Although no dirt was shoveled, Lexington officials have staged a ground breaking for a new public safety operations center. The facility is being established in the former juvenile detention center on Cisco Road. The center will bring under one roof the divisions of Emergency Management, Enhanced 9-1-1, and LexCall. Efforts to build the public safety operations center have been several years in the making. In 2008, the project stalled with construction costs estimated at 39 million dollars. By rehabbing existing space, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says it amounts to 26 million dollars in
It was standing room only for a special ceremony Monday to recognize promotions within the Lexington police department. A long-time local religious leader offered some sentiments as the guest speaker.
Reverend Willis Polk says Lexington's police department features a 'good foundation' and 'good work performance standards.' Still, the Baptist preacher stressed the importance of having a heart, mind, and spirit for police work, and to do it with fairness and honesty.
Due to a reduction in demand, Lexington officials are implementing a winter waste collection schedule. For six weeks, yard waste will not be picked up during regular runs. The special winter schedule begins on February 9th and runs until March 20th. Lauren Monahan is with the city's Division of Waste Management. "It's really nice because it allows us to allocate our resources to enhance the trash and recycling collection, especially as the bad winter weather is ahead of us," said Monahan.
On-demand ride sharing companies operating in Kentucky now face statewide regulations.
The issue has been a prominent topic at Lexington city hall. Two ride sharing firms, Lyft and Uber have been offering pick up service to area citizens for months.
Urban County Council Member Peggy Henson says the state rules seem to cover the pressing issues. "The driver backgrounds, the drivers' insurance, the records of vehicle inspections. And it goes on and on and on," said Henson.
After weeks of little activity, crews began Monday building two big cranes at the Centre Point project site in downtown Lexington. Developer Dudley Webb says the cranes, one 260 feet tall, the other 300 feet, will be up for some time. "The big booms that swing are over the project site and they'll use those to load the concrete up into the site,” said Webb. “And those will be up through completion of the project."
For several weeks, mid-morning and mid-afternoon travel along a section of Lexington's New Circle Road is expected to be impacted by blasting operations. The weekday blasting will take place as part of a major reconstruction project for more than two miles between Versailles and Leestown Roads.
The distribution of the Lexington Herald Leader's Community News publication is being scrutinized by city leaders.
The city council could move to specify how the paper is delivered.
Community News is a supplemental newspaper delivered to residents who do not subscribe to the Herald Leader. Kif Skidmore represents the paper. "There is a first amendment right of free speech to distribute the publication such as the Community News as there is any kind of newspaper and even commercial publications," said Skidmore.
A ground breaking ceremony was held Tuesday for the new $26 million home of Lexington's mass transit system. The new building will house maintenance facilities as well as administration.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says the new site is expected to greatly enhance efficiencies of the bus service. "We'll have seven bays here, where we had two before,” said Gray. “So there's a likelihood that the turn, the cycle turn on maintenance will be faster."
The 54,000 square foot complex will sit on property once used by General Electric for its glass plant.
Charlie Lanter- Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention Director
Lexington city officials are making final preparations for the new 'Housing First' program. Announced this past summer, the initiative aims to help area homeless people who are dealing with substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
The city of Lexington is looking for a new police chief. The news comes as the current head of the division of police moves on to a new administrative role.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has promoted Police Chief Ronnie Bastin to the position of Public Safety Commissioner. The search begins immediately for Bastin's replacement. Bastin joined the force in 1984, worked his way up through the ranks, and was named chief in 2008.
Lexington city leaders continue look for ways to help ride sharing app firms and traditional taxi companies share the road. City officials are awaiting action on state regulation pertaining to the relatively new ride sharing businesses. Council member George Meyers believes it's important to strike a fair balance. "We as a government have to be flexible enough to make it all work because we don't want to shut anybody out of the marketplace or disadvantage our community when you look at what other cities are doing as opposed to what we might do," said Meyers.
Lexington city leaders are preparing to move forward with architectural plans for improvements to the historic downtown courthouse building. The Urban County Council last week gave the go ahead to use $450,000 for design plans. Lexington attorney Foster Ockerman is President of the Courthouse Square Foundation. "This money will then be spent for architectural drawings to take the information from the assessment and start saying where does the heating and air conditioning duct work go.
Eastern Kentucky University issued an alert Sunday night following a report of a person with a gun on the Richmond campus. After sending an initial notice to students, faculty and staff at 9:24 pm, university officials issued a "Secure In Place - Hide Out" alert at 9:35 pm. This alert was issued following a report of an attempted robbery outside the university's Clay Hall.
WEKU is following the story and will have more information when it is available. Follow this link to information posted on the EKU website.
Lexington's Environmental Quality Committee heard an update Tuesday on progress in the city's downtown distillery district. Business activity in the neighborhood has grown substantially over the last decade.
While restoration work on downtown Lexington's Kentucky Theater continues, attention is also focusing on the adjacent State Theater. The issue was discussed this week at Lexington's City Hall. Some 600 thousand dollars has been raised privately by the Friends of the Kentucky Theater group. The city is investing 195 thousand dollars in Kentucky Theater improvements.
Members of a Lexington City Council Committee received an update Tuesday on operations at the Downtown Arts Center. The city's Parks and Recreation Department took over management of the center in July.
Lexington city leaders are considering expanding eligible sites for locating food trucks. Currently, the mobile food vendors are allowed only on certain public streets inside business zones. Planning Director Chris King says the change could move food trucks into office areas. "In the larger professional office projects like Corporate Center or Paragon Park, any of the larger ones like that, a food truck would be able to locate and serve the workers in that area as long as they were 500 feet from a residential use," said King.
A diverse group of people marched and rallied Wednesday night in downtown Lexington in recognition of the National Day of Action Against Police Brutality.
Participants gathered first near Lexington's William Wells Brown Elementary School. Among them, Molly Van Zant, who wore a front and back corrugated sign of names from across the country. "I am wearing a list of some of people who have been killed by law enforcement recently, men and women," said Van Zant.
A chemical spill along interstate 75 in Madison County shut down lanes in both directions for hours Tuesday. Michael Bryant with Emergency Management says the spill occurred near the 96 mile marker which is near the Boonesboro road exit. He says the chemical ferric choride leaked out of a tanker truck. Bryant says the driver realized the chemical was leaking from a valve and pulled off.
Lexington officials are hoping to address a potential public safety issue by removing hundreds of dead or dying ash trees. The trees, like those in many other states, are succumbing to damage caused by the emerald ash borer. Lexington Division of Environmental Policy Director Susan Plueger says more staff is needed to help remove the trees. "We need equipment. We need a tree crew working throughout the winter on these issues. Right now, our tree crew is in streets and roads, the only one that we currently have and they have other duties related to snow removal, pot holes, other activ