Associated Press

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Kentucky is among five states that are again suing the Obama administration over its efforts to strengthen discrimination protections for transgender people.   

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in a North Texas federal court. It seeks to block parts of a nondiscrimination mandate of President Barack Obama's health care law.

Opponents of the president’s order say the rules could force doctors to act against their medical judgments or religious convictions.

For Kentucky workers who have health insurance through their employers, the number enrolled in high-deductible plans has risen sharply over the last eight years. That's according to a new report by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky reported in the Daily News.

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Volkswagen has agreed to pay the state of Kentucky nearly $3.5 million in civil penalties in a settlement that could result in up to $100 million for the state and its residents.

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear on Tuesday announced the state's part in the automaker's agreement to pay up to $15.3 billion to settle lawsuits and allegations that it cheated on emissions tests.

The Morehead News

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky clerk who spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples has asked a federal appeals court to dismiss a lawsuit against her because of a new state law that will take effect next month.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling effectively legalized gay marriage last year. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. A federal judge ordered her to issue the licenses, but she refused and went to jail.

RICHMOND, Ky. (AP) — An official says it is expected to cost about $20 million to make repairs at a central Kentucky chemical weapons destruction plant. 

Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, the general contractor for the plant in Madison County, said it is seeking compensation from General Atomics of San Diego for the cost to replace piping with deficient welds since the welds were done by a subcontractor for that company.

Services have been scheduled for Friday in Louisville for boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday.

 

Former President Bill Clinton, comedian Billy Crystal and broadcaster Bryant Gumbel are scheduled to deliver eulogies.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has ordered flags lowered to half-staff to honor Ali.

The three-time heavyweight champion had been hospitalized in the Phoenix area since last Monday with respiratory problems and his children had flown in from around the country.

Madison County Police

UPDATE:  (courtesy Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com)
 

Deputy Kevin Crutcher was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington, where he was treated for a gunshot wound to the abdomen. According to the Lexington Herald-Leader, he was released last night. (Wednesday.)  

A spokesman for the Madison County Sheriff’s Office told the newspaper Crutcher is a nine-year veteran.

Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The winner of the 142nd Kentucky Derby was the favorite Nyquist. Racing against 19 other horses Nyquist finished in front of Exaggerator. At 8-0 Nyquist is the eighth unbeaten horse to win the Derby.  

Nyquist was ridden by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O'Neill.

The race was run in good conditions after a heavy rainfall about an hour before the race. It was seen by the second largest crowd ever at Churchill Downs, around 167,000.

Video courtesy of Lexington Herald-Leader/Kentucky.com

 

abc7.com

The White House says President Barack Obama has telephoned the parents of a Lexington native and her husband who died in last week's terror attacks in Brussels.

 

The White House says Obama offered his condolences Sunday and praised Stephanie Shults and her husband Justin as epitomizing all that was good about America.

kentuckyonehealth.org

KentuckyOne Health, which operates the University of Louisville Hospital, has backed out of an agreement to provide Planned Parenthood patients emergency care in case complications arise during an abortion.

Planned Parenthood attorney Thomas Clay says the organization was told Tuesday by hospital officials they were under incredible pressure from the state to terminate the agreement, and that the hospital's state funding was threatened if they didn't cancel the agreement.

The state requires clinics that provide abortions to keep a transfer agreement with a local hospital in case of unexpected complications.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration has scaled back the Kentucky Horse Park's purchasing authority amid allegations of improper purchasing practices.

The directive from the state Finance Cabinet's secretary comes as a top Senate Republican pushes legislation to revamp the horse park's governing body.

Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer says the Finance Cabinet's findings show his motives are justified in seeking to overhaul the park's commission.

Creative Commons/flickr

State officials are recommending more restrictions on fish consumption.

The Courier-Journal reports the recommendations come after state officials found mercury in more fish from more waterways across the state. Officials now say everyone should limit how much locally caught fish they eat, not just pregnant woman and children under six.

wfpl.org

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is asking a judge to penalize a Louisville Planned Parenthood facility for performing abortions without a valid license.

Bevin, a staunchly anti-abortion Republican, ordered abortions halted at the downtown facility after learning last month that it was performing the procedures. Planned Parenthood says it got approval from former Gov. Steve Beshear's administration, which left office in December.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services sued Thursday in Jefferson County Circuit Court, seeking up to nearly $700,000 in fines. 

wfpl.org

A top regulator from Gov. Matt Bevin's administration has resigned as a director of Kentucky's major Republican super PAC after a newspaper inquired about potential conflicts in holding both roles.

The Courier-Journal reports that K. Gail Russell resigned Wednesday as director of the super PAC Kentuckians for Strong Leadership.

Russell is the deputy secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet, overseeing banking, insurance, horse racing and other business.

wbko.com

The Kentucky Department of Revenue has slowed down issuing state tax refunds because of concerns of identity theft and other forms of fraud.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Dan Bork says the agency is implementing new security features that will cause a delay in some refunds.

Creative Commons/kyforward.com

The Kentucky Division of Forestry says the spring forest fire hazard season has begun.

A statement says burning laws will be enforced through April 30. During that time period, it is illegal to burn anything within 150 feet of woodland or brush land between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Officials said the law bans burning during times when conditions are most likely to cause a blaze to spread.

wfpl.org

As part of his proposed budget cuts, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin exempted what he considered to be key government services. Not protected: The government agencies charged with holding him and his administration accountable.

Former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear says he is starting an advocacy group to oppose Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's plans to dismantle Kynect and scale back the state's Medicaid expansion.

Beshear is scheduled to announce "Save Kentucky Healthcare" during two events Thursday. In a news release, Beshear said he is troubled by Bevin's plans to roll back what he called Kentucky's nation-leading progress in improving the health of its people.

Associated Press

It was quick, albeit unorthodox, when Kentucky's governor signed into law an abortion bill as soon as a delegation of lawmakers presented it to him.

The first bill signed by Gov. Matt Bevin since taking office updates the state's informed consent law requiring women seeking abortions be told of medical risks and benefits at least 24 hours beforehand.

The bill gives patients and doctors the option of meetings in person or by video.

kentuckytourism.com

State House Democrats say they likely will not approve $650 million worth of state spending cuts as outlined in Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's budget proposal.

The resistance sets up a budget battle one month ahead of four special elections that could shift the balance of power in the legislature.

commons.wikimedia.org

Producers of Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey are toasting another year of strong sales and revenue growth. Leading the way is growing demand for high-priced, super-premium brands.

The Distilled Spirits Council said Tuesday that combined U.S. revenues for bourbon, Tennessee whiskey and rye whiskey shot up 7.8 percent to $2.9 billion in 2015. Domestic volume rose 5.2 percent.

sannieoverly.com

Kentucky Democrats have chosen state Rep. Sannie Overly as party chairwoman after a two and a half month search.

The Kentucky Democratic Party Executive Committee unanimously elected Overly its new chairwoman Saturday. Overly is a state representative from Paris and chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, the first woman to ever hold that position. She was Jack Conway's running mate during his unsuccessful bid for governor in 2015.

Latest on Bluegrass Stockyards Fire

Jan 31, 2016
Matt Goins / Lexington Herald Leader

Investigators say they are interviewing witnesses to a massive fire that destroyed a beef cattle auction business in Kentucky.

Lexington Fire Department spokesman Joe Best said Sunday that it's too early to determine the cause of the fire. The blaze Saturday destroyed seven acres of the stockyards operated by the Blue Grass Livestock Marketing Group. No one was injured. The flames also consumed several nearby businesses.

Best says officials are interviewing business owners and others.

The fire churned up a plume of thick, black smoke that darkened the skies for miles. Best says firefighters continued putting out smoky hot spots on Sunday when gusty winds picked up.

kydemocrat.com

One of Kentucky's top elected Democrats said Monday he is concerned the struggling party will not be able to field a viable candidate to challenge U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in November.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville said he has been working with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to recruit potential candidates. He said some viable candidates are thinking about running for the seat but would not say they were likely to run. 

LRC Public Informtaion

Another Kentucky state lawmaker is switching from the Democratic Party to the GOP, further boosting the Republican Party's mission to take control of the only Southern legislative chamber still run by Democrats.

State Rep. Jim Gooch chairs the Natural Resources and Environment Committee. He said Monday he will seek re-election as a Republican. He attributed his decision to President Barack Obama's "radical agenda," including environmental regulations and push for gun control.

kentucky.com

The stabbing death of a kindergartner as he slept in his bed has plunged a central Kentucky town into mourning. After the arrest of a stranger, shaken neighbors are rallying around the family.

Police say Logan Tipton was killed before dawn Monday when a knife-wielding intruder broke into his family's home in Versailles and stabbed the boy. Thirty-two-year-old Ronald Exantus of Indianapolis has been charged with murder and first-degree burglary.

Tom Loftus / Courier Journal

Matt Bevin has taken the oath to become the 62nd governor of Kentucky during a private ceremony just after midnight in the state Capitol.

Bevin succeeds Democrat Steve Beshear, who could not seek re-election because of term limits. Bevin is the state's ninth Republican governor in its 223-year history and the second since 1971.

A full day of events is scheduled for Tuesday, including a worship service, a parade and a public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.

wikipedia.org

 

Jay Leno is appearing in Richmond next spring in an event being billed as a tribute to Officer Daniel Ellis, the Richmond police officer killed in the line of duty this month.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports Leno will perform at 8 p.m. April 23 at Richmond's St. Mark Catholic Church.

Mark Cornelison / Lexington Herald Leader

 

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto has decided to cover a campus mural from 1934 that shows scenes from state history, including black workers in a tobacco field and a Native American with a tomahawk.

Capilouto wrote on the school's website Monday that he met with a group of students recently and understood their frustrations over the mural.

surfky.com

Gov. Steve Beshear has ordered nursing homes and other health care providers to run national background checks on all new employees or risk losing their license to operate in the state.

Beshear signed the emergency regulation on Friday. It takes effect on Jan. 1 and will apply to about 1,300 providers, including nursing homes, intermediate care facilities, adult day health care programs and assisted living facilities.

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