After losing by less than 700 votes in last year’s general election, Republican Andy Barr will challenge Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler again in 2012. The 37-year-old Lexington attorney is a rising star in the Kentucky GOP ranks and surprised political observers by coming within a razor-thin margin of beating Chandler, a popular incumbent and grandson of a former governor.
From January 2009 through April 2011, left-leaning group Media Matters analyzed television news guests who commented on the Environmental Protection Agency’s role in regulating greenhouse gases. They found that 76 percent of these commentators were critical of the federal agency’s regulations, and 18 percent were in favor. When the news guests are broken down by network, Fox News hosted even more guests against EPA regulation: 81 percent of Fox News guests and 83 percent of Fox Business guests.
Clark County superintendent Elaine Farris is in Lexington Thursday, hoping to convince the community and the Fayette County Board of Education that she's the best candidate to become Lexington's new school superintendent. Farris took a 20-minute tour of the district's new Wellington Elementary School on Thursday morning, after being greeted by school board members and meeting with community leaders. The other two superintendent finalists — Jessamine County superintendent Lu Young and Daviess County superintendent Tom Shelton — were in town Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. Each finalist follows the same meeting schedule, tours the same schools, and is asked the same questions to ensure fairness.
A third day of unseasonable heat blistered the eastern half of the country Thursday, making tornado cleanup miserable in Massachusetts, sending country music fans in Tennessee to hospitals and leaving Special Olympians in Pennsylvania gulping gallons of water.
The persistent heat has been blamed for at least seven deaths from the Plains to the East Coast, where authorities prepared emergency rooms and encouraged neighbors to check on the elderly as temperatures soared above 100 in spots.
The Department of Agriculture is asking the state Personnel Board to deny a request for investigation into whether two political appointees were illegally hired into protected positions. Personnel Board Vice Chairman Larry B. Gillis said that a probe is needed to determine whether Danita Fentress-Laird and Kathryn Willis were transferred from positions as politically appointed division directors into positions protected by the state's merit system without following normal procedures. A response by the Department of Agriculture said the Personnel Cabinet had reviewed the decisions and found no wrongdoing.
The Lancaster City Council may have a third option when considering how to solve pending water plant capacity issues. Representatives from Lexington-based Kentucky American Water came to the council’s work session this week to express preliminary interest in purchasing the city’s water and sewer plants. John-Mark Hack, KAW director of government affairs, said the company will not know if it wants to make an offer on the plants until it conducts a thorough study of each, mostly through examining city documents.
Danville will host its 22nd annual Great American Brass Band Festival this weekend. “The Great American Brass Band Festival is all about community,” says Niki Kinkade, executive director of the festival. “The community makes this happen."
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published a fascinating — and troubling — article depicting one of the cases making its way to the Supreme Court: one conductor's struggle to overturn copyright law that makes it nearly impossible for many musicians to afford to play much music written during the past century.
Steve Popovich, who died Wednesday, was one of those old-fashioned guys who started at the bottom and worked his way up to the top but never forgot why he got into the music business. It might sound like a cliché but it's true, and it's a good story. Popovich died in Tennessee, where he lived. He was 68 years old.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said that after a year-long investigation by a Senate subcommittee, "it's becoming increasingly clear that our efforts to rein in the narcotics trade in Latin America, especially as it relates to the government's use of contractors, have largely failed."