Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio

KPR Reporter

Alan Lytle is news director at WUKY in Lexington, KY, which is a partner-station of Kentucky Public Radio.

Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear is once again encouraging grocery shoppers to purchase a few extra items for the 15 domestic violence shelters across the commonwealth.  It’s all part of the fifth annual Shop and Share Day.    “And the idea is that each one of us goes this coming Saturday, February 2nd and as you are purchasing your items for your Super Bowl Party, that you think about helping others that are so desperate. There’ll be a volunteer in all of our stores and they’ll give you a list as to what are needed in your local shelter,” said Beshear.

Whitney Hale

UK Music Students and their instructors have been ushered into the digital age with some new equipment introduced this week. The University of Kentucky School of Music is the proud owner of some 18 new, state of the art Yamaha Disklavier pianos.  The instruments contain on-board computers that record, playback, and store musical arrangements.  They were dedicated and demonstrated at the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center on Monday.  Vocal Major Rebecca Farley sang a selection from Phantom of the Opera accompanied by, in essence, a phantom piano player.

UK Public Relations

A residence hall for first year University of Kentucky Fine Arts students now bears the name of UK’s 9th President.  At a ceremony on Tuesday, the former North Hall, a 144-bed complex, which opened in 2005, was re-christened Roselle Hall in honor of David P. Roselle, who held the post from July 1987 through December 1989.

Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson will retire from his post on September first, the track announced earlier today.  He will be succeeded by current Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomason. Nicholson has been the President and CEO of Keeneland for nearly 13 years. “Keeneland is a tradition and an entity like no other,” said Keeneland Trustee Louis Lee Haggin, III.  “We understand and respect why Nick made his decision, but his daily presence and vision will be missed. 

Officials at the Kentucky Horse Park are betting that they can help school children develop a love of reading.  As Alan Lytle reports, a recently launched literacy project helps bring some of the things they read about in books to life. It was 1938 all over again for nearly a thousand area first graders.  The students were at the Kentucky Horse Park on Tuesday to take part in a re-enactment of the famous Match Race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.  The event was part of the horse park’s literacy program.

The first Friday in April marks the start of the Keeneland Spring meet in Lexington, and for the past 16 years it’s also served as a kickoff for a charitable effort involving the racetrack, Makers Mark bourbon and the University of Kentucky.  The distiller produces a limited number of collectible bottles, featuring noted local sports personalities, and donates the sale proceeds to a number of UK-related programs.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A public celebration for the National Champion Kentucky Wildcats is planned for Tuesday afternoon at Rupp Arena. Hundreds of the Big Blue faithful lined up outside Rupp Arena in the early hours Tuesday to get the free tickets for the celebration. The Wildcats' plane is scheduled to touch down at Blue Grass Airport at around 3 p.m.

A spokesman for University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says the school is disappointed with some aspects of the final budget compromise worked out by the legislative conference committee. Jay Blanton says the administration was already bracing for a significant cut in state support, but conferees delivered a double whammy when they refused to allow the state’s flagship university to increase its debt capacity an additional $200 million dollars for campus construction.

Championship-level celebrations often have a way of getting out of hand, and city, county, and campus authorities say they have a plan in place to make sure the Wildcat faithful show their team spirit in a safe and respectable manner.UK Police Chief Joe Monroe says it will take a team effort to stop revelers from engaging in dangerous behavior.

Kumble Subbaswamy, who has served as the provost of the University of Kentucky since 2006 is leaving to accept the Chancellorship at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst; the school announced Monday. Subbaswamy was one of four finalists for the position. In a release the Amherst Board of Trustees, describes Dr. Subbaswamy as "a proven academic leader who will guide the Amherst campus to new heights...he has the experience, vision, intellect and drive to move the flagship campus forward."

University of Kentucky Provost Kumble Subbaswamy is heading to New England.  He has accepted a job as Chancellor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  Subbaswamy has served as provost at UK since 2006.

Proposals to revitalize Lexington’s Distillery District were discussed at a public meeting Wednesday night at the McConnell Springs Education Center.  A team of landscape architects and engineers discussed a number of structural, and aesthetic changes that could be introduced to the area comprising Manchester Street, Oliver Lewis Way and Forbes Road.

Midway College will soon be looking for another president.  After 10 years at the helm, Dr. William B. Drake has submitted his resignation to the Board of Trustees. “I feel very much that my work is completed here at Midway College.  Our enrollment is up nearly 20% this year; we were up 14% last year.  We’ve hit all of our targets.  So I feel really a sense of completion at this point", said Drake.

Adam Bouska

Photographers will be in Lexington for a unique of photo shoot Tuesday night.  It’s part of the national NOH8 campaign; a social media phenomenon spawned by people opposed to California’s Proposition 8 ballot initiative which prohibited same-sex couples from marrying. Craig Cammack, with Lexington Fairness, says his organization was able to get the group to come to Kentucky because of its desire to get more Kentucky cities to pass fairness ordinances.

Kentucky Public Radio.

A local architect says it’s no coincidence that some of the worst storm damage in Eastern Kentucky occurred to people in mobile homes.  Michael Jacobs, with Omni Architects in Lexington, says his firm is working with the UK College of Design, Kentucky Highlands Corporation, and others, on a major project that could eventually bring sturdier, more affordable, and energy-efficient housing to rural areas of the state.

Louisville and Kentucky both begin play next weekend in the women’s NCAA basketball tournament. The pairings were announced tonight. The seventh seeded Cardinals will take on number ten seed Michigan State Saturday in College Park, Maryland. UK is a number two seed and will face 15th-seeded McNeese State Saturday in Ames, Iowa.

Tickets for the NCAA Tournament games at Louisville’s Yum Center are hard to come by and as Alan Lytle reports,  that could open the door to a variety of scam artists.  Heather Clary with the Better Business Bureau of Central and Eastern Kentucky says it’s a good idea to do some checking on who’s selling before you start buying.

A Lexington-based non-profit organization has started a fund to help storm affected Eastern Kentuckians get started rebuilding their lives once relief workers leave the area. While the cleanup and damage assessments continue in storm-ravaged Eastern Kentucky, a non-profit group in Central Kentucky is starting a fund to help communities rebuild what has been lost.

The University of Kentucky has entered into a Master Alliance Agreement with Kentucky-based Alltech for a variety of research-related projects.  The pact allows even closer collaborations between scientists and researchers at the global animal health and nutrition company and their counterparts at UK. Scott Smith, Dean of the UK College of Agriculture, says the partnership signifies a new way forward for research.

While the Red Cross and other relief agencies concentrate on fundraising on behalf of storm relief efforts, Kentucky State Police are collecting all manner of supplies to aid in the cleanup and recovery across the Commonwealth. KSP spokesman, Lieutenant David Jude says all 16 posts have been designated as drop-off areas where people can donate badly needed items.

A community meeting is scheduled at Lexington’s Lyric Theatre Tuesday night to give residents a chance to speak out about the kind of events they would like to see at the venue. Some African-American community members have expressed frustration with what they see as a lack of access to the refurbished facility.

Governor Steve Beshear has announced the appointment of veteran Thoroughbred trainer John Ward as the new executive director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Ward, who along with his wife Donna operate John T. Ward Stables in Paris, Ky., as well as training and racing operations in New York and Florida, will assume his new role April 1. He succeeds Lisa Underwood who resigned in November 2011 to return to private law practice. 

Officials with the U.S. Postal Service have been studying closing more than two hundred fifty mail processing centers across the country as part of a cost-cutting move. On Thursday they confirmed that the Lexington facility on Nandino Boulevard will be one of them.

The childhood home of former First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, is normally closed all winter long, but the historic house on Main Street in Lexington is making an exception for this Monday; Presidents Day. Executive Director Gwen Thompson says the staff always put together a youth-oriented program for the holiday. "It's really catered more to the children. It's different from our regular tours which really are more adult-friendly, so this is an experience for the kids and to make museums fun for them."

A spokesman with the Fayette County Health Department says the flu season so far, has been mild. Kevin Hall says there are fewer confirmed cases to report than at this same time last year. "The flu is down. Last year at this time we had 160 cases. The average age then was about twenty-five. We're looking at about 18 right now, so you can see that it is trending younger."

A group dedicated to safeguarding Kentucky's architectural treasures is attempting to roll out a specialty license plate. The non-profit, Preservation Kentucky, needs 900 applications by December 2013. From the proceeds, the group hopes to create a special grant fund. Cities and non-profits could then use the money to fund preservation efforts or add buildings to the National Register.

Saturday is a big day for nearly 700 Fayette County public, private and home school students participating in the 28th annual Kentucky American Water Science Fair at Bryan Station High. Fayette County Public Schools Science Contest Specialist David Helm, a twenty-year veteran of the science fair, says the event is an opportunity for kids to put what they've been studying into action.

Whether in your driveway or at a corner gas station, Lexington Police say it's never a good idea to leave your car unlocked with the engine running. More to the point, it's illegal. Detective Jeremiah Davis, with Lex PD's auto theft and commercial burglary unit, says motorists need to resist the temptation of starting up their cars and leaving them unattended while they warm up.

The home of the Big Blue was converted into a sea of red on Sunday as hundreds of Cincinnati Reds fans gathered at the Civic Center for the Lexington stop of the club's annual Winter Caravan. The event featured three time Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips, former Reds great Lee May, and up and coming catcher Tucker Barnhart.

Improving the well-being of Kentucky's children was the theme of a regional conference in Lexington on Monday. Policymakers, stakeholders, and representatives from numerous child advocacy groups shared their ideas at the Step Up For Kids event. Attendees heard presentations on everything from early childhood and alternative education, monitoring managed care, as well as curbing incarcerations for youth misbehaviors like skipping school and running away from home.