Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Family, friends and former teammates and colleagues are paying tribute to Jim Bunning. The former U.S. Senator, Congressman and baseball Hall-of-Famer died Friday night. He was 85.

Bunning had suffered a stroke in October at his home in Southgate, Kentucky.

By the time Jim Bunning decided to enter politics, he already had a distinguished baseball career behind him. Bunning pitched for four teams during his 17-year career, mainly for Detroit and Philadelphia.

President Trump has had, according to the White House, a successful maiden trip outside the U.S. But the bad news is he has to come home. Back in Washington, the ongoing Russia investigations await him along with another appeals court setback for his travel ban.

Ryland Barton

Gov. Matt Bevin is criticizing news coverage of his family’s move into a mansion in suburban Louisville earlier this year, saying questions over the home’s purchase are misplaced.

After an economic development announcement Friday afternoon, Bevin ranted for 12 minutes about several news outlets’ coverage of the transaction.

The Courier-Journal first reported that a home the Bevins moved into in March is owned by an organization called Anchorage Place LLC.

Owensboro Community and Technical College

An Owensboro area program that gives students a chance to earn their high school diploma and an associate’s degree - at the same time - is expanding.

The Early College program at Owensboro Community and Technical College had its first three graduates in 2016 and 10 graduates this year.

OCTC Early College Coordinator Karen Miller said 32 high school students are on track to get both their diploma and associate's degree next year. She said the program offers students a transition time.

“It puts them in those general education classes and they get exposed to college, but they have the resources that they’ve had throughout high school.”      

Five school districts are participating in the program – Owensboro Public Schools, as well as schools in Daviess, Hancock, McLean and Ohio counties.

Complaint Raises Questions about Kentucky Governor, Mansion

May 26, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

The head of a Kentucky government watchdog group said Friday he's seeking an investigation into Gov. Matt Bevin's reported connection to a Louisville-area mansion that sold for nearly a million dollars below market value.

Richard Beliles, chairman of Common Cause Kentucky, said he filed a complaint with the state's Executive Branch Ethics Commission. It stems from questions regarding the mansion's sale and reports that the Republican governor's family has taken up residence there.

Beliles is asking whether that chain of events involving the governor and one of his backers amounts to improper gifts under the ethics code for state officials.

U.S. Senate Acts on Trump Pick, Promotes Judge to Appeals Court

May 25, 2017
Vanderbilt University

The Senate on Thursday filled the first federal appeals court vacancy in more than a year, promoting a trial court judge who is close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar of Kentucky was confirmed for the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by a 52-44 vote. Thapar was the first judge nominated by President Donald Trump to a district or appeals court.

There are about 120 court vacancies now, with Senate Republicans having slowed confirmations toward the end of President Barack Obama's term.

The last appeals court nominee to be confirmed: U.S. District Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo in January 2016 for the 3rd Circuit after a wait of more than 400 days.

Google Earth

If the dam failed at the Ghent Power Station’s coal ash pond, it would only take 20 minutes for the toxic coal ash slurry to reach a residential neighborhood in Carroll County. Near the Brown Power Plant in Central Kentucky, homes on nearby Herrington Lake could get five feet of sludge. And at Louisville’s Mill Creek Power Station, the homes across the street from the plant’s ash pond would have a foot of the contaminated water within 30 minutes.

These are the details included in Emergency Action Plans posted online, required to be made available to the public for the first time last week due to new federal regulations.

J. Tyler Franklin

A Jefferson County grand jury has declined to return an indictment in connection with the sex scandal involving the University of Louisville men’s basketball program.

A criminal investigation was launched following the publication of the book “Breaking Cardinal Rules,” in which author Katina Powell claimed she was paid by former basketball staff member Andre McGee to provide strippers and prostitutes to Cardinal players and recruits.

A statement from Commonwealth’s Attorney Tom Wine says there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against Powell or McGee.

Flickr/Creative Commons/Chris Hunkeler

Many companies in Kentucky say the jobs are out there, but the workers are not. 

The state Society for Human Resource Management released a survey this week of 1,084 companies.

Eighty-four percent of the companies surveyed said they’re having trouble filling jobs.  The survey found the biggest shortages are in healthcare, engineering, and skilled trades.  Most of the businesses are expecting growth in the next few years, increasing the need for qualified employees. 

Secretary Hal Heiner in the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says a high school diploma is no longer enough.

"Many of the experts are predicting that in about eight years, 2025, 80 percent of all jobs in the U.S. will require a credential or some education past high school," Heiner told WKU Public Radio.

Creative Commons

Two union groups have filed a lawsuit to block Kentucky’s new “right-to-work” law.

That law prohibits unions from being able to collect what are known as “fair share fees”.

Those fees are imposed on non-union employees in exchange for the benefits of being in a unionized workplace.

In January, Kentucky became the 27th state to pass such a measure, which supporters say makes the state more competitive when trying to get companies to move to or expand in Kentucky.

Kentucky AFL-CIO president Bill Londrigan said the new law is part of a political strategy to stifle union voices.

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LRS LIVE Replay: Kelsey Waldon & The Dead Broke Barons

Americana artist Kelsey Waldon and Franklin's own Dead Broke Barons were the featured artists on April 20th for Lost River Sessions LIVE! at the Capitol Arts Center in downtown Bowling Green. Both bands have appeared on the TV version of Lost River Sessions, but the live concert gave the audience a chance to see these bands in person.

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