In a statement released on his campaign website, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., accuses Republican Andy Barr of supporting a “radical agenda to end Medicare” as a way to balance the federal budget. Barr announced his candidacy earlier today, setting up a potential rematch between the 37-year-old Lexington attorney and three-term incumbent. In 2010, Barr came within 648 votes of unseating Chandler in a political nail biter.
After losing by less than 700 votes in last year’s general election, Republican Andy Barr will challenge Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler again in 2012. The 37-year-old Lexington attorney is a rising star in the Kentucky GOP ranks and surprised political observers by coming within a razor-thin margin of beating Chandler, a popular incumbent and grandson of a former governor.
From January 2009 through April 2011, left-leaning group Media Matters analyzed television news guests who commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s role in regulating greenhouse gases. They found that 76 percent of these commentators were critical of the federal agency’s regulations, and 18 percent were in favor. When the news guests are broken down by network, Fox News hosted even more guests against EPA regulation: 81 percent of Fox News guests and 83 percent of Fox Business guests.
Clark County superintendent Elaine Farris is in Lexington Thursday, hoping to convince the community and the Fayette County Board of Education that she's the best candidate to become Lexington's new school superintendent. Farris took a 20-minute tour of the district's new Wellington Elementary School on Thursday morning, after being greeted by school board members and meeting with community leaders. The other two superintendent finalists — Jessamine County superintendent Lu Young and Daviess County superintendent Tom Shelton — were in town Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Each finalist follows the same meeting schedule, tours the same schools, and is asked the same questions to ensure fairness.
The Department of Agriculture is asking the state Personnel Board to deny a request for investigation into whether two political appointees were illegally hired into protected positions. Personnel Board Vice Chairman Larry B. Gillis said that a probe is needed to determine whether Danita Fentress-Laird and Kathryn Willis were transferred from positions as politically appointed division directors into positions protected by the state's merit system without following normal procedures. A response by the Department of Agriculture said the Personnel Cabinet had reviewed the decisions and found no wrongdoing.
The Lancaster City Council may have a third option when considering how to solve pending water plant capacity issues. Representatives from Lexington-based Kentucky American Water came to the council’s work session this week to express preliminary interest in purchasing the city’s water and sewer plants. John-Mark Hack, KAW director of government affairs, said the company will not know if it wants to make an offer on the plants until it conducts a thorough study of each, mostly through examining city documents.
Danville will host its 22nd annual Great American Brass Band Festival this weekend. “The Great American Brass Band Festival is all about community,” says Niki Kinkade, executive director of the festival. “The community makes this happen."
DNA evidence found on the steering wheel of the vehicle that hit and killed Lexington police Officer Bryan Durman last year matches the DNA of a woman whom police apparently ruled out last fall as a possible suspect in Durman's death, says a defense attorney for the man accused of murder in the case. The woman, who goes by the nickname "Juicy," is the same woman alleged to be on a recently made video recording admitting she was the driver who hit Durman.
Fort Knox will see millions of dollars in construction projects as the post continues to grow thanks to the Army's realignment process. Lt. Gen. Benjamin Freakley told a chamber of commerce audience that many of the improvements to date have been made in Elizabethtown. But he said he believes more development needs to take place closer to post, particularly in Radcliff. Freakley said the lack of high-end restaurants, shopping and specialty stores has caused soldiers to leave the area and travel to Louisville.
For many kids, the last year of high school is a bit of a cruise — finishing up a few remaining credits, dreaming of college, hanging out with friends and generally savoring the final, fleeting days of childhood. But it didn't work out that way for Woodford County's Wade Poor. Wade, 17, spent much of this school year dividing his time between a seat in the classroom and the operator's seat on a backhoe, working to keep his family's excavating business from going under after his father became critically ill and unable to work.
Two Iraqi refugees facing federal terrorism charges have waived their rights to have a detention hearing at this time in U.S. District Court. Waad Ramadan Alwan, 30, was brought into the federal courthouse in Bowling Green early this morning but decided to sign a waiver giving up his right to a detention hearing today. However, Alwan has reserved the right to ask for it at a later date, said U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Stephanie Collins. Alwan’s codefendant, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 23, signed a similar waiver that was filed in U.S. District Court on Tuesday.
A new slate of laws that took effect Wednesday will change the way judges set bonds. Bonds will be issued based on the assessed risk of defendants. Under the new law, more people will be released on unsecured bonds or on their own recognizance, Hopkins District Judge Logan Calvert said. This part of the provisions was set forth by House Bill 463, which was passed into law earlier this year by the state legislature.
After hosting its first-ever “community night” last year to bring local people in for a night of concerts, the Ichthus Music Festival is offering a special price for a whole day of events geared toward central Kentucky this year. Ichthus 2011, under the theme “re:new,” takes place Wednesday, June 15, through Saturday, June 18. This is the 42nd year for the Christian festival in Wilmore that began in 1970 as a religious response to the Woodstock festival.
The crowd at Outlaw Field Airport erupted with cheers the second that Staff Sgt. Charles “Chaz” Allen’s plane touched the ground. Allen, a member of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Ky., was not able to come home from Afghanistan with the rest of his unit in April. Instead he was undergoing surgery and rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after stepping on an improvised explosive device in January that destroyed part of both of his legs and broke his right elbow.
What started out as a routine press conference to announce the formation of a city commission on youth and public safety, shifted into more of a town hall style public meeting Wednesday in Mayor Jim Gray’s office headquarters. First District Councilman Chris Ford says a recent uptick in violent crimes in urban areas has prompted the need for a comprehensive and community-wide approach.
The Daviess County school superintendent who wants to be Fayette County's top educator views himself as someone who can enhance a vision for education. Robert Shelton, one of three finalists vying for the superintendent’s position in Lexington sees retiring superintendent Stu Silbeman as a visionary. Silberman also hailed from Daviess County...something Shelton recognizes, but doesn’t thnk it gives him an unfair advantage.
Deputy Chief Justice Mary Noble of Lexington has become the first woman to preside over oral arguments in the Kentucky Supreme Court. The issue before the Supreme Court was ineffective assistance of counsel in a criminal case. It's a fairly routine issue of appeal, but the proceedings were unique because, for the first time, a woman was sitting in the chief justice's chair.
Lexington's retired public safety workers can expect to receive more pension money each month to offset an increase in the cost of living. More than 900 retirees in the Lexington Police and Fire Retirement Fund will see a 2.6% cost of living adjustment.
Despite predictions that this summer would be milder than usual, Louisville has been experiencing temperatures reaching the mid 90s. The Climate Prediction Center made the original forecast, and the center still holds that the heat will plateau as the summer goes on. Ryan Sharp from the National Weather Service says Louisville residents should be thankful for this year’s wet spring.
Among the many new laws taking effect today is one whose purpose is to deter the growing problem of metal theft in Kentucky. House Bill 242 unanimously passed both houses of the Kentucky General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session and was signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear on March 16.
Some tough budget decisions are expected today when Lexington’s Urban County Council convenes. One of the items up for debate is the future of police escorts for Lexington area funerals. The future of police escorts for funeral processions could be decided Thursday at Lexington’s city hall. Hoping to cut costs, Mayor Jim Gray wants to eliminate the service. However, former Urban County Council member Jim Combs, who helped launch the service in 1980, says the escorts protect the processions.
Western Kentucky University is hosting an international conference dedicated to the study of a familiar local landscape. Southcentral Kentucky, home to plentiful caves and sinkholes, is a part of a karst landscape, making it an appropriate spot for this conference. Karst landscapes - landscapes created by water in a carbonate rock setting, such as limestone or gypsum - include features such as sinkholes, springs and caves. Eighty conference participants represent 16 nations.
About 50 people attended a Whitley County UNITE Coalition forum Monday evening to discuss the impact of Kentucky's new 150-page penal code reform act, and whether the pros of the new law outweigh the cons of it. Proponents say the reform is Kentucky getting "smart" on crime, while critics say it is the state getting "softer" on crime sacrificing public safety to save money. The consensus of the group, if there was one, is that eventually the new law will probably help Kentucky's recidivism rate among criminals namely drug offenders, but that the crime rate might get worse under the new reforms before it gets better.
After cool temperatures and near-record rainfall in April, Kentuckians must now deal with scant rainfall and near-record heat. Health officials across the Commonwealth are warning of the potential risks of heat stroke and exhaustion. Madison County Health Department spokeswoman Christie Green says the elderly, especially those seniors with chronic diseases, are vulnerable.
It will be a double dose of Breathitt County native Chad Warrix Saturday night at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, which is located near Mount Vernon off I-75 in Rockcastle County. One of the founding members of the duo “Halfway to Hazard” will not only be on hand for the unveiling of the new exhibit bearing his name at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame at 5:30 p.m. - Warrix will also be at the museum's site to meet with his fans from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Then he'll join the country group “Lonestar” to perform during the “Concerts 4 A Cause” event, which begins at Renfro Valley at 7 p.m.
Five months after Lexington Mayor Jim Gray called for a review of the Fayette County Detention Center it appears there will be not one, but two groups looking for ways to make improvements. Sheriff Kathy Witt recently presented her findings on conditions at the jail, and Lexington Deputy Police Chief David Boggs delivered his report Tuesday. Boggs says the jail needs less micro-managing and more leadership. "Really the resounding theme came back that that needed to be an increased emphasis on communication so the employees in the organization felt heard."
With topics ranging from parental involvement to school testing to teacher accountability, Jessamine County School superintendent Lu Young met with the Fayette County community Tuesday. The 51-year-old is a finalist to replace Stu Silberman, who is retiring from FCPS. At last night's public forum, Young recognized that moving from Jessamine County to a larger district would be a challenge.
In an interview with conservative talk radio host Bill Bennett Tuesday, Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams endorsed the controversial steps taken by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as necessary measures given the state’s labor union laws. During the discussion, Williams was asked which governors he admired most and named Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. The question turned to the recent actions taken by Walker, who was embroiled in a fight with labor unions earlier this year after a vote successfully curtailed public employee bargaining rights as a way to balance the Wisconsin state budget.
Former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann says his 2010 decision to donate to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s campaign for the U.S. Senate was driven by frustration and fear. Olbermann was suspended from MSNBC for donating to Conway and Arizona representatives Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva.