Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader

Jim Gray is halfway through a second term as Lexington Mayor.  The Glasgow native and construction business veteran just completed an unsuccessful attempt to unseat U.S. Senator Rand Paul.  Gray isn't showing his hand regarding political maneuvers in 2017.

When asked about future runs for office, Gray says he responds, "Today I’m happy as a clam right where I am."

Stu Johnson - WEKU

A group of new Lexington police officers will begin their street duties next week.  Family and friends filled the auditorium at the Blue Grass Community Technical College Thursday for the graduation ceremony.

Lexington Crews Assisting with Street Tree Pruning

Nov 21, 2016
Stu Johnson

Lexington officials are ramping up efforts to tackle issues with street trees.  Additional city staff are helping to whittle down a backlog of concerns.

Low-hanging street tree limbs can hinder travel or block motorists’ views, hinder mail delivery, and inconvenience pedestrians. 

Homeowners are required to keep the trees properly pruned, but city crews are also following up and addressing ongoing problems with limbs. 

Environmental Services Director Susan Plueger says another issue is sidewalk upheaval from tree roots. 

Grant Helps Lexington Homeless With Rent

Nov 19, 2016
Stu Johnson

Lexington area realtors are joining city officials in helping homeless persons move into permanent housing.  A national grant of $15,000 is making it possible.

The grant from the National Association of Realtors’ was awarded to the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors for deposits and first month’s rent for up to 15 households.

Walkway Repair to Close Richmond's Lancaster Avenue

Nov 17, 2016
Stu Johnson

Work to restore a pedestrian walkway on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus is expected to be visible this weekend with the closure of a portion of Richmond's Lancaster Ave. on Sunday from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.

A commercial truck with a raised hydraulic lift slammed into the overhead walkway in September, causing a partial collapse.

EKU Vice President for Facilities Paul Gannoe said two structural beams will be put into place then the repairs will stall. "We have some materials ordered," he said. "We’re fabricating some materials."


After just two months of operation, Lexington’s newest senior center is serving a growing number of baby boomers. 

Aging and Disability Services director Kristy Stambaugh told the Urban County Council Tuesday that folks 60 to 69 years old made up about 28 percent of total visitors a year ago.  Now, she said, 38 percent are within that baby boomer age range.

Stambaugh said the center’s 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday schedule will likely expand next spring to include a few evenings a week.

Lexington Considering Private Road Signage

Nov 16, 2016
Stu Johnson

Lexington city officials took the first step to identifying private streets Tuesday, a change that requires developers to post signs indicating the end of public maintenance.

Planning Director Jim Duncan told a council committee that making sure private streets are built to the same standards as public streets is an ongoing emphasis. 


Lexington city leaders are exploring establishing a youth mentoring program within local government.  It would allow employees paid time to meet with those they are advising.

Stu Johnson

More than two dozen Lexington residents chose to experience for one day what being homeless is like.  Included in that group was Lexington Council Member Susan Lamb.

During the noon hour Wednesday Lamb was at Lighthouse Ministries where well over a hundred homeless and low income citizens got lunch.  Lamb participated in the 24-hour “Give Kids a Home” homeless experience and fundraiser.  She slept on the ground downtown and met many homeless people. 

Lexington Pilot Project Focuses on Park Cameras

Nov 2, 2016

Members of a Lexington Council committee are suggesting a pilot camera program for a neighborhood park.

General Government and Social Services Committee members voted 8 to 1 to spend $30,000 for four high resolution cameras to be located in Berry Hill Park on Lexington's South Side.  They are being proposed as a tool to help ensure a safer park environment. 

John Hingsbergen

Lexington’s annual public celebration of Halloween brought thousands into the city’s downtown Saturday. 

As WEKU’s John Hingsbergen reports, this year marked the 15th annual re-creation of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”  


Before the first snowflake has fallen, Lexington City Council members are considering modifications to a new sidewalk shoveling ordinance. 

A final vote on the toughened snow removal law for sidewalks is scheduled Thursday.  The ordinance would require private property owners, including neighborhood residents, to shovel sidewalks within 24 hours of a 4-inch or greater snowfall or face penalities. 


A motion to remove Lexington’s minimum wage ordinance from the books failed in a Tuesday council meeting.  It took two votes before the matter was addressed at the work session.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last week that Lexington and Louisville’s minimum wage increases were invalid. A motion seeking to repeal the minimum wage statute ultimately failed on a 5-9 vote. 


Daytime and overnight homelessness services offered by Lexington’s Catholic Action Center are being merged into one complex.  Ironing out details has been more than a year in the making.

Despite original projections of a much earlier date, a 24-hour homelessness center on Industry Road is now expected to open in early 2017.  It comes after Divine Providence, the corporate entity for Catholic Action Center and Community Inn paid the city $550,000 for the building. 


A six-to-one Kentucky Supreme Court ruling Thursday struck down minimum wage increases in the state’s two largest cities.  



Lexington’s minimum wage increased 95 cents in July to eight $8.20 an hour.  The rate was scheduled to go up two more times over the next two years before resting at $10.10.

Lexington Mayor Seeks Input on Gun Violence

Oct 19, 2016
Stu Johnson

Lexington city leaders are asking police how local government can help to reduce gun violence.  The issue came up for discussion at Tuesday’s council work session in reaction to the shooting death of Lexington Lafayette High School Sophomore Trinity Gay.  She died after being hit in an exchange of gunfire in a restaurant parking lot.  

Police Chief Mark Barnard says some of the best help could come from citizens who have information about those involved in violent crimes.


Lexington Council members now have updated information about private fundraising strategies for a major downtown park project.  Blue Grass Community Foundation’s Allison Lankford offered a report on the Town Branch Park Tuesday. 

The aim is to raise $31 million over a five-year period.    Lexington Businesswoman Ann Baakus is chairing the philanthropic portion of the drive.  She expects officials with the Lexington Center to honor previous verbal agreements about land for the park.  “Cause, they know, if their word isn’t good, they got trouble with me,” said Baakus.


Lexington is combining its public safety operations into one facility.  The move is expected to create more efficiency for day-to-day police and fire calls and disaster response.  The official ribbon cutting was Thursday. 

About a million calls annually come to emergency 9-1-1 and government assistance LexCall workers.  Staff at the new 15 million dollar Public Safety Operations Center will now handle all those calls.  Plus police, fire, and emergency management officials can be side by side.  


New regulations for distributing unsolicited materials in Lexington neighborhoods is advancing within the city council.  Proposed standards received committee approval Tuesday.  

Many households receive the Lexington Herald-Leader’s Community News publication.  Since it includes news and advertisements, publisher Rufus Friday told Council its distribution is constitutionally-protected.


A new snow removal law for residential sidewalks in Lexington could be in place this winter.  The ordinance got initial approval Tuesday.

The proposal would require homeowners to clear sidewalks within 48 hours after a snowfall of four or more inches.  The law would only effect properties on already-cleared streets.  Council member Peggy Henson cast one of the 11 votes in favor of the ordinance, saying, “I do not want to see another year of people walking in the middle of the street, trying to get to their bus stops or to work."

Stu Johnson

Lexington’s newest council member would like to see future growth restricted to inside the city’s current urban service boundary. 

Kathy Plomin was sworn in Wednesday during a city hall ceremony.  She hopes the city boundary stays put. “There’s a lot of acreage inside that’s underutilized,” noted Plomin.  “So, let’s take a look at that and perhaps look at regulations and make it easier for developers to build within the urban service boundary.”


Lexington police are developing informational material for the public about proper response to “stops” by law enforcement officers.  It will be included in a pamphlet that will soon be released.

The brochure is expected to include information on how to act when stopped in a car, on the street, or if an officer comes to a residence. 


Lexington council members will be asked to set aside money for infrastructure improvements that could bring new jobs.  Budget committee members discussed the details of the program Tuesday.  Funds could be used for road, sewer, sidewalk, streetscape, and public transportation improvements. 

Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen says such improvements could encourage economic development.  “I think it’s one of those things we don’t want to make it just a downtown issue,” said Paulsen.

Leaders Discuss Snow Plan During Hot September

Sep 21, 2016

The thermometer may still be reaching into the upper 80’s this week, but Lexington city officials are talking snow at city hall.  A council committee took a look at the city’s snow plan Tuesday.

Stu Johnson

A ribbon cutting ceremony at a Lexington park to recognize a road widening project and park improvement included praise for two women who played a big role in the green space arena.  Several speakers remarked on their behind-the-scenes influence.

Kentucky Department of Agriculture

A credit card ‘skimmer’ has been removed from a Richmond service station.  It was discovered earlier this month during a routine inspection by workers with the State Department of Agriculture.

The discovery of the credit card skimmer potentially saved customers thousands of dollars in fraudulent charges which could have been made with data stolen through the use of this device.  

Lexington Council Discusses Diversity Recruitment

Sep 13, 2016

Lexington public safety officials are working to increase the number of minorities in policing, fire protection, corrections, emergency management and emergency 911.  A number of barriers to increasing diversity were discussed during a council committee meeting Tuesday.

Public Safety Commissioner Ronnie Bastin told members of the General Government, Social Service Committee that agencies are reaching inside and outside the community to recruit employees. 

UPDATE AS OF 5:00 PM 9/9/16 

EKU officials say it could be three weeks before Lancaster Ave between Barnes Mill Rd. and Crabbe St. is re-opened.

- - - 

An accident has seriously damaged the pedestrian walkway over Lancaster Ave on the campus of Eastern Kentucky University.

The incident, which occurred around noon Friday has shut down Lancaster between Barnes Mill Rd and Crabbe St. University officials say there were no injuries but the roadway is expected to remain closed for an extended period of time.


Lexington city officials are moving forward with an economic development initiative with grants aimed at businesses, non-profits and educational institutions.  Council members got an update last week during a committee meeting. 

Lexington Establishing Diversity and Inclusion Officer

Aug 31, 2016


The city of Lexington is about to launch a search for someone to head up diversity and inclusion efforts in local government.  A description of the position and responsibilities were offered to city leaders Tuesday.