It's been two months since Lexington Mayor Jim Gray relieved Bob Hendricks of his duties as fire chief, citing an inability to manage firefighter overtime and the division's budget. A current member of the fire department, Keith Jackson, was named the interim chief. Lexington Public Safety Commissioner Clay Mason says he's been closely monitoring the fire department's transition.
For many Kentuckians, the key to a healthier life may start with a good set of teeth. The Commonwealth is one of the poorest states when it comes to oral health. In fact, it ranks second in the nation in the loss of natural teeth. That's one of the main reasons, according to State Oral Health Director Dr. Julie Watts McKee, the Kentucky Department for Public Health is holding a summit in Lexington on Wednesday.
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Lexington Fire Chief Bob Hendricks says he has a total and permanent occupational disability. His request for a disability retirement came before the Police and Fire Pension Board Wednesday morning, while the embattled chief remains on paid leave. Hendricks was asked resign from his post two months ago amid overtime and budget problems within the Division of Fire. He refused to step down.
An environmental group is investigating a potential chemical spill in a waterway near Jenkins, Kentucky. On Tuesday evening, Clary Estes with Headwaters Incorporated says she saw four to five feet of foam in a southeast Kentucky stream.
Flood waters have receded from some homes in western Kentucky’s river counties. Teams are assessing damage to determine whether some counties may be eligible for F-E-M-A individual recovery assistance. FEMA’s Nick Morici says it’s OK for people to start cleaning up before their homes have been assessed.
A central Kentucky high school club has been named the Outstanding History Club of the year. The award was given to Henry Clay High School in Lexington by the National History Club and the History Channel. Club sponsor Chris Snow says he wants the Henry Clay group to be proactive and hands-on.
The Louisville-based Presbyterian Church U.S.A. will soon allow the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy members. A majority of the denomination's regional governing bodies–called presbyteries–have agreed to lift the requirement that unmarried clergy remain celibate, which was previously part of the church's constitution.
Many charitable groups across the region collect donations at traffic lights. But, Lexington’s prohibition of such fundraisers will continue. The Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program and Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center thinks fundraising at busy intersections is a good idea. They want to model their Lexington effort after a highly successful campaign waged in Louisville. However, councilmember Bill Farmer joined the majority in rejecting the proposal.
At last count, the tourism business in Kentucky accounts for some 10-billion dollars to the state economy, and employs more than 160,000 people. Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet spokesperson Gil Lawson says that message is being emphasized during National Travel and Tourism Week.
Some of the western Kentucky residents who were forced to evacuate their homes due to severe flooding will be allowed to return soon. Governor Steve Beshear today authorized the move as the Ohio and Mississippi rivers recede. But while some residents will return to their homes, not all of them will stay. Lisa McManus left her McCracken County house and is going back only to retrieve what is salvageable.
Running unopposed in the primary election, Republican candidate for attorney general and Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool raised an impressive $114,335, according to the latest campaign finance reports. The 15-day reporting period is the last filing before the May 17 primary and stretches from April 15 through May 1. Records show during that time P’Pool raised the second highest amount among any candidate seeking statewide office, behind only Governor Steve Beshear, who raised $200,627 since the last filing.
Fifteen jobs at the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper will be cut. Four of the positions are currently vacant, and the paper reports that the cuts are necessary to overcome year after year of negative revenue. The jobs cuts will be in various departments, including advertising, news and operations. Some of the employees were offered voluntary severance options. Others were not.
The three Republican candidates for governor gathered for a KET forum last night. There were a few instances of argumentative disputes, but the candidates also sought to identify their strengths. Louisville businessman Phil Moffett says his tea party candidacy is different from Rand Paul’s, another tea party member, who now serves in the US Senate.
A structural engineer spent most of Monday morning at the corner of Vine Street and Hernando Alley in Lexington, trying to determine what caused a piece of concrete to fall from the Phoenix parking garage Sunday night. A 28-foot slab fell from the 2nd level of the garage, which is owned by the city.
"With the six garages that we've got, five of which are open, we're going to do whatever it takes to make sure they're all safe for the public. I can assure you that."
The primary election is just over a week away. So, expect aggressive campaigning this week by the three Republican candidates for governor. It may begin tonight’s during a gubernatorial forum on Kentucky Educational Television. Political scientist Joe Gershtenson, who teaches at Eastern Kentucky University, says the primary seems to be ‘creeping up under the radar.’
Pikeville College has changed its name. It will soon be the University of Pikeville. University President Paul Patton says it’s a name the eastern Kentucky school earned many years ago.
“Well, the definition of a university is a college that also offers graduate programs, which we do and have for many years. And, the name should try to indicate to people the kind of institution that you are,” said Patton.
Besides hosting a school of osteopathic medicine, Patton says the university will soon offer a master of business administration.
The publisher of the Lexington Herald-Leader is retiring. The 63-year-old Timothy Kelly has been with the paper for 22 years, 15 of which as president and publisher. He will step down on June 3rd. On June 6th, Rufus Friday will take over leadership of the paper. Friday is currently publisher of the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Washington. Both the Tri-City Herald and the Herald-Leader are owned by the McClatchy Company.
Calling the decision a foolish game of cat and mouse, the president of the Louisville NAACP says Gov. Steve Beshear is snubbing President Barack Obama, and it could cost him votes in the general election. Mr. Obama is making his first visit as president to the commonwealth Friday to meet with troops at Fort Campbell. He will also have a private meeting with members of the Navy SEAL team that killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. But Beshear will miss the president’s visit in order to fulfill his Oak’s Day obligations instead.
Picking a winner from among the 20 horses in the Kentucky Derby is always a tough task. This year is no different. Keeneland’s President offered a little insight to Lexington Rotarians on Thursday. He also talked about surprisingly high attendance figures during the just completed spring meet.
According to the Associated Press, President Barack Obama will meet with members of the Navy SEAL team who killed al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden when he visits Fort Campbell in Kentucky on Friday. However, Governor Steve Beshear will not accompany the president during his first visit to the commonwealth.
For the second consecutive day, the Republican Party of Kentucky is challenging Attorney General Jack Conway to clarify his involvement in a compromised drug investigation involving his younger brother. Earlier this week, Matt Conway resigned from the prosecutor’s office for undisclosed reasons almost a year after it was revealed he lied twice about being tipped off by Louisville police detectives, who told Conway he was the target of a drug investigation.
A central Kentucky woman is helping with the southern storm relief effort as a volunteer for the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross. Sandy Hall worked as a damage assessor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She went block by block documenting the destruction caused by last week's EF-4 tornado.
In April, over 12 inches of rain fell on parts of central Kentucky. That runoff, on 22 occasions, flooded the city’s pump stations for 24 hours or more. And the city says some of that raw sewage backed up into over 20 homes. Lexington is working on a permanent fix but it could take another decade. Urban County Councilmember Doug Martin says some homeowners can’t wait that long.
The post positions are set for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.
The early favorite, at 4-1, is Dialed In, who drew the number eight post position. Uncle Mo is the second favorite, at 9-2, and will break from the number 18 hole. He’s still questionable for the Derby, however because of a lingering gastrointestinal problem.
President Barack Obama has granted the major disaster declaration requested by Governor Steve Beshear in response to flooding in several parts of the commonwealth, including western Kentucky. According to a statement, Beshear’s requests for public assistance and hazard mitigation were granted Wednesday evening.
General Motors will spend $131 million to upgrade its plant in Bowling Green. GM North America President Mark Reuss says the money will upgrade the plant so it can build the next generation of Corvettes.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer has unveiled a plan under which the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park would reopen in 2012. It calls for the city to issue 17-and-a-half million dollars in bonds, and would bring in a third-party investor. The bonds would be backed by parking revenues, occupational taxes, and the new partner. Louisville businessman Ed Hart has an agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board that would allow him to redevelop the park.