Fayette County's Driver Education Program is recognizing its 500th graduate this week. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and County Attorney Larry Roberts marked the accomplishment during a news conference Wednesday.
Lots of fireworks will likely be going off the next few days in central Kentucky neighborhoods. In Lexington, there will likely be a mix of legal and illegal works.
More than a year ago, the state passed legislation to legalize flying and exploding fireworks. Still, some individual communities, like Lexington opted to continue a ban on those types of pyrotechnics. Most all of the counties surrounding Fayette do allow the sale of fireworks that go airborne or blow up.
A doctor with over 30 years of experience in emergency department care says many fireworks-related injuries can be traced to homemade explosives. University of Kentucky physician Chuck Ekerline says a male patient came in with just such injuries Monday. He says exploding debris and shrapnel caused extensive damage to the man's arms, chest and face.
The specific causes of lower back pain remain illusive. Studies show eight in ten people experience back pain at some point in their lives. A federally-funded University of Kentucky study is focusing on the mechanics of the back. Dr. Babak Bazrgari is a biomedical engineer at UK. He says age is a factor. "We are seeing like as they get older, they perform activities like the way that they move their trunk is such that it impose a higher load on the spinal column," said Bazrgari.
Health department officials caution against possible Chikungunya virus transmitted by mosquitoes.
Credit Photograph by Darlyne A. Murawski
Outbreaks of a mosquito-borne illness called Chikungunya (pronounced CHICK-en-GUN-yeh) have been reported recently in the surrounding states of Indiana, Tennessee and North Carolina. Although there have been no confirmed reports of the virus yet in the Commonwealth, local health officials are hoping to educate the public on ways to avoid the disease. Keith Hall, Communications Director for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says while the department regularly sprays for mosquitoes, they recommend residents take some fairly simple precautions.
National studies indicate only one of seven children who receive a free or reduced school lunch gets a similar meal over the summer. An official with the State Department of Education anticipates Kentucky's statistics are even more sobering.
Kathy Galliger says logistics and a scarcity of sponsoring groups, create the biggest barriers to getting food to hungry kids in the summer. She is with the state's summer food service program.
Kentucky's special Olympians are arriving in Richmond this afternoon for the 20th time. EKU and the Richmond community will play host to 13 hundred athletes this weekend.
Kentucky Special Olympics President Trish Mazzoni says there is also an emphasis this year on the national competition. "There are national games for Special Olympics and actually this happens to be one of those years. So we have these games, next week we take a team of 55 athletes and coaches to New Jersey to part in the 2014 U.S.A games," said Mazzoni.
Some 150 foster youth from across the state gathered this past weekend for fellowship, mentoring and inspiration. Lexington resident Ian Rosser (ROSS-er) helped lead the conference at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.
Investigators with the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center continue their work with a reference cigarette. Center Director Dr. Orlando Chambers says the standard lab cigarette can lead to changes in the makeup of tobacco products. Chambers says there's a list of 93 potentially harmful constituents in tobacco products. "Over time regulation would require that those be lowered or they could set some levels for certain compounds. Then it allows a standard set number than could be compared to over time," said Chambers.
Tanning season is upon us and so is the increased risk of skin cancer. University of Kentucky Associate Professor of Pediatrics John Dorazio is among those researchers trying to determine why ultraviolet rays cause melanoma. He says tanning can affect the brain as well as the skin. "Tanning can actually be a true addictive kind of behavior and there's a physiological reason for this. The same pathway that makes the skin tan also gives us beta endorphins and those endorphins act like little bits of morphine in the skin and gets absorbed in the bloodstream and it makes you feel good," sa
Lexington's Veterans Administration Hospital is undergoing an internal audit. It's part of a national assessment by the VA.
Following national news reports focusing on delays in medical appointments for some veterans, the VA is reviewing its healthcare facilities. Lexington spokeswoman Desti Stimes says an audit team is in the middle of a two week stop in the community. "We are confident that the audit will show that our employees are following the national scheduling guidance that has been provided to us by VHA," said Stimes.
Funds from a civil settlement with two drug companies will help the University of Kentucky develop an "addiction medicine fellowship." UK is being awarded one and a half million dollars over two years to establish a substance abuse prevention and treatment plan for adolescents.
Recovery operations continue as rescuers search for survivors of a mine explosion in Turkey earlier this week. At the time of the blast, there were reportedly just under 800 miners inside the western Turkey mine.
The YMCA of Central Kentucky is moving forward with plans for a new facility in Lexington's Hamburg area.
President and CEO David Martorano says the new center will be built on Old Rosebud and should open in 2016. "The Hamburg facility will be a full facility, amenity wise, very similar to some of our other Y's, similar to the Beaumont facility. We'll have a full gymnasium, health and wellness center, group exercise studios, a lap pool, in addition to a warmer therapeutic pool with a recreational slide," said Martorano.
With the May Primary Election just a week away, we begin a week-long series of reports focusing on some of the political races. Today, we hear from sixth district congressional candidate Geoff Young. Mr. Young is one of two candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat currently held by Republican Andy Barr.
WEKU'S Stu Johnson asked the one-time state Division of Energy employee and long time political activist what role should the federal government play in helping those in need.
Many Kentucky children living with their grandparents at some point suffered some form of trauma or abuse. That finding is contained in a University of Kentucky report from the Center for Trauma and Children.
Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women Director Carol Jordan
A new office at the University of Kentucky is expected to focus on policies aimed at reducing sexual assault. Carol Jordan, who's worked for decades on women's safety issues, heads the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women.
Jordan anticipates working with officials in state government agencies. "And I think having opportunities to share data and to share policy research can also be of assistance when they're trying to look for funding priorities, I think we can be in the business of providing them with assistance in that as well," said Jordan.
Mandatory classes for those convicted of DUI will one day include a documentary film about the nation's worst drunk driving crash. A preview came Friday during a one day training event at Eastern Kentucky University.
The film "Impact: After the Crash" examines the 1988 Carrollton bus crash through the eyes of survivors and family from the Radcliff community. Lee Etta Cummings is the State DUI Program Manager. She says the aim is to integrate the documentary into the DUI classes.
Dentist Nikki Stone of the UK Center for Rural Health
The next step in the "Shaping Our Appalachian Region" or SOAR initiative is scheduled to take place today. Ten working groups will be mapping out strategies and preparing to take more suggestions from eastern Kentuckians.
The ten SOAR working groups cover everything from agriculture to broadband to business recruitment. Dentist Nikki Stone with the University of Kentucky Center for Rural Health heads up a group examining health issues.
Nearly 700 people are expected in Lexington Thursday to dialogue on health disparities in Appalachia. The aim will be to explore pooling resources and researchers to attack health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and stroke.
A 350 thousand dollar federal grant will allow scores of undergraduate students to participate in alcohol-related research over the next five summers. The announcement of the new Summer Training in Alcohol Research or STAR program came yesterday at the University of Kentucky.
Lexington fire officials are asking city leaders to consider building new fire stations over the next five to six years. Assistant Fire Chief Harold Hoskins estimates the cost of such a building project at about ten million dollars a year.
Kentucky’s dismal health rankings are well-known and span generations. The state has long had the dubious distinction of being among the national leaders in cancer diagnoses, smoking rates, diabetes, heart disease and a host of other maladies. Gov.