A decision is expected soon on whether Mike Pence will become the running mate of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. 

Although Pence endorsed Ted Cruz for president in the primary season, the first-term Indiana governor is considered one of Trump's top-tier choices among vice presidential prospects. 

Republican National Convention delegate J. Todd Inman from Owensboro expects an announcement before the convention begins Monday.

"I think the vice presidential candidate has the potential to help shape and make the convention better," Inman told WKU Public Radio.  "In my political calculation, it would be better to get that person out on Thursday or Friday, carry the news for the next three or four days, and then roll right into the convention."

Pence is well-respected among conservatives and served 12 years in Congress.  Political observers say he may help convert Republicans who have been reluctant to support Trump.

Pence would have to give up his re-election bid for Indiana governor if he runs as Trump’s vice president. 

Inman says he doesn’t think Pence would accept the VP slot unless he felt Trump had a very good chance at winning the White House.

Wilfredo Lee/AP

The lingering chasm between presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her chief primary rival was bridged Tuesday, with Sen. Bernie Sanders teaming up with Clinton at a campaign event, where he formally endorsed Clinton's bid for the White House.

"Secretary Clinton has won the Democratic nominating process, and I congratulate her for that," Sanders said. "She will be the Democratic nominee for president and I intend to do everything I can to make certain she will be the next president of the United States.

"I have come here today not to talk about the past but to focus on the future. That future will be shaped more by what happens on Nov. 8 in voting booths across our nation than by any other event in the world. I have come here to make it as clear as possible as to why I am endorsing Hillary Clinton and why she must become our next president."

The Sanders endorsement ends a lengthy — and awkward — period in which many were wondering if and how he would back Clinton. Five weeks ago, Clinton, the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee, became the first woman in American history to secure enough delegates to clinch the nomination to head the ticket of a major party.

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New students will soon be starting college, and at some Kentucky colleges, that means getting vaccinated. The Kentucky Immunization Coalition — a public private partnership — launched a campaign Monday to convince students and parents that not doing so puts the entire student population at risk for an outbreak.

Three universities in the state require immunizations: The University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University and the University of Louisville. Tracy Kielman, director of the Kentucky Immunization Coalition, says although elementary through high school students in Kentucky are required to be vaccinated, that does not extend to college.

“Hopefully this will push them to do it on their own,” Kielman says.

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Two dozen Hardin County area nonprofits are trying to gain a better picture of the local homeless population.

The groups are hoping to draw 300 to 400 families to an event Wednesday afternoon in Elizabethtown.

Megan Stith, President and CEO of United Way of Central Kentucky, says the groups are reaching out to those who may have been missed during a statewide homeless count conducted earlier this year.

According to Stith, those could be people “who are living with relatives, in between housing situations and staying with friends, or have family staying in multiple locations, or staying in a shelter or some kind of temporary or transitional housing.”

Stith says the event will be a one-stop opportunity for those who are housing or food insecure in Hardin County to learn more about local programs that can help. Feeding America is providing food distribution at the event.

J. Tyler Franklin

Donald Trump will be back in Kentucky Monday for a private fundraiser hosted by a well-known coal magnate and a GOP moneymaker in Lexington.

According to the Associated Press, it will cost individuals $1,000 to attend a reception and $5,000 to get a photo taken with the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

The fundraiser comes as Trump is trying to quell GOP fears that he’ll be outmatched by the well-financed campaign of likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Trump only started holding fundraisers in late May and has put up uninspiring fundraising numbers for most of his presidential campaign.

But in June, according to his campaign, Trump raised $51 million — more than all previous months combined. Clinton raised $68.5 million in June.


Kentucky Treasurer Allison Ball filed legal papers today to overturn the state pension system’s payment of $50,000 to cover the cost of its ousted chairman’s lawsuit against Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin removed the former chairman, Louisville banker Tommy Elliott, from the Kentucky Retirement Systems Board of Trustees in April — three years before his term expired. Elliott and another trustee sued the governor and KRS in Franklin County Circuit Court in June, seeking to restore Elliott to the board.

KRS paid their legal bill of $50,000, saying state law calls for the agency to pay for legal costs “arising from the performance” of trustee duties.

Ball, a Republican first-termer like Bevin, disagrees. In a written statement, she said the law applies to current members of the KRS board.

“Mr. Elliott is not a current member,” she said. “Whether the termination of Mr. Elliott was rightful or wrongful, he has, in fact, been terminated and therefore cannot use $50,000 of hard-earned money of Kentucky retired workers to pay for his legal challenge.”

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Barren County is the latest southern Kentucky county to consider allowing package alcohol sales.

Cumberland and Metcalfe counties recently voted to go wet. The city of Leitchfield, in Grayson County, also voted to allow package alcohol sales.

Western Kentucky University graduate and retired Navy veteran Sonya Hamrick is leading a petition drive to get the issue on the ballot in Barren County.

She says she started thinking about pushing for change when she moved to Barren County after retiring from the military.

“To me, it only seemed reasonable to have alcohol for adults in an area that’s convenient for them. That’s what I was used to, and when I came back home I discovered there was no such thing here.”

Rebecca Schimmel

Miners in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia who helped keep the country’s lights on are worried that their retirement benefits could go dark as a result of a wave of bankruptcies in the coal industry. They hope Congress will approve a bill called the Miner’s Protection Act to shore up the pensions and health benefits promised to union miners.

The bill has been bottled up in the Senate’s Finance Committee but Hill sources say Senate leaders have promised a committee vote before Congress breaks for the summer on July 15.

Joe Holland has been with the United Mine Workers of America for four decades. He worked 10 years as an underground miner for Peabody Energy in Muhlenberg County, in western Kentucky. Born in a company-owned house, Holland is a fourth generation coal miner. His grandmother kept two pictures on the mantle; Jesus and the UMWA’s legendary leader John L. Lewis.“Without Christ y’know they thought they was going to hell, and without John L. Lewis they was going to starve to death,” Holland said.

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Advocates have renewed their push to legalize medical marijuana in Kentucky, arguing in favor of a bill that would regulate the drug during a legislative hearing late last week.

The Kentucky Nurses Association recently endorsed the measure, saying in a statement that “providing legal access to medical cannabis is imperative.”

Jaime Montalvo, founder of Kentuckians for Medical Marijuana, said the substance can provide relief for people suffering from painful afflictions.

“It’s not about having a party, it’s not about having fun, it’s about quality of life,” Montalvo said.

There are 25 states that have legalized marijuana in some form.

Sen. Perry Clark, a Louisville Democrat, has proposed a bill that would create a regulatory framework for a medical marijuana industry in Kentucky.

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Kentucky’s political leaders responded to Thursday’s shootings in Dallas, Texas with grief, sympathy and a hint of the debates to come on gun control and police-involved violence.

On Friday, many vigils and moments of silence were observed across the state. Friday morning, police cruisers across Lexington pulled over and turned on their lights for one minute. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer held a vigil during which he said “supporting police and communities of color are not mutually exclusive.”

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, a Republican, called the attacks “unconscionable.”

“This is a cruel reminder that law enforcement officials selflessly put themselves in harm’s way day in and day out to keep our communities safe,” McConnell said. “We extend our hearts to the wounded, to the families and loved ones left behind, to the entire law enforcement community, and to a nation that has experienced much suffering and heartbreak over the course of a difficult week.”

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The House on Friday passed sweeping legislation — endorsed by Democrats and Republicans — that would flood states with money for opioid and heroin addiction treatment programs.

The White House earlier this week called for $1.2 billion to fund a bill that would include programs to train police officers to administer a drug overdose antidote, expand childcare for mothers in residential treatment, and allow physicians to prescribe more people a drug that treats addiction. The House version of the measure only included $131 million.

But Al Guida, a mental health and substance abuse lobbyist in Washington, said that number is still the biggest chunk of funding for substance abuse treatment in decades.

“That’s probably the largest single commitment to expanding addiction treatment in a generation,” he said.

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Officials say a gunman shot and killed five police officers Thursday at a Dallas protest against police shootings of black men, in a bout of violence that didn't end until the suspected gunman was killed by police using explosives delivered by a robot. Seven other officers and two civilians were also injured.

The suspect, who died in a parking garage, was Micah Xavier Johnson, authorities say. Johnson was a U.S. military veteran who had served in Afghanistan, and told negotiators he was upset about police shootings and wanted to kill white police officers.

Law enforcement officers have provided NPR with what they believe is a manifesto from Johnson, which says it should be released after Johnson's death. In the short purported manifesto, the writer points to police shootings of black Americans as his motivation and criticizes the Black Lives Matter movement.

Police, who took three suspects into custody, initially said at least four people were involved in the attack. Officials now describe Johnson as the "lone suspect," though they have not ruled out the possibility of co-conspirators.

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Daviess County has declared a local state of emergency following strong storms Friday morning. 

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly says the declaration will allow the county to be reimbursed for clean-up costs associated with the storm that brought winds of up to 70 miles per hour.

"We had a lot of tree damage, limbs blown down, and a lot of trees uprooted as a result of the saturated soil and high wind.  Some of those trees fell on homes or vehicles," Mattingly told WKU Public Radio.  "We also had a lot of agricultural crop damage."

About 10,000 Daviess County homes and businesses lost power.  There were no injuries reported. 

Mattingly says the storm came on top of heavy rains and flooding earlier in the week which led to a statewide emergency declaration. 

Meanwhile, Governor Matt Bevin on Friday issued an executive order that bans price gouging.  The order prohibits businesses from inflating the price of gasoline, building supplies, and other goods and services during the statewide emergency.  The order will remain in place for at least 30 days. 

Bill Nye Visits New Noah's Ark Attraction He Criticized

Jul 8, 2016
Rick Howlett

Bill Nye is touring a new Noah's Ark attraction in Kentucky that he has called a danger to the nation's science education.

Answers in Genesis president Ken Ham invited Nye, best known for his 1990s science TV show, to visit the Ark Encounter on Friday. The two became acquainted when they engaged in an online debate in 2014.

A statement from Answers in Genesis says Nye is touring the ark with his own film crew. The Christian group says the ark is part of its ministry that teaches Old Testament stories as true historical events.

After the 2014 debate, Nye said he hoped the ark would never be built, because it would "indoctrinate children into this extraordinary and outlandish, unscientific point of view."

The ark opened to the public Thursday.


A decision by Kentucky Retirement Systems to pay the legal fees of its former chairman as he sues Gov. Matt Bevin is drawing sharp criticism from the governor’s office.

KRS, which manages pensions for state workers, is paying Louisville banker Tommy Elliott’s $50,000 legal bill from the lawsuit he filed against Bevin after he removed Elliott from the agency’s Board of Trustees. The suit was filed June 17 and was joined by KRS trustee Mary Helen Peter.

The legal bills were obtained by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting through a public records request to KRS. The reimbursement, ultimately borne by KRS’ roughly 355,000 pension holders, drew a rebuke from the Bevin administration.

“This is a prime example of why there needed to be a leadership change at the Kentucky Retirement Systems,” said Steve Pitt, the governor’s general counsel.