Josh James, Kentucky Public Radio

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1:41pm

Tue August 16, 2011
Education

More Kentuckians Turn Towards GEDs

More Kentuckians are turning to GEDs as a way to prepare themselves for the workforce or transition to college. The number of diplomas awarded rose 10 percent this fiscal year.  Not only are more students in the Bluegrass earning GEDs, the pass rate is also increasing. Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education, attributes the jump to free testing offered in April, May, and June, along with deeper economic worries.

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8:23am

Tue August 16, 2011
Education

BCTC Breaks Ground

Bluegrass Community and Technical College is expanding. Not only did the college begin construction on a new building today, it also broke ground on a new campus. The new four-story, 28-million dollar building is set to house eleven academic programs, including Computer Information Technology and will host about a thousand students upon completion. BCTC President Augusta Julian explained why the expansion has the potential to be transformative.

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10:56am

Fri August 12, 2011
Education

Calipari For Student Financial Literacy

University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari is championing a new cause in Kentucky: financial literacy education.  The program being launched by the Calipari Family Foundation for Children, tech company EverFi, Inc., and area banks is called "Vault." The online interactive program aims to educate elementary school students on a particularly timely issue: how to handle money. EverFi CEO Tom Davidson says the program presents students with real world scenarios involving budgeting, job planning, and saving in a language they understand. Coach Calipari says the idea actually came about before he moved to the Bluegrass.

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8:44am

Fri August 12, 2011
Education

Calipari Touts Financial Literacy

University of Kentucky men's basketball coach John Calipari is championing a new cause in Kentucky: financial literacy education. The program being launched by the Calipari Family Foundation for Children, tech company EverFi, Inc., and area banks is called "Vault." The online interactive program aims to educate elementary school students on a particularly timely issue: how to handle money.

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1:48pm

Thu August 11, 2011
Statehouse News

Excommunicated Priest Faces Dismissal

A nationally known priest who participated in a ceremony in Kentucky ordaining a woman is refusing to recant his views despite pressure from his order and the Vatican. Rev. Roy Bourgeois was excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church in 2008 for taking part in the ordination of Janice Sevre-Duszynska. Since that time, he's continued his affiliation with Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers but remains staunch in his support for the ordination of women. Mike Virgintino, communications manager for the order, said, "Maryknoll has tried to foster dialogue regarding this issue and now it's come to a time when Maryknoll can do no more."

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10:43am

Thu August 11, 2011
Science/Health

KY Parents Organize Against Toxic Chemicals

A campaign to spotlight toxic chemicals that may be lurking in everyday consumer products is gaining momentum thanks to celebrity spokeswomen like Jessica Alba and concerned parents across the country. A group of 30 or so protestors in Lexington's Woodland Park recently urged Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to support tougher regulations on chemicals used in consumer products. Organizer Greg Capillo highlighted increases in some childhood cancers, which some believe could be related to chemical and environmental factors.

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9:40am

Wed August 10, 2011
Business and the Economy

Ark Encounter to Help Economically

With Texas Governor Rick Perry's recent prayer rally and a new deal guaranteeing Kentucky's Ark Encounters project property tax breaks, the sometimes tricky relationship between politics and religion is on display again. In the case of the bible-based theme park, some worry all the business incentives are signs that church and state getting too cozy.

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9:51am

Tue August 9, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

UK Play Tells Student Soldiers' Stories

For many veterans, coming home is itself a challenge. A documentary drama, based on oral history interviews with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan making that transition, is previewing tonight at the University of Kentucky before heading to Broadway.

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6:40am

Tue August 9, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

UK Play Tells Soldiers' Stories

For many veterans, coming home is itself a challenge. A documentary drama, based on oral history interviews with veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan making that transition, is previewing tonight at the University of Kentucky before heading to Broadway.

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1:51pm

Fri August 5, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Transy Professor Explores Lost City

Christopher Begley wants to know why legends about a lost civilization are so pervasive in the Mosquito Coast region.  "This is something everybody's talked about informally for a long time in terms of archaeologists and anthropologists, but no one has systematically explored it," he says.

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1:50pm

Fri August 5, 2011
Education

Free School Supplies for Lexington Kids

Kids across Lexington will be receiving school supplies free courtesy of the YMCA this Saturday.  The supplies, including backpacks, will be given away to up to 8000 kids in 20 local neighborhoods as part of the YMCA's Ready, Set, Go! Back-to-School Rallies. The events, which cater to elementary, middle, and high school students, will also feature activities, resource booths, entertainment, food, and speakers.

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1:28pm

Wed August 3, 2011
Kentucky Arts and Culture

WWII Aircraft Fly Into Lexington Friday

Three World War II-era military planes will be flying into Lexington this Friday, giving the public a glimpse at two rare bombers and a Mustang fighter plane.  It's one thing to see WWII planes locked away at a museum; it's another to crawl inside them.

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12:32pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Lexington Minority Expo Going Strong

It's been nine years and the Minority Business Expo is still going strong. This year the showcase capped off with a keynote address by Hall of Fame Basketball great Oscar Robertson. Anthony Wright, chair of the expo, says, while the event is unique opportunity for minority business to introduce their products to government and corporate buyers, the intent is broader than that. 

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12:31pm

Fri July 29, 2011
Sports

Young Riders Strut Stuff

Many young horse riders are getting their first taste of the big time this week at Kentucky Horse Park. Trailers line the parking lots, colorful golf carts decked out in U.S., Canadian, and Mexican flags speed by, and spectators brave the summer heat for a glimpse at the young talent. It's early afternoon and 17-year-old Talia Hershaft just finished a solo ride in front of the judges. 

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2:35pm

Wed July 27, 2011
Science/Health

Hundreds of Nursing Home Deficiencies

A recent quarterly report issued by the state found 291 deficiencies in Kentucky's nursing homes and advocates say they see see little change each quarter. The information, obtained through an Open Records request by Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, shows only one nursing home, Tanbark Health Care Center in Lexington, boasting no deficiencies. Meanwhile, nine facilities had 10 or more. 

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1:25pm

Wed July 27, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Lexington Wins VA Grant for Homeless

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki announced more than 60 million dollars in federal homeless prevention grants this week - and Fayette County is among the recipients.  The grants are part of a new program called Supportive Services for Veteran Families, which aims to identify and aid at-risk veterans and their families with the help of private non-profit organizations. 17 Kentucky counties, including Fayette, Jefferson, Jessamine, and Woodford, will receive a share of the funds.

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2:44pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

Looking for a Colonel of Truth

Kentucky Fried Chicken is looking for your Colonel Sanders stories. Photos, videos, and anecdotes - all relating to KFC's iconic founder - will be collected at ColonelSanders.com. Friends and family say there's more to the colonel the famous image that's printed on KFC restaurant signs and chicken buckets across the world. The goateed entrepreneur was born in 1890 and went from rags to riches, founding the world's largest chicken restaurant chain. Now the company is eager to introduce him to a new generation.

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1:40pm

Tue July 26, 2011
Business and the Economy

KY Forums Focus on Job Growth

Today marks the beginning of a series of public meetings organized by Kentucky's Cabinet for Economic Development to be held across the state.  The meetings will focus on a hot topic in Kentucky and across the nation: job growth and investment. The idea is to identify emerging business sectors - and gather citizen input on how best to position those businesses for success. Holly Spade, director of the Office of Legal Services for the Cabinet, says the list of forums could grow longer.

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2:59pm

Mon July 25, 2011
Business and the Economy

Lexington Ranked Top "Value City"

Lexington may be Men's Health magazine's most sedentary city, but it's also the sixth best "value" city. That's according to Kiplinger magazine. In the newly published list, the business and finance magazine ranks Lexington number six in what it calls its ten best value cities.

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2:57pm

Mon July 25, 2011
Business and the Economy

Lexington Property Values Hold Steady

While Lexington is still feeling the effects of the housing downturn, a new report issued by the Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator's office shows the city weathering the storm better than many. The report compiled by Fayette County PVA David O'Neill shows Lexington property values remaining relatively stable, despite a steady decline in home sales for the past five years. O'Neill says, while not immune to the downturn, the city's housing market hasn't seen the kind of fluctuations other cities have.

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6:00am

Mon July 25, 2011
The Commonwealth

Entertaining the Troops Overseas

Jackie Zettles Montgomerygentry.com

The USO and the Kentucky National Guard are teaming up to entertain the troops and their families back at home.  The audience for Montgomery Gentry's next Louisville show won't just be sitting in the KFC Yum Center; it'll also be stationed around the world.

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2:23pm

Fri July 22, 2011
Education

AdvanceKentucky Focuses on AP Students

With the students in the U.S. falling behind in math and science, teachers are hoping to learn new ways to rekindle interest in the subjects, and nearly 1000 teachers have gathered in Lexington over the past few weeks to do just that.  The National Assessment of Educational Programs recently found only 33 percent of eighth graders are proficient or advanced in math. Likewise, math and science teachers are becoming harder and harder to come by. For the past couple weeks, a program called Laying the Foundation has been training teachers, mostly from Kentucky, to better prepare students for the rigors of Advanced Placement courses.

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5:16pm

Thu July 21, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Coping With Lexington's Excessive Heat

With an excessive heat warning in effect for Lexington and all of central Kentucky, residents are taking every opportunity to cool off. Normally, at this time of the year, the Lafayette High School Marching Band practice field would be filled with the sound of snare drums, rustling flags, and metronomes... but not today. Shannon Clark, color guard instructor, says it's hard work staying outdoors.

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3:13pm

Wed July 20, 2011
Science/Health

Dental Care for Children of Horse Workers

Children of horse industry employees in Lexington will be receiving free dental exams as part of a new partnership. Keeneland, the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry, and Blue Grass Farms Charities are teaming up to provide free dental screenings for kids July 30th. Residents and professors from the College of Dentistry will staff a mobile dental unit at Keeneland. College Dean Sharon Turner says the collaboration will benefit all involved. 

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4:54pm

Tue July 19, 2011
Environmental Watchdog

Power Cooperative Looks For Alternatives

In 2010, grassroots activists in Kentucky launched a movement to halt the construction of a new coal-burning power plant in Clark County - and won. Now, as part of the agreement, a collaborative made up of energy providers and environmental groups is looking for cleaner alternatives to help power the 500,000 homes, farms, and business that rely on the East Kentucky Power Cooperative. David Mitchell, Collaborative chair, says meeting the challenge will take effort from power companies and power users.

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6:21am

Tue July 19, 2011
Business and the Economy

Lawmakers Tout Job Growth Signs

Homegrown Lexington tech company SIS is expanding, pouring 5.5 million dollars into its operation. And state and local lawmakers are hoping that becomes a trend. In a time when officials are eager to tout job growth, it's no surprise to see ribbon cuttings drawing larger crowds. SIS, a local tech solutions company, celebrated its expansion Monday, along with the addition of 15 new high-tech jobs. And while that number may sound modest, they're the kind of jobs Governor Steve Beshear says signal recovery.

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9:02am

Fri July 15, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Centrepoint Designs Unveiled

Residents look over a model of the redesigned CentrePointe project.
Josh James Kentucky Public Radio

Lexingtonians got an up-close look at the latest designs for the CentrePointe block downtown Thursday night. Chicago architect Jeanne Gang presented the newly fleshed out CentrePointe designs to a packed house at the Kentucky Theatre Thursday night. The new vision for the block includes a 30-story tower made up of "bundled tubes" inspired by the coral in Kentucky limestone and five smaller structures designed by local architects. After viewing the model in the lobby, Robert Maras, a teacher who has visited other buildings by the architect, said he was excited to see what he considers a truly collaborative effort. 

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7:04am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

Animal Advocates Protest Fireworks Rules

Another group is coming forward to voice its concerns about Lexington's latest round of fireworks. Some wildlife advocates say this year's Fourth of July did more than frighten dogs and cats. Nora Ward has rescued eastern cottontail rabbits for the Kentucky Wildlife Center for three years now. In the past, the fireworks had little effect on her animals, but she says this year, with the larger and louder fireworks allowed by state law, things changed. In an emotional plea to the Urban County Council, Ward said the noise was too much.

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7:01am

Wed July 13, 2011
Eastern and Central Kentucky

City Works to Keep Lights On

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.

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6:59am

Wed July 13, 2011
Science/Health

LEX Grapples With Health Care Costs

 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.

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