Renovating Rupp Arena would cost less than half of what the city would spend to build a new arena, and at the same time would include the priorities that the University of Kentucky says it wants in a basketball facility, according to a new feasibility study. Renovation would cost between $110 million and $130 million, compared to $300 million to $325 million for a new arena, according to the technical study that looked at long-term needs for the downtown arena and adjacent Lexington Center.
Scores of postal workers and customers turned out Monday night to voice their opposition to a proposal to shift Lexington's mail-processing operations to Louisville or Knoxville. About 300 workers would be affected if the proposal to shut down operations at the Nandino Boulevard postal processing center is implemented. The post office has said that moving the operations out of Lexington would create more jobs in Louisville and Knoxville, but 103 positions would be eliminated entirely.
When fingers started pointing, David Kleckner started worrying. Guests at a Keeneland buyers’ dinner were sampling lamb legs with his homemade barbecue sauce for the first time and fidgeting to find its creator. “They were asking about who’s responsible for the sauce,” Kleckner, 58, said. “I just thought, ‘Man, I hope nothing’s wrong.” But Kleckner’s concern dissipated as one person after another complimented his flavorful concoction and asked to buy some for themselves — by the gallon.
The first big shopping weekend of the holiday season has come and gone. It’s also a busy season for thieves. Police remind shoppers there are steps they can take to protect themselves. Lexington police spokesman Bige Towery says social networks are fun, but they can also provide useful information to criminals. “Checking in on Facebook…we let everyone know where we are…and we’ve got to be very careful about that because as soon as you check in somewhere, you’re letting everyone know that your friend or perhaps based on your privacy settings everyone know that your not at home,” said Towery.
The Louisville Fairness Campaign has released a study that says it would not cost Richmond, Kentucky taxpayers any additional money to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents from discrimination. Richmond has a human rights commission, but the city does not ban discrimination based on perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The Fairness Campaign has sought to extend those protections, but opponents say it would cost too much money to enforce. The study from the state human rights commission has found that enforcement would be budget neutral. (Read the study here.)
An 18-year-old Berea resident has been charged with complicity to murder and attempted murder because he allegedly didn't do anything to stop a man from shooting two others Monday morning after a fight, police said Tuesday. Randall J. Burgess Jr. was charged Monday night in connection with the killing of Zackary Flower, 25, and the wounding of Kevin Price in an apartment building at 301 Chestnut Street. Burgess also was charged with first-degree burglary. Matt Denholm, 27, had been charged earlier Monday with murder in the double shooting along with assault and burglary. Police said roommates Flower and Price intervened Sunday night to help an unidentified man with whom Denholm was fighting in the apartment's parking lot. Denholm subsequently lost the fight but vowed to return. He broke through a door to get into the apartment Monday morning.
The state Transportation Cabinet says copper thieves recently disabled about 450 street lights along interstates and other major roads in Fayette and other Central Kentucky counties. The damage could total up to $500,000, depending on how many lights have to be completely replaced rather than simply repaired, according to a news release. Many of the lights that are affected are on the ramps for interstates 64 and 75. The state says it plans to fight the problem by installing surveillance cameras and a monitoring system that will detect instances of tampering with a lighting circuit. It will also have people periodically driving through affected areas to check for suspicious activity.
The future management of Fayette County Community Corrections continues to be a topic of keen interest at city hall. Interim jail director Ray Sabbatine went before the Urban County Council Tuesday. He was quizzed on personnel matters including over-time costs. “We’re wearing people out by doing that…because we’re having people work 16 hours three times a week…which is creating even more problems from the standpoint of turnover issues,” said Sabbatine.
By Greg Kocher, Lexington Herald-Leader & Jennifer Hewlett, Lexington Herald-Leader
UPDATED: Berea police are looking for a suspect possibly armed with rifles and other equipment after a Monday morning double shooting that killed one man and wounded another in a building across from city hall. The shooting victims have not been identified, said police spokesman Capt. Ken Clark. Berea College and some schools in Berea and Madison County are locked down as police look for the suspect, he said.
Berea police are looking for a suspect possibly armed with rifles and other equipment after a Monday morning double shooting that killed one man and wounded another in a building across from city hall. The shooting victims have not been identified, said police spokesman Capt. Ken Clark. Berea College and some schools in Berea and Madison County are locked down as police look for the suspect, he said.
A different kind of on-line fund raising campaign leading up to the holidays could generate more than financial gains for nearly 60 central Kentucky charities. Called the “Good Giving Guide Challenge,” It uses the internet to attract young people. When browsing the internet, if you click on good-giving-guide-dot-net you’ll find a list of non-profit organizations participating in the “Good Giving Guide Challenge.” Among them is the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center. Executive Director Marcey Ansley hopes the on-line campaign will help her reach former students and their families who no longer live in Lexington.
A different kind of on-line fund raising campaign leading up to the holidays could generate more than financial gains for nearly 60 central Kentucky charities. Called the “Good Giving Guide Challenge,” When browsing the internet, if you click on good-giving-guide-dot-net you’ll find a list of non-profit organizations participating in the “Good Giving Guide Challenge.” Among them is the Lexington Hearing and Speech Center. Executive Director Marcey Ansley hopes the on-line campaign will help her reach former students and their families who no longer live in Lexington.
The swimming season is long gone but the debate about future pool use in Lexington is anything but over. City officials are again considering closing Berry Hill and Constitution pools because of low swimmer numbers. Urban County Council member Jay McChord wants to know if one of the pools might be suited for lap swimming.“Here sits a lap pool that people will pay us to use…if it’s underutilized why can we just have more lanes marked and just charge them..the schools will pay ya and those athletes will pay ya to do it,” said McChord.
In the back of the Lexington Convention Center ballroom, the buzz early Wednesday afternoon was that a group of Amish farmers from Indiana were the ones bidding to buy all 5,529 acres of Anderson Circle Farm. The Amish contingent did indeed make a serious play to buy several parcels of the farm, but the one really driving the price was the giant of a man with white hair sitting at a bidder’s table in the center of the room. A young woman two tables away identified him as Jim Justice II and pulled up a Forbes profile of him on her iPad showing he was a West Virginia coal king, one of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth estimated at $1.1 billion. Justice finally scared off everybody else with back-to-back $500,000 raises that sealed the deal at $25 million. It was all his.
The man accused of gunning down a Lexington dermatologist at her Huguenard Drive office is back in Fayette County after fighting extradition from an Ohio jail for more than two months. Marty Lee Roe, 62, is charged with murder for the death of Dr. Martha Post. He is also accused of tampering with evidence and harassing communication. Roe was being held in Logan County, Ohio, where he was arrested by a fugitive task force several days after Post was killed on Sept. 1.
The city's Division of Engineering has been discussing possible development plans for Lexington's Distillery District; specifically the area of town that encompasses Manchester Street from Forbes Road to Oliver Lewis Way. Project director Bob Bayert says they'll be seeking citizen input on infrastructure and other ideas that will also affect the plans of the Rupp Arena Arts and Entertainment District Task Force.
Lexington is getting a taste of New York's Rockefeller Plaza. This Saturday an outdoor ice skating rink will open at Triangle Park. Renee Jackson with the Downtown Lexington Corporation says it's an idea that community leaders have talked about for years. "You know we've been exploring places to put one and costs associated with it, and all different things. But this was one of the things that when the Triangle Foundation decided to completely overhaul the park, they were going to make it happen."
Instead of subsidizing public golf courses with taxpayer dollars, a council member in Lexington says some of that service should be provided by private facilities. He calls such competition costly and unfair, and says the city should shut down one of its finest courses. Public golf in Lexington has lost money for some time. The number of golfers has dropped significantly while operational costs go up. In response, Council member Doug Martin suggests closing down Kearny Hill Links at the end of December.
The Lexington Urban County Council is being asked for its approval to a location for a new employee wellness center. The wellness project is part of a plan to cut the city’s health care costs. The health facility is proposed for an existing building at the corner of Leestown and Trade Street. Melissa Lueker, in the Chief Administrator’s Office, says the building is well suited to house the wellness center.
A new ice-skating rink in Lexington's Triangle Park is set to open Saturday, said Steve Grossman, president of the Triangle Foundation. Benches and a skate rental area will be connected to the rink. Pastries, hot drinks and other items will be sold from a tent until an outdoor café is completed. Small tables and chairs will be available throughout the park. The rink can accommodate about 200 ice skaters at a time and skating will be $10 for 90 minutes.
The option of reinventing Rupp Arena rather than constructing a new arena in downtown Lexington gained a convert Tuesday. Builder Ray Ball, a member of a task force charged with recommending a future home for University of Kentucky basketball, came away from a Tuesday morning tour of Madison Square Garden convinced that renovation is a good option for Lexington and UK to pursue. "I personally believe that is the direction that makes the most sense," Ball said.
Getting an earful, members of a Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council Committee today debated a new noise ordinance. Three years in the making, it was the proposal’s first public review. During that same time, resident Carl Leonard says his neighborhood been harmed by a noisy automotive business. “I’ve been there for 30 years and suddenly in my neighborhood my life, my home is threatened by this noise that we went through the process to try to solve and it failed, the process failed,” said Leonard.
A miner died Monday from injuries he sustained in a strip mine accident 12 days earlier. David J. Middleton, 28 of Baxter, died at Holston Valley Medical Center, Kinsport, Tenn. According to reports from the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration, in the morning of Nov. 2 the victim was involved in an accident at Nally & Hamilton’s Mill Branch Mine near Louellen. The accident occurred when the dozer Middleton was operating overturned several times while reclaiming a slope.
In order to comply with an Kentucky Supreme Court ruling, the city of Maysville will pay $155,081 for overtime wages on incentive pay to fire fighters. Complying with the ruling is an issue municipalities across the state have faced since the Kentucky Labor Cabinet changed the way fire fighters were to be paid overtime on incentive pay in 2004. Plaintiffs in the case against the Labor Cabinet are the cities of Richmond, Winchester, Florence, Nicholasville, Glasgow, Cynthiana, Georgetown, Paris, Somerset and Danville; Madison County; and the Central Campbell County Fire District.
In the wake of criticism from Lexington's police union, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced Monday that the city would postpone its plan to alter the police department's home-fleet program, which allows off-duty officers to use their cruisers for recreational purposes. The proposed change, which would have limited where and for what purpose off-duty officers could have driven city-owned vehicles, was revealed to officers Friday via email from Police Chief Ronnie Bastin.
Since the mid-1970s, Lexington police officers have been allowed to use their cruisers during off-duty hours, but that could be about to change. A new cost-cutting plan by the city would limit the personal use of cruisers. The Fraternal Order of Police was notified of the changes on Friday. FOP president Mike Sweeney says, if the plan goes through, the first thing citizens will notice is a decreased police presence around town. At a time when the police department is already understaffed, Sweeney says that could present a safety risk.
The University of Kentucky is celebrating the second anniversary of becoming a Tobacco-Free campus. Monday in the Student Center members of the Tobacco-free Campus Initiative Task Force provided an update on some of the impact that the policy has had on the school. Audrey Darville, is a tobacco treatment specialist with UK Healthcare.
In an effort to save paper, time and money, Clark County officials are considering going paperless through the iPad. Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham and Clark County Attorney Brian Thomas pitched the idea to county commissioners during a Fiscal Court meeting.
At dusk on Main Street on Friday night, 11 participants in the protests called Occupy Lexington gathered beside a tent outside Lexington's Chase Bank to discuss strategy for their 24-hours-a-day demonstration against major banks and corporations. At least six in the group had to consider class schedules before they could commit to taking a shift at the protest site. College students from the University of Kentucky and Bluegrass Community and Technical College are taking a large role in the demonstrations in Lexington, which is among at least 100 U.S. cities where demonstrations have sprung up in the Occupy Wall Street movement that began in September in New York City's Financial District.
Move over Hatfields and McCoys. There's a modern-day battle that has been going on in Central Kentucky for nearly 10 years, and there's no sign of when the fighting might stop. Unlike the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud of the late 1800s, in which the weapons of choice were guns, knives and fists, the weapons in this fight are attorneys and the courts. And, a TV set, not a hog, is at the center of this dispute.