Kentucky LRC

A former state representative in western Kentucky is looking to retake the seat he lost in the general election last year.  Brent Yonts of Greenville served nearly 20 years in the 15th district seat in Muhlenberg County before losing to Republican Melinda Gibbons Prunty. 

Yonts says he lost because many Democrats voted for Donald Trump and other Republicans in the 2016 presidential election.  He says if we were elected, he would resume his goals he had when in office.

Lisa Autry

The neighbor who has admitted to assaulting U.S. Senator Rand Paul outside his Bowling Green home made his first court appearance Thursday. 

Rene Boucher pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor fourth degree assault charge in Warren District Court. 

Boucher told police he attacked Paul from behind while the Republican lawmaker was mowing his yard last week.  Speculation has been rampant about what prompted the physical altercation. 

A family friend previously told WKU Public Radio that the alleged assault was likely related to property and that Boucher had expressed anger about not being able to sell his home because of the trees on Paul’s property.

On Thursday, Boucher's attorney Matt Baker backed up those claims.  In an interview with NBC News, Baker was asked if the attack was about a "messy yard."

Report: Linder Confirms He Signed Harassment Settlement

Nov 9, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

Kentucky Representative Brian Linder has confirmed that he is among four Republican lawmakers who signed a settlement with a female House Republican Caucus staffer over sexual harassment allegations.

Linder, of Dry Ridge, told the Grant County News that he wanted to publicly apologize to his family, voters and the state for his actions.

He said he has been focused on his family since the confidential settlement became public.

NPR

A close friend and neighbor of Rand Paul is sharing some information about what could have prompted the recent assault on the U.S. Senator. 

Retired physician Rene Boucher, also a neighbor, told police he attacked Paul from behind as the Republican lawmaker mowed his lawn last Friday. 

Alicia Stivers tells WKU Public Radio that she was the first person to see Paul following the attack and it apparently was related to property.

"He said that when he got up, Rene said something like 'I've been trying to sell my house for ten years and your trees are in the way,'"said Stivers.

The insurance program that provides health insurance to almost a third of Kentuckians — Medicaid — will soon change. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is awaiting approval from the federal government on his proposed reforms. But even if Bevin gets everything he asked for, Medicaid providers and advocates say there are still a lot of unknowns to how Kentucky will manage the program.

In Kentucky, Medicaid used to just cover pregnant women, children or people who were disabled or living in poverty. Under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, former Governor Steve Beshear expanded the insurance program to include people living outside of poverty – up to about $33,000 a year for a family of four. The program now covers about a third of Kentuckians, many of whom got on Medicaid through the expansion.

Courtesy White House, Office of the First Lady

At a conference last year on the region’s opioid crisis, journalist Sam Quinones presented a call to action to Northern Kentucky University.

Quinones is author of the influential book on the opioid crisis, “Dreamland,” and a tireless speaker on the topic. At conferences and other events in the Ohio Valley he frequently makes a plea: create an addiction research hub among regional institutions affected by the epidemic.

NKU decided to give it a shot.

“We looked and saw who was doing any kind of research related to health,” Vice Provost for Graduate Education, Research and Outreach Samantha Langley-Turnbaugh said. “We sent an invitation for them to come to campus last December and to start to talking about opioid addiction and the possibility of forming a consortium.”


Creative Commons

Despite numerous failed legislative attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the Trump administration is rolling out regulatory changes that are likely to clear the way for Kentucky’s plan to remake its Medicaid system.

At a National Association of Medicaid Directors conference in Arlington, Virginia on Tuesday, Trump administration official Seema Verma said the government will give states more freedom over their Medicaid programs, including allowing states to require Medicaid enrollees to work or volunteer to keep their coverage.

Striking Migrant Farm Workers Win Settlement

Nov 8, 2017
Elizabeth Sanders

After about three weeks on strike, a group of migrant workers employed at a tobacco farm in Gerrard County, Kentucky have reached a settlement with the farm’s owner.

The workers came from Mexico under the H2A visa program, which allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. for temporary or seasonal farm work. The Department of Labor program also sets a minimum wage for the workers and requires the employer to provide for costs associated with the work, such as work supplies and travel to and from the farm.

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn is going on medical leave for at least one month.

It comes less than a week after the ouster of NPR's head of news, Michael Oreskes, over sexual harassment allegations by multiple women.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

Republican leaders in the state House of Representatives have hired a law firm to look into sexual harassment allegations against multiple GOP members.

The scandal has already led to the resignation of former House Speaker Jeff Hoover.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne said that “new information regarding this unfolding situation has emerged today.”

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