Stu Johnson

Mayor Jim Gray has appointed longtime realtor and lifelong Lexington resident Joe Smith to the Urban County Council representing the Second District.  

Smith’s appointment comes following the April resignation of Sasha Love Higgins.  

Love Higgins stepped down following felony theft indictments against her.

Bluegrass Ultimate

Flying discs will fill the air in high numbers this weekend at the Kentucky Horse Park’s polo fields. 

Some 750 players from across the country will gather for the national Division three College Ultimate Championships.

During the month of May, police agencies in Kentucky and across the U.S. take time to remember and honor their fellow officers who have fallen in the line of duty.   

The chaplain of Lexington’s police department says memorial events can be meaningful for officers, their families, and the community at large.

Kim Blackburn Kim Blackburn Photography via Lexington Herald-Leader/

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring arts and cultural activities with Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren of the Lexington Herald-Leader.   They tell us that the Moonshiners’ Ball is this weekend. It’s known as the annual “kickoff” of the music season in Lexington and Central Kentucky.   

Trump administration officials have been visiting parts of the country affected by the opioid addiction crisis, including the Ohio Valley region. The administration called it a “listening tour,” and they got an earful in events marked by protests and controversies.

Madison Co Students Safe After School Bus Fire

May 18, 2017
WKYT-TV News Staff

Students from two Madison County Schools are safe after escaping a burning school bus.  Bus #222 caught fire Thursday afternoon.

Lexington council members reviewed the operations of the Lextran mass transit system Tuesday at City Hall. 

During the weekly council work session there were questions about bus routes and scheduling.

Lextran General Manager Carrie Butler detailed the budget for the 67-bus fleet including all-electric and compressed natural gas vehicles.

A combination of public and private funds is being used in Lexington to help cover the cost of drugs used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. 

Lexington leaders accepted a donation from a local bank Tuesday at the council work session.

A second $25,000 donation from a Lexington-based bank will be used to help pay for additional doses of the drug Narcan, often administered to those overdosed on heroin. 

Police Chief Mark Barnard says it’s taking more Narcan to try to save heroin users.

Lexington Plans Downtown Pedway Upgrades

May 17, 2017
Stu Johnson

Lexington officials are planning to “makeover” Lexington’s five downtown pedestrian walkways. 

Details were discussed Tuesday during a Downtown Lexington Management District budget presentation before the Urban County Council.

Stu Johnson

Lexington city planners are asking walkers and cyclists for ideas on how to to improve pedestrian and cycling transportation in Fayette and Jessamine counties.

Citizens were given an opportunity Tuesday night to participate in the master plan update.

Kentucky Department of Education

The Kentucky Department of Education is moving ahead with a review and revision process for academic standards in English, language arts, and math.  

State Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt Monday outlined what’s been done so far and what lies ahead. 

He says teachers across the state will play a key role in this ongoing review, “They will look at the feedback we get from the field.  We’ve already made some revisions that started back in 2015, where we had teachers who actually helped write the standards.”


Mending Mining Country: Three Ways Trump Could Help Miners And Coal Communities

May 16, 2017
From White House video

At a March ceremony to sign an executive order reversing Obama-era environmental regulations, coal miners were arranged on stage around President Donald Trump as he took up his pen.

“You know what it says, right?” Trump asked the miners. “You’re going back to work.”

From his campaign rallies to White House events, President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with coal miners and promised to restore their collapsed industry.

The Lexington Human Rights Commission is asking the state supreme court to hear its case against a local print store. 

The commission made the decision  Monday night after meeting in executive session.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled last Friday that the shop Hands On Originals did not discriminate when it refused to print T-shirts for the 2012 Pride Festival. 

Zika Not Only Bug-Carried Health Threat in Ky

May 15, 2017

A public health entomologist says the mosquito-borne Zika virus is just one of several health-related issues likely to face central Kentuckians in the years ahead. 

Mosquitoes are also not the only insects that may carry viruses.

Dr. Grayson Brown, who heads the University of Kentucky’s Public Health Entomology Lab, participated in last week’s Zika Summit in downtown Lexington. Brown says locally-transmitted Zika may not soon surface in the Bluegrass. 

By postal mail, Edd from Versailles wrote in response to a comment we aired a couple of weeks ago, ”I was about to call in to the listener line to voice my frustration with the constant, over and over, droning focus of WEKU on such a narrow range of the issues.

America has a lot of major situations that deserve coverage and the constant drum beat on a few such person(al) causes is over the edge.   

John Hingsbergen

One of the "Founding Mothers" of NPR is our guest on this week's show.  NPR and ABC commentator and best-selling author Cokie Roberts is our guest in a show recorded at this year's WEKU Day Sponsor Recognition Event.

Listeners in attendance at the May 15 event are the audience for the show and will be offering questions and comments.

Zika Could Threaten Rural Ky Communities

May 14, 2017
Stu Johnson

Hundreds of health care and other officials gathered in Lexington Thursday for a Zika Summit.  

State infectious disease specialist Dr. Ardis Hoven says local health departments in rural communities are being called upon to educate community leaders about the mosquito-born virus. “At the end of this month actually the preparedness branch is going to be doing more work on the environmental side, the vector control side and in educating groups involved in those communities as well,” said Hoven.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has ruled a Lexington business did not discriminate when it refused to print T-shirts for a gay pride festival.  A decision about whether to appeal Friday’s ruling to a higher court could come in just a few days.

The case involves the business Hands On Originals’ decision not to print the T-shirts for Lexington’s 2012 Pride Festival.  Store Managing Owner Blaine Adamson said in a teleconference Friday,“religious liberty is our most important freedom," adding, "It's not really free if beliefs are confined to our minds.”

Barr Says Comey Firing is President's Prerogative

May 12, 2017

Sixth District Congressman Andy Barr says President Trump has the authority and prerogative to dismiss FBI Director James Comey.  

The GOP representative made his remarks following a Lexington ceremony recognizing a new world headquarters for Valvoline.

Governor Bevin doesn’t anticipate the special legislative session planned later this year to provide all the tax reform solutions.  

The governor reiterated his intent to call lawmakers back to Frankfort for a tax session before the end of the year. 

But, Bevin says it won’t be a session to end all sessions on tax reform.  “Not everything we would like to get done will get done necessarily in this single session,” said Bevin.  “I mean taxes are an ongoing thing, not only for Kentucky, but for every state, everywhere.  There’s always some moving part.”

Copley/Scherer on Conrad Tao with Lex Phil, Mayfest, Other Weekend Events

May 12, 2017

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring arts and cultural activities with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald-Leader.   This week, Rich is joined by the paper’s features editor Sally Scherer.

Stu Johnson

One of Lexington’s longstanding corporate entities is celebrating its new global headquarters.  The ribbon cutting for the $35 million Valvoline world headquarters took place Thursday.

The four-story building with lots of glass carries a V shape as the global base for the lubricant and chemical company. 

Valvoline has had its corporate headquarters in Lexington for 37 years.  The new structure off Richmond Road will house the majority of Valvoline’s 650 or so Lexington employees. 

Can coal make a comeback? That’s the title of a new report from Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy.

Researchers there analyzed the factors leading to the coal industry’s sharp decline over the past six years and assessed the Trump administration’s efforts to revive it.  

Ashton Marra/West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Former mine executive Don Blankenship Wednesday  jumped on Twitter, renewing his feud with U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin.

As WEKU’s John Hingsbergen reports, it was on the day Blankenship was to finish a one-year prison sentence arising from a deadly mine explosion.     

Downtown Development Corporation

Lexington’s Urban County Council is considering a new ordinance that would forbid people from walking in the medians of major streets or approaching cars at intersections.  That proposal comes after a February state Supreme Court decision that overturned the city’s ban on panhandling, saying it violated free speech protections.

Capitol reporter Ryland Barton tells us supporters of the proposal say it’s all about protecting pedestrians and motorists.  

Marisa Hempel

Kentucky’s General Assembly has passed legislation that will allow  Charter schools to open as early as next year.


On this week’s EST, we’ll learn more about Charter schools and where they’re most likely to first appear in the Commonwealth. Guests on this week's program include:

Mary Meehan - Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley’s addiction crisis has brought another health problem, as rising numbers of needle drug users are contracting a serious form of heart infection called endocarditis.

The rate of endocarditis doubled in the region over a decade, and many patients require repeated, expensive treatment and surgery as they return to drug use and once again become infected.  

Focus On Business: Luther Andal on Digital Technology

May 8, 2017

Tom Martin talks with Luther Andal, co-CEO of the Lexington digital technology firm, Able Engine.

Here’s an email directed to me, from Patrick in Danville, “I'm a WEKU supporter, and while I'm well to the left politically I generally admire your station's programming and balance.

An exception is your recent airing of congressman Barr's comments after the Trumpcare vote.

One of the most prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement delivered the commencement address at Berea College Sunday.

Congressman John Lewis, of Georgia is widely known as one of the “Big Six” leaders of the movement working to end racial segregation and discrimination.