It's one of the most basic services a government can provide: keeping the street lights on. But it isn't as easy as flipping a switch. Fluctuations in electric bills aren't just a problem for private homes and businesses. When Kentucky Utilities raises its rates, the government has to deal with higher bills too. The Urban Services fund, which, among other things, provides money for Lexington's street lights is running low. And Councilman Kevin Stinnett says a simple tax increase may not solve the problem.
Lexington's 3,064 insured city employees are on track to consume roughly 32 million dollars in health care this year. That's over four million dollars more than the same coverage would have cost just three years ago. Consultants also say Urban County Government has consistently underestimated the "true cost" of health care, offering more generous benefits than 99% of all public and private health insurance programs while incurring a 33-million dollar shortfall over the past three years.
After several contentious meetings on the subject, the Urban County Council voted Tuesday night to establish procedures for reviewing contract agreements reached through collective bargaining. For years the council has debated just what its role should be in agreements reached through collective bargaining. Traditionally, approval of the contracts fell to the mayor's office. But with unfunded pension liabilities mounting, some members of the council see it as their responsibility to review and ultimately agree to the contracts.
Journalist James Fallows is in Louisville today to speak at the Kentucky Chamber’s annual meeting. Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a former editor of U.S. News and World Report, and delivered a speech based on a recent article on the future of coal.
Like most juvenile crimes, cybercrimes are often the result of peer pressure. An article in this week’s American Journal of Criminal Justice concludes kids who commit cybercrimes usually have friends who also commit cybercrimes. Researchers surveyed 435 students in a suburban Kentucky school district. Helping with the study was Doctor David May, a professor of Criminal Justice at Eastern Kentucky University. May, who spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton, says they studied four forms of internet crime.
The British newspaper the Guardian reports the CIA recruited a Pakistani doctor to set up a fake vaccination program in the town where Osama bin Laden was living. The idea was to obtain a DNA sample from one of bin Laden's children.
The Rhode Island city of Central Falls is sliding closer into bankruptcy. The state won't give the cash-strapped city money to pay its bills for the fiscal year that just ended, and the city is entering the new fiscal year nearly five million dollars in the hole. Catherine Welch of member station WRNI reports