Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio

The president of the Kentucky State Fair Board says negotiations with a prospective new operator of the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park are going well.  Harold Workman told a Kentucky Senate committee yesterday that he expects the talks with the owners of Indiana’s Holiday World to lead to an agreement.


A professor at the University of Kentucky is calling on state lawmakers to fund an advanced mining research center in the commonwealth. Dr. Braden Lusk teaches mining engineering at UK. Lusk says Kentucky is in dire need of additional research into improving the safety and productivity of coal extraction.

Senator Rand Paul’s bid to take money from highway beautification projects and use it to repair bridges and other transportation infrastructure has failed on the senate floor. The Kentucky Republican proposed eliminating money for landscaping projects like walking and bike paths and re-directing the funds for bridge work.

A new report says environmental controls on vehicles could help Kentucky’s economy. The study, conducted by the United Autoworkers Union, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Wildlife Federation, found that stronger fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks will help create thousands of clean energy jobs in Kentucky and around the country.

Anyone who assaults a doctor or nurse in a hospital emergency room would be charged with a Class “D” felony under a bill proposed by Kentucky state Senator John Schickel. The Republican from Union spoke in support of his measure during a meeting today of a legislative panel. Schickel says the proposal has the support of the Kentucky Association of Emergency Room Nurses and the Kentucky Hospital Association.

An official with a coalition of Kentucky veterans groups has asked state lawmakers if something more can be done to keep protesters farther away from military funerals. Dave Jarrett made the appeal recently to a legislative Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs. Jarrett is chairman of the Joint Executive Council of Veterans. He says he realizes free speech must be protected, but the funeral of a soldier is a solemn occasion.

Members of the Kentucky General Assembly’s Task Force on Elections are at odds over when to begin redrawing legislative districts based on the 2010 Census. It could either be done during a special session this year or during the regular session which begins in January. “It can be done relatively easy in about a five day session if everybody comes prepared with their plans, vote them up or vote them down, amend them if we have to. I truly believe we ought to have one probably in September or October,” says Senator Walter Blevins, an eastern Kentucky Democrat.

Kentucky State Fair Board President Harold Workman says he’s still hopeful that Kentucky Kingdom amusement park can be reopened in 2012. Workman told a panel of state lawmakers recently that the board and Louisville Metro Government are close to finalizing an agreement to re-open Kentucky Kingdom next year. He says it will take a total investment of about $50 to bring the park back to life.

Kentucky’s system for tracking prescription drug sales is “forward leaning” but it’s not enough to curb abuse. That’s according to U.S. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske.Speaking to the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, Kerlikowske said the system, known as KASPER, and similar initiatives in other states work well, but they need to work together.