The Kentucky State Fair begins its ten-day run next week and the summer drought is expected to have an impact on many of the fair’s agricultural entries. Much of Kentucky has been in the grip of the hot, dry summer, with farmers in the western half of the state bearing the brunt of the disaster.
If horse racing is looking to attract new patrons, track executives might want to spend a little time at a gas station. Last week, the Kentucky Lottery Corp. announced record sales of $823.5 million for fiscal 2012, which ended June 30, and announced a sales target of $853 million for 2013. Kentucky isn't the only one; Pennsylvania, Maryland and Massachusetts also reported record lottery results for the past year.
A cold front that swept through Kentucky along with some rain Sunday chased out the humid air, clearing the way for a nice stretch of weather this week. It will feel noticeably less sticky today with a sunny high of 86 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio.
Hundreds of bargain hunters, some from as far as England, have been rummaging their way through Franklin County as they check out the 25th annual 127 Yard Sale. For more than two decades, vendors have been setting up tents and selling their knick-knacks along U.S. 127 across six states. The sale spans 690 miles from Michigan to Alabama and calls itself “The World’s Longest Yard Sale.”
LOUISVILLE – Federal transportation officials have approved the financing, management and tolling plans for the Ohio River Bridges Project, the last major federal requirements needed to begin construction. The OK from the Federal Highway Administration paves the way for the project’s official start on Aug. 30.
Backers of an effort to ban smoking in all public places in Kentucky are taking their message on the road this week in hopes of getting legislation passed in the 2013 legislation session. Smoke Free Kentucky, a coalition of non-profit, business and other groups, stopped Tuesday at the Frankfort headquarters of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, a longtime supporter of a statewide smoking ban.
Georgetown residents voted Tuesday to expand alcohol sales and thus end beer runs to wet territories across the county line. In unofficial returns, the vote was 3,175 to 1,258 in favor of allowing package sales of alcohol at groceries and convenience stores, a margin of 71.6 percent to 28.4 percent. Unincorporated Scott County will remain dry despite the result. Voters approved alcohol sales in larger restaurants in 2000, but package sales had been prohibited. If people wanted to buy a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine, they typically went to Fayette County or elsewhere.
Much of western Kentucky has been upgraded to “exceptional” drought status .This means crops are struggling, sport practices are being canceled, and bottled water sales are up. The effects reach past the shoreline, though, to our waterways. Regional lakes and rivers are below normal levels. Kentucky Public Radio's Rose Krzton-Presson explores how a nearly 10 foot drop in the Ohio River has affected traffic for both the Four Rivers Region, and all of the southeastern United States.
A Kentucky Eagle Scout has joined many others across the country in returning his badge to the Boy Scouts of America in light of the organization's doubling down on its policy against gay members. Earlier this month, BSA officials reaffirmed that anyone who identifies as gay or lesbian cannot join the scouts or be an adult leader. That prompted many Eagle Scouts to send their badges and letters of complaint to scout leadership. Among them was Jackson Cooper, a former senior patrol leader of Louisville Troop 342.
The Family Foundation of Kentucky is criticizing members of the University of Louisville administration for their response to a controversy surrounding Chick-Fil-A. For weeks, criticism has been leveled at Chick-Fil-A because it’s CEO, Dan Cathy, said recently he believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. Cathy and his company are well-known for their Christian beliefs. Notably, Chick-Fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays.
A Warren County woman indicted on 19 felony counts in connection with leaving her children home alone is expected to be arraigned this week. Jackie Evelyn Farah, 32, will be arraigned before Warren Circuit Court Judge John R. Grise, Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron said. Farah and Irving Smith, 32, are charged with going to Chicago and leaving their 19 children home alone.
FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Historical Society recently acquired a collection of 19th century letters that depict the lives of both free and enslaved Kentucky families, in Lexington and Hopkinsville. Referred to as the Watson and Robinson letters, these handwritten documents contain detailed family history information and offer a glimpse into the African-American communities in those two Kentucky cities.
FRANKFORT – Courthouses will be closed statewide and all court services will be unavailable Monday, Aug. 6, as the Kentucky Judicial Branch shuts down for the first of three furlough days in 2012. This will be the first time since Kentucky’s modern court system was formed in 1976 that the Judicial Branch must close courthouse doors to balance its budget.
State Police have arrested 15 people on drug charges after a roundup Thursday. Police began the roundup at 6 a.m. Thursday after sealed indictments were returned by the Grant County Grant jury. Police are seeking 26 people on 82 felony charges and two misdemeanor charges.
Kentucky's secretary of state will travel this fall to Afghanistan and parts of the Middle East on a project that encourages voting. “One of my goals as secretary of state is to increase access to the polls for members of the military, both active and veterans,” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a news release from her office. “Those who risk their lives on the battlefield must have their voices protected at the ballot box, and ensuring they have access to vote and that their votes are counted is and will continue to be a priority of my office.”
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed retired Col. David E. Thompson as executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs, replacing retired Col. Mark Needham, who recently left the post for the private sector. Thompson’s distinguished military career includes his recent command of the 194th Armored Brigade at Fort Knox, a position he held for two years until he retired from active duty in 2011. At Fort Knox, he was responsible for the initial military training of more than 25,000 personnel, as well as the movement of the brigade to Fort Benning, Ga., as part of the Defense Base Realignment and Closure process, according to a news release from Beshear's office.
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.