State Capitol

10:49am

Fri October 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Judge OKs Resumption of Political TV Spots

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate lifted a restraining order Thursday against a group called Restoring America after the group revealed its donors, a requirement of Kentucky campaign finance law.  Restoring America said it got nearly $1.4 million from Terry Stephens of Russell Springs. He is the father-in-law of Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams. Restoring America had been airing TV commercials promoting Williams in the governor's race and criticizing Gov. Steve Beshear.

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10:32am

Fri October 21, 2011
Statehouse News

State's Unemployment Rate Rose in September

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in September from 9.5 percent in August, according to the Office of Employment and Training.  The preliminary September jobless rate was half a percentage point below the 10.2 percent rate recorded for the state a year ago.

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10:23am

Fri October 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Congressman Rogers Assails EPA During Pikeville Visit

As Pike County officials continue to celebrate strides toward establishing commercial air service at the Pikeville-Pike County Airport, Congressman Hal Rogers chose instead to focus on the state of the coal industry during a visit to Pikeville this week. At an event at the University of Pikeville on Wednesday, Rogers vowed to “reign in” the Environmental Protection Agency and to continue to resist the Obama Administration’s “war on coal.”

10:19am

Fri October 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Bill Prefiled that Penalizes Firms with Illegal Workers

A bill filed by state Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) seeks to try to stem the motivation for undocumented workers to come to Kentucky.

State Rep. Brad Montell (R-Shelbyville) is taking dead aim at employers who hire people in the country illegally. Montell this week prefiled a bill that he said he hopes will reduce the number of employees who are in the state illegally by putting more restrictions – and potential penalties – for those who do the hiring. Montell announced Wednesday that he will introduce BR 58 at the 2012 legislative session that would require all employers with more than 11 workers to use E-Verify, a system that checks Social Security numbers for authenticity.

10:05am

Fri October 21, 2011
Statehouse News

Whitley Clerk Violated Open Records Act

The Kentucky Attorney General's Office has ruled that the Whitley County Clerk's Office subverted the intent of the state's open records act by not allowing a man to use a personal handheld scanner or a camera without a flash to copy county records rather than pay the 50-cent per page charge to the clerk's office.

11:29am

Wed October 19, 2011
Statehouse News

Jailers Plan to Campaign Across State

Henderson Fiscal Court heard the opening salvo Tuesday of a campaign jailers plan to use to sway the General Assembly next year. In a nutshell, Kentucky jailers maintain that House Bill 463 -- a recently enacted major overhaul of the criminal justice system -- is going to have a negative impact on the jails across the state. The way around that problem, they say, is allowing the state's current contracts to expire next year with Corrections Corporation of America, which has prisons in Marion and Floyd counties. The inmates in the Marion Adjustment Center and the Otter Creek Correctional Center would then be transferred to county jails.

11:12am

Wed October 19, 2011
Statehouse News

Eastern KY Doctor Indicted for Medicaid Fraud

An anesthesiologist from Louisa, who is also the former owner of two Eastern Kentucky pain clinics, is among five persons indicted by a Lawrence County Grand Jury. Attorney General Jack Conway said Dr. Lee Adam Balaklaw, 56, was indicted on 20 counts of Medicaid fraud following an investigation into his billing practices at Anesthesia Associates of Louisa.

1:27pm

Mon October 17, 2011
Statehouse News

Former Lex. Group Home Owner Indicted

Attorney General Jack Conway Monday announced the arraignment in Fayette Circuit Court of a former provider in the Kentucky Medicaid Supports for Community Living (SCL) program following an investigation by the Attorney General's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control.

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10:26am

Mon October 17, 2011
Statehouse News

Kentucky Coal Mine Under Federal Scrutiny

A Kentucky coal mine is now under extra scrutiny after it became the fourth to be recently placed on a ‘potential pattern of violations’ status by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. If the mine operator doesn’t rectify the problems, the mine can be shut down when serious violations are discovered. But this process is one that mine safety advocates would like to change.

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4:01pm

Sun October 16, 2011
Statehouse News

Rallying for Jobs, Justice

Mike Mansfield, head of the Capital City MoveOn.org group, speaks at the MoveOn rally Saturday afternoon on the Old Capitol lawn. Nearly 50 people attended the rally.
Tricia Spaulding Frankfort State Journal

Nearly 50 people gathered on the Old Capitol lawn Saturday to rally for job creation and against Washington, possibly rehearsing for future protests. Sponsored by the local chapter of MoveOn.org, a public policy group for “democracy in action,” the hour-long rally featured several speakers, including Rep. Carl Rollins, D-Midway, who expressed their concerns with the government and the nation’s lackluster economy. Members of MoveOn.org organized the rally after being inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests, which denounce economic inequality, particularly focusing on the 1 percent of people who control about a third of the nation’s wealth.

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3:42pm

Sun October 16, 2011
Statehouse News

Paul, McConnell Tout Jobs Plan

After criticizing President Barack Obama’s jobs bill that was presented in September, Kentucky’s two U.S. senators were among a Republican group last week to introduce an alternative plan. Both Rand Paul of Bowling Green and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell were on hand Thursday in Washington for the introduction of the “Jobs Through Growth Plan.” U.S. Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Rob Portman, R-Ohio, also helped introduce the plan.

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3:23pm

Sun October 16, 2011
Statehouse News

Ruling on Black Lung Statute to Come

Tom Springer argues that coal miners seeking compensation for black lung disease should be treated no differently than other workers who have the disease.  The Madisonville attorney has presented oral arguments before the Kentucky Supreme Court, which should decide within the next few months whether the Court of Appeals was correct in finding the current black lung statute unconstitutional.

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10:26am

Fri October 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Ex-Administrator of Personal Care Home Sentenced

The former administrator of a Letcher County personal care home that was recently shut down by the state pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to a charge that he took thousands of dollars from residents. James F. "Chum" Tackett, who also was a former mayor of Jenkins, agreed to a sentence of two years and two days in prison. He also agreed to repay $113,547 that he admitted taking from residents, according to court documents.

10:18am

Fri October 14, 2011
Statehouse News

Big Brothers Big Sisters Ex-Office Manager Pleads Guilty

Bendrea Wilson, the former office manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, was sentenced to four years in prison Thursday in federal court in Lexington. Wilson, 33, pleaded guilty in May to a count of bank fraud for cashing more than $435,000 in checks on the organization's account.

4:29pm

Wed October 12, 2011
Statehouse News

Secretary of State Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Kentucky Secretary of State Elaine Walker announced Thursday she was diagnosed with breast cancer and is telling the public to help raise awareness that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Walker was diagnosed during a routine mammogram last week, where she learned after follow-up tests that the tumor was cancerous. Walker is among 3,000 women and men who will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Kentucky this year.

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10:02am

Wed October 12, 2011
Statehouse News

Soldier Tried for Murder Four Times Moves to Military Court

The Fort Campbell soldier, unsuccessfully tried four times in civilian court on murder charges, will appear in military court Friday for an investigation into the same charges. Sgt. Brent Burke is scheduled to appear for an Article 32 hearing Friday morning on murder charges filed by the Army. The hearing is similar to a grand jury proceeding.

7:58am

Wed October 12, 2011
Statehouse News

Candidates for Governor Debate in Richmond

The three candidates for Kentucky governor have different reasons for  seeking the state’s highest office.  Steve Besheaer, David Williams and Gatewood Galbraith stated their views in a statewide debate last night at Eastern Kentucky University.  It was the first time this fall all three candidates were together for a debate.

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4:18pm

Tue October 11, 2011
Statehouse News

Governor Candidates Up for Debate Tonight

For the first time in the general election, the three candidates for governor of Kentucky will debate tonight. Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear, Republican David Williams and independent Gatewood Galbraith last appeared together in early August at the Fancy Farm picnic.  Beshear has drawn criticism for refusing to attend debates and forums with his opponents. And the three will have only two full-fledged debates before election day. The first is tonight in Richmond, Kentucky. The second will be on the 31st on KET.  The Kentucky Broadcasters Association and the League of Women Voters are sponsoring the event.

4:53pm

Mon October 10, 2011
Statehouse News

Kentucky Revenues Up

 

 Kentucky's September General Fund tax receipts rose by 10 percent compared to year ago figures. For the first quarter of fiscal year 2011, General Fund receipts are up nearly 5 percent.  August figures were down sharply but enjoyed a healthy rebound in September, according to state Budget Director Mary Lassiter.

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4:34pm

Fri October 7, 2011
Statehouse News

Meth Debate Picks Up as General Assembly Nears

State lawmakers heard a variety of opinions on how to limit methamphetamine production today. The number of meth labs in Kentucky has been increasing for years. The drug manufacturer group Consumer Healthcare Products told the Joint Committee on the Judiciary the state should create a database of people who have been convicted of meth-related crimes. Those listed would be blocked from purchasing cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, which is used to make meth.

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1:35pm

Wed October 5, 2011
Statehouse News

Organized Crime Charge Won't Fly in Frankfort Case

A Frankfort man no longer faces a charge of organized crime after the prosecution and defense agreed there is not enough criminal evidence for the case. Franklin County Attorney Rick Sparks and public defender Kristin Gonzalez agreed during a pretrial conference the case lacked evidence to charge Henry Earl Penn Jr. with organized crime. Instead, Penn, 42, faces two counts of trafficking in Percocet and cocaine.

10:20am

Wed October 5, 2011
Statehouse News

Guthrie Voters Expand Alcohol Sales

People in Guthrie will not have to leave the city, Todd County or state to buy alcohol in the near future, following the results of a special election Tuesday. Residents voted overwhelmingly to expand alcohol sales in the city, with 196 votes cast in favor of the change and 62 against.

10:02am

Wed October 5, 2011
Statehouse News

Junction City Votes 'Yes' for Alcohol Sales

Voters said "yes" to alcohol sales in Junction City by the slimmest of margins Tuesday. The final tally for the three precincts, all located at First Baptist Church of Junction City, was 198-195. The outcome of the election opens the door for retail beer sales and package liquor stores.

4:08pm

Mon October 3, 2011
Statehouse News

Beshear Adds Members to Law Enforcement Council

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order Monday expanding membership of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to add representatives from three of the state’s largest law enforcement training academies. The order adds officials from the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police and the Louisville Metro Police Department to the council.

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1:32pm

Mon October 3, 2011
Statehouse News

State's Law Enforcement Council Expands; Governs Training

Gov. Steve Beshear Monday signed an executive order expanding membership of the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council to include representatives of the state’s three law enforcement training academies.  The executive order adds representatives of the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Division of Police and the Louisville Metro Police Department to the council.

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2:55pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Billboard Suit Awaits KY Supreme Court Review

A billboard, located on private property adjacent to Interstate 65 near Upton, is the subject of a lawsuit that may be headed to the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Neal Cardin The News-Enterprise

Interstate 65 is a major U.S. artery cluttered with billboards advertising everything from fast food to health care services. In the case of a set owned by a Scottsville real estate developer, a billboard is an opportunity to evangelize to the traveling public. Jimmy Harston owns three billboards in the counties of LaRue (“Hell Is Real”), Hart (“If you died today where would you spend eternity”) and Warren (“Jesus Saves”). In 2008, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet filed a civil suit to force Harston to remove the billboards because Harston did not have a permit to erect the signs.

2:53pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Officials Focus on Fighting Child Abuse

When a 3-month-old infant was thrown to the floor by her father, scarring her for life, Will Constable’s organization stepped in. Constable, executive director of the local Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, sees his share of disturbing child abuse cases. He works with several others - from social workers to physicians - to protect children and get help for families. As child abuse continues to plague families throughout the area, those organizations are making a unified effort to combat the problem.

2:48pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Death Focuses Concern on Personal Care Homes

Larry Joe Lee was worried about his mother. Carolyn Lee was recovering from heart surgery at her Lebanon farm. When her son called her on Wednesday, Aug. 3, "he told me to take care of myself and that he loved me." Phone calls from her second-oldest child weren't always pleasant. Larry Joe Lee, 32, had a brain injury, was schizophrenic, bipolar and diabetic. Sometimes, he would get agitated and say hurtful things to his parents on the phone. But on that Wednesday, Larry Joe, as his family called him, was having a good day. It was the last time she talked to him.

2:46pm

Sun October 2, 2011
Statehouse News

Winchester Files Lawsuit Against Telecom Tax

Winchester is asking the Franklin County Circuit Court to issue a declaratory judgment that the state telecommunications tax is unconstitutional. Through the Kentucky League of Cities, to which Winchester belongs, the city, along with Greensburg, Mayfield and Florence, filed a lawsuit Sept. 23 because of millions in tax revenue lost since the Jan. 1, 2006, enactment of the legislatio

10:54am

Thu September 29, 2011
Statehouse News

Why New Kentucky Roads Take Years

After legislative approval, it took more than 14 years to complete a project to reroute and improve a 6.6-mile section U.S. 68 in Jessamine County that had a high number of accidents.
The Lane Report

U.S. 68 in Jessamine County in the mid-1990s was a narrow, winding two-lane that 15,000 vehicles traversed daily, with more than its share of accidents. In response to area residents’ complaints, state transportation officials and legislators recommended and authorized replacing the worst section with 6.6 miles of modern, safer four-lane.

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