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12:43pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Two Injured in July 4th Explosions

Two people suffered significant injuries from explosive devices during the Independence Day weekend, according to Nelson County EMS Director Joe Prewitt. Zack Bagwell, 25, Boston, was transported to University Hospital Sunday afternoon after losing at least one finger in an explosion near the Beech Fork River in the Boston area. The Boston Fire Department and EMS met Bagwell at Rust Funeral Home.

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12:34pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Three Family Members Drown in KY River

Three men from the same family died after they were swept away by the rain-swollen current during a Fourth of July outing on the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River. Rescuers on Tuesday recovered the body of Tim Blevins about half a mile below a dam on the river, near Hyden. On Monday, Blevins' brother, Larry Blevins, 36, and Kendall Estep, 30, their brother-in-law, had been pronounced dead.

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12:24pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Few Quick Fixes For Brent Spence Bridge

Reinstate emergency pull-over lanes. Reduce the speed limit. Ban trucks. Reroute traffic away from the bridge altogether. Less than two weeks after a stranded motorist was knocked to his death off the Brent Spence Bridge, the accident has revived a years-long debate about ways to make driving the span safer - now.

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12:19pm

Wed July 6, 2011
Sports

Campers Settle in at KY Speedway

They say life's pretty sweet in Hershey, Pa., but the Fletcher families - three brothers and their kin -- chose to spend this week, beginning Tuesday, camping out at the Kentucky Speedway. "It's your inaugural race" in NASCAR's Sprint Cup series, the top tier of stock-car racing, said Ann Fletcher, explaining why this is the one Sprint Cup race the Fletcher clan intends to visit in 2011.

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7:55am

Wed July 6, 2011
All Politics are Local

Council Weighs Budget Options

Last week, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray made good on a promise to veto parts of the city budget approved by the Urban County Council. This week it’s the council’s turn to respond. At Tuesday’s work session, council members received advice from attorneys on their options for overriding Mayor Gray’s vetoes, which took effect last Friday. Some of the items will require a simple up or down vote, but others, such as the restored 10% cut in arts and charitable programs, could be voted on individually, though the council lacks the authority to reduce the amount of the cuts. For now, Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says council members are remaining relatively tight-lipped about their plans.

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7:40am

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Fireworks Under Review

The fourth of July weekend is barely history and there’s already interest among some Lexington council members to change the city’s fireworks policy. Several Lexington area residents complained to city hall about fireworks activity in their neighborhoods.  The new state law opened the nighttime skies to flying fireworks. Plus, the newly legal fireworks on the ground were quite a bit louder than usual.  Council member Kevin Stinnett says he heard the blasts and got an earful from constituents.

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7:26am

Wed July 6, 2011
The Commonwealth

McConnell Asks for New Trial Site

Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell is asking the U.S Attorney General to reconsider his decision to try terror suspects in a Bowling Green courtroom. In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senator McConnell writes the decision to try Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohaned Shareef Hammadi in civilian court was “ill-advised." 

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7:18am

Wed July 6, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Vets Nursing Homes Get Energy Upgrades

Governor Steve Beshear praised the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs today at one of its three nursing homes in the state. The department has used a $2.2 million loan from the Green Bank of Kentucky to improve energy efficiency at its facilities.

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3:51pm

Tue July 5, 2011
Education

New UK Head Meets Rank and File

The new leader of the state's flagship university says he wants to meet with as many people, in as many departments, as quickly as possible. As Alan Lytle reports, the school's administration is doing its best to make that happen. New University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto continues to make the rounds getting to know the school's students, faculty, and staff.

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1:47pm

Tue July 5, 2011
Education

EKU's Odds for Presidential Debate Improves

Several federal and state elected officials have joined together to support Eastern Kentucky University’s bid to host a debate during next year’s presidential campaign. A package sent by university officials to the Commission on Presidential Debates includes strong letters of support from Democratic and Republican leaders, namely U.S. Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, state Sen. President David Williams and state House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

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1:40pm

Tue July 5, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

'Survivor' Contestant Advises KY Youth

During his time as a contestant on the popular TV reality show “Survivor,” Rodger Bingham proved to the world that a country boy can survive. Being raised on a farm in Grant County, the native Kentuckian credits his love of the outdoors, along with skills at hunting and fishing, plus good common sense as the reasons he held out so well in the Australian Outback during the CBS-TV show's second season 10 years ago. Bingham cited making good choices in why he lasted that long, and that was his message to a group of about 15 youngsters and adults during a visit at Kentucky River Community Care's Sewell Center in Jackson Thursday.

1:27pm

Tue July 5, 2011
Business and the Economy

Reform Needed to Continue Medicaid

A report released by Bowling Green-based Bluegrass Institute last month claims Kentucky’s Medicaid program is on an “unsustainable path.”  The report, titled “An Unsustainable Path: The Past and Future of Kentucky Medicaid Spending,” was authored by John Garen, an economics professor at the University of Kentucky, and takes an in-depth look at the issues facing the state’s Medicaid program. “(Medicaid’s) expansive spending growth over the past 25 years has put increased pressure on state and federal budgets,” Garen said in the report. “Medicaid has failed to fulfill the goal of improved health for most of its recipients.”

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1:25pm

Tue July 5, 2011
Business and the Economy

Mercer Co.'s Industries Greatly Expanding

 When the economy has fallen and can’t seem to get back up, the job of industrial recruiter goes from difficult to nearly impossible. Yet Drew Dennis, executive director of the Harrodsburg-Mercer County Industrial Development Authority, has been on something of a roll ever since he started in April 2009. Mercer County’s industrial expansions have all come in the last year, with Corning, Hitachi and Wausau Paper all announcing major additions to their Harrodsburg operations. Those investments will result in more than 300 new jobs. In fact, the amount spent on expansions in Mercer County since the beginning of 2010 surpasses the $366,527,246 spent on new manufacturing facilities across the entire state of Kentucky during that period, according to state figures.

10:15am

Tue July 5, 2011
Sports

Princeton Golfer Heads to U.S. Open

Emma Talley has her tee times for the first two rounds of the U.S. Women's Open - and the Caldwell County golf phenom could be getting some face time on Golf Channel this week. Talley, who was scheduled to fly to Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday and play practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday, is set to tee off at 9:06 a.m. CDT in the first round of the tournament on Thursday.

10:11am

Tue July 5, 2011
Education

Transy Professor Receives Grant for Research

Christopher Begley, left, is an associate professor of anthropology at Transylvania University. He and Eli Crane, an engineer, examined petroglyphs in Honduras, including those on the rock above.
Lexington Herald-Leader

A Lexington archaeologist has received a grant from the National Geographic Society to advance his search for a "lost city" in Honduras. Christopher Begley, an associate professor of anthropology at Transylvania University and director of the Exploration Foundation, will use the research grant and 3-D technology to examine ancient artifacts in the Honduran rainforest, near the Mosquito Coast. The area is the rumored location of a lost city from ancient times.

10:03am

Tue July 5, 2011
The Commonwealth

Beshear Recognizes Lemonade Stand

He may only have graduated from kindergarten, but Harrison Owens is already being commended by the head of state. Harrison, 5½, came home last week to find a letter in the mailbox from Gov. Steve Beshear. The letter arrived in response to a letter Harrison sent in April. Harrison had told the governor he planned to hold lemonade stands to raise funds to place seat belts on school buses. The Stamping Ground Elementary School student said it was not safe to ride in vehicles without seat belts.

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5:20am

Tue July 5, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Extras Found at KY Historical Society

Dozens of treasures are hidden in the archives of the Kentucky Historical Society, including Soviet anti-aircraft guns, gilded shoulder decorations from a Mexican general and phony Paul Sawyier paintings. With limited space for exhibits and displays, tens of thousands of artifacts and documents are kept in storage in the second floor of the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. The State Journal recently got a behind-the-scenes tour of the archives.

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5:17am

Tue July 5, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Pipeline Pill Dealer Sentenced

A Bellepoint man who told sheriff’s deputies he made $2,000 a week selling out-of-state prescription painkillers has been sentenced to eight years in prison. John Shramm, 38, sold 30mg Percocet pills to a confidential witness Feb. 24 and March 6, court records show. He was immediately taken into custody.

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5:04am

Tue July 5, 2011
Education

Schools Explain New Testing

Frankfort area school officials may host forums this fall to explain the state’s new testing system to the public. Members of the Franklin County and Frankfort Independent school boards discussed that possibility Friday during a joint meeting to discuss possible collaboration and attend training on the new system.

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11:02am

Mon July 4, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

New EPA Regulation Polices Pollution in KY

The Louisville area has had six Air Quality Alerts because of high ozone levels so far this year.But the Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to unveil a new rule this week that could eventually reduce those ozone levels. The Clean Air Transport Rule will affect states differently. Some will have to regulate both fine particle pollution and ozone, some will have to regulate one or the other, and some won’t be affected at all. Kentucky, as well as the entire Ohio River Valley, is among the 21 states that will have to reduce both types of pollution.

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10:56am

Mon July 4, 2011
The Commonwealth

North Kentucky Leads in "Detained" Youth

Kentucky detains the second highest number of youths in the nation for behavior that would not be considered illegal if committed by an adult. While national child advocates say Kentucky has been proactive in lowering the number of youths locked up for misbehaving - skipping school, running away or being out of control - the state's ranking is skewed by Northern Kentucky counties that jail an unusually high number of children.

10:52am

Mon July 4, 2011
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Guard Unit Prepares for War's End

Intense training occurs daily at this huge Indiana base as more than 1,300 Kentucky National Guard members from around the state prepare for a historic tour of duty in Iraq. They've been here about a month and will leave the United States in late July after their mobilization training is completed. The operation could make history in two ways. It will be the largest deployment by the Kentucky National Guard since World War II, and the troops probably will be the last Kentucky Guard members sent to Iraq. The U.S. military is on pace to end operations there and depart the country Dec. 31.

10:44am

Mon July 4, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Lexington Man Allegedly Bites Officer

Lexington police say an officer was bitten Saturday after chasing down a man who had been pulled over for reckless driving. Glenn Curtis Whittenburg, 40, of Lexington was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, third-degree criminal mischief, fleeing and evading police, resisting arrest, reckless driving and no operators license, according to police records. Lexington police Lt. Chris Van Brackel said the incident began with a traffic stop for reckless driving, and then Whittenburg "jumped out of the car and fled on foot." When the officer caught up with Whittenburg, Whittenburg bit him.

10:39am

Mon July 4, 2011
Business and the Economy

Somerset Firm Sees Natural Gas as Electricity

If David Weddle's idea works, natural gas from unused wells will play a growing role in meeting Kentucky's electricity needs.Weddle is president and c hief executive of Wellhead Energy Systems, which has developed a way to convert natural gas to electricity at the well and feed it into the power grid. The Somerset company's plan involves tapping so-called "stranded" gas wells to generate electricity. Stranded wells have been drilled but aren't producing. Wells can end up stranded for various reasons. For instance, a company might drill a well to preserve a lease, but it isn't connected to a pipeline to transport the gas. The electrical grid is much more extensive than the network of pipelines to gather and transport natural gas, creating an opportunity to convert the gas to electricity and feed it into the grid through lines that pass the site, Weddle said.

8:16am

Mon July 4, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Invasive Beetle Nears Kentucky

An invasive insect could be set to enter Kentucky. The Asian Longhorn Beetle was spotted in trees southeast of Cincinnati within a few miles of the Ohio River. If it makes it to Kentucky it may be difficult to eradicate. The beetle has been in the United States since the 1990s, when it stowed away in shipping containers from Asia. Now, it’s living in many forests, where it bores into trees and eventually severs all the vascular tissue and kills the plant.

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6:00am

Mon July 4, 2011
Sports

Reds Mark Milestone in Latino Baseball

This July Fourth marks the 100th anniversary of a baseball milestone.  In 1911, Cubans Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida became the first Latino players for the Cincinnati Reds. The two are sometimes called the first Latino players in the major leagues, but that depends on the definition of major league baseball.

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5:58am

Mon July 4, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Fund For the Arts Considers Changes

The Fund for the Arts’ annual campaign has ended and the organization’s energy will now turn inward, toward revising its mission and policies. The shakeup at the fund started earlier this year, when CEO Allan Cowen retired amid a flurry of criticism over his brusque interactions with artists and arts groups. Much of the dissent came from visual artists, who say the fund doesn’t give them the money or attention they deserve compared to performing arts.

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5:55am

Mon July 4, 2011
Sports

Churchill Meet Ends Today

The spring meet at Churchill Downs comes to an end today. It’s a spring meet that won’t soon be forgotten. Just under two weeks ago, a tornado ripped through the Churchill Downs backside, causing extensive barn damage but no injuries to people or the hundreds of horses stabled there.

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2:00am

Mon July 4, 2011
Science/Health

Office of Blind Seeks Needs Comments

Visually impaired Kentuckians face obvious obstacles.  Adding to the potential problems is access to technology and transportation. Cora McNabb of the state Office for the Blind says they’re likely to re-appear on the next needs assessment.

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3:34pm

Sun July 3, 2011
Education

Lee Todd on Academics and Athletics

Lee Todd at his desk after turning off his computer for the last time as president
Stu Johnson

A new era begins this week at the University of Kentucky.  President Lee Todd, who served as UK president for a decade, has cleaned out his office and went into retirement.

Lee Todd brought his engineering background to the office of president at UK.  Throughout his tenure Todd urged college researchers to branch out into the private sector and involve themselves in start-up firms.  Todd also argued a key ingredient to such economic growth is graduating students with more proficiency in math and science.  Todd says progress depends on training better math and science teachers who have with better classroom skills.

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