Lexington/Richmond

3:11pm

Thu September 20, 2012

6:26am

Wed September 19, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Electronic Monitoring Update in Lexington

Fayette County’s criminal electronic monitoring program has grown substantially over the last three years.   The ankle bracelet system was reviewed during an Urban County Council meeting Tuesday.  Jail officials say 42 people are on electronic monitors currently.  39 of those individuals have not gone to trial.  Jail Sargent Chris Toombs says there’s room for growth in the program.  “We could have as many as need be.  We can get over a hundred if that’s what the community requires and if the judges and city leadership wants to get together, then the jail can make that happen,” said Toombs.

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3:59pm

Tue September 18, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Natural Gas Fueling Station Interest at City Hall

Opening up Lexington to natural gas filling stations was a point of discussion today at City Hall.  With natural gas cheap and plentiful, it’s prompting interest among some motorists.  Council member Bill Farmer has heard a lot of buzz about the potential of natural gas as a cheap, clean-burning fuel.  “I just became familiar with it from a couple of conversations in terms of how much natural gas there is here naturally and how many pipelines this state and this part of the state to supply natural gas to other parts of the country,” said Farmer.

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3:05pm

Mon September 17, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

New Uses for the Old Courthouse Someday

There’s interest in a total overhaul of the Lexington’s historic downtown courthouse.  Last week, the city indefinitely closed the building, which sits at the corner of Main and Upper Streets, to the public.  Lexington General Services Commissioner Sally Hamilton says the 114 year old building has lead, asbestos and structural problems.  “We know we have got a lot of lead in there, but we would like to have something in concrete that tells us exactly where the majority of that lead is and some of the recommendations on how to abate that,” said Hamilton.

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1:23pm

Thu September 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Counting the Sewer Improvement Cost

Lexington’s effort to redo much of its sanitary and storm water sewer systems brings with it the cost of hiring consultants.  The most recent engineering contract presented to Lexington’s council was for a half-million dollars.  Council member Ed Lane says it deserves close scrutiny. “This should be the highest due diligence of our council is to make sure that our process is protecting our taxpayers and ratepayers and make sure we’re getting a fair return on our investment,” said Lane.  Mayor Jim Gray agrees….saying city officials are closely tracking expenses.

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5:06pm

Thu September 6, 2012

5:00pm

Thu September 6, 2012

4:53pm

Thu September 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Innovative Interchange Wins National Recognition

FRANKFORT –The innovative and cost-saving U.S. 68 Double Crossover Diamond Interchange in Lexington has been recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials as one of the 10 best transportation projects in the United States.

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12:31pm

Wed September 5, 2012

1:10pm

Tue September 4, 2012

6:53am

Tue September 4, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Public Golf Upswing in Lexington

Public golf in Lexington is on an uptick.  In recent years, the Urban County Government had been subsidizing the five golf courses by hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Then last spring the green fees were reduced substantially and a golfer loyalty program implemented.  Director of Golf Mike Fields says it has resulted in a turnaround.  “I think it allowed us to get our rates in line with what the market demand was.  We were out pricing ourselves, we didn’t have any programs in place to create any loyalty for our customers to keep returning to us,” said Fields.

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4:04pm

Tue August 28, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexmark Layoffs a Potential Million Dollar Loss to City

News that Lexmark will lay-off hundreds of local workers has city leaders worried about their finances.  The Lexington-based firm will reduce it’s workforce by 350 full-timers and 200 contract employees.  According to one city official, such a job loss could result in a million dollar loss in revenues.   Mayor Jim Gray says ‘our hearts go out to this folks who have been hit with this bad news, losing their jobs.’  Gray adds there can be no complacency when it comes to job creation.

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2:31pm

Mon August 27, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington may Ban Aerial Fireworks

Neighborhood-level fireworks found new life in Lexington based on a 2011 ordinance, but they now face a possible ban.
Charles Bertram/Lexington Herald-Leader

It's more than seven weeks after July 4, and periodically, when the sun goes down, the Bluegrass still goes boom. That's why a committee of Lexington's Urban County Council passed a proposal to ban the purchase and detonation of aerial fireworks including bottle rockets, mortars and loud firecracker explosives.

12:39pm

Wed August 22, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Tax Panel Completes State Tour

They’ve heard from citizens across the state, so now members of a tax reform panel must make recommendations.  The sixth and final public hearing by the Governor’s Task Force on Tax Reform was held Tuesday in Lexington.  Lexington council member George Meyers predicts state lawmakers will make tax changes this time.

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3:21pm

Tue August 21, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Grounding Fireworks

Fire crackers and flying fireworks would be banned in Lexington under a proposal discussed today at city hall.  Members of the Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to restore the city’s fireworks ordinance of 20-10.  A year later, the state legislature approved the expansion of fireworks, but allowed cities to adopt tighter restrictions.  Council member Tom Blues says a flood of citizens complaints have come this summer.  “It only takes one person to disturb and disrupt and annoy to the point of distraction almost an entire neighborhood,” said Blues.

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12:17pm

Fri August 17, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Dividing Up Resurfacing Money

Funds for road resurfacing are now divided up in Lexington according to the greatest need.  But that formula doesn’t work well for Council member Tom Blues.  His council district will get 117-thousand dollars, but Blues argues the need is nearly a million dollars in road work.  “I’ve got 117 thousand dollars for one of the largest geographic districts in the city.  I can virtually nothing with that money,” said Blues.  Kevin Wente is with the Environmental Quality and Public Works Department.  He says the new formula emphasizes neighborhoods with the biggest problems.

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3:52pm

Thu August 16, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Goats and Pigs Still Out to Pasture in Lexington

Livestock, like small goats and pigs, remain prohibited in urban Lexington’s backyards.  A council committee this week rejected an exemption for those animals. Council Member Steve Kay sponsored the proposal.“I think we gave it a good shot.  We may bring it back at some later time.  But, I think for the moment, it’s off the table,” said Kay.  Critics of an exemption for goats and pigs worry about waste, noise and enforcement.  Council member Doug Martin believes the vast majority of Lexington’s residents don’t want pigs or goats living in their neighborhoods.

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8:07pm

Wed August 15, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Tax Talk at Lexington City Hall

Property taxes in Fayette County will remain unchanged.  The city council stuck with tradition and voted Tuesday to keep the rates at their current level.  Given Lexington’s fiscal troubles, outgoing council member Doug Martin was disappointed with the action.  “I think it is irresponsible to leave these rates alone, knowing what we know about the financial storm that is headed for this city,” said Martin.  Martin has repeatedly expressed concerns about the ever growing cost of police and fire fighter pensions.  Council member Kevin Stinnett argued a tax increase would be hasty.

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1:11pm

Mon August 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Taxes and Fireworks in that Order at City Hall

Lexington city leaders come back after a summer break with a taxing issue on their minds.  Besides setting property tax rates, council members will seek funds for street lights.  Those funds now come from an increased tax on utilities.  Now, Vice Mayor Linda Gorton says they might reverse that tax increase and increase the city’s streetlight tax.

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6:26am

Mon August 13, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

New Public Hearing Format for Homelessness Discussion

A public hearing format new to many in Lexington is being held to consider issues related to homelessness.  It’s called ‘Open Space’ and involves constructive group discussion on a public issue.  The ‘Open Space’ program is scheduled from nine a.m. until 4:30 Saturday August 25th at Calvary Baptist Church.  The meeting is sponsored by the Mayor’s Commission on Homelessness.  Under the ‘Open Space’ format, the agenda is not set in advance.  The Commission’s meeting will be centered on the question, ‘What should our community think about, know about, and do in order to best address the opportunities and challenges presented by homelessness?’

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6:20am

Fri August 10, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Police Officers Sought in Lexington

Lexington is looking to boost the size of its police force.  Applications are now being accepted for a police academy. class.Lexington’s police department is authorized for 555 officers.  23 police recruits are being sworn in Friday, but the new count will still be significantly shy of authorized strength.  So, applications are being accepted now for a new police academy to begin in February or March.

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11:59am

Wed August 8, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Redevelopment in Downtown Lexington

When citizens complain to the city about poorly maintained properties, they go to Lexington’s code enforcement office.  Code violations can include cases of peeling paint, cracked bricks, and unsafe sidewalks.  The process for handling those complaints is under review at city.  Council member Steve Kay, who co-chairs the committee looking into the issue, says enforcing current regulations is a concern.

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5:03pm

Mon August 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Ideas to Sift Through

More than 400 ideas on ways to improve Lexington have been submitted by its residents.  The suggestions, which are being gathered this month, are part of a competition sponsored by the Bloomberg Foundation.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says these ideas must now be categorized.  “Shrink all the suggestions into themes and we’re seeing themes emerge that relate to education, quality of life,” said Gray.

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9:30am

Mon August 6, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Former EKU President Hanly Funderburk Jr. Dies

Former Eastern Kentucky University President H. Hanly Funderburk Jr. died Friday night in his home state of Alabama. He was 81. Funderburk was the eighth president of EKU, serving from 1985 until 1998. Following his retirement, he moved to Montgomery, Ala., where he stayed until his death following a long illness, his family said.

10:16am

Fri August 3, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

EKU Warns Students About Dangerous Jail Escapee

Have you seen him? Anyone who sees Daniel Patterson, who escaped from custody in Estill County, should not try to detain him and should notify local authorities immediately.

A search continued Thursday for an Estill County jail escapee, and Eastern Kentucky University urged its students and staffers to take precautions while the man remains free. Daniel Patterson, who escaped Wednesday from a deputy jailer, is the estranged husband of an EKU employee, according to authorities. Police said Patterson should be considered dangerous.

1:02pm

Sun July 29, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

UK Employee Charged in Connection with Robberies

Crystal R. Little

Police arrested Crystal R. Little, 29, shortly after a bank robbery in Lexington on Saturday morning and charged her in connection with that robbery and three others dating to 2010. Little, charged with two counts of first-degree robbery and two counts of second- degree robbery, was being held in the Fayette County jail.

4:57pm

Thu July 26, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Sand Artist Advances on 'America's Got Talent'

Richmond resident Joe Castillo has taken his light-projector sand art to the semifinals of the hit NBC television show America's Got Talent in the quest for the grand prize of $1 million. "I am honored, I'm humbled but I'm very happy," Castillo said during Wednesday night's live episode, when he was named one of 16 semifinalists, based on TV viewers' votes. Calling Castillo an "amazing talent," judge Howard Stern said, "You really are a guy with a heart. ... America got it right."

12:47pm

Wed July 25, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Second Chinese School in Lexington

To meet growing demand, a second school for students interested in Chinese language and culture will be established in Lexington.   Beginning in mid-August, three hours of class will be held each Saturday at Beaumont Middle School.  The classes are designed for children and adults…both Chinese and American-born.  Wei  Luo  is president of the Kentucky Chinese American Association.  “One reason is cultural interest.  Another reason is some people will travel to China and also they want to do some business in China.  They really want to know Chinese,” said Luo.

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6:39am

Wed July 25, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Social Media Town Hall Talk in Lexington

Two social media town hall meetings are on tap in Lexington today.  The conversations with Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will occur on Facebook and Twitter.  There are two opportunities to engage in the dialogue.  The first begins at 11:30 this morning and runs until 1:30.  The second chance to take part in the virtual conversation comes at 6:30.

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10:07am

Fri July 20, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Officials Pleased With Innovative Interchange

The double-crossover diamond at Harrodsburg and New Circle roads is considered a big success by officials involved in the project.

The double-crossover diamond at Harrodsburg and New Circle roads in Lexington might not be flawless, but state highway officials involved in the road project consider it a sparkling success. It's considered so successful that two more — on Ky. 536 at Interstate 75, and on Ky. 338 at I-75 in Boone County — are planned. Authorities also are considering more double-crossover diamonds in Lexington. The Harrodsburg Road crossover is the sixth of its kind in the country.

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