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Democratic Party officials are still trying to unify support behind presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as supporters of former candidate Bernie Standers continue to protest her nomination.

The two candidates nearly split Kentucky’s share of 55 pledged delegates — Sanders took 27 and Clinton took 28. Clinton won all five of Kentucky’s unpledged “super” delegates.

Greg Aster, an aircraft mechanic and Bernie Sanders delegate from Louisville, said the senator’s speech Monday night helped him move on.

“I thought they all did a great job in trying to just show that hey, it’s not our differences that we need to be divided over, it’s our differences with a Trump presidency that we really need to be concerned about,” Aster said.

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The Tuesday night session of the Democratic convention was really three events, each with its own atmosphere and impact, but all contributing to a single theme: The Clintons are back.

The first event was the most consequential. Two names were placed in nomination, those of Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The traditional roll call ensued, with each delegation proudly proclaiming the singular virtues of its home state — and eventually reporting the tally of delegate votes for each contender.

By the time the roll had passed South Dakota, Clinton had surpassed the 2,383 votes needed to win. This should have surprised no one who has kept any sort of tabs on the primaries and caucuses, which long ago showed she would have more than enough delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.

This had been the way to bet since Clinton won the Ohio primary resoundingly on March 15. But Sanders' camp had held out hope that their winning streak in April would sow doubts, and insisted a big upset in California in June would change everything.

Even after Clinton had won California handily, some Sanders fans still hoped her high negatives in polling, her adverse media narratives and the heavy bombardment she got from Republicans would give Democratic delegates pause. They hoped even this past weekend's release of emails from the Democratic National Committee would finally torpedo her candidacy.

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A coalition of environmental groups is formally protesting the upcoming auction of federal lands in Western Kentucky for possible oil and gas drilling.

The administrative protest was filed last week by groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, the Kentucky Conservation Committee, the Sierra Club and others.

At issue is the proposed auction of 184 acres in Union County. The land is part of the Sloughs Wildlife Management Area; in total, the WMA is more than 11,000 acres owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and licensed to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. The Bureau of Land Management wants to auction off the land’s oil and gas leases in September, though they note that the leases won’t include any surface disturbance.

Gray Calls For Roads, Technology To Help Coal Regions

9 hours ago
J. Tyler Franklin

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray says he would spend more money on technology and improve roads in eastern Kentucky to help the region recover from the devastating effects of a declining coal industry.

Gray revealed his plan on Tuesday along with other state Democratic leaders.

Gray said his plan would increase funding for the federal Office of Fossil Energy’s carbon capture storage technology research and would work to widen the Hal Rogers parkway to four lanes from Hazard to Somerset.

Republicans have criticized Gray and other Democrats as being anti-coal after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she would put coal miners and coal companies out of business.

Gray told reporters he still supports Clinton but said she he was wrong about coal. Clinton has since said she was mistaken in her remarks.

Alix Mattingly

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has portrayed Donald Trump as "an unsteady, unqualified bully" while offering insights about Hillary Clinton's personal side in a speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Grimes on Tuesday recounted her long friendship with Clinton, and stressed Clinton's support for equal pay for women, voting rights, affordable health care and pensions for retired coal miners.

Grimes described Clinton as a family-oriented grandmother who enjoys watching HGTV and eating buffalo wings. She recalled how Clinton checked up on her while she was in law school and was the first to call her after her grandmothers died.

She portrayed Trump as "an unsteady, unqualified bully who points fingers rather than offering a hand to those who are defenseless."

Grimes lost to Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell in a high-profile race in 2014.

Holcomb Picked for Indiana Republican Governor Bid

Jul 26, 2016
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The Republican candidate picked to replace Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on the November ballot says the state is heading in the right direction and he wants to continue with those policies.

The 22-member Indiana Republican state committee voted during a private meeting Tuesday to nominate Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb for the state's top job, a spot that opened up after Pence dropped his re-election bid to become Donald Trump's running mate. Pence had endorsed Holcomb for the nomination.

Holcomb says he appreciates the committee's confidence in him to run against Democratic candidate John Gregg, who narrowly lost to Pence in the 2012 election.

U.S. Reps. Susan Brooks and Todd Rokita also sought the nomination and congratulated Holcomb after the nomination was announced. The committee's vote wasn't released by party leaders.

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In another effort to tamp down on discord at the Democratic National Convention, Bernie Sanders will officially nominate his former rival Hillary Clinton for president during this evening's roll call vote.

It would be another move toward unity from the primary runner-up, coming amid continued protests from supporters of the Vermont senator still upset that Clinton will be the Democratic nominee.

The Sanders and Clinton camps are still in talks about the nomination, CNN reports, so details could still change.

Clinton won the most primary popular votes and pledged delegates, and she is poised to officially become the first female nominee of a major political party after Tuesday's roll call vote.

But even an endorsement from Sanders and a speech in favor of Clinton last night hasn't done much to placate the progressive favorite's most fervent supporters. In the final speech the official convention opening Monday night Sanders urged his very vocal, very unhappy supporters who were still calling for a "political revolution" to get behind Clinton to defeat GOP nominee Donald Trump in November.

Jacob Ryan

There is still no specific timeline in place for moving the 121-year-old Confederate Monument currently standing near the University of Louisville campus.

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and University of Louisville President James Ramsey announced earlier this year the near 60 foot tall obelisk would be moved from its current site. The granite structure stands to honor Kentuckians who died fighting in the Civil War.

It was built with funds raised by the Kentucky Women’s Confederate Monument Association in 1895 and was thereafter gifted to the city. When first erected, it stood beyond the reaches of the U of L campus. But as time passed, the growing campus came to encircle the monument. Debate raged for years about who owned the ground on which the monument stood.

The call to remove the monument drew initial pushback.

A group headed up by the Sons of Confederate Veterans challenged the move, saying the monument was protected as a designated historical object.

Emil Moffatt

The Bowling Green – Warren County Regional Airport is one of four airports that will be getting more environmentally friendly ground support equipment.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says it is joining forces with the airports and FedEx to replace some of their diesel-powered ground support equipment with the new gear.

The Bowling Green facility is the only one in Kentucky to receive TVA cash incentives based on the type and amount of equipment purchased.

TVA says more than 55 pieces of diesel-powered gate equipment will be replaced over the next few months with no emission, all-electric equipment. TVA says the move will help reduce fossil fuel consumption and emissions within the Tennessee Valley region.

TVA provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors in seven southeastern states.

Gray, Paul to Campaign in Kentucky Coal Country on Tuesday

Jul 26, 2016
Paul (photo provided) Gray (Jim Gray for US Senate)

Kentucky's U.S. Senate candidates are campaigning in eastern Kentucky as the race picks up steam heading into the annual Fancy Farm picnic.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jim Gray is scheduled to unveil his plan to help Kentucky's economically distressed coal communities on Tuesday. The Lexington mayor is scheduled to join other state lawmakers including House Speaker Greg Stumbo and Senate Minority Leader Ray Jones in Pikeville to discuss his plan.

Republicans have criticized Gray and other Democrats as being anti-coal after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said her policies would put coal miners and coal companies out of business. Clinton later said she was mistaken in her remarks.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will hold four town-hall style events on Tuesday in Corbin, Pineville, Harlan and Whitesburg.

The Civil War Trust

A non-profit organization is preserving part of Kentucky’s Civil War history.

The 1862 Battle of Perryville was Kentucky’s largest and bloodiest Civil War battle.  The Civil War Trust recently purchased 70 acres of the hallowed ground in Boyle County. 

Meg Martin, Communications Director for The Civil War Trust, says the latest area to be preserved is known as the Western High Water Mark of the Confederacy, which refers to the farthest point reached by Confederate soldiers in the Western Theater during the Civil War.

"An interesting tidbit about this particular parcel is that there are likely still several Union soldiers laid to rest there," Martin told WKU Public Radio.  "Their bodies would not have been moved."

Grants and a national fundraising campaign allowed the Civil War Trust to purchase the 70 acres, bringing the total amount of land preserved at Perryville to 1,027 acres.

Trump Picks Up Fundraising Momentum In Kentucky

Jul 25, 2016
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For the first time this election season, Kentuckians gave more in a single month to Republican nominee for president Donald Trump than to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The GOP candidate raised $75,387 in June from individual Kentucky donors, according to new data from the Federal Election Commission. The former U.S. secretary of state raised $73,153 during the same time period.

The June haul represents a major shift for Trump, whose meager Kentucky fundraising had trailed behind all other major Republican candidates, including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul. In each of the first four months of the year, Trump never raised more than $9,000.

But in June Trump more than doubled his total pull from the commonwealth. He has raised a total of $130,049 since March 2015 in the state, while Clinton has garnered $783,046.

Kara Lofton, WVPB

People in West Virginia are still recovering from floods that tore through communities like vengeful gods. When you look at the pictures and videos of the June flood – thick, brown, furious, unrelenting – it’s not hard to imagine how our ancestors believed supernatural beings were behind the devastation.

Today, of course, we have better insight into the natural forces at work, and science shows us that the damage from nature’s wrath has a lot to do with human behavior.

The National Weather Service described the West Virginia disaster as a 1000-year event, a term meteorologists use to describe the rare probability of such extreme rains. Many scientists who study the climate, however, warn that our warming atmosphere is increasing the likelihood and severity of flooding disasters. Further, a review of emergency planning shows that while risk of extreme rainfall is on the rise in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, the states are not doing enough to prepare for the rising waters.

WFPL News

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul has raised more than $1.2 million in the fundraising quarter that ended June 30.

The haul is in addition to the more than $97,000 Paul raised in the one-month period leading up to the May primary, giving the first-term Senator more than $2.2 million in cash available to spend from his campaign account.

Records show Paul's Democratic challenger Jim Gray has just over $1 million in cash available to spend.

Rand Paul Victory Kentucky, a joint fundraising organization between Paul and the Republican Party of Kentucky, has just over $10,000 in cash available to spend.

Paul spokeswoman Kelsey Cooper said the campaign is "extremely pleased" with its fundraising efforts and confident Paul will have the resources necessary to spread his message to voters.

The percentage of Kentucky workers enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans increased by nearly six times between 2006 and 2014.  A report released by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky shows the growth of those plans is nationwide. 

Foundation CEO Susan Zepada says consumers typically choose high-deductible plans in exchange for lower monthly premiums.

"When people are having to pay those first dollars before their health plans kick in, it does make them more prudent consumers when they have a choice in the health care that they seek out," Zepada told WKU Public Radio.

Zepada says consumers on high-deductible plans also tend to use fewer preventive services such as vaccinations and screenings, which may save money in the long run. 

Most of the state’s nearly 94,000 Kynect enrollees have chosen plans with high-deductibles.  The report did not address what may happen if Kentucky transitions to the federal health care exchange.

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