The Commonwealth

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.

11:27am

Wed December 19, 2012
The Commonwealth

Governor Signs Emergency Regulation Making Synthetic Marijuana Schedule 1

Gov. Steve Beshear on Tuesday emergency regulations to place newly identified synthetic marijuana under Schedule 1 of the Kentucky Controlled Substances Act. The action represents the first time synthetic substances have been banned by administrative regulation instead of by statute, a change allowed by the passage of House Bill 481 in the 2012 session.

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4:24pm

Tue December 18, 2012
The Commonwealth

Tax Commission Files Report

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform suggested its findings and recommendations to Gov. Steve Beshear Monday. The commission suggested changes to the state tax code that would generate roughly $659 million in new revenue annually once fully implemented, according to a news release from Frankfort. The proposals would also modernize the tax structure, making it fairer for families and businesses, as the governor was quoted in the release.

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4:20pm

Tue December 18, 2012
The Commonwealth

Weather Trends Up and Down

It’s been a roller coaster year, weather wise, for much of Kentucky.  This winter, we may see more consistency.  University of Kentucky Agricultural Meteorologist Matt Dixon says the first half of 20-12 saw way above normal temperatures.  He says Kentucky’s March was the warmest on record.  A major drought hit western Kentucky hard.  But, Dixon says a strange twist took place this fall.

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5:31pm

Mon December 17, 2012
The Commonwealth

Storms Kick Off Pre-Christmas Weather

An area of low pressure crossing the state from southwest to northeast is causing scattered thunderstorms, some of which could contain hail and high winds. The Storm Prediction Center has placed much of the state in the Slight Risk today. Winds could gust to around 30 mph.

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2:39pm

Mon December 17, 2012
The Commonwealth

Second Sandhill Crane Hunting Season Begins in Kentucky

Kentucky’s second sandhill crane hunting season is underway. When the Kentucky Division of Fish and Wildlife first proposed a sandhill crane hunting season, it met with opposition from groups that argued the birds weren’t overpopulated or causing an environmental burden. There was also a worry that hunters could mistakenly kill an endangered whooping crane.

12:40pm

Mon December 17, 2012
The Commonwealth

Four Lanes to Garrard County

A divided four lane road from the Kentucky River to Kentucky Highway 34 is officially open to travel.  The Governor today (Monday) joined local leaders in Lancaster to the “cut the ribbon” on an expanded stretch of US 27.  Lonnie Napier is Garrard County’s state representative.  “People that’s wanted to move from Lexington down into Garrad County, they can get back and forth much quicker and yeah it’s just a great asset to us, we’ve needed this for a long time,” said Napier.

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4:52pm

Thu December 13, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky and Ohio Governors Sign Bridge Agreement

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.

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1:50pm

Wed December 12, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Kingdom Negotiations Make Progress

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.”

1:02pm

Wed December 12, 2012
The Commonwealth

Official Hopes to Receive Rermit to Dismantle Rockets at Army Depot

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.

2:06pm

Tue December 11, 2012
The Commonwealth

Conway Reminds Kentuckians to Give Wisely

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.

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1:51pm

Sun December 9, 2012
The Commonwealth

Agriculture Economists Say Hemp Industry Won't Grow Overnight

As Kentucky and federal lawmakers consider legalizing industrial hemp, the chair of the University of Kentucky's agriculture economics department notes that such an industry won't rise overnight. It's a matter of economic viability. The main question being: With corn, soybeans and other crops selling at record high levels, what would entice farmers to switch to hemp instead?

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1:17pm

Fri December 7, 2012
The Commonwealth

Transportation Cabinet Awards Bridge Jobs to Walsh Construction

Chicago-based Walsh Construction has been granted approval to contract with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to build its portion of the Ohio River Bridges Project. Walsh Construction’s $860 million proposal to design and build a new I-65 bridge and rework Spaghetti Junction was named the best of three bids last month.

5:23pm

Thu December 6, 2012
The Commonwealth

Kentucky Retirement System Projected to Decline

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.

5:18pm

Thu December 6, 2012
The Commonwealth

Tax Commission Finalizing Recommendations

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.

12:42pm

Wed December 5, 2012
The Commonwealth

Beshear Unites with Ohio Governor on Bridges Project

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.

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1:54pm

Tue December 4, 2012
The Commonwealth

Cold Front Approaches the Commonwealth

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.

2:40pm

Mon December 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

'Disconnected Youth' Numbers Rise in Kentucky

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)

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4:04pm

Thu November 29, 2012
The Commonwealth

Tax Amnesty Program Ends Tomorrow

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.

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12:47pm

Tue November 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

Lawsuit Settled with Former Mine Permit Director

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.

12:42pm

Tue November 27, 2012
The Commonwealth

Fairness Law to be Proposed in Elizabethtown and Richmond

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.

2:49pm

Mon November 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Tax District Petition Threatens to Close Pulaski Libraries

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.

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2:34pm

Mon November 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

FEMA Grants $1.6 Million for Tornado Victims

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.

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2:32pm

Mon November 26, 2012
The Commonwealth

Triangle Park Skating Rink Popular During Holidays

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.

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12:37pm

Tue November 20, 2012
The Commonwealth

Commission Recommends Increase on Cigarette Tax

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.

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