Lexington/Richmond

4:42pm

Wed October 2, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Beefing Up Security At Lexington's City Hall

Council members argue security at entrances to Lexington city hall should be tightened.

A review of security at Lexington’s government buildings is underway.  General Services Commissioner Jamshid  Baradaran  says police patrols and video cameras protect some 25 city-owned buildings.  Baradaran says it will likely take time to develop security recommendations.

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7:53pm

Tue October 1, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Leaders Propose Capital Projects

Credit Lexingtonky.org

Lexington leaders are still working on a plan to spend surplus funds.  There's a lot more money than they first anticipated.  Council members first considered setting aside specific amounts for each member...who would then decide how it's spent.  After dropping that idea, Council decided to pool the money and prioritize projects.  Tuesday, the Budget and Finance Committee briefly reviewed dozens of proposals submitted by council members and the mayor.

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3:52pm

Tue October 1, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Work Begins On Domestic Partner Benefits For Lexington Employees

Domestic partner benefits for city employees are winning strong support at Lexington city hall.  Members of the General Government Committee today unanimously backed a motion for a draft ordinance.  Council member Steve Kay chairs the panel.

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4:27pm

Mon September 30, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Growing Central Kentucky's Urban Trails One-Mile At A Time

Lexington officials Monday opened the first extension of the Brighton East Trail, Fayette County's first rail trail. The one-mile extension takes the trail along an old railroad bed into the country as far as Walnut Grove Road.
Credit Tom Eblen / Lexington Herald Leader

The system of recreational trails in central Kentucky is growing by another mile.  Lexington officials today celebrated the extension of the Brighton East Rail Trail.  The 12-foot wide trail, with serves pedestrians and cyclists, now runs from Bryant Road to Walnut Grove Lane.  Project Manager Keith Lovan says the region’s trail system is increasingly interconnected.

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6:43am

Mon September 30, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Council to Decide About Surplus

Credit lexingtonky.org

Lexington City leaders will again try to decide how to spend over two million dollars in surplus funds.   The third time may be a charm.  Council has twice delayed action, but a final vote is scheduled for Tuesday.  As initially proposed, the money would be divided evenly among council members, who each would decide how it's spent. Now, a revised proposal has the entire council setting priorities for that pool of money.

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5:14pm

Tue September 24, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Mortgage Settlement Generates Funds For Lexington's Homeless

Several social service agencies plus Lexington government will benefit from the settlement of a lawsuit filed by state attorneys-general against mortgage lenders.  They were accused of unfairly foreclosing on thousands of homes during the recession. 

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6:00am

Mon September 23, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Park Could Cleanse Water In Town Branch Creek

The creation of a waterfront park in downtown Lexington could also improve water quality in Town Branch Creek.  There are plans to resurrect the subterranean stream, which runs beneath the downtown area, and create a park. Landscape architect Kate Orff says a park’s vegetation would remove contaminants from the creek.

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3:00pm

Sun September 22, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Mural, Food Trucks Key To Plan For Lexington's Revitalization

Credit Angela Baldridge / Lexington Herald Leader

The creation of a public mural on a wall adjacent to City Hall has been presented to Lexington’s council. Danny Mayer, who publishes a community newspaper, says the proposal is the compilation of ideas submitted by Lexington residents.

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5:03pm

Wed September 18, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Backers Troubled By Slow Progress In Lexington's Distillery District

A vacant warehouse in Lexington's Distillery District.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

The development of Lexington’s distillery district isn’t proceeding as quickly as some promoters had hoped.  Both public and private interests are revising their strategy.

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6:00pm

Tue September 17, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Residents Can Sound Off On Rupp Rebuild Wednesday Afternoon

Citizens get a chance Wednesday afternoon to comment on the revitalization in and around Rupp Arena.  Architects for the Rupp Arena and Town Branch Trail projects will be on hand for the two hour program.  Communications Director for Lexington’s mayor, Susan Straub says their primary aim is to gather the thoughts of local residents.

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4:24pm

Tue September 17, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Landmark Clock Again Ticks In Downtown Lexington

Credit Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader

A downtown landmark in Lexington is back in the spot it occupied for 80 years on Main Street.  During preparations for the World Equestrian Games, the Skuller’s Street Clock was removed for repairs.  After the needed funds were raised, the clock was refurbished by the Verdin and Company of Cincinnati.  Tommy Verdin’s family has managed the business for six generations.


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11:56am

Mon September 16, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Sewer Upgrades Promises to Snarl Lexington Traffic

Credit Zen Sutherland / Flickr, Creative Commons

Major sewer work starts over the next five years on a heavily traveled  roadway near the University of Kentucky.   It’s part of a $600-million sewer upgrade required by the federal government.  Water Quality Division Director Charlie Martin says they will replace a sewer pipe which runs along Euclid Avenue, between Upper Street and Tates Creek Road.

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11:15pm

Thu September 12, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Council Backs Away From $4 Million Spending Plan

Credit lexingtonky.gov

Lexington City Leaders are reconsidering ways to spend surplus funds.  A new strategy was proposed at last night’s Council meeting.

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1:35pm

Wed September 11, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

"Pork Barrel Projects" Face Vote At Lexington City Hall

Lexington-owned recreational facilities like Jacobson Park could benefit from a $4-million spending plan before city council.
Credit Keith Reed / Flickr, Creative Commons

A plan that allows individual council members to designate city money for special projects is creating discussion at Lexington City Hall.  A final vote on the $4-million proposal is set for tomorrow. 


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4:59pm

Tue September 10, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Declining Land Line Use Threatens E911 Funding

Credit Allan Gyorke / Flickr, Creative Commons

Lexington leaders like their colleagues in governments across the state, searching for a way to cope with the decline of hard-wired telephones.  Those phones were the basis of 911 systems that summoned police and firefighters.

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4:21pm

Tue September 10, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

State Audit Has New Managers At Bluegrass Area Development District Mending Fences

New management at the Bluegrass Area Development District is trying to ease any concerns which may have come from the forced resignation of its former director.   Speaking today to Lexington council members, the district’s interim director says a state investigation into possible misconduct continues.  Council member Chris Ford attended the meeting.

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5:30am

Fri September 6, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Despite Robust Laws And Police Work, Under Aged Drinking Festers

Mike Razor, Executive Director of Enforcement with ABC, outside a Lexington watering hole.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

 Drunken college students are almost as common on campus as football games and Saturday night parties.  The penalties for the providers and abusers of alcohol are tough, but some young people now pursue drunkenness with a new intensity.

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9:38pm

Thu August 29, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Condo Complex Could Be Converted Into Center For Lexington's Homeless

The front entrance to the Lorillard Lofts, 201 Price Rd., in Lexington, Ky., Thursday, July 25, 2013. Homeless advocates want to turn the bankrupt Lorillard Lofts into a center that provides homeless services, healthcare and housing.
Credit Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader

Efforts to turn an unsuccessful condo complex into a housing and service center for Lexington’s homeless residents continue. The Lorillard Lofts just off West Main Street sits less than half full.  Several years ago, the one time tobacco warehouse was converted into condos.  Both developers and the city hoped to attract young professionals downtown.   Instead, the complex could soon serve Lexington’s street people.  

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5:04pm

Wed August 28, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

With Millions At Stake, Social Service Agencies Lobby Lexington Over Funding Formula

UK researchers found a link between affordable, decent housing and safe public transportation.
Credit Keith Reed / Flickr, Creative Commons

A new funding formula for Lexington’s social service agencies is in the works.  Millions of tax dollars go to organizations that provide services on behalf of the city.  They provide assistance in areas like housing, employment, and health care.  Social Services Commissioner Beth Mills believes a clear formula with specific requirements and a firm deadline creates a level playing field for all agencies seeking city funds.

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11:33am

Wed August 21, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

After Ten Years On The Table, Domestic Partner Benefits Again Before Lexington's Council

Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton.
Credit Lexington Urban County Government

Lexington city leaders will again consider domestic partner benefits for the city’s workforce.  Benefits for same-sex partners and unmarried couples were last considered in 2003, when they were rejected by council.   Vice Mayor Linda Gorton made the motion Tuesday that resurrected the benefits.

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10:07pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Picks Park Land For New Senior Citizens Center

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

After months of discussion, Lexington city leaders have decided on a location for a new senior citizens center.  The Council voted Tuesday to construct a facility on a portion of the Idle Hour Park off Richmond road.  Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton says it could be finished within two years.

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5:12pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Council Pushes For Trail Into New Distillery District

Lexington's working to convert abandoned distilleries such as this one into entertainment, dining and drinking establishments.
Credit Travis Estell / Flickr, Creative Commons

Lexington’s city council hopes to accelerate progress in its new downtown distillery district.  Lexington’s new distillery district, located along Manchester Street, already features a number of entertainment, arts, and cultural attractions.  Still, some council member worry the pace of development is too slow.  So, a council committee urged the city to accelerate work on the Town Branch Trail.  Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says the foot-and-bike path should be extended into the distillery district as soon as possible.

WEKU's Stu Johnson reports Council presses for easier access to distillery district.

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2:38pm

Tue August 20, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Recreating The American Civil War One Year At A Time

Recent re-enactment at Richmond Battlefield Park.
Credit Albedo20 / Flickr, Creative Commons

A year after they gathered for a big sesquicentennial celebration, re-enactors return this weekend to Richmond Battlefield Park.  The Civil War Battle of Richmond was fought in August of 1862.    Battlefield superintendent Phillip Seyfrit admits last year’s reenactment will be tough to top.

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4:36pm

Wed August 14, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington's Sewer Overhaul Begins With Three Major Projects

Credit Zen Sutherland / Flickr, Creative Commons

Three major sewer projects get underway in Lexington within the next few weeks.  Residents in the Century Hills neighborhood will see upgrades near Pimlico Parkway.  Mark York, who’s with the City’s Division of Environmental Policy, says a second sanitary sewer project could complicate traffic along a major Lexington artery.

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4:21pm

Wed August 14, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Consumers Will Likely Pay Tax Increase Levied On Lexington Utilities

Lexington's street lights are funded by property taxes and a franchise fee levied on utilities.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Beginning this fall, utility customers in Lexington can expect slightly higher bills. For months, Lexington’s Council has wrestled over the best way to pay for street lights.  Administrators say the property tax does not generate enough revenue for maintenance and new lights. 

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5:06pm

Thu August 8, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Saying They Can't Stop, Many Drivers Know Texting Is Unhealthy

Credit VCU CNS Photostream

WEKU's Stu Johnson found practitioners want more restrictions on texting-while-driving.

 Regardless of age, Kentuckians seem willing to accept tougher penalties for people who both text and drive.  The state Wednesday made it easier to revoke the licenses of repeat offenders.  Current state law prohibits sending text messages by a vehicle’s operator. This week, through executive order, the Governor made the revocation of a driver’s license easier.  If they get enough points, the license is revoked. Lexington’s Curtis Gentry agrees with a stiffer approach.

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10:54am

Wed August 7, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Richmond Couple Indicted In Child's Death

A grand jury has indicted a Richmond, Ky., couple on various charges including murder in connection with the discovery of a child's body in southwest Ohio. The indictments against 26-year-old Whitney Johnson and 25-year-old Nathan Ritze include child endangerment and abuse of a corpse charges.

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6:38am

Mon July 29, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Prisoners and Horses in Harmony

An inmate at Lexington’s Blackburn Correctional Complex says working with horses gets one ‘out of the prison state of mind.’  Anthony Smith says that’s what he likes about the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s program.  It allows inmates to work with horses.  The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation focuses on taking care of retired racehorses, many who are not suited to new careers as riding or pleasure horses.

3:40pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

State Auditor Finds Conflict In HealthFirst Project, Questions Agency's Financial Stability

State Auditor Adam Edelen, with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to his right, announced the results of an audit conducted on HealthFirst's finances during a press conference Thursday. The audit began in May at the request of Gray and amid concerns about construction of a clinic at 496 Southland Drive.
Credit Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald Leader

  HealthFirst Bluegrass pre-selected developer Ted J. Mims as project manager for its $11.7 million clinic construction project and created a conflict of interest that could potentially jeopardize the federal grant for construction, according to a state audit released Thursday. HealthFirst also has cash-flow problems that threaten its financial viability, according to State Auditor Adam Edelen. The audit began in May at the request of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and amid concerns about construction of a clinic at 496 Southland Drive. Read more...

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4:35pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Amplified Explosions At Bluegrass Army Depot Alarm Neighbors

WEKU's Stu Johnson reports series explosions frighten neighbors, as Bluegrass Army Depot detonate obsolete munitions.

Residents of Madison County heard a disturbing wake-up call Thursday morning.  They heard explosions coming from the Blue Grass Army Depot.  It was a typical summertime detonation of obsolete munitions at the Madison County Army installation.  But what wasn’t typical, says Depot Public Affairs Officer Mark Henry, was the number of calls from worried neighbors.

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