The latest debate over the route for Interstate 69 revolves around the highway's path from Southern Indiana into Kentucky
While researching his book, “Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway”, Matt Dellinger traced the very early history of I-69 to a southern Indiana landowner, who in the early ‘90s, wanted to build a toll road from Evansville to Indianapolis.
“This man, David Graham, in Washington, Indiana, had been talking to this economist who said ‘look, your problem is, that it is too small a project. If you continued this proposed highway all the way to Mexico, then the numbers would change and the economics of it would look a lot more attractive if it was an international trade route,’” said Dellinger.
Twenty years and billions of dollars later, I-69 remains incomplete, although there has been progress, If I-69 ever is complete, it will extend from Canada to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Dellinger says funding issues and sometimes, the proposed route of the interstate have impeded progress as each mayor, congressman or senator along the way has tried to steer it in a way that would most benefit his or her constituents.
“These arguments about the route have been going on since the idea was very, very young. It is about politics and it is about economic development,” said Dellinger. “The bridges are obviously key points in the route. They’re kind of the pillars that the rest of the route is defined by.”
The latest dust up over I-69 doesn’t take place far Washington, Indiana.
A federal judge has given Kentucky until March 20 to implement his order granting legal recognition to same-sex couples married in other states.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II issued the order on Friday. As of March 20, the state must begin providing name changes, adoption forms listing both members of a same-sex couple as parents and other benefits of legal marriage.
On Thursday, Heyburn issued a final order overturning a voter-imposed ban on the recognition of same-sex unions in other states.
Jefferson County clerk's spokesman Nore Ghibaudy said that as of Friday, state officials had not been notified of the change in the law.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says that an idea by a Republican lawmaker to allow third-parties to appeal a federal ruling striking down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage wouldn’t require a change in state law.
Sen. Dan Seum told Kentucky Public Radio that he plans to file a bill that would allow other groups to appeal a decision by federal Judge John Heyburn that the state must recognize same-sex marriage from out-of-state or from another country if Attorney General Jack Conway decides not to.
Stumbo, a former Attorney General, says that such a law likely wouldn’t be needed, as the current process would allow for other parties to intervene.
“The case is still alive, and the same rules apply. And so it would be within the discretion of the court to determine whether or not the court would believe it would be too late to allow that," added Stumbo.
Gov. Steve Beshear says such talk is “premature,” and that he and Conway will make a decision on whether to appeal “soon.”
Clerks across Kentucky are awaiting legal guidance on when and how to handle requests for name changes and other legal benefits of marriage from same-sex couples a day after a federal judge officially struck down the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Jefferson County clerk's spokesman Nore Ghibaudy says as of Friday state officials have offered no notice that the law has changed.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II is scheduled to meet with attorneys in the case Friday afternoon about a request by the Kentucky attorney general's office to delay the ruling overturning the ban.
Attorneys for one couple say two of their clients went to a Department of Motor Vehicles office in Bardstown earlier in the day for a name change and were turned away.
The WKU men’s basketball team heads into the weekend on the verge of another 20-win season.
The Hilltoppers are traveling to the Lone Star State in search of another Sun Belt conference victory. WKU will enter Saturday night’s game against UT-Arlington with a 19-9 record, with 11 wins and four losses in the Sun Belt Conference.
You can read more about the UT-Arlington game at WKU Sports.
The Hilltoppers are in second place in the Sun Belt, behind only Georgia State.
WKU hopes to continue the momentum from Thursday's win over Texas State, which saw the Tops rally from a 12 point deficit and win by one. The team's final home game is next Thursday against Sun Belt foe Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Kentucky House has passed a bill aimed at allowing domestic-violence victims to obtain temporary permits to carry concealed weapons.
Supporters say the 45-day permits would provide protection at a time when victims feel most threatened. Opponents replied that the guns would make those situations even more volatile. They also voiced concerns that temporary permits would be granted to people who haven't received training.
The measure cleared the House on a 79-13 vote Friday.
The bill would make the temporary concealed carry permits available to people who receive protective orders meant to keep their abusers away from them.
The bill's lead sponsor is Democratic Rep. Gerald Watkins of Paducah. The proposal now goes to the Senate, which is considering similar legislation.
(From left) Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, Dr. Sue Sisley of Arizona, and Michael Krawitz, founder of Veterans For Medical Cannabis Access, present a medical marijuana bill to the House Health and Welfare Committee.
The movement to legalize medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky made another leap forward on Thursday.
A House Health and Welfare Committee, packed to bursting with medical marijuana supporters, approved a bill that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. It passed by a 9-5 partisan line vote, with Democrats voting in support of the measure.
The bill's primary sponsor, Re. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, is a retired nurse. She said the bill will help alleviate the the suffering of some patients without the need for costly medication and their potential for harmful side-effects.
"I've been a nurse forever, and we do give people just boatloads of medications that either don't work or they have tons of side-effects," Marzian said. "So if this is an answer to some of those diseases and conditions, then I think, 'Why don't we look at it?'"
A Republican state senator says he intends to file a bill that would permit a third-party to appeal a ruling that says Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.
Sen. Dan Seum tells Kentucky Public Radio that if Attorney General Jack Conway decides not to appeal a decision by Judge John Heyburn that nullifies the state’s ban on gay marriage, his bill would allow others to do so.
“We’re looking at the potential to file legislation that would allow some other group or some other person to intervene in the ruling other than the Attorney General," the Jefferson County Republican said. "Right now, as I understand it, only the Attorney General can intervene in this case, so we would maybe look at legislation that we could actually allow someone else to do that.”
A spokeswoman for Conway’s office says that the law doesn’t need to be changed and that Conway has defended the law appropriately to date.
Conway has asked for a 90-day stay to decide whether or not to appeal the ruling, which allows out-of-state same-sex couples to be legally recognized in the state of Kentucky.
A Lexington couple is celebrating a federal judge’s final ruling that orders Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
Ross Ewing has been with his partner for eight years. The couple had planned to marry this summer in New York.
“By happy coincidence, we were and still are, planning on being in New York on the first weekend in June which is our anniversary. My partner sings in Lexington Singers and they are performing in Carnegie Hall that weekend. We were just going to get married while we were up there,” explained Ewing.
Now, Ewing says the couple is thinking about waiting a little longer for the opportunity to get married in their home state. With the ruling partially lifting Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriage, Ewing believes it’s only a matter of time before Kentucky fully legalizes gay marriage.
“I just cannot help but see the comparison to inter-racial marriage. That didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t happen in all 50 states simultaneously, but it happened, and I just can’t help but see the parallel.”