The Commonwealth is experiencing varying weather conditions this summer. Most recently, heavy rains have hit hard in portions of central and eastern Kentucky.
University of Kentucky Agricultural Meteorologist Matt Dixon says so far this month, Kentucky has seen an average of four and a half inches of rainfall. "This would place in the top 25 wettest August on record. Saying that, we still have six days to go in August, so we very well could rise in the records there," said Dixon.
Some Lexington area residents were hit twice this week by power outages. Electricity was interrupted for about an hour and a half Friday morning in parts of downtown, the University of Kentucky and portions of Nicholasville Road.
Participation in Lexington's annual minority-owned business expo continues to grow within and outside Kentucky. Over 500 attendees Friday heard advice on business planning, expansion, and start-up strategies.
Fayette County public safety agencies are tuning in to a new emergency radio network. The digital radio system allows for seamless communications among first responders and offers clear reception inside buildings county wide.
Lexington Police Lieutenant Scott Blakely says the central Kentucky community is home to a one and a half to two million dollar weekly drug habit. While heroin-related overdose deaths are on a decline, the narcotics officer says crack cocaine use is on an uptick. Blakely says cocaine and heroin sales take place all over Lexington. "It is available from downtown to Heartland, from downtown to Beaumont. With heroin, it was everywhere. It's not just centered to downtown and neither is the cocaine and it never has been in Lexington," said Blakely.
Lexington's mayor Friday issued an executive order that will reinstate a program allowing personal use of police cruisers. The action by Mayor Jim Gray comes after the police union suspended a vote on a proposed 50 dollar monthly fee for personal use of vehicles.
Lexington's police union has suspended a vote on a cruiser "take home" policy originally scheduled to continue through the weekend. The proposed policy calls for a monthly 50 dollar fee for officers who want to use their vehicles for personal reasons. The issue may not be resolved until collective bargaining negotiations resume in early 2015.
Lexington's Mayor and sheriff, some pastors, and community activists gathered in Duncan Park Thursday to call for "peace walks" to put an end to recent violence in the city.
Fatal shootings involving young people area causing increased concerns about gun-related violence. Council Member Chris Ford says police are reaching out to community members. "They're trying to build a bond with our community and I'm gonna ask our community to, in turn, work with our police department, work with our church leaders, work with our community organizations," said Ford
Lexington city leaders hope to bring new life to vacant residential structures. Chip Crawford with the Vacant Property Review Commission delivered a report to Urban County Council members Tuesday. Crawford says one recommendation calls for increasing property taxes for houses in persistent disrepair. "We sort of view this as the last step, this and eminent domain as the last potential step, we hope that we've been able to come up with incentives and other opportunities way before it gets to that one year to two year period of being vacant or blighted," said Crawford
Lots of fireworks will likely be going off the next few days in central Kentucky neighborhoods. In Lexington, there will likely be a mix of legal and illegal works.
More than a year ago, the state passed legislation to legalize flying and exploding fireworks. Still, some individual communities, like Lexington opted to continue a ban on those types of pyrotechnics. Most all of the counties surrounding Fayette do allow the sale of fireworks that go airborne or blow up.
Lexington city leaders are moving forward with a plan to help establish more affordable housing. The first units under a new program could be built next year.
Planning Commissioner Derek Paulsen brought an extensive report before council Tuesday. In it, he recommends spending two million dollars annually out of the city's housing fund for housing. Three million dollars is already set aside for housing.
Bluegrass Community and Technical College instructor Danny Mayer is making his first run for public office. The former community newspaper publisher is vying for one of two spots in the fall race for Lexington mayor.
In our series this week, all three candidates have responded to questions about the horse industry. Mayer tells WEKU's Stu Johnson the equine business has historical backing in the city.
Candidates for the 2014 Lexington mayoral election debated at the May 1 meeting of the Lexington Forum. L-R, Incumbent Jim Gray; challengers Danny Mayer & Anthany Beatty. Moderator Tom Martin is standing.
Credit John Hingsbergen
Lexington’s three candidates for Mayor faced off Thursday in a debate sponsored by the Lexington Forum. Incumbent Jim Gray was joined by challengers Danny Mayer and Anthany Beatty.
Lexington’s mayor would like the city to have the ability to support specific projects with dedicated tax funds. This was one of many of items in Mayor Jim Gray’s state of the city address, delivered Tuesday during a luncheon sponsored by the Lexington Forum.
For years, hard rains in Lexington have caused sanitary and storm water sewer systems to overflow into streams and even homes.
These illegal “Sanitary Sewer Overflows,” are the basis of a 2006 lawsuit filed against the city by the Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Kentucky. A 2011 Consent Decree gives Lexington 10 years to fix the problem.
The agreement requires the city to establish a Capacity Assurance Program (CAP). It was developed by a seven-member task force that produced 19 recommendations for a plan submitted early this year to the EPA.
The lineup for the 2012-13 Broadway Live series was announced this week during the annual season preview event at the Lexington Opera House. The Thursday event showcased local talent who performed excerpts from top national touring productions that have been booked for the coming season.
An organizational change within the American Red Cross is affecting the city of Lexington's public transit service. LexTran has a contract with the Bluegrass Chapter of the Red Cross to operate WHEELS, the transportation service for people with disabilities. As LexTran prepares to pass a $24 million budget for the next fiscal year, the Red Cross has said it needs an additional $346,000, pushing the cost of its service past $4 million a year.
Highway construction is typically considered a part of the summer season. This year is expected to be no different. There are a number of projects in central Kentucky either underway or about to begin. One which will begin in early June is the re-configuration of the Harrodsburg road-New circle interchange.
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.