News

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway is accusing Marathon Petroleum Company of price gouging during a state of emergency.  The legal brief has been added to an ongoing lawsuit against Marathon for alleged price gouging during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

It was reported today that Humana intends to stop hiring smokers, where the action is legally permitted. The company wants to encourage healthy behavior among workers and already has a policy of not hiring smokers in southwestern Ohio.

According to the United States Postal Service, 40 letter carriers in Louisville were attacked by dogs in 2010. That makes us 4th on the list of cities with the most attacks. The Postal Service says 5,669 postal workers were attacked nationwide in 2010. The announcement coincides with National Dog Bite Prevention Week (May 15-21).  The annual event seeks to raise awareness for attack prevention and responsible pet ownership. Around 4.7 million Americans are bitten annually, most of them being children.

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld will visit Fort Campbell, Kentucky to sign copies of his New York Times best-selling memoir, Known and Unknown, later this month.

The University of Louisville Board of Trustees’ finance committee approved a six percent tuition increase Thursday. The measure will go to the full board in June and needs final approval from the State Council on Post-Secondary Education. Because state funding has been cut, Ramsey says U of L has few other options but to raise tuition.

Lt. Governors: Are They Expendable?

May 13, 2011

Imagine a job where the only function is taking-over if the boss quits, is fired, gets sick or even worse.  That pretty much describes Kentucky’s lieutenant governor.  Four people, one Democrat and three Republicans, are campaigning for that job.  And, as WEKU’s Charles Compton reports, their duties, will in large part, depend on who’s elected governor…

Final preparations are being made for what’s believed to be Lexington’s first downtown chicken coop tour.  It’s called ‘Tour De Coops’ and the Sunday afternoon event is sponsored by Cooperative of Lexington Urban Chicken Keepers or Cluck.

"Gypsy," "1776," Then Poof Go the Directors

May 13, 2011

Two central Kentucky theater groups are staging classic musicals this weekend.  And afterward, both will lose their directors.  With a preview of the Paragon Theater’s production of “Gypsy” and the Woodford Theater’s production of “1776” is Rich Copley, who’s an arts and cultural reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper.

There’s another encouraging sign on Kentucky’s economic front.  Tourism is up.  Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow says tourism had an $11 billion impact on Kentucky’s economy last year.  That’s an almost five percent increase over the previous year. 

A recently-formed group that aims to move the Ohio River Bridges Project forward is seeking to join, then end a lawsuit between conservation group River Fields and the Federal Highway Administration. Kentuckians for Progress filed a request to join River Fields’ suit against the government today. River Fields asserts that the federal government has not properly justified the case for a two bridge project, and the group would like to block an east end bridge from being built.

EKU Head Counts Fiscal Blessings

May 12, 2011

After a couple years of recession and state budget cuts, the president of Eastern Kentucky University says some bills are coming due.  Two new buildings are going on-line at EKU and President Doug Whitlock must figure out how to pay for their operation and maintenance. The state once provided funds for such expenses, but, now schools like Eastern must pay those bills.

Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler was given the opportunity to view death photos of Osama Bin Laden this morning. The Versailles Democrat who sits on the House Intelligence Committee says they are images he won't soon forget.

 

Early next month, workers at Georgetown’s Toyota plant will be back on a full-time schedule.  The flow of supplies from Japan are moving now after a spring earthquake and tsunami slowed distribution. The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan caused a break in the automotive company’s system for distributing parts.  The resulting shortage resulted in fewer hours on the job for employees at the Scott County Toyota Assembly Plant.

The race for Kentucky Secretary of State features four candidates - two Republicans and two Democrats -- who want the job of overseeing the Commonwealth's elections and business filings. Kentucky Public Radio's Brenna Angel takes a look at the two Democratic hopefuls, Elaine Walker of Bowling Green and Alison Lundergan Grimes of Lexington.

After giving her campaign a personal loan, Kentucky Secretary of State Elaine Walker was able to launch a television advertisement in her Democratic primary contest against challenger Allison Lundergran Grimes. This is a bit of a surprise considering Walker initially said she wasn’t going to go beyond direct mailers and robocalls, but the former mayor of Bowling Green appears to be taking this race seriously—albeit in the last few days of the campaign.

Setting up another budget battle for the coming fiscal year, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has offered a bill that proposes cutting another $45.7 billion from domestic spending and foreign aid.

In an eye-opening profile, Politico says U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is working hard to take down Democratic candidates and build up his party in the upcoming Kentucky elections to maintain power in Washington.

Governor Steve Beshear says he didn’t  intend to give the wrong impression last week when he went to the Kentucky Oaks horse race instead of Fort Campbell where President Barack Obama was visiting.  Beshear has faced some criticism for not changing his schedule to meet the President, but the governor says he had to attend Oaks to meet with visiting business leaders who could bring jobs to Kentucky.

During next week’s primary, as they have done for decades, members of the Democratic Party will choose their candidates and Republicans will do the same.  The system is called a ‘closed primary.’  It excludes voters without a party affiliation.  It also means voters registered in one party cannot vote in another party’s primary.  Now, there’s been discussion in one statewide office race about the pros and cons of opening up the Kentucky primary a bit.

The country’s oldest indoor horse show is coming to Kentucky. Officials announced today that the 128th edition of the National Horse Show will be hosted at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. For years the event was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. But National Horse Show Association President Mason Phelps says downtown Manhattan was not ideal.

For the few citizens who are projected to participate in the May 17 primary election, Secretary of State Elaine Walker has released a “Do’s and Don’ts” list for Kentucky voters. “We want to make sure that people are informed about the upcoming election and their rights as voters,” says Walker.  “We hope more people participate in the upcoming election than we expect; and are trying to raise awareness about the primary election in every way possible.  This election is critically important and I encourage everyone to get out and vote.”

With less than a week until the primary election, Democratic secretary of state candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has announced that Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo will serve as statewide co-chairs of her campaign.

Speaking at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., suggested that President Barack Obama is keeping a Nixonian-styled “enemies list” for backing a labor group’s complaint against Boeing.

It's been two months since Lexington Mayor Jim Gray relieved Bob Hendricks of his duties as fire chief, citing an inability to manage firefighter overtime and the division's budget. A current member of the fire department, Keith Jackson, was named the interim chief. Lexington Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason says he's been closely monitoring the fire department's transition.

For many Kentuckians, the key to a healthier life may start with a good set of teeth. The Commonwealth is one of the poorest states when it comes to oral health. In fact, it ranks second in the nation in the loss of natural teeth. That's one of the main reasons, according to State Oral Health Director Dr. Julie Watts McKee, the Kentucky Department for Public Health is holding a summit in Lexington on Wednesday.

Lexington Fire Chief Bob Hendricks says he has a total and permanent occupational disability. His request for a disability retirement came before the Police and Fire Pension Board Wednesday morning, while the embattled chief remains on paid leave. Hendricks was asked resign from his post two months ago amid overtime and budget problems within the Division of Fire. He refused to step down.

An environmental group is investigating a potential chemical spill in a waterway near Jenkins, Kentucky.  On Tuesday evening, Clary Estes with Headwaters Incorporated says she saw four to five feet of foam in a southeast Kentucky stream.

Flood waters have receded from some homes in western Kentucky’s river counties. Teams are assessing damage to determine whether some counties may be eligible for F-E-M-A individual recovery assistance. FEMA’s Nick Morici says it’s OK for people to start cleaning up before their homes have been assessed.

A central Kentucky high school club has been named the Outstanding History Club of the year. The award was given to Henry Clay High School in Lexington by the National History Club and the History Channel. Club sponsor Chris Snow says he wants the Henry Clay group to be proactive and hands-on.

Secretary of State Elaine Walker is predicting low voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary election in Kentucky, even though voter registration numbers are up.  A record 2.9 million Kentuckians are now registered to vote. That’s 11,000 more than in the 2008 General Election, the previous record. But getting voters excited about Tuesday’s primary appears to be a tough sale, says Secretary of State Elaine Walker. She’s predicting voter turnout of around nine to ten percent.

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