Pokey LaFarge on his musical style, influences and life on the road
Among the things that make Pokey LaFarge stand out: his unique moniker, his throwback sound, the formal attire he often sports on stage and one of the songs from his latest album, which celebrates….a time zone.
I don’t mind the West Coast, and I don’t mind the East Coast, Oh, baby, but I ain’t gonna live on no coast. I’m just a plain ol’ Midwestern boy, gettin’ by on central time.
LaFarge says the song, called "Central Time", took him only five minutes to write
“Some songwriters would say that’s proof that it’s a good song,” said LaFarge. “Some of the best songs come out that way If it came out in five minutes, I wasn't even consciously thinking about it. It just came out.”
The 30-year-old St. Louis native along with his five-piece band will keep it within the Central time zone tonight as he performs in Bowling Green. The Pokey LaFarge sound can be described in a variety of different ways. He says it changes every time he’s asked.
“If I had to describe it today, I would say that it’s acoustic-rooted, horn-accentuated, lyric- and melody-driven Midwestern swing. How’s that?”
The Kentucky Supreme Court says the state can’t collect pari-mutuel taxes on instant racing games.
However, the Courier-Journal reports the high court also ruled Thursday that instant racing was legally implemented in the commonwealth.
Kentucky Downs in Franklin and Ellis Park in Henderson currently offer instant racing, which involves bettors wagering money on videos of previously run races.
Despite the ruling, justices said the conservative Family Foundation of Kentucky can continue its efforts to oppose Instant Racing. The group is gathering evidence for its legal challenge against the games, which it believes were implemented illegally.
State regulators have allowed pari-mutuel taxes to be collected on the games, but Thursday’s ruling by the Kentucky Supreme says those taxes only apply to live racing events.
One of the companies wanting to build a controversial pipeline to transport natural gas liquids across Kentucky says the project has been delayed up to a year.
In year-end 2013 financial results, Williams Co. President and CEO Alan Armstrong said the in-service target of the Bluegrass Pipeline project was being shifted to mid to late 2016 "to better align with the needs of producers."
The 500-mile pipeline, being built by Williams Co. of Tulsa, OK and Boardwalk Pipeline Partners of Houston, would carry liquids through northern and central Kentucky.
A group of Catholic nuns successfully redirected the route of the pipeline off their land last year and other religious leaders joined them to oppose the project, delivering thousands of signatures to Governor Beshear's office in November.
On Wednesday, Beshear endorsed legislation that would protect landowners from having their land seized for the project. That bill received its first committee hearing in Frankfort Wednesday. It would require private non-utility companies like those responsible for the Bluegrass Pipeline to obtain consent from a landowner before building.
The bill cleared the full Senate late Wednesday by a 34-4 vote. It now goes back to the House for reconciliation. The House bill did not include a five-year waiting period, while the Senate version did.
U.S. Senator Rand Paul has thrown his support behind a state bill that would restore the voting rights of some felons.
Paul spoke before the Kentucky Senate State and Local Government Committee Wednesday. He reminded the panel of the Republican Party’s history of support for civil rights. And he noted the higher incarceration rates of African-Americans in Kentucky, where a fifth of black adults cannot vote due to a felony record.
“There was a time in our society where there were intentional incarcerations based on race," the Bowling Green Republican said. "I don’t think it’s intentional, but there … has become a racial outcome on who’s incarcerated in our country, and I think that’s something that has to be addressed here. Because not only is the incarceration, I think, unfair, then they get out and the voting rights are impaired.”
A bill restoring voting rights for certain felons then cleared the committee by a unanimous vote. But it was amended to include mandatory five-year waiting period and an exemption for those with multiple offenses.
The presumed front runners in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race have different reactions to a Congressional Budget Office report on raising the minimum age.
The non-partisan CBO report suggests that increasing the federal minimum wage would raise earnings for more than 16.5 million people, but it would also reduce employment by roughly 500,000 workers.
The analysis comes as the Senate prepares to debate a gradual increase from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour in 2016.
The Senate’s leading Republican Mitch McConnell has made his opposition to a minimum wage hike a talking point in his re-election campaign.
He released a statement saying the report “spelled out some of the dire consequences of Alison Lundergan Grimes’ blind allegiance to Barack Obama’s agenda.”
Grimes’ is the leading Democratic candidate in the race for McConnell’s seat. Her campaign manager Jonathan Hurst didn’t respond to the CBO findings, and instead, referenced a study by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy that claims a minimum wage increase would lift the pay of one in four Kentuckians and create 2,200 jobs.
A Kentucky state legislator says he’s continuing his inquiry into Tennessee Valley Authority board meeting procedures a month after requesting documents from the company.
State Representative Brent Yonts (D-Greenville) attended a TVA board meeting in November where members voted to shutter some generating units at the Paradise Steam Plant in Muhlenberg County.
Yonts said he was flabbergasted to see the processes on which the TVA Board conducts its meetings.
Yonts said the vote to close the units came with no debate or meaningful discussion other than a vote based upon a motion prepared by someone other than the board members.
In January, Yonts sent a letter to the TVA criticizing the board’s lack of transparency and requested several documents from the company under the Freedom of Information Act including previous board meeting minutes and the data the board based its decisions on.
A U.S. soldier based at Fort Knox has pleaded guilty to taking $57,000 from an Afghan trucking company as part of a scheme to divert loaded fuel trucks from an American military outpost.
Spc. Albert Kelly III entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Louisville. Kelly admitted to diverting fuel trucks from Forward Operating Base Salerno near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and logging in more fuel than was actually delivered in exchange for cash.
Kelly faces up to 10 years in prison at sentencing in May.
Kelly's plea is the latest in a series of convictions stemming from a scheme to get truckloads of fuel out of a base in Afghanistan.
Four people in Colorado and one in Kentucky have pleaded guilty to taking part in the plot.
A Western Kentucky coal miner is alleging several counts of workplace discrimination, after he reported safety problems at his job and was fired.
Four cases against Ken American Resources were filed last week.
Patrick Shemwell worked at a coal plant operated by Ken American in Muhlenberg County. He initially filed six discrimination complaints against his employer, saying he was retaliated against and ultimately fired for reporting safety problems at the prep plant.
The company settled, and Shemwell got his job back.
But according to the lawsuits filed last week, almost immediately, more problems arose. He reported unsafe conditions, was reassigned to equipment on which he had no training, received a death threat, and ultimately was fired again.
Since 1977, the federal Mine Safety and Health Act has protected miners from discrimination for reporting safety issues.
“My guess is that Patrick has filed more discrimination cases under that law than any other miner in the country during that time period," says Shemwell's lawyer, Tony Oppegard.