Lexington/Richmond

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.


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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

 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

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

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.

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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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