Cities throughout Northern Kentucky have struggled in recent years to provide essential services in a struggling economy and council meetings often turn into contentious debates about budget issues. The city of Florence, however, has managed to maintain service levels, complete several capital improvement projects and maintain reserves of more than $20 million. So what sets the Boone County city apart?
Eight of the nine Churchill Downs races that were cancelled last Thursday after a tornado struck the track’s barn area will be made up before the end of the spring meet next week.Two races were added to last Friday’s night racing card. The rest of the makeup races will be run this Friday through Sunday.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a Kentucky man facing a nearly nine-year prison sentence for crack cocaine charges is eligible to have his sentence reduced. William Freeman agreed to the sentence in a plea deal, which was based on the sentencing guidelines for crack. When those guidelines changed, Freeman tried to have his sentence shortened, but was told he had to follow his plea deal.
For the 131st annual Fancy Farm picnic, organizers have plucked longtime Democratic Marshall County Judge Executive Mike Millerto host the event, which marks the unofficial start of the Kentucky general election this fall. The Graves County sideshow is scheduled for August 6 and is expected to be heavily attended due to the 2011 gubernatorial race between Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear and Republican challenger David Williams, but candidates in other statewide races have also been invited.
Instant Racing is another step closer to leaving the gate at Kentucky horse tracks. But opponents of the new form of gambling still hope to block it. Instant Racing, which involves electronic gambling on previously-run horse races, has never won legislative approval in Kentucky. But last month, a legislative oversight panel refused to block regulations allowing it.
Pesticide use in vegetable and fruit farming has been a common practice for decades. Likewise, medical research over the years, has resulted in safer ways to kill pests and disease. Still, health concerns persist.
The state will begin installing median cable barriers on I-64 in Franklin and Woodford counties and on I-65 in Bullitt County. Work is scheduled to begin July 7 on installation of median cable barriers on Interstate 64 between mile point 57.2 in Franklin County and mile point 65.7 in Woodford County. Construction will begin about two weeks later on Interstate 65 in Bullitt County between mile points 103.8 and 109.3.
Jurors in the Lexington murder trial of Glen Doneghy (DON’-eh-high) got a brief physics lesson from a KSP collision reconstructionist Monday. Doneghy is charged with killing Lexington police Officer Bryan Durman in a hit and run crash.
Some nine months after Kentucky played host to a major international horse competition, comes a final report on its economic impact on the commonwealth. Now all eyes are looking forward for new opportunities.
The Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games held in 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park had an economic impact of $201.5 million, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Monday. “The World Equestrian Games were indeed a success and this report illustrates the positive result that our local and state governments, our sponsors, the many volunteers, the business community and the citizens of the Commonwealth working together can have.” Beshear said. “It also underscores the important role of the Kentucky Horse Park and the legacy the games will have for future years.”
The Rev. Canon Carol L. Wade, former canon precentor at the National Cathedral in Washington, will be the new dean and rector at Lexington's historic Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral. She is the first woman to hold either position at the downtown church.
Hopkins, Christian and McLean counties tied for the Kentucky county with the highest percentage of HIV testing. Information from www.kyhealthfacts.org states the three counties have tested 45 percent of adults under the age of 65. Hopkins County Health Department Nursing Director Denise Baldwin attributes this to a combination of good medical facilities, efforts of doctors in preventing infection from mother to unborn child and having information on HIV widely available.
The Democratic candidate for Agriculture Commissioner in November’s election, Bob Farmer, should not expect any open arms if he comes to Harlan County, according to Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop, following the controversy that has caused several elected top Democratic officials in eastern Kentucky to declare Farmer unwelcome in their county.
After nearly two weeks of testimony, the murder trial of Glenn Doneghy is expected to wrap up this week. Prosecutors have presented more than a dozen witnesses who have testified about seeing Doneghy leave his apartment, stop at a gas station and return home. Several investigators have testified about what happened after they found officer Bryan J. Durman, the efforts made to save him and the evidence they used to tie Doneghy's sport-utility vehicle to the scene.
There will be public comment hearings today and tomorrow for the Ohio River Bridges Project. Earlier this month, opponents of tolls welcomed cost reducing changes to the bridges project that were proposed by the Mayor of Louisville and the governors of Kentucky and Indiana. The changes would make the project slightly smaller and cut its cost by $1.2 billion, bringing the total price tag to about $2.9 billion. Previously, it was suggested that tolls would be used to pay for half of the project, and until a final financing plan is in place, it’s not clear how essential tolls will be for the revised plan.
The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has released new Internet tools to help miners better understand their rights and responsibilities. According to the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, miners can’t be discriminated against for raising concerns about workplace safety or requesting MSHA inspections.
For the past decade, local schools have been judged based on federal requirements that some say are unfair and ineffective. Now, Gov. Steve Beshear has requested a waiver from those requirements under No Child Left Behind. His proposal would allow Kentucky schools to be tested under the state’s new system instead of the current federal system. It’s a move that local educators applaud.
Despite record-low interest rates and a surplus of available homes for sale, the housing market in Scott County and the region has yet to see a sign of relief from sluggish sales. According to the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors, 606 sales were reported in the region in May, compared with 839 in May 2010. There were 53 sales in Scott, down from 62 a year earlier. For the first five months of the year, 191 homes have been sold in the county, down from 241 for the same period in 2010.
When the Kentucky Speedway was built in 1998, officials predicted it would dramatically change Gallatin County and have a huge economic impact on the state. A wave of development was expected to sweep through the area surrounding the speedway, transforming its rolling green hills. That never happened, chiefly because the speedway never received the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for which it was built. That race will finally come on July 9 - and some are again predicting a tidal wave of economic activity, especially in Gallatin County.
Danville City Commission approved a release agreement with Paul Stansbury at a Friday afternoon meeting that will pay the former city manager a year of salary and benefits worth a total of about $116,000. Stansbury — who had been suspended pending a final resolution on his termination — will receive remaining sick time and vacation time, totalling about $11,000, and his $80,000 annual salary in two lump sum payments of $40,000. The first payment will come within 21 days and the second during January of 2012.
Lee T. Todd Jr. steps down next week after a decade as president of the University of Kentucky — a decade of big ambitions, tough challenges, notable accomplishments, a few controversies and much left unfinished. The Hopkins County native had been a UK engineering professor, then he spent 17 years as a technology entrepreneur. After selling a couple of companies he had started, Todd returned in July 2001 to become UK's 11th president.
Next to the American flag at the Valero gas station in May's Lick is a shorter pole bearing a white flag with a blue emblem: the Israeli flag. One of the owners of the gas station, Mark Myers decided to erect the flag to express his opinion on the current status of Israel, what it means to America and what America should mean for the country. Friday morning, two days after the flag was hung, a small pile of animal entrails appeared to have been placed in the grass near the flag. Myers now wonders whether someone could have been protesting his decision to display the Israeli flag.
The legal hunting of sandhill cranes in Kentucky has moved another step closer to becoming a reality, but final approval is still pending. Earlier this month, the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved a sandhill crane hunting season in Kentucky. The season, with a mid-December start, would last for 30 days, or until 400 of the huge, migratory birds have been killed, whichever comes first.
Police have arrested more than 20 people charged in Pulaski County with not paying child support and are searching for others as part of an enforcement roundup, local prosecutors announced. A total of 44 people were charged. Police from several agencies began arresting them June 16 and have found about half of them, Pulaski County Attorney Martin Hatfield said in a news release Wednesday.
As if orange barrels, speed traps and distracted motorists sharing the road weren’t stressful enough, drivers on southbound Interstate 71/75 Thursday morning were given another warning – beware of the undead. An electronic highway sign on the interstate near the Ky. 18 exit read: “Nightly lane closures, zombies ahead.” The sign was apparently hacked, said Nancy Wood, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokeswoman.
Unemployment rates fell in 99 Kentucky counties between May 2010 and May 2011, while 16 county rates increased and five counties remained the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, an agency of the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
The City of Harlan plans to make drastic cuts and reduce staff levels to close a $200,000 hole in next year's budget. The cuts were presented at a special called council meeting Wednesday. "We will cut two positions in the street department, one position in the sewer department and one in the fire department," said Mayor Danny Howard. Besides the cuts in the staffing levels, the city is also proposing a 15 percent cut across the board in every department.
The National Weather Service storm survey crews have confirmed at least four tornados struck parts of Louisville Wednesday night. The first tornado struck around 8 pm, and Meteorologist Ted Funk says it was the most significant.
“Based on our storm survey,” says Funk “the heaviest damage was near the intersection of Floyd Street and Central Avenue, again there was a large industrial building that had heavy damage and estimates of wind in that area were 120 MPH.”