News

Stu Johnson/WEKU

Dozens of Kentucky college students rallied for nearly two hours in Frankfort Monday to show their concerns about tuition and student debt  

Student leaders and a number of state office-holders drew repeated cheers in the capitol rotunda.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We apologize for the misspelling and mispronunciation of Bruce Horseman's name. Copy below has been corrected - JH

From a listener in Richmond, choosing to remain anonymous, “On Monday, January 23,  a comment was read from a listener named Elaine. She said ‘When I moved to Kentucky from Ohio, I determined not to acquire a southern accent. To this purpose, I listened to NPR for good pronunciation and grammar.’

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky Senate is expected to vote this week on legislation for a relatively new type of relationship between medical patients and physicians called Direct Primary Care.

 The concept is based on a monthly fee, much like a gym membership, to provide routine medical services. 

Currently, doctors interested in such provider-patient arrangements must go through the state department of insurance.  This bill removes that requirement. 

New Leader Named To Kentucky Commission on Women

Feb 13, 2017
Ky.gov

The new chairwoman of the Kentucky Commission on Women is stepping into a brand new role, different than her position as head of an advanced technology firm.

Danette Wilder is president of SealingLife Technology. She said one goal of the Commission this year will be to influence the lives of women in areas like education, entrepreneurship, health and well-being.  Wilder said pay equity remains an issue.


In his farewell speech, former President Obama spoke of the "relentless pace of automation that is making good middle class jobs obsolete.  Today, Tom Martin talks with Dr. Chris Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky's Center of Business and Economic Research, about the impact of automation on the workforce, now and into the future.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

Dona Wells walked through what’s left of the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Boxes fill what use to be offices. Sterilized medical supplies are in disarray. A light flickers on and off in the back hallway. She doesn’t see a point in fixing it. At 75, she still runs 25 miles a week, but Wells is tired.

“I was going to retire anyway, probably this year,” she said. But I wanted to do it on my terms, not Gov. Bevin’s terms.”

 

AddiaWuchner.com

A Kentucky House committee has advance a bill that would require college freshmen students to undergo “catchup immunizations” before they begin school.  The vaccinations would cover diseases like measles, meningitis, and whooping cough.  Bill sponsor Addia  Wuchner said a new state regulation requires this immunization in the eleventh grade, but it won’t cover all students.

Kentucky.com

 

The  Senate Education Committee Thursday unanimously approved legislation requiring all Kentucky public schools to be tobacco free . The measure calls for posting “no smoking” signs and developing local school tobacco policies.

Ky.gov

A Kentucky senate committee Thursday gave overwhelming backing to a bill addressing religious and political expression. 

Rich Copley rcopley@herald-leader.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 by telling us that Woodford Theatre, in its latest production, is having fun with nuns.


governor.ky.gov

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling upon the Kentucky General Assembly to make “bold, hard, decisions” when it comes to tax reform. 

During Wednesday State of the Commonwealth speech, Bevin said tax reform and further steps to reduce the state’s $82 million pension deficit need to be done together in a special session this year.  Bevin said some 300 tax loopholes deserve attention.

 “We exempt more income in Kentucky than we take in.  That’s going to have to change, ” Bevin said.


Kentucky.com

A senate committee approved changing the peer review process in Kentucky hospitals. 

Bill sponsor Ralph Alvarado said the legislation is focused on patient safety, hospital safety, and improving the review process when there are odd medical outcomes.  The Winchester doctor said 48 other states have similar legislation.  He said anonymity is important to reduce the possibility of one doctor suing another.

Kentucky.com

 Veteran economist Chris Bollinger predicted 2.2 percent  economic growth across Kentucky in 2017

 Veteran economist Chris Bollinger predicted a 2.2. percent economic growth across Kentucky in 2017 Tuesday

Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research said much of the employment gains will be seen in health and service jobs. Bollinger said there are lots options when it comes to economic advances in the state’s rural communities. He spoke at the UK Economic Outlook Conference.


Kentucky.com

Modifications to Lexington’s curfew law got a review by members of a council committee Tuesday.

Under current law in Lexington, minors are expected to be in by 11 p.m. during the week and 1 a.m. on weekends.  The draft ordinance changes the time from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m. every day.


Marisa Hempel

The new president’s executive order limiting travel from seven Middle Eastern and African countries has kept immigration on our minds these past couple of weeks.


On this week’s EST, we’ll discuss immigration in the Commonwealth.

 

 

Kentucky.com

 

State justice officials say a “turning point” has been reached in addressing the longstanding backlog of rape  evidence kits. 

At its peak, there were more than 3,300 DNA sample kits awaiting testing.  The legislation approved in 2016 supported spending $4.5 million toward reducing the backlog.  Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley said every policing agency certified through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program has met new requirements on sexual assault policies.


John Hingsbergen

A crowd of at least a thousand gathered Sunday in downtown Lexington to show support for immigrants and refugees and disapproval of President Trump’s ban on travel from seven predominantly-Muslim nations.

The rally went forward despite a federal judge’s “stay” of the president’s executive order. It was organized by area high school and college students. It included remarks by representatives of the local religious and civil rights leaders and elected officials including 13th District State Senator Reggie Thomas.

Kentucky.com

 

 

Lexington city officials are keeping a close eye on tax revenues coming in to support local government.  Finance Commissioner Bill Omara  last week offered council committee members a six month update on the current fiscal year. 

 

He admits, despite low unemployment in the city, payroll withholdings, the urban county government’s largest source of revenue, are coming in sluggishly.

 

Last week, I responded to a listener’s description of  WEKU as a “liberal radio station” saying , we do our best, as does NPR, to always provide politically-balanced programming and news coverage.  

Another listener took exception with that, saying while it’s been “wonderful” listening to our programming over the last several years, the consensus is that NPR’s programming, and as a result ours is “left leaning.”


Kentucky.com

Kentucky's real estate market is at an all time high according to the state's association of realtors.

Following a record year in 2015, a new high mark for homes sold came in 2016. Total home sales were the highest ever at just over 52,000.  Kentucky Association of Realtors Chief Executive Officer Steve Stevens said an improving economy, lower unemployment, and cost of living contributed to the new record. 

Eku.Edu

Bluegrass Community Health Care clinics are expected to provide fewer health screenings for refugees in the weeks ahead, according a presentation for the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents.


Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

She asked to not be identified. And it’s understandable given the stigma attached to addiction. For this story, we’ll call her “Mary.”

 

Mary lives in eastern Kentucky and has struggled with an addiction that began with painkillers and progressed to heroin.

“As soon as I opened my eyes, I had to get it,” Mary said. “And even when I did get it, then I had to think of the next way that I was going to get.”

Mary was using when she learned she was pregnant with her first child. She sought treatment but the disease had a tight grip on her.

Stu Johnson/WEKU

 

Officials at the Fayette County School System are recruiting more volunteers to assist some of its 41,000 students.

 Business, faith based, education or civic groups are being asked to encourage members to take part in Give10 by giving up to 10 hours a month volunteering in schools. The new initiative was announced Thursday at Harrison Elementary School.  


Barr Campaign

Sixth District Representative Andy Barr says he supports President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order banning travel to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

In a conversation with WEKU’s John Hingsbergen, the congressman also expressed his support for the president’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch (GORE-such) to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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.  This week, they begin with a focus on a number of weekend bluegrass events.

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. 

Future of Lexington Links Under Discussion

Feb 2, 2017
Stu Johnson/WEKU

 

Lexington’s five public golf courses operate in the red.  Still, financial gains have been made in recent years.  In 2011 the golf courses operated at a $1.1 million dollar deficit compared to a $853,000 loss last year.  Rounds of golf played have increased but so have expenses.  Council Budget Committee Member Angela Evans noted each golf course loses money.


Advocate-Messenger

Some of the most riveting comments came during the Lexington Foum Thursday came from Alex Elswick.

He said the use of pain pills for wisdom teeth surgery turned into a four year addiction.  After starting with pills, Elswick said he only used heroin for six months before finding himself homeless in Dayton, Ohio, shooting up under a bridge. Elswick called his parents from a pay phone. “I’ve been kicked out of a treatment center.  I need help,” he told them.


Kentucky.com

Just a day after President Donald Trump’s announcement of a nominee for the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts visited Lexington. 

Justice John Roberts, America’s 17th chief justice, sat down at the University of Kentucky for a talk with John Duff, Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.


Kentucky.com

 

   Lexington parks and recreation is moving forward with plans for new "spray grounds" this summer at Masterson Station and Jacobson parks.  Similar facilities will be constructed near existing Douglass and Castlewood pools in 2018.  All will be free.  Committee member James Brown said how these changes are used could drive future decisions about aquatics.

 

Stu Johnson/WEKU

President Donald Trump’s action to temporarily ban refugees and other immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries continues to prompt public response.

Piano music greeted those who filled Christ Church Cathedral Tuesday night, creating the feel more of a unifying rally than a protest.  But Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes elicited a strong response urging attendees to denounce hate and fear.


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