FRANKFORT— Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester (left), confers with Senate Democratic Floor Leader R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, prior to the start of the day's legislative session in the Kentucky Senate.
WEKU's Stu Johnson reports on the special session's final day.
FRANKFORT: New legislative boundaries for 138 members of the general assembly have been approved by the general assembly and signed into law by Kentucky’s governor. The final votes in favor of legislative redistricting were overwhelming; 35 to two in the Kentucky Senate and 79 to 18 in the House. Most of the debate occured as the full Senate took its first vote on the bill. Senate President Robert Stivers says the impact of these new district boundaries will be seen across the Commonwealth.
Lord Windermere (Scott Hiner) tries to persuade Lady Windermere (Liz Maines) that there has been a misunderstanding. Bluegrass Opera presents Lorne Dechtenberg’s "Lady Windermere’s Fan," based on the play by Oscar Wilde, Aug. 23 and 24 at the Lexington Opera House, 401 West Short Street in Lexington, Kentucky.
This empty stage inside the Fasig Tipton Pavilion will be filled with the music of Composer-in-Residence Raymond Lustig on Saturday evening. It's the final weekend of the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington.
Composer Raymond Lustig speaking with WEKU Reporter Charles Compton.
Knowing who will perform a piece of music is a great advantage for composers…they can create a sound well-suited to a performer’s skills. It’s an advantage enjoyed by Raymond Lustig, the composer-in-residence for this week’s Chamber Music Festival of Lexington. In creating a piece specifically for the festival, Lustig collaborated with the vocalist who will sing it. Composer-in-Residence Raymond Lustig. The world premiere of the music he created specifically for the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington is Saturday evening at the Fasig-Tipton Pavillion.
Heroin abuse, according to an eastern Kentucky prosecutor, is growing more evident in Appalachia. Given the Commonwealth’s crackdown on prescription drug abuse, more users are turning to illegal narcotics like heroin. Commonwealth’s Attorney Brent Turner is seeing it in Floyd County.
Dr. Michael T. Benson is Eastern Kentucky University's 12th President.
Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson will join host John Hingsbergen and Dr. Aaron Thompson, EKU professor and Vice President for Academic Affairs with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education during WEKU's Eastern Standard, Thursday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU Stations. The interactive program is WEKU's weekly public affairs show, returning to the air after a two-year hiatus.
WEKU's Stu Johnson reports on the reservations expressed by some lawmakers over new legislative districts.
The Kentucky House has adopted new boundaries for its 100 members, but not without some lawmaker grumbling. The bill to redraw legislative boundaries passed the full house 83 to 17. Before the votes were cast, House Speaker Greg Stumbo told colleagues there was no intent to punish anyone or either political party.
The leader of the Kentucky House says he doesn’t have the power to discipline any lawmaker who serves in his chamber. House Speaker Greg Stumbo also says he has no direct knowledge of complaints filed by two statehouse staffers against against Sturgis Representative John Arnold. The two women, Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner accuse Arnold of a pattern of sexual assault and harassment dating back to 2010. Stumbo says his office was contacted by LRC director Bobby Sherman.
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A legislative redistricting bill has breezed through the House and now heads to the Senate for consideration. Legislative leaders removed many of the partisan overtones that had been in previous proposals, a move that led to broader support among rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties. The House passed the bill 83-17 Wednesday morning. The Senate is expected to rush the measure to a vote on Friday.
Lexington city leaders will again consider domestic partner benefits for the city’s workforce. Benefits for same-sex partners and unmarried couples were last considered in 2003, when they were rejected by council. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton made the motion Tuesday that resurrected the benefits.
Two longtime Kentucky statehouse employees have filed ethics complaints against Democratic state Rep. John A. Arnold Jr., alleging a pattern of sexual assault and harassment dating back to early 2010. Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner, in separate complaints, allege Arnold inappropriately touched them and made lewd and vulgar comments in numerous incidents over several years. Arnold is a veteran legislator from Sturgis. Read more...
FRANKFORT— Rep. Jim Wayne, D-Louisville, discusses a plan to redraw legislative district boundaries during a meeting of the House Committee on State Government.
A legislative redistricting bill is expected to get a vote on the House floor this morning. House Speaker Greg Stumbo predicted that it will pass overwhelmingly and be sent to the Senate to be acted on by Friday. The House State Government Committee approved the measure 25-4 on Tuesday.
After months of discussion, Lexington city leaders have decided on a location for a new senior citizens center. The Council voted Tuesday to construct a facility on a portion of the Idle Hour Park off Richmond road. Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton says it could be finished within two years.
Lexington's working to convert abandoned distilleries such as this one into entertainment, dining and drinking establishments.
Lexington’s city council hopes to accelerate progress in its new downtown distillery district. Lexington’s new distillery district, located along Manchester Street, already features a number of entertainment, arts, and cultural attractions. Still, some council member worry the pace of development is too slow. So, a council committee urged the city to accelerate work on the Town Branch Trail. Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says the foot-and-bike path should be extended into the distillery district as soon as possible.
A year after they gathered for a big sesquicentennial celebration, re-enactors return this weekend to Richmond Battlefield Park. The Civil War Battle of Richmond was fought in August of 1862. Battlefield superintendent Phillip Seyfrit admits last year’sreenactment will be tough to top.
Credit PEO, Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives
Officials say construction on a long-awaited weapons disposal facility at the Blue Grass Army Depot in central Kentucky is about 70 percent complete and it is on track to start operations in 2020. Chemical Destruction Community Advisory Board Co-Chair Craig Williams says it took several years for the project to recover from funding cuts in 2004. But, Williams adds construction is tracking on schedule now that allocations have been more consistent.
A rally today in Frankfort urged state leaders to spend surplus dollars on programs that provide child care. Since April, no new additions have been made to the list of low-income families eligible for child care or kinship care assistance. That’s when the governor ordered cuts in both programs. Without a restoration of funding, Michelle Sanborn with Children’s Alliance predicts more foster parents will be needed.
FRANKFORT— House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg (left), confers with House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown (right) as House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark, D-Louisville, looks on.
Kentucky’s aviation industry is looking for some tax relief. Airport representatives came to Frankfort today for National Aviation Day. Kentucky Aviation Association President Rob Barnett says Kentucky’s aviation industry lags behind its neighbors and needs state assistance.
Leaders of Kentucky’s public radio stations are considering how they might collaborate and consolidate operations, with a goal of cutting costs and boosting reporting on local and regional issues. Six of Kentucky’s seven public radio stations have enlisted Public Radio Capital to assess benefits of closer collaboration and to help advance the process if all agree to move ahead. Universities hold licenses to five of the stations and may need to join future negotiations as well. The state has some history of successful station mergers. In 1993, WUOL, licensed to the University of Louisville, and two stations operated by libraries merged under the auspices of the Public Radio Partnership, a newly formed community licensee. Read more...
Kentucky’s Fish and Wildlife Commission is seeking fee increases for some licenses and permits. The request doesn’t impact basic hunting and fishing licenses for Kentucky adults. Among the changes being proposed by the Commission is to increase the deer permit for residents five dollars and the deer permit for non-residents one hundred dollars.
Church is a place where people go to worship, reflect and get away from the daily grind. A church in Paris, Ky., takes that a step further. They allow people to bring their dogs to church. Leslie Guttman of member station WEKU reports. Read and listen.
Kentucky lawmakers will try once again to establish legislative boundaries this week in Frankfort. A first attempt to redraw house and senate boundaries based on 2010 census figures was ruled unconstitutional. Lawmakers tried again early in 2013 to no avail. Now, the court’s ready to step in, if it’s not done to meet constitutional muster.
A new era of housing is officially underway at the University of Kentucky. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held this morning for two new residence halls representing a 26 million dollar investment. UK President Eli Capilouto says it is a new day in housing.
A central Kentucky mayor believes economic gains in one community can mean benefits in other nearby towns. Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner is welcoming Amazon and its 20 million dollar investment to the Bluegrass. The on-line retailer expects to hire more than 500 people eventually for a customer service facility.
The federal mandate for health insurance coverage impacts thousands of Kentuckians. Another step toward getting those individuals covered occurred today in Lexington. A call center for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Office is located in Lexington. Governor Beshear was on hand for the official launch of the center where 60 agents stand by ready to answer questions.
Music and artworks for the masses are available this weekend in Lexington. One of the region’s biggest arts fairs takes place at a downtown park. And Keeneland shares the classical music repertoire of maestro Bugs Bunny. Here with a preview is Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader. Rich spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
Two new drug awareness and education initiatives will be unveiled Friday in southeast Kentucky. The public ceremony at Eastern Kentucky University’s Manchester campus recognizes a new ‘Hope Wall’ and a mobile drug education classroom. Both are projects spearheaded by ‘Unite,’ an organization known for drug investigations, treatment, and education.
By and large, most Kentucky corn producers are experiencing a much better year compared to last summer. Drought conditions wiped out many corn fields across western Kentucky. With steady rains in 2013, University of Kentucky Agricultural Economist Will Snell says it’s been a different story.
State budget analysts are predicting ‘less than robust’ growth over the next two years in the Commonwealth’s general fund. A slight decline is projected in the state’s road fund. Government financial analyst Greg Harkenrider told a group of Kentucky’s top economists today collections from the individual income tax are expected to go up between one and a half and four percent in the next two fiscal years.