Becca Schimmel

Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate says the state’s economy would get a major boost from an infrastructure overhaul. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray spoke to students Friday at Western Kentucky University.

Gray said if nothing is done by the year 2020 it will take a trillion dollars to fix the nation’s infrastructure problems. The Barren County native cited a report from the American Society of Civil Engineers that gave Kentucky’s infrastructure a grade of C. Gray said lawmakers have to address the declining health of the nation’s roads, bridges and other modes of transportation first.

Jim Beam

Striking Jim Beam workers at two Kentucky distilleries have accepted a contract offer, ending a walkout that lasted nearly a week.

United Food and Commercial Workers union official Tommy Ballard says workers approved the proposal on a 204-19 vote Friday and will return to work Monday. The strike began last Saturday when Beam workers at two distilleries turned down a prior offer.

The workers' main complaint with the world's leading bourbon producer was not money but time. The union wanted more full-time workers hired, rather than a greater reliance on temporary workers.

Creative Commons/Joshua Allen

Daviess County doctors are treating as many as 500 patients who are suffering from a once-rare allergy.

Alpha-gal syndrome is spread through tick bites, and leads to allergic reactions after the eating of red meat.

Physicians at Owensboro’s Allergy and Asthma Specialists are seeing an explosion in the number of people diagnosed with the allergy.

Physician assistant Caitlyn Renaud says Alpha-gal is different from a regular allergy because of its delayed reaction time.

“People had dinner at, like, 7 o’clock at night and they ate a steak or cheeseburger. And they would wake up in the middle of the night with swelling, hives, and itching,” she said.  

Other symptoms of Alpha-gal syndrome include abdominal cramping and vomiting.

The allergy especially prevalent in the south-east because of the number of ticks found in the region.

Kentuckians in more than half of all counties who buy insurance through next year will have a much more limited choice of doctors and hospitals.

That’s because the only insurer left in Kentucky offering exchange plans in all 120 counties — Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield — will only offer an HMO plan in 74 of those counties starting Jan. 1.

J. Tyler Franklin

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to vacate a ruling against the governor’s overhaul of the University of Louisville Board of Trustees.

The governor’s office requested the modification earlier this week, saying that the court had misinterpreted facts in the case and made a “manifest error of law” in its legal analysis.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled last month that Bevin didn’t have the authority to abolish the U of L board because trustees couldn’t be removed without cause. On Friday, Shepherd ruled that “there is no reason to re-open this case, or to delay its finality, with additional arguments.”

Bevin argued that he didn’t “remove” board members but instead abolished the board in its entirety, which the governor says he had the authority to do.

In the decision from Friday, Shepherd once again ruled that abolishing the board amounted to removing its members.

Republicans have added more than 77,000 people to their voter registration rolls since last year, easily outpacing Democrats while still trailing them in overall numbers.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced the new totals Thursday, less than a month before the Nov. 8 general election. The deadline to register to vote was last week.

Since November 2015, Republicans have added 77,242 voters while Democrats gained 11,385. Democrats still have a majority, claiming 51 percent of all registered voters compared with Republicans' 40 percent. The rest are registered as third party or independent voters.

Democrats fared better with new voters, signing up 44,712 since March compared with 46,328 Republicans. But it appears Republicans are benefiting from a number of registered Democrats deciding to switch parties.

Ohio County Schools

Three Kentucky school districts are sharing a $450,000 state grant to expand preschool programs.

Owensboro, Daviess County and Ohio County will each get $150,000 to upgrade preschool offerings, especially for at-risk children.

Cheston Hoover is director of district programs for Ohio County Schools. He says the school district is partnering with Audubon Area Head Start to give more children a solid educational foundation.

“We’re a very large county and in some of the communities within our county, the child care, preschool, early education services are pretty limited.  And so we’re looking to expand one of those from a half-day to a full day.”

That expansion will be at the Horse Branch Elementary preschool program. Hoover says part of the funding will be used to add a staff member in the classroom and a recruiter to identify more eligible children.

“There’s lots of research that shows that full day Head Start and preschool benefits the child academically and socially. It’s also a benefit for parents to where their child can receive those services throughout the school day and not have to find another service for either the first or second half of the day.”

Owensboro will add a new full-day preschool class at Estes Elementary.

Daviess County Public Schools will partner with the Owensboro Family YMCA to expand preschool services to children who don’t speak English at home and those in foster care.

Kentucky Supreme Court Strikes Down Minimum Wage Ordinance

Oct 20, 2016
Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts

A minimum wage increase approved by the Louisville Metro Council has been struck down by Kentucky's Supreme Court.

In a 6-1 ruling Thursday, court said the city's minimum wage ordinance is "invalid and unenforceable."

Louisville's council voted nearly two years ago to increase workers' wages to $9 per hour, phasing in the increases. Louisville became the first Kentucky city to increase minimum wages above the federal level of $7.25 an hour.

Louisville's ordinance was challenged in court by the Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Kentucky Retail Federation and local employer Packaging Unlimited.

In writing for the court's majority, Justice Bill Cunningham said the ordinance's conflict with state law is "precisely the type of 'conflict' prohibited by the state Constitution. His opinion drew a dissent from Justice Samuel T. Wright III.

Barbara Deeb
Abbey Oldham

Longtime WKU PBS host Barbara Deeb is returning to her radio roots as she becomes the new local host of All Things Considered on WKU Public Radio.  

Rhonda Miller, who joined the station in 2015, will move into a full-time reporter’s role in the newsroom, covering various issues throughout the WKU Public Radio listening area.

Deeb originally came to Bowling Green as an anchor and reporter for WKYU-FM in 1980. In recent years, her duties have been primarily on WKU PBS as host of MainStreet and Outlook.

“I am delighted at the opportunity to come full circle in the career I love,” said Deeb. “I look forward to my new duties as host of All Things Considered while continuing to make meaningful television programs for our public radio and television audience.”

Kentucky State Police and the Drug Enforcement Agency are partnering together in an effort to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs.

Take Back locations will be set up at fifteen K-S-P posts this Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Trooper Josh Brashears, a public affairs officer with the state police, says the Take Back initiative has led to the destruction of thousands of pounds of drugs across the state.

“We do it semi-annually. We did one in April of this year, and it netted about 1,010 pounds of prescription drugs,” Brashears said.

Nearly 10,000 pounds of medicine has been collected since the program began in 2010.

All solid dosage pharmaceutical products and liquids in containers will be accepted at the Take Back locations across the state.


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