kentucky

Genome.gov

Kentucky’s genetic counselors could be licensed under senate legislation now before house members. 


Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley region once helped give rise to the labor movement. Now it’s shifting toward what’s known as right-to-work law. West Virginia and Kentucky have passed right-to-work laws and Ohio is considering a similar bill.

Kentucky Education Reform Bill Set For Vote

Feb 16, 2017
Kentucky.com

An education reform bill, a top of the Republican-led Kentucky senate is headed to the floor Friday.

A major thrust of is to give local schools more say in revising academic standards.  Bill Sponsor Mike Wilson said it increases local decision making and decreases bureaucratic burdens on educators.


Stu Johnson/WEKU

The Kentucky Senate voted to double the amount of campaign contributions allowed for some donors after an emotional floor debate.

Kentucky.com

The Kentucky senate voted Wednesday to make all public school campuses tobacco free 

Bill Sponsor Dr. Ralph Alvarado told senators Kentucky’s youth smoking rate is higher than the national average for adult smokers. The Winchester physician was asked about having tobacco products in a vehicle on school grounds.


The Kentucky Senate has approved a resolution condemning a white nationalist organization’s planned spring rally in eastern Kentucky. 

 Members of the Traditionalist Worker Party along with the Nationalist Front and National Socialist Movement are scheduled to gather at Jenny Wiley State Park in late April.  A rally is expected to take place in Pikeville. 

Pike County Senator Ray Jones called it disgraceful for the participants to gather near a memorial to those who fought and died in World War II.

Senate Passes Strict Penalty For Drug Dealing

Feb 15, 2017
Kentucky.com

 The Kentucky Senate has voted to make all trafficking in heroin or Fentanyl Class C felonies, a measure designed to help reduce overdose deaths.


Kentucky.com

The current heroin abuse problem in Kentucky is causing lawmakers on the House Education Committee to look for new ways to prevent sometimes deadly consequences of opioid use.


Ky.gov

The Kentucky General Assembly is looking at ways to improve foster care and adoption, although the real push for reforms is likely a year away.

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for change when it comes to state adoptions and foster care.  He raised the issue during his State of the Commonwealth address last week.


Stu Johnson/WEKU

Dozens of Kentucky college students rallied for nearly two hours in Frankfort Monday to show their concerns about tuition and student debt  

Student leaders and a number of state office-holders drew repeated cheers in the capitol rotunda.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We apologize for the misspelling and mispronunciation of Bruce Horseman's name. Copy below has been corrected - JH

New Leader Named To Kentucky Commission on Women

Feb 13, 2017
Ky.gov

The new chairwoman of the Kentucky Commission on Women is stepping into a brand new role, different than her position as head of an advanced technology firm.

Danette Wilder is president of SealingLife Technology. She said one goal of the Commission this year will be to influence the lives of women in areas like education, entrepreneurship, health and well-being.  Wilder said pay equity remains an issue.


Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

Dona Wells walked through what’s left of the EMW Women’s Clinic in Lexington, Kentucky. Boxes fill what use to be offices. Sterilized medical supplies are in disarray. A light flickers on and off in the back hallway. She doesn’t see a point in fixing it. At 75, she still runs 25 miles a week, but Wells is tired.

“I was going to retire anyway, probably this year,” she said. But I wanted to do it on my terms, not Gov. Bevin’s terms.”

 

Kentucky.com

 

The  Senate Education Committee Thursday unanimously approved legislation requiring all Kentucky public schools to be tobacco free . The measure calls for posting “no smoking” signs and developing local school tobacco policies.

governor.ky.gov

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling upon the Kentucky General Assembly to make “bold, hard, decisions” when it comes to tax reform. 

During Wednesday State of the Commonwealth speech, Bevin said tax reform and further steps to reduce the state’s $82 million pension deficit need to be done together in a special session this year.  Bevin said some 300 tax loopholes deserve attention.

 “We exempt more income in Kentucky than we take in.  That’s going to have to change, ” Bevin said.


Kentucky.com

A senate committee approved changing the peer review process in Kentucky hospitals. 

Bill sponsor Ralph Alvarado said the legislation is focused on patient safety, hospital safety, and improving the review process when there are odd medical outcomes.  The Winchester doctor said 48 other states have similar legislation.  He said anonymity is important to reduce the possibility of one doctor suing another.

Kentucky.com

 Veteran economist Chris Bollinger predicted 2.2 percent  economic growth across Kentucky in 2017

 Veteran economist Chris Bollinger predicted a 2.2. percent economic growth across Kentucky in 2017 Tuesday

Bollinger, director of the University of Kentucky Center for Business and Economic Research said much of the employment gains will be seen in health and service jobs. Bollinger said there are lots options when it comes to economic advances in the state’s rural communities. He spoke at the UK Economic Outlook Conference.


Kentucky.com

 

State justice officials say a “turning point” has been reached in addressing the longstanding backlog of rape  evidence kits. 

At its peak, there were more than 3,300 DNA sample kits awaiting testing.  The legislation approved in 2016 supported spending $4.5 million toward reducing the backlog.  Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley said every policing agency certified through the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program has met new requirements on sexual assault policies.


Kentucky.com

 

 

Lexington city officials are keeping a close eye on tax revenues coming in to support local government.  Finance Commissioner Bill Omara  last week offered council committee members a six month update on the current fiscal year. 

 

He admits, despite low unemployment in the city, payroll withholdings, the urban county government’s largest source of revenue, are coming in sluggishly.

 

Alexandra Kanik | Ohio Valley ReSource

She asked to not be identified. And it’s understandable given the stigma attached to addiction. For this story, we’ll call her “Mary.”

 

Mary lives in eastern Kentucky and has struggled with an addiction that began with painkillers and progressed to heroin.

“As soon as I opened my eyes, I had to get it,” Mary said. “And even when I did get it, then I had to think of the next way that I was going to get.”

Mary was using when she learned she was pregnant with her first child. She sought treatment but the disease had a tight grip on her.

Advocate-Messenger

Some of the most riveting comments came during the Lexington Foum Thursday came from Alex Elswick.

He said the use of pain pills for wisdom teeth surgery turned into a four year addiction.  After starting with pills, Elswick said he only used heroin for six months before finding himself homeless in Dayton, Ohio, shooting up under a bridge. Elswick called his parents from a pay phone. “I’ve been kicked out of a treatment center.  I need help,” he told them.


Stu Johnson/WEKU

President Donald Trump’s action to temporarily ban refugees and other immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries continues to prompt public response.

Piano music greeted those who filled Christ Church Cathedral Tuesday night, creating the feel more of a unifying rally than a protest.  But Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes elicited a strong response urging attendees to denounce hate and fear.


Eku.Edu

Kentucky lawmakers are expected to consider legislation to formalize a performance-based funding structure for the state university system.  But, there remains some “angst”, as one school president said, about future funding consequences. 

Kentucky.com

 

Workforce training is high on the list of priorities at Lexington's City Hall as Mayor Jim Gray made clear in his recent "State of the City" address. 

Elodie Dickinson has been serving in the role of workforce development manager for just a few months.  She said her responsibilities include connecting people needing jobs to educational institutions and other agencies that provide training.  Dickinson said her office will be evaluating a new city-financed job training grant program.  


Benny Becker | Ohio Valley ReSource

 On any given day in Martin County, Kentucky, the water system loses more water to leaks than it delivers to paying customers through their faucets. The water system is under a state investigation for the third time since 2002. Customers complain of frequent service interruptions and discolored water, and their bills come with a notice that drinking the water could increase the risk of cancer.

Kentucky.com

 

 Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverages is fielding hundreds of calls each week concerning local alcohol laws as as more cities and counties put the sale of alcohol to a vote.

 Kentuckians participated in 11 local wet-dry elections in 2015.  Last year that number jumped to 43. It’s attributed in large part to legislative action last year, giving localities greater autonomy to take the choice to voters.

 

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

State agriculture officials believe President Donald J. Trump’s pick to serve as United State Secretary of Agriculture will benefit Kentucky farmers.  The new president selected former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to head the federal agency.

Kentucky Council on Churches

The leader of the Kentucky Council of Churches believes faith communities can help reduce gun violence. The comments come as the Lexington community deals with three shooting deaths in the past week.

 


Kentucky.com

University officials across Kentucky are beginning to develop tuition rates for the fall semester.  Officials with the state’s higher education governing body are also gathering figures.

 

Kentucky.com

 

Lexington police have  charged a 16-year-old the fatal shooting of  Robert Durrum.

Durrum, 15, is the second Lafayette High School student involved in a shooting the past three months.

Police have charged a 16-year-old male acquaintance of Durrum with murder, robbery, and tampering with physical evidence. The name of the teen charged has not been released.  


Lexington Council Reviewing Vicious Dog Law

Jan 18, 2017
Kentucky.com

 

Lexington city council reviewed the vicious dog law Tuesday during a council committee meeting. 

Following three separate incidents involving one dog, council member Peggy Henson is proposing changes to the ordinance.  Current law requires animal care and control workers to witness any attack firsthand before a dog can be quarantined.


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