Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio

KPR Reporter

Alan Lytle is news director at WUKY in Lexington, KY, which is a partner-station of Kentucky Public Radio.

Someday, in the not too distant future, a pharmacist may be able to know exactly how patients will react to medications even before they take them. A cutting edge research field known as personalized medicine, or pharmacogenetics, involves studying a person's unique genetic code in order to determine how he or she will metabolize medicine.

Democratic Governor Steve Beshear has picked up another endorsement from a noted Republican politician. Former Sixth District Congressman Larry Hopkins says he has nothing against GOP Challenger, David Williams, but he believes Beshear is doing a good job and should be re-elected.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer provided more details regarding a new Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement that will require the two cities to collaborate rather than compete.  The two executives spoke during the Commerce Lexington Public Policy Luncheon on Wednesday. Mayor Gray says the Brookings Institution, a public policy think-tank, has identified Lexington and Louisville as communities uniquely positioned to create advanced manufacturing jobs for the region.

Fayette and four other Kentucky Counties are now participating in a nationwide SMART 9-1-1 service. City police and fire officials provided details of the new data collection system on Monday.

Lexington E 9-1-1 director David Lucas says residents can register for free at a special website, and provide as much detailed information as they want. In the event of an emergency 9-1-1 call, dispatchers would then be able to relay that information to emergency personnel.

 City and community leaders were on hand today in Lexington's Kenwick neighborhood to cut the ribbon on a revamped playground. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says the improvements, totaling some $50,000 are made possible through a parks parity fund.

Kentucky Public Radio

Sandhill cranes are large, red-capped migratory birds that haven't been hunted in Kentucky for almost a century. But as Alan Lytle reports, that could change in just a few months if a proposal to establish a sandhill crane hunting season is approved by a legislative subcommittee.

Kentuckians who don’t want to see the state adopt a new sandhill crane hunting season have asked the governor to abandon the effort.  Ben Yandell, who’s with the Kentucky Coalition for Sandhill Cranes, is not convinced there’s much support, even among hunters.

 With not one, but two water collection systems, sloped-ceiling classroom designs to incorporate both solar and natural lighting, an outdoor classroom and garden space, Wellington Elementary Principal Meribeth Gaines says the five hundred or so students that will soon call this place home, will be surrounded with daily lessons on sustainability.It's being billed as Fayette County's most energy efficient and sustainable elementary school building, and on Monday, administrators, teachers, and volunteers took time out to show off the new Wellington Elementary School.

The University of Kentucky has recently partnered with the nation of South Africa on an academic program titled "Kentucky and South Africa, Different Lands, Common Ground". The collaboration provides an opportunity for UK students to travel and learn more about the people and issues facing the once-segregated country.

International Studies student Corinne Price is back from an internship at the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children in Cape Town, and she recently shared her experiences with Alan Lytle.

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC ) is a one-stop center in Cape Town, South Africa for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Their vision is the creation of a safe and secure society and a human rights culture where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights.

Fayette County men and women who have a passion for the welfare of children are being encouraged to serve on the local court system's Citizen Foster Care Review Board. The Kentucky General Assembly created the panels back in 1982 to decrease the time children spend in foster care. 

Kentucky Utilities spokesman Cliff Feltham says despite thousands of households running air conditioners 24/7, the local power grid is surprisingly in good shape, and at present, there are no signs of a potential brownout.  "We hit a July peak on Wednesday and so we figured it would continue to set another peak on Thursday and it did not do that."

Crane Hunt Opponents Voice Worry

Jul 22, 2011

Opponents of a proposed hunting season for sandhill cranes still have several more chances to have the policy blocked or overturned. The nine-member Fish and Wildlife Commission unanimously approved last month a pilot plan to allow up to 400 hunters to kill up to 400 cranes this winter. About 20 attended a public meeting Thursday morning at the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources building at the Frankfort Game Farm to voice their opposition to the hunt.

A contracted exterminator for the University of Kentucky says his crew will be at the UK Student Center Friday to treat a sitting area where some bed bugs were found earlier this week. Donnie Blake, with OPC Pest Control of Louisville, says bedbug infestations are rapidly on the rise in this part of the country.

A local gay rights group is a finalist for a $10,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh campaign. Lexington Fairness hopes to use the money to expand, Project Speak Out, an anti-bullying initiative in area middle and high schools. Craig Cammack, board chair of Lexington Fairness, says the group plans to partner with the national Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (also known as Glisten), to train volunteers who in turn will work with students, educators, and administrators to reduce and prevent youth bullying and suicides.

A spokesman with the U-S Postal Service says the agency is about to conduct a study to see if some of the duties handled by the Lexington Processing and Distribution Center could be performed more efficiently at the Louisville plant. David Walton says such "Area Mail Processing" studies are going on all across the country.

A television drama set mainly in Harlan and Lexington, Kentucky is in the running for a number of Emmy awards. The nominations were revealed early Thursday morning. Timothy Olyphant, who stars as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givins in the critically acclaimed FX series Justified, has received a best lead actor nomination. Margo Martindale, who last season portrayed the criminal matriarch Mags Bennett, got a best supporting actress nod, and Walton Goggins, who plays Givins' frenemy Boyd Crowder, is up for a supporting actor award.

Embattled Lexington Fire Chief Robert Hendricks will have to wait a while longer to learn whether he will receive a disability pension from the city. On Wednesday, the Lexington Police and Fire pension board said it needed clarification regarding discrepancies between the two medical evaluation reports presented to the panel. By law, Hendricks is required to be evaluated by two physicians before the board can vote to approve or deny his application.

The Kentucky Public Service Commission is sending out another warning in light of a recent uptick in attempted copper thefts from electric substations. Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says thieves have been targeting utilities because of the perceived chance to make a big score.

Organizers of the Spotlight Lexington Festival have officially canceled this year's event citing a lack of corporate support. Spotlight Chair Kip Cornett says while the festival proved a very popular aspect of the World Equestrian Games last fall, continuing it this year proved cost-prohibitive.

Thousands of Saddle-bred Horse Enthusiasts are at the Red Mile in Lexington this week for the 75th Annual Junior League Horse Show. Alice Dearborn is serving as this year's event chairwoman: "We are the largest outdoor saddle-bred horse show in the world. What makes us so unique is that a group of women who don't really know a lot about horses put on this world class event."

The initial state-wide numbers are in on highway fatalities over the Fourth of July weekend. Six people died in six separate crashes between Friday afternoon and midnight Monday. Alcohol is a suspected factor in one crash. Four fatalities involved motorists not wearing their seatbelts. Lieutenant David Jude with the Kentucky State Police says to date, 321 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways.

The new leader of the state's flagship university says he wants to meet with as many people, in as many departments, as quickly as possible. As Alan Lytle reports, the school's administration is doing its best to make that happen. New University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto continues to make the rounds getting to know the school's students, faculty, and staff.

Anytime they're talking about your town on the Colbert Report, 9 times out of 10 it's not for a good reason. Wednesday evening, the host cited a new study by Men's Health Magazine declaring Lexington, Kentucky as the most sedentary city in the United States. Men's Health deputy editor Matt Marion says numerous factors were considered.

Many University of Kentucky staff members are facing a "use it or lose it" scenario with accrued vacation days that expire at the end of the month. The UK Human Resources Department is encouraging those people who won't be taking the time off to consider donating their hours to shared leave pools. Spokesperson Donna Cornet says at any given time, employees need to be away from the workplace for an extended period of time.

The University of Kentucky has issued a statement regarding John Calipari's total number of wins as a basketball coach. UK honored Calipari for his 500th career victory on February 26. The school said Thursday that after consulting with the NCAA, UK officials were informed that the celebration was in error. 42 of Calipari's wins at Massachusetts and Memphis have been vacated by the NCAA. UK says it will correct Calipari's stats in media guides and other publications. The coach's win total now sits at 467.

What started out as a routine press conference to announce the formation of a city commission on youth and public safety, shifted into more of a town hall style public meeting Wednesday in Mayor Jim Gray’s office headquarters.  First District Councilman Chris Ford says a recent uptick in violent crimes in urban areas has prompted the need for a comprehensive and community-wide approach.

Hundreds of Lexington citizens took the opportunity to view and discuss new plans for a large grass field in the middle of downtown. More than three hundred people crowded into the old courthouse inside the Lexington History Center for a public meeting on the long-delayed CentrePointe project. Chicago Architect Jeanne Gang and her firm, Studio Gang, presented their re-imagined ideas for the lot which has been vacant for nearly three years.

Plans for the long-stalled Centre-Point project are the focus of a meeting this afternoon in Lexington.  The downtown site’s original buildings were razed back in 2008 over the protests of several preservation groups.  Hayward Wilkirson, who led the opposition, is now a board member for Progress Lexington.  Wilkirson says the new plans resemble the original vision of preservationists.

After deliberating for more than two hours behind closed doors Tuesday evening, the Fayette County School Board settled on three finalists to succeed outgoing Superintendent Stu Silberman. The finalists are: Elaine Farris, Superintendent of Clark County Public Schools in Winchester, Tom Shelton, Superintendent of Daviess County Public Schools in Owensboro, and Lu Young, Superintendent of Jessamine County Public Schools in Nicholasville.

The University of Kentucky Athletic Association Board has approved an annual budget of 83.6 million dollars for the next fiscal year. That's four million dollars more than last year's spending plan. Despite the increase, Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart says there are no plans to give back any additional money to the university for non-athletic scholarships.