Stu Johnson

Lexington council members Thursday got more details about the land-street swap deal between city government and the University of Kentucky.  




The plan, already endorsed by the UK board, could come before council for final approval in the next few weeks.

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education is set to adopt higher minimum admission standards for state universities.  The change increases the minimum from a 2.0 grade point average to a 2.5. 

Council President Bob King says the move sends a message to high school students to take their studies seriously.“Those students who enter the universities with at least a 2.5 grade point average in their high schools across the state tend to be more successful than students who may have scored well on an ACT, but had a lower grade point average,” said King.

A suit filed Wednesday in West Virginia by the Center for Biological Diversity seeks to protect threatened crayfish.

The group alleges that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has missed the one year time frame set by federal law in which to designate habitat areas for the two crayfish species,

The Big Sandy crayfish and Guyandotte River crayfish were protected by the Endangered Species Act in 2016 because of habitat loss and water pollution.


A U.S. Representative from Kentucky says he supports President  Donald  Trump’s plan to sign an executive order halting the separation of undocumented immigrants and their children at the Mexican border. First District Congressman James Comer says he was one of several lawmakers who met with the president this week to relay their concerns about the humanitarian crisis. The Monroe County Republican says the U.S. can both secure its borders and keep families together.

David Mistich/WVPB

The Trump administration today released a politically charged study on the health impacts of perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS chemicals, including the compound known as C8, which has been detected in some water systems in the Ohio Valley.

A National Endowment for the Arts grant of $10,000 will support an arts-meets-activism initiative at Woodford Theatre. Tony Delgrosso is the managing director overseeing “The Girl Project.” “Federal funding from the NEA really puts “The Girl Project” and Woodford Theatre on the map a little bit as far as legitimacy goes,” noted Delgrosso.

Founded in 2012, “The Girl Project” empowers teens to challenge the misrepresentation of women and girls in contemporary media.

A long standing debate over a proposed cell tower in northern Fayette County has taken another turn.  The urban county council took action Tuesday.

The Lexington council voted to reject placing a cell tower on property off Iron Works Pike.  Knox Van Nagell Pfister appeared before council, representing the Mount Brilliant horse farm. “So the question is not if an additional cell tower is built, but where.  And 3360 Huffman Mill Road is simply too close to our farm residences and their families for comfort,” said Pfister.

A judge has struck down changes made to Kentucky’s pension systems earlier this year. The ruling states that lawmakers violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage in a matter of hours. 

The challenge is the latest in a series of legal disputes between Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear and Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.

Kentucky’s top health official says the state will have to cut benefits to Medicaid recipients if a federal court strikes down changes to the program which is scheduled to begin roll out July 1.

Lisa Graves-Marcucci, Environmental Integrity Project

Curt and Debbie Havens’ ranch style home is the gathering place for their family. Their two boys grew up playing in the streets in this quiet neighborhood in West Virginia’s northern panhandle. Now, their grandchildren do the same.

“They played ball, all kinds of games,” Debbie recalled during a recent interview. Family photos and knick-knacks line the walls. One heart-shaped sign reads “May love be the heart of this home.”


“Everybody wants to come to grammy’s and pappy’s,” she added.

For the first time since the Civil War, a majority of Kentucky voters don’t identify as Democrats as Republicans continue to make gains in voter registrations in the state.

It is a trend  that has been developing for a long time. 

Stu Johnson

Beginning later this summer, many of Lexington’s homeless will be able to access free public transportation for a year.  The new program called upLIFT aims at increasing self-sufficiency.

Polly Ruddick oversees the city’s efforts to address homelessness.

She told the city council Tuesday that access to Lextran reduces barriers to employment, childcare, healthcare, and housing.  She says participants must be living in a shelter or transitional housing and  working with a case manager on a plan for a permanent home.

Stu Johnson

Close to a hundred teachers gathered at Keeneland Tuesday for a financial literacy workshop. The day long program was designed to help educators K through 12 incorporate more financial literacy instruction in the classroom as required by a new state law.

Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky’s attorney general wants the state to stop investing taxpayer dollars and retirement contributions in companies that have profited from the opioid crisis. As Lisa Autry reports from member station WKYU, it’s Andy Beshear’s latest attempt to punish the makers and distributors of highly addictive painkillers.

Erica Peterson/WFPL

For decades, Kentucky’s own coal stoked the fires that generated most of its electricity. And while some of those power plants have shut down or switched to natural gas, their legacy remains today in the leftover coal ash that’s stored all over the commonwealth.

Now, new data show the coal ash buried in landfills and submerged in ponds at many of these sites has contaminated local groundwater.


EKU Anthropology Team Digging Jackson County

Jun 19, 2018

Eastern Kentucky University anthropology students are participating in an archaeological dig at a remote site in Jackson County.  The relatively small site, situated in the Daniel Boone National Forest, was chosen to help the U.S. Forest Service protect historical properties. 

EKU Assistant Professor of Anthropology Jon Endonino says the field work helps prepare students for an archaeological profession.

Stu Johnson

City officials cut the ribbon Monday on the final phase of an affordable housing complex in west Lexington.  It raises the total units available at the Parkside Apartments to 108.

The property, originally home of the Gardenside Cabana Club, then the YWCA, for years suffered from neglect and vandalism.  AU Associates purchased the property almost a decade ago for redevelopment upon receiving affordable housing tax credits. 

More Details On Cycling Death Of WKU Coach

Jun 18, 2018

Investigators have released details on the bicycle accident that killed Western Kentucky University’s golf coach Phillip Hatchett.

The 55-year-old Hatchett was fatally struck by a car while bicycling in a group of six cyclists Sunday morning on U.S. 68 in Logan County.

The Logan County Sheriff’s Office said 27-year-old Robert Stokes of Elkton, in Todd County, was heading west about 7:30 a.m. when he came upon the bicyclists in the emergency lane, also headed westbound.

In this week’s Focus on Business, Part One of Tom Martin’s conversation with P.G. Peeples, president and CEO of the Urban League of Lexington-Fayette County. The Lexington chapter, launched in 1968, is celebrating its 50th anniversary."

David Osborne and other lawmakers are considering a sports betting bill for Kentucky.Credit LRC.Ky.GOVEdit | Remove

  One of the architects of Western Kentucky University’s brewing and distilling program says the future is bright, despite the end of a corporate partnership. Alltech announced last week the end of its brewing collaboration with the school.

Coal Ash Uncovered: New Data Reveal Widespread Contamination At Ohio Valley Sites

Jun 18, 2018

For generations, coal power has fueled American prosperity. But for each shovelful thrown into the furnaces, a pile of ash was left in its place.

Today, as coal’s dominance in the power sector wanes, those piles of ash have grown into mountains as coal ash became one of the largest waste streams in the country, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.


Special Project: Coal Ash Uncovered

Jun 16, 2018
Ohio Valley ReSource

Coal has long powered the Ohio Valley. But it left behind a legacy of waste: dozens of massive coal ash disposal sites. As the Trump administration changes the regulation of coal ash, the Ohio Valley ReSource and partner station WFPL have analyzed new data from the region’s waste sites. The analysis found widespread evidence that coal ash sites are leaking contaminants into surrounding groundwater. 

In the first of a three-part series, reporters Brittany Patterson and Ryan Van Velzer share what they found and what it might mean for nearby communities.


The neighbor who admitted to attacking U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his home last fall was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green to 30 days in prison. Rene Boucher was also ordered to serve one year of supervised release and perform 100 hours of community service. Boucher addressed the court and offered an apology to the Republican lawmaker who sustained broken ribs and other injuries after being tackled to the ground while mowing his lawn on November 3rd.


A new program will train Kentucky residents with disabilities to work in retail pharmacies across the state. 

The 12-week program for people with disabilities is a collaboration between the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Training Center in Thelma, in eastern Kentucky, and CVS.

The setting for the training is Kentucky’s first mock pharmacy store set up for hands-on training, for jobs like working the cash register and providing customer service.

University of Kentucky

As farmers are combining their grain crops an increase in some diseases could impact their bottom line. University of Kentucky Extension Plant Pathologist Carl Bradley says a number of diseases that affect the heads of crops like wheat, barley and rye, have been observed in Kentucky the last few weeks.

Kentucky Distilled: The Poor People's Campaign

Jun 15, 2018

This week in Kentucky politics, Kentucky State Troopers shut protesters out of the state Capitol, allowing only two people to enter the building at a time. Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing Walgreens, saying the company helped fuel the opioid epidemic in the state. And a high-powered lobbyist was in federal court as prosecutors try to prove he bribed a former state official to help a client get state contracts. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton has this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled.  

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing Walgreens, saying the company helped fuel the opioid epidemic by failing to monitor large shipments of pain pills throughout the state. 

It's latest of several lawsuits Beshear has filed against opioid distributors and manufacturers. Beshear said Walgreens failed to report “suspiciously large orders” it received for prescription pain pills. 

Marsy's Law for Kentucky

Along with elections for the state legislature and Congress, this November Kentuckians will weigh in on Marsy’s Law, which would amend the state constitution to create new rights for crime victims. But a group of criminal defense lawyers says they’ll sue to keep Marsy’s Law off the ballot, saying the language Kentuckians will see on Election Day is too vague. 
“I got online and found out where Johnny was, the gentleman who murdered my grandson, just by accident.” 

All Tech has decided to end its relationship with Western Kentucky University which will cease production of two WKU-themed beers. 

The Nicholasville-based biotech company will still honor a financial commitment to the school.