State Rep. Derrick Graham has been named the new chairman of the state House Education committee, Democratic leaders announced today. Graham is a Frankfort native who recently retired as a social studies teacher at Frankfort High School. He is a well-known education advocate and previously chaired a budget subcommittee on education.
A city landscaping project will more than double the number of trees along a heavily traveled stretch of Lexington’s Nicholasville road. Urban Forester Tim Queary says several of the trees originally planted in the 1980’s have died. He says six others still standing were improperly pruned by a private contractor.
The Lexington Opera House's 2013-14 Broadway Live season will open with one of the series' greatest successes and will close with a show that is up for the Tony Award for best musical.OK, Bring it On: The Musical isn't going to win the Tony. But its inclusion marks a milestone for the series, which has edged closer to current Broadway programming each year. Opera House general manager Luanne Franklin says the stronger lineups of shows are a direct result of the series' programming strategy in recent years.Read more...
An initiative in Lexington adds meaning to the phrase ‘growing local artists.’ Learning a lesson from the agriculture community, the Lexington Art League is launching its own C-S-A. Typically, C-S-A is short for Community Supported Agriculture. But, in this case it stands for “Community Supported Art.”
Escher String Quartet performs this weekend at Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill.
A gateway to summer opens this Memorial Day weekend at Shaker Village. Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, says organizers hope younger fans will be drawn there for the annual Chamber Music Festival of Lexington. Rich discussed it and the holiday’s other events with WEKU’s Charles Compton Read more...
Come July first, the Eastern Kentucky University workforce picture takes on a new look. The Richmond school has been undergoing restructuring as part of work by the Strategic Budget Reallocation Task Force. 127 employees at Eastern are taking a voluntary buy out package. Their last day at E-K-U will be June 28th. Human Resources Director Gary Barksdale says it’s unclear now how many ‘forced layoffs’ might occur.
As summer approaches, more and more Kentuckians are likely to be out biking and walking. The latest law enforcement techniques for investigating pedestrian and cyclist incidents are being stressed to officers. A group of state and local police spent this week learning how best to conduct investigations involving vehicles and bicyclists or walkers. K-S-P Sargent Chad Mills is with collision analysis in the highway safety branch. Mills says motorcycle related crashes have been on the increase in recent years. He says motorists need to have even a keener sense when it comes to bike traffic.
Your online purchases could alleviate some of Kentucky's budget woes. The federal legislation that allows states to collect sales taxes from more online retailers would benefit the Kentucky state budget, argues a policy group focused on economic policy. If such legislation passed, Kentucky could gain $130 million to $200 million in revenue per year, the state's Blue Ribbon Tax Commission has estimated.
Unemployment rates decreased in 49 Kentucky counties between April 2012 and April this year, while 63 county rates rose and eight stayed the same, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate in the state at 5.4 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 5.6 percent; Fayette County, 5.9 percent; Ohio and Shelby counties, 6 percent each; Daviess and Scott counties, 6.1 percent each; Franklin and Hancock counties, 6.2 percent each; and Boone, Henderson, Madison and Spencer counties, 6.3 percent, according to a state news release.
The exact repercussions of the Clark County Board of Education’s decision to halt the direct facilities are finally known. In a letter sent to the board from Kentucky Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, seven steps are laid out for the board to return to the current facilities. Failure to comply and enact these sevens steps will result in a loss of SEEK money for the district. SEEK money is awarded by the state to school districts based on attendance.
Tune in for NPR's special coverage of the President's speech Thursday afternoon at 2:00 on the WEKU Stations.
WEKU will carry NPR coverage of President Obama's speech at the National Defense University in Washington, DC. During the 2:00 pm talk, he is expected to announce major changes in US foreign policy regarding the use of drone air strikes overseas.
In February, Eastern Kentucky University President Doug Whitlock made a startling announcement: The Richmond university would set aside $23 million, or 10 percent of its budget, to fund new programs and raise salaries. This "reallocation" meant cuts for many existing programs, raising plenty of concerns and questions among faculty and staff. Whitlock appointed a Strategic Budget Reallocation Task Force, made up of administrators and the chairwoman of the faculty senate, to recommend what should get cut. It has met behind closed doors for the past three months. Read more...
Now it's Heather French Henry's turn. The former Miss America has joined a list of half a dozen party activists or leaders waiting for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to decide whether she'll run in 2014 against Mitch McConnell for his U.S. Senate seat.
Kentucky’s economy remains steeped in agriculture related professions. Sometimes the rural way of life intersects with an urban traveler. Farmers across Kentucky are trying their best to get equipment into the fields. Sometimes, it requires a trip down a roadway. Triple A reports in 2012 there were 192 collisions in Kentucky involving farm equipment. Bluegrass Triple A Spokesman Christopher Oakford says slow moving tractors have a legal right to use the roads.
A far western Kentucky welcome center takes a top honor today. The Whitehaven Welcome Center in McCracken County is being recognized as the state’s best maintained rest area for 2012. Maintenance Foreman Ronnie Wilson has worked at the Paducah facility for some 26 years. “I’ve got a bunch of good people working for me that works hard, you know, take pride in what they do. That’s the only way you could win it, to do that,” said Wilson.
Widespread showers and thunderstorms will strike today, with the worst expected mid-afternoon.Winds could gusting up to 58 mph with quarter-size hail anytime after 1 p.m., according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. Tornadoes cannot be ruled out, but the threat for them to develop is small, said meteorologist Scott Hickman. The high temperature will peak near 80 at 5 p.m.
A scheduled second reading of an ordinance that would open hotel and motel guest registries to inspection by public-safety officials was tabled by the Nicholasville City Commission during a special-called meeting Monday afternoon. During the meeting, city leaders heard from representatives from three Nicholasville lodging facilities who expressed concern over how the ordinance was written. Prior to the discussion, Mayor Russ Meyer had already told the managers that the issue would be tabled until a future date.
Lexington’s City Council has given initial approval for food trucks to conduct business on certain public streets. The matter was debated at length during this afternoon’s work session at city hall. In the end the count was 13 yes votes, one no vote, and one abstention. Now the matter will go on the council docket for a formal vote. If given final approval, food trucks could be found during the day in specific zones by the first part of June.
Governor Steve Beshear has named a longtime tourism veteran to oversee the part of his cabinet dealing with travel and the arts.Bob Stewart is a familiar face in state government, having worked for 11 years as commissioner of travel from 1992 to 2003. And now, he'll be the new Tourism Secretary, having been appointed by Beshear to fill the post vacated by Marcheta Sparrow, who’s retiring.
Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says a recent setback shouldn't cause hemp supporters to give up hope of getting the crop legalized. James Comer says he's not surprised that language legalizing industrial hemp wasn’t added to the first drafts of farm bills in the U.S. House and Senate. Last week, a group of Kentucky U.S. Senators and House members tried--and failed--to get the provision included in the legislation. Comer says the federal farm bill has a long way to go before it gets passed, and a lot of things will be added and taken out in the next few months
Two Central Kentucky Red Cross volunteers are heading out today to Oklahoma to assist in tornado relief work. Recovery efforts are continuing today in the town of Moore where many of the casualties are children. Red Cross Spokesman Winn Stephens says the two volunteers are taking a Red Cross emergency response vehicle to the tornado site. Russ Hoff of Lexington and Ramona Hibbard of Manchester are traveling to Oklahoma with the Red Cross vehicle. Stephens says the two are expected to be there for ten days to two weeks.
Sargent Rick Saint Blancard Kentucky State Police Public Affairs
State police again promise have patrols on Kentucky’s highways this holiday weekend, and, as always, they’ll be watchful for drunk drivers. And, there’s a move afoot that tightens restrictions on drivers who also drink.
Exiled Tibetan leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner the Dalai Lama came to Louisville on Sunday for the first time since 1994, bringing his distinctive message of compassion not just for all humans but for other species. He blessed a Buddhist community center and then spoke to about 15,000 people at the Yum Center. The Dalai Lama was introduced by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, who praised his moral clarity and trademark raucous laugh, which were in evidence often during the speech and question-and-answer session that followed. Read more...
Lawrence County resident Gary Allen asked some provoking questions but did not get answers.
Closing the Big Sandy Power plant in Lawrence County would be devastating for area. That's what speaker after speaker said during a Kentucky Public Service Commission public meeting last week at the Lawrence County Community Center. Lawrence Countian Gary Allen asked some provoking questions but did not get answers. But the main question seems to be would you rather pay more for your electricity in order to keep the Big Sandy plant burning coal, or would you rather have cheaper electricity that meets environmental code? Read more..
ABC newswoman Martha Raddatz, center, enters Newlin Hall at the Norton Center, where she gave the commencement address Sunday for Centre's Class of 2013.
Martha Raddatz told one on herself Sunday during her commencement address to Centre College’s Class of 2013. The highly decorated and respected ABC foreign correspondent who has reported from war zones around the world, the White House and the Pentagon, the woman who held Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan in check during their feisty debate at Centre last fall, never made it through college. Centre helped Raddatz fill that void in her life, bestowing on her an honorary degree. Read more...
A flight carrying 71 Tristate veterans and their escorts departs at 8 am. Tuesday from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Washington to see visit national memorials. Honor Flight Tri-State is a nonprofit organization that flies World War II and Korean War veterans to their memorials in Washington at no cost. The flight returns at 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. Read more...
Kentucky Tea Party groups are planning rallies Tuesday to protest the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra review. Two of Kentucky's largest Tea Party groups will protests outside IRS offices in their respective areas: the Northern Kentucky Tea Party will protest in Cincinnati and Louisville's group will join southern Indiana groups to protest in Louisville.
Credit State Department for Community Based Services
Commissioner Teresa James
The numbers tell part of the story. 71-hundred children need foster homes but there are only four-thousand such residences in Kentucky. And, State Department for Community Based Services Commissioner Teresa James says some of those foster parents hope to adopt a child...and then leave the system. “We have some of our homes are actually considered foster to adopt. These are individuals who want to be foster parents, but are saying to us when they come in ‘we might also be interested in adoption, if children have had their, if their parental rights have been terminated and children are free for adoption,” said James.
Beginning today and continuing through June 2, Kentucky State Police will be participating in the “Click It or Ticket” national, seatbelt enforcement campaign. The federal highway safety initiative focuses on seatbelt and child restraint enforcement as well as driver education.
After Kentucky won the 2012 NCAA basketball title, Fan Outfitters employee Nic Johnson brought out an armload of championship T-shirts.
Fan Outfitters, a Lexington-based chain of sports clothing stores started by two members of the Dawahare family, has been sold to the Lids Sports Group, based in Indianapolis. The company, which operates Lids hat stores, including one in Fayette Mall, and other sports retail operations, announced the acquisition in a news release last week. The deal includes Fan Outfitters' seven stores and its online retail operation. The price was not disclosed. Read more...