Fate of Kentucky's New Pension Law to Be Decided by July

10 hours ago
Ryland Barton

A Kentucky judge says he plans to decide by July 14 whether he will block a new law making changes to Kentucky's troubled pension plan from taking effect.

State lawmakers passed a law earlier this month making changes to the state's underfunded pension system. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear sued, saying it violates the state constitution and lawmakers broke the law when they passed it.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Fresh off this year’s legislative session, a new poll suggests that Kentuckians aren’t happy with the work of the governor and state lawmakers. 

Only 32 percent of Kentuckians surveyed this month approved of Republican Governor Matt Bevin’s job performance.  Political Science Professor Joel Turner heads the Social Science Research Center at Western Kentucky University, which conducted the poll. 

Kentucky Election Officials Given Cybersecurity Training

10 hours ago

Kentucky's secretary of state says county officials are receiving cybersecurity training as the state bolsters efforts to protect its elections from the ongoing threat of hacking.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says county clerks statewide received the training Thursday from the Department of Homeland Security. She says the training is a crucial step to protect elections and to increase public confidence in the election process.

The training comes ahead of next month's primary election in Kentucky.

Mammoth Cave National Park is making plans for the future in hopes of better serving the roughly half-a-million yearly visitors to the natural attraction in south central Kentucky. 

The park has made a number of improvements within the past year, including a renovation of the lodge, upgrades to concession areas, a new pedestrian bridge, and a new handicap-accessible trail.  The national park has also installed solar panels to power charging stations for electric cars in the visitor parking lot. 

Park Superintendent Barclay Trimble spoke to members of the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday.  In addition to the improvements already made, he said the park is working on a cave management plan that will guide how the attraction operates in future decades.

Beshear Sues Drugmaker For Deceptive Marketing Of Opioids

Apr 18, 2018
Ryland Barton

Kentucky’s Democratic attorney general has filed a fifth lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company for deceptive marketing of opioid-based painkillers.

Andy Beshear said he has filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and two of its subsidiaries.

Beshear said the companies claimed their opioid drugs were “rarely addictive” when used for chronic pain. He said the companies violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act and the Kentucky Medicaid and Kentucky Assistance Program fraud statutes.

Simpson County Detention Center/Facebook

Several inmates from the Simpson County Detention Center now have jobs at private companies under a new program called SCORE. 

Three men and two women are the first inmates taking part in the program called “Second Chance Offender Rehabilitation and Education” or SCORE.

Deputy Jailer Ashley Penn is program director for the jail. She said the inmates found their own jobs, went on interviews, got hired, and at the beginning of this month, began working at local companies.

Western Kentucky University is once again in wait-and-see mode.  The school has announced plans to trim its budget by an additional $16 million. 

State budget cuts and increased pension obligations have already forced the elimination of 119 positions to help make up for a $15 million budget shortfall.

Staff Regent Tamela Smith says the reductions have affected morale and placed more responsibilities on remaining employees.

"You've taken on more work, probably without any additional compensation. You're having to do more, and in some cases, learn new skills even," Smith told WKU Public Radio. "The people that remain, it's very hard on them for a variety of reasons. You can't not be concerned about your job at this point."

Pledging to impeach President Trump would backfire on Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives this fall, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Editor's note: Since this story was first posted, we have received word that Destini Johnson is regaining consciousness and is out of intensive care.

Last August, Destini Johnson practically danced out of jail, after landing there for two months on drug charges. She bubbled with excitement about her new freedom and returning home to her parents in Muncie, Ind. She even talked about plans to find a job.

J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s administration is seeking to disqualify Attorney General Andy Beshear and his office from participating in a lawsuit filed last week over recent pension reform.

The motion filed Tuesday in Franklin Circuit Court alleges Beshear has a conflict of interest, because he provided legal advice to Kentucky lawmakers on Senate Bill 151. It includes pictures from Twitter of Beshear meeting with House and Senate Democratic leaders “to discuss legal options on pension bill” and speaking at a rally at the Capitol protesting the bill’s passage.

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