10:08 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Corvette Extraction: Seven Down, One to Go

A crane lifts what's left of the 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette from the sinkhole Thursday morning.
Credit National Corvette Museum

The 2009 1.5 Millionth Corvette is now out of the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green. 

The milestone car becomes the seventh Corvette to be retrieved from the 50-foot sinkhole that swallowed eight cars on display February 12. 

The 1.5 Millionth had not been seen since the collapse, and excavation and metal detectors had been unsuccessful in locating it.  Crews found signs of the car during the retrieval process of the Spyder earlier this week.

Initial attempts to pull the car free were to no avail as a large rock appeared to be wedging the rear of the car in the dirt. “Originally, we thought we had to remove the boulder itself to free the vehicle,” Zach Massey, Project Manager with Scott, Murphy and Daniel Construction said in a news release.  “But we were able to free the 1.5 without addressing the boulder as it turned out it was not directly resting on the car, which was a great advantage to us.”

The 1.5 Millionth built in Bowling Green in 2009, is a white convertible with red interior.  It was patterned after the first 300 Corvettes built in 1953 in Flint, Michigan.

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Kentucky Budget
8:01 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Money for Rupp Renovation Included in Kentucky Budget Approved by Lawmakers

Rupp Arena in Lexington
Credit UK Athletics

The budget Kenutcky lawmakers approved this week will give $1.5 million to a costly renovation of the University of Kentucky’s Rupp Arena.

The money would be used to finance architects' and engineering fees and other planning costs for the $310 million project.

Republican lawmakers got few answers from Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, who lobbied House and Senate leadership for $65 million for the project during marathon budget talks held in Frankfort over the weekend.

Gray said the project would create thousands of jobs in Lexington, and failing to provide the amount would “drive a stake through the heart of the project.”

Details of the project remain scarce, as Gray and other officials are under a verbal non-disclosure agreement with the university.

5:53 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Keeneland, Red Mile Approved For Instant Racing

Instant Racing allows gamblers to place wagers on horse races that have already been run.

Keeneland Race Course and The Red Mile have been approved for instant racing and plan to open facilities in July 2015. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission unanimously approved the requests Wednesday.

Keeneland and Red Mile officials expect to reach similar levels of wagering as the only other sites in Kentucky that offer instant racing, Kentucky Downs in Franklin and Ellis Park in Henderson. They collectively take in about $30 million in wagering a month, with Kentucky Downs alone averaging about $1 million a day.

Approval is pending agreements with horsemen to determine how much revenue they'll receive.

Keeneland expects to build a 50,000 square foot parlor and install 600 terminals, while The Red Mile wants to build a 40,000 square foot parlor onto its grandstand and install 500 machines.

5:25 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Alleged Witch, Boyfriend Charged In Sex Case

A southern Indiana woman and her boyfriend have been charged with committing sexual offenses against children in western Kentucky after prosecutors say they threatened the children with "hexes and curses."

Twenty eight year old Jessica M. Smith on Evansville and her boyfriend, Michael W. Kurtz of Corydon, KY, each face charges of sexual abuse and unlawful transactions with a minor.

3:54 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Western Kentucky Sheriff Travels to Israel for Lessons in Security

Daviess County Sheriff Keith Cain
Credit Daviess County Sheriff's Department

As sheriff of Daviess County, Keith Cain’s job has taken him a lot of places, but none like where he is now.  Cain is in Israel with a delegation of sheriffs from across the country who were invited to meet with Israeli government, military, and law enforcement officials. 

When WKU Public Radio spoke with the sheriff by phone Wednesday, he was 800 meters outside the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by the militant Hamas organization.  He spoke from Sderot, a community that less than a month ago, was the site of 63 rocket attacks in a 36-hour period.

“More than anything that I’ve learned the last three days is the incredible resiliency of the Israeli people.”

That resiliency, he says, was seen in the face of a single mother he spoke with about the daily rocket attacks.

“She said all the children suffer from emotional distress.  We viewed the playgrounds of kindergarten kids who can no longer play outside.  They have to play in fortified bunkers built around their playgrounds,” explained Cain.  “In the community we were in today, they have ten to 15 seconds once they are notified of a rocket attack to get to a sheltered area.  These youngsters learn this as early as age two.  That’s something difficult, I think, for Americans to comprehend.”

The goal of the trip, Cain said, is to learn from experts in terrorist events such as suicide bombings.

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3:26 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Economic Policy Expert: Proposed State Budget Doesn't Do Enough to Correct Revenue Shortfalls

Senate President Robert Stivers speaks with reporters in the Kentucky Senate.
Credit Kentucky LRC

The director of one of Kentucky’s leading non-profit economic policy think tanks says the recently-passed state budget fails to address the state’s revenue problem.

Jason Bailey, the director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, says the budget, which includes five percent cuts to over a dozen state agencies, reflects the 14th round of harmful cuts since 2008, and doesn't do enough to generate new revenue.

“There are areas that have been time after time after time, so I think for higher education, for human services, for areas like environmental and public and worker protection, I think those systems will be frayed even further by the cuts that we’ve seen.”

Bailey adds that the revenue bill passed by the legislature that gives tax breaks to the bourbon industry and beer and wine wholesalers aren’t worth the cuts to important state agencies.

1:58 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Council on Postsecondary Education Prepares for Next Budget Request

Bob King
Credit Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Kentucky’s Council on Postsecondary Education is already tailoring its next state budget request to include performance funding for state universities.

The General Assembly did not include the CPE’s request for performance funding in its two-year spending plan that awaits the governor’s signature. CPE President Bob King says the performance funding request was among several suggestions to bring more money to the state’s universities.

“One of those purposes was to create a pot of money that would be distributed to the campuses tied to the proportion of degrees that they produced,” he said. “And there was a premium for students who earned degrees in the STEM field—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—or in health fields because we know that our workforce needs people with those skills quite substantially.”

King says in addition to going over this legislative session’s budget to determine the tuition cap for state universities, the CPE is working on its funding request for the next session.

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1:49 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Former South Central Kentucky Pharmacy Worker Pleads Guilty in Federal Drug Case

A former Allen County pharmacy employee has admitted to the theft and distribution of prescription painkillers. 

Lynn Harper Denton entered a guilty plea Tuesday in federal court in Bowling Green to two charges in a seven-count indictment. 

Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky say the 46-year-old Denton stole hydrocodone pills from her employer, Stovall’s Prescription Shop in Scottsville over a five-month period in 2012.  The retail value of the stolen hydrocodone was nearly $30,000. 

Denton admitted selling the pills to co-conspirator Katherine Virginia Rookstool, who is charged with selling the pills Jeffrey Clay Stinson, who sold them on the street.  Stinson pleaded guilty to federal charges and is awaiting sentencing.  Rookstool is scheduled to go on trial next month. 

Denton faces up to 30 years in prison at sentencing, though prosecutors will recommend a term at the lower end of the sentencing range. 

As part of the plea agreement, Denton will forfeit more than $5,700 and two vehicles.  She will also make restitution to her former employer. 

1:24 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin

Images of the developing fetal brain show connections among brain regions.
Allen Institute for Brain Science; Bruce Fischl, Martinos Center for Biomedial Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 11:21 am

A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and autism.

The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.

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1:05 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

New Todd County Plant to Bring 75 Jobs

A western Kentucky location will become home to a new Custom Cooler Inc. factory that will create 75 jobs with a $5.8 million investment.

Gov. Steve Beshear's office says the company is establishing its second manufacturing facility in Todd County.

Kentucky was chosen over three other states. The company has received preliminary state approval for as much as $1.5 million in tax incentives.

Custom Cooler manufactures custom walk-in coolers, freezers and freezer doors. It was established in California in 2006.