Lexington Building Projects Raise Parking Concerns

Nov 16, 2018

Two high profile projects in downtown Lexington are impacting parking.  Work is underway on a convention center expansion while the Town Branch Park will also be developed in that same area.  Members of Main Street Baptist Church have been meeting with city officials for months about parking concerns. 

Weekly Arts Chat With Rich Copley

Nov 16, 2018

Rich Copley and Wendy Barnett preview several events and discuss changes afoot at the Herald-Leader.


 Lexington city council members held a workshop yesterday to hear from an engineering group regarding the possibility of building a new city hall on top of the current transit center parking garage.  Poage Engineers  & Associates President Chris Kelly told council the building could support up to a 15- story structure above it. 

Houston Chronicle

A nominee for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission played a part in the Trump administration’s plan to bail out struggling coal-fired power plants.  That nominee, Bernard McNamee faced tough questions Thursday from Senators during his confirmation hearing.

If confirmed, McNamee would join four other commissioners at FERC. The independent agency regulates the sale and transmission of electricity, as well as interstate oil and natural gas pipelines.

McNamee has a long history of working on energy issues, both in the private and public sectors.

Wikimedia Commons

  The Kentucky Supreme Court has upheld the state’s “right-to-work” law, a measure that bans unionized companies from requiring workers to pay union dues.

The Republican-controlled legislature passed the law last year, saying that it would make Kentucky more attractive to businesses looking to relocate to the state. Unions quickly sued to try and block the legislation.

In a 4-3 ruling, the high court rejected the challenge. Justice Laurance VanMeter wrote that “the legislature is permitted to set the economic policy for the Commonwealth.”

Old Dominion University

The Eastern Kentucky University men’s basketball team is in the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam Tournament.  EKU’S opening game comes against a top 20 opponent.

Eastern plays in the last of four games Friday, going up against number 12 Kansas State.  The Wildcats, at 2 and 0, are allowing only 48 points per game.  The Colonels scored 107 points earlier this week in an easy win over Midway University.  

Adkins Annouces Bid For Governor, Bevin Responds

Nov 15, 2018

Longtime Democratic state representative Rocky Adkins has announced he’s running for governor after hinting he would do so for months. Adkins is one of the last major Democratic figures from eastern Kentucky, a former stronghold for the party. 

Stu Johnson

The Lexington city council has taken the first step to contract with a New York organization to conduct an analysis of group violence. Council moved the contract with the National Network for Safe Communities onto the regular docket. Suggestions for reducing violence would also be offered. 

The 2018 KY General Assembly slashed state funding of the University Press of Kentucky. How has the Press fared? Tom Martin talks with its executive director, Leila Salisbury.

EKU President Michael Benson speaks out in support of the Press.

State historian James Klotter discusses the 2nd edition of A New Kentucky History.

NPR's Angela Evancie reports on how Millennials are merging books and the internet.

Author and Poet Crystal Wilkinson discusses the influences of a childhood in the isolation of rural Eastern Kentucky.

Jacob Ryan

Business owner and political candidate Matt Bevin expressed disdain for OSHA regulations. Then, he became governor of Kentucky.

Read this story, part of the series Fatal Flaws, an investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ohio Valley ReSource, and The Center for Public Integrity.

Stu Johnson

Gov. Matt Bevin believes last week’s election results are an indication of a future long-term political leaning across Kentucky.  The governor made his comments following a keynote address to county government leaders meeting in Lexington.

The governor’s appearance before the Kentucky Association of Counties comes a week after voters cast ballots to maintain a strong GOP majority in the state House and Senate.  Bevin says it will stay that way for decades. “This is a state that has gone from blue to red.  It has.  And it’s not going to go back at the state level,” Bevin noted.

Recanvass in six Kentucky House districts

Nov 14, 2018
Wendy Barnett

County officials will review election results in six Kentucky House districts that were narrowly decided on Election Day. 

Republicans won 59 seats in the House last week, while Democrats won 35. 

Candidates in six races have requested a check of vote totals—known as a “recanvass”. 

A recanvass is being held Thursday in District 27, which covers Meade County and a portion of Hardin County. Republican Nancy Tate leads Democrat Jeff Greer in that race by six votes.

Department of Mine Reclamation

A new report has identified 20 ready-made projects across the Ohio Valley that could help clean up and re-purpose abandoned coal mine sites. Brittany Patterson has more.

Solar farms in Virginia, a green energy subdivision in Kentucky, 88 miles of mountain biking trails in Ohio and a meat processing plant in West Virginia.

These are some of the projects that could be undertaken on abandoned coal mine sites across the Ohio Valley according to a new report by a coalition of regional advocacy groups called Reclaiming Appalachia Coalition.

State Worker Safety Plans: "The Good, The Bad And The Ugly"

Nov 14, 2018
Photo courtesy of Evelyn Hinton

  Twenty-eight states and territories regulate workplaces themselves, rather than defer to the feds. Some of these programs are effective; others, like Kentucky's, fall short.


Read this story, part of the series Fatal Flaws, an investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ohio Valley ReSource, and The Center for Public Integrity.


Owensboro Race Hinges On A Single Vote

Nov 13, 2018
Wendy Barnett

The Kentucky Secretary of State is ordering a recanvass of all votes cast last week in a state House race in Owensboro.

The Democratic challenger defeated the Republican incumbent by a single vote.

The Daviess County Clerks Office has been told to conduct a recanvass of all precincts in Kentucky House District 13, which covers most of Owensboro.

The recanvas was requested by first-term Republican Representative D.J. Johnson.

He lost his re-election bid last week to Democrat Jim Glenn by one vote.

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins is convinced Lexington area voters need new machines to cast ballots in future elections.  He says some current machines are more than a decade old and failing.

Kentucky’s climatologist says the Commonwealth’s forests and grasslands are likely to be at an increased risk of wildfires in the years ahead.  But, it’s not expected to be a yearly threat.

J. Tylor Franklin

When a worker is killed on the job in Kentucky, a state agency is supposed to find out what happened. But a review of state records and a recent scathing federal report show that agency is not properly investigating workplace fatalities. These shortcomings leave workers at risk and leave families with unanswered questions.

As part of the series, Fatal Flaws, Jeff Young of the Ohio Valley ReSource tells the story of one such family. They say the state’s failures added to their grief and harmed their chances to get justice for their son’s death.



 Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson is scheduled for a job interview  Wednesday at the College of Charleston. 

 The 12th president of the Richmond school is one of three finalists for the position. The College of Charleston on the coast of South Carolina was founded in 1770.  It’s one of the oldest universities in the country. The public school’s undergraduate enrollment exceeds 10,000.

Central Kentucky could see its first real dose of snow later this week.  Lexington’s streets and roads crews could be called on to spread salt. 

This year, the process of snow removal comes at a higher price.  Quite a bit higher, according to Lexington Public Works Commissioner Charlie Martin. “If a commodity that you use, at the level we use salt in a winter event, has increased by 33 percent, that’s a pretty big hit,” said Martin.

New Princeton Mayor May Be Youngest In Kentucky

Nov 12, 2018

  A 24-year-old man, recently elected mayor of his west Kentucky hometown, says public service has always been in his blood. Dakota Young was elected mayor of Princeton on Tuesday, unseating incumbent Danny Beavers by more than 400 votes. Young says he wants to tackle specific policy areas including economic development, infrastructure, and recreation.

“I really think the first thing we have to do for any of these issues is just sit down and have a conversation as a community to really hammer out a unified vision that we can pursue united and help us move forward."

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center's new executive director, Kristina Joyce, reassures budding entrepreneurs that there is no such thing as a dumb question - and theirs are kept in confidence.

Fatal Flaws: How Kentucky Is Failing Its Workers

Nov 12, 2018
Michelle Franks

Kentucky failed to properly investigate nearly every workplace fatality for a two-year period. Kentucky's workers count on the state to force companies to fix dangerous work conditions. But when workers die, the state agency responsible for investigating falls short. 

Excerpt from the federal audit.

Lexington Mom, Advocate Reflects On Mass Shootings

Nov 12, 2018

Lexington’s Anita Franklin believes in talking about gun control, gun storage, and gun safety.  Franklin, who lost her son, Antonio, to gun violence in 2104 is a local leader  for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

A Fayette County health official says national rankings placing Kentucky high in obesity and low in fitness categories are not surprising.  Kentucky carries a top ten ranking in many areas.

Free Tours At Mammoth Cave For Veterans Day

Nov 9, 2018

A popular tourist attraction in southern Kentucky is offering complimentary tours to honor Veterans Day.

Mammoth Cave National Park is holding four outings limited to 70 people each on Sunday.

Each group will go on a 75-minute walk through the cave while learning about the site’s history.

Visitors need to pick up their pass at the cave’s visitor center prior to starting the tour.

While the free tours are being offered in honor of Veterans Day, they’re open to anyone wanting to visit the attraction.

Ryland Barton/WFPL

  After Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives on Election Day and made small gains in the Kentucky General Assembly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not happy” with how Republicans performed in suburban areas.

During a news conference in Frankfort Friday, McConnell praised Kentucky Republicans for stymieing Democrats’ goal of gaining major ground in the state legislature, but said he hopes that his party can do better in more urban areas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting cigarette smoking rates for adults nationally reached a historic low of 14 percent in 2017.

The only announced Democrat in the 2019 Kentucky governor’s race says his vision for the Commonwealth remains the same, no matter how the field shapes up.  Attorney General Andy Beshear made his remarks during a stop in Lexington today for a mail scam awareness event.

Stu Johnson

U.S.  Postal Inspector Team Leader Kathryn Woliung says prevention is the best way to stop mail based scamming. 

The Cincinnati based inspector participated in a “Stamp Out Mail Scams” awareness campaign event Thursday at Lexington’s central post office.  She’s been working in this area for 15 years.

“The scams are the same.  There’s different variations of the scams. And maybe with social media, individuals may be easier to be targeted through email, scams, websites, etc.  But overall, we probably see about the same amount,” said Woliung.