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1:02 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Former Marine Prevented by NCAA from Playing for Tennessee School this Fall

MTSU's Floyd Stadium in Murfreesboro, TN.

A former marine hoping to play college football in Tennessee is being told by the NCAA he’ll have to sit out a year. The collegiate sports governing body says the 24-year-old freshman can’t play this upcoming season because of his participation in a military-only recreational football league in 2012.

Steven Rhodes entered the U.S. Marine Corp after graduating from Antioch High School in Nashville. After serving five years of active duty with the Marines, Rhodes contacted Middle Tennessee State coaches and asked about walking-on to the football ball team as a non-scholarship player.

That’s when the NCAA told Rhodes that his participation in a military-only football league would prevent him from playing immediately. Instead, he was told he would have to sit out the upcoming season.

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Agriculture
5:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Traveling Classrooms Designed to Teach Students About Agriculture

Ag Commissioner James Comer (right) shakes hands with Tod Griffin, chairman of Kentucky Agriculture and Environment in the Classroom, Inc.
Credit Dept. of Agriculture

A top state official is hoping twenty-first century technology will help Kentucky school children learn about the importance of agriculture. The Mobile Science Activity Centers” will begin touring the state this fall.

The 44-foot trailers are decked out with 11 iPads a 70-inch LED monitor and a touch screen desktop computer – all paid for by a public-private partnership between the Agriculture Department and over a dozen industry groups.  

"Most school children are two, three, or more generations removed from the farm," said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. "The Mobile Science Activity Centers enable kids to learn about agriculture's importance in our everyday lives." 

The schedule for mobile units is jam-packed for the next three school years.

Regional
2:35 pm
Sun August 18, 2013

Deal Struck in Suit Over Death of Nunn's Ex-Fiance

The mother of the woman former Barren County lawmaker Steve Nunn was convicted of killing has settled a lawsuit against the gated community in Lexington where the fatal shooting happened in 2009.

One of the attorneys representing Amanda Ross, Perry Bentley, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Diana Ross, mother of Amanda Ross, and the Opera House Square Townhouse Association reached an out-of-court settlement for undisclosed terms.

A trial scheduled to start Monday in Lexington is now canceled.

Bentley said a hearing will be held Monday to determine how much in damages Nunn is liable for.

The 60-year-old former state representative is the son of the late Louie B. Nunn, former Kentucky governor.

Nunn is serving life without parole in a Muhlenberg County prison after pleading guilty in 2011 to murder.

Politics
5:00 am
Sun August 18, 2013

Should Kentucky Have an Independent Commission Handle Legislative Redistricting?

Kentucky lawmakers will be at the state capitol in Frankfort starting Monday for a special session devoted to legislative redistricting.
Credit Kentucky LRC

Monday is day one of what Kentucky lawmakers hope will be a quick special legislative session devoted to creating new redistricting maps.

Both Republicans and Democrats have unveiled proposed maps, and lawmakers from both parties have said they believe an agreement can be reached by Friday.

The latest redistricting effort has dragged on over a year, with one set of maps being thrown out by the state supreme court in 2012. That's leading some to wonder if Kentucky should consider creating an independent, non-partisan committee that would be in charge of drawing new legislative maps every ten years.

Daviess County Democratic Representative Tommy Thompson told WKU Public Radio it's an idea he'd consider.

"I certainly would not be opposed to looking at the possibility of having an independent commission actually do the redistricting itself, and I'd be surprised if we didn't have some bills that came up when we go back to the regular session in January that propose that," said Rep. Thompson.

Edmonson County Republican Representative Michael Meredith has said he would also consider the creation of an independent redistricting commission. But he says he would want lawmakers to ultimately have an up-or-down vote on any maps such a commission produced.

Politics
6:00 am
Sat August 17, 2013

In Tennessee, Talk of a Possible Tea Party Challenge Against Alexander

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Tennessee Tea Party activists are actively vetting potential candidates who would challenge Republican Senator Lamar Alexander from the right.

Later this month, those wanting to take on Alexander in next year’s GOP primary will address tea party activists in Nashville. The Tennessean reports that Nashville Tea Party President Ben Cunningham says a “very serious process” is underway to find a consensus Tea Party challenger to take on Alexander in 2014.

It’s the latest example of the Tea Party challenging GOP incumbents it believes are not sufficiently conservative. The tactic has backfired in some states, including Indiana, where the Tea Party-backed Richard Mourdock knocked off longtime Republican moderate Richard Lugar in the 2012 primary, only to lose to Democrat Joe Donnelly in the general election later that year.

Some potential Tea Party challengers to Alexander are former GOP state representative and senator Tim Burchett, former chairman of the Williamson County Republican Party Kevin Kookogey, and Brenda Lenard, who ran an unsuccessful campaign against Republican Sen. Bob Corker last year.

Regional
4:22 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky AG Won't Get Involved in Same-Sex Privilege Case

Kentucky's attorney general is staying out of a dispute on whether a law exempting spouses from testifying against each other applies to same-sex couples.

A judge in Louisville was told by a local prosecutor Friday that Attorney General Jack Conway's office doesn't intend to weigh in on the matter.

Conway's office says the state is adequately represented by the local prosecutor.

The dispute has arisen in the case of Bobbie Joe Clary, who is charged with a 2011 murder.

Prosecutors claim her partner, Geneva Case, heard Clary admit to the killing and argue she must testify because Kentucky doesn't recognize same-sex civil unions or marriages.

The couple joined into a civil union in Vermont. Defense attorneys say that denying them the same marital rights as others would violate the Constitution.

Politics
2:30 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky House Redistricting Plan Would Put DeCesare, Embry in Same District

Redistricting maps released Friday afternoon in Frankfort by Kentucky House leaders would place an equal number of Democratic and Republican incumbents in the same districts.

The Democratic proposal would put Republicans Jim DeCesare of Warren County and C.B. Embry, Jr., of Butler County in the same district.

Embry told WKU Public Radio he and DeCesare are prepared for that possibility.

"He's one of my closest friends in the House, and we talk often," said the Morgantown Republican. "We've discussed this many times, and we will continue to talk over the coming week."

Both Embry and DeCesare have previously said they will wait until the new redistricting maps are passed and signed into law by Governor Beshear before they commit to any future election plans.

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Health
11:59 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky Healthcare Exchange Call Center Opens

A call center opens today with five-dozen agents on hand to answer questions about  Kentucky’s new health care benefit  exchange.  Kentucky is ramping up its effort to ensure health coverage for more than 600,000 Kentucky residents.

“They are actually taking phone calls from folks that are calling in asking questions about connect,” said Kerri Banahan, director of the exchange office.  “And through connect individuals will be able to apply for Medicaid as well as premium assistance which will help them pay for part of their premium amount with a private health insurance company.”

Banahan says some 70 calls came in Thursday, a day before the official launch of the call center. Open enrollment for the new insurance program begins in October. 

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Education
9:28 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Kentucky Pediatricians Feel Reading is Good Medicine

Noah Newman, 5 and brother Brady, 3 get new books from Dr. Billie Galyen at the Community Health Center in Muhlenberg County.
Credit Lisa Autry

Studies suggest reading to children early in their development enhances their vocabulary, helps them identify letters and become better readers.  Yet, less than half of U.S. children are read to on a daily basis. 

To counteract that problem, reading is being doctor-prescribed in certain parts of the commonwealth, like Muhlenberg County.

Dr. Billie Galyen sees about 6,000 kids a year at her pediatric clinic in Greenville.

Five-year-old Brady and three-year-old Noah are there for check-ups. Every child six months to five years old leaves the office with a new book to take home and a prescription to read.

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Education
9:14 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Simpson County Groups Combine Resources for New Dual-Credit Scholarship Fund

A group of Franklin-Simpson High School students got a welcome surprise Friday morning.

Those students are taking dual-credit classes at the Southcentral Kentucky Community and Techical College campus in Franklin and were on campus Friday for their fall semester orientation. They also learned that they won't have to pay any tuition for the upcoming academic year.

Those tuition costs are being covered by the Simpson County On-Track Scholarship Fund.

SKYCTC Franklin-Simpson Center Director James McCaslin says the scholarship program is a combined effort of five groups.

"They've each contributed a certain amount of money for this particular year, but our anticipation is that once we show the results of it, that this time next year they'll be willing to put up another set amount of money," said McCaslin.

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