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Todd Lappin via Flicker

Note: Some readers may find this subject matter disturbing.

When Beth Jacobs was 16 years old, she needed a ride home. She had missed her bus after work again after promising her father she was responsible enough not to make it a habit. She asked a man she thought was a friend to give her a lift. He offered her a drink from his car’s cup holder. She took a sip and woke up in a parking lot hours later.

The Perry County Adult Drug Court is set to receive $1.3 million in federal support.  The grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance will be used to expand treatment services.  The funds are intended to help people who struggle with employment issues, mental health problems or a lack of basic education.

 

Wells says the funds will also provide a peer support specialist, who can relate to what drug court participants are going through. 

President Trump’s first effort at a federal budget calls for elimination of funding for the Appalachian Regional Commission.  The director of the Appalachian Center at Berea College worries, if enacted, the president’s spending plan would have negative impacts on southeastern Kentucky.  

   

The "skinny budgets" offered by first-term presidents often include wish lists of spending requests and basic economic projections.  The Trump proposal includes funding cuts to a number of agencies including the Appalachian Regional Commission. 

We've had a couple of calls to the Listener Comment Line to share this week.

First up, a self-described longtime listener and supporter, choosing to remain anonymous.

“I just wanted to comment about how hard it is for me to contribute since I don’t have Internet. It’s hard for me to reach you when you’re running the advertisements about your “upcoming fund drive or you can go ahead and support the station early even before the fund drive begins. It’s very hard to call in and do that.  Nobody answers.

Stu Johnson

Lexington’s mayor participated in a special flag-raising event Thursday.  As WEKU’S Stu Johnson reports, it marked the unveiling of the city’s first community spirit flag.   

Mayor Gray:  "I will tell you, that you all have confirmed, that if you got to get a tough job done, then give it to the students and the teachers, congratulations," Mayor Jim Gray’s comments just before the community spirit flag was hoisted up the pole at the Lexington Christian Academy.  

Copley/Hendren on Weekend Arts Sampler, Other Events

Mar 17, 2017
Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring arts and cultural activities with Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren of the Lexington Herald-Leader. They start out this week with mention of a weekend “arts sampler.”

Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren cover arts and culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Lexgo dot com.

You can find many listings of arts and cultural activities at the events calendar link at WEKU dot FM. 

Cheri Lawson

Northern Kentucky University’s men’s basketball team took the court to practice earlier this week. As WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports the team was preparing for their first ever trip to the  NCAA tournament known as the “Big Dance."

What they’ve accomplished is rare. Only six other teams have ever qualified for the NCAA Division 1 men’s tournament in their first year of eligibility.  And they’re scheduled to play none other than the University of Kentucky Wildcats.

Thousands Gather for On the Table Lexington Discussions

Mar 16, 2017
Mary Meehan

Lexington area citizens gathered Wednesday for community discussions in the city’s first “On the Table” event. They gathered in community centers, coffee shops, houses of worship and other venues to talk about issues affecting quality of life in the city.    


Lexington-Fayette Co. Health Dept.

Later this year, Madison County will join about 15 other Kentucky communities that offer needle or syringe exchanges. The county’s fiscal court gave unanimous approval Tuesday morning.   

Like most of the state, Madison County has seen alarming increases in the number of Hepatitis C infections caused by sharing of dirty needles by drug users.

The County’s Board of Health held two informational meetings earlier this year in Richmond and Berea before considering the resolution to establish the program.

Marisa Hempel

We’ve been hearing a lot about “fake news” and “alternative facts” lately. Some folks say these are symptoms of challenges to journalism.

 



On this week’s Eastern Standard: Fake News and other Challenges to Journalism.

 

Downtown Development Corporation

 

Well over 10,000 people are signed up to participate in community discussions in Lexington Wednesday as On the Table meetings are scheduled all over the city.

 The On the Table format for community conversations is patterned after meetings that have been held each year in Chicago for four years.  Lexington is the first of ten cities holding similar get-togethers with support from the Knight Foundation.

 

Kentucky.com

The state Department of Alcohol Beverage Control is implementing monthly alcohol serving classes across the state aimed at creating a consistent training schedule as the number of wet counties grows.

The Server Training in Alcohol Regulations or STAR classes are for ABC licensees and their employees.  Classes are intended for people who serve or sell alcoholic beverages.  They'll be held monthly at state park venues.  Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner Christine Trout said the training is not state mandated.

LRC.GOV

Disabled veterans who own small businesses would be advised of state contracts under legislation before the state Senate. The measure, sponsored by Owensboro Representative DJ Johnson, passed out of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee last week.

“When there’s a small purchase contract bid going out, the agencies will be requested, or actually required, to have at least one disabled veteran small business owner bid on that contract, if there’s one available.”

Kentucky.com

Women in Kentucky with so-called dense breast tissue would be notified of that under legislation before state lawmakers aimed at improving early detection of breast cancer.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee heard testimony saying 40 percent of women have dense breast tissue.  It’s described as breasts with more of such tissue than fatty tissue.  Bill sponsor Jim Duplessis said these women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer. 

Proposal for Adoption Task Force Before Ky Senate

Mar 13, 2017
Kentucky.gov

Kentucky lawmakers are being asked to establish an adoption task force,  the proposed legislation is awaiting action in the state Senate.

House Majority Caucus Chair David Meade said the panel would work to modify the adoption process in Kentucky.  He said it took 3-years for he and his wife to adopt their daughter.  The Stanford lawmaker said it’s very expensive and requires a lot of redundant paperwork.


Focus On Business: Scott Neal on Aging in Place

Mar 13, 2017

Study after study finds that most members of the Baby Boom generation want to "age in place" - in other words, they want to remain in their homes in their senior years.  But are they prepared?  Tom Martin talked about it with Lexington Financial Planner Scott Neal.

Rebecca Kiger

Here’s an email we received last week from a listener choosing to remain anonymous.

He starts out with, “Aaaargh!!.”  

He goes on to write, “Listener Feedback is the most painful part of Monday morning!  It's even worse than the review of the weekend Trump tweets. 

Can you move it back to, like, 3:45am so we don't have to listen to every gawdawful cranky-pants in the state complain about how to pronounce "Athens" or if Garrison Keillor was better?? 

Dang!  Monday's are hard enough as it is!”

This week in Kentucky politics, the president of the Senate filed a bill that would strip powers from the attorney general’s office and give them to the governor.

As the legislative session winds down, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether a charter schools bill will pass and if it does, what it will look like. And reports that President Trump would visit Louisville this week were walked back…but Vice President Mike Pence WILL be coming.

Capitol reporter Ryland Barton has this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.

Kentucky.com

Representatives of five programs at Eastern Kentucky University are joining together to track free-roaming horses in the rural southeastern part of the state by flying over Breathitt County early Friday.


Stu Johnson

 

Hundreds of workers at Kentucky’s juvenile detention facilities will soon see a 20 percent hike in pay.  Governor Matt Bevin made the announcement Thursday at the Fayette Regional Juvenile Detention Center. 

The governor said the roughly $2 million dollars to cover pay raises comes from a number of state departments.

 He said taxpayers “have a responsibility to do right” by the workers.The largest salary increase will go to some 460 entry-level workers.  Others working in juvenile detention facilities will also see higher pay. 

Because of employee turnover rates that exceed 100 percent, Justice Secretary John Tilley said it costs the taxpayer more to pay less when it comes to youth worker salaries. 

Copley/Hendren on Comic-Con, Other Events

Mar 10, 2017
Lexington Herald-Leader/Lexgo.com

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring arts and cultural activities with Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren of the Lexington Herald-Leader.  This week they begin with an event that, not so long ago, didn’t exist in Lexington, Comic-Con.

Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren cover arts and culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Lexgo dot com.  You can find many listings of arts and cultural activities at the events calendar link at WEKU dot FM. 

Bill Aims To Reduce Student Athlete Concussions

Mar 9, 2017
Kentucky.com

Kentucky lawmakers are considering steps to reduce concussion-related complications for student-athletes with a bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Education Committee Thursday.

Kentucky.com

A bill changing the mine inspection requirements emerged from the Senate Natural Resources Committee Wednesday. The measure offers flexibility to the State Division of Mine Safety in carrying out its inspection duties. Charles Snavely, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary, explained the bill.

“The proposed statute maintains the six required inspections annually, but it allows the division, actually the commissioner, to replace up to three of those inspections with mine safety analyst visits.” 

John Hingsbergen

On this week's show, Ted Gioia, musician and author who has published ten non-fiction books, most recently the acclaimed How to Listen to Jazz (Basic Books). 

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky House voted 77 to 18 in favor of a school calendar bill offering districts an option for when class begin after summer break.


WLKY.com

Officials from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services are asking for expansion of prescription electronic reporting, saying it could help doctors respond to the state’s opioid drug problem.


Kentucky.com

The Kentucky Senate has added emergency first responders to the list of protected groups when it comes to hate crimes with a as 33 to 5 vote after much debate on the Senate floor Tuesday.


Cheri Lawson

A Lexington mosque has been the target of a bomb threat.  As WEKU's Cheri Lawson reports, the Kentucky Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations is calling on state and federal authorities to investigate.

At Lexington’s Masjid Bilal Mosque Tuesday afternoon, prayer leader or Imam, Shahied Rashid is chanting a call to prayer.  

Kentuckytourism.Gov

Two state legislative resolutions calling for a national constitutional convention got a hearing Monday in Frankfort.  Elections, Constitutional Amendments, and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee Chair Kenny Imes told the packed room no vote would come this session, but the issue would be studied over the next year. 

 Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare’s resolution contains balanced budget and state’s rights language.

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