PIKEVILLE – Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced three transportation projects in Eastern Kentucky that will dramatically improve access and mobility for communities in Pike and Martin counties. “We are making improvements that will benefit hundreds of families, many of whom, through no fault of their own, have been isolated to the point of hardship,” Beshear said. The governor, joined by numerous local officials and residents for a ceremony at the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center in Pikeville, symbolically broke ground for two projects and presented funding for a third:
FRANKFORT – Rescuers in Bell County are working to place pumps at the entrance of an underground mine where three miners are trapped due to high water from heavy overnight rains. The Kentucky office of Mine Safety and Licensing, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration and officials from Bell County Coal Corporation, which operates the Jellico No. 1 mine near Middlesboro, say the miners are safe and communicating with officials as they await rescue.
You’re familiar with the term D-U-I, which means driving under the influence. On water, the violation is known as B-U-I, or boating under the influence. Captain Mike Fields of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife says an effort next weekend stresses safety on the state’s waterways.
A preliminary blueprint for Lexington's five-year development outlook will be open to public comment this week. Jim Duncan of the Division of Planning is working with other city officials to put together the 2012 Comprehensive Plan. "It addresses all issues from housing and transportation to jobs and economic development, as well community facilities and parks. And so we look at a variety of issues and try to determine how the community can grow, accommodate new population, and be responsive to the existing needs of the current population."
The murder trial of Glenn Doneghy is expected to resume Monday with continued testimony from Lexington police officers who investigated the hit-and-run crash that killed officer Bryan Durman. On Thursday — the last day of testimony before court recessed for the weekend — Detective Billy Salyer was on the witness stand. Prosecutors showed the jury video taken of the crash scene, and Salyer narrated. Fayette Circuit Court Judge James Ishmael told jurors Salyer's testimony would continue Monday.
Rania Omar Burke and Lara Omar Swan have long been fans of StoryCorps. So when Burke heard that the national non-profit that records stories across the country was going to be in Lexington, she thought it would be the perfect birthday present for her sister. The two Chicago transplants spent their 40-minute StoryCorps session on Sunday, Father's Day, talking about a very timely subject: Their father. More than 300 people have climbed into the recording booth of the StoryCorps mobile trailer since the project came to Lexington on May 21. Among them was Fr. Ralph Beiting, founder of the Christian Appalachian Project.
As protesters spoke out on Saturday against the expulsion of two gay men with intellectual and developmental disabilities from a city-owned pool in Hazard, the city took several steps to try to remedy the situation. Kim Haynes, the city employee who cited the Bible while telling the men and their caregiver to leave the Hazard Pavilion on June 10, will be suspended without pay for five days because of his "failure to be respectful to the public," "unsatisfactory job performance" and "his use of inappropriate language" about pool policies, the city said in a press release.
On a drizzly, overcast afternoon in March, a man walked through Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and fell to his knees in front of a simple stone marker. A soldier's funeral was going on nearby, but the man had eyes only for one tombstone which identified the grave of Ernest L. Wrentmore, veteran of World War I, World War II and Korea. The back side of the stone states that Wrentmore had been the "youngest soldier to have served with American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, 12 years of age." Tears filling his eyes, Ernest L. Wrentmore III ran his fingers softly over the marker, pressed his lips to the cold stone, and began whispering to the father he had waited so long to know.
Traffic’s again normal at the exit ramp on the inner loop ramp of New Circle at Harrodsburg Road in Lexington. At least as normal as things can be in a construction zone. “It’s still a construction zone so it's not going to look nice and pretty and all that,” said Bob Nunley who's with the Kentucky Transporation Cabinet.
Thousands of people are in Wilmore for a weekend of worship, teaching, and music of many styles, all in God’s name. It’s the 42nd annual Ichthus Christian music festival. At an early morning worship service on the hillside near the Deep End stage, was 17 year old Chelsea Hallomen who made the trip from Louisville.
Dennis Eads, 60, had no idea what he’d do for a living when Frankfort’s Bendix plant closed its doors a few years ago. He’d worked there for 33 years and assumed it’s where he’d retire. But Bendix decided it’d be cheaper to send his manufacturing job to Mexico. The shuttered doors started a long journey for Eads, who at 56 years old had to pick up his dreams of job security and retirement that vanished when he was left jobless in December of 2007.
Advocates for protection for gay Kentuckians say a recent incident in Hazard further underscores the need for updated civil rights laws. Two gay men, who are also developmentally challenged, were with the group Mending Hearts at the public pool in the Hazard Pavilion. One man reportedly sat on the other’s knee and put his arm around his partner. They were then told to leave. Mending Hearts representatives say workers told them gay people weren’t allowed to swim in the pool. Others say the two were kicked out for violating the policy against public displays of affection.
Several colleagues of Officer Bryan Durman, the Lexington police officer killed in the line of duty last year, took the witness stand Thursday. It marked day two of testimony in the Glenn Doneghy murder trial. When Durman requested backup to assist with his call on a noise complaint the night of April 29, 2010, Officer Teri Gover (GOH'-ver) responded. By the time she arrived on the scene, she discovered Durman had been struck in a hit and run crash.
Many Americans Thursday left their car keys, and their cars, at home and took advantage of public transportation. It’s national “Dump the Pump Day.” Its purpose is to show commuters there are alternatives to driving and high gas prices. Melissa Gross with Richmond Transit says ridership on the four year-old bus system continues to pick up.
Tuesday night, the Berea City Council held the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination. After hearing public opinion, the council will decide on Monday whether or not it will take a vote on the ordinance. The Louisville-based Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s director.
A murder trial is underway in the death of a Lexington police officer. Glenn Doneghy,34, is accused of deliberately hitting police officer Bryan Durman in April of Last year. Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Lori Boling delivered an opening statement Tuesday for the prosecution. "After we present all of the evidence to you in this case, you will see that we have proven to you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant was driving his car the night Officer Durman was struck and killed."
A federal grand jury has indicted two Florida residents, charging them as the suppliers of thousands of pain pills that flooded Owsley County earlier this year. The June 9 indictment charges Elisa H. Alston (aka Leva, aka Lewit) and George Darden with conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone 30 mg. tablets. They join five Owsley County residents who are alleged to have transported and paid for the pills. They are Marvin Reed, Jason Reed, Thomas Little, Kristi Rae Davis and Donald W. Terry.
The Kentucky Bar Association board of governors Tuesday recommended the disbarment of famed Cincinnati trial attorney Stanley Chesley. The board also voted to follow the recommendation of a hearing officer who said Chesley should return more than $7 million in fees he received from a 2001 fen-phen settlement to his former clients. The vote came after a more than hour-and-a-half oral argument before the board at its meeting at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Lexington. The board's recommendation will be sent to the Kentucky Supreme Court, which has final say on attorney discipline cases.
Corbin city officials are turning up the heat on one of the towns largest businesses to clean up a portion of its property in a highly visible area of downtown. In a tersely worded letter to CSX Transportation's Jacksonville, Fla. corporate headquarters in April, Frank Burke, who serves as the city's Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer, blasted the company for its lack of maintenance to property that lies along Depot Street
Several parties are investigating an alleged act of discrimination in Hazard, Kentucky. The two men, who also have developmental disabilities, say they were told to leave the public pool in the Hazard Pavilion because they were a couple. Others, however, say the two were making public displays of affection, which aren’t allowed at all in the pavilion.
After a day of negotiation, members of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council funded several city services eliminated in a budget proposed by Mayor Jim Gray. For instance, full funding was restored for 26 independent agencies that rely on the city for support. Council member George Meyers made the motion.
Officials say a police task force focused on curbing graffiti in Lexington is a success. Community leaders gathered at Woodland Park Monday afternoon to announce the arrests of several people on vandalism charges."Within the first three weeks of the task force, with all the task force members working very hard, we identified most of the graffiti in the city of Lexington to six people," says police officer Ricky Lynn. The task force documented more than $32,000 in damage to city and private property. Some of the offenders are doing community service and painting over the graffiti.
The administrator of the estate of murder victim Umi Southworth has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, claiming Lexington police acted in "a reckless, wanton and egregious manner" by failing to realize Southworth was still alive for several hours while they conducted a homicide investigation. After officials realized she was alive, she was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital, where she died the next day. Her husband, Don Southworth, was charged with her murder earlier this month.
A group of officers who enforce man's law called on a higher power Monday might to help with Eastern Kentucky's devastating drug problem. Several Christian police officers led a prayer meeting in Hazard, seeking God's help and urging Christians in the crowd to witness to their neighbors and co-workers in an effort to turn the tide of drug abuse one soul at a time. "I pray that the healing starts tonight," Joe Engle, deputy police chief in Hazard, said during a sermon punctuated by "amens" from the crowd.
The Kentucky Equality Federation says it is planning a public protest because two gay men with intellectual and developmental disabilities were kicked out of a recreational center run by the city of Hazard on Friday. The federation, which advocates for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex, says the two were discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. The city's attorney, however, said the facility does not discriminate, and "there is a dispute as to the facts of what transpired."
For a few weeks, the fingers of Chris Spicer and many of who work with YouthBuild of Jackson were crossed for good luck. The organization had applied for a federal grant through the U. S. Department of Labor which would continue to fund them for three years. However the odds were stacked against them, as they were one of approximately 880 applicants nationwide. But the good luck wishes and federal funding did come true for YouthBuild last Friday, when they were told they would receive the $700,000 grant for the first two years, then a “follow up” grant for the third year.
The United States Supreme Court has declined to consider a case that would have changed the fees coal companies pay for their exported coal. Right now, coal companies pay what’s called an “Abandoned Mine Land” fee on each ton of coal. A decade ago, Consol Energy and other companies, including subsidiaries of Massey Energy and Arch Coal, filed a lawsuit against the government, claiming that they shouldn’t have to pay the fee for coal that’s being exported from the United States.
On Tuesday night, the Berea City Council will hold the second and final public hearing on an ordinance that would protect gay and transgender individuals from discrimination. After the forum, the council will decide whether or not they will take a vote on the ordinance. The Fairness Campaign has been working for months to see the measure passed. Chris Hartman is the group’s president.
Lexington's urban county council members are getting down to the wire in a passing a budget for the next fiscal year. Plans for spending cuts within the division of police remain a concern. Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin has twice reported to council members in recent weeks on how the division is handling a proposed 7 percent reduction in funding. Police plan to cut community service units nearly in half; those affected include the DARE program, mounted patrol, and the Community Law Enforcement Action Response unit, also known as CLEAR.
The plans laid out for transportation improvements in the Lexington area will be reviewed this month by federal officials. A evening meeting will give citizens a chance to weigh in on transportation issues. Proposals in two central Kentucky counties will be reviewed by federal transportation officials. Max Conyers, who’s with Lexington’s planning department, says the examination includes a look at pedestrian, bicycle, and mass transit traffic in Fayette and Jessamine counties. Conyers says officials will also gather input from residents.