Speakers for the 131st annual Fancy Farm picnic have been scheduled and organizers have confirmed candidates seeking statewide office and departing public officials will be in attendance. Time has even been set aside for any GOP presidential nominees running in 2012, but none are on the list—yet.
Tonight’s (Thursday) the night Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members may attempt to override budget vetoes issued by Mayor Jim Gray. The mayor line item vetoed three areas of the council approved budget, including funds for disc golf facilities and a half-dozen jobs in the city's communications office. The mayor also imposed a ten percent funding cut on some 26 outside agencies that provide city services. David Barberie (BAR-ber-ee) with the city’s law department, Tuesday explained to council members their options.
The mayor of Bowling Green, Kentucky believes the two Iraqi nationals being held in his city on terrorism charges are secure and American courts can handle terror suspects. On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in a letter that the decision to treat Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi as civilian defendants in federal court was “ill-advised.” However, the city commissioners disagreed and voted by a three-to-two margin against a resolution asking Holder to move the trial.
After spending 40 years at Louisville’s Speed Art Museum, a stolen 14th century work is going home. The Speed Art Museum bought the piece from a New York Gallery in 1973 for 38 thousand dollars, not realizing the Italian art was stolen from a home in Italy two years earlier.
Some parts of Louisville sounded like a war zone last weekend as fireworks laws were relaxed and residents celebrated the Fourth of July holiday. But all of those fireworks contributed to some of the area’s air quality problems. There are two main kinds of air pollution: fine particle and ozone. Louisville has been having a number of problems with ozone lately, but this weekend there was also a higher amount of particle pollution in the air from fireworks. Louisville Metro Air Pollution Control District spokesman Matt Stull says the high level isn’t necessarily caused by the city’s official fireworks, but it seems the sheer number of people lighting explosives over the weekend helped push the reading over the threshold.
The initial state-wide numbers are in on highway fatalities over the Fourth of July weekend. Six people died in six separate crashes between Friday afternoon and midnight Monday. Alcohol is a suspected factor in one crash. Four fatalities involved motorists not wearing their seatbelts. Lieutenant David Jude with the Kentucky State Police says to date, 321 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways.
A sign marking a Fleming County historic landmark has been replaced after a long absence. A historic marker sign at the Goddard Covered Bridge was installed Friday, July 1, in replacement of one stolen several years ago. The sign is located on Kentucky 32 where the covered bridge crosses Sand Lick Creek. The Goddard Bridge is one of three standing covered bridges in Fleming County and one of only 13 in Kentucky, which at one time was host to more than 400 covered bridges.
If the walls of the soon-to-be toppled Farmers Tobacco Warehouse No. 1 in Danville could talk, their stories would fill volumes. Owner Jerry Rankin has heard most of them over the years. “This has just been a special place,” Rankin said. Rankin confirmed Tuesday that a deal with Centre College is being finalized that will sell the landmark that has stood on the corner of Russell and Hope streets since 1927. He declined to discuss the specifics of the sale until it is finalized, only saying Centre paid a fair price for the property. Demolition is set to begin early next week.
Law enforcement officers attended more Fourth of July gatherings this weekend than in the past, but they weren’t there to celebrate. Fireworks complaints more than doubled this year, say Frankfort Police and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. “We were swamped,” said Frankfort Police Maj. Fred Deaton.
After more than 80 years, Farmers Bank’s run as the depository for Kentucky’s state government is officially over. J.P. Morgan Chase, with regional headquarters in Louisville, won the contract earlier this year to provide depository-banking services to state government between July 2011 and June 2013 at a cost of $1.3 million. Frankfort’s Farmers Bank held that contract since 1928 and was one of four other firms that unsuccessfully vied for the chance to handle billions in taxpayer dollars. Although they scored highly on technical requirements and in an oral presentation, Farmers asked for more than $900,000 above J.P. Morgan’s price.
While the Bowling Green Board of Commissioners didn’t pass a resolution asking the Department of Justice to move the trial of two suspected terrorists, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., continued his efforts Tuesday. McConnell, the Senate minority leader, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking Holder to reconsider his decision to hold civilian trials for Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, both arrested on terrorism charges in Bowling Green in May.
FRANKFORT – Five individuals were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Lexington last week on charges related to an investment fraud scheme through a company called Target Oil and Gas. The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions was instrumental in assisting the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in investigating the case. . District Judge Joseph M. Hood handed down these sentences:
Kentucky’s first Nascar Sprint Cup Race isn’t until Saturday. But, the racing frenzy is being felt far ahead of the competition and far away from the northern Kentucky track.
It wasn’t the roar of the nascar vehicles that race car fans heard in the parking lot.. It was the sound of idling trucks that transport race cars as they waited Wednesday in a Lexington parking lot. Daytona, Florida native Ron Utter works on the cars and drives the truck which holds the Toyota driven by Tony Raines. Utter says actual race cars rarely leave their trucks…and are only seen at the track.
An attorney for Glenn Doneghy, who was convicted of second-degree manslaughter in the hit-and-run death of Lexington police officer Bryan J. Durman on June 30, has filed a motion for a new trial. Attorney Sally Wasielewski, in the motion filed this week, says that jurors in the trial were allowed to walk freely around downtown Lexington during a June 30 lunch break — after deliberations had begun — when they should have been kept in a group and accompanied by a court bailiff. Wasielewski says this was a violation of Kentucky law.
A poor review by Men's Health magazine has prompted a response by a member of Lexington's urban county council. The publication recently rated Lexington the nation’s most sedentary city. Council member Jay McChord suggests he, along with Lexington's mayor , the president of the University of Kentucky, and the Fayette County Schools Superintendent travel to Pennsylvania to meet with magazine representatives.
A civil rights organization known for monitoring right-wing hate groups nationwide has listed U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on its list of “extremist” candidates who ran for public office in 2010. The Southern Poverty Law Center compiled the list of 23 candidates, which includes prominent neo-Nazis, neo-Confederates, white supremacists, Klu Klux Klansmen, militiamen and Holocaust deniers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.