Lexington’s chief prosecutor says his father taught him early on about consequences for breaking rules.   Ray Larson announced Thursday he will retire at the end of this month. 

Larson is concerned about changes in sentencing standards that result in more probation, saying his preference is “first time, every time.”  “If people were punished first time they committed a crime every time, that would be a deterrent.  But, we’re in a 2nd, 3rd and 25th chance society right now,” said Larson.

UPDATE AS OF 5:00 PM 9/9/16 

EKU officials say it could be three weeks before Lancaster Ave between Barnes Mill Rd. and Crabbe St. is re-opened.

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An accident has seriously damaged the pedestrian walkway over Lancaster Ave on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University.

The incident, which occurred around noon Friday has shut down Lancaster between Barnes Mill Rd and Crabbe St. University officials say there were no injuries but the roadway is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time.

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring weekend arts and cultural events with Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren of the Lexington Herald-Leader.  Now that Labor Day is behind us, they’re focusing on fall festivals.  

Rich Copley & Harriett Hendren cover arts and culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Lexgo dot com. 

You can also find listings of arts and cultural activities at the events calendar link at WEKU dot FM.

The leader of a non-profit economic development agency in Eastern Kentucky sees promise in the results of a just-released workforce survey.  It’s partly focused on efforts to lure new firms to the region that could offer employment to out-of-work coal miners.

Long time Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson has announced his retirement effective at the end of September.  He’s served as Lexington’s chief prosecutor for more than three decades.

The man known among criminal court professionals as a "no-nonsense" prosecutor says he didn’t want to be known as someone who stayed too long in the job. 

In his notice, Ray Larson states guiding principles for his office were, among others, treating every person fairly.  In almost 32 years as Fayette Commonwealth’s Attorney he believes the office has been operated free of politics. 

Miners to Rally for Pension Protection

Sep 8, 2016
U.S. Senate

Thousands of retired coal miners will rally in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to urge Congress to shore up a fund that supports their pensions and benefits. Area lawmakers from both sides of the aisle were at the National Press Club in Washington to speak in support of the Miner’s Protection Act.  

Stu Johnson-WEKU News

A Kentucky man has entered a "not guilty" plea in a computer hacking case with ties to a highly-publicized sexual assault in Eastern Ohio. 

Deric Lostutter appeared in federal court in Lexington Wednesday. He is accused of helping to hack a website to draw attention to a 2012 Ohio High School rape case.  He is charged with conspiring to gain illegal access to an online account and making false statements.

In light of a recent rash of overdose – related deaths, Kentucky public health officials say they can't predict drug overdose activity across Kentucky.  But they have gained some insights about heroin use from voluntary reporting by medical partners.  Preliminary reports to the Department of Public Health show 15 overdoses, 12 of them fatal, from noon last Friday until Monday morning. 

Fire Safety Month Focuses on Off-Campus Housing

Sep 7, 2016

September is being observed as Campus Fire Safety Month as Kentucky joins with states across the nation in focusing on the issue.

WEKU News - Eastern Kentucky University

A panel comprised of public university presidents, legislative representatives and officials from Governor Matt Bevin’s office is continuing to work on plans to implement partial performance funding for higher education in Kentucky.  The Performance Funding Work Group meets Wednesday in Frankfort. 

Lexington Herald-Leader/

Former University of Kentucky board chairman Billy Joe Miles was charged Tuesday with rape, sodomy and bribing a witness. Arraignment has been set for September 26. 

The state charged the 76-year-old Miles in Daviess County Circuit Court with one count each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and bribing a witness. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, the rape allegedly occurred on or about July 2. The person making the allegation isn't identified.

The University of Kentucky will benefit from the latest gift from a foundation tied to a Lexington auto dealership.

A $10 million gift from the Don Jacobs Charitable Foundation, announced Tuesday, means further investment in undergraduate science education at UK.  A majority of the contribution, $8 million, will go toward the new academic science building that now bears the name Don and Cathy Jacobs Science Building.  Don Jacobs, well-known in Lexington, passed away last spring.

Lexington city officials are moving forward with an economic development initiative with grants aimed at businesses, non-profits and educational institutions.  Council members got an update last week during a committee meeting.

It could be months or years before a final resolution is reached regarding the dumping of radioactive waste in a central Kentucky landfill.  A county leader is interested in preventing any future similar incidents.

The case of the 2000 tons of low level radioactive waste in the Estill County landfill is being debated in the courts and the topic of state and landfill owner negotiations. 

The prestigious National Academy of Sciences recently announced a comprehensive study on the health effects of the controversial coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal. For coalfield residents who have long questioned what impact the dust, blasting, chemicals and water contamination was having, the announcement comes as welcome news, if somewhat overdue.  

Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Democrat Jim Gray used Labor Day to unveil his jobs plan as he tries to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul.

Media outlets report Gray released his economic agenda Monday at the United Auto Workers union hall in Louisville.

Gray says he wants to invest in infrastructure, broadband internet and education to bring more jobs and attract businesses to Kentucky. That includes repairing and rebuilding roads and bridges.

Marisa Hempel

In addition to hosting a weekly radio show that airs on over 500 stations, producing numerous Troubadour concerts every year and performing at venues across the nation, Michael Johnathon is the man behind a two-day music festival/pickin’ party/and member conference later this month.




  On this week’s Eastern Standard, we’ll talk about  The Gathering at Shaker Village.

We’re interested in your questions or comments before the show at: or leave a voice message at 859-622-1657.

Groundbreaking Ceremony to Give Blue Grass Stockyards a New Home

Sep 2, 2016
Blue Grass Stockyards via

A Friday afternoon groundbreaking ceremony in Lexington could be the beginning of a new era for the Blue Grass Stockyards.  

It was seven months ago when a three-alarm fire destroyed the long time historic home of facility off Forbes Road.  Now, government, agriculture, and others in business are celebrating the start of construction for a new stockyards off Iron Works Pike. 

EKU Opens Football Season Against Purdue

Sep 2, 2016

The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels open up their football season in northern Indiana tomorrow.  It’s a return trip to West Lafayette to take on Purdue.  Four years ago, EKU took on the Boilermakers in the season opener, losing 48 to 6.    

The Colonels begin their 104thseason under the leadership of new head coach Mark Elder.  Eastern has fared better against Football Bowl Subdivision teams in recent years, beating Miami of Ohio in 2014 and losing in overtime to the University of Kentucky last year. 

It’s time for our weekly update of weekend arts and cultural events with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald-Leader.

This week, with two big music festivals on the calendar, Rich is joined by music critic Walter Tunis.

Rich Copley & Walter Tunis cover arts, culture and music for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Lexgo dot com. 

You can also find listings of arts and cultural activities at the events calendar link at WEKU dot FM. 

This week on Kentucky Summer Stage….

Two masters of the acoustic guitar.

Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge performed this past Spring at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts.

Enjoy the guitar mastery of Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge in this year’s season-finale of Kentucky summer Stage, Sunday evening at 8:00 on 88-9 WEKU.

Kentucky's attorney general is accusing a medical company of Medicaid fraud for allegedly promoting a kidney dialysis product it knew was harmful to patients. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear says his lawsuit seeks damages and civil penalties from Fresenius Medical Care Holdings Inc. The suit also seeks to restore Medicaid funds that paid for dialysis treatments using the product.

He says Fresenius is the nation's largest provider of kidney dialysis and renal care products, treatment and services.

Linda Blackford - Lexington Herald-Leader

A senior investigator at Lexington’s Sanders Brown Center on Aging is optimistic about the availability of a breakthrough drug to fight Alzheimer’s disease in the not too distant future.  

Greg Jicha participated in Thursday’s funding announcement at the University of Kentucky.  The Center on Aging has been awarded an $8 million five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health.  

PSC to Seek Public Input on Columbia Gas Rate Case

Sep 1, 2016

  Lexington area Columbia Gas customers will get a chance to offer comments regarding the utility’s latest rate increase request.  It comes through a state Public Service Commission public meeting.

Under the request by Columbia Gas, typical residential customers would see an $11 increase in their monthly bills.  The utility says the increase is needed to recover costs of ongoing system improvements including removal of older gas mains that could pose safety concerns.  

Trail Group Moving Forward with Five County Initiative

Sep 1, 2016

Work continues to connect biking, hiking, horseback riding, and water travel throughout five central Kentucky counties.  Members of the Bluegrass Bike Hike Horseback Trails Alliance met Wednesday in Versailes.  The Alliance’s Ed Council calls himself an ‘acquaholic’, born along the Chesapeake Bay.  He says the current trail initiative goes beyond waterways.  “It’s not only water trails, but it’s also land trails for horseback riding, for hiking, for biking and for off road and paved surface motorized trails,” said Council.


Retiring US. Rep. Ed Whitfield says he will resign early from office next week, triggering a special election for Kentucky's 1st Congressional District. 

Whitfield sent a letter Monday notifying Gov. Matt Bevin of the move.

Whitfield's communications director Robert Hankins said his resignation will be effective at 6 p.m. September 6. Asked for further comment on the reasons behind the resignation, Hankins offered no comment.

Lexington Establishing Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Aug 31, 2016


The city of Lexington is about to launch a search for someone to head up diversity and inclusion efforts in local government.  A description of the position and responsibilities were offered to city leaders Tuesday.

Lawmaker Alleges Bevin Pulled Road Project As Political Punishment

Aug 30, 2016

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo says Gov. Matt Bevin should be investigated for allegedly halting a road project as political punishment for a state representative who refused to switch political parties.

Rep. Russ Meyer, a Democrat from Nicholasville, released audio of a voicemail he received from the governor in December in which he says Bevin threatened retribution for not switching political parties.

Ashland Estate Makes History With Hemp

Aug 30, 2016
Stu Johnson WEKU News


A mixture of history and present day agricultural interests are interwoven on the grounds of Ashland near downtown Lexington.  Henry Clay’s estate was home to an education-based hemp harvest Tuesday.

UK, City Police Offer Game-Day Traffic, Security Suggestions

Aug 30, 2016
Stu Johnson WEKU News

The start of the college football season in Lexington brings traffic and security suggestions from area law enforcement.  Officials with the University of Kentucky and the city of Lexington held a briefing Tuesday at Commonwealth Stadium.   UK Police Chief Joe Monroe urged fans to tailgate responsibly. He says that includes picking up trash in the lot. “Don’t engage in excessive drinking or behavior that is risky or offensive to the neighbors around you or small child who may be in the parking lots as well,” warnedMonroe.