The Commonwealth

1:03pm

Tue February 19, 2013
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Habitat for Humanity Celebrates 20 Years of Service

Credit Kentucky Habitat for Humanity

Joined by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, the Kentucky Habitat for Humanity foundation celebrated their 20th year of service in the commonwealth with a Capitol rally. Founded in 1993, Kentucky Habitat for Humanity works with affiliations across the state to build homes in much needed areas. They also have helped rebuild West Liberty and other affected areas from the March 2012 tornadoes.

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5:52pm

Wed February 13, 2013
The Commonwealth

State Senate Approves School-Safety Bill

The Kentucky Senate approved a bill Tuesday designed to improve school safety, hours after a House member unveiled a similar bill he said was "a common-sense approach" and "cost-effective." The proposals do not call for new spending, although state funding for school safety has dropped by 60 percent in recent years, Gov. Steve Beshear said in his State of the Commonwealth speech last week. Only 241 Kentucky schools, or 19 percent, have a trained law enforcement officer on staff, according to Jon Akers, director of the Kentucky Center for School Safety.

5:46pm

Mon February 11, 2013
The Commonwealth

Beshear Announces $29 Million Tornado Recovery Effort

WEST LIBERTY – Gov. Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers Monday joined federal, state and local officials to announce a unique $29.3 million funding effort to help Morgan County rebuild from the disastrous storm and tornado damage suffered in March 2012. The funds, supported by both public and private sectors, will support the reconstruction of five major building projects in the county – projects that are critical to stabilizing services and restoring a sense of permanency to the community.

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2:11pm

Thu February 7, 2013
The Commonwealth

Statewide Smoking Ban Bill Clears House Committee

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky is one step closer to enacting a statewide smoking ban after legislation sailed Thursday through the House Committee on Health and Welfare. House Bill 190, sponsored by Rep. Susan Westrom, a Democrat of Lexington, would prohibit smoking in public places and places of employment.

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9:17am

Thu February 7, 2013
The Commonwealth

County Money Issues

Many Kentucky county leaders would say having sufficient funds to maintain government services remains one of their biggest worries. County officials from across the Commonwealth are in Lexington for the 31st Kentucky County Judge Executive Association Winter Conference.   ‘County Consolidation’ is a term which has been uttered at the state capital, but never gotten much traction.   Mason County Judge, James Gallenstein believes some regionalization would produce savings.

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4:52pm

Wed January 30, 2013
The Commonwealth

Poll Shows Majority of Kentuckians Support Expanded Gambling

Credit Creative Commons

A recently released poll shows that a majority of Kentuckians favor the expansion of gambling in the state. Sixty percent of Kentuckians said they support expansion when asked a broad yes or no question about it, The Courier-Journal’s Bluegrass Poll said.

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1:18pm

Tue January 29, 2013
The Commonwealth

Sheriffs Have Mixed Opinions on Gun-Control

Credit Creative Commons

Sheriffs in southcentral Kentucky have varied positions on President Barack Obama’s gun control proposals. Some, such as Simpson County Sheriff Chris Cline, completely oppose the proposals, saying such laws would infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights. The intention behind Obama’s gun control proposals was to ensure people are safe, Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines said. “Different people will go to extremes about what the president has said,” Gaines said. “But I think he’s just trying to protect the people.”

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12:31pm

Tue January 29, 2013
The Commonwealth

City Departments Hope Gun Owners Will Use Common Sense

Credit Creative Commons

Louisville Metro Government departments are urging gun owners to use common sense now that firearms are allowed in city-owned buildings. The General Assembly passed a state law forbidding cities from enacting stricter gun laws than the state in 2012, and the Metro Council changed its definition of deadly weapons last week as a result.

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10:35am

Sun January 27, 2013
The Commonwealth

Coal Counties Could See Layoffs and Tax Increases

A bulldozer moved coal at a processing tower at an Arch Minerals facility in Knott County on Wednesday. The company closed the underground mine at the site, but still uses a coal-processing facility and a tipple to load rail cars.

A sharp drop in Eastern Kentucky coal production has created million-dollar budget shortfalls that could bring layoffs and tax increases to some coal counties. In Knott County, the fiscal court appointed a committee last week to recommend ways to deal with a projected shortfall of $1.2 million in budgeted coal severance tax receipts. "You can't pay your bills at this point," Andrew Hartley, staff attorney for the state Department for Local Government, told officials at the fiscal court meeting.

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11:48am

Fri January 25, 2013
The Commonwealth

Fair Board Approves Lease for Kentucky Kingdom

Approval of a new lease agreement today by the Kentucky State Fair Board moves the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom to as early as spring 2014. The investors, Kentucky Kingdom LLLP, now must secure the final private loans – worth $25 million - before the park can open, according to a news release from the Finance and Administration Cabinet.

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1:01pm

Thu January 24, 2013
The Commonwealth

Film Makers Examine Heroin Use in NKY

A trio of film creators has been hitting the streets, the courts, the jail and public officials’ offices, asking questions about Northern Kentucky’s heroin problem. Lucy Treadway, a Los Angeles freelance producer and director, Ameer Mabjish, a public defender for Kenton County, and Julian Starks, a Los Angeles filmmaker and Mabjish’s uncle, are in town making “the heroin documentary,” an as-yet untitled film.

5:38pm

Wed January 23, 2013
The Commonwealth

Beshear Endorses Plan to Reopen Kentucky Kingdom

The now-shuttered Kentucky Kingdom.
Credit WFPL File Photo

Gov. Steve Beshear says he approves of a plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom theme park. The final details of a plan may change depending on negotiations between state officials and the lone group — led by businessman Ed Hart — to respond to the state's request for proposals. Beshear says he's behind the deal and he expects the fair board to approve. “Assuming that the group can get their private financing, the state's ready to go and I think the fair board's ready to go," Beshear told WFPL on Wednesday. "When that lease is approved, we're ready and waiting.”

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1:48pm

Tue January 22, 2013
The Commonwealth

What Kentucky's Fairness Campaign Learned from Vicco, Kentucky

Credit Google Maps

Kentucky’s Fairness Campaign leaders say they plan to use the small eastern Kentucky city of Vicco as a model for grassroots movements pushing fairness ordinances in other cities. Last week, Vicco became the fourth Kentucky city and the smallest city nationwide to adopt a fairness ordinance. The law protects all residents from discrimination regardless of sexual orientation, race, religion or age.

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1:10pm

Tue January 22, 2013
The Commonwealth

Smoke Detector Company to Give Away 250 Devices

PIKEVILLE – The Kentucky Public Protection Cabinet’s Division of Fire Protection Tuesday announced a partnership with the Kidde Co. and the Pike County Firefighters Association to install 250 smoke detectors in homes throughout Pike County. The Kidde Co., located in Mebane, N.C., is a manufacturer of fire safety products including smoke detectors, carbon monoxide alarms and fire extinguishers and has donated the smoke detectors.

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2:11pm

Sun January 20, 2013
The Commonwealth

Weapons Sales Soar in Kentucky

The scene is the same at many gun stores: shelves that once held semiautomatic rifles, boxes of ammunition and high-capacity magazines are barren. Concealed-carry training classes are filled to capacity. And shooters have hit the gun ranges to pop off dozens of practice rounds. In Kentucky, like other states with lenient gun laws and an entrenched gun culture, people are rushing to stock up on rifles, handguns, spare clips and ammunition. Prices are rising to meet the demand.

11:29pm

Thu January 17, 2013
The Commonwealth

Ky Tonight special to focus on The Price of Poverty

A special edition of Kentucky Tonight features Bill Goodman and Renee Shaw examining the causes and possible solutions of poverty in Kentucky.   The program which airs Monday night on Kentucky Educational Television, will be re-broadcast Tuesday morning at 11:00 on the WEKU Stations.

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5:28am

Wed January 16, 2013
The Commonwealth

School Closings & Delays

Credit Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com

5:01pm

Sun January 13, 2013
The Commonwealth

Possible Tornado Blows Through Western Counties

Strong winds and a possible tornado damaged two churches and a grain silo in Western Kentucky on Saturday afternoon, according to the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management. A gym at North Livingston Baptist Church was destroyed, and the steeple was blown off of Hampton Methodist Church in Livingston County. In Hickman County, a grain bin was blown over in Clifton, and U.S. 51 was closed from Martin Road to Ky. 780. In Carlisle County, Ky. 80 was closed between Arlington and Columbus in the Arlington West End area. The storms flooded roads and caused minor damage in other counties as

3:59pm

Fri January 11, 2013
The Commonwealth

Toll Excemption Proposed for Low-Income Kentuckians Who Work in Other States

The planned downtown bridge.
Credit Ohio River Bridges Project

Low-income Kentuckians who work in other states would be exempt from paying bridge tolls under a new bill filed in the General Assembly. House Bill 129 would allow any Kentuckian who commutes across state lines and who qualify for the earned income tax credit to seek reimbursement for tolls they pay going to and from work.

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9:58am

Thu January 3, 2013
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Gun Laws Unlikely to Change

The Newtown, Conn., tragedy and other shootings across the nation have sharply increased debate about stricter gun laws, but they won’t likely change Kentucky’s status as one of the most lenient states for gun laws. Both Democrats and Republicans in Kentucky said they don’t foresee anyone proposing any stricter gun laws in the upcoming session starting Jan. 8. Some, however, want to discuss the issue of allowing teachers to carry weapons in schools or increasing the number of school resource officers.

2:26pm

Mon December 31, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky's Highlights from 2012

It hardly seems possible that 2012, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s 220th year, has come to an end. As with most years, there was good news and bad news, joy and sorrow, beginnings and endings. What will we remember most? Wildcat basketball fans will remember 2012 as the eighth year of nirvana for Kentucky’s secular religion. The University of Kentucky men’s team beat Kansas 67-59 to win its eighth NCAA crown and the first since 1998.

11:13am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Commonwealth

Second Round of Winter Weather will Arrive Today

The next round of winter weather will arrive later today and likely continue for about 24 hours, according to the National Weather Service office in Louisville. Northcentral Kentucky will see rain this afternoon and it will begin to change over to a mix of rain and snow after sunset tonight. Around midnight, the mix will turn to all snow. Northcentral Kentucky will probably see 1 to 3 inches of snow by Saturday morning, the weather service said. Scattered snow showers could bring an additional inch in spots by Saturday afternoon.

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11:10am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Commonwealth

KSP Increasing Patrols for New Years Eve

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky State Police, in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, will be out in full force during the New Years Eve holiday. The official holiday enforcement period begins today at 6 p.m. and will continue through Tuesday, Jan. 1 at 11:59 p.m. Last year, traffic crashes across Kentucky claimed the lives of six people during the New Years Eve holiday period. There were 1,314 crashes reported for that time frame and 63 of those involved alcohol.

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4:22pm

Thu December 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

Progress Made in Limiting Cigarette Sales to Minors

FRANKFORT - Kentucky continues to make progress in limiting retail sales of tobacco to minors, according to a recently released survey from the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. The 2012 Annual Synar Buying Survey of Kentucky retail tobacco outlets showed that 94.4 percent of retailers complied with the law barring tobacco sales to anyone under the age of 18. The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control conducted the survey during the summer to measure the rate of illegal sales of tobacco to Kentucky youths.

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11:41am

Thu December 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

More Snow Expected this Week

Depending on where you were Wednesday in Hopkinsville, you probably saw some amount of the white stuff. Accumulations were higher north of the city, Christian County Weather Coordinator Dave Powell said, adding that there was close to 3 inches of snow near Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. Within city limits, there was about an inch.

11:17am

Wed December 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Transportation Crews Work to Treat Roads

FRANKFORT – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet highway crews continue to plow and treat roads following the latest batch of winter weather. Crews are working over much of the state today, particularly in western Kentucky and in counties along the Ohio River. In these areas, crews are treating roadways or concentrating on reported problem spots. Snow plows are pushing through 3 to 4 inches of snow in western Kentucky counties.

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11:08am

Wed December 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Winter Weather Moves Through Kentucky

A blizzard warning remains in effect until noon CST today for parts of Western Kentucky, according to the National Weather Service. Snowfall amounts of 6 to 12 inches are possible with windy conditions and gusts up to 40 mph. Some trees could fall and that could cause some power outages. Kentucky cities in the impacted area include Bardwell, Paducah, Mayfield, Benton, Murray, Marion, Eddyville, Prineceton, Morganfield, Madisonville, Henderson, Owensboro and Calhoun.

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11:47am

Sun December 23, 2012
The Commonwealth

Group Names Kentucky as the 'Best State to be an Animal Abuser'

A nonprofit animal legal rights group has ranked Kentucky, for the sixth year in a row, as the best state to be an animal abuser. The reasons include the absence of numerous laws – such as one making cockfighting a felony – to a statute on the books that prevents veterinarians from reporting suspected cases of animal cruelty without permission from the animal’s owner, a court order or a subpoena. “No meaningful change in the status of the law in Kentucky precipitates the same result,” said Scott Heiser, an attorney with the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund, which released the report last week.

11:39am

Sun December 23, 2012
The Commonwealth

Police Plan Holiday Crackdown on Impaired Driving

The Campbellsville Police Department is launching a special Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown to stop impaired drivers and to save lives on roadways. Campbellsville Police officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers and arrest anyone caught driving impaired. Enforcement efforts will include traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols. The special enforcement crackdown will run through Jan. 1.

1:58pm

Thu December 20, 2012
The Commonwealth

Local Sales Taxes Recommended by Tax Commission

Gov. Steve Beshear’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission recently released its recommendations to reform Kentucky’s tax code. A 453-page report includes 96 proposals, which are expected to come up in the 2013 legislative session. One of the commission’s recommendations is giving local governments the option of implementing a sales taxes. Doing so would require amending the state’s constitution, but it would give local governments another option for bringing in revenue. Currently, counties in Kentucky have a number of options for raising revenue. Counties can implement payroll taxes and library taxes, for example.

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