FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear will depart today for Europe, with meetings planned in Germany and France to showcase Kentucky’s business-friendly climate and strengthen existing ties with European companies already operating facilities in the state.
FRANKFORT – This year’s Click It or Ticket enforcement effort, coordinated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, resulted in citations to 19,594 motorists for not buckling up. The annual campaign, supported by more than 220 state and local law enforcement agencies, was held May 21-June 3.
The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for Western Kentucky through 7 p.m. CDT Thursday. Maximum afternoon heat indices Monday through Thursday will be around 105 degrees. The heat warning area is west of a vertical line from about Owensboro to about Hopkinsville, the weather service said.
Kayla Mosley had been dead several hours by the time her drug-addled parents realized something was wrong and called an ambulance to take her to the Pineville hospital, her cold, nude body wrapped in a blanket. The gut-wrenching story is one of many contained in thousands of pages of documents released last week by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, which oversees child protection in Kentucky. The files give an unprecedented look into how Kentucky's abused and neglected children die and how the state's child-protection system operates. The cabinet and the state's two largest newspapers, the Lexington Herald-Leader and The Courier-Journal of Louisville, have been fighting in court for more than two years over access to the case files of children who were killed or critically injured in 2009 and 2010 as a result of abuse and neglect.
Two Kentucky Retirement Systems trustees laid out their concerns with a proposed change in health insurance for retirees older than 65 before a record crowd Tuesday. More than 150 retirees attended the monthly meeting of Kentucky Public Retirees Bluegrass West chapter at Frankfort's VFW Post 4075, which dwarfed the previous record of around 90, KPR officials said. KRS elected trustees Susan Smith and Robert Henson spoke at length about the possible switch from a self-insurance plan to a Humana Medicare Advantage plan for those 65 and older.
FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Public Service Commission has approved the merger of Green Hills Water District and Black Mountain Utility District. In an order issued Friday, the PSC said that the merger will improve service and reduce costs through economies of scale, as envisioned by the Kentucky General Assembly in the state statute regarding the merger and consolidation of water districts.
FRANKFORT – Kentuckians can show their support for veterans with newly available vehicle license plates. “Kentuckians are proud of our veterans, and many will want to display that message of support in a visible way,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement issued by his office. The new plates – available even to those who are not veterans themselves – show support for veterans and also raise funds for veterans programs.
More than 450 people turned out Sunday for the funeral of former Republican state lawmaker Dewayne Bunch, who was hailed as "a man of valor." Bunch, 50, who died Wednesday, suffered a head injury last year while trying to break up a fight at Whitley County High School, where he was a teacher.
Jessica Casebolt, a 19-year-old Georgetown College student, was named Miss Kentucky 2012 on Saturday at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. "This has been the most amazing experience in my life, and I know it's only going to get better," she said. Casebolt, one of 31 young women who competed for the title, will represent Kentucky in the Miss America pageant in Las Vegas in January.
Toyota continues to reveal more about the latest car to be assembled at the company’s flagship plant in Georgetown. The company announced recently that the 2013 Avalon sedan will be the first full-hybrid entry in the premium mid-size automotive class. The Avalon, which is will be assembled at the Georgetown plant, will be equipped with both a traditional gasoline-powered engine and Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system.
The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office got a that “literally has it all.” The Germany-based company donated a new Ford Explorer equipped with some of the most advanced technology available to law enforcement vehicles, and John Phillips, of Montaplast, says it is one less item coming from the taxpayers’ wallets. “To my knowledge, it’s the best-equipped cruiser in the state,” Phillips said.
Thirty-one contestants from scholarship pageants throughout the state will be vying this week to become Miss Kentucky 2012. The pageant will be at the University of Kentucky Singletary Center for the Arts. Preliminary competitions will be at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The finals will begin at 7 p.m. Saturday, culminating with the crowning Miss Kentucky.
Kentucky State Police is launching its annual outdoor campaign to eradicate cultivated marijuana. The effort began with a two day training program which included aerial spotting and repel techniques along with G-P-S land navigation, ATV training, and booby trap awareness. Cannabis Suppression Branch commander, Brent Roper says the seasonal enforcement campaign is a multi agency operation.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss health care. The program that airs "live" on KET Monday night at 8:00 will be repeated Tuesday morning at 11:00 on WEKU.
On Thursday, dozens of laws passed in this year’s legislative session will become active. One of those laws limits the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can buy from a pharmacy. Pseudoephedrine, or PSE, is used in many cold and allergy medicines. It’s also a key part of meth production. The new law limits adults to seven point two grams a month, which is roughly the equivalent of a box, before requiring a prescription.
Some much-needed rain and cooler temperatures finally got to Lexington on Sunday via some powerful but scattered thunderstorms that knocked out power in spots across Fayette County. The storms also affected power around the state, including spots in Bourbon, Clark and Fleming counties. Although some areas in Central Kentucky saw no rain from early storms, other areas received flash-flood warnings. The weather forecast calls for highs in the 80s all week.
The deadline to nominate someone to be considered for the 2012 Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame is next Monday, July 16. Cynthia Fox with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights says anyone 18 and other can nominate a person for the honor. Nominees can be living or deceased and does not have to be currently active in civil rights.
Jennifer Macht has avoided the Brent Spence Bridge in the past year since President Barack Obama spoke in front of the bridge proclaiming the need to replace it. “I won’t get on it. It’s terrifying,” said Macht, 33, of Covington. “When I saw the president speaking about bridges falling down and they’re all in terrible repair, he was literally standing in front of that one.” Since Obama came to town in September 2011 to talk about his American Jobs Act and replacing infrastructure such as the bridge, no clear funding source has materialized for the $2.4 billion needed to replace the 49-year-old bridge.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says a wiring problem caused the navigation lights on the newly rebuilt Eggners Ferry Bridge in western Kentucky to malfunction Sunday night. Spokesman Keith Todd says the outage was reported by a boater and confirmed by state police. An electrical crew tracked down the problem this morning.
As Toyota hits the halfway point in its 100 Cars for Good program, which awards vehicles to non-profits, three Kentucky organizations have won. Last year, 11 of the 100 vehicles went to non-profits in Kentucky, making it the state receiving the highest number. Because of that, Toyota launched this year's program earlier by inviting last year's winners to its sprawling Georgetown assembly plant.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pledges to continue to work to repeal the federal health care law. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the vast majority of the law including the mandate for health insurance. McConnell reacted quickly to the court ruling. His statement begins with “Today’s decision makes one thing clear…Congress must act to repeal this misguided law.” The Kentucky republican has delivered 110 floor speeches prior to and after passage of the health care law.
Temperatures could soar close to the century mark this afternoon in many Kentucky communities. It’s like going from the frying pan into the fire. The high temperature Thursday may be some ten degrees warmer than Wednesday. University of Kentucky Agricultural Meteorologist Tom Priddy says that kind of jump is a little unusual, even in the summer months.
Preparation for temperatures approaching 100 began weeks ago for crews at Kentucky Utilities. The high use of air conditioning coupled with the usual daily consumption of electricity could drive the demand near a peak level. Kentucky Utilities’ Cliff Feltham says company officials knew this time might come. “We’ve really been working on our system for a couple of weeks…a month…back..making sure everything is ok and all of our generation equipment is running as it ought to be running…even the ones that will turn on..as the peaking units when the temperature gets to the mid to upper 90’s,” said Feltham.
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overrule a Montana campaign finance law is likely to boost the rise of super PACs in Kentucky. The Montana law limited the amount of money independent groups could spend on campaigns. But the high court says the 2010 Citizens United decision overrules state laws. The ruling doesn’t affect any laws in Kentucky. But state election officials have changed regulations to accommodate Citizens United.
The hottest air of the season is heading into Kentucky this week with parts of the state already in drought conditions. The mercury will be in the 80s today and Tuesday but will jump to the upper 80s on Wednesday, about 97 on Thursday and 100 on Friday. Temperatures will moderate to the upper 90s for the weekend, the weather service said.
State police continue to investigate a fatal shooting incident in Breathitt county which injured six people including three police officers. Kentucky State Trooper Paul Blanton says the shooting began at a residence in Jackson Sunday.. “The initial complaint that troopers were responding to was that two people has been shot as they drove by a residence," said Blanton.
Frankfort – The recent spike in motorcycle crashes has Kentucky State Police and first responders looking for chances to reach out to the motoring public. That opportunity came Friday during KSP's fifth annual Motorcycle Safety Day event in Frankfort. There was no finger pointing, but an emphatic message was given to both drivers and riders for the need to "share the road."
Scams are targeting foreign-born workers in central Kentucky. In flyers, a Danville business promises to help the children of undocumented immigrants acquire work permits, drivers’ licenses and social security numbers. Jonathan Bialovsky, who directs the Maxwell Street Legal Clinic in Lexington, says such promises are empty.