give President Barack Obama unilateral authority to raise the debt ceiling even if party leaders can’t agree on ways to reduce the debt moving forward. McConnell’s proposal gives the president the power to request increases of up to $2.5 trillion in three separate installments over the next year if they are coupled with larger spending cuts.

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10:37am

Wed July 13, 2011
All Politics are Local

Budget Cuts Could Help Coal

The U-S House is debating an energy spending bill that could be good for Kentucky’s coal industry, but it also has critics bristling. The legislation cuts one billion dollars from energy and water related spending… winding back investments in more fuel efficient vehicles and renewable energy programs.  Those are intended to wean the nation off coal. Kentucky Republican Ed Whitfield says undoing some of the president’s green energy investments is good.

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10:00am

Wed July 13, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Top Bluegrass Group Booked for Jackson

For one spring night next year, the world of Bluegrass music will fix their focus on Jackson and Breathitt County, when the renowned six-piece band The Grascals will grace the Douthitt Park stage for a concert on Saturday, June 9, 2012.

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9:42am

Wed July 13, 2011
Statehouse News

Bringing Breathitt County to Frankfort

With a little less than a month to go, organizers of “Breathitt County Day” in Frankfort are making final preparations to make this year's event – the seventh annual one – to exceed last year's record turnout. They hope to tie into this November's elections for state offices, by inviting Democratic and Republican candidates for governor to the festivities, which will be held on Friday, Aug. 5, starting at 10 a.m. at VFW Post # 4075, located at the corner of East Second Street and Capital Avenue in Frankfort, just five blocks away from the Kentucky State Capitol.

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9:13am

Wed July 13, 2011
The Commonwealth

I-69 Backers Lobbying for Funds

Completing Interstate 69 from Indiana to Texas is edging closer to reality, but advocates of the project want to keep it on the forefront in order to secure financing. Several speakers representing agencies and legislators championing the I-69 project talked about the importance of the roadway during a Madisonville-Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce After Hours-Hot Topic event held at the Eddie Ballard Convention Center on Tuesday night.

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9:00am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Last of the ‘Country Correspondents’

Clarice Floyd, a weekly correspondent with The Casey County News since the late 1950s, enjoys a moment in the home that she has shared for 71 years with her husband, Aaron, in the Mt. Olive community of Casey County.
Larry Rowell Casey County News

A once-loved tradition where community news and events appeared weekly in the local newspaper is being kept alive, at least on a part-time basis. Up until about 20 years ago, nearly every small community in Casey County had a resident who collected local news and sent it each week to The Casey County News. Clarice Floyd was one of about 20 correspondents who did this, but as the years progressed, the correspondents faded away. Floyd, a spry and lively 92, is the last correspondent who still periodically gathers the news of her friends and neighbors in the Mt. Olive community. She became a correspondent in the late 1950s.

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8:53am

Wed July 13, 2011
Science/Health

Kids Especially Susceptible to Summer Heat

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is urging the public to take steps to avoid injury and illness during this period of extreme heat, particularly dangers associated with leaving children in vehicles. According to Safe Kids, 49 children in the U.S. died last year from heat stroke while unattended in vehicles. From 1998-2010, at least 494 deaths are known to have occurred nationally. In Kentucky, there have been 13 deaths attributed to vehicular hyperthermia during the same time period and one death every year since 2004.

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8:51am

Wed July 13, 2011
Business and the Economy

Officials Downplay Rival Zip Lines

Work started this week on the new zipline at the Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area. The $200,000 project represents a major investment for the Harlan County Outdoor Board Authority, and recently the board learned about the opening of a competing zipline in eastern Kentucky. A private developer has opened a zipline attraction at Red River Gorge in Wolfe County, but representatives of the outdoor board downplay the significance of that opening on their project

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8:41am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

New Taxi Regs Would Increase Competition

Lexington resident Carmen Davis has dreams of running a small business. She and a friend have been researching the possibility of opening a taxi cab company. Davis' efforts came to a screeching halt when she saw Fayette County's current taxi requirements. "I believe I started looking at the ordinance in early June and it was kind of overwhelming because to buy 25 vehicles at one time is a huge investment for a small business owner." 

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8:38am

Wed July 13, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Orchestra's Labor Trouble Continues

Members of the Louisville Orchestra’s musicians union say they will reject the latest contract offer from the Orchestra. The Orchestra proposal, which outlines specific expectations for rehearsal and performance attendance, was delivered last week. It names tomorrow as the deadline for members to respond. If they don’t, the orchestra says it  “will be treated as a voluntary refusal to work and the Louisville Orchestra will take whatever steps are legally appropriate to fill your position.”

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8:35am

Wed July 13, 2011
Sports

Latest NBA Attempt Could Lawyer's Last

As the NBA lockout nears the two week mark, players, managers and owners are no longer in talks about their franchises. For over thirty years, Louisville attorney J. Bruce Miller has been in talks to bring an NBA franchise to the city. But his latest attempt will most likely be his last. Bruce Miller’s law office is a hybrid of two of his fascinations: Greek culture and professional basketball.  Behind his desk sits a model of the Parthenon. Strewn around his office he has basketball jerseys and other basketball paraphernalia.  Miller has white hair and speaks with a slight southern twang. When I spoke to him, he was wearing an NBA lapel pin on his suit.

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7:13am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

PSC Acts to Deter Copper Thieves

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is sending out another warning in light of a recent uptick in attempted copper thefts from electric substations. Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says thieves have been targeting utilities because of the perceived chance to make a big score.

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7:04am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Animal Advocates Protest Fireworks Rules

Another group is coming forward to voice its concerns about Lexington's latest round of fireworks. Some wildlife advocates say this year's Fourth of July did more than frighten dogs and cats. Nora Ward has rescued eastern cottontail rabbits for the Kentucky Wildlife Center for three years now. In the past, the fireworks had little effect on her animals, but she says this year, with the larger and louder fireworks allowed by state law, things changed. In an emotional plea to the Urban County Council, Ward said the noise was too much.

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7:01am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

City Works to Keep Lights On

It's one of the most basic services a government can provide: keeping the street lights on. But it isn't as easy as flipping a switch. Fluctuations in electric bills aren't just a problem for private homes and businesses. When Kentucky Utilities raises its rates, the government has to deal with higher bills too. The Urban Services fund, which, among other things, provides money for Lexington's street lights is running low. And Councilman Kevin Stinnett says a simple tax increase may not solve the problem.

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6:59am

Wed July 13, 2011
Science/Health

LEX Grapples With Health Care Costs

 Lexington's 3,064 insured city employees are on track to consume roughly 32 million dollars in health care this year. That's over four million dollars more than the same coverage would have cost just three years ago. Consultants also say Urban County Government has consistently underestimated the "true cost" of health care, offering more generous benefits than 99% of all public and private health insurance programs while incurring a 33-million dollar shortfall over the past three years.

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6:51am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Collective Bargaining Procedures Approved

After several contentious meetings on the subject, the Urban County Council voted Tuesday night to establish procedures for reviewing contract agreements reached through collective bargaining. For years the council has debated just what its role should be in agreements reached through collective bargaining. Traditionally, approval of the contracts fell to the mayor's office. But with unfunded pension liabilities mounting, some members of the council see it as their responsibility to review and ultimately agree to the contracts.

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6:47am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Journalist Touts Cleaner Coal

Journalist James Fallows is in Louisville today to speak at the Kentucky Chamber’s annual meeting. Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a former editor of U.S. News and World Report, and delivered a speech based on a recent article on the future of coal.

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6:30am

Wed July 13, 2011
Education

Peer Pressure Powers Juvenile Cybercrime

Like most juvenile crimes, cybercrimes are often the result of peer pressure.  An article in this week’s American Journal of Criminal Justice concludes kids who commit cybercrimes usually have friends who also commit cybercrimes.  Researchers surveyed 435 students in a suburban Kentucky school district. Helping with the study was Doctor David May, a professor of Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University.  May, who spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton, says they studied four forms of internet crime.

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3:57pm

Tue July 12, 2011
Education

Early Childhood Race to the Top

A newly formed Early Childhood Advisory Council will help Kentucky create policies, standards, and goals which should improve the education given pre school children.

26 people have been named to a state council charged with seeking ways to improve early childhood education.  They were named today (Tuesday) in an executive order issued by Kentucky's governor.  Former C-E-O of United Way of Kentucky Terry Sims Tolan will direct the brand new Early Childhood Advisory Council.  Tolan says consistency of care is the highest priority.

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