News

Stu Johnson
WEKU News

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is urging lawmakers from 15 southern states including his own to be competent, capable, and bold.  Bevin offered his thoughts to participants at the 70th Southern Legislative Conference meeting in Lexington.  “We have increasingly in this country become agnostic as it relates to any number of things, our mores, our values, our principles, our convictions, our love of liberty.  We’ve become fairly apathetic,” noted Bevin.

Trevor, from Corbin emailed us,  “I enjoy Morning Edition, BBC News Hour, On Point, Here and Now, All Things Considered, The World and almost every other program you guys offer, but I have to be honest... I hate Q. "  

Trevor continues, "I can't think of very many people in this area who would have any interest whatsoever in the influence of folk music on an obscure musical talent from another country. In my opinion, the topics on that show are either A) boring, B) silly, C) pretentious or D) all of the above.”

For Kentucky workers who have health insurance through their employers, the number enrolled in high-deductible plans has risen sharply over the last eight years. That's according to a new report by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky reported in the Daily News.

 

Shafted: Dark Future Possible For Miners Who Kept Our Lights On

Jul 11, 2016
Rebecca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

Miners in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia who helped keep the country’s lights on are worried that their retirement benefits could go dark as a result of a wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry. They hope Congress will approve a bill called the Miner’s Protection Act to shore up the pensions and health benefits promised to union miners.

Group Seeks to Make Davis Statue Harder to Move from Capitol Rotunda

Jul 11, 2016
wkms.org

Kentucky's state curator says a citizens group is seeking a special military designation for a statue of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis, displayed in Kentucky's Capitol Rotunda. 

The Friends of the Jefferson Davis State Historic Site told The Lexington Herald-Leader it wants the statue to remain where it's been for decades. Placing the statue on the Military Heritage Commission's list of military sites and objects would likely make it more difficult to ever relocate it.

‘Brexit’ Could Impact Kentucky Export Market

Jul 11, 2016
wtcky.org

    Since the United Kingdom ranks second as a destination for Kentucky exports, its decision to leave the European Union is expected to have some impact on some Kentucky businesses.

Kentucky World Trade Center President Ed Webb and his staff are telling companies in the bluegrass state doing business with Britain to ‘pause.’ 

Webb says it looks as if it could be a four year process for ‘Brexit’ to fully play out.  Still, he says it’s likely to be felt here.  “Exporting will be tougher for Kentucky into the UK.  That’s a challenge of the currency depreciating obviously.”

Lexington Police Honor Officers Killed in Dallas

Jul 8, 2016
Stu Johnson
WEKU News

The sniper attack that killed five police officers in Dallas has prompted public reaction in communities across the nation.  One such event occurred just before noon Friday in downtown Lexington.  The event took place just outside the police station door.  

Lexington police officers were advised to pull off the road at 11:45 and turn on emergency lights for one minute.  The mayor, police chief, and president of the NAACP bowed their heads for a moment of silence.

Police Prepare for Traffic, Parking, and Security in Sparta

Jul 8, 2016
wkyufm.org

    The annual racing weekend at Sparta’s Kentucky Speedway will feature traffic flow on and off the race track.  It’s the moving of vehicles off track which has the attention of police and parking officials.

Ky. American Water Rates Expected to Rise This Fall

Jul 7, 2016
businesswire.com

Customers of Kentucky American Water Company should anticipate a 7.5% increase in their bills this fall.  The monthly increase for the average residential user is about $3 dollars.  It’s outlined in a settlement involving the water company, the city of Lexington, the attorney general’s office, and Community Action Council. 

Arkencounter.com

The long-anticipated Noah’s Ark theme park opens to the public in Williamstown Thursday.

As WEKU’s Cheri Lawson reports, the $100 million project, called the Ark Encounter, has been shrouded in controversy since it was announced six years ago.    

Midway between the rolling hills of Cincinnati and Lexington sits Williamstown, Ky. It's here where there's a massive timber-framed structure - Noah's Ark. 

Lexington City Leaders Review Ethics Law Modifications

Jul 7, 2016
kentucky.com

Several modifications in Lexington’s governmental ethics law are under review at city hall.  A subcommittee reviewed the current ordinance over the last year and a half.  Lexington Council Member Angela Evans says one change calls for including private interest along with financial interest information. “It’s just creating that extra level of transparency that, you know, I do care enough about this organization that I serve on that board and just allowing the public to see that relationship.”

Bevin Pushes For Reduced Regs, Doesn’t Name Any He’d Remove

Jul 6, 2016
courier-journal.com

Gov. Matt Bevin is taking requests to remove state regulations, which he says prevent businesses from relocating to Kentucky.

Bevin’s office has set up a website, RedTapeReduction.comwhere people can “report a reg” and describe how the policy is “hurting you/your business.”

In a video announcing the initiative, Bevin said removing regulations will make Kentucky more attractive to businesses looking to relocate.

NPR's National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea is our guest on this week's show. This program is the one recorded during the annual WEKU Day Sponsor event May 1 at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa in Lexington.     

This week's broadcast is an ENCORE of the original broadcast from May 28, 2015.

Don Gonyea talks about his career at NPR, reporting on 9/11 as well as his years covering political campaigns and elections on this program that features questions and comments from WEKU listeners in attendance.

Testimony Taken in Final Medicaid Reform Hearing

Jul 6, 2016
wkyt.com

    

Governor Bevin’s plan to substantially change the state Medicaid program got another public review Wednesday.  The third and final public hearing in Hazard attracted a room full of onlookers.

In announcing the plan to transform Medicaid, Governor Bevin said it would empower people to improve their health while ensuring its financial sustainability.  Among other things, it calls for able bodied Kentuckians to work, volunteer, or do other community engagement to receive benefits. 

Madison County Needle Exchange Under Review

Jul 6, 2016

Members of Madison and Clark County Medical Societies have reviewed dismal Kentucky health statistics. A meeting Tuesday night included talk of smoking cessation and the Zika virus. Much attention also centered on bringing another needle exchange program to Central Kentucky.


AG Beshear Says Rowan Clerk Kim Davis Violated Open Records Act

Jul 6, 2016
facebook.com

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office says a county clerk who went to jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has violated the state’s Open Records Act. The opinion was issued Tuesday.

downtownlex.com

Violent and deadly outbursts in this country and others around the world are causing new law enforcement strategies at large public events.  An increased police presence was in place for Lexington’s Fourth of July Festival and the Pride Festival in late June.

Looking for Caves in Kentucky

Jul 6, 2016
caves.org

Jonathan Carman says there are many caves yet to be discovered throughout Kentucky.  Carman is vice president of the Bluegrass Grotto and works with the Cave Research Foundation.  The Jessamine County caver says he’s been in 40 to 50 caves, using a compass, inclinometer, and tape measure to survey areas underground.  Carman says he’s always felt confident about getting back out of a cave.  “But there have been times when I looked at part of the cave, whether tight or difficult to traverse, and thought long and hard about whether or not it was going to be worth the risk to take.”

Collective Bargaining Agreement Comes Earlier in Lexington

Jul 6, 2016
kentucky.com

    The city of Lexington and its police union have reached agreement on a ‘collective bargaining’ document.  It provides for pay raises for some 500 officers in each of the next four years.

 

Benny Becker

Kentucky is working on a multimillion dollar plan to bring broadband internet to the eastern part of the state, home to some of the country’s most impoverished places. A federal report released this year found that from around a third to nearly half of rural residents in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia lack high-speed internet and the job opportunities that come with it. But a few areas are ahead of the curve. In Kentucky’s Jackson and Owsley Counties, broadband has already arrived and is already creating jobs.

Kentucky Tourism Gains

Jul 5, 2016
mykentuckybackyard.com

    

A study shows that tourism in Kentucky is doing pretty well.  It demonstrates the biggest jump in the past six years.

The Paducah Sun reports the Kentucky Cabinet for Tourism, Arts and Heritage recently released study shows the state with its largest overall gain in tourism dollars since 2009.

Statewide ‘Fairness’ Bill Still Faces Political Hurdles In Kentucky

Jul 5, 2016
wkyt.com

    

Liberal state lawmakers have for 16 years pushed for a bill that would amend Kentucky’s civil rights code to protect people from discrimination in the workplace, housing and other areas based on their sexual orientation.

Dubbed the fairness bill, the measure has gotten considerable attention from the press and advocates each year it’s been proposed, but it hasn’t ever gotten traction in the legislature.

Kentucky Lottery President Dies in Fall

Jul 4, 2016
bizjournals.com

The Kentucky Lottery says its longtime president and CEO has died.

In a news release, the Kentucky Lottery says Arch Gleason died Friday from injuries sustained in a fall.

Gleason spent nearly 23 years leading the Kentucky Lottery. He took over in the fourth year of the lottery's existence, and he served under five governors.

These Are The New State Laws That Go Into Effect This Month

Jul 4, 2016
lrc.state.ky.us

Although the 2016 General Assembly ended back in April, its effects will be felt in mid-July, when a bevy of laws go into effect.

Most new laws are given a 90-day window for state agencies and other offices to prepare for their implementation. Here’s a rundown of some of the major laws that will take effect on July 15.

Why does the expansion of the Panama Canal have people talking in Western Kentucky?  And what can be accomplished when Republicans and Democrats work together toward a common goal? Tom Martin posed those questions to Jonathan Miller, the former state treasurer. Now a principal of CivicPoint, the public affairs affiliate of the law firm of Frost-Brown-Todd, Miller works in support of an economic development strategy for the 4 Western Kentucky River counties of Ballard, Carlisle, Hickman, and Fulton.

It’s time for our weekly chat featuring weekend arts and cultural events with Rich Copley and Harriett Hendren of the Lexington Herald-Leader. As they tell us, there’s a lot going on over the 3-day 4th of July holiday  weekend.

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. 

On this week’s Kentucky Summer Stage...folksinger, songrwiter and multi-instrumentalist John McCutcheon. 

Our eclectic series of “live” performances continues with John McCutcheon’s concert in May at the Union Church in Berea, KY.

Tune in and enjoy, KSS Sunday evening at 8:00 on 88.9 WEKU.

University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky’s Center for Excellence in Rural Health is one of 38 organizations to receive funding from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services. The $1 million grant will be used to help children in Appalachia get the health insurance they need, as well as provide to families that are eligible to coverage. Many Kentucky families are unaware they qualify for healthcare coverage so do not look into signing up for them or their children. This is especially difficult in rural parts of Eastern Kentucky, where healthcare providers have a hard time gaining access to those that need it most.


Kentucky Public Radio

Kentucky's attorney general and state auditor will no longer be able to nominate members of the Executive Branch Ethics Commission. That’s under a new executive order from Republican Gov.  Matt Bevin.

  

 

The governor appoints the members of the commission, which investigates allegations of state ethics code violations in the state's executive branch.  

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Volkswagen has agreed to pay the state of Kentucky nearly $3.5 million in civil penalties in a settlement that could result in up to $100 million for the state and its residents.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced the state's part in the automaker's agreement to pay up to $15.3 billion to settle lawsuits and allegations that it cheated on emissions tests.

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