By Beth Musgrave and Valarie Honeycutt Spears, Lexington Herald-Leader
A judge has ordered that a receiver take over a troubled personal care home in Letcher County that has been the subject of numerous state citations and federal and state criminal charges. Letcher Circuit Court Judge Samuel Wright granted a temporary restraining order Thursday and appointed a receiver to oversee the finances and day-to-day operations of the troubled Jenkins home that is licensed to care for 44 residents. Wright issued the restraining order and appointed the receiver at the request of Attorney General Jack Conway's office.
Two South Florida residents allegedly helped funnel 20,000 or more prescription pills to an Owsley County drug ring in April and May, according to federal court documents. George Darden, 44, and Elisa H. Alston, 40, are charged in federal court in Kentucky with conspiracy to distribute pills in Owsley County, court records show.
Jennmar of West Kentucky Inc. is expanding its existing plant in Earlington by an additional 16,000 square feet, and will eventually add 20 to 30 new employees to the work force in Hopkins County. The $1.13 million expansion was announced Thursday. This will be the third expansion of Jennmar’s facility since it started manufacturing roof bolts for underground coal mining industry in 2007.
A $200,000 federal grant will clean up Covington's Stewart Iron Works property while city leaders debate its future. The Environmental Protection Agency grant will clean up hazardous chemicals such as lead paint and petroleum at the 100-year-old building.
The congregations of 18 churches in the state are considering whether to take a stand to have ministers refuse to sign marriage licenses as a protest of Kentucky's refusal to allow same-sex marriage. Two Louisville churches already have said their ministers will stop signing marriage licenses. Both churches will continue to perform religious marriage ceremonies for straight and gay couples. Other churches are said to be considering joining the protest. Those churches are in Lexington, Berea, London and Richmond.
The Kentucky Department of Parks wants a license to sell alcohol at Lake Barkley State Resort Park, as well as state parks in other wet counties. State Parks spokesman Gil Lawson said the application is one of five involving state parks in wet counties and other territories, and that the application at Lake Barkley State Resort Park includes liquor by the drink in the dining room. Meanwhile, the parks department is also seeking beer licenses at two state park golf courses – Audubon in Henderson and My Old Kentucky Home in Bardstown.
Children born in 2010 will cost Kentucky families between $130,000 and $150,000 to raise. That's well below the national average. The USDA publishes a report on child-rearing costs each year. This year, costs went up two percent from 2009. On average families in the lowest income group spend $206,000 dollars on a child in before they graduate high school. But that number drops in rural regions. Terry Brooks is Director of Kentucky Youth Advocates. Brooks says for everyone housing takes up nearly a third of expenses.
Statewide Medicaid managed care is coming to Kentucky, but maybe not as fast as some lawmakers thought. Gov. Steve Beshear says the state can save millions of dollars by letting private health care organizations manage services for the state's 820,000 Medicaid recipients. Acting Medicaid Commissioner Neville Wise says proposals from interested organizations are under evaluation.
Many people might consider fireworks to be as much a part of the American fabric as apple pie, particularly during this time of year. In Kentucky, it’s likely you’ll be seeing more flashes and hearing more bangs. A new law opens the door to many fireworks previously deemed illegal in the commonwealth.
New academic standards for Kentucky students could put additional demands for teachers and administrators. As a result, some educators say student scores could drop. But, Elaine Farris, who's the third candidate in the search for Fayette County’s next school superintendent, doesn’t see it that way.
The school year’s opera students become song and dance men and women this weekend at the University of Kentucky. For the 19th year, UK Opera is staging a “Grand Night for Singing”. Not only is the summertime tradition a favorite among audiences, but, Director Everett McCorvey says it also teaches important lessons to his students.
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.