COVINGTON – In a display of bipartisan leadership, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear and Ohio Gov. John Kasich Wednesday signed an agreement that describes in broad terms how their two states will cooperatively build a new bridge over the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joined the governors for the landmark announcement.
Gov. Steve Beshear says negotiations on a lease deal to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park are close, and he’s “excited” about the progress being made. Beshear made his comments on WHAS-radio this week, saying, “I think it’s fair to say that we’re fairly close to negotiating a lease and if we get there and the fair board approves that, then the next step would be for the bidder to come up with the financing on it.”
An Army official said Tuesday he hopes to receive a state permit to separate the propellant sections from 44 nerve-agent rockets in 2014 at Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County. If the permitting is granted by the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection, the procedure will take place in February 2014, an Army official said.
FRANKFORT – As Kentuckians open their hearts and pocketbooks to help those in need this holiday season, Attorney General Jack Conway wants to make sure charitable donations end up where they are needed most and not in the hands of scam artists. “Donations to reputable charitable organizations can help clothe a child or put food on the table for a struggling family,” Conway said in a statement from his office.
Kentucky’s largest retirement fund for state employees, the Kentucky Employees Retirement System non-hazardous plan, has less than a quarter of the money needed to pay projected benefits, say actuaries with Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting. Tom Cavanaugh, CEO of the actuarial firm, told the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees Wednesday that the KERS non-hazardous plan is projected to dip below 10 percent funded in 2019 before improving.
Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission will solidify its final list of recommendations Thursday afternoon, which could include imposing higher income taxes for those making more money. Gov. Steve Beshear created the group to review the state’s tax code, which officials have determined needs significant changes to respond to slowing revenue.
These are renderings of the two alternatives under consideration to replace the Brent Spence Bridge. This tied arch bridge is one of the styles under consideration.
The Ohio and Kentucky governors are scheduled to publicly sign an agreement next week intended to demonstrate their shared determination to replace the Brent Spence Bridge that connects the two states. Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear plan to officially agree during a joint appearance in Covington on Dec. 12 on a study that will map out how to pay for the $2.5 billion project, The Enquirer has learned exclusively.
By Jennifer Edwards Baker and The Kentucky Enquirer
You will definitely need an umbrella today with showers and thunderstorms in the forecast as a cold front approaches from the west, bringing cooler and more seasonal temperatures. Spotty showers will approach from the west this morning and stick around most of the day. There could even be a rumble of thunder this afternoon.
By Amy Wilson and Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
Almost 110,000 teens and young adults in Kentucky are not enrolled in school and are not employed, even part-time, according to a new Kids Count report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Nationwide, the number reaches nearly 6.5 million. In Kentucky between 2000 and 2011 the number of 16-19 year-olds not in school and not employed rose by 3 percent, but the number of idle young adults ages 20-24 climbed by a whopping 88 percent. Both rates exceed the national rate. (Getty Images)
FRANKFORT – Friday, Nov. 30, is the last day for delinquent taxpayers to take advantage of Kentucky’s tax amnesty program. Department of Revenue’s main Frankfort office and taxpayer centers throughout the state are open until 9 p.m. local time Friday and will close after the last person in line has been helped.
Governor Steve Beshear’s administration has settled with a former official in the state’s Energy and Environment cabinet over claims that he was wrongly fired in 2009. Ron Mills was the head of the cabinet’s Division of Mine Permits, which is a politically-appointed position. The lawsuit he filed against the state alleges he was fired in 2009 for refusing to issue illegal mining permits.
Joined by a coalition of Kentucky gay rights leaders, residents in Elizabethtown and Richmond are pressuring lawmakers to enact fairness laws in their cities. The effort is part of a larger grassroots movement across the state to get such legislation passed in other cities such as Shelbyville, Bowling Green and Berea. Both ordinances would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
Pulaski County residents approved a tax increase to build the new public library in downtown Somerset, shown here, which opened in 2008. Some people unhappy about a tax increase this year are circulating a petition that would result in dissolution of the library taxing district.
Credit Bill Estep/The Herald-Leader
A petition to dissolve the taxing district that funds Pulaski County's public library system threatens to shut down what many see as one of the community's best assets, supporters of the library say. Those pushing the petition say the goal is not to close the libraries, but rather to set up a new board that would have to answer to elected officials for tax increases.
FRANKFORT – Kentucky has received a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide long-term recovery assistance to residents of the Kentucky counties hit hardest by the March tornadoes. “We are all aware of the destruction caused by the tornadoes that struck a number of Kentucky counties this year, particularly West Liberty and Morgan County,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement.
Ice Skaters enjoy the Unified Trust Ice Rink in Triangle Park, Lexington, KY on Sunday, November 25.
Credit Katie Decker
Keith Burdette skates with ease — backwards, forwards, sideways, in circles. At the Unified Trust Co. Ice Rink at Triangle Park, that's something of an anomaly. The skating levels are far from expert, but along with the hot chocolate and Christmas music, the constant spills just add to the atmosphere in downtown Lexington.
A commission that has spent the better part of a year evaluating Kentucky's tax system recommended a 40-cent increase in the cigarette tax on Monday but no increase in the 6 percent sales tax. Gov. Steve Beshear's Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform also recommended pursuing a constitutional amendment that would allow cities to seek a local-option sales tax for limited periods of time. The local-option sales tax has been requested by city officials for decades as a means to generate revenue for infrastructure improvements, such as new arenas.
Saying it's received 25,000 phone calls and payments from more than 10,000 businesses and individuals since beginning on Oct. 1, the state's tax amnesty program will end on Nov. 30. Those who owe the state of Kentucky taxes have until the last day of November to apply for amnesty and pay their overdue taxes.
Kentucky lawmakers who advocate abolishing the office of constable are emboldened by a new report from the state justice cabinet calling for just that. Constables have the same law enforcement powers as county sheriffs, but without the specific duties. Like sheriffs, the position is outlined in the constitution.
Veteran Roger Miller, of Bowling Green, Ky., who served in the United States Army from 1957-1964, salutes the flag as the national anthem is sung by Ron Tabor during a Veteran's Day ceremony held at the Warren County Courthouse on 10th Street, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 in Bowling Green, Ky. The ceremony, which followed Saturday's Veterans Day parade, included remarks from Lt. Col. Richard Palmer, Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon and Bowling Green mayor Bruce Wilkerson.
This Community Internet Intensity map by the US Geological Survey shows the intensity of the 4.3 magnitude earthquake that hit Eastern Kentucky, based on responses to an internet survey by those who live in the area. You can fill out the survey here if you felt the quake: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/dyfi/events/se/111012b/us/form.en.disabled.html Source: USGS
A new report by Kentucky's Justice Cabinet advocates for the elimination of the Office of Constable. The office is established in the Kentucky Constitution, but the report said constables no longer help law enforcement -- performing but .02 percent of all recorded law enforcement in the state -- and are often liabilities to counties.
LEXINGTON – Humbled by the devastation of Superstorm Sandy, the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, in conjunction with WKYT, will host a telethon Wednesday from 7–8 p.m. EST. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the American Red Cross to benefit the victims of the catastrophic storm.