Lisa Autry

Some Kentucky businesses are placing their names on a growing national list of sanctuary restaurants. 

At least ten businesses in the commonwealth have declared themselves sanctuary restaurants, meaning they have zero tolerance racism, sexism, and xenophobia.  The designation also bans harassment against anyone based on their immigrant or refugee status. 

Home Café in Bowling Green has joined the movement.  Owner Josh Poling says restaurants can’t survive without immigrants, documented or undocumented.

Mitch McConnell Interrupted as Trump Protests Continue

4 hours ago
J. Tyler Franklin

Two protesters interrupted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech Thursday before a suit-and-tie crowd at a local chamber of commerce luncheon in northern Kentucky to demand he speak with them.

McConnell has made three days of public appearances in Kentucky that required attendees to have tickets. Both protesters, who did not identify themselves, were quickly escorted out of the room. McConnell quipped, "I see we're having multiple speakers today," before continuing his speech.

Afterward, McConnell told reporters he is listening to what the protesters have to say, but he said they have a fundamental disagreement. He defended their right to protest.

Hundreds of protesters have greeted McConnell this week. Many, including 35-year-old Steve Felix of Highland Heights, held signs demanding Republicans back off plans to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act. McConnell vowed Congress would repeal the law "this year."

Kentucky LRC

A Bowling Green nursing home for military veterans is one step closer to getting state funding.

The Kentucky House Thursday unanimously passed a bill providing 10-and-a-half million dollars in state support for the proposed facility.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has already approved the project, and committed
federal funding for its construction.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 99-0.

It now goes to the Senate. If passed there, it’s expected to be signed into law by Governor Bevin.

J. Tyler Franklin

Despite protests from Louisville Democrats, a state Senate committee on Thursday passed a bill that would tinker with the way the city’s Metro Council operates.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had a mixed response to policies in the legislation, but called the process by which the bill has been negotiated an “insult to the people of Louisville.”

“There are good things with the bill, there are bad things with the bill,” Fischer said. “There’s unfunded mandates in the bill, there’s tremendously increased workloads in the bill as well. That’s not the primary issue to me, the issue is the citizens of Louisville should have a voice in any changes that takes place to their government.”

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Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s been impressed with Trump’s picks for cabinet positions and is encouraged by the administration’s pledge to cut federal regulations.

Bevin took part in a panel discussion Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC in Washington.

He also touted his own initiative to cut bureaucratic red tape in Frankfort.

“We’ve pledged to cutting 30 percent of all the red tape in Kentucky in the next three years,” Bevin said. “We have 130,000 rules. Pretty confident that we can govern everybody with 90-something-thousand.”

Rhonda J Miller

A group of  citizens from the Bowling Green area met with Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie on Feb. 22 to express concern about issues that have arisen with the administration of President Trump. Maureen Davis is a spokeswoman for the group of seven area residents that met with Guthrie.

Basically our number one concern is making sure that he supports an independent investigation into the interference of Russia in our election. There’s a bill that’s been presented in the House to that effect.”

That proposed legislation, H.R. 356, is a House of Representatives bill that would establish a national commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election.

Guthrie didn’t promise the group that he will support that particular bill, but he did say a bipartisan committee is being formed to look into the issue.

WKU

Kentucky's public colleges and universities would have to compete with each other for shrinking state tax dollars under a bill that has cleared the state Senate.

Senate Bill 153 would divide up more than $1 billion in state tax dollars to public colleges and universities based on a new formula, which would reward institutions for awarding more degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. Other criteria include the number of degrees awarded to low-income and minority students, total enrollment and campus size.

The formula would only apply to 5 percent of state funding next year. But after that, all state funding would be awarded based on the new formula. The bill would phase in spending cuts over the next four years.

The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.

Ryland Barton

Opponents flooded a town hall event held by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in Mt. Sterling early Wednesday morning. The group booed, shouted down and at times hissed at Kentucky’s 6th district congressman over his stances on cutting corporate taxes, repealing the Affordable Care Act and scaling back the Environmental Protection Agency.

The group also criticized Barr for not holding a town hall event in the largest city in Barr’s district — Lexington.

“If he’s off all week, why can’t he have more and have them in some larger towns,” asked Jessie Bollinger, a social worker from Lexington after the event. “I think he’s trying to avoid our voices. Because our voices were pretty strong here in this little small courtroom.”

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is announcing a video contest aimed at raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. He was at Western Kentucky University Wednesday to promote the effort.  

College and university students can submit a 30-second video encouraging the reporting of sexual assault. One winner will be determined by a panel of sexual assault survivors and advocates, while another winner will be based on which video gets the most online views. Both winners will receive a $500 prize.

 

Beshear said the goal is to make campuses safer.

 

“Because of a lack of transparency in reporting, I don’t think that college students understand or know the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses,” Beshear said.

Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

Gov. Matt Bevin announced his support for the latest charter school bill introduced in the General Assembly. The legislation would allow non-profit or for-profit organizations to create new charter schools with the permission of a local school district or the state Department of Education.

House Education Chair Bam Carney, a Republican from Campbellsville, said he envisions three to five of the institutions opening up in Kentucky by the 2018-19 school year.

“I would prefer it kinda grow slowly,” Carney said during a news conference on Tuesday.

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