News

J. Tyler Franklin

The Republican-led Kentucky legislature overwhelmingly voted to override all four of Gov. Matt Bevin’s vetoes to bills put on his desk so far this year. Only a handful of lawmakers voted against the governor’s rejections of the legislation.

The overrides are the first since 2013, when the legislature voted to reverse then-Gov. Steve Beshear’s veto of a religious freedom bill.

It only takes a simple majority in each chamber to override a governor’s veto in Kentucky—the 100-member chamber House needs 51 votes and the 38-member Senate only needs 20. But House Speaker Jeff Hoover said it was still difficult to rally lawmakers for the overrides, especially since they were directed at Bevin, a fellow-Republican,“When you override a governor’s veto," he said, "you are telling him publicly that we disagree with you and for some members that’s difficult to do.”

Thursday is the last day of the legislative session.

Trump Undermines Obama's Clean Power Plan

15 hours ago
Kenn W. Kiser, morgueFile.com

Coal country’s economic woes took center stage at the Environmental Protection Agency as President Donald Trump signed an executive order to undo parts of President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy.

The president was flanked by coal workers and industry figures and defenders, such as West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Ohio-based coal operator Bob Murray, filled the room during the signing ceremony.

Trump’s executive order asks the EPA to rewrite the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan — a rule that limits carbon emissions from power plants and requires states to reduce emissions by almost a third by 2030.


David Brinkley

Kentucky is making progress in addressing a backlog of untested rape kits.  A 2015 audit revealed the commonwealth had more than three-thousand untested kits, which include physical evidence collected from sexual assault victims. 

Attorney General Andy Beshear says about 1,500 of those kits have now been examined and the DNA entered into a national crime database.

"We have active investigations going on right now," Beshear told WKU Public Radio.  "The hits suggests there is at least one serial rapist that has been identified and this is an absolute critical step that we are going to follow through with until every single victim has their kit tested."

Ft. Campbell

Dozens of soldiers who have been serving in Africa are returning to Fort Campbell.

The Army post on the Kentucky-Tennessee line said 130 soldiers assigned to 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team "Bastogne," 101st Airborne Division are returning Wednesday. They have served six months with the U.S. Africa Command on the Horn of Africa.

Most of the soldiers were stationed at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and they also provided security forces in South Sudan.

Rhonda J Miller

A handful of southern Kentucky activists rallied at the Bowling Green office of U.S. Senator Rand Paul in support of a national campaign to urge the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to establish an independent investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Rand Paul is a member of that committee.

Bowling Green resident Peter Zielinski said he used to be more politically conservative, but he attended the March 28 rally because he has concerns about national leaders appointed by President Trump.                          

“The history of many of the appointees is at least suspect,” said Zielinski. “There is a preponderance of people with ties to Russia and foreign governments and that’s just the tip of what we know, at this point. We don’t know the whole truth and we should know the whole truth.”

The removal of a dam along the Green River in Edmonson County began Tuesday, and will continue over the next few weeks.

Once the dam is removed, the affected part of the Green River will become a recreational area, with parking and access ramps for canoes and kayaks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is funding the project, but will transfer ownership of 18 nearby acres of land to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Lee Andrews, with The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the Green River contains some of the top biodiversity within the Ohio River system.

 

“So being able to restore this much river in a national park is unique,” Andrews said.  

Documentarian Ken Burns Making Film about Muhammad Ali

Mar 28, 2017
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive

The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment.

The PBS documentarian announced Tuesday that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ, who died last June. Burns, his daughter Sarah and David McMahon collaborated for a PBS documentary on Jackie Robinson that debuted last year.

The tentative plan is to air the Ali film in 2021.

Bowling Green organizers are planning a local March for Science in support of the national event on April 22, which is Earth Day.

Scientists from around the country are planning the March for Science in Washington, D.C. The national event is a grassroots response to some of President Trump’s policies that threaten to cut funding for research and restrict the ability of scientists to publish their findings.

Environmentalists are also concerned because Trump appointed some leaders in his administration who deny that humans have a substantial impact on climate change.

The national and local marches are intended to spotlight the ways science is critical in daily life and for the future.

Rhonda J Miller

A state summit with the goal of making the arts more accessible to people with disabilities will be held in Bowling Green on March 30. 

One Bowling Green artist, Michael Dixon, discovered that a disability can sometimes can steer a person onto their path in life. He found out he had dyslexia when he was in elementary school. Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read.

Dixon says he used to joke around when he was asked to read out loud in class, to cover up the difficulty he was having.

“I got teased a lot, but it really didn’t bother me. But I found out when I was in high school, doing artwork kept me focused on a lot of things. It kept me calm. It kept me focused on the pictures that I’m doing.”

Kentucky Court of Justice

The Logan County Justice Center is expected to reopen this afternoon following a suspected bomb threat. 

A bailiff who was opening up the building Monday morning noticed what appeared to be an explosive device strapped to the rear door of the justice center. 

The Kentucky State Police’s Hazardous Devices Unit determined the device was a hoax.

The threat was reported before the justice center opened for business, and no evacuations were necessary.  Some nearby streets were closed as a precaution but have since reopened.

Defunding Appalachia: Coal Communities Resist President’s Budget Cuts

Mar 27, 2017
Rebecca Kiger

Danny Ferguson didn’t like what he saw happening in Lincoln County, West Virginia, where he grew up. The downturn in the coal industry had hit hard, and young people had few job options beyond some fast food places.

“We don’t have nothing else for them to be employed,” Ferguson said. “Lincoln County is in bad shape and Coalfield seemed like the only one willing to take a chance in that area.”

That’s the Coalfield Development Corporation, where Ferguson now works as a crew chief to mentor and train young people in carpentry and other skills. Trainees earn pay while getting experience as they reclaim old buildings, restore furniture, and install solar energy stations. Ferguson said the program offers hope in an otherwise bleak situation.

“The coal is dead, but they’re trying to find something for these kids to go do instead of nothing.”

Kentucky State Parks

Hundreds of volunteers are expected at an event Saturday designed to clean up the area around a southeastern Kentucky park.

The group PRIDE serves 42 counties in the region, and is kicking off its Spring Cleanup Campaign Saturday morning at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park.

PRIDE president Tammi Wilson says the effort will target trash pickup along the roadway leading into and out of the park in McCreary and Whitley counties.

“We’ve had as many as 507 volunteers at this event at one time. We pick up about, just under, a thousand bags of trash on that 27 miles of roadway. So you can just imagine the impact that that makes—almost a thousand bags of trash no longer on the roadway," Wilson said.

kytourism.org

The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery in Radcliff has reached a milestone.

The Hardin County facility held its 5,000th interment Friday.

Louisville native Gisela Nagel was laid to rest at the 49-acre cemetery. She’s the wife of Specialist First Class Willard Nagel, a 20-year Army veteran who is also buriedthere.

Norman Arflack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs, says it's a bittersweet occasion.

“Clearly, this is the least pleasant of our obligations to do—is provide a burial service for any service. But clearly we want to provide them the opportunity to be buried with the dignity they so richly deserve.”

Lisa Autry

The parents of a young Scottsville girl murdered in 2015 are keeping her memory alive by helping students pay for college. 

The Gabbi Doolin Memorial Scholarship Fund was announced Thursday at Allen County-Scottsville High School.  Gabbi was a second-grade student at the Allen County Primary Center when she was killed.  Amy Doolin says her seven-year-old daughter wanted to be a teacher.

"I believe she would have done great at that.  She was very smart.  She loved to read and even do homework," Doolin told WKU Public Radio.  "I believe she would have went to college one day.  We want to give some other child that opportunity to further their education and do it in her memory."

Warren County Sheriff's Office

A 17-year veteran of the sheriff’s department is preparing to become Warren County’s next jailer.  Stephen Harmon will officially take over operations April 11. 

Current Jailer Jackie Strode is retiring March 31 after more than 20 years at the helm.  Harmon says he has big shoes to fill, but is up for the challenge.

"There's about a 100-person staff, around 600 inmates in custody, and then a seven-million-dollar approximate budget, so there's a lot for me to learn," Harmon explained.

Harmon currently serves as the sheriff’s department’s public information officer while also overseeing the dispatch and records units. 

Harmon will serve the remainder of Strode’s term that ends December 31, 2018.  He then plans to run for a full term as jailer.

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