The debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling continues to dominate discussions on Capitol Hill. And, as WEKU’s Matt Laslo reports from Washington DC, the Kentucky congressional delegation isn’t too keen on raising the nation’s borrowing limit unless serious spending cuts are included.
Several environmental groups are threatening to suetwo eastern Kentucky coal companies for thousands of water violations. They say the state won’t take action. This comes as the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is lobbying to have even more control over the state’s waterways. The notice of intent to sue was sent from Appalachian Voices, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and several other organizations to International Coal Group–recently acquired byArch Coal–and Frasure Creek Mining. They say the coal companies self-reported thousands of violations at eastern Kentucky mines.
Calling the report a “whitewash”, the campaign manager for independent gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith believes the audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems leaves more questions unanswered. On Tuesday, State Auditor Crit Luallen found no evidence of wrongdoing in the retirement agency, but did raise concerns about the use of placement agents, who act as middlemen to secure investments from entities like the KRS. The report found New York placement agent Glen Sergeon had “an unusually close working relationship” with former KRS chief investment officer Adam Tosh, who resigned last summer.
Of the dozens of items in Lexington's $274 million budget for the next fiscal year, one of the most controversial surrounds the sport of disc golf. The spending plan passed last week by the Urban County Council includes a $150,000 bond proposal for disc golf courses at Coldstream Park and Jacobson Park.
State Auditor Crit Luallen says she found no evidence of wrongdoing in an audit of the Kentucky Retirement Systems. But Luallen says the audit does raise several areas of concern. The audit primarily focused on the use of placement agents, who act as middlemen to secure investments from entities like KRS. Placement agents have been at the center of "pay-to-play" scandals in other states, but Luallen says that does not appear to be the case in Kentucky.
The sign beside the large white tent on Scottsville Road in Bowling Green says it all - “All fireworks now legal.” But Clint Lowrie of Franklin, manager of Fireworks Supermarket, said many people who walk in still ask if it is legal to buy the larger fireworks. The answer is yes, thanks to a state bill signed into law in March. “People are just relieved to not spend the money on gas to go to Tennessee,” Lowrie said, referring to the common practice of Kentuckians crossing the state line to buy fireworks they couldn’t buy here.
Western Kentucky University already was spending money on projects to reduce energy use. So when the university learned it could receive additional incentives through the Tennessee Valley Authority, it was an added bonus. On Monday, WKU received a check from TVA for more than $106,000, money that will be plowed back into the energy savings program on campus, according to WKU President Gary Ransdell.
“Big Coal makes us sick.” That was the message printed on bright orange signs held by activists at a rally on the banks of the Kentucky River in Clark County Saturday morning. The signs had a double meaning. Just days after the media reported results of a study linking pollutants from mountaintop removal mining to a higher incidence of birth defects, members of the Sierra Club and other groups called on Gov. Steve Beshear’s administration to do a better job of enforcing the federal Clean Water Act.
The polar bear cub Qannik arrived in a UPS Boeing 747 last night in Kentucky as reported by dueling twitter accounts. There are two accounts currently claiming to be none other than Qannik herself. One is @QannikthecubLZ (Official Louisville Zoo account), the other is the rogue @QannikBearaccount.
The future of a landmark Lexington hotel remains uncertain after it was sold for $9 million at a master commissioner's sale Monday. Crowne Plaza Lexington — The Campbell House, at 1375 South Broadway, was in default on its $21 million mortgage. The property was purchased by the mortgage holder, JPMC 2006-CIBC14 South Broadway REO, LLC. Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine had awarded a judgment against the hotel's owners, Thoroughbred Campbell House LLC, on April 28 and ordered the property sold. She also appointed Chris Bryan, vice president of Hospitality Receiver LLC, to take over management of the hotel. Bryan hired Prism Hotels & Resorts, a hotel receivership and management company based in Dallas, to run the property on a day-to-day basis.
Not all of the timber in eastern Kentucky is good enough quality to be marketed commercially. But the lower quality wood is not going to waste. A Lexington based company is one of only 17 groups nationally selected for ‘wood to energy’ project funding.
Nunn, who was set to go on trial in August, entered the plea Tuesday morning in Fayette Circuit Court.
He waived formal sentencing and Judge Pamela Goodwine sentenced Nunn to life without parole. He also was given 12 months for violating a domestic violence order of protection. That sentence is to run concurrently.
When Goodwine asked Nunn if he was guilty of the charges Nunn said "yes ma'am" in a quiet voice.
Afterward, Nunn's attorneys, Warren Scoville said first-degree manslaughter was the best case scenario and with that charge he would have still spent the rest of his life in prison.
Corn has begun tasseling in Kentucky while soybean planting is nearing its conclusion, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service field office in Louisville reported Monday. Nine percent of the corn had tasseled as of Sunday, approximately two weeks behind last year because of the rain-delayed planting this spring. The corn crop is rated in mostly good condition. Soybean planting was 85-percent complete, down from the five-year average of 92 percent at this time of year. The crop is rated in mostly good condition.
Apples are squarely in the cross-hairs of a recent report released by the Environmental Working Group. The fruit has been targeted as the “most dirty” on the EWG’s “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables that it says are the most tainted by pesticides. Scott County fruit growers consider the data suspect, however, and adamantly defend their product.
Curtis Morrison with Say No 2 Bridge Tolls was in attendance to criticize the process.
“I have an issues with this being called a public input meeting,” Morrison said “when the governors and mayor got together and come up with a plan and they’re wanting us to give input on their plan, in my perspective that’s a little backwards.”
After hours of testimony Monday indicating that the driver who hit Lexington police officer Bryan Durman did so intentionally, defense attorneys called into question the impartiality of an expert witness because of an undisclosed business partnership with two officers.
A law passed by the state General Assembly earlier this year now allows the purchase and use of fireworks that shoot in the air, once prohibited in Kentucky. But both sellers and customers are being reminded that "safety and supervision remain the keys to a successful celebration," health and safety experts said.
Twenty-three years have passed since the Carrollton bus crash claimed the lives of three adults and 24 children returning to Radcliff from a church-sponsored outing to Kings Island. Last week, the National Transportation Safety Board listed Kentucky among states that have done the least to address hardcore drunken driving. The analysis is rooted in the NTSB’s 11 safety recommendations published in 2000, said Mark Rosekind, an NTSB board member. Of those 11 recommendations, Kentucky has implemented four.
Former state legislator Steve Nunn, the son of former Gov. Louie B. Nunn, appeared at a court hearing in Lexington today and pleaded guilty to killing his former fiancee, Amanda Ross, in September 2009, according to WKYT-TV. As part of a plea deal, Nunn will serve a sentence of life in prison without parole, the station reported.
A Georgetown-built vehicle has been named the most American-built car by the website Cars.com. For the third year in a row, the Toyota Camry built at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and at the Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in Lafayette, Ind., was named No. 1 as determined by the Cars.com formula for “most American car.”
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.”