Stu Johnson

With the May primary election less than a week away, Lexington voters are considering seven candidates to lead the Urban County Government.  In this first of two reports, we’ll hear from four contenders in the mayor’s race.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray deciding to run for Congress opened the door wide for potential successors to his city hall post. 

In this report, we’ll explore two primary issues, the future home for Lexington government and how the urban county government could help young people succeed.

Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are considering spending more money on neighborhood repaving.  The Council’s Environmental Quality and Public Works Committee supported the plan Tuesday.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is suggesting $12 million dollars be set aside for street paving next year.  The current budget calls for 42 percent of funding to go toward local neighborhood streets.  Public Works Commissioner Dowell Hoskins-Squier says the yet to be voted on budget dedicates 65 percent of the funds to neighborhood streets.

Lexington Herald-Leader

A local white nationalist leader has been sentenced to 38 days in jail for violating his probation relating to a disorderly conduct conviction.

  Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles announced on Facebook new business prospects with Israel on Monday, following the controversial opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Colleges and universities in the bluegrass state are seeing an overall increase in the number of graduating students. According to new data from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, undergraduate degrees and credentials totaled more than 59,000 in the 2016-17 school year, a seven percent increase over the prior year. CPE President Bob King says the highest growth came from short-term certificates awarded by the Community and Technical College System.

A new trail is opening up this week across Kentucky, but it has little to do with hiking, biking, or driving.  It’s the initiation of the Kentucky State Park Culinary Trail, right in line with the state parks’ administration focus on food.  

Stu Johnson

An effort to develop a strategy to reduce group related violence is expected to start this summer in Lexington.

Many members of a large-multi faith organization in the city heard what they wanted to hear during an annual assembly last week.

Representatives of B.U.I.L.D., or Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct Action, have had success in convincing government leaders to move forward with their researched initiatives. 

This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin lashed out again at the judge who hears lawsuits brought against his administration. State lawmakers continued to weigh in on the potential state takeover of Louisville’s public school system. And Kentucky’s U.S. Senators again find themselves on the opposite side of a debate—this time over the nomination of Gina Haspel to be CIA director. 

Dairy Farmers Look For Lifelines In Flooded Market

May 13, 2018
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

LaRue County, Kentucky, dairy farmer Gary Rock sits in his milking parlor, overlooking what is left of his 95 cow operation.

“Three hundred years of history is something that a lot of people in our country cannot even talk about,” Rock said.

That’s how long the farm has been in his family. While the land has turned out tobacco, soybeans and other crops over the years, since 1980 dairy has nourished the family in and out of tragedy.


Amazon is testing a fully-automated store and the retail industry is watching closely. On this weeks Focus on Business, Tom Martin talks with Dan Sheehan, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Kentucky's Gatton College of business nd Economics. He has done a lot of research on "smart shopping carts", customer facing tech, and customer engagement during shopping trips.

Dr. Dan Sheehan on "AmazonGo" pt2

May 11, 2018


This weeks Focus on Business, Part two of Tom Martin's conversation with University of Kentucky Assistant Professor of Marketing Dan Sheehan about "AMAZONGO", the retail experiment in a fully automated retail store. 


State lawmakers from Louisville agree that Jefferson County’s public school system needs to improve, but disagree along party lines over whether the state should intervene in the management of the district.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey said that state education officials haven’t shown that a takeover would solve any of the district’s problems. 

“There’s nothing suggested by the interim commissioner about how he’s going to fix that by taking away the voices of the people of Jefferson County from the process involved in governing their schools.” 

Courtsey Revolution

J.D. Vance, author of the best-selling memoir “Hillbilly Elegy,” returns to his native Kentucky this week. But Vance isn’t selling books this time. He’s leading a bus tour of well-heeled venture capitalists looking for investment options in the region.

A report this week makes new recommendations about prostate cancer screening.  A past president of the Kentucky Urological Association sees the screenings as beneficial.

Pavement Penetrating Radar Used in Lexington

May 9, 2018

Pavement penetrating radar was used as part of a demonstration project along a section of Lexington’s New Circle Road Wednesday. 

Clark Graves is associate director at the University of Kentucky Transportation Center. "You use this technology, potentially use this technology, to determine what the best treatment is, so that you basically then use the available funds that you have most efficiently,” said Graves. 

Bevin’s Lawyers Defend New Abortion Law In Court Filing

May 9, 2018


Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team says Kentucky’s newest abortion law seeks to prevent a “barbaric” procedure while a fetus is still alive in the womb.

His lawyers filed a motion urging a federal judge to deny a preliminary injunction that would delay the law’s enforcement.

The state’s only abortion clinic is challenging the new abortion restrictions in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU claims access to abortions in Kentucky would be “extinguished” for pregnant women in their second trimester who are covered by the law.

Legislators grilled representatives from five major opioid distributors Tuesday on how painkillers flooded West Virginia under their watch.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing came as part of an investigation into why Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith failed to report suspiciously large orders of opioid painkillers at the beginning of the addiction crisis.

Stu Johnson

The University of Kentucky is expanding treatment for opioid addicted, pregnant women into rural parts of the state.  The program is being funded through a $5 million contract.

oldhamtours. com

The Kentucky Derby victory of Justify keeps his unblemished winning record intact and generates discussion about a possible Triple Crown title. 

Meanwhile, Hermitage Farm situated just outside of Louisville, sold its first yearling at public auction in 1937. Bill Landes began his career at Hermitage 40 years later and has been there for more than four decades.  

Stu Johnson

Lexington’s seven mayoral candidates participated in their last scheduled forum yesterday evening at the Central Library. The hour long question and answer period covered topics ranging from reducing violence to jobs to budgetary challenges.

Local Beef Initiative Launched This Spring

May 7, 2018

Kentucky cattle producers are hoping to see more of their beef show up at local grocery stores.  That ‘farm to table’ initiative began earlier this spring.

Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

With sunglasses perched atop his camouflage cap, Brady Carwile filled out an application at a job fair in a community center in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. Carwile works at a local auto parts maker but he’s hoping for a maintenance position at Century Aluminum’s Hawesville Smelter.

“It’s one of the best jobs you can find around there,” Carwile said.

Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director Chauncey Morris says the equine industry is, quote, “in a very good place now.”

One of the best examples of the success of the horse industry in the commonwealth is the just completed Kentucky Derby.  Morris says 85 percent of the horses in the big race were Kentucky bred.

  Kentucky continues to make strides in the number of residents who are able to obtain and afford health insurance. But those gains may be at risk if the state moves forward with its Medicaid waiver. 

Ohio Valley Not Immue From Tick-Borne Disease

May 5, 2018

The Ohio Valley is not immune from the national surge of tick-borne illnesses reported earlier this week by the CDC. and  some officials say it’s possible to stop that trend with better funding. 

The number of tick-related illnesses such as Lyme disease starting surging around 2012. 

During that time, the number of cases in Kentucky and West Virginia more than doubled. Michael Shardien is a health policy specialist in Kentucky.


This week in Kentucky politics, Gov. Matt Bevin weighed in on the potential state takeover of Louisville’s public school system. The leader of Kentucky’s House of Representatives called for an investigation into a statewide broadband internet project. And a Republican state Representative abruptly dropped out of her reelection campaign, saying that this year’s legislative session was the “nastiest” in history. 

As folks across the commonwealth gather for the Greatest 2 Minutes in Sports , health officials say hand washing is the best bet to prevent Hepatitis A. 

The serious threat of an outbreak has a pretty simple solution. 

A former coal executive who's running as a Republican for U.S. Senate after serving a prison sentence has unleashed a political ad that takes swipes at what he called "China people" and calls the Senate majority leader "Cocaine Mitch." 

Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship is seeking the West Virginia seat now held by Sen. Joe Manchin, but his ad disparages Kentucky GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Stu Johnson

National Day of Prayer observances were held Thursday across central Kentucky. 

At Lexington’s Bluegrass Care and Rehabilitation Center, Administrator Shannon Spencer admits sometimes residents in a nursing facility can feel ‘left out’ and prayer helps them feel included.  “A lot of our residents here at the center, that’s the last thing that they have, that they are holding on to, is spirituality.  So, being able to bring in the National Day of Prayer, bringing it to the residents and allowing them to participate, that right there speaks volumes,” said Spencer.

Stu Johnson

It’s all conjecture at this point.  Trying to predict what will happen at Churchill Downs Saturday in the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby.  As WEKU’S Stu Johnson reports, some of the focus of Thursday’s Lexington Rotary Club meeting went beyond this weekend’s race.

As tradition has it, the Thursday before the Kentucky Derby finds the president of Keeneland at the Rotary Club podium.  So it was for Bill Thomason.