News

Kentucky has the highest use of antibiotics in the nation, creating antibiotic resistant "super bugs" and a host of other health problems. 

Eastern Standard host Tom Martin talks with a University of Louisville School of Medicine Pediatric Clinical Pharmacist about a statewide campaign to lower the number of inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions. Listen to their full conversation.

US Department of Homeland Security

  Less than 30 percent of Kentucky adults would pass a test based on questions in the U.S. citizenship test.

In fact, a new survey shows a majority of adults in 49 states would fail the test.

The survey conducted by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation asked 41,000 U.S. adults 20 history-specific questions taken from the citizenship exam practice tests.

Lisa Autry

Doctors aren’t the only ones on call at Hardin Memorial Hospital in Elizabethtown.  So is man’s best friend.

A part Labrador Retriever named Baron; Pepper the Yorkie; Lola, a Rhodesian Ridgeback; and Lady, a German Short-Haired Pointer, reported for duty at the hospital on a recent Friday afternoon, and fanned out to patient rooms to offer some canine comfort. 

Lexington Police have recovered a large chunk of change, in fact, $1,452 in quarters.

Police say five people allegedly broke into coin operated air pumps the past several months to steal quarters. This past weekend, a police officer patrolling the Elkhorn Drive area observed a man taking money from the air machine at a Speedway gas station.

kentucky.com

City Councilman Richard Moloney shared his concerns about Lexington’s budget this week as the council got its monthly update from city revenue officials.  

During that report, Moloney said city funding for big community projects is partly responsible for a tight budget. “We spent more money than we should have.  For instance, we’ve done a couple, three projects that we usually take….been here 30 years, that I saw go through once every ten years or maybe once every 15.  But we did all three within three years.”

KY has nation's highest rate of antibiotics over-use  ・ Green Room Exchange to bring World Music to Lexington stages  ・ Foster Ockerman, Jr., author of The Hidden History of Horse Racing ・ Humans of Central Appalachia featuring Russell Huff of Harlan, Ky.

Cheri Lawson

Award winning writer and poet Pauletta Hansel recently made a stop in eastern Kentucky, which is where she first realized she was a writer and poet.

The first poet laureate of Cincinnati  spent time in her hometown of Jackson reading from her new book of poetry “Coal Town Photograph.”

Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday criticized lawmakers for not passing a bill to address the state’s ailing pension systems and also accused them of not reading legislation before voting.

During an interview on Bowling Green talk radio station WKCT, Bevin said there have been “several” lawmakers that have asked him to veto legislation they had voted in favor of just days before.

Lexington Rabbi Among U.S. Contingent To Guatemala

Mar 20, 2019
Lexington Temple Adath Israel

Lexington Rabbi David Wirtschafter says a recent trip to Guatemala exemplified the struggles faced by people in the Central American country.  The leader of Temple Adath Israel was part of an American Jewish World Service journey to Guatemala. 

Mary Meehan

In an effort to combat an ever-rising rate of HIV, the state is launching a pilot program in Northern Kentucky.  

 The collaboration announced today (yesterday/Wednesday) is aimed at preventing new infections in Kentucky, where the rate of infections has double since 2014.  The state Department of Public Health and the University of Kentucky have joined to create an effort focused on education, prevention and treatment.

  The board of Jefferson County Public Schools has unanimously passed a resolution that asks Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis to withdraw his request for the names of school employees who called in sick in recent weeks. Lewis said he won’t withdraw the request.

The school board held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss the Kentucky Department of Education’s request for the district’s attendance records. 

 

RWJF.org

A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation confirms the significant health challenges in the Ohio Valley, including premature deaths.

It also lays out the often overlooked connection between health and housing.

The report presents a county-by-county breakdown of health outcomes and reveals significant gaps between the healthiest counties and the least healthy counties.

Governor Bevin Not Using His Veto Pen Yet

Mar 20, 2019
kentucky.com

Governor Matt Bevin says he’s not vetoed any bill passed by the 2019 General Assembly, but he admits there are many he still needs to review.  That doesn’t mean there won’t be vetoes. 

Stu Johnson

The U.S. Drug Czar spent part of his afternoon Tuesday at  a Lexington roundtable discussion about positive outcomes for people facing addiction.  It included time at a central Kentucky business known for reaching out to those in recovery.

U.S. Office of Drug Control Policy Director Jim Carroll joined Governor Matt Bevin and Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton at DV8 Kitchen.  The breakfast, brunch, and lunch business is in its second year of operation.  It offers second-chance employment for people in the early stages of  recovery. 

The Trump Administration released on Monday details of a 2020 federal budget proposal that includes cutting funds allotted for a new federal prison in eastern Kentucky. The funds would be redirected to other law-enforcement or natural security priorities, potentially including a wall at the southern U.S. border.

The proposed cut rebukes arguments made by Congressman Hal Rogers, the powerful Kentucky Republican who has promoted federal prisons as economic development for communities struggling with high unemployment.

 

uky.edu

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles says the number of hemp products sold last year were more than three and a half time shigher than in 2017. The amount farmers were paid more than doubled.

Quarles offered the industrial hemp economic report Monday at the University of Kentucky.  With the federal action to remove hemp from the controlled substances act, Quarles says other states will move more heavily into hemp, but he feels Kentucky can remain the leader.

  More than 80 Kentuckians who attended two for-profit schools that recently closed may be eligible to have their student loans forgiven. As Lisa Autry of member station WKYU reports, the state Attorney General’s Office is reaching out to affected students.

Argosy University and Art Institutes abruptly closed on March 8th after the federal government revoked Argosy’s eligibility for federal student aid.

U.S. National College of Medicine

  Much of the effort to confront the opioid crisis in America has focused on young adult and middle-aged populations. But  a new study finds that more older adults, including those in Kentucky, are showing up in emergency rooms because of opioid misuse.

Liam Niemeyer/Ohio Valley ReSource

As the Trump administration’s trade talks continue with China and other countries, farmers are feeling the pain from the president’s year-long trade war. Tariffs on agricultural goods are compounding problems caused by low crop prices and over-production, and small farmers are suffering the most.

Matt Markgraf

Prominent Kentucky Republicans are urging grassroots efforts to expand GOP influence in Frankfort by flipping the last two Democratic constitutional offices in the upcoming election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Governor Matt Bevin and Congressman James Comer joined incumbent officers and Republican office-seekers at the First District Lincoln Reagan Dinner Saturday night in Murray.

Stu Johnson

Majority Floor Leader  Damon Thayer holds out hope lawmakers can still address pension reforms for public universities and quasi-state agencies when lawmakers return to Frankfort the end of March.

Previous  efforts broke down the last legislative day before the veto period.

Bill Insures Freedom Of Speech On Campus

Mar 18, 2019
creditjolt.law.harvard.edu

Public postsecondary institutions in Kentucky would be required to adopt freedom of speech policies for students and faculty under legislation passed by the General Assembly.  

Preview: Next Edition of Eastern Standard

Mar 18, 2019

  • KY has nation's highest rate of antibiotics over-use 
  • Green Room Exchange to bring World Music to Lexington stages 
  • Foster Ockerman, Jr., author of The Hidden History of Horse Racing
  • Humans of Central Appalachia featuring Russell Huff of Harlan, Ky.

kentucky.com

The fate for Kentucky’s pensions at public universities plus a number of quasi-state agencies like health departments and mental health entities is in limbo.

The state legislature adjourned last night without taking final action on the bill that had been months in the making.  Under the proposal, many university employees could be covered by a separate defined contribution plan. 

WUKY

Following a wave of “sick outs” across the state, Kentucky’s Education Commissioner Wayne D. Lewis held a press conference Friday that produced more questions than answers.

During the 20 minute press conference, that streamed live on Facebook, Lewis sounded a repeat refrain -  teachers can’t take sick days when they aren’t sick and taking those days to protest in Frankfort robs children of important instructional time.

Teachers, he said, have a constitutional right to protest.

Toyota Driving Demand For Solar Power In Ohio Valley

Mar 15, 2019
Sydney Boles/Ohio Valley ReSource

Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major investment in solar and other renewable energy in Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine property in Kentucky.

Sources close to the deal tell the Ohio Valley Resource that the Kentucky site is part of a much larger plan.

  Toyota plans to purchase as much as 800,000 megawatt hours per year, or roughly 365 megawatts, of renewable energy, primarily from developers in Appalachia and the South.

Bill Requires "In God We Trust" Motto For Schools

Mar 15, 2019
wkyt.com

The Kentucky legislature has adopted a national motto measure requiring public schools to post “In God We Trust” in a prominent spot.  Final approval came in the Senate with a 29 to eight vote Thursday night.

wkyufm.org

A bill the sponsor calls a “dramatic overhauling of the ignition interlock device program” has won final approval in the Kentucky legislature. 

The interlock acts as a breathalyzer and will prevent a vehicle from starting if the alcohol concentration is too high.  Hopkinsville Senator Whitney Westerfield expects usage to go up significantly. “We hope and expect to see the utilization climb dramatically from a 4 percent we see in a state today to something substantially higher than that.  And it will save lives.  It will make a difference,” said Westerfield

kentucky.com

Blue Grass Airport Executive Director Eric Frankl says the Lexington facility could see some impact from the decision to ground all Boeing 737 Max planes.  The FAA Wednesday grounded the planes.  It comes following the deadly crash this past weekend which killed 157 people.

Frankl delivered an airport update to the Lexington Council this week.  He saud the loss of the 737 Max planes could have an impact. .

Bill Expanding Felony Expungement Law Passes

Mar 15, 2019

The Kentucky legislature has voted to expand the state’s law that allows people to clear some Class D felonies from their records after a five-year waiting period.

Under current law, people who have been convicted of one of 61 Class D felonies can have their criminal records cleared once they complete their sentences, wait five years and pay a $500 fee.

Senate Bill 57 expands the policy to other non-violent, non-sexual Class D felonies and lowers the fee to $250.

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