Lexington City leaders will again try to decide how to spend over two million dollars in surplus funds. The third time may be a charm. Council has twice delayed action, but a final vote is scheduled for Tuesday. As initially proposed, the money would be divided evenly among council members, who each would decide how it's spent. Now, a revised proposal has the entire council setting priorities for that pool of money.
A rural church in Fancy Farm Kentucky, home to the state’s premier political event has been approved for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board approved the designation for the St. Jerome's Catholic Church complex on Friday. The National Park Service has final say, which is expected within a couple of months.
A popular tourist attraction at the Kentucky Capitol is being repaired. The State Journal reports that repairs began this month on the Floral Clock and are expected to take a couple of months to complete. Sam Ruth, commissioner of the Department of Facilities and Support Services, said several cracks are visible on the bottom of the clock. Some are a foot long and an inch wide.
You've heard the voice for years but likely never knew his name or seen his picture. Frank Tavares joins us on Eastern Standard.
If you've listened to NPR for more than 20 minutes, you've likely heard the voice of Frank Tavares. Although you may have never known his name, he's been the voice that has told us of the businesses and organizations that help pay for the network programming, ending with the familiar identifier, "This is NPR.."
With the jazz-age music of Jewish-American composer George Gerswhin, an appreciation for the music of African-American culture first appeared in concert halls. But it wasn't until the 1990's, when an entrepreneur got the idea of endowing a national competition that recognizes African-American and Hispanic classical musicians where Americans began seeing diversity on the concert stage.
Reforms to Kentucky’s criminal justice system still concern some prosecutors. Lawmakers this week celebrated their success, saying the law reduced prison populations, cut corrections costs and enhanced drug treatment programs. While it’s a step in the right direction, Russell and Wayne County Commonwealth’s Attorney Matthew Leveridge has a problem with deferred prosecution. Leverage says it puts some accused drug possession offenders back on the street, without any penalty.
Beginning next summer, Eastern Kentucky University will ban all tobacco products on its campuses. Given the health threat posed by second hand smoke, President Michael Benson today said cigarettes should be banned. Tobacco products are currently limited to designated, outside areas. Benson says a policy will be created and implemented next June. He also says EKU will also provide smoking-cessation programs to students and staff. Campus-wide smoking bans were implemented at the University of Kentucky in 2009 and at Morehead State University in 2011.
While major savings have come through the reform of Kentucky’s criminal justice system, it’s also caused a financial squeeze for county jailers. The reforms were enacted to reduce prison populations and cut corrections costs. Fewer drug offenders are now jailed and more are in drug treatment programs. As a result, Kentucky Association of Counties Director Tommy Turner says local jails don’t get as much state money to help run their facilities.
FRANKFORT— Interim Joint Committee on Local Government co-chair Rep. Steven Riggs, D-Louisville (right), confers with Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, prior to the start of the committee's September meeting.
During a legislative hearing, proponents, including the mayors of Kentucky’s two largest cities, argued cities should have the freedom to levy a local sales tax for special projects. Plus, they want the question to go before Kentucky voters next year. If approved, individual communities could then ask taxpayers to impose up to a one percent local sales tax. It would be temporary and Louisville Mayor Greg Fisher says it would likely go for specific projects.
With the opening of a campaign headquarters, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is officially starting his effort to secure a second term. In explaining why he seeks re-election in 20-14, Jim Gray said ‘it’s a very rewarding job’ with ‘plenty of problems still to solve.’ While no one has formally announced a challenge, the mayor told supporters ‘this is America, somebody will run.’
Several social service agencies plus Lexington government will benefit from the settlement of a lawsuit filed by state attorneys-general against mortgage lenders. They were accused of unfairly foreclosing on thousands of homes during the recession.
Four Kentucky elementary schools and one high school have been named 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The national program recognizes academic performance and improvement. Glendover Elementary is the fifth Lexington school to achieve this honor since 1989. Principal Cathy Fine says her school has seen an increasing number of low income students.
A new bugler will now call the horses to post at Keeneland. Horse racing icon Bucky Sallee is going into semi-retirement. Sallee has sounded the call to post at Keeneland for over 50 years. Beginning in the 1950s, Hee performed with local jazz groups in the Lexington area….and performed with artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Daniels and Fats Domino.
‘Phenomenal’ is a word used to describe this month’s yearling sale at Keeneland. Gross sales over its 12 days were up more than 27% over last year. Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell says their new format worked well. It saw a broad cross section of yearlings sold at a variety of prices. Plus, buyers had more time to inspect the merchandise. Russell says they had their best number since before the recession.
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In our continuing dialogue over an hour of BBC news that we added a few weeks ago, Charlotte from Danville weighs in, “I love the BBC at 4:00 am in the morning. I’ll always learn something quite interesting. I also love the classical music during the night."
Potential chefs received food preparation tips during this weekend’s first ‘Crave Lexington’ festival. The event at the MoonDance Amphitheater in Beaumont included restaurant dishes made from scratch, food demonstrations, and live music. Christina Robinson says students from the Sullivan College Culinary program attended the event.
The creation of a waterfront park in downtown Lexington could also improve water quality in Town Branch Creek. There are plans to resurrect the subterranean stream, which runs beneath the downtown area, and create a park. Landscape architect Kate Orff says a park’s vegetation would remove contaminants from the creek.
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Kentucky’s State Auditor claims the former head of the Department of Agriculture oversaw “a toxic culture of entitlement” and that unelected “special districts” constitute a $2.7 billion “Ghost Government.” Reports of misuse of taxpayer money, and a "hostile workplace" have caused Kentucky’s Director of Emergency Management to resign.
The creation of a public mural on a wall adjacent to City Hall has been presented to Lexington’s council. Danny Mayer, who publishes a community newspaper, says the proposal is the compilation of ideas submitted by Lexington residents.
It’s perhaps the most influential ballet ever performed. A hundred years ago, “The Rite of Spring” was first staged. The Igor Stravinsky composition redefined dance and sparked a revolution in music that still influences composers…whether classical or not. Joseph Allison is a music historian at Eastern Kentucky University, a big fan of Stravinsky and completely enamored with “The Rite of Spring.”
Saturday evening inside the Lexington Opera House, “The Rite of Spring” is performed by the Lexington Ballet.
It’s just about crunch time as Kentucky’s trees take on their autumn colors. Big Bone Lick State Park Manager Dean Henson says the peak viewing period for fall foliage is almost always the second and third weeks of October. It’s been a good year for rainfall, but Henson says weather conditions now are key in helping to make leaf colors radiant.
The Lexington Philharmonic show goes on this evening at the University of Kentucky’s Singletary Center. A strike by the local musician union has been averted. Both sides agreed to continue their current contract, but differences still stand in the way of a long term agreement.
Violinist Caroline Goulding performs with the Lexington Philharmonic during this evening's season opener at the Singletary Center.
Despite its labor troubles, tonight’s season-opening performance by the Lexington Philharmonic will take place. And when the Lex-phil’s musicians take the stage, reporter Rich Copley says at its center will be violinist Caroline Goulding.
Negotiations continue but musicians with the Lexington Philharmonic will not strike. In a joint statement, management and musicians say they’ll continue their current contract while talks on a permanent settlement continue. The compromise allows Friday's performance at the Singletary Center. Negotiators have spent the last 18 months trying to reach an agreement. Major sticking points are over job security and the freedom to perform with other organizations. Musicians last week approved a strike and declared they have “no confidence” in Lex-Phil Music Director Scott Terrell.
The public got a chance to quiz architects about their concepts for rebuilding Rupp Arena. Participants at a hearing Wednesday evening at the Kentucky Theater reviewed preliminary plans for upgrades to Rupp, a new convention center, and a waterfront park along a resurrected Town Branch Creek. Architect Robert Mankin says upper arena in Rupp will offer more than chair back seats in place of bleachers.
Lexington Philharmonic musicians vote "No Confidence" in Music Director Scott Terrell.
The musicians of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra have voted to strike Friday night's season-opening concert if they cannot come to terms with management on key points of a new contract before the performance. "We have great solidarity among our ranks," orchestra committee chairman Dave Shelton said Tuesday afternoon. In the same balloting, cast Thursday, the musicians also expressed a vote of no-confidence in music director Scott Terrell. Read more...
Citizens get a chance Wednesday afternoon to comment on the revitalization in and around Rupp Arena. Architects for the Rupp Arena and Town Branch Trail projects will be on hand for the two hour program. Communications Director for Lexington’s mayor, Susan Straub says their primary aim is to gather the thoughts of local residents.
A downtown landmark in Lexington is back in the spot it occupied for 80 years on Main Street. During preparations for the World Equestrian Games, the Skuller’s Street Clock was removed for repairs. After the needed funds were raised, the clock was refurbished by the Verdin and Company of Cincinnati. Tommy Verdin’s family has managed the business for six generations.