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Kentucky’s college freshmen this fall are being urged to take 15 credit hours to become nearly twice as likely to graduate on time. 

A new policy brief by the Council on Postsecondary Education finds that the likelihood of students graduating on time greatly improves for students taking 30 credit hours their first year. 

Chief Academic Officer Aaron Thompson says taking 15 hours a semester can help close the achievement gap among under-represented minority and low-income students.

Warren County Sheriff's Office

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office held a memorial ceremony on July 12 to honor a member of its team that died under suspicious circumstances. The law enforcement agency is continuing the investigation into the death of K-9 Kane.

The only K-9 with the sheriff’s office was found unresponsive in his outdoor kennel at the home of his handler, Deputy Aaron Poynter, in late April. Kane was rushed to the vet, but couldn’t be saved.

"A necropsy was done immediately and evidence was sent to numerous labs for testing," said Sgt. Curtis Hargett, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. "As time went on, we have determined now that the cause of death was foul play.”

Thinkstock

Kentucky is expanding its Work Ready Scholarship program to include associate degrees and high school dual credit courses. 

The scholarships which began in 2016 pay tuition for eligible students seeking an education in high demand fields of work. 

Those sectors include Advanced Manufacturing, Business and IT, Construction Trades, Healthcare, and Transportation and Logistics. 

Ryland Barton

The agency that runs Kentucky’s court system has “disorganized and unchecked leadership” and “pervasive lack of accountability” according to a special examination released by state Auditor Mike Harmon.

Harmon said that the Administrative Office of the Courts improperly held employee-only sales of surplus property and didn’t oversee how top officials used state resources, leaving the system vulnerable to abuse.

Adelina Lancianese

Western Kentucky District U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman didn’t hide his emotion when announcing federal charges against a coal company for faking coal dust samples.

“This is one of those that just made me angry, it just made me angry to see the impact on these miners,” Coleman said.

 

Coleman unsealed indictments Wednesday against eight employees of the now-bankrupt Armstrong Energy coal company for falsifying dust monitoring samples in two of its Kentucky mines.


Public Domain

Attorney General Andy Beshear has filed another lawsuit against a drug manufacturer, accusing a company that makes morphine and codeine of using deceptive marketing to promote painkillers that fueled the drug addiction epidemic in Kentucky.

In a news conference on Thursday, Beshear said that St. Louis pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt underplayed the risk of addiction in order to promote its opioid products.

“Mallinckrodt sold and promoted their opioids by falsely claiming that their drugs could be taken in higher doses without disclosing the additional risk of addiction,” Beshear said.

Ron Baker via Creative Commons

A two-day outdoor music festival in Somerset is celebrating its 25th year with an American musical legend.

Singer-songwriter John Prine is the headlining act Saturday night at the Master Musicians Festival, which gets underway Friday afternoon at Festival Field on the campus of Somerset Community College.

Prine is known for his 1971 song “Paradise”, about the environmental impacts of coal mining on Muhlenberg County.

Owensboro Municipal Utilities

Now that a boil water advisory has been lifted for most customers, Owensboro Municipal Utilities is working to fortify the pipes that burst on Monday. 

About 100,000 residents of Owensboro and Daviess County had little to no water before service was restored on Wednesday. 

OMU Spokeswoman Sonya Dixon says it’s believed that a cast-iron pipe more than 100 years old ruptured and caused another pipe to leak.

Prometheus Foundry

A statue of Kentucky native Alice Dunnigan will be on display at the Newseum, the Washington, D.C museum that promotes an understanding of freedom of the press and the First Amendment. Dunnigan was the first African-American woman to get credentials to cover Congress and the White House.

Dunnigan was a sharecropper’s daughter from Logan County who became a teacher and then a journalist working for the American Negro Press. In 1947 she was the first African-American woman to receive  Congressional press credentials. 

Her statue will be on display at the Newseum beginning September 21 and will remain there for several months. After that, the statue will become part of the West Kentucky African-American Heritage Center in her hometown of Russellville.

Michael Morrow is a volunteer historian in Russellville who serves as a guide at the African-American Heritage Center. Morrow said Dunnigan had to push hard to get access to the highest levels of government.


Ryland Barton

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pension system, which were originally set to go into effect this weekend.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd blocked the pension law last month, saying that lawmakers had violated the state Constitution by not following proper procedure.

Bevin had asked Shepherd to amend his ruling to determine if the pension bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract” — a provision that protects state worker benefits from being tinkered with after they’ve been hired.

Beshear Faces Scrutiny for Past Campaign Contributions

Jul 11, 2018
Becca Schimmel

When Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear's top deputy was busted for using kickbacks and bribes for political donations, Beshear vowed to donate all of the tainted money from his 2015 campaign account to charity.

That was two years ago. The money is still there. But now Beshear is running for governor, bringing more scrutiny to his campaign.

Beshear has cooperated with authorities, and federal officials have said he had no knowledge of the scheme. But that hasn't stopped Republicans, including Gov. Matt Bevin and his allies, from using it to portray Beshear as corrupt.

How the Trade War is Changing Minds In a Senate Battleground

Jul 11, 2018
Tosh Farms

Jimmy Tosh's sprawling hog farm in rural Tennessee is an unlikely battleground in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

Yet his 15,000 acres two hours west of Nashville showcase the practical risks of President Donald Trump's trade policies and the political threat to red-state Republican Senate candidates such as Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn.

Tosh, a third-generation farmer who almost always votes Republican, said he's voting this fall for Blackburn's Democratic opponent, former Gov. Phil Bredesen, in part because Trump's trade wars are hurting his family business — a sizable one with some 400 employees and 30,000 pigs.

J. Tyler Franklin

Drivers will need to maintain a three-foot buffer when they pass bicyclists, health educators will be required to teach sex abstinence in public schools and sweeping changes to Kentucky’s adoption and foster care system are all included in new state laws that go into effect on Saturday.

New laws take effect 90 days after the state legislature adjourns unless they have a special effective date or have an emergency clause — which would make them effective immediately.

CurtisHillforIndiana.com

A special prosecutor will help Indiana's government watchdog investigate allegations that state Attorney General Curtis Hill drunkenly groped a lawmaker and three legislative staffers.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry's office filed a motion Tuesday asking a judge to appoint a special prosecutor who would review Inspector General Lori Torres' eventual findings on the allegations against Hill.

Lisa Autry

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear says he has his own vision for Kentucky, despite being the son of a former governor. 

Beshear embarked on the second of a two-day swing through the state on Tuesday, launching his 2019 bid for the governor’s mansion.  He’s the first candidate so far to formally enter the race, and he's no stranger to voters as Kentucky’s attorney general and the son of former Governor Steve Beshear.

At a stop in Owensboro alongside running mate Jacqueline Coleman, Beshear said that he and his father are “two different people.”

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