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
The city of Lexington is in talks with Kentucky Utilities about switching to LED streetlights. James Bush with Lexington's Division of Environmental Policy says LED streetlights tend to last about twice as long as traditional street lighting. Bush says the city has a lease agreement with Kentucky Utilities and Bluegrass Rural Electric Cooperative for operation of street lights.
As this week's rainfall has knocked many leaves off of trees, Lexington leaders Tuesday got a briefing on this year's leaf collection efforts. As in past years, vacuum trucks will roll through Lexington neighborhoods. Streets and Roads Director Rob Allen says a new interactive map is now available so residents can know when to expect leaf pickups. "Citizens will now know their subzone in a more accurate start time for collection, so the leaves don't sit on the grass, kill the grass, turn to mud, blow in their neighbors yard," said Allen.
Work continues this week on a $1.2 million refurbishment of Kentucky American Water Company's largest elevated tank. Once completed, the 2,000,000 gallon Lexington fixture is expected to take on a completely different look. Contractor Ron Bowling says paint removal is usually the most difficult part of the job. "The painting is the easiest. After you get all the blasting done, you sort of consider the job downhill after that," said Bowling.
UK Patterson School of Diplomacy Professor Stacy Closson
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News
An international scholar at the University of Kentucky worries about increasing U.S. involvement in the fight against terrorism in the Middle East. Stacy Closson spoke on the subject Thursday to Lexington Rotarians.
Lexington Division of Traffic Engineering Director Dowell Hoskins-Squier
Officials tasked with managing Lexington's traffic flow are met with daily challenges. The city's new director of traffic engineering is utilizing innovative communication technologies to help get motorists from one spot to another.
All five Lexington area high schools will be the focus of voter registration efforts this week. Kentucky is part of a 50 state effort to register voters before the November election. Tuesday has been declared National Voter Registration Day. Lexington League of Women Voters' Vice President Cindy Heine says some teenagers may not realize the timing of their voter eligibility. "This is a way to let students know that if they will be 18 by Election day they can register and they can vote. It's also a way to remind students by just being on the campuses of the importance of voting, the im
A major Lexington roadway could be a candidate for a unique interchange project. Construction continues to widen a portion of Leestown Road, just outside New Circle Road. Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Mike Hancock says the Leestown-New Circle Road interchange could one day see a crossover diamond design. "So, it's just something to think about for the future. Right now, we want to get Leestown widened and get the road completed out to Masterson Station and then we'll start looking at other potential improvements in the corridor," said Hancock.
Left to Right: Keith Lovan-Lexington Engineer, Shane Tedder-UK Sustainability Director, Van Meter Petitt-President Town Branch Trail, Incorporated
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku News
A recreational trail project with historical significance in Lexington is moving forward. The governor Tuesday gave the organizers of the Town Branch Trail a big financial boost.
Using Lexington's birthplace, McConnell Springs as the backdrop, Governor Steve Beshear handed over to Lexington Mayor Jim Gray a replica of a $6.5 million check. "These greenways encourage alternative transportation and outdoor recreation and exercise, which in turn promote cleaner air, better public health, environmental awareness, tourism, and business," said Beshear.
Police vehicles at the scene of a shootout between a wanted man and police on Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014.
Credit KARLA WARD / Lexington Herald-Leader
An exchange of gunfire in Richmond over the weekend left one man dead and a Lexington police officer with minor injuries. The incident near the campus of Eastern Kentucky University caused officials to issue a “shelter in place” alert.
Students, faculty and staff at Eastern Kentucky University received an alert by email, text and telephone Saturday at 9:54 pm.
Some Lexington area residents were hit twice this week by power outages. Electricity was interrupted for about an hour and a half Friday morning in parts of downtown, the University of Kentucky and portions of Nicholasville Road.