It’s been nearly three-and-a-half weeks since a Bowling Green man was shot by an off-duty Warren County court security officer. Many people in the Bowling Green-Warren County area are waiting with intense interest to hear the findings of a Kentucky State Police investigation into the death of 27-year-old Brandon Bradshaw, who died Feb. 26, four days after being shot by Tommy Brown in a parking lot along the U.S. 31-W Bypass in Bowling Green.
The KSP investigation has been handed over to Warren County Commonwealth’s Attorney Chris Cohron, who says he’s still waiting to receive a few more documents before announcing how his office will proceed.
No charges have been filed against Brown. His attorney, Alan Simpson, says Brown acted in self-defense when he shot Bradshaw.
Earlier this week, about forty family members and friends of Bradshaw protested in front of the Warren County Justice Center, demanding answers in the case. Members of the group say they plan a similar protest next Wednesday, the day grand juries meet in Warren County.
Kentucky's industrial hemp supporters lashed out Thursday against a last-minute amendment to the hemp bill that's been under consideration this year in the General Assembly.
State Rep. Rocky Adkins, a Sandy Hook Democrat and the majority floor leader, has proposed an amendment turning the Senate-approve hemp bill into a five year study. It also gives the licensing responsibilities to Kentucky State Police, which argues that legalized hemp would harm law enforcement efforts to target hemp's cousin, marijuana.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is the leading proponent of the hemp bill, which establishes a regulatory framework in Kentucky for hemp farming should the federal government ease its restrictions on the plant.
"I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back with the public that are keeping up with this issue, so I think they've heard from the people of Kentucky: don't study this issue," Comer said. "Let's set up the regulatory framework, don't get in the way of creating jobs and helping our farmers."
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is scheduled to headline the Iowa Republican party’s Lincoln Day Dinner in May. While members of Congress often take part in speaking engagements in other states, Sen. Paul’s appearance in Iowa is making news because the event always creates buzz about the upcoming presidential race.
The Hawkeye State has been a traditional launching pad for presidential candidates from both parties, given that the Iowa caucuses serve as the country’s first major electoral event in the presidential nominating process.
Paul, a Bowling Green Republican, has admitted he is considering a run for the White House in 2016, and attracted a lot of popular press in conservative circles when he launched a 13-hour filibuster earlier this month against the nomination of John Brennan to be C.I.A. chief.
Earlier this week, Paul told the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that the country needs to find a way to give legal status to undocumented immigrants working in the U.S. While stopping short of saying there should be a pathway to citizenship for such workers, Paul’s latest statements were much more moderate than his previous positions on immigration.
The sponsor of legislation that was competing with Gov. Bill Haslam's to create a school voucher program withdrew her bill on Wednesday after proponents of a broader program decided they want to focus on the governor's plan.
The measure withdrawn by Sen. Dolores Gresham from the Senate Education Committee sought to increase the income limit for eligibility to about $75,000 for a family of four, up quite a bit from the $42,643 envisioned by the Republican governor.
The bill also had no limitation on growth, where Haslam proposes to limit the program to 5,000 students in failing schools in the academic year that begins in August, and grow to 20,000 by 2016.
Gresham, a Somerville Republican and chair of the committee, didn't give a reason for withdrawing the bill but told reporters after the hearing that she may bring it up again before the end of the session.
Child care agencies contracting with the state of Kentucky are barred from discriminating against children on the basis of religion under a settlement announced Wednesday by state officials and multiple groups.
The agreement also requires the agencies to consider an alternative placement if a child or guardian objects to a provider's religious affiliation. The agreement also bans agencies from pressuring a child to participate in worship services or religious instruction.
The settlement between Kentucky and a group of citizens represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State closes a long-running legal battle over public funding of a faith-based organization in Kentucky. If U.S. District Judge Charles R. Simpson III approves the agreement, there will be 90 days for Kentucky officials to modify regulations and for child-placing agencies to comply.
WKU President Gary Ransdell says anything less than a five-percent tuition increase next year will result in a loss of jobs on campus. In a presentation to faculty and staff Wednesday, Dr. Ransdell outlined his thoughts on the school’s budget, tuition rates, and employee compensation.
He says if the Council on Postsecondary Education approves a four-percent tuition hike instead of the five-percent increase the school is seeking, it won’t be enough.
“Then we have to figure out where we’re going to come up with $1.3 million. A one-percent tuition increase equals $1.3 million. So we’ll have to reduce our spending by $1.3 million in some fashion or another. And the message here is that’s likely to result in a loss of jobs.”
Dr. Ransdell also said faculty and staff will likely see no salary increase next year, because such a boost would have to be paid for by eliminating positions on campus. WKU Faculty Regent Patty Minter told WKU Public Radio after the meeting that she disagrees with the notion that the only way to increase pay is by cutting jobs.
Kentuckians have 590 days-plus before the 2014 general election, but already the political chatter is centered on potential challengers to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell—chiefly actress Ashley Judd and her potential candidacy's supposed strengths and weaknesses.
But Judd isn't the only possible candidate. Many veteran Kentucky political operatives—not to mention rural Democrats—are pushing a prospective Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes candidacy over Judd's. And some Tea Party groups are pushing Louisville businessman Matthew Bevin as a possible challenger to McConnell in the Republican primary.
With so many stories, quotes and talk flying around on these three candidates, here's a look at the positives and negatives that each could bring to the table in 2014. The list is by no means exhaustive, but's a reflection of what's being said publicly and privately in Kentucky and national political circles.
* Near universal name recognition. Supporters point out that Judd's work as an actress, plus as a prominent University of Kentucky basketball fan, gives her the best name ID of any candidate rumored in the race. And they point out that good name ID leaves more money to use on things other than introductory ads.
James Monroe has rebuilt a log cabin on the site where his father, bluegrass icon Bill Monroe, once lived and plans to open it to the public.
Monroe told the Messenger-Inquirer that the Ohio County cabin is complete and will open on Thursday at noon with festivities that include barbeque and bluegrass music by an assortment of performers.
The two-room cabin is basically a replica of one that belonged to his great uncle, James Pendleton Vandiver, and was made famous in a song by his father called "Uncle Pen." Bill Monroe went to live with his uncle at the age of 16 after his parents died.
James Monroe said the cabin was the last place his father lived in Kentucky, and he thinks bluegrass fans would be interested in seeing it.
High-ranking members of the Democratic Party—including a former President—are reportedly trying to convince a new candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell next year. Some Democrats are concerned about the potential candidacy of actress Ashley Judd, who has been the subject of intense media speculation lately.
According to a report in Politico, some prominent Democrats are trying to convince Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes to launch a Senate campaign. The 34-year-old Grimes comes from a family with deep connections to Kentucky Democratic Party politics.
The online political journal says former President Bill Clinton met with Grimes for 35 minutes in Owensboro earlier this month, when Clinton was in town for a fundraiser benefitting the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center. Grimes has also reportedly met with officials from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
Tuition at the University of Kentucky is expected to rise 3% next year, the smallest increase since 1997. The finance committee of the UK Board of Trustees approved the suggested tuition hike without any discussion. The full board later approved it also. The increase still has to go to the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education for final approval.
The average in-state undergraduate student will pay $10,110 in the 2013-14 school year. It will be the first time that annual tuition has topped $10,000. Tuition at UK, the state's largest public university, has jumped 150% in the past decade.