The U.S. Supreme Court has reinstated the death sentence for a 63-year old Kentucky inmate. The decision overturns an appeals court ruling that granted David Eugene Matthews a retrial three decades after the double murder of his wife and mother-in-law. Matthews now returns to death row. Kentucky is currently in the process of revising its lethal injection procedures, so he will not be put to death until the state chooses a new execution method.
People won’t need a license to carry a concealed deadly weapon in their home or business that they own when a new law goes into effect July 12. The General Assembly passed House Bill 484 with ease in this year’s regular session, passing the House 86-5 and the Senate 36-1 with the governor signing it into law April 11. Gun owners saw it as a reaffirmation for their right to defend their property.
On this week's edition edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss gay marriage. The program which is "live" on Kentucky Educational Television Monday evening at 8:00, will be re-broadcast Tuesday morning at 11:00 on WEKU.
Lucian Grey's mother was raised in an all-male household, and she, "didn't know what to with having a girl," he explains. "Femininity in general was not her experience. So she just did what she knew how to do."
Frankfort - Kentucky State Police are worried about the state's highway fatality rate for 2012. That's because the fatality rate is running much higher than 2011's rate. Through June 3, KSP said 305 people have died this year on Kentucky roads. That's 41 more than reported during the same period last year. Of the 305 deaths this year, 253 were the result of motor vehicle accidents. And of those, 148 people were not using seat belts. That means 58 percent of wreck victims were not using seat belts, according to state police statistics.
A new panel that will study Kentucky’s safety rules for large outdoor tents and other temporary structures will hold its first meeting this week. The advisory committee was formed in response to last year’s deadly stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair and a recent beer tent collapse in St. Louis. The two weather-related incidents killed eight people and injured dozens of others.
It’s ‘Adopt a Highway Summer Scrub Week across Kentucky. This week, volunteers are working to pick up litter and other garbage along miles of roadway. Natasha Lacy with the state transportation department says the need is much greater than the number of volunteers currently. “The need is always there..we focus on about 26 thousand miles of state primary…state secondary supplementary and rural secondary roads. And we certainly have more portions of highway that we can give volunteers groups to adopt for the litter pick up,” said Lacy.
The panel appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear to make Kentucky’s tax system more fair and more competitive with other states has a monumental task before it. The list of tax exemptions the state offers alone fills 161 pages. “For example, there’s a sales tax on feed for horses but there’s not a sales tax on feed for cows,” said Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who chairs the 23-member commission tasked with making recommendations on how to improve the state’s tax structure.
ELIZABETHTOWN – Gov. Steve Beshear, joined by state officials and highway safety advocates, Wednesday signed a bill that will expand Kentucky’s seat belt law to include vehicles designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers. State law previously required seat belt use in vehicles designed to carry 10 or fewer passengers. “I’m pleased that we are closing a loophole in the previous law that neglected to protect drivers and passengers in 15-passenger vans,” Beshear said in a statement released by his office. “In my administration, safety is, and will continue to be, a top priority.”
The Memorial Day Holiday weekend is often considered the kick off to the summer season. Summer doesn’t officially arrive until June 21st, but weather conditions now are more in line with a typical mid to late June. In fact, level one drought conditions are plaguing some western Kentucky counties. University of Kentucky agricultural meteorologist, Tom Priddy says it’s possible drought like conditions will move east across the state.
FRANKFORT - The Kentucky State Police announced the 2011 Trooper of the Year, Detective of the Year, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officer of the Year and other awards for acts of bravery, life-saving, professionalism and dedication to duty Monday at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort. Williamsburg-resident Senior Trooper Clyde Dingess was named 2011 Trooper of the Year. An eight-year veteran of the Kentucky State Police, he is assigned to KSP Post 11 in London.
Frankfort - As voters cast ballots in today's primary election, Kentuckians are reminded they can help combat vote fraud by utilizing the attorney general's Election Fraud Hotline. Kentuckians who witness election irregularities or possible election law violations are encouraged to call the Election Fraud Hotline at 800-328-VOTE (800-328-8683).
Newly planted tobacco on Hamburg Farm is part of 30 acres grown by Scotty and Alice Baesler.
Credit Lexington Herald-Leader file photo
Tobacco setting is under way across the state. About 30 percent of the expected crop has been planted, but we're missing a vital component: rain. Bob Pearce, a UK extension tobacco specialist in Lexington, said he was concerned about transplanted tobacco. "We had a tough situation with the greenhouses. When it was so warm early on, a lot of our greenhouses just got too hot, and we've had a lot of problems with uneven growth of the plants," Pearce said.
Polls across Kentucky opened today at 6 a.m. local time and remain open until 6 p.m. local time. State officials are predicting a low turnout in today's primary - perhaps down in the 10 percent range. Voters can cast ballots for races in their own political party and in nonpartisan races. Secretary of State and Chief Election Official Alison Lundergan Grimes is reminding voters of Election Day “do’s and don’ts” that will help avoid surprises and ensure a smooth trip to the polls on Election Day.
Children were put into Kentucky jails more than 1,330 times last year for running away, skipping school, buying tobacco products and other offenses. Kentucky has one of the highest rates in the nation of incarcerating kids for status offenses – actions that are crimes for children but not for adults. It’s a situation that harms children, negatively affects communities and costs taxpayers, according to a new study by Kentucky Youth Advocates.
Recently sheared alpacas grazed at Greg and Linda Salsbury's Eagle Bend Alpacas in Burlington last week. Alpacas are becoming more popular in the state. Eagle Bend has 130, and Linda Salsbury is president of the Kentucky Alpaca Association.
Don't look now but there's a new exotic animal making inroads on Kentucky farms. Ostriches are so 1990s; it's all alpacas now. Thousands of them, in fact. The Kentucky Alpaca Association has more than 50 members across the state, with devoted breeders who are "dyeing" to sell you some yarn. Except, and here's the beauty of alpaca "fiber" as they prefer to call it: It doesn't even have to be dyed.
The Kentucky Retirement Systems’ net assets have fallen $680 million in this fiscal year’s first nine months as investment income and contributions failed to cover rising retirement benefits and other expenses. Total assets in the KRS pension and insurance funds dropped from $14.8 billion July 1 to $14.1 billion as of March 31, KRS trustees learned at a board meeting Thursday. KRS collected more than $860 million in contributions and more than $44 million in investment income during those nine months, but paid benefits in that period totaled more than $1.5 billion with about $33 million in additional expenses, according to unaudited KRS financial statements.
FRANKFORT, Ky. Motorists who refuse to wear their seat belts – beware. The 2012 national “Click It or Ticket” Memorial Day seat belt enforcement mobilization kicks off May 21 to help save lives by cracking down on those who don’t buckle up. Despite a wealth of data showing that seat belts save lives – and also despite implementation of a primary seat belt law – Kentucky’s 82 percent seat belt usage rate lags behind the national rate of 84 percent.
Work to repair damage done by a massive landslide to Interstate 75 in northern Tennessee will continue through the weekend. It’s blocked the southbound lanes of that major artery and has changed the casual conversation at Kentucky’s welcome center. The man who supervises the Welcome Center operated by the Commonwealth just north of the state line takes a lot of questions. But since March 8th, when a landslide partially blocked I-75, David Cox says the nature of those questions has changed. Cox says the first question asked by many northbound motorists is ‘what’s wrong.’
A new report by Kentucky Youth Advocates is shining light on the state’s high number of incarcerated youth with low priority crimes. The report released this week, Ending the Use of Incarceration for Status Offenders in Kentucky, shows nearly one in every six incarcerated minorities is jailed for low priority offenses. The data comes from the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Cranes lift a new span for the Eggners Ferry Bridge into place on Tuesday. State officials say the repairs are expected to be complete by Memorial Day.
Credit Tom Kane/Kentucky New Era
A replacement span for Eggners Ferry Bridge was lifted into place Tuesday after being transported 30 miles Monday through Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. The 322-foot span was assembled at the Eddyville Riverport and began its journey to the bridge site around 12:30 p.m. Monday. It was transported using a three-barge flotilla, which also carried two cranes needed to move the span once it arrived.
Gov. Steve Beshear will address the families, friends and comrades of Kentucky’s fallen officers during the Department of Criminal Justice Training’s annual law enforcement memorial ceremony at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 22. The ceremony will honor two officers whose watch ended in 2011 – Alexandria Police Officer James P. Sticklen and Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Timothy Briggs.
Kentucky Labor Cabinet officials have recognized more than 40 companies that have taken the extra steps necessary to guarantee the health and safety of employees.The companies were honored during the Governor’s Safety and Health Conference and Exposition at Louisville’s Galt House East. The annual conference brings together nearly 600 professionals across the state to participate in safety training courses.
Tim Smedley, 46, a West Liberty police officer, stood on the lot where his house had been before it was demolished in the March 2 tornado that tore through town. Smedley is buying a house.
Credit Greg Kocher/The Herald-Leader
Banks typically don't give money away, but one lender is doing just that to help Kentucky tornado victims. The Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati has a program in which homeowners and renters who were displaced or who suffered damage to their primary homes might be eligible for grants of as much as $20,000 toward the purchase, construction or repair of a home. Because these are grants, the money doesn't have to be repaid.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has appointed a new Public Service Commissioner to fill a spot that’s been vacant since December. Beshear’s office announced today that Linda Breathitt of Lexington is the newest commissioner. Breathitt served as a PSC commissioner in the 1990s. After that, she became a senior energy and regulatory advisor at a Washington D.C. law firm, and was appointed as a commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
April's General Fund tax receipts declined 0.7 percent compared to April 2011, a decrease of $6.3 million, according to the office of state budget director. Total revenues for the month were nearly $838 million, compared to $844.2 million during last April. Receipts have now grown 3. 7 percent for the first 10 months of Fiscal Year 2012, according to a press release from state Budget Director Mary Lassiter's office.
Attorney General Jack Conway announced Monday that Kentucky has joined other states and the federal government in reaching two independent settlements totaling $1.6 billion with Abbott Laboratories to settle civil and criminal allegations that the drug company illegally marketed the drug Depakote. “I am pleased that these settlements have been reached and that we are able to recover money for a vital state program and for taxpayers,” Conway said in a press release from his office.
Julie Janson, president of Duke Energy in Ohio and Kentucky and chair of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber board of directors, announces the creation of the BN Coalition to help fast-track the $2.5 billion replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge.
The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky business community is taking the reins of the $2.5 billion Brent Spence Bridge replacement project, business leaders announced Monday. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Duke Energy, and the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments have formed a coalition to fast-track the project and devise a way to pay for it.
First lady Jane Beshear Monday visited West Liberty Elementary School in Morgan County to announce the overwhelming success of the Governor’s Office Tornado Relief Book Drive. To date, more than 11,000 books have been collected for schools affected by recent tornado damage, including a book contribution from Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.
Kentucky’s highway construction season moves into high gear in May. Crews are at work on I-64 in several eastern Kentucky counties. State Transportation Cabinet Spokeswoman Natasha Lacy says the moderate winter means there should be fewer road repairs. “It will be similar probably to last summer..there will be probably less pothole repair work, because we had a mild winter..therefore we don’t have as many potholes to of course give attention to in previous years when the weather was drastic,” said Lacy.