Cheri Lawson

Eastern Kentucky award winning writer Silas House has released his 6th novel. House told WEKU’s Cheri Lawson there are at least three themes to “Southernmost” including the unbreakable bond between a parent and child, the complexity of rural people, and people of faith who have different ways of believing.

Eastern Kentucky University and the City of Richmond are partnering to bring an assisted living community to the Madison County campus.   It’s expected to benefit seniors while also providing educational and employment opportunities for Eastern students.

Plans call for the assisted living facility to be developed, owned, and operated by a private enterprise. 

Migrant Education In The Ohio Valley

Jul 9, 2018

While the nation is focused on the treatment of immigrant children at the border, some teachers are focused on the children of migrant workers in the Ohio Valley. The teachers are setting politics aside to put kids first with a migrant education program. And, as Nicole Erwin reports, the changing faces in the program offer some insights into the shifting demographics among migrant workers.

EKU OSHA Course Focuses on Confined Space Safety

Jul 9, 2018
Stu Johnson

A large tube structure with confined space was positioned Monday in Eastern Kentucky University’s Perkins parking lot.  EKU safety interns and those already in the profession participated in the U.S. Military Safety Certification Course.  

George Bonney works at the Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport Washington. “Cause in a hydro power dam you’re talking, it was built 50 years ago, so confined space is everywhere.  Confined space is everywhere throughout the dam,” said Bonney.

One of Kentucky’s first licensed hemp growers is optimistic about congressional action to legalize the plant as an agricultural commodity. 

Brian Furnish of Cynthiana says U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many other congressional leaders have been convinced of the market potential of hemp.

Stu Johnson

Players from all over the U.S. and even outside the country are competing in this week’s Girls Junior PGA Championship in Lexington. Organizers expect to see many of these young ladies on the professional golf tour in the future. 

Andy Beshear Expected to Announce Run for Governor

Jul 9, 2018

Attorney General Andy Beshear will launch a run for Kentucky governor this week and his running mate will be an assistant high school principal and political recruiter. The Democrat has a deep rivalry with Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Beshear sent out a press release on Sunday promoting a series of speaking events across the state on Monday and Tuesday in order to make an “announcement concerning future of Kentucky.” 

Lexington council action this week to facilitate construction of a new convention center included extensive discussion about plans to demolish the Jefferson Street viaduct bridge.  Members of the Main Street Baptist Church appeared at several previous council meetings during the spring expressing concern about how the new facility would affect church parking. 

Stu Johnson

Hundreds of fish have been on the move this week, going from northern Kentucky to central Kentucky, with the bulk of that trip made on wheels. 

In an effort to assess a leaking dam at Big Bone Lick State Historic Site, water in the nine acre lake is being drawn down.  Kentucky State Parks Spokesman Gil Lawson says some 300 fish were moved this week to Benjy Kinman Lake.  “They do that by stunning the fish with electro-fishing boats and then, picking them up with nets and putting them into a container truck that transported them to a lake in Henry County,” said Lawson.

Kentucky State Treasurer's Office

Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball’s birth of a baby boy this week became a historical event in state politics.  Ball is the first Kentucky Constitutional Officer to give birth while in office.

Six pound 15 ounce Levi Adrian Swan was born on Tuesday.  The child is the first born to Treasurer Allison Ball and her husband Asa James Swan.  The family is recovering well. 

Cheri Lawson

In the next installment of our series on “Women leading the way in male dominated fields," we visited a construction site to talk with a woman who was the only female in Eastern Kentucky University’s construction management program when she enrolled.

Stu Johnson

Fourth of July festivities took center stage on main streets all across the Commonwealth Wednesday.  For the second year, Wilmore’s parade included an entry that created quite a buzz.

White House Video

President Donald Trump’s desire to help boost the Ohio Valley’s energy industry and bring back mining jobs could be stymied by the administration’s escalating trade battle with China and other trading partners across the globe.

The future of Lexington’s city hall has been a topic of discussion for many years.  It’s been talked about off and on, but never gotten on a council docket for action.  That could change this summer.  But, it remains a difficult issue on which to get consensus.

The city hall talk turned much more serious this year when the call went out for proposals from developers.  Four were given consideration and an independent committee recommended a city hall move, through a lease arrangement, to the Herald-Leader building at the corner of Midland Avenue and Main Street. 

Stu Johnson

A plan to spend $13 million for upgraded safety and mental health services in Fayette schools will soon go before the school board.  Superintendent Manny Caulk unveiled the 10-point program Monday at Dunbar High School.

The wide-ranging plan, to be paid for through a new property tax, includes metal detectors at all middle and high schools, more security guards and additional mental health counselors. Caulk says it could become a national model. “Once implemented, I’m confident we will have the most comprehensive approach to school safety in the nation,” said Caulk.

Stu Johnson

A slew of decorative shovels stood ready for Monday’s groundbreaking for Town Branch Commons in Lexington. The hybrid trail “slash” linear park will wind through downtown for two miles.

Wikimedia Commons

Starting this week, Kentucky’s 6 percent sales tax applies to a new set of services like automotive repairs, pet grooming and dry cleaning. The state legislature voted to make the tax increases to put more money towards public education and cut the state’s income tax for people and corporations.

Business affected by the tax hike say they’ve been unfairly targeted. 

Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

The Ohio Valley’s auto manufacturing industry is growing increasingly nervous about the Trump administration’s trade policy. First came tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, key materials for vehicle makers. Now the Commerce Department is looking into taxes on imported automobiles and automotive parts. Both are ominous signs for an industry that employs more than 1.5 million people in the region. Ohio and Kentucky are the nation’s second and third biggest auto-making states, respectively.

Stu Johnson

The annual Fourth of July parade in Lexington this Wednesday will include a new feature.  The eye-catching addition will be hard to miss, since it will be leading the procession.  

Downtown Lexington Partnership Event Coordinator Laura Farnsworth says the big helium balloons are sure to draw attention. “It’s not characters.  They’re patriotic; a rocket, a star and some really cool spheres that we think will let people know, alert them, ‘hey the parade’s coming.’  Sit up, get ready, it’s going to be a fun one,” said Farnsworth.

More Kentucky Tax Reforms Could Come Over Time

Jul 2, 2018

Kentuckians begin this week paying a little bit more through new sales taxes on various services. The tax reforms coming to reality this summer may be just a part of a larger move.


Congressman Brett Guthrie of Kentucky says he would consider supporting legislation that would limit President Donald Trump’s power to impose tariffs.

A bill introduced by U.S. Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee would require the president to receive approval from Congress to enact new 
tariffs on the basis of national security.

Guthrie, a Republican from Bowling Green, says Congress has ceded a lot of authority to the executive branch because of the difficulty of getting legislation through both chambers.

Roxanne Scott

More than 6,500 students from across the country — ranging from middle school age to college — are in Louisville this week as part of the annual SkillsUSA conference. It’s a showcase of skilled trades and technical education, and features contests in fields such as plumbing, masonry and carpentry.

This focus on students learning trades is also a priority of the Trump administration. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos toured some of the conference exhibits Thursday with Gov. Matt Bevin.

Martin Molcan

The ringleader of a widely publicized whiskey theft operation was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but he's about to be released after serving a month.

A Kentucky judge on Friday shortened the jail time for ex-distillery worker Gilbert "Toby" Curtsinger after prosecutors made no objection to a defense request. Curtsinger's attorney says he'll be released soon, about 30 days into his sentence.

Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate granted the defense's motion for shock probation.


Since Western Kentucky University’s basketball team signed five-star recruit Charles Bassey, questions have emerged about his graduation status — and, maybe, his NCAA eligibility.

WKU said Bassey graduated, but officials have been mum on the details of how, or from where, he is reclassifying to the class of 2018. The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting interviewed numerous experts in the field about what this means for WKU’s top recruit, a Nigerian native who is already forecast as a top NBA draft pick in 2019.

A federal judge on Friday struck down Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to put in place “community engagement” requirements for Medicaid coverage that were set to go into effect in some parts of the state on July 1.

That also includes the entirety of the new program, premiums, co-pays, loss of automatic vision and dental benefits and lock-out periods.

This week in state politics, federal education officials came to Kentucky to talk about ways to make schools safer and Gov. Matt Bevin said it all comes down to kids’ cell phone use. One of the Republican lawmakers who helped make changes to the state pension system says they’ll pass the bill again if it’s struck down by the courts. And the state’s new education commissioner talked about the potential costs of taking over Louisville’s school system. 

Stu Johnson

Using the renovated historic Fayette County Courthouse as a backdrop, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray Friday offered a formal endorsement for 6th Congressional District candidate Amy McGrath.  


Thousands of demonstrators are expected tomorrow in Washington, D.C. and across the country to protest the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy on immigration. That policy resulted in the separation of more than 2,000 children from their parents at the U.S. Mexico border.

A rally will also be held in Bowling Green tomorrow in support of the national “Families Belong Together” event.

Model Lab School Welcomes New Principal

Jun 29, 2018
Stu Johnson

The new principal at Model Laboratory School on Eastern Kentucky University’s campus is excited about the opportunity to explore the school’s relationship with college students.   Naylor, who served as a Marine, is optimistic about seeing a new Model building near its current location.

David Naylor has been an educator for 13 years. In recent years he’s worked in Florida as an assistant principal at a fine arts academy and an elementary school.

He comes to Model as the school community is exploring a new building.