Tuesday is Election Day in Kentucky

9 hours ago

Kentuckians will make their way to the polls on Tuesday to vote in races up and down the ballot from the federal to local level.  Turnout is expected to be on par with the 2010 and 2014 mid-term elections.

About 32 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Kentucky’s 2010 mid-term election and 27 percent in the 2014 mid-terms.  This year, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is predicting turnout around 30 percent.  Her office tracks absentee ballot totals as an indicator of turnout on election day.  Grimes says she hopes this year’s primary bucks a recent trend of dismal participation rates.

"My hope is that folks realize that our elections should be determined by a majority of our electorate and not a minority, which is what we have had in the past," Grimes told WKU Public Radio.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky voters will head to the polls on Tuesday to decide who will compete for seats in the state legislature this fall.

This year’s statehouse primary elections feature a handful of crowded contests for seats vacated by retiring legislators. And dozens of teachers are hoping to ride a wave of outrage into Frankfort after launching massive protests at the state Capitol this spring.

Travis Brenda has been teaching at Rockcastle County High School for the last 19 years. He lives on a farm in Cartersville in southern Garrard County. Brenda is a Republican but he said he’s disappointed in how the fully-Republican controlled legislature is doing business.


Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

In a case involving the rights of tens of millions of private sector employees, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, delivered a major blow to workers, ruling for the first time that workers may not band together to challenge violations of federal labor laws.

Rebecca Kiger

Far from the ocean and Puerto Rico’s famous beaches, narrow roads wind into mountains not unlike the country roads of our home, West Virginia. After hours of driving we reach a rural community in the island’s center called Tetuan Tres. Like so many places in rural Appalachia, you don’t come here accidentally.

We’ve come to learn more about how families here are recovering from natural disaster, and what it might teach us about the ways West Virginia communities can cope with devastating floods.


Kentucky Department of Corrections

Kentucky’s new Department of Corrections commissioner says one of his top priorities is reducing recidivism.

Jim Erwin said 34 of Kentucky’s jails and prisons are about 140 to 300 percent over capacity. Erwin said the opioid crisis is a major reason behind the overcrowding. He said the department is seeing an increase in people violating their parole for technical violations driven by drug use.  

 

“We are basically the largest substance abuse treatment provider in the state. The department of corrections is,” he told WKU Public Radio.

Kentucky Poor People's Campaign

About 20 residents of Bowling Green will be at the state Capitol Monday, May 21 speaking out for the Kentucky Poor People’s campaign. 

Reverend Megan Huston is senior minister at First Christian Church in Bowling Green. She’s one of three Kentucky coordinators for the Poor People’s Campaign, a national effort originally launched in 1968 by Martin Luther King.

Huston says the goal of the campaign is to bring awareness to issues that include mass incarceration, voting rights, immigration, systemic racism and poverty.

Jerry Helton

The Appalachian coalfields are in the midst of an epidemic of severe black lung disease. The debilitating and even deadly disease has recently begun to affect miners as young as 30. Dust from coal mines has scarred these miners’ lungs, so little of the air they breathe gets absorbed. In central Appalachia, researchers say, one in every five experienced miners have some form of impairment, and one in every 20 now have the most advanced and disabling form of black lung.

A new study shows that as black lung cases have surged there has also been a dramatic increase in one very expensive and risky surgical treatment — lung transplant. A new set of lungs can make it easier to breathe again, but the surgery introduces a whole new set of medical issues. Most transplant recipients die within 5 years.


J. Tyler Franklin

This week in Kentucky politics, candidates made their final pushes ahead of next week’s primary elections. Voters across the state will weigh in on who to nominate for Congress, the state legislature and several local offices on Tuesday. Plus, Gov. Matt Bevin named a new secretary of the state health cabinet and headed off to Asia on a trade mission.


Kyeland Jackson

The University of Louisville has reached a $4.5 million settlement with former athletic director Tom Jurich, who was fired last year after two decades in the position.

Under the terms of the agreement, the university will pay Jurich within 10 days. The university also acknowledged that Jurich was entitled to benefits it promised him before his firing, agreeing to pay him an additional $2.6 million in deferred compensation and annuity payments.

Other benefits include medical coverage for him and his spouse until they qualify for Medicare, retired U of L employee benefits, and seat licenses for eight club level tickets with two priority parking passes to Louisville football and basketball games for 20 years.

Wikimedia Commons

Next week, Kentucky voters will head to the polls to weigh in on primary elections, including who to nominate for state legislative elections this fall.

All 100 seats in the state House of Representatives and half of the 38 seats in the state Senate are up for re-election this year.

At least 40 current and retired educators are running after the legislature voted to make changes to retirement for current and future teachers and other state workers.

And a wave of retirements from the statehouse has sparked hotly contested primaries, with both of Kentucky’s major political parties hoping to flip districts in their favor.

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Rob Taber

LRS LIVE Replay: Lilly Hiatt and Kristina Murray

Lilly Hiatt and Kristina Murray played April's installment of Lost River Sessions LIVE at the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green. Lilly played songs from her album Trinity Lane, which was released last fall. It was a return to Bowling Green for Hiatt whose first show following her record release came at The A-Frame in Bowling Green.

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