Lexington/Richmond

6:26am

Mon August 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

New Public Hearing Format for Homelessness Discussion

A public hearing format new to many in Lexington is being held to consider issues related to homelessness.  It’s called ‘Open Space’ and involves constructive group discussion on a public issue.  The ‘Open Space’ program is scheduled from nine a.m. until 4:30 Saturday August 25th at Calvary Baptist Church.  The meeting is sponsored by the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness.  Under the ‘Open Space’ format, the agenda is not set in advance.  The Commission’s meeting will be centered on the question, ‘What should our community think about, know about, and do in order to best address the opportunities and challenges presented by homelessness?’

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6:20am

Fri August 10, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Police Officers Sought in Lexington

Lexington is looking to boost the size of its police force.  Applications are now being accepted for a police academy. class.Lexington’s police department is authorized for 555 officers.  23 police recruits are being sworn in Friday, but the new count will still be significantly shy of authorized strength.  So, applications are being accepted now for a new police academy to begin in February or March.

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11:59am

Wed August 8, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Redevelopment in Downtown Lexington

When citizens complain to the city about poorly maintained properties, they go to Lexington’s code enforcement office.  Code violations can include cases of peeling paint, cracked bricks, and unsafe sidewalks.  The process for handling those complaints is under review at city.  Council member Steve Kay, who co-chairs the committee looking into the issue, says enforcing current regulations is a concern.

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5:03pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Ideas to Sift Through

More than 400 ideas on ways to improve Lexington have been submitted by its residents.  The suggestions, which are being gathered this month, are part of a competition sponsored by the Bloomberg Foundation.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says these ideas must now be categorized.  “Shrink all the suggestions into themes and we’re seeing themes emerge that relate to education, quality of life,” said Gray.

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9:30am

Mon August 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Former EKU President Hanly Funderburk Jr. Dies

Former Eastern Kentucky University President H. Hanly Funderburk Jr. died Friday night in his home state of Alabama. He was 81. Funderburk was the eighth president of EKU, serving from 1985 until 1998. Following his retirement, he moved to Montgomery, Ala., where he stayed until his death following a long illness, his family said.

10:16am

Fri August 3, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

EKU Warns Students About Dangerous Jail Escapee

Have you seen him? Anyone who sees Daniel Patterson, who escaped from custody in Estill County, should not try to detain him and should notify local authorities immediately.

A search continued Thursday for an Estill County jail escapee, and Eastern Kentucky University urged its students and staffers to take precautions while the man remains free. Daniel Patterson, who escaped Wednesday from a deputy jailer, is the estranged husband of an EKU employee, according to authorities. Police said Patterson should be considered dangerous.

1:02pm

Sun July 29, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

UK Employee Charged in Connection with Robberies

Crystal R. Little

Police arrested Crystal R. Little, 29, shortly after a bank robbery in Lexington on Saturday morning and charged her in connection with that robbery and three others dating to 2010. Little, charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of second- degree robbery, was being held in the Fayette County jail.

4:57pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Sand Artist Advances on 'America's Got Talent'

Richmond resident Joe Castillo has taken his light-projector sand art to the semifinals of the hit NBC television show America's Got Talent in the quest for the grand prize of $1 million. "I am honored, I'm humbled but I'm very happy," Castillo said during Wednesday night's live episode, when he was named one of 16 semifinalists, based on TV viewers' votes. Calling Castillo an "amazing talent," judge Howard Stern said, "You really are a guy with a heart. ... America got it right."

12:47pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Second Chinese School in Lexington

To meet growing demand, a second school for students interested in Chinese language and culture will be established in Lexington.   Beginning in mid-August, three hours of class will be held each Saturday at Beaumont Middle School.  The classes are designed for children and adults…both Chinese and American-born.  Wei  Luo  is president of the Kentucky Chinese American Association.  “One reason is cultural interest.  Another reason is some people will travel to China and also they want to do some business in China.  They really want to know Chinese,” said Luo.

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6:39am

Wed July 25, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Social Media Town Hall Talk in Lexington

Two social media town hall meetings are on tap in Lexington today.  The conversations with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will occur on Facebook and Twitter.  There are two opportunities to engage in the dialogue.  The first begins at 11:30 this morning and runs until 1:30.  The second chance to take part in the virtual conversation comes at 6:30.

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10:07am

Fri July 20, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Officials Pleased With Innovative Interchange

The double-crossover diamond at Harrodsburg and New Circle roads is considered a big success by officials involved in the project.

The double-crossover diamond at Harrodsburg and New Circle roads in Lexington might not be flawless, but state highway officials involved in the road project consider it a sparkling success. It's considered so successful that two more — on Ky. 536 at Interstate 75, and on Ky. 338 at I-75 in Boone County — are planned. Authorities also are considering more double-crossover diamonds in Lexington. The Harrodsburg Road crossover is the sixth of its kind in the country.

10:03am

Fri July 20, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Rupp Arena Committee Appointed

The Rupp Arena Arts and Entertainment District project will be led by a subcommittee of the Lexington Center board of directors, which will try to parlay an initial $3.2 million into an urban-renewal project that could cost $300 million.

8:28am

Tue July 17, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Richmond Rally for Anti-Discrimination law

A rally for passage of a local anti-discrimination fairness law is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in front of Richmond City Hall, 239 West Main Street. Cheri Chenault and Destiny Keith, a lesbian couple who were ejected from E.C. Million Park earlier this month after sharing a kiss there, will attend the rally, according to a news release from the Fairness Coalition.

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12:51pm

Fri July 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Disability Debate at City Hall

Disability claims in Lexington’s police and fire divisions are under review at city hall.  A Council committee this week discussed the high rate of retirements due to disabilities.  Council member Kevin Stinnett says tougher requirements may be needed.  “Look at keeping them in their same job now, but have them perform a physical fitness test.  If they can pass that, then they can stay on, even though a doctor may say they could be disabled.  I mean we have guys working now that haven’t filed for disability, that probably could get it.  That’s my point.  So they’re already doing the jobs anyway.  So, let’s see that standard as well,” said Stinnett.

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9:41am

Fri July 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Retiring Professor Helped Thousands Get Free Dental Care

At age 84, the man who has helped teach every graduate of the University of Kentucky's College of Dentistry since it was founded in 1962 — all 3,227 of them — is set to retire at the end of the month. Mink would have retired last month except for the chance to take part in one of his pet projects at UK: the mobile dental clinic that provides free dental care in rural parts of the state. Mink was instrumental in efforts to start the clinic in the 1990s, and for at least the past 20 summers he has gone with other staffers and students to Eastern Kentucky and set up the 40-foot-long clinic to treat children and teens.

7:32pm

Thu July 12, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Call for Gay-Rights 'Fairness Law' Renewed

A state advocacy group renewed its call Wednesday for a Richmond fairness ordinance after a lesbian couple and their photographer contended they were kicked out of a park there. "This young couple's plight is a perfect elucidation of the need for a local fairness ordinance in Richmond," Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign, said in a news release.

11:55am

Wed July 11, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Preparing for Natural Gas Power

An expansion in Lexington’s fleet of vehicles powered by natural gas could come sooner than later.  Natural gas supplies are currently high, and as a result, the price tag is low.  So, council member Bill Farmer says it might be a good time for a switch from gasoline.  “I think the opportunity to use natural gas to power potentially our bus system, the school buses our sanitation vehicles, any of our fleet vehicles including personal vehicles.  It’s an opportunity we can look forward to,” said Farmer.

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7:29am

Wed July 11, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Collective Bargaining Inquiry at Lexington City Hall

A question about collective bargaining led to a sometimes emotional discussion at Lexington city hall Tuesday.  Urban County Council member Doug Martin asked if recent action by the council could pave the way for workers in the Division of Waste Management to collectively bargain.  “If in the process of gaining more understanding about this ordinance and what this involves, the council wishes to take some action, then that’s gonna be up to the council at that time,” said Martin. Law Commissioner Janet Graham told members the ordinance does not call for collective bargaining for waste management workers.  She says it does allow for what’s termed ‘meeting and conferring’ with the administration.

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7:27am

Wed July 11, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Town Hall Meeting on the Telephone

A ‘telephone town hall’ opportunity comes to Lexington residents this evening.  It’s being billed as kind of a ‘party line in cyberspace.’  Citizens can join in the conversation by signing up at the telephone town hall web site before one p.m. today.  During the call, lines will be open for questions and suggestions.  The telephone town hall tonight launches the city’s search for the best ideas for Lexington.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says it’s all part of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Mayor Challenge.

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11:13am

Thu July 5, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Homelessness Commission Named

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has named 31 people to his Commission on Homelessness.  There were some 116 individuals who had volunteered to be part of the commission.  In naming the membership, Mayor Gray said, “ A safe and caring community where basic human needs are met is essential to building a great American city.”    The mayor says the size of the group reflects the community response on the issue.  The commission members include homeless, advocates for the homeless, neighbors, faith community members, business leaders, and council members.

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12:00am

Mon July 2, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Noise Ordinance Due Back This Fall

Lexington city leaders could get another look at a ‘noise ordinance’ proposal this fall.  Members of the Urban County Council’s Planning Committee reviewed the task force report earlier this year and opted not to pass it on to the full council.  The proposal called for the establishment of a ‘noise board’ to help mediate sound issues.  Council member Tom Blues brought the report before the council.  “We need to have a better mechanism for dealing with noise issues within our community…one that’s fair to everybody…so we do intend to bring it back,” said Blues.

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3:05pm

Fri June 29, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Richmond Water Status

Drought conditions across many sections of Kentucky are prompting some local officials to consider ways to save water.  Voluntary restrictions are in place in Richmond.  City officials hope residents opt not to water lawns or wash cars this weekend.  Richmond Utilities General Manager, Scott Althauser says the level of the Kentucky River continues to drop.

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3:13pm

Wed June 27, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Police Crackdown on Unlicensed Drivers

 

Lexington police are working to reduce crashes on area roadways by cracking down on unlicensed and suspended drivers.  Officer Alvin Cook says a safety checkpoint will be set up along Liberty road at Star Shoot Parkway Thursday night.  “The problem of unlicensed and suspended drivers is a very bad one here in Fayette County..last year in 2011 we had 684 crashes involving drivers who were either unlicensed or were driving on a suspended drivers’ license…these collisions resulted in 276 injuries…so we’re trying to reduce our collisions and injury rates,” said Cook.

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1:09pm

Mon June 25, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Clays Ferry Bridge Repairs

Seasonal maintenance on a highly traveled interstate bridge could slow traffic Tuesday.  State Transportation Department Spokesman Ryan Watts says they’ll repair pot holes on two lanes of Interstate-75 on the Clay Ferry bridge.  “Well construction crews will close down two southbound lanes at the Clays Ferry bridge…at the Fayette Madison county line..and we’re closing the bridge for bridge deck repairs,” said Watts.

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8:26pm

Tue June 19, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Edible Plant Tour on Tap Friday

The Kentucky landscape is very picturesque but it also can sustain its inhabitants in ways few realize.  In that vein, The Waveland State Historic Site in Lexington hosts an edible plant tour this Friday afternoon.  The tour of the grounds will be led by Chris Prope.  Prope took WEKU’s  Stu Johnson on a walk around Waveland earlier this week

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11:52am

Mon June 18, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Scrap Metal Enforcement Begins

Enforcement of Lexington’s new scrap metal ordinance is underway.  It officially began Saturday. The new law passed earlier this spring created regulations for buying, selling, and processing scrap metals.  The aim is to curb the rise in metal thefts.   A 30 day grace period for scrap metal dealers ended June 15th.

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10:58am

Mon June 18, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Clays Mill Road Project Winding Down

A portion of a one-time controversial road project in Lexington is near completion.  Work to expand Clays Mill Road from two to three lanes should be wrapped up by month’s end.  Keith Lovan with Lexington’s engineering department says the finished road will have two lanes of travel with a turn lane in the middle.  “Travel lanes in each direction with the center lane to allow left turners to get out of the main line of the traffic…people that want to turn left can move into the center lane and turn into driveways and that way it doesn’t stop the traffic,” said Lovan.

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6:26am

Wed June 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Final Details on Lexington Budget Worked Out

Lexington city officials are expected to approve a 290 million dollar budget next week.  Final modifications were made Tuesday at city hall.  In the past, previous mayors and councils have not always seen eye to eye about spending priorities.    Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says he and the council worked well together.  He doesn’t anticipate any vetoes.  “This year the work with the council between the administration and the council was very effective work and I feel going forward that the budget that the council is adopting is a budget that the administration, once we review, will be good with it,” said Gray.

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1:00pm

Mon June 11, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Council Working to Pin Down a Budget

A man with years of experience on Lexington’s Urban County Council predicts their vote on a new city budget should be less stressful.  A year ago, the council approved worker layoffs and fee increases.  This year, council member Bill Farmer says that’s not the case. “We really took our medicine last year and got rid of empty positions, got rid of a few positions with people in them..raised some of the fees and things around health care and the government and its employees and re-organized government a little bit,” said Farmer.

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11:59am

Fri June 8, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Police See More Heroin Abuse

Lexington police are seeing an increase in heroin abuse.  Michele Young heads the department’s special investigations unit, which includes narcotics enforcement.  She says heroin reappeared consistently last fall.  Prior to that, Young says they saw only one heroin-related offense within a seven month period.  The police lieutenant says a crackdown on prescription drug abuse could have some users shifting to heroin.  “Once the pills started officially now going up in price..obviously to get that same high..they’re gonna switch to heroin which is much cheaper,” said Young.

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