State Capitol

1:33pm

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Investigation on KSP Trooper Crash May Take Time

The investigation into a traffic fatality last week in Park City involving a Kentucky State Police trooper could take a few months to complete, state police spokesman Lt. David Jude said Tuesday. Trooper Jonathan Biven, public affairs officer for the state police post in Bowling Green, was driving south Thursday afternoon on U.S. 31-W north of Park City in a caravan with other troopers when his cruiser crossed the center line and struck a car driven by Nurcan Ceylan, 33, of Riverside, N.J. She died from her injuries.

11:33am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Human Trafficking Review

Human trafficking is an activity in Kentucky which authorities admit is another under-reported crime.  The issue was recently discussed before a corrections panel in Frankfort.  Aundria Burkhart is a detective with the Lexington police department.  She says there was a case out of Memphis which had a tie to the central Kentucky area.

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10:38am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

CNN Highlights Kentucky Lawmaker's Opposition to Bill

Profiling a 14-year-old boy who committed suicide after years of alleged anti-gay taunts at school, CNN’s Anderson Cooper covered opposition to bullying legislation in Kentucky by highlighting state Rep. Mike Harmon, R-Danville, who believes homosexuality is a sin.

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10:18am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Radcliff Man Repays Over $450,000 in Bank Fraud Case

A Radcliff man and former PNC Investments employee was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to 41 months in prison on charges of bank fraud. William T. Hernandez, 41, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Louisville to two counts of bank fraud June 21 for executing a scheme to defraud PNC and its customers. In addition to prison time, the court also ordered Hernandez to pay $453,819.21 in restitution to the bank.

10:14am

Wed September 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Lexington Considers Fireworks Ordinance

After hundreds of people complained that Lexington sounded like a battlefield during the Fourth of July weekend, the city has taken the first steps toward stricter controls on the sale and display of fireworks in Fayette County. The law department has drafted an ordinance to limit when and where fireworks may be set off.

4:00pm

Tue September 20, 2011
Statehouse News

Grant Funds Fight Against Jobless Benefits Fraud

FRANKFORT - Kentucky has been awarded nearly $1.7 million in federal funding to improve program integrity and technology in the state’s unemployment insurance system. The funding will help Kentucky develop new or enhanced systems to reduce unemployment insurance fraud.

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2:16pm

Tue September 20, 2011
Statehouse News

Compromise Sought with Amish on Buggy Safety

First District Sen. Ken Winters is hoping to help in a Graves County dispute over requiring Amish residents to display a florescent triangle on buggies contrary to their religious beliefs. Winters, R-Murray, says he has asked his staff to review how laws in other states deal with highway safety concerning buggies. Kentucky law requires display of driver-alert signage such as a yellow-orange triangle with a reflective border that is dark red. Several Amish residents of Graves County have been ordered to jail for refusal to post the signage because they consider the colors a violation of religious beliefs, according to news reports.

10:30pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Reforms Cut Prison Population

The meeting of the Penal Code and Controlled Substances Act Task Force Wednesday in Frankfort
Stu JOhnson Weku

Although it’s early, it appears reforms made to Kentucky’s penal code is cutting prison populations.  Members of the Penal Code and Controlled Substances Act Task Force got a report Wednesday.  Laurie Dudgeon directs the Administrative Office of the Courts.  "Of the 40 thousand approximate defendants our pre-trial officers interviewed in jail, we have a release rate of those folks, an increase of two percent.  So two percent more of those folks have been released than in the previous time period,” said Dudgeon.

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1:34pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Pill Ring Earns Organized Crime Status

Neil Clark stands in front of a judge in district court Tuesday afternoon during a preliminary hearing where his bond was set at $100,000.
Tricia Spaulding Frankfort State Journal

A Frankfort man charged with organized crime planned and financed road trips to Florida for prescription pills, a detective said in court testimony Tuesday. Detective Matt Brown, speaking on behalf of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, said 36-year-old Neil Clark was “ringleader” of the trips, which may have involved as many as 15 people over the course of several trips. Clark sold the pills after they arrived in Frankfort, Brown said.

10:32am

Sun September 11, 2011
Statehouse News

KY Urged to be Viligant on Anniversary

The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security reminds citizens to be particularly vigilant as Kentuckians observe the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.  In many cases terrorist plots have been detected and attacks thwarted based on the timely reporting of observations of ordinary citizens.

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1:45pm

Fri September 9, 2011
Statehouse News

State Sees Dip in General Fund Tax Receipts

For the first time in 15 months, Kentucky's General Funds tax receipts failed to increase over the prior year.  General Fund taxes in August hit $623 million - down 3 percent over year-ago figures, according to state Budget Director Mary Lassiter.

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10:38am

Fri September 9, 2011
Statehouse News

Beshear Asked to Take Action on Care Homes

After the death of a personal care home resident who was brain-injured and a state ward, a leading advocate is calling on Gov. Steve Beshear to take emergency action to address the lack of staffing requirements for long-term care facilities. Bernie Vonderheide, founder of Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, said he is asking Beshear to call an emergency session of the General Assembly or to issue an emergency executive order to establish minimum staff-to-resident ratios for all long-term care homes, including personal care homes and nursing homes.

10:18am

Fri September 9, 2011
Statehouse News

State Nixes Safer 65 Project Authority

The Kentucky Public Transportation Infrastructure Authority has rejected a proposal to create a Safer 65 Project Authority, but proponents of the plan are not giving up on the concept. Under the Safer 65 Proposal, the final unimproved 38-mile stretch of Interstate 65 that runs from about the Park City exit north to Elizabethtown would be widened. By defining the work as a single megaproject and bidding it at one time, the entire stretch could be complete in roughly five years.

10:12am

Fri September 9, 2011
Statehouse News

Kentucky Voters to Choose Gambling Options

Kentucky voters could be choosing in November 2012 whether to allow expanded gambling. If Mike Nemes, a Louisville Republican, has his way, all counties in the commonwealth would be doing just that in 14 months. He has filed two bills for the 2012 session that, if approved, would allow the vote on expanded gambling.

1:04pm

Wed September 7, 2011
Statehouse News

Court of Appeals Dismisses Case Against City

The Kentucky Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s ruling against Bowling Green Police Department Sgt. Shawn Helbig in his whistle-blower lawsuit against the city. A three-judge panel of state appeals court judges unanimously affirmed the Warren Circuit Court ruling dismissing Helbig’s complaint that he was demoted from the rank of BGPD captain after raising concerns about the city’s overtime policy.

12:51pm

Wed September 7, 2011
Statehouse News

Kentucky Lawmaker Shares Views on 9/11

With the 10th anniversary of September 11 approaching, a Kentucky lawmaker shared more of his controversial and conspiratorial views on the terror attacks with a local publication.  Last month, WFPL talked to state Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, about a letter he wrote that compared President Barack Obama to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler over the debt ceiling compromise.

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11:25am

Tue September 6, 2011
Statehouse News

Tougher Ethics for Lawmakers

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has made a number of recommendations to tighten the code of ethics for state lawmakers. In its annual report, the panel calls for 16 changes to state laws that apply to the conduct of legislators, lobbyists and political candidates. Among the recommendations is a repeal of the provision allowing lobbyists to spend a total of $100 annually on food and beverages for each legislator and their family members.

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8:28am

Mon September 5, 2011
Statehouse News

KET Political Forums Get Underway

The first of eight special election episodes of Kentucky Tonight will air on KET this evening. All candidates for statewide office this year have agreed to appear live on the show. Monday, the candidates of Agriculture Commissioner will debate. Democrat Bob Farmer and Republican James Comer will appear for one hour starting at 8 pm.

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4:39pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Statehouse News

Crime Grants Buy Tasers, Breathalizers

FRANKFORT – The state announced Thursday the award of 65 federal and state grants totaling more than $3.5 million to police departments, sheriff’s departments and other criminal justice agencies across Kentucky. The grant money will help police officers and criminal justice professionals protect citizens against drunken driving, drugs and other crimes. All grant awards run July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

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4:19pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Statehouse News

Kentucky gets $300,000 for Flood Relief

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday Kentucky will receive a $291,440 National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The funds will create about 25 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers in Bell and Knox counties to assist with clean-up efforts as a result of the severe storms and flash flooding that struck Kentucky in June. 

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4:18pm

Thu September 1, 2011
Statehouse News

Kentucky ABC "Agency of the Year"

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Division has been awarded the 2010 National Liquor Law Enforcement Association Agency of the Year at the organization's annual conference in Orlando, Fla., for its efforts in combating underage drinking and preventing illegal alcohol sales. This is the second national award in the last two years for the ABC, winning last year for the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

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5:03pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Statehouse News

Alcohol now sold at Lake Barkley State Park

Lake Barkley State Resort Park became eligible to sell alcohol in early August. But the park started with a “soft opening” — offering only beer cans at the golf course pro shop — and just introduced its full selection at the dining room and convention center on Tuesday night. The park now offers wine, liquor and bottled beer, including a range of Kentucky brands, Park Manager John Jordan said. However, the new beverage choices entered the menu quietly. The park will not advertise alcohol products, and it will not add a bar to the dining room, Jordan said.

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4:52pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Statehouse News

GOP Lawmakers want Special Session

Republican state lawmakers are urging Gov. Steve Beshear to quickly call the General Assembly into a special session to deal with a $28 million interest payment due the federal government at the end of September. The interest is on the $900 million in unemployment benefits the state “borrowed” to make claim payments. Republicans, including state Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green and state Senate President David Williams of Burkesville, are warning that employers could be forced to increase their payments into the system if the interest payment is not made on time. But Democrats, including Beshear, disagree.

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4:44pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Statehouse News

38 Miles of Parkway Becomes I-69

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced a milestone accomplishment for Kentucky transportation – federal approval of an agreement by which a 38-mile section of the Wendell H. Ford Western Kentucky Parkway will be designated Interstate 69 this fall. It is the first segment of what eventually will become an I-69 corridor from Henderson to Fulton, incorporating the Julian Carroll Purchase Parkway, Edward T. Breathitt Pennyrile Parkway and a portion of I-24 in addition to the Wendell Ford Western Kentucky Parkway.

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1:56pm

Wed August 31, 2011
Statehouse News

GOP Lawmakers Address Interest Payment

Republican state lawmakers are urging Gov. Steve Beshear to quickly call the General Assembly into a special session to deal with a $28 million interest payment due the federal government at the end of September. The interest is on the $900 million in unemployment benefits the state “borrowed” to make claim payments. Republicans, including state Sen. Mike Wilson of Bowling Green and state Senate President David Williams of Burkesville, are warning that employers could be forced to increase their payments into the system if the interest payment is not made on time. But Democrats, including Beshear, disagree.

10:45am

Wed August 31, 2011
Statehouse News

Settlement Ends Police Brutality Lawsuit

The Fort Campbell soldier who claimed Hopkinsville police brutalized him during a 2008 arrest, by needlessly shocking him twice with a Taser, received a $100,000 settlement from the city’s insurance company. The company, Kentucky League of Cities, made the decision to settle, said Hopkinsville City Attorney Doug Willen. The settlement did not require the city to admit wrongdoing on the part of the three officers involve

1:20pm

Tue August 30, 2011
Statehouse News

State DARE Program Re-accredited

FRANKFORT – DARE America (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) has re-accredited the Kentucky State Police as the official DARE. Training Center for the anti-drug and violence program in Kentucky. The program is a police-officer-led series of classroom lessons that teach children from kindergarten through 12th grade how to resist peer pressure and live productive drug and violence-free lives.

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1:11pm

Tue August 30, 2011
Statehouse News

Bill Allows Screening of Welfare Recipients

A bill pre-filed in the Kentucky General Assembly could require people to submit to drug screenings if they’re receiving public assistance from the state. However, opponents say there are constitutional issues with the measure. BR63, filed by state Rep. Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster, would set up a testing program for any adult suspected of using drugs who receives food stamps, state medical assistance and other public aid.

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10:17am

Mon August 29, 2011
Statehouse News

Deadlines Approaching for KSP Cadet Applications

The Kentucky State Police will hold testing for its next cadet class at 2 p.m. on Sept. 21 and 9 a.m. on Sept. 22 and 23 at Eastern Kentucky University. All application materials must be completed and returned to the KSP Recruitment Branch at 919 Versailles Road, Frankfort, KY, 40601 by Sept. 14. The next cadet class is scheduled to begin in May 2012.

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11:35am

Sun August 28, 2011
Statehouse News

Feds Force Special Legislative Session

Gov. Steve Beshear will call a special session to handle a looming $28 million interest payment on a federal loan for unemployment benefits if no other options are available, his spokeswoman says. The outlook for business owners statewide is bleak if Kentucky misses the Sept. 30 deadline, several say, and they’re waiting to see what happens. At stake is roughly $600 million in federal tax credits they could lose.

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