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flickr/Creative Commons/Hakan Dahlstrom

Bowling Green and Warren County planning officials are working on a project to upgrade biking and walking routes and local residents are being asked for input.

Miranda Clements is the Greenways Multimodal Coordinator for the Metropolitan Planning Commission. She said the commission has hired the Nashville firm of RPM Transportation Consultants to help design the improvements.

“Basically, what they are wanting to do is, look at our facilities and what we have and try and understand what the needs are and then identify different opportunities to improve the biking and walking in the community.”

The consultants will use suggestions from residents in developing the plan.

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons

Vice President Mike Pence is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to let him keep secret some documents emailed to him while he was the state's governor.

The request comes after an Indianapolis lawyer earlier this month sought the overturning of a state appeals court decision denying access to emails sent to Pence in 2014 in which a staffer for Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott outlined a legal strategy for challenging then-President Barack Obama's executive order on immigration.

The appeals court ruled the documents are privileged attorney-client communications.

Courtesy Mountain Comprehensive Care

Mike Caudill runs Mountain Comprehensive Care Corporation in five eastern Kentucky counties. Many of his 30,000 patients gained insurance through Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. No one knows if or when those folks might lose coverage. But, Caudill said, the impact could be considerable.

“I don’t want to be a Chicken Little that the sky is falling. On the other hand, neither do I want to stick my head in the sand,” he said. “A lot of it is the unknown. We don’t know what is going to happen.”

Caudill runs federally qualified health centers, providing primary and preventive care such as doctor’s visits and vaccinations. They also support community programs including a day care and a service providing fresh fruits and vegetables to 700 people who are chronically ill. If there are significant changes in his revenue because of a repeal of the ACA, Caudill said, those programs that improve the quality of life in the community would be the first to go.

Jacob Ryan

A Bowling Green immigration attorney says many undocumented immigrants in the region are asking if they’ll be impacted by President Trump’s recent executive orders.

Brett Reynolds says it’s a hard question to answer amid court challenges and a lack of consistency in messages coming from Washington.

He’s advising people in the country illegally to lay low for the time being.

"My advice would be to just stay the course, and stay under the radar. Don't call attention to yourself. Don't get a speeding ticket, don't get a DUI. Anything like that is going to put you at risk for being removed fairly expeditiously."

Owensboro Regional Farmers Market

As farmers across Kentucky gear up for growing season, the Farms to Food Banks program is already getting calls from some who are interested in selling a portion of this year’s produce to help families in need.

The statewide project buys not-quite-perfect or extra produce and distributes it to more than 500 organizations. Those groups pass the food along to families in their region. 

Last year 385 farmers in 67 Kentucky counties participated in the effort.

Sally Nash of Daviess County said she sells mainly at the Owensboro Regional Farmers Market.

Democrats have tapped former Governor  Steve Beshear to deliver the party's response to President Donald Trump's address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, highlighting the Kentucky Democrat's efforts to expand health care coverage under the law Republicans are determined to repeal and replace.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi made the announcement on Friday in which they also turned to immigration activist Astrid Silva to give the Spanish language response to Trump's speech. Silva is a so-called Dreamer who came to the country at the age of five as an illegal immigrant.

Lisa Autry

Some Kentucky businesses are placing their names on a growing national list of sanctuary restaurants. 

At least ten businesses in the commonwealth have declared themselves sanctuary restaurants, meaning they have zero tolerance racism, sexism, and xenophobia.  The designation also bans harassment against anyone based on their immigrant or refugee status. 

Home Café in Bowling Green has joined the movement.  Owner Josh Poling says restaurants can’t survive without immigrants, documented or undocumented.

Mitch McConnell Interrupted as Trump Protests Continue

Feb 23, 2017
J. Tyler Franklin

Two protesters interrupted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's speech Thursday before a suit-and-tie crowd at a local chamber of commerce luncheon in northern Kentucky to demand he speak with them.

McConnell has made three days of public appearances in Kentucky that required attendees to have tickets. Both protesters, who did not identify themselves, were quickly escorted out of the room. McConnell quipped, "I see we're having multiple speakers today," before continuing his speech.

Afterward, McConnell told reporters he is listening to what the protesters have to say, but he said they have a fundamental disagreement. He defended their right to protest.

Hundreds of protesters have greeted McConnell this week. Many, including 35-year-old Steve Felix of Highland Heights, held signs demanding Republicans back off plans to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act. McConnell vowed Congress would repeal the law "this year."

Kentucky LRC

A Bowling Green nursing home for military veterans is one step closer to getting state funding.

The Kentucky House Thursday unanimously passed a bill providing 10-and-a-half million dollars in state support for the proposed facility.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has already approved the project, and committed
federal funding for its construction.

The bill passed the House on a vote of 99-0.

It now goes to the Senate. If passed there, it’s expected to be signed into law by Governor Bevin.

J. Tyler Franklin

Despite protests from Louisville Democrats, a state Senate committee on Thursday passed a bill that would tinker with the way the city’s Metro Council operates.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer had a mixed response to policies in the legislation, but called the process by which the bill has been negotiated an “insult to the people of Louisville.”

“There are good things with the bill, there are bad things with the bill,” Fischer said. “There’s unfunded mandates in the bill, there’s tremendously increased workloads in the bill as well. That’s not the primary issue to me, the issue is the citizens of Louisville should have a voice in any changes that takes place to their government.”

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Gov. Matt Bevin said he’s been impressed with Trump’s picks for cabinet positions and is encouraged by the administration’s pledge to cut federal regulations.

Bevin took part in a panel discussion Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC in Washington.

He also touted his own initiative to cut bureaucratic red tape in Frankfort.

“We’ve pledged to cutting 30 percent of all the red tape in Kentucky in the next three years,” Bevin said. “We have 130,000 rules. Pretty confident that we can govern everybody with 90-something-thousand.”

Rhonda J Miller

A group of  citizens from the Bowling Green area met with Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie on Feb. 22 to express concern about issues that have arisen with the administration of President Trump. Maureen Davis is a spokeswoman for the group of seven area residents that met with Guthrie.

Basically our number one concern is making sure that he supports an independent investigation into the interference of Russia in our election. There’s a bill that’s been presented in the House to that effect.”

That proposed legislation, H.R. 356, is a House of Representatives bill that would establish a national commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election.

Guthrie didn’t promise the group that he will support that particular bill, but he did say a bipartisan committee is being formed to look into the issue.

WKU

Kentucky's public colleges and universities would have to compete with each other for shrinking state tax dollars under a bill that has cleared the state Senate.

Senate Bill 153 would divide up more than $1 billion in state tax dollars to public colleges and universities based on a new formula, which would reward institutions for awarding more degrees in science, technology, engineering and math. Other criteria include the number of degrees awarded to low-income and minority students, total enrollment and campus size.

The formula would only apply to 5 percent of state funding next year. But after that, all state funding would be awarded based on the new formula. The bill would phase in spending cuts over the next four years.

The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.

Ryland Barton

Opponents flooded a town hall event held by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in Mt. Sterling early Wednesday morning. The group booed, shouted down and at times hissed at Kentucky’s 6th district congressman over his stances on cutting corporate taxes, repealing the Affordable Care Act and scaling back the Environmental Protection Agency.

The group also criticized Barr for not holding a town hall event in the largest city in Barr’s district — Lexington.

“If he’s off all week, why can’t he have more and have them in some larger towns,” asked Jessie Bollinger, a social worker from Lexington after the event. “I think he’s trying to avoid our voices. Because our voices were pretty strong here in this little small courtroom.”

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is announcing a video contest aimed at raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. He was at Western Kentucky University Wednesday to promote the effort.  

College and university students can submit a 30-second video encouraging the reporting of sexual assault. One winner will be determined by a panel of sexual assault survivors and advocates, while another winner will be based on which video gets the most online views. Both winners will receive a $500 prize.

 

Beshear said the goal is to make campuses safer.

 

“Because of a lack of transparency in reporting, I don’t think that college students understand or know the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses,” Beshear said.

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