By Elizabeth Thompson and Appalachian News-Express
Pikeville's Hatfield and McCoy River Trails will open Friday for people to enjoy floating down the calm waters of the Levisa Fork River this summer. The service will offer canoes, kayaks and float tubes to rent and have two- and four- hour trails to choose from.
Credit Legislative Research Commission Carl Rollins
Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle. Rollins is resigning to become the executive director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.
Lexington leaders have narrowly voted to beef up the city’s rainy day fund. With the city’s financial outlook improving Council member Jennifer Mossotti wants to set aside two-point-seven million additional dollars in an economic contingency fund.
“But, my concern is that revenues are gonna be flat this year and if we have some kind of disaster or a need that we need to use this economic contingency fund for, we would have that ability to do so,” said Mossotti.
By Roybn L. Minor and The Daily News Bowling Green
Credit Creative Commons
Despite cutbacks at Mammoth Cave National Park, there still are plenty of opportunities for the more than 500,000 people who visit the park annually. “Except for our heaviest days, most people will be able to get a cave tour,” park Superintendent Sarah Craighead told a group Monday. As part of complying with federal automatic spending cuts, the park did, at least for now, eliminate the Grand Avenue and Snowball tours, but that still leaves nine other tours.
Churchill Downs officials, Louisville Metro Police and others discuss security plans for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks.
It's becoming a common refrain. As with Thunder Over Louisville, Louisville Metro Police are urging attendees to the Kentucky Derby and Oaks to report suspicious activity, in a bid to heighten security after last week's bombing at the Boston Marathon. "If you see something, say something," said Maj. Kelly Jones of Louisville Metro Police. "Find the nearest police officer, tell him or her, 'Hey it doesn't look right,' or, 'This is suspicious,' or, 'It bothers me.' We'll be happy to address it. That's why we're here—to serve the public and make sure everybody is safe."
A cold front will invade parts of Kentucky tonight and Wednesday - possibly producing thunderstorms. The biggest chance for thunderstorms will be in Central Kentucky late tonight and early Wednesday. Severe storms are not expected, according to the National Weather Service office in Louisville, but gusty winds are possible, particularly east of Interstate 65.
Environmental groups cheered a ruling by the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Monday that invalidates a streamlined permitting process for surface coal mines. The decision reverses a lower court's ruling in Eastern Kentucky that upheld the nationwide permitting process adopted by the Army Corps of Engineers in 2007. The appeals court called the permitting process "arbitrary and capricious" in a 16-page ruling.
The new reality show Guntucky features the Sumner family of Bullitt County. Among them are Biff, center; Steven, third from right; Stephanie, second from right; and Payton, right.
When you think Kentucky, what do you think of? Horses? Bourbon? Rolling hills and limestone cliffs? Bluegrass music? Country Music Television hopes to change your way of thinking to also include unlimited guns and blowing up big things. The network launched a new series, Guntucky, on Sunday. Guntucky follows the family that runs Knob Creek Gun Range in Bullitt County.
The federal indictment of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer won't become a problem for the Department of Agriculture, Farmer's successor said on Monday. James Comer, who took over the office in 2011, and his office say they have helped with the multiple investigations of Farmer's tenure as agriculture commissioner—including those conducted by the state auditor, attorney general or others.
An appeals courthas ruled in favor of environmental groups that argued the streamlined permit the government used to permit mountaintop removal mines wasn’t protective of the environment. The decision was issued today by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Pikeville. It finds that the U.S. Army Corps’ issuance of the streamlined “Nationwide 21” permit is in violation of the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act.
In a letter to the Senate majority leader, Republican Rand Paul says national security questions surrounding the Boston bombings need to be addressed before Congress deals with comprehensive immigration reform. The terror attacks at the Boston Marathon last week were allegedly perpetrated by the Tsarnaev brothers, who are ethnic Chechens and immigrated to the U.S. a decade ago.
A federal grand jury has indicted former Agriculture Secretary Richie Farmer for allegedly misusing property and funds during his eight years at the helm of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. A grand jury charged Farmer, 43, with four counts of misappropriating property and one count of soliciting property to influence agriculture department business. Each charge has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The indictment follows a string of ethical and legal troubles for the former University of Kentucky basketball standout and one-time Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
Governor Steve Beshear says he's still considering whether to call a special legislative session for later this year. A few issues remain unresolved from the last regular session, mainly redistricting and further tax reform. And Governor Beshear has been pushing for tax reform to pay for the state's education system.
By Robyn L. Minor and The Daily News Bowling Green
Following recent expansions at Ford in Louisville and the General Motors Bowling Green Assembly Plant, an announcement of Toyota’s expansion further augments the automotive industry’s place in providing Kentuckians with jobs. Toyota’s $360 million expansion to build the Lexus ES 350 will mean 750 jobs for the Georgetown plant but will have ripple effects in the automotive supply industry that could touch southcentral Kentucky. Toyota will spend an additional $171 million to refurbish other parts of the plant.
For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States and it will be made at the Georgetown Toyota plant. The formal announcement came this morning from officials in New York and Scott County. Governor Beshear says it means 750 new Kentucky jobs at Toyota. “We realize the care and the pride that you take in that vehicle and that it requires the utmost in a skilled workforce, not to mention top quality components. Your confidence in the quality of Kentucky’s workers, especially our team here in Georgetown is appreciated and well placed,” said Beshear.
Her personality, the times and her background gave Mary Todd Lincoln a place in history and made her one of the more controversial first ladies to occupy the White House. The Lexington native is the subject of a documentary airing Monday on C-Span. Producer Mark Farkas says his documentary fills gaps left by Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster film “Lincoln.” Reporter Stu Johnson spoke with Farkas.
Thousands of people converge on Pike County this weekend for the 37th annual Hillbilly Days Festival. It will feature crafts, food, and games plus a good dose of Appalachian heritage in downtown Pikeville. Some 300 vendors have set up for the event. Southeast Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President Jared Arnette says it’s a time to show their pride and products.
When conducting a background check on a person buying a gun, Kentucky’s Attorney General says they’re still limited by the information available in the system. And, with many mental health care providers already under a financial strain, Jack Conway says inputting all that data can be a hardship. “Not only do those agencies have to provide mental health services, they have to interface with the data bases and law enforcement and provide the information and make sure it gets captured, make certain it’s available to people that need to access the information. So, we’re in the process of looking, making certain that all of our information is getting into the system,” said Conway.