Lexington/Richmond

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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2:38pm

Thu July 18, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Former Madison County Clerk Accused of Theft

A former Madison County Clerk has been formally accused of theft. William Gabbard is scheduled to appear in Madison Circuit Court in mid-August for arraignment. The state Attorney General says the investigation into Gabbard started in November 2009 after a state auditor's review of his office. Gabbard’s accused of changing social security numbers in the Automated Vehicle Information System. Allegedly, it allowed Gabbard to register his personal vehicles without paying taxes, interest and penalties.

3:59pm

Fri July 12, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Task Force Reports Heroin Related Deaths Continue to Climb

Anti-Heroin Task Force announces its early findings during a news conference this morning in Lexington.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

WEKU'S Stu Johnson reports on early findings of Heroin Task Force

New strategies will be tried as police attack Lexington’s problem with heroin.  Lexington’s problem with heroin can be measured in the number of users who die from an overdose.  Police Lieutenant Scott Blakely says heroin related deaths have gone from five in 2011 to 28 fatalities so far this year.  And, heroin accounts for nearly 70 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2013.  Blakely says many pushers are from other cities.

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2:44pm

Thu July 11, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Weekend Bridge Work will Slow Traffic on Lexington's New Circle Road

One of the bridges that pass over New Circle Road in Lexington.
Credit Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

A busy stretch of New Circle Road in south Lexington will likely see increased congestion over the next several weekends.  Repair work will be done on eight bridges.  The overpasses carry traffic over Richmond Road, Tates Creek, Lansdowne, and Chinoe.  State Transportation Department Spokeswoman Natasha Lacy says it will involve extensive work.

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4:22pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Rupp's Architects and Rebuilders Named, But Financing Still Elusive

Credit Courtesy of Spacegroup

The architects and construction firm that will reinvent Rupp Arena and develop a convention center have been named.  NBBJ Group along with local architects will do design work and Hunt Construction Group will rebuild Rupp and a separate convention center.  Financing for the project, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, is not yet firm.  Lexington Center Board Chair Brent Rice says an online capital drive could collect contribution for the projects.

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1:24pm

Wed July 10, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Hours of Door-to-Door Salemen and Women Limited by Lexington Proposal

Credit Elvert Barnes / Flickr, Creative Commons

For the first time in recent memory, time restrictions may be placed on door-to-door sales in Lexington.  Council Member Peggy Henson says the original proposal banned door-to-door sales between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am.

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11:13pm

Tue July 9, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Council Backs City-Owned Senior Center

Seniors Wait to See How the Council Acts on the Center Issue
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Lexington’s City Council backs building a new stand alone senior citizen center.  A vote affirmed that stance was taken Tuesday at City Hall.    But, more questions remain unanswered.

Lexington Council Takes Vote on Senior Citizens Center Proposal

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6:47am

Mon July 8, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Move Afoot to Revive and Refinance CentrePointe Complex in Downtown Lexington

Instead of a high rise residential and commercial complex, the site in downtown Lexington set aside for CentrePointe remains a grassy field.

Efforts to revive a commercial-residential development in the heart of downtown Lexington continues.  The Centre Point Project was first proposed in 2008, but stalled when sufficient financing couldn’t be obtained.  Since then, the high rise hotel-condo-retail-and-office structure has been scaled down.  Developer Dudley Webb now needs the council’s help as he seeks additional state and local tax breaks.

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6:37am

Mon July 8, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Tax Increase Likely in Lexington After Council's Vacation

Their budget might be complete, but Lexington leaders might find themselves in the red if they don’t find more money to power streetlights. 


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6:55am

Fri July 5, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Distribution of Park Activities Debated

Credit lexingtonky.gov

One of Lexington’s most-used public parks got a little scrutiny this week. Some city leaders say they would like to see a wider distribution of recreational sports leagues.  Masterson Station Park is a popular location for youth soccer, and, for years, has been the primary home for the Lexington Youth Soccer Association.

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10:27pm

Tue July 2, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Privatized Senior Citizens Center Debated by Lexington Leaders

Credit mansfieldnewsjournal.com

  The debate over building a new senior citizen center in Lexington continues.  There remain varying opinions about the best way to serve an expanding population of seniors.

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3:49pm

Thu June 27, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

By Ending Free Food, Lexington Hopes to Remove Homeless From Downtown Park

Downtown Lexington's Phoenix Park is a gathering place for homeless Kentuckians, even during winter weather.
Credit kentuckyhomeless.wordpress.com

A refurbished Phoenix Park in downtown Lexington should complete by this time next week, just in time for Independence Day.   Now, the city hopes to reduce the number of homeless residents who gather there.

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3:29pm

Thu June 27, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Elderly Activists in Lexington Want Senior Center of Their Own

Elderly activists this week pushed Lexington leaders for their own, brand-new senior center.  An active search is underway for a new location, but, the Y-M-C-A has also offered to expand its facilities.  Tony Higdon would prefer a center specifically designed for senior citizens. The elderly Lexington resident says expanding the YMCA won’t be good enough.

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10:44am

Thu June 20, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Fourth of July Economics

Lexington officials run down Fourth events
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Lexington’s biggest festival of the year offers an opportunity to grow the local economy.   The four day Fourth of July event the first week of July attracts thousands of visitors from beyond the Bluegrass Region. Lexington Downtown Development Corporation President Renae Jackson says hopefully it won’t be a one-time visit.

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2:18pm

Wed June 19, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

New Senior Citizens Center Proposed

Credit Lexingtonky.gov

A well- known fitness and social activity organization is proposing a way to help the city of Lexington meet the needs of its senior citizens.  The plan was heard, but not immediately endorsed by city leaders.  There’s general agreement Lexington needs at least one new senior citizens center.  The aging center on Nicholasville road just can’t meet all the service demands today.  City leaders have been considering sites for building a new larger facility.  Now, the YMCA of Central Kentucky is offering a different plan.

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6:04pm

Tue June 18, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

More Pension Funding Needed in Lexington

Credit lexingtonky.gov

Lexington city leaders are working to finalize a new budget.  Tuesday afternoon they were surprised to find just over three million dollars in additional funding is needed to cover police and fire pension obligations.  Finance Commissioner Bill Omara says the need for more funding comes because pension reforms are not fully in place yet. 

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10:54am

Wed June 12, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Budget Finalized, First Vote Next Tuesday

Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Lexington’s City Council has completed the tedious process of last minute budget refinements.  The panel of 15 council members spent the better part of Tuesday considering additions to the Mayor’s spending play.  In the end, the Council opted to borrow almost two million dollars more and spend another $885,000 in cash.  Vice Mayor Linda Gorton said late in the afternoon the end product is good.

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4:56pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Fayette Council Doubles Down on Farmland Preservation Funds

Credit Lexington Herald-Leader file photo

A fund designed to protect rural property in Fayette County has been doubled.  The Lexington City Council today voted to double down on the Purchase of Development Rights Program.


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3:19pm

Tue June 11, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Delayed Tax Hike on Utilities Leaves Lexington Council Uneasy

In writing a budget for next year, Lexington leaders will assume a two-and-a-half million dollar increase in city revenues.  The money could come from a tax hike on Lexington utilities, but a final decision on the tax hike was postponed until August.  Nevertheless, spending money they don’t yet have leaves Vice Mayor Linda Gorton uneasy.

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11:18am

Fri June 7, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Cost Prompts Rejection of On-Line Civic Engagement Project

Lexington leaders have rejected a web-based project that promised to put more information on city activities into the hands of residents.  The ‘Code for America’ program provides three web-experts who spend a year reworking a city’s software.  Saying current city accounting methods fall short, Council member Ed Lane argued against the new service.

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12:19pm

Thu June 6, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Proposed Budget Funds Better Signs for Lexington's Pedestrians

Hoping to better direct downtown pedestrians, Leadership Lexington is calling for better signs, and more of them.  Pastor Ron Edmondson, who speaks for the organization, predicts signage that specifically targets walkers could improve downtown business.

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4:13pm

Wed June 5, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

New Information Tech could open Lexington City Hall to Public Review

Hoping to improve interaction between taxpayers and city leaders, Lexington might join an innovative, year-long, web-based effort.  Promoters also hope it will boost Lexington’s reputation as a friendly place for ‘new technology’.

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10:32pm

Tue June 4, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Four Designers vie for Rupp Arena Rebuild

Credit Charles Bertram / Lexington Herald-Leader

Four architectural firms will offer up suggestions on refurbishing Lexington’s Rupp Arena.  The companies vying for the Rupp Arena job come from Lexington, Kansas City, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Sweden.  In a statement, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray said ‘these are the firms with the imagination to reinvent Rupp Arena and ignite the surrounding blocks with a new level of excitement and activity.

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10:09am

Tue June 4, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Public Radio Reporter sued by UK leaves WUKY

Credit WUKY News

Brenna Angel, a reporter for the University of Kentucky's public radio station who is being sued by the school, has left the station to work in the office of Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. Angel started work Monday as the assistant communications director, specializing in social media and the city's website. She said it was not a job that she had pursued, but she was pleasantly surprised to be approached about it. "It was an opportunity I couldn't pass up," Angel said early Monday afternoon. Read more...

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6:36am

Mon June 3, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Rate Increase Request Heard This Week

Kentucky American Water Company President Cheryl Norton
Credit Kentucky American Water Company

Formal hearings begin Tuesday on a rate increase requested by Kentucky American Water.  And, state regulators have already heard some tough talk from Lexington’s mayor.  Hoping to cover the cost of infrastructure improvements, computer upgrades and declining usage, Kentucky American Water Company seeks a 14 percent increase in rates.  If approved by the State Public Service Commission, the average water customer would pay an extra five to six dollars a month.

Kentucky American's Rate Increase Request Up for Review this Week

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6:11am

Mon June 3, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Working to Build a Final Budget

Credit Lexington Urban County Government

It’s getting down to crunch time for local governments across Kentucky as councils and commissions prepare to vote on new budgets.  In Lexington, city leaders will make some adjustments over the next couple of weeks.  Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says council members should get an update Tuesday on how much money is available.

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5:02pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Further Restrictions on Homeless Services Postponed

New zoning regulations proposed for facilities that care for Lexington’s adult residents concern advocates for Lexington's homeless and disabled residents.   The proposed change would require Adult Day Care Centers to seek city permission before opening up in areas zoned for business and professional.  David Christensen with the Central Kentucky Housing and Homeless Initiative says the rules seem to target Lexington’s homeless.


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6:19pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Regs would restrict Adventure Tourism on Farmland

Zip line enthusiasts lobby council members at Lexington city hall.
Credit Stu Johnson / WEKU News

Hoping to promote and regulate adventure tourism in rural areas, a Lexington work group has proposed a series of zoning restrictions.  During dozens of public meetings, the working group discussed the need for green space, the potential of eco and agri-tourism, and the environmental consequences.  Vice Mayor Linda Gorton created the panel


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12:24pm

Wed May 29, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

Plan allows Childrens Museum to work-off Debt

Explorium of Lexington.

A remedy is in the works for a debt owed by the Children’s Museum to the city of Lexington.  The ‘Explorium’ owes the city about 194-thousand dollars.  Lexington Finance Commissioner Bill Omara says the proposed remedy has the museum organizing 24 community events a year until the debt is paid off.

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