A grand jury has indicted the mayor and the city clerk of a small town in central Kentucky on 69 counts. The News-Enterprise reports the indictments handed down by the Larue County grand jury came after a long investigation prompted by complaints from residents.
A long standing central Kentucky non profit, the Attorney General’s Office, and five banks are establishing a five million dollar home loan fund. Community Ventures Corporation C-E-O Kevin Smith says the program is aimed at assisting up to 70 families who can’t qualify for traditional bank financing.
The proposed construction of a natural gas liquids pipeline through central Kentucky continues to attract the attention of religious groups. A statewide Christian organization is calling for responsible government oversight.
The U.S. Coast Guard wants to allow barges filled with fracking wastewater to run the nation's rivers on their way toward disposal. Many environmentalists are concerned, but industry groups say barge transport has its advantages. Critics of the plan say that if there was an accident, it could threaten the drinking water supply of millions of people.
New revenue in Kentucky’s upcoming biennial budget will not be enough to account for an estimated $450 million shortfall. Lawmakers expect about $230 million in new revenue to be available for the budget. But House Speaker Greg Stumbo recently told a group of Kentucky’s top business leaders that more than half of that money will be used to pay down the state’s pension debt.
Commonly heard among economic development and education professionals is that in this 21st Century world creative talent drives a community’s economy and makes it an interesting place to live, work and play. In many cases, such talent lives and plays locally, but their work is not confined to the local economy. “Live local, work global,” as the saying goes.
The Top 10 Kentucky News Stories of 2013. What do you believe are the top stories of the past year? Send us your list by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a voice message at 859-622-1657 or post on our Facebook Page.
Guests: Charles Compton, WEKU News Director; Stu Johnson, WEKU reporter; Peter Baniak, editor of the Lexington Herald-Leader
A group in Harlan is selling coal-theme candles to help unemployed miners in eastern Kentucky pay their bills. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports a group called Harlan 20/20 is managing the project. Rie Whitfield and Kathy Bianchi say they wanted to come up with a way to help the thousands of coal miners who have been laid off due to a slump in the coal industry.
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is driving home a second "car of the year" award. The vehicle manufactured at the Bowling Green General Motors plant has been named Autoweek's Best Car for 2014. Automobile magazine last month gave similar honors to the Stingray.
All-star cheer and dance teams representing eight states are competing this weekend in Louisville at the Triple Crown Showdown of cheerleading. The Courier-Journal reports more than 6,000 cheerleaders as young as 4 years old will participate at the fairgrounds.
The Zac Brown Band will perform in Lexington for the first time Saturday, but drummer Chris Fryar, third from right, once performed at the Dame with Oteil and the Peacemakers.
Credit Paul Mobley
The season for holiday concerts climaxes this weekend in Lexington with performances by wind, brass and string musicians. And then there’s the Zac Brown Band, which arts reporter Rich Copley describes as a multi-dimensional country group. The Lexington Herald Leader reporter discussed the weekend with Arts Weekly producer Charles Compton.
A non-partisan economic policy group has released a report showing large gaps in per-student funding among school districts that approved tax increases this year. A majority of Kentucky school boards approved the maximum 4 percent property tax increase to help fund public schools.
With cold wintertime conditions, comes a ripe environment for stomach viruses, just in time for the holidays. State Epidemiologist Craig Humbaugh says it’s a hand to mouth ailment which can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
A former western Kentucky lawmaker is not expected to face sanctions from the House over allegations that he sexually harassed legislative staffers. A House investigative committee voted 3-2 along party lines today to adjourn without taking any action against former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis. The committee concluded it has no legal authority because Arnold has already resigned.
Kentucky legislative leaders are moving forward with an audit of the state’s largest bureaucracy. Kentucky House and Senate leaders hired the National Conference of State Legislatures to conduct an audit of the Legislative Research Commission, which has come under fire over its handling of employee harassment complaints. Taxpayers will be on the hook for more than $42,000 for the review.
It’s a different look to the front of Lexington’s city hall these days. Safety concerns have prompted the removal of a 30-by-17 foot metal canopy from the Main Street entrance. General Services Commissioner Jamshid Baradaran says inspectors spotted structural problems.
The University of Pikeville is the latest school to join the Kentucky Department of Agriculture's Farm to Campus Program. The initiative will aim to put more farm-fresh Kentucky Proud products in the eastern Kentucky school's food service system. Another goal is to put more shelf-stable Kentucky Proud products in the Pikeville school's bookstore.
Democrats are seeking a recanvass in a western Kentucky legislative race in which a Republican has already claimed victory. Republican Suzanne Miles of Owensboro had 3,568 votes, narrowly besting Morganfield Democrat Kim Humphrey's 3,436 votes in western Kentucky's 7th District. Humphrey requested the recanvass.
Thomas and his supporters celebrate the senatorial win
For the first time, an African American will represent Fayette County in the Kentucky state senate. Democrat Reginald Thomas easily won Tuesday’s special election. He will finish the unexpired term of Kathy Stein, who now serves as a Fayette County judge. Thomas defeated former Lexington council member Richard Moloney and Republican minister Michael Johnson.
It appears construction on a major downtown development in Lexington will start within the next week or so. Since, before the recession, the multi-million dollar Centre Point project has been on hold. Financing for the office-retail and residential high rise has been the sticking point. Finance Commissioner Bill Omara Tuesday told council member Steve Kay financial support for the project now appears solid.
An eastern Kentucky judge-executive whose county was devastated by a tornado has pleaded not guilty to federal charges. Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley was arraigned Tuesday, one day after an unsealed indictment accused him of steering work to a construction contractor in exchange for kickbacks.
Audrey Haynes, Secretary, Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
Credit Credit Cabinet for Health and Family Services
While Kentucky’s on-line marketplace for health insurance is running well, some questions remain about its long term costs. Louisville Republican Julie Denton, who chairs the Senate’s Health and Welfare Committee, still worries too many newly-insured Kentuckians will have costly health care needs.
State revenues exceed expectations but budget officials say they won’t be enough to satisfy the need. State Budget Director Jane Driskell offered a financial report Monday in Lexington during the annual Kentucky Chamber Legislative Preview. By the end of June, state income will likely run 130-million over budget. But Driskell says the amount needed to cover the growing costs in areas like Medicaid, teacher retirements, and education is much higher than the available monies.
The economic and social troubles of eastern Kentucky were the topic today of two conferences Monday. In Pikeville, nearly a thousand people gathered to discuss strategies for improving the lives of mountain residents. And in Lexington, a preview of this winter’s general assembly session included talk of coal severance funding.
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Diana, from Lexington, emailed us, “As long as you have all day broadcasting of Talk Shows, it is beyond me why you do not broadcast one of the best shows on any radio station, and that is the Diane Rehm Show. Why? The only time I ever get to hear this wonderful show is when I’m in my car on a trip.”
A series of additional portraits now decorate the walls of Lexington’s Council Chambers. Paintings of four former mayors were retrieved by Mayor Jim Gray and Council member Bill Farmer from an old storage site
Disagreements between well-meaning people are inevitable, but, a Christian group believes those dispute can be more civil. The Kentucky Council of Churches will work over the next year on strategies to promote civility. Director Marian McClure Taylor says sometimes humor is key. It was a tactic commonly employed by her grandfather.