News

WKMS

 

 

An Owensboro businessman charged with rape, sodomy, and bribery will have his case tried in Daviess County.

The judge overseeing the case has rejected a request by the prosecutor to move the trial to Hardin County.

Billy Joe Miles is accused of assaulting a woman last summer who was serving as a home health care worker at his house.

 


Ask just anybody operating a licensed trade company about the availability of skilled labor and you’re likely to see an eye roll. The shortage of labor is acute. Tom Martin discussed one approach to the problem with Todd Johnson, executive vice president of the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky.

DEA

A western Kentucky Democrat has pre-filed a bill for the 2018 legislative session reducing the criminal penalty for first degree drug possession, or personal possession, from a felony to a misdemeanor. 


Mary Meehan

Throughout coal mining country of the Eastern U.S. you will find streams that run a peculiar rusty orange. It’s the result of pollution called acid mine drainage, or AMD. It’s estimated that about 10,000 miles of streams are polluted by AMD in Pennsylvania and West Virginia alone. In fact, researchers have calculated that every second, coal mines throughout the region are pumping out about 3,000 cubic feet of AMD. That’s roughly equal to an average May day’s flow of water in the Monongahela River as it winds through the region.

Stu Johnson

Preliminary work continues to convert Eastern Kentucky University’s Model Laboratory School into a charter school.  Come January a steering committee will tackle a number of key issues.

Kentucky's Projected Shortfall Deepens, Cuts Coming

Dec 15, 2017

A panel of economists has revised downward its prediction of how much Kentucky will make in tax revenue by the end of the fiscal year in June and Gov. Matt Bevin is expected to make cuts to state spending soon

The Consensus Forecasting Group on Friday predicted that the state will be $156.1 million short of initial projections. 
State Budget Director John Chilton said he expects Gov. Matt Bevin will make cuts to state spending before the end of the calendar year to help avert a budget shortfall.

Battery Plant Coming to Eastern Kentucky

Dec 15, 2017
wymt.org

West Coast Battery Company EnerBlu plans to invest $372 million in a manufacturing plant in Pikeville.  The formal announcement came this morning in eastern Kentucky. 

Long-time Congressman Hal Rogers says the expected 875 jobs eventually will be just the right medicine for a region hit hard by coal industry losses.  “You’ve been talking about evolving the economy of a whole region of the state.  This is a big step in that direction,” said Rogers.

 

Stu Johnson

The Paducah Board of Commissioners introduced an ordinance this week narrowing the focus of the city's Human Rights Commission to issues involving gender identity and sexual orientation.

Complaints involving race, color, religion, sex, age, familial status, handicap or national origin would be directed to the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights.

Human Rights Commissioner Robert Shy is concerned the changes will make the local board less diverse and attentive. Mayor Brandi Harless says it might bring better results.

Mayfield Council Considers Prohibiting Bars

Dec 15, 2017
mayfieldky.gov

A Mayfield city council member hopes to enact a law prohibiting bars in the far western Kentucky town. 

Johnny Jackson received the council’s initial backing earlier this week. Jackson says he’s heard from constituents on the matter.  “I decided we’d go ahead and move on this thing to disallow any bars per se rather than risk something coming in that our citizens of this community would not be proud of,” said Jackson.

 

Ash Urns Come to Lexington Area Parks

Dec 14, 2017
lexingtonky.gov

New ash urns are now installed at Lexington’s Woodland, Jacobson, and Shillito parks.  It’s an expansion of a litter prevention program initiated by the Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission.

Dan Johnson's Widow Vows Run For House Seat

Dec 14, 2017
WFPL.ORG

State Rep. Dan Johnson’s suicide in the wake of sexual assault allegations has sent Frankfort reeling. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton says Johnson’s widow plans to file to run for his seat representing Bullitt County in the legislature. 


Some Rare Good News Concerning Opioids

Dec 14, 2017
Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

A survey put out by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found a rare bit of good news about the opioid crisis. As Aaron Payne reports, fewer teenagers are using opioid drugs.

The Monitoring the Future Survey results shows a continued decrease of opioid misuse by teens.

National Institute of Drug Abuse Director Dr. Nora Volkow says this is encouraging news as overdose and addiction rates continue to rise for adults.

Hopkinsville Plans for New Sports Complex

Dec 14, 2017

The Hopkinsville-Christian County community plans to break ground on an indoor sports complex  and expansion of the convention center.

The $5.5 million dollar sports compplex will feature a 54,000 square foot multipurpose facility to host recreational and tournament events. Amenities include an indoor turf field, volleyball and basketball courts, and flexibility to host ‘non-sport’ events.

A nearly $3.3 million dollar investment in the James E. Bruce Convention Center will add 14,800 square feet of space.

wkms.org

State Rep. Dan Johnson committed suicide Wednesday evening, two days after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published accusations that he sexually assaulted a minor.

Johnson was a preacher from Mt. Washington in Bullitt County. He shot himself on a bridge over the Salt River, according to WDRB.

Johnson posted a suicide note on Facebook Wednesday evening calling the accusations false and telling conservatives to “take a stand.”


Kentucky's Health Ranking Shows Slight Uptick

Dec 13, 2017
wkms.org

Kentucky has made some progress in improving the health of its citizens.  The proof is found in some recent national ratings.

Midway University Launches First Wrestling Program

Dec 13, 2017
midway.edu

For the first time in its 170 year history, Midway University is starting a wrestling program.

The school’s head coach will be Jake Brumbelow, who started two wrestling teams at colleges in Georgia.

“You’re going to get a lot of blue collar kids that end up becoming firemen, police officers, and teachers and that kind of thing.   They’re hard working guys and it’s just a really good fit for that area and the culture of the sport and for campus,” said Brumbelow.

KentuckyNewsNow.Com

Officials from McCracken County met with state officials in Frankfort Tuesday to discuss solutions to long-time issues with the halfway house in Paducah. The privately owned facility allows inmates who are about to end their prison sentence transition back into society. McCracken County commissioner Bill Bartleman says over the last five years, more than 160 inmates have walked away or escaped - and an additional 600 inmates violated rules and returned to prison. He says two escapes in the past month resulted in car theft, a burglary and the assault of a police officer. 

Mary Meehan

Another community in south central Kentucky has signed off on the creation of a needle exchange for drug abusers. In a 4-3 vote, the Barren County Fiscal Court approved the program that will allow intravenous drug users to swap dirty needles for clean ones at the local health department.

KSP Making Changes To Attract Recruits

Dec 13, 2017
Kentucky.com

As Louisville and state police are having trouble recruiting officers, some departments are making changes.

Kentucky State Police changed its hiring process to bring in more recruits. Local and state police say they are having trouble recruiting and retaining officers. 


kentucky.com

An effort to crack down on shoplifting at popular Lexington retailers resulted in 28 arrests and recovery of more than $12,000 in stolen property. 

Lexington Detective Gene Haynes says the operation focused on a number of businesses along Nicholasville Road including the Brannon Crossing Center. “The people that are out shoplifting are the same guys that are breaking in cars.  They are the same people that are stealing checkbooks.  They are the same people that are stealing credit cards,” said Haynes.  “So, it kind of encompasses all of that.”

Iconic UK Landmark Coming Down

Dec 12, 2017
Kentucky.com

University of Kentucky is demolishing an iconic campus landmark. Kirwan-Blanding Tower is coming down.

Built in 1967, UK officials say the two, 23-story towers are outdated and renovations would be too expensive. UK Board of Trustees approved the measure Tuesday. The 13 acres where the towers now sit, along with a dining hall, will eventually become green space.

Over the last years UK has built nearly 7,000 new dorm rooms and modern dining halls. That means the rooms in Kirwan are surplus. No date has been set to begin demolition.

UK Board Approves Land-Street Swap Deal

Dec 12, 2017
kentucky.com

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees approved Tuesday a land/street swap with Lexington Urban County Government.  Only one step remains to make the deal final.

MissingMarines.Com

Marine Corps Reserve Private First Class Albert Strange was 18 when he died in the Pacific Theatre in 1943. The native of Mammoth Cave was among the approximately 1,000 U.S. casualties from the Battle of Tarawa on the Gilbert Islands. Representatives from the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency traveled to the battle scene in May to conduct excavations in hopes of finding unidentified remains. 


WFPL

Kentucky Rep. Dan Johnson refused to resign and said an allegation that he sexually assaulted a teenager “has no merit” during a press conference this Monday morning at his Fern Creek church.

Johnson, who is a pastor, was responding to a report released Monday by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, which found allegations of arson and sexual assault against the state lawmaker. The report also called into question significant portions of Johnson’s resume.

The Bullitt County Republican rejected all the claims in the story.

Kentucky.com

Retired teachers are voicing concerns about the ability to for Kentucky schools to hire quality teachers should a core component of the proposed pension plan be enacted. Kentucky Retired Teachers Association Executive Director Tim Abrams says having teachers switch to 401(a) plans would be a drain on taxpayers and offer fewer benefits.

Abrams said many teachers are willing to forgo cost-of-living adjustments to help fix the system. That is, he said, until he tells them what it would mean to their bankbook. 

Eastern Kentucky University Public Relations

On a cold day when indoor recreation might be the best choice, Eastern Kentucky University officials broke ground Monday morning for a new student recreation and wellness center. The $40 million dollar facility is financed through a student fee.

When completed the student rec and wellness center will be twice as big as EKU’s existing facility and will include basketball and racquetball courts, a pool, a weight room and a rock climbing wall. 

KCIR

Both of the state’s major political parties are calling for a state representative to resign after allegations that he sexually assaulted a minor and attempted to commit arson.  The Bullitt County Republican mentioned in the allegations is also a preacher.

According to the report from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, a woman alleges that Rep. Dan Johnson groped and molested her after a New Year’s party in 2012 when she was 17 years old.


Kentucky.com

The backlog of untested rape kits in Kentucky has grown larger than the initial 3,000 discovered in 2015.

While testing is complete on the original backlog, officials uncovered 1,500 so-called “boomerang kits”.

Those are rape kits sent to the crime lab, not tested for various reasons, and then returned to law enforcement agencies.

The state recently received a nearly $3 million federal grant to test those kits from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Benny Becker | Ohio Valley ReSource

 

  

The sound of power tools blends with teenage chatter as students clamber around, under, and over a trailer bed that they’re busy turning into a home. They’re part of a project called “Building It Forward,” which has vocational classes building tiny houses as a way of gaining practical skills and new confidence.

fcps.net

The Lexington council has taken the first step toward rebranding the city’s day treatment center.  It would rename the facility in honor of Audrey Grevious.  The educator and civil rights leader died in January.

Vice Mayor Steve Kay believes the naming of the center for Grevious is appropriate. “She had a really good feisty attitude.  She was outspoken.  She was clear.  You know exactly what was on her mind,” noted Kay.  “She was really a treat to work with, so I think this would be a fitting honor for her.”

Pages