Governor Beshear says the “healthy at home” recommendation should not be misconstrued to be a “shelter in place” requirement.  During his daily coronavirus briefing Wednesday, the governor said it’s not about hunkering down, but realizing what positive activities can be done in the home.

The air above Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport is much quieter than a typical April day, but this is far from a typical day. Few planes are taking off or landing at the central Kentucky airport.

The Kentucky General Assembly has adopted a one year state budget. The Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to pass an $11.3 billion budget.  A number of Senators said the great unknown about future tax dollars coming into state coffers made structuring a typical two year budget unfeasible.

Glynis Board

With cases of the coronavirus expected to spike in West Virginia in the coming weeks, the state will delay its primary election. Gov. Jim Justice made the announcement at a Wednesday virtual news conference.

The primary election had been scheduled for May 12. But with public health concerns heightened, Justice announced the primary will instead be pushed back to June 9.

Projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation show the coronavirus’ impact on West Virginia will peak at the beginning of May.


It’s that time of the year again when Girl Scout Troops start selling cookies. Unfortunately, with the coronavirus pandemic, you won’t see them set up outside grocery stores or going door to door. Samantha Morrill talked to Haleigh McGraw, Girl Scouts of Kentucky Wilderness Road Communications & Brand Director about how they are adjusting their approach.

Governor Beshear began his daily briefing Tuesday with some sobering news.  Seven new reported deaths and 114 new coronavirus cases in Kentucky.  Beshear said he hoped he wouldn’t have to make this type of report again, but added he realizes he could.


According to a Lexington attorney specializing in force majeure, the coronavirus pandemic may qualify. The clause, found in many legal contracts, allows business and individuals to break their contractual obligations due to an unforeseen event, like an act of God.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program has been extended through April 30. The Kentucky River Foothills Development Council is encouraging anyone who is potentially eligible or in a vulnerable household to contact them about getting help.


  When they reconvene in Frankfort on Wednesday, Kentucky lawmakers will consider a one-year budget instead of the normal two-year plan. Legislative leaders say the change is due to uncertainty about how much revenue the state will bring in during the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic downturn.

Nearly $400,000 Raised For Team Kentucky Fund

Mar 31, 2020

Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman says help through state initiated fund raising to assist those citizens experiencing job loss is different than unemployment assistance. She noted it’s a philanthropic endeavor rooted in compassion for fellow citizens.

The Kentucky Department of Tourism is unveiling an 11 video mini-series to highlight various areas of interest in the Commonwealth. The timing of the release changed with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Kentucky Tourism Commissioner Mike Mangeot says filming of sights, sounds, and stories across the state took place over the last year or so.  He says, originally, the plan called for a periodic release of videos.

Alix Mattingly

A staffer for the Kentucky legislature has tested positive for coronavirus. The legislature has been meeting intermittently during the coronavirus pandemic and is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday to pass a final version of the state budget and other bills.

The staffer works for the Legislative Research Commission, the administrative arm of the legislature tasked with drafting bills, crunching numbers and assisting lawmakers. The agency is governed by a 16-member board made up of leaders from the Republican-majority legislature.

Governor Instructs Kentuckians To Stay Put

Mar 31, 2020

Governor Beshear has issued an executive order instructing Kentuckians not to travel out of state except for a few limited reasons.


On this weeks' conversation with EKU Interim President David McFaddin:

After citing what she termed “mixed success in our parks over the weekend,” Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has implemented additional restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayor outlined the newest changes in connection with the avirus during a morning briefing Monday. “I’m taking the next step to close all playgrounds, close public restrooms, and close all parking lots connected to our parks.  Our parks remain open to joggers and walkers,” explained Gorton.

UK Professor Appointed To Lexington Council

Mar 30, 2020

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has appointed University of Kentucky Public Health Professor Mark Swanson to the third district council seat.  Swanson, who’s worked to improve access to healthy foods downtown, will fulfill the unexpected term of Jake Gibbs who died suddenly on March third. 

In making the announcement, Gorton said Swanson arrives on the council during a time of uncertainty.

“Mark we’re so happy to have you hear today and you are certainly starting on the council under some of the most challenging conditions any of us have ever experienced,” said Gorton.

Transylvania University’s Beck Center is about to become an overnight lodging site for some 40 to 50 clients at Lexington Hope Homeless Center.  The relocation of the homeless men is expected to take place Tuesday morning. 

Hope Center Development Director Carrie Thayer said it’s aimed at creating more social distancing at the emergency shelter. “Before they go over they will all be checked by our clinic to make sure they’re not exhibiting any symptoms and that way we can keep that group more isolated over at Transy,” offered Thayer.

Norton Healthcare executives said the hospital system is still adequately staffed after 45 employees have tested positive for the COVID-19 disease and about 280 others are on paid furlough after showing symptoms.


The CEO of the Australian company that owns a financially and geologically troubled coal mine in western Kentucky has resigned.

Paringa Resources announced the resignation of Egan Antill effective March 31.

Paringa’s wholly-owned subsidy, Hartshorne Mining Group, began operations at the Poplar Grove Mine in McLean County, about 30 miles south of Owensboro, in December 2018. 

Liam James Doyle / NPR

Kentucky will receive about $1.7 billion from from the federal government as part of the coronavirus relief bill signed into law on Friday, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

State government will receive about $1.6 billion and Louisville will receive an additional $134 million under a provision that gives extra funding to cities with populations over 500,000. It’s the only city in the state big enough to qualify.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Gov. Andy Beshear says there were 45 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky, bringing the state’s total to 439.

During an evening update Sunday, Beshear reported no new deaths associated with the disease, which has killed nine in Kentucky so far. The daily increase of cases is less than half of the increase reported yesterday — which was the largest to date at 92 — but Beshear said that the state and country are escalating right now.

Pets Offer Companionship During Coronavirus

Mar 30, 2020

In the current Coronavirus pandemic, ways to ease stress and concern in the Commonwealth are in high demand.  Bonnie Cessna of Lexington is the founder of Love on a Leash Therapy Dog Bluegrass Chapter.

Cessna said pets can help reduce loneliness, depression, and the fear of the unknown. “They give us therapy that we sometimes don’t even realize that we’re getting from them.  It’s like a magic effect on our mental health and well-being,” said Cessna.

Eastern Standard Preview

Mar 30, 2020
Eastern Standard

Force majeure “non-performance” contract clauses eyed as coronavirus rattles supply chains |  200-year cement. Sound good? UK researchers are on it |  Standing up to heart disease in Eastern Kentucky | The rural "news desert" and the search for an oasis. | An online calendar for arts events off the beaten path.

Contact: Tom Martin at or leave voicemail at 859-622-9358

Ryan Van Velzer

Gov. Andy Beshear is telling Kentuckians not to travel to Tennessee, a state he said has not taken the same “aggressive” steps as Kentucky in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

“I cannot control that Tennessee has not taken the steps that we have,” Beshear said. “I need you to not go to Tennessee for anything other than work, or helping a loved one, or maybe to the grocery.”

Governor Beshear has been saying the next couple of weeks are critical in trying to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  During his Sunday afternoon briefing, the governor said the state is now experiencing the surge of cases that was predicted to happen.  He reported 45 new cases yesterday compared to 92 the day before.

Kentucky Politics Distilled: Coronavirus Relief Bill

Mar 30, 2020
Kentucky Politics Distilled

This week in Kentucky politics, the state legislature still met during the coronavirus pandemic. They passed an emergency bill to help provide some relief to workers and businesses dealing with the virus, and they advanced a slew of other measures. And Kentucky's 4th district Congressman Thomas Massie received America's ire for threatening to block a federal coronavirus bill.

University of Kentucky Professor of Neurology Greg Jicha said coronavirus can be especially difficult for someone caring for an Alzheimer’s patient.  Jicha, with UK’s Sanders Brown Center on Aging, said caregiver and loved one will likely be spending even more time together.

Popular Lexington Greeter Has Died

Mar 27, 2020

A longtime familiar face in the Lexington community has passed away.  James “Smitty” Smith died earlier this week at the age of 89 of natural causes.  Known by most all as Smitty, Smith was a longtime welcoming maître d at Columbia’s Steakhouse on North Limestone. 

Columbia’s General Manager Flo Cowley said Smitty was an upbeat person to the fullest.  “He was just such a great people person.  He was so kind and his hospitality to everybody that walked in.  He made you feel like you were a king or queen,” said Cowley.

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton has announced the opening of the city’s emergency operations center to help cope with coronavirus activity.  Also, the mayor said the first confirmed case of COVID-19 among city employees came yesterday involving a firefighter.

Tighter restrictions on city parks are being implemented.  Lexington Parks and Recreation Department Director Monica Conrad.

Amid concerns of the coronavirus and efforts to maintain social distancing, on Thursday Daniel Boone National Forest officials announced that some recreational areas will be closed for the foreseeable future. Samantha Morrill talked to Tim Eling, Public Information Officer for the Parks Service.

In addition to the shutdown of multiple recreation areas in the Daniel Boone National Forest, public access and backcountry camping in the Red River Gorge are also temporarily suspended.