Lexington/Richmond

9:57am

Mon March 12, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Damaged Church Continues Worship

Members from the destroyed West Liberty United Methodist, First Baptist, Broadway First Church of God, Church of Christ and Christian churches were in attendance Sunday.
The Herald-Leader

For decades, Rose W. May has been the musical heart and soul of the West Liberty United Methodist Church. A retired Morgan County English teacher, she has played graduations, baptisms, weddings and funerals. The March 2 tornado that ripped through town took her church, her house and her grand piano. It even took her sheet music. But it couldn't take her songs. Sunday, as members of several churches destroyed by the tornado gathered in an auditorium at Morehead State University's West Liberty campus, Rose May was there, pouring out the old hymns like balm on wounded souls.

6:15pm

Fri March 9, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Mega Church to Fill in Pond

Aerial view of Southland property along Richmond Rd - from Bing.com

A local mega-church’s plan to fill in most of a pond along Richmond Road got the approval of the Lexington Planning Commission Thursday, despite a recommendation from the city’s planning department to postpone that part of the project.vSouthland Christian Church is building a new campus at the site of the former Lexington Mall. 

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10:01am

Fri March 9, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Crack Down on Truck Brakes

Lexington city leaders are working to silence loud truck engine brakes within the urban area.  Council member Tom Blues says they’re considering a proposal that restricts the use of ‘engine brakes’ to highways, like New Circle Road, with limited access.  Blues says it would impact tractor-trailers coming off the interstate.  “Any trucks coming off the ramps into the city would not be able to use them and the reason is they make so much noise that they annoy so many people,” said Blues.

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6:28am

Fri March 9, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

New Taxi Cab Ordinance Moving in Lexington

Lexington city leaders are moving ahead with a new taxi cab ordinance.  Although significant changes were proposed, the final version remains in line with the current law.  The issue was discussed earlier this week at city hall.  Jim Browder is the director of Lexington’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.  “And not being able to get a taxi extremely early in the morning to catch early flights is a challenge sometimes…but late at night is more concerning..when individuals get stuck out at the airport,” said Browder. A proposal to lower the minimum taxi cab requirement from 25 vehicles to ten was rejected.  The biggest change is to require two independent inspections each year.

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6:57pm

Thu March 8, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Fire Chief's Employment in Limbo

It’s been 12 months since embattled Lexington fire chief Robert Hendricks has reported for duty, but he still wants a job with the city. Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for Mayor Jim Gray, says the chief filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Robert Hendricks has claimed that he’s covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It’s a federal law. Under that law, the city would be required to determine whether there’s an appropriate position for him.”

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4:38pm

Wed March 7, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

City Officials Reach Water Agreement

City officials have reached a contract agreement with Greater Cincinnati Water Works to provide billing and collection services for Lexington's sewer, landfill, and water quality fees. Those fees are currently tacked on to monthly water bills, but Kentucky American Water decided last fall to end its long-standing billing contract with the city. That means that  about 115,000 accounts will start receiving a separate bill for the Lexington fees beginning in September.

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6:55am

Wed March 7, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Sheltering Options Being Reviewed

Certain Lexington area residents may be given options in the future when it comes to sheltering during severe weather.  Very few structures stand in the way of tornadoes.  But, certain residents are more at risk when severe weather blows through a community.  Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council member Bill Farmer asked that the issue be reviewed in committee.

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4:39pm

Tue March 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Names New Jail Director

A state employee with 30 years of public safety experience has been named the new director of Lexington’s Division of Community Corrections. The selection of Rodney Ballard was announced Tuesday morning. He currently serves as a Deputy Commissioner in the Kentucky Department of Corrections and previously worked at a jail in northern Kentucky and for state police.

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4:35pm

Tue March 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Council Weighs Scrap Metal Ordinance

According to the Lexington Police Department, metal thefts account for more than $6 million dollars in damage in Fayette County since late 2010. Now two measures are currently making their way through local and state government that would tighten restrictions on buyers and sellers. A bill requiring registration for commercial recyclers who purchase scrap metal passed the House in Frankfort last week.

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10:58am

Fri March 2, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Public Inspects CentrePointe Design

LEXINGTON, Ky.  Local residents weighed in on the latest CentrePointe design Thursday at a public meeting for the downtown development. EOP Architects and developers from The Webb Companies showed off renderings for a high-rise hotel with smaller adjacent buildings for retail space and apartments. "It's interesting," said Joesph Hernandez, one of the 200 people at the meeting. "My concerns are still with traffic downtown and the parking situation."

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10:17am

Fri March 2, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Over $30,000 in Rewards for Arson Information

More than $30,000 is being offered for information leading to arrests in a string of unsolved arsons in four Kentucky counties. On Thursday, investigators from Fayette, Jessamine, Lincoln and Pulaski counties met at the Lexington Division of Fire's Station 1 on Third Street to discuss the fires — 25 of them, which were set purposely in cars, homes, barns and businesses. The fires have caused millions of dollars in property damage.

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5:27pm

Wed February 29, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Negotiations with Police Union Stalled

The Lexington Fayette Urban County Council is wondering what’s holding up contract negotiations between the city and public safety unions. At a budget committee Tuesday, the council learned that the last collective bargaining meeting with police representatives was nearly three months ago on December 12.“I guess I don’t feel the sense of urgency in why we’re not actively pushing and meeting and trying to get to some resolution so we can figure out how much it’s really going to cost us,” said Councilman Kevin Stinnett.

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1:40pm

Wed February 29, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

"Sick Check' Discussion at Lexington City Hall

A member of Lexington’s council wants to end the practice of sending checks to city employees with unused sick time.   Workers can only  accumulate 600 hours of sick time.  Once they hit that mark, member George Meyers says they start getting checks.  “Every year after that the government writes you a check for the balance of your sick time for that year.  You have to keep the 600 banked, but then, you’ve got that done, that next year, whatever hours you accrue, you get a check written for it, cash money,” said Meyers.

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6:52am

Wed February 29, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Paying for Street Lights

Lexington officials are looking into ways to keep the lights on along city streets.  The pace of installing street lights in recent years has exceeded the money available to pay for them.  One option is to ask the utility to pay more in franchise fees to the city.  Chief Administrative Officer, Richard Moloney says the franchise fee might go from three to four percent.

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2:48pm

Tue February 28, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Blue Grass Airport Installs Scanners

A crew delivered a body scanner to the security checkpoint at Blue Grass Airport on Monday. It will be installed this week and should be fully operational by early next week.
Lexington Herald-Leader file photo

Body scanners at Blue Grass Airport will replace metal detectors as the primary passenger screening method. The "advanced imaging technology" scanners are being installed and workers are being trained this week. Some passengers might go through them later this week, but the new machines should be fully operational at the Lexington airport by early next week, said Jim Fotenos, Transportation Security Administration spokesman.

12:00am

Mon February 27, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Increasing Ambulance Runs in Lexington

Lexington Emergency Medical Services crews are making more runs throughout the central Kentucky community.  Emergency Care ambulances made more than 30 thousand trips in 2007.  Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says that figure grew to more than 35 thousand in 20-11.  “We just keep having the same number of E-C units..and eventually we are going to have a crisis,” said Gorton.

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11:48am

Thu February 23, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Police Staffing Remains a Concern

Maintaining sufficient police patrols in Lexington can require some creative scheduling.  Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin says his department has just over 500 officers with 25 more joining the force this fall.  Still, the chief is shorthanded because he’s struggling to replace retirees.  He lost about a dozen officers last December and expects to lose another 24 this year.  Bastin has coped by putting some officers, who’ve worked with specialized units, back on patrol.  He says it’s important to maintain consistency on the streets.

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9:49am

Thu February 23, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Rand Paul Would Be Honored if Asked to be VP

Kentucky’s junior senator says it would be an honor to be considered as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Senator Rand Paul first discussed his higher aspirations at the beginning of this year. He said he wouldn’t close the door on being a Vice Presidential candidate. After a speech in Louisville today, Paul held that door firmly open, saying he wants to be part of the national debate.

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4:12pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Flood Fears Trouble Church's Expansion

Changes to Southland Christian Church's plan to build a new campus on Richmond Road in Lexington are under review by the city's Planning Commission. To make room for another parcel on the property which was once home to Lexington Mall, Southland wants to further shrink the size of a pond next to Richmond Road.

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3:38pm

Wed February 22, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Primary Care in Lexington

Saying some low income residents need more access to primary health care, local officials want to beef up such efforts in downtown Lexington.   Health officials would like to open up another primary care clinic in downtown Lexington, in the Community Action facility off Georgetown Street.  Healthfirst, which provides primary care for the Fayette County Health Department, says it’s a good move.  HealthFirst Director William North says the new location is within easy reach of more low-income residents. In time, North wants to expand services to other parts of Lexington.

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4:41pm

Tue February 21, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

City Signs Labor Agreement

Mayor Jim Gray (left) and Sgt. Kevin Johnson signed the contract Tuesday.

The city of Lexington signed a four-year labor agreement Tuesday with employees of the Fayette County Detention Center. The contract, which was ratified last month, represents $1.2 million in savings to the government. "The Community Corrections officers and sergeants understand the financial crisis the great city of Lexington is facing and we wanted to answer the mayor's call for public safety employees to make sacrifices," says Sgt. Kevin Johnson, President of Town Branch FOP Lodge #83.

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9:38am

Tue February 21, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Tanks for the Traffic Jam

After traveling through Lexington on Man o' War Boulevard from Versailles Road to the Hamburg area, a 200-foot-long tractor-trailer went down the ramp leading to Interstate 75 and Richmond, its ultimate destination.
Lexington Herald Leader

A big rig monopolized major thoroughfares in Lexington and Richmond during Monday evening rush hour as it transported a piece of equipment for the chemical-destruction plant in Madison County. The 200-foot-long tractor-trailer carrying an empty 100-ton steel vessel arrived at Man o' War Boulevard in Lexington shortly before 4 p.m., nearly an hour earlier than expected, officials said. About 6 p.m. the truck arrived at Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County, where the vessel will be installed in a plant that will destroy chemical weapons.

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12:53pm

Fri February 17, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Doctor Suspended After Raid

During Wednesday's raid at Lexington Algiatry, a pain clinic on Alexandria Drive, authorities collected boxes of evidence.
Lexington Herald-Leader

The doctor at a Lexington pain clinic that was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration had little formal training in pain management or primary care, yet he was paid $7,500 a week to write prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers, according to the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure. Documents detailing the medical board's allegations were provided to the Herald-Leader on Thursday, after the medical board voted in Louisville to suspend the license of Dr. Najam Azmat, who was prescribing drugs at Lexington Algiatry, a pain clinic on Alexandria Drive. The DEA raided the clinic Wednesday.

12:00am

Fri February 17, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Numbers Addressed in Lexington

A move to standardize house addresses in Lexington is prompting reaction from residents in some older neighborhoods.  Police and firefighters want easily visible and complete address numbers on houses in Lexington.  But officials like 9-1-1 director David Lucas also like house numbers in sequential order.  That makes addresses that include fractions…like 24 and a half…a problem.

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2:51pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Airport to Get Scanners

The current security scanning equipment at Lexington's Bluegrass Field Airport will soon be replaced with full-body scanners similar to those at the nation's largest airports."If it's going to keep everybody safe, keep the plane in the air, yeah, I wouldn't mind doing it," passenger Joe Morrison told WKYT-TV. "I got nothing to hide."

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2:14pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Investigators Raid Pain Clinic

A DEA agent entered the building during a morning raid by DEA, State Police and Lexington Police at Lexington Algiatry, a pain clinic at 1718 Alexandria Drive in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader

A Lexington pain clinic that previously generated multiple complaints from physicians and nearby residents and businesses was raided Wednesday morning by police and agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration. At 10:30 a.m., about 20 plainclothes officers from the DEA, state police and Lexington police went inside Lexington Algiatry on Alexandria Drive.

6:14am

Thu February 16, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Parking Garage Transfer Vote Scheduled Tonight

Repairs in Lexington on four city owned parking garages could begin this summer.  But first, the city council must transfer those garages to Lexington’s Parking Authority.  A discussion, and possibly a vote, could take place Thursday evening.  Parking Authority Director Gary Means says garage and parking meter revenues would fund the work.

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5:36pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Social Services Can't Handle More Cuts

As the discussion continues about how to fund a massive renovation to Rupp Arena, some community leaders say Lexington can't forget about the need for social services. Leaders within the city of Lexington's Department of Social Services, which oversees programs geared toward senior citizens, families, and youth at the Lexington Day Treatment Center, are making their case for more funding and support.

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4:23pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Social Services in Lexington on the Ledge

As the discussion continues about how to fund a massive renovation to Rupp Arena, some community leaders say Lexington can't forget about the need for social services. Leaders within the city of Lexington's Department of Social Services, which oversees programs geared toward senior citizens, families, and youth at the Lexington Day Treatment Center, are making their case for more funding and support. 

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10:51am

Wed February 15, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington's Hotel-Motel Tax Under Study

A major source of revenue in Lexington will undergo a review.  And, there could be changes in the city’s hotel and motel tax. Veteran Council member Kevin Stinnett wants a re-examination of Lexington’s six-percent transient room tax.   The levy, which is paid by anyone staying in Lexington hotels and motels, generates over six million dollars annually.  It doesn’t go directly to the city, but instead, goes to the Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Lexington Center Corporation.  It’s the Lexington Center which oversees the convention center and Rupp Arena.  Stinnett says a review doesn’t necessarily imply a tax increase.

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