Regional http://wkyufm.org en Kentuckians From Both Sides Plan Trip To Atlanta For EPA Hearing on Coal http://wkyufm.org/post/kentuckians-both-sides-plan-trip-atlanta-epa-hearing-coal <p>The Environmental Protection Agency will hold hearings this week on proposed regulations to limit the carbon dioxide coal-fired power plants can emit. Environmental activists and coal industry supporters are both traveling from Kentucky to Atlanta this week for the federal hearing.</p><p>The EPA’s rule would cut carbon dioxide emissions nationwide. The proposal sets emissions goals for each state, and leaves it up to individual states to decide how to achieve those goals.&nbsp; But before the rule is finalized, there are months of public comment. People can submit comments in writing, or make public statements at one of the four hearings happening this week. But Bill Bissett of the Kentucky Coal Association says it’s worth it to many to make the trek.</p><p>“I think the difference is, you can send a letter, you can send an email, but I think it’s important, one, that the people on the other side of this issue hear what we have to say as people who support coal,” said Bissett.&nbsp; “But I think also, we need to hear what they have to say. To me, it’s a very democratic principle of this country, to be heard publicly."<br /> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 20:16:48 +0000 Erica Peterson 51748 at http://wkyufm.org Kentuckians From Both Sides Plan Trip To Atlanta For EPA Hearing on Coal Merits of Death Penalty Could Be Debated By 2015 Kentucky General Assembly http://wkyufm.org/post/merits-death-penalty-could-be-debated-2015-kentucky-general-assembly <p>State Sen. Gerald Neal, a Democrat from Louisville, plans to introduce a bill in January to abolish the death penalty.<br /><br />It’s legislation Neal has brought to Frankfort before. He tells the <a href="http://www.messenger-inquirer.com/news/local/death-penalty-abolition-bill-filed/article_b36cd72a-0434-5b7f-b272-de01e6140aa5.html" target="_blank">Messenger-Inquirer</a> objections to the death penalty come from many different angles – including religious and constitutional concerns.&nbsp; But he approaches it on a cost basis, arguing life in prison costs Kentucky less money and achieves the same objective of removing the offender from society.<br /><br />A legislative committee on judicial issues is set to meet Friday in Paducah, and is expected to discuss the death penalty.<br /> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:38:01 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 51733 at http://wkyufm.org Merits of Death Penalty Could Be Debated By 2015 Kentucky General Assembly Despite Calls for Openness, Struggling K.R.S. Keeps Some Investments Secret http://wkyufm.org/post/despite-calls-openness-struggling-krs-keeps-some-investments-secret <p></p><p></p><p>Kentucky's underperforming retirement system for state employees keeps secret details of its so-called "alternative investments," and critics are calling for more transparency so the risks and potential pratfalls can be fully assessed.</p><p></p><p>In its latest story, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting looks at the secrecy behind where the Kentucky Retirement Systems makes its alternative investments—and the concerns it raises.</p><p><strong><a href="http://kycir.org/2014/07/24/when-it-comes-to-investments-kentucky-keeps-pension-holders-in-the-dark/">You can read the full story here.</a></strong></p><p>The KyCIR's James McNair reports that KRS "only has enough assets to cover about 45 percent of its obligations to its current and future retirees." &nbsp;That's a $17.6-billion shortfall as of mid-2013.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Kendrick Mills, a&nbsp;</span>former city of Louisville firefighter, &nbsp;relies on a 26-year pension for two-thirds of his household income. He's also a retired investment adviser.</p><p>“I want to know what’s in the funds. I want to know the cooking,” Mills told the KyCIR. “It amazes me that the secrecy doesn’t cause an uproar.” Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:39:11 +0000 Jim McNair 51586 at http://wkyufm.org Despite Calls for Openness, Struggling K.R.S. Keeps Some Investments Secret Cuts Will Be Restored to Child Care Program for Kentucky's Working Poor http://wkyufm.org/post/cuts-will-be-restored-child-care-program-kentuckys-working-poor <p></p><p>Kentucky is restoring cuts to a program that helps low-income parents work by providing them with affordable daycare for their children.&nbsp;</p><p>The childcare assistance program has been closed to new applicants since April 2013 because of a budget shortfall.&nbsp; Eligibility guidelines were also dropped, which cut several thousand kids from the program and closed some daycare centers.&nbsp;</p><p>Terry Brooks with Kentucky Youth Advocates told WKU Public Radio the cuts were counter-intuitive.</p><p>"The folks who felt the pinch were hard-working Kentuckians in low-income jobs, and the reason they were able to take those jobs was becauseof&nbsp; these child care supports which allowed them to put their children in high-quality daycare centers and have some government support," explained Brooks.</p><p>Starting August 4th, new applications will be accepted and eligibility will increased from 100 percent of the federal poverty level to 140 percent.&nbsp;</p><p>Brooks said restoring the cuts will be good for the economy. Mon, 28 Jul 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Lisa Autry 51636 at http://wkyufm.org Cuts Will Be Restored to Child Care Program for Kentucky's Working Poor General Burnside Island State Park to Lead Way For Park Privatization in Kentucky http://wkyufm.org/post/general-burnside-island-state-park-lead-way-park-privatization-kentucky <p>The Kentucky Department of Parks is poised to allow private corporations to develop at, or even operate aspects of, state parks, and expansion of previous efforts permitting commercial activity.</p><p>Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker&nbsp;suggested to a state legislative committee Thursday that General Burnside State Park, a 400-acre park 10 miles south of Somerset, could serve "as a potential pilot" for the effort.</p><p>Walker briefed the committee on the park system's fiscal outlook amid efforts to control growing operating costs—which have prompted some lawmakers to consider privatization efforts on their own—and offered a broad outline of the department's plans.</p><p>"I'm not sure I'm a big fan of the term 'privatization,'" Walker said. "What we're looking at is public-private partnership."</p><p>Walker said that the department is in the process of drafting a request for proposals from private companies to build and operate commercial facilities, including a new lodge. The requests could potentially include permitting a company to take over Burnside Island's 18-hole golf course and to perform maintenance duties, Walker said.<br /> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 00:26:00 +0000 Jonathan Meador 51655 at http://wkyufm.org General Burnside Island State Park to Lead Way For Park Privatization in Kentucky Kentucky Lawmakers Head To Little Rock For Southern Legislative Conference Meeting http://wkyufm.org/post/kentucky-lawmakers-head-little-rock-southern-legislative-conference-meeting <p>Tomorrow marks the start of the Southern Legislative Conference’s annual meeting in Little Rock, Ark. and Kentucky will be front and center.&nbsp;<br /><br />Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers is expected to be nominated chair-elect, setting the stage for the Manchester Republican to be nominated as chairman of the SLC in July 2015.&nbsp;<br /><br />The following summer, in July 2016, representatives from the Southern Legislative Conference’s 15 states will meet in Lexington. That event is expected to bring 1,200 guests and generate $2 million in economic impact.&nbsp;<br /><br />This year's conference continues through Wednesday in Little Rock.<br /> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:24:30 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 51635 at http://wkyufm.org Kentucky Lawmakers Head To Little Rock For Southern Legislative Conference Meeting Indiana's Right-To-Work Law Suffers Second Legal Defeat; Heading For State Supreme Court http://wkyufm.org/post/indianas-right-work-law-suffers-second-legal-defeat-heading-state-supreme-court <p>Another judge has ruled against Indiana’s two-year-old right-to-work law.<br /><br />Lake County Judge George Paras ruled this week the law forcing unions to provide services for workers who don’t pay dues, is against the constitution. The <a href="http://www.courierpress.com/news/state/state-asks-judge-to-delay-righttowork-ruling_37914971" target="_blank">Evansville Courier &amp; Press</a> reports that led Indiana’s attorney general to request a stay of that ruling until the State Supreme Court takes up another judge’s ruling at a September 4<sup>th</sup> hearing.&nbsp;<br /><br />The right-to-work legislation was passed in 2012 by a Republican-dominated legislature.<br /> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:01:21 +0000 WKU Public Radio News 51628 at http://wkyufm.org Indiana's Right-To-Work Law Suffers Second Legal Defeat; Heading For State Supreme Court Green River Steel Property on Owensboro Waterfront Finally Sold http://wkyufm.org/post/green-river-steel-property-owensboro-waterfront-finally-sold <p>A 92 acre site at the Owensboro Riverport has been sold for $2.6 million after seven years on the market. Castlen Welding and Manufacturing purchased the one-time site of Green River Steel and the sale is expected to be finalized in 60 days.</p><p>Riverport Authority Chairman Rod Kuegel said officials were mostly trying to make sure they didn't make a bad deal when selling the property.</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:24:33 +0000 Associated Press 51622 at http://wkyufm.org Somerset’s New Retail Gasoline Venture: Good Idea or Bad? It Depends On Whom You Ask http://wkyufm.org/post/somerset-s-new-retail-gasoline-venture-good-idea-or-bad-it-depends-whom-you-ask <p>Late Wednesday morning Bob Thomas was pontificating about the state of the local economy and congress as he was filling up his green Toyota pickup truck at the city owned fuel station. &nbsp;The facility is bare-bones with no snacks, no sodas and no lottery tickets.&nbsp; It’s not on a main thoroughfare, but set back a bit from Highway 27.<br /><br />It has been open less than a week, but has generated plenty of controversy and nationwide attention. It’s believed Somerset is the first municipality to sell gasoline directly to customers.<br /><br />“It should have been this way years ago: fair,” said Thomas.&nbsp; “You get me? If the people at the refinery is making money on the gas and the city is going to make a little money. I don’t mind you making you a&nbsp; living whenever you come to work for me and pay you a fair wage.&nbsp; But I don’t want to send you to the Bahamas on a 30 day vacation, though.”<br /><br />It was complaints similar to Thomas’ that led Somerset’s City Council to broach the topic of selling its own gasoline.&nbsp; The city had already been selling compressed natural gas for two years. In fact, much of the infrastructure the city needed to begin selling gasoline was already in place to service Somerset’s fleet vehicles.<br /> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:51:25 +0000 Emil Moffatt 51600 at http://wkyufm.org Somerset’s New Retail Gasoline Venture: Good Idea or Bad? It Depends On Whom You Ask Scottsville Trio Sentenced in Pain Pill Theft, Distribution http://wkyufm.org/post/scottsville-trio-sentenced-pain-pill-theft-distribution <p></p><p>Three Allen County residents have been sentenced in federal court for conspiring to sell pain pills stolen from a local pharmacy.&nbsp;</p><p>Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Kentucky say that 46-year-old Lynn Harper Denton stole hydrocodone pills from her employer, Stovall’s Prescription Shop in Scottsville over a five-month period in 2012.&nbsp; The retail value of the stolen painkillers was nearly $30,000.&nbsp;</p><p>A tearful Denton apologized to her family in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green on Thursday before Judge Joseph McKinley sentenced her to eight months of home incarceration followed by two years of probation.&nbsp;</p><p>Denton sold the pain pills to Katherine Virginia Rookstool who admitted selling them to Jeffrey Clay Stinson, a street-level dealer.&nbsp; Rookstool also received eight months of home detention followed by probation for two years.&nbsp; Stinson was given a 27-month prison term and three years of supervised release. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:32:33 +0000 Lisa Autry 51579 at http://wkyufm.org Scottsville Trio Sentenced in Pain Pill Theft, Distribution