When European Union leaders met in Brussels last week, they faced some difficult decisions. For the past year, the EU has continually bailed out its debt-ridden member countries to keep the bloc and its currency afloat. Despite this assistance, Greece may yet default on its obligations, plunging Europe and much of the world into another financial crisis.
This is just the latest challenge for the euro zone, the group of 17 countries that banded their financial destinies together since 1999.
For the past decade, local schools have been judged based on federal requirements that some say are unfair and ineffective. Now, Gov. Steve Beshear has requested a waiver from those requirements under No Child Left Behind. His proposal would allow Kentucky schools to be tested under the state’s new system instead of the current federal system. It’s a move that local educators applaud.
Despite record-low interest rates and a surplus of available homes for sale, the housing market in Scott County and the region has yet to see a sign of relief from sluggish sales. According to the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors, 606 sales were reported in the region in May, compared with 839 in May 2010. There were 53 sales in Scott, down from 62 a year earlier. For the first five months of the year, 191 homes have been sold in the county, down from 241 for the same period in 2010.
When the Kentucky Speedway was built in 1998, officials predicted it would dramatically change Gallatin County and have a huge economic impact on the state. A wave of development was expected to sweep through the area surrounding the speedway, transforming its rolling green hills. That never happened, chiefly because the speedway never received the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race for which it was built. That race will finally come on July 9 - and some are again predicting a tidal wave of economic activity, especially in Gallatin County.
Danville City Commission approved a release agreement with Paul Stansbury at a Friday afternoon meeting that will pay the former city manager a year of salary and benefits worth a total of about $116,000. Stansbury — who had been suspended pending a final resolution on his termination — will receive remaining sick time and vacation time, totalling about $11,000, and his $80,000 annual salary in two lump sum payments of $40,000. The first payment will come within 21 days and the second during January of 2012.
Lee T. Todd Jr. steps down next week after a decade as president of the University of Kentucky — a decade of big ambitions, tough challenges, notable accomplishments, a few controversies and much left unfinished. The Hopkins County native had been a UK engineering professor, then he spent 17 years as a technology entrepreneur. After selling a couple of companies he had started, Todd returned in July 2001 to become UK's 11th president.
Next to the American flag at the Valero gas station in May's Lick is a shorter pole bearing a white flag with a blue emblem: the Israeli flag. One of the owners of the gas station, Mark Myers decided to erect the flag to express his opinion on the current status of Israel, what it means to America and what America should mean for the country. Friday morning, two days after the flag was hung, a small pile of animal entrails appeared to have been placed in the grass near the flag. Myers now wonders whether someone could have been protesting his decision to display the Israeli flag.