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10:09am

Sun July 3, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

Town Plans 'Little Green Men' Festival

There was a time when the little community of Kelly wanted the world to forget the UFO story that rocketed there on a hot August night in 1955. Apparently, time heals a lot of wounds. That’s why, on Aug. 20, the town will embrace aliens in costumes and other forms of UFO entertainment for Kelly’s first Little Green Men festival. The organizers hope to make it an annual festival. The festival will celebrate the story of an alien spaceship landing at a Kelly farmhouse on Aug. 21, 1955. On that night, the family of Glennie Lankford reported to police in Hopkinsville that a dozen or so little men had surrounded their house after landing in a spaceship.

10:06am

Sun July 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

Man Assaults Police, Pleads Guilty

The man caught on tape dragging a Frankfort Police officer during a traffic stop has pleaded guilty to assault and other charges. Russell Wheat, 50, will be sentenced Sept. 2. He faces up to 20 years in prison, but Commonwealth’s Attorney Larry Cleveland recommends four years and will oppose probation, according to the plea agreement.

10:04am

Sun July 3, 2011
Statehouse News

Commission Votes Tuesday on Terror Suspects

The Bowling Green City Commission will vote Tuesday on a resolution opposing the potential prosecution of terrorism suspects Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi in federal court in Bowling Green and urging officials such as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice to move the case.

9:59am

Sun July 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

'Texting' Ban Lacks Enforcement

In early January, 22-year-old Elizabeth Burrous was driving to the hospital to see a family friend. She didn't make it out of her Erlanger neighborhood before a police officer pulled her over. Her offense: failing to yield because she was texting. The law went into effect one year ago, but for the first six months officers only issued verbal warnings. Citations and fines began Jan. 1. In the first six months, nine people in Northern Kentucky were cited for texting behind the wheel. Statewide there were 144 citations issued under the law, which also includes a ban on anyone under 18 talking on a cell phone while driving.

9:55am

Sun July 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

Man Allegedly Assaults Deputy

A Henderson man allegedly assaulted a Henderson County deputy early Saturday morning. He is also accused of resisting arrest and leading city and county law enforcement officials on foot and vehicle chases. According to police reports, Deputy Bob Wathen confronted 47-year-old Paul S. Gregory in an attempt to arrest him on a failure to appear warrant and domestic violence order violation. Gregory reportedly assaulted Wathen and fled the scene on foot.

9:52am

Sun July 3, 2011
Sports

NASCAR Comes to Kentucky

To prepare for its first NASCAR Sprint Cup event Saturday, Kentucky Speedway added two grandstand towers that stand over Turn 4, pictured, and Turn 1. The additions helped push the speedway's seating capacity to 107,000.
Charles Bertram Lexington Herald-Leader

After more than a decade of struggle and dashed hopes, Kentucky Speedway will at long last play host to NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series. The green flag drops on Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Co. in the Quaker State 400 Saturday at 7:30 p.m. It remains to be seen whether the average Joe and Jane sports fans in the commonwealth who are not weekly NASCAR followers will embrace the race simply because Sprint Cup has now come to Kentucky.

4:55pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Mayor Gray's Vetoes Announced

Lexington’s mayor has asked members of the urban county council to change their recently approved budget.  The request came today (Friday) in a series of line-item vetoes.

Mayor Jim Gray vetoed three items in the new budget.  Gray said no to the 400 thousand dollars the council wants to borrow for two new disc golf courses, lacrosse fields, improvements at the Charles Young community center, and a remodel of the Berry Hill pool.   Another veto eliminates the jobs of seven people who work in government communications.  And Gray's final veto  reduced funding for outside agencies that provide services to the city by ten percent.

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4:17pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Civilian Employers Experience Military Life

Brenna Angel Kentucky Public Radio

They took a flight aboard a C-130 Hercules, had a Meal Ready to Eat for lunch, and watched a live fire training session. Several civilian employers got a taste of military life at Camp Atterbury, Indiana this week as part of Boss Lift 2011. Dave Robinson, a resource manager for the Army Corps of Engineers in Harlan County, Kentucky, visited the Kentucky National Guard's 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.

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4:15pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Wild Pig Numbers Increase in Kentucky

The feral pig problem is spreading in Kentucky. The animals aren’t native to the commonwealth, but were illegally brought into the state and let loose for hunting. They’ve been copiously reproducing ever since. In 2009, wild pigs were only in about 23 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. Now, they’re in 44, and spreading. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Mark Marraccini says the animals have few redeeming characteristics.

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2:03pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Fireworks Sales Provide Opportunities

The recent legalization of certain fireworks may help one stand manager go back to school. “I’ve wanted to go back,” said Will O’Neil, 22, who manages Tennessee Ted’s in Brighton Park. “I just need the money to do it.” He attended Kentucky State University for two years, then had to take off last year because he couldn’t pay for more classes.

2:01pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Statehouse News

Minors in Lawmaker's Attack Face Adult Court

It could be as long as six weeks before the two Whitley County High School students charged with assaulting teacher Dewayne Bunch know if they will be tried as adults. Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell said at a hearing Tuesday, Judge Cathy Prewitt recused herself from the case involving Dewayne Cox and Trevor Canada.

1:55pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Statehouse News

Firefighter Pleads Guilty to Forest Fires

The Corbin man, who was indicted by a federal grand jury in March, pleaded guilty Tuesday to setting fires in the Whitley County portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest. U.S. Magistrate Judge Hanley A. Ingram accepted the single-count, guilty plea for setting fire to land under the exclusive control and jurisdiction of the United States, from Michael L. Luttrell, 20, a former Woodbine volunteer firefighter.

12:09pm

Fri July 1, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Vetoes Save Lexington $889 Thousand

Lexington's Mayor has vetoed three items in the budget approved by the Urban County Council. Mayor Jim Gray's veto cut $400,000 in spending on disc golf, lacrosse, and other capital projects.  Gray also vetoed the funding restored by the council for outside agencies that provide services to the city.  The third veto, assuming it's not over-ridden by the council, means seven employees in government communications would lose their jobs.

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10:34am

Fri July 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

More Guilty in KY Oil and Gas Scheme

The former vice president of a Kentucky oil and gas company and a former geologist were sentenced Thursday for defrauding hundreds of investors nationwide out of millions of dollars. Christopher Cello Smith, 50, of Prestonsburg, was sentenced to five years in prison after being convicted by a federal jury of seven counts of mail fraud last July, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office. Smith served as vice president of Target Oil and Gas Co. in Albany from 2003 to 2008. He also was sentenced to three years supervised release and a $500 mandatory assessment. U.S. District Senior Judge Joseph M. Hood imposed a a forfeiture judgment in the amount of $3 million.

10:31am

Fri July 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Hearings Set for Utility Rate Raise

Formal public hearings concerning proposed power rate increases sought by Big Rivers Electric Corp. and Kenergy Corp. are scheduled to take place in Frankfort next month. If the full rate increases are granted to both companies, residential rates for Kenergy customers would increase 9.97 percent. Commercial and industrial rates would increase by lesser amounts.

10:27am

Fri July 1, 2011
All Politics are Local

KY GOP Refutes Re-organization Claim

The Republican Party of Kentucky's leadership on Thursday hoped to dispel concerns raised by some tea party members and said they don't have plans to delay the state GOP's re-organization from 2012 to 2013. Tea party activist David Adams this week released a statement urging tea party supporters to oppose efforts to delay Republican Party elections of local and state officers by a year. Adams said the delay would keep tea party supporters out of the GOP leadership until after the presidential election.

9:11am

Fri July 1, 2011
Science/Health

Lexington Library Targets 'Isolated' Bedbugs

The Lexington Public Library is taking steps to eradicate bedbugs from the Central Library on East Main Street, but officials say it remains a safe place for patrons. Two bedbugs were found in recent days in the library, which has as many as half a million visitors each year, said spokesman Doug Tattersall. "We're still busy, and people need to know they are safe here," he said. A pair of bedbug-sniffing dogs from a pest control company in Evansville, Ind., found evidence of bedbugs Wednesday in "isolated pieces of furniture" on the first, third and fourth floors of the library, and in some staff areas, Tattersall said. Furniture identified by the dogs was "immediately removed," he said.

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7:41am

Fri July 1, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Doneghy Convicted, Faces 30 Year Sentence

 After some 18 hours of deliberation, a jury has found 34 year old Glen Doneghy guilty of second degree manslaughter in the death of Lexington Police Officer Bryan Durman. The twelve member panel also convicted Doneghy on counts of leaving the scene of an accident, second degree assault, fourth degree assault, possession of marijuana, cocaine, and drug paraphernalia.

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5:41am

Fri July 1, 2011
Education

Beshear "Greatest Education Governor"

The National Education Association honored Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear on Thursday with this year’s America’s Greatest Education Governor Award. The annual award is given to governors who have made statewide efforts to improve public education and leaving education out of budget cuts.

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5:38am

Fri July 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

Kentucky Mayors Announce Job Study

Joined by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray at the Clinton Global Initiative American event held in Chicago Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a regional economic development study to improve both cities’ competitiveness in advanced manufacturing.

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5:35am

Fri July 1, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Indictments in Lottery Fraud Probe

A grand jury today indicted four individuals in Louisville and Lexington on charges of lottery fraud.The indictments are part of an undercover investigation by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation. KLC personnel visited various lottery retailers and presented tickets that, when scanned at a lottery terminal, would instruct the store clerk to award a prize.

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12:07am

Fri July 1, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

After Fireworks, Concerts Rule the 4th

If fireworks are at the top of the list for Independence Day activities, then music is number two.  A 4th of July country music concert is planned for Lexington, as is a pops concert by the Lexington Philharmonic OrchestraRich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers this preview.

5:07pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Science/Health

Lexington "Most Sedentary City" in US

Anytime they're talking about your town on the Colbert Report, 9 times out of 10 it's not for a good reason. Wednesday evening, the host cited a new study by Men's Health Magazine declaring Lexington, Kentucky as the most sedentary city in the United States. Men's Health deputy editor Matt Marion says numerous factors were considered.

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5:03pm

Thu June 30, 2011
All Politics are Local

Paul, Mitch Back Budget Amendment

Kentucky’s Republican senators are joining forces with the rest of their conference and are planning to force a vote on a balanced budget amendment. Freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul says the nation’s more than fourteen trillion dollars in debt poses more of a risk to the U-S than terrorists.

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4:53pm

Thu June 30, 2011
All Politics are Local

"Bluegrass Boondoggle" Alleged in Senate

Today on the US Senate floor, a lawmaker accused Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell of hypocrisy. As WEKU’s Matt Laslo reports, the Senate Minority leader was accused of giving special tax treatment to the thoroughbred industry.

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4:25pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Business and the Economy

UK Near Top of Start-Up Rankings

For years, the outgoing president at the University of Kentucky has urged faculty to launch "start-up" businesses.  Lee Todd believes those efforts are paying off. Todd says ‘seed money’ along with commercialization centers where new businesses are nurtured helped set the stage for start ups.  Then, he says an angel network of investors has helped fund such firms.   As a result, Todd says recent rankings put U-K first in creating start ups among similar schools.

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2:48pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Louisville and Lexington Launch Job Study

Joined by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray at the Clinton Global Initiative American event held in Chicago Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced a regional economic development study to improve both cities’ competitiveness in advanced manufacturing. The Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution will provide support for the 18-month project to determine how Kentucky’s two largest cities can strengthen their existing job markets and work together to achieve significant job growth in manufacturing and other key industries.

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2:36pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Teacher Guides Missionaries to Kenya

After one trip to Africa, Clark County's Jennifer Watson knew she had to find a way to go back. A three-week trip to Kenya last summer has turned into a three-year teaching stint for the Hannah McClure Elementary School teacher. “Once I got back, I just loved the country, and I tried to figure out how to go back and support myself,” Watson said. Watson said that, since teaching is her career in America, it made sense that teaching also would be a way to live permanently in Africa. In January, she was accepted to teach for three years at Rosslin Academy, an international Christian school in Nairobi. However, Watson said she “wouldn’t be surprised” if her stint in Africa extended beyond the three years.

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2:11pm

Thu June 30, 2011
The Commonwealth

Roadside Relief: Safety Teams on Patrol

Jim Elliott of Scottsville, a safety patrol officer with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Division of Incident Management, pulls a piece of tractor-trailer tire from the middle of Interstate 65. Elliott patrols 58 miles of I-65, from the Tennessee bo
Alex Slitz The Daily News

Eric Tipton of Morgantown breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday afternoon when Jim Elliott pulled his white Ford F-350 highway safety truck behind Tipton’s broken-down Nissan at mile marker 5 on the southbound William H. Natcher Parkway. Tipton wasn’t sure if his car had run out of gas or if he had a fuel line problem. Elliott grabbed one of his two gas cans out of the back of his truck and poured a half-gallon of gas into Tipton’s gas tank. The car didn’t start, but at least Tipton figured out the problem. “It’s a good feeling really,” Tipton said about Elliott showing up. “Just knowing if you’re out of fuel or need immediate help to know somebody is there for you.”

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1:12pm

Thu June 30, 2011
Statehouse News

Legislators Want Middlemen as Lobbyists

Legislators say they would support a recommendation to require investment middlemen who deal with the state pension fund to register as executive branch lobbyists. The recommendation was one of 92 made in a report by Auditor Crit Luallen during an investigation of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. She presented her findings at a press conference Tuesday and to the joint interim committee on state government Wednesday. The use of placement agents led to “pay to play” scandals in the New York and California state pension systems, but Luallen’s report found no evidence of wrongdoing here.

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