Alexandra Kanik

An emerging debate about whether elected officials violate people’s free speech rights by blocking them on social media is spreading across the U.S. as groups sue or warn politicians to stop the practice.

The American Civil Liberties Union this week sued Maine Gov. Paul LePage and sent warning letters to Utah’s congressional delegation. It followed recent lawsuits against the governors of Maryland and Kentucky and President Donald Trump.

Becca Schimmel

Congressman Brett Guthrie said he’s not sure if his Republican colleagues in the Senate will be able to repeal and replace Obamacare this year. He made these comments at a town hall style gathering Wednesday in Bowling Green.

Guthrie said he supports repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act at the same time. The Bowling Green Republican said the House did its job by sending a bill to the Senate that would have accomplished that task. But the Senate wasn’t able to get 50 votes to pass several versions of reform. Guthrie said he isn’t sure if repeal and replace will happen this year.

Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency is about halfway through the cleanup of an Evansville site contaminated with lead and arsenic.

The contaminated site is 4.5 square miles in the Jacobsville neighborhood of Evansville. The lead and arsenic in the soil were left over from manufacturing operations that took place more than one hundred years ago.

The site is on the EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List and the cleanup has been in progress for five years.

Jena Sleboda-Braun is the remedial project manager in the EPA’s Superfund Division for the Chicago region. She says residents are not being displaced during the cleanup.

Jesse Wright, WVPB

Big-ticket gas pipelines and other energy projects pending in the Ohio Valley have largely been in limbo because the federal body that issues important permits had too many empty seats.

Those projects in the pipeline of the federal process could soon move forward with the confirmation of two Republicans nominated by President Donald Trump to serve on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

The Senate confirmed nominations for former Senate aide Neil Chatterjee and Pennsylvania utility regulator Robert Powelson.

Updated at 10:29 a.m.

The Senate is long gone. The House? Splitsville. The president is at his golf club in New Jersey. Only the hardiest swamp creatures continue to scuttle in and out of the half-empty offices of late-August Washington, D.C.

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller and his team, however, haven't gone anywhere.

Lisa Autry

Kentuckians wanting to fly on a plane, enter federal buildings, or visit military posts will need a new driver’s license or identification card in the near future. 

Unlike most states, the commonwealth is out of compliance with the Real ID Act, a federal law that was passed in 2005 following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. 

The law requires new cards with added security features, and a new process for how the cards are issued. 

Updated on Aug. 10 at 4 p.m. ET

President Trump is continuing to voice his frustration with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, tweeting on Thursday that the Kentucky Republican should "get back to work" after last month's failure to pass a health care alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

Update 3:35 pm August 10: Two days after making a few general remarks about the opioid crisis, President Trump on Thursday called it "a national emergency" and said his administration would be drawing up papers to make it official.

"We're going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis," Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Thinkstock

A judge says Attorney General Andy Beshear’s fourth lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin can proceed, recognizing that any ruling in the case will likely be appealed.

This particular challenge deals with Bevin’s executive order from earlier this summer that reorganized several education boards using a little-known state law. This law has also been used by previous governors but never challenged in court.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate converted Bevin’s request to dismiss the case into a motion for summary judgement, meaning the challenge won’t go to trial and will have an expedited ruling.

Wikimedia Commons

For a lot of people in the region, August 21’s solar eclipse marks a once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. But if you own solar panels, it means a day of less-than-ideal energy production.

Bloomberg News estimates 9,000 megawatts of solar production will go down when the sun is obscured by the moon — the equivalent of nine nuclear reactors. A lot of that is in California, which sources about 40 percent of its power from the sun. The eclipse has prompted a campaign asking Californians to reduce their energy usage on August 21, to account for the increased load on the state’s other power sources.

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David Beckley

LRS Replay: The Kentucky Acoustic Music Festival

The second annual Kentucky Acoustic Music Festival was held May 20th at The Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green. It was presented by Lost River Sessions. The evening featured local favorite Mt. Victor Revue, Jenni Lyn and Lillie Mae.

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