Raising student achievement through new teaching methods is one of Kentucky's ongoing goals. It’s been on the minds of education activists with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. Sarah Buhayar is the program manager of the Measures of Effective Teaching, which sponsored by the Gates Foundation. Buhayar, who's been working with the Prichard Committee, says much of their research focuses on student evaluation of teachers.
The number of people crossing state lines to buy prescription pain killers has policy makers looking for ways to crack down on drug trafficking and pill mills. There is currently no national network to monitor the flow of prescription drugs. But as Kentucky Public Radio’s Brenna Angel reports, that will soon change, and states will have options.
For the 42nd time, a Christian rock festival will be held in a field near the central Kentucky community of Wilmore. Over the decades, much has changed at Ichthus and for fans who gather for music, lectures, workshops and fellowship. The first sounds of music will fill the air Wednesday. One of the nation's best known worship bands, ‘Hillsong United’ will help open the festival. Then on Saturday, the festival's final day, Ichthus Chief Executive Officer, Mark Vermillion says the focus will again be on community.
By Josh Kegley, Lexington Herald-Leader & Jennifer Hewlett, Lexington Herald-Leader
A murder charge comes in two forms in Kentucky: intentional and wanton. Intentional murder means a death was purposely caused. In a case of wanton murder, the defendant demonstrated "extreme indifference to human life." Regardless, prosecutors must either prove intent to kill or indifference to life, and legal experts think that could be one of the highest hurdles in the trial of Glenn Doneghy, who is charged with murder in the hit-and-run death of Lexington police officer Bryan J. Durman. Two rulings last week by Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael seemed to deal major blows to the prosecution.
The last members of Fort Knox’s U.S. Army Armor School stood steadily at attention through light rain Friday at Fort Knox’s Brooks Field. They took the parade field for a ceremony marking the end of the school’s 71-year history at Fort Knox. The ceremony, which drew a hearty crowd, also symbolized completion of the transition of the last remaining elements of the school to its new home at Fort Benning, Ga.
The sun was shining and the skies were clear Saturday morning for Danville's 22nd annual Great American Brass Band Festival parade. The warm, dry weather was a nice change of pace from previous parades, said Danville resident Linda Knight.
Thirty years after he proposed legalizing marijuana in Kentucky, it continues as the issue often associated with gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith. But Galbraith is slightly resentful that he’s been saddled as a one-trick pony. “I can give a speech talking about 10 different planks in my platform and I know that when the story comes out the next day the first thing that gets mentioned is marijuana,” he says.
Some school officials are disappointed that a statewide distinguished program will be cut after next academic year. The Kentucky Department of Education voted last week to repeal the state regulation that paves the way for the Commonwealth Diploma program. For the past decade, high school students across the state have taken college-level courses in an attempt to earn the diploma. Now, state officials are cutting that program because it has become irrelevant to many students’ college careers, said Lisa Gross, KDE spokeswoman.
Tom Shelton is Fayette County's new school superintendent. The Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously Friday night to name Shelton, now the Daviess County superintendent, to lead the Fayette County system and its almost 37,000 students. Shelton's contract will be for three years and 10 months at an annual salary of $240,000. That's a little less than outgoing Superintendent Stu Silberman's pay. He's getting about $244,000 this year.
It’s been another stellar month for state revenue receipts in Kentucky. And Gov. Steve Beshear says that means no furloughs for state workers next fiscal year. General Fund receipts in May were $750 million, a whopping 18 percent increase over May 2010 receipts.
The state Public Service Commission this week approved an expansion of Duke Energy Kentucky's energy-efficiency programs. The commission approved Duke's plan to continue 11 existing programs as well as add a new one called Residential Smart Saver in cooperation with the Kentucky Housing Corp., according to a PSC news release. The program will offer incentives of as much as $250 to cover part of the cost of items like air sealing, attic insulation, duct sealing, and tuneups for air conditioning and heat pumps. The incentives also will be available for the installation of high-efficiency heat pumps or air conditioners in homes.
FRANKFORT — Based on a strong General Fund tax revenue trend for fiscal year 2011, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday afternoon that it appears no furloughs for state employees will be necessary in 2012. “I am pleased to see that revenues continue to improve beyond budgeted expectations," Beshear said in a press release from his office. "It appears that we will end the current fiscal year with unexpected funds, though the amount, of course, won’t be known until we close the books after June 30.
Frankfort - For the 13th consecutive month, Kentucky's General Fund tax receipts grew in May. The state budget director Friday reported that May’s receipts grew 17.8 percent compared to May of last year, an increase of $113.6 million. Total revenues for the month were $750.3 million, compared to $636.7 million during May 2010. Receipts have now grown 6.7 percent for the first 11 months of fiscal year 2011.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has directed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to undertake 19 emergency maintenance projects to repair sections of highway pavement damaged by severe weather last winter. The cabinet will use $13.6 million of contingency funds for the projects, most of which are on interstate highways and Kentucky parkways. The projects are being added to the cabinet’s 2011 highway maintenance schedule.
While the past few days have been hot and humid the Lake Cumberland area has had a wet spring overall, causing the lake level to rise over 720 feet above sea level, 40-plus feet more than what the Corps of Engineers would like while work continues on Wolf Creek Dam. The Corps is currently drawing the level down about a foot a day.
Wildlife management officials say they can’t test bats again for white nose syndrome until November. In April, officials confirmed the first cases of the fungus at a cave in Trigg County. Right now, Wildlife Diversity Program Coordinator Sunny Carr says bats are mating and raising young, and they can’t be studied. However, Carr says it is possible they can spread the spores that cause white nose.
Harvey Wallmann had never heard of physical therapy when he injured himself while playing sports in the late 1970s. Decades later, he’s bringing to life Western Kentucky University’s new physical therapy program. Wallmann recently was named director of the doctorate program, which many community members have wanted for a long time. Officials plan to accept the program’s first group of students in the fall of 2012.
While there’s no doubt that Saturday is the star of the Great American Brass Band Festival, Friday has developed into more than simply a warm-up act for the main event. Beginning with the history conference at 9 a.m. and wrapping up with a concert more than 12 hours later, Friday features a full slate of opportunities for festival-goers to get the party started, both in Danville and at venues outside the city.
Handicapping the so-called “golf summit” between President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner, GOLF Magazine encouraged the commander-in-chief to get tips from U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., who is an avid and skillful amateur. The social outing was initially thought to be an attempt to cool tensions in Washington, but both sides have said no agreement on the federal budget will come as a result of the friendly game.
In the first poll of the 2011 Kentucky gubernatorial election, Democratic Governor Steve Beshear holds a strong 21-point lead over Republican challenger and state Senate President David Williams. During the primary campaign, early polls showed Williams trailing the governor by a smaller margin, but since then Beshear has launched a number of radio and television advertisements and observers had been highlighting the GOP nominees high negatives.
A stolen Italian painting that’s been in the Speed Museum’s collection for nearly 40 years is now on display in Louisville for the last time. The Speed purchased the piece in 1973 for $38,000, and museum officials didn’t know it was stolen until a few months ago. The Speed worked with the U.S. and Italian governments to organize the art’s return. But before the painting is sent back to Italy it will be on display at the Speed through July 3rd.
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.