In today’s closely watched Democratic primary election for secretary of state, Governor Steve Beshear called voters on behalf of incumbent Elaine Walker, who faces Lexington attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes. Beshear appointed the former mayor of Bowling Green to fill the remainder of former Secretary of State Trey Grayson’s term in January, but had kept Walker at arm’s length up until now.

Claiming Democrats are staging a “dog and pony show”, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blasted plans to revoke billions in tax subsidies given to oil companies in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday.

CNN Money has listed the worst-performing Fortune 500 stocks for the last decade. The top spots went to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, investment banks and other companies that are blamed for leading into the recession. At the end of the list, though, at number 18, is media giant Gannett, a victim of the recession.

As of 3 p.m. EDT, two calls have been received by the Kentucky attorney general’s election fraud hotline since the polls opened Tuesday morning.  One call came from Fayette County and the other from Henry County.  Both calls were characterized as general complaints and did not involve allegations of vote-buying.

Election officials have been predicting low voter turnout for this primary election. But some people -- whether because of their strong belief in civic duty, a voting streak, or because their spouse made them -- found time to cast their ballot Tuesday. Here's what some voters in Lexington had to say, "The leaders will be chosen by the people who care enough to vote."

Volunteers Save Smiles One Tooth at a Time

May 17, 2011

Three years ago, Winchester dentist Rankin Skinner was reading The New York Times when he came across an article that hit particularly close to home. According to the article, children in Kentucky suffered from more tooth decay than any other state in the country.

Georgia Joins Tracking of Pain Drugs

May 17, 2011

Lawmakers in Georgia have approved a system to track prescription drugs dispensed there, which could help put a dent in interstate pill trafficking that has fed drug abuse and overdose deaths in Kentucky. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the state's new prescription-monitoring program into law on Friday. That was a good step, said Boyd County Sheriff Terry Keelin.

More Grads Get Job-Related Diplomas

May 17, 2011

The number of people getting credentials from Kentucky colleges and universities surged in 2010-11, rising 11 percent at the state's public and independent institutions to an all-time high of 62,681 graduates. Diplomas and certificates that target specific job areas are driving the growth more than associate and baccalaureate degrees, according to numbers released Monday by Kentucky's Council on Postsecondary Education.

Toyota Gives 100 Vehicles to Nonprofits

May 17, 2011

Polls are open for Facebook users to select nonprofit organizations, including some with Scott County ties, to be awarded new Toyota vehicles. Toyota Motor Corp.’s 100 Cars For Good Program appears on the Toyota USA Facebook page. Each day, the company will feature five nonprofit organizations and the highest vote-getter will receive the vehicle of its choice. The company will give 100 vehicles to 100 nonprofit organizations over 100 days.

Six die on Kentucky Roadways

May 17, 2011

Six people died in six separate crashes on Kentucky roadways from Monday, May 9, through Sunday, May 15.  All of the fatalities involved motor vehicles and four of the victims were not wearing seat belts. Single-fatality crashes occurred in Carlisle, Estill, Jefferson, Oldham, Perry, and Spencer counties. Alcohol was a factor in the Estill and Spencer county crashes, according to a Kentucky State Police press release.

Shuttle carries Kentucky Cancer Experiment

May 17, 2011

Kentucky scientists will soon be analyzing cells that flew to space aboard the second-to-last U.S. space shuttle flight as part of their effort to determine whether the growth of brain tumors can be slowed. The space shuttle Endeavour, which lifted off Monday morning, is carrying a biomedical experiment that will investigate whether the combined effects of microgravity and ionizing radiation increase or decrease the survival rate of cancer cells affected by glioblastoma multiforme, said Kris Kimel of Kentucky Space, an independent company started by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corp. in 2007.

Georgetown College AD Steps Down

May 17, 2011

Eric Ward announced Monday that he will step down as Georgetown College’s director of athletics, effective June 30. “I think it’s in my best interest and the best interest of the college,” he said.  Ward has been director of athletics at Georgetown for 10 years. During his tenure, he has overseen improvements to the baseball field, hired full-time coaches in positions that had been only part-time, and put in countless hours with “the pedal to the floor,” he said.

Powell Co. Judge-Executive Dies

May 17, 2011

Powell County Judge-Executive Jim Potts, who had served in office only five months, died Monday. He was 67.  Mr. Potts, a Democrat, was elected in November, defeating Republican Randy Bowen and write-in candidate Darren Farmer. He took office in January.

Homeowners Warned of Flood Damage Risks

May 17, 2011

As floodwaters recede in western Kentucky, homeowners are reminded that furnaces, water heaters, electric panels and liquefied petroleum gas tanks that have been underwater may need to be inspected after repairs are complete.

The latest student numbers at Eastern Kentucky come with an interesting twist. Since 2006, summer school enrollment at EKU has increased by more than 4 percent. At the same time, there are fewer faces on campus.  School officials cite the growing popularity of online classes.  President Doug Whitlock says Eastern is competing with  institutions like Phoenix University to provide quality online classes.

Voter turnout in Madison County today is expected in the eight to nine percent range.  With 52-thousand registered voters, those are anemic numbers. They come as no surprise to County Clerk Kenny Barger, who is more concerned about cost.

An organizational change within the American Red Cross is affecting the city of Lexington's public transit service. LexTran has a contract with the Bluegrass Chapter of the Red Cross to operate WHEELS, the transportation service for people with disabilities. As LexTran prepares to pass a $24 million budget for the next fiscal year, the Red Cross has said it needs an additional $346,000, pushing the cost of its service past $4 million a year.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is conducting an exercise this week in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which covers much of Kentucky. FEMA will conduct various simulations and drills to test the federal, state and local response to a devastating earthquake on the New Madrid Fault. Among the participants will be about 30 of the University of Louisville’s standardized patients, who act out various maladies during disaster drills. Program director Carrie Bohnert says the patients have been trained to simulate common earthquake-related injuries.

The Vatican today released a letter presenting some guidelines for dealing with sex abuse in dioceses around the world. The letter didn’t change much on the policy outlined last summer by Pope Benedict XVI…and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says the new guidelines don’t go far enough.

Polls Open, Record Low Turnout Expected

May 17, 2011

Kentucky elections officials are predicting the second-lowest voter turnout for a primary in more than 10 years. Secretary of State Elaine Walker predicts 10% of voters will go to the polls today.

A day before the May 17 primary, the Kentucky Democratic Party and Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams are trading barbs in a likely preview of the general election. Williams is the favorite in the race against Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw. Hoping to clip his turnout, the KDP launched a 30-second YouTube video slamming the state Senate president for refusing to release his tax returns, suggesting he has something to hide.

Mayor Jim Gray, business and other community leaders helped cut the ribbon today at the Town Branch Market, a new corner grocery shop in downtown Lexington. Alan Lytle has details.

Nothing was resolved at a Frankfort hearing in Kentucky's price gouging case against Marathon Oil.  Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate is in the middle of a murder trial, and rescheduled the Marathon case for Thursday morning.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” on Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the debt limit debate presents “an opportunity” to take on federal spending.

Despite a drop in production and profits after the earthquake in Japan, Toyota Motor Company officials are optimistic about the automaker’s future. Toyota sales spokesperson Steve Curtis says the parts shortage that followed the earthquake has not been as long or severe as expected. Toyota profits dropped by 77 percent after the disaster, but Curtis says demand, at least in North America, remains high.

While media outlets are focused on U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s latest gaffe, few noticed he was passed over for a coveted committee slot by fellow Kentucky Republican and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who selected a junior colleague instead.

A report in the Lexington Herald-Leader reveals Governor Steve Beshear used a state plane to take his family to the 2011 NCAA Final Four basketball tournament in Houston. The Kentucky Democratic Party reimbursed the state $6,105 for the flight and has spent almost $85,000 to cover the cost of similar flights since the governor took office.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition wants to change a family's life in Lexington. The ABC television show known for tearing down and completely rebuilding homes in a matter of days is seeking nominations in the central Kentucky area.

With the snips of several ceremonial scissors, a host of local, state, and federal dignitaries on Sunday, helped the University of Kentucky officially dedicate the new 12-story Patient Care Pavilion at UK Hospital. Alan Lytle has the story. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says UK's new facility marks a significant milestone in healthcare for the Commonwealth.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is working to collect photographs of all 1,058 Kentuckians whose names are on the memorial in Washington, D.C.  It’s part of a national effort to gather photos for an online exhibit and for an underground education center being built near the memorial.