Bowling Green, Kentucky – The Executive Committee of Western Kentucky University's governing board has approved a bond re-financing package that could eventually save the state as much as $500,000. The new bond issue will pay off bonds that were used to build the Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center, the Cravens Graduate Center, and the Downing University Center on Western's campus.
University officials say the 2.57 percent interest rate in the re-financing package should save the state of Kentucky 69 to 74 thousand per year, over the life of the bonds.
Frankfort, Kentucky – Veterinarian Robert Stout has been hired by the State Department of Agriculture to help distribute vital Homeland Security information to Kentucky farmers, consumers, and businesses. The practitioner from Versailles will be working to strengthen the security of Kentucky's food products and will help the state to prepare for an agricultural emergency.
Louisville, Kentucky – Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Ben Chandler says one of his top goals is to clean up state government. In particular, Chandler says the State Transportation Cabinet needs to be overhauled. Two construction companies have sued the Transportation Cabinet, alleging racketeering and civil rights violations in connection with the state's Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – Republican Gubernatorial candidate Ernie Fletcher says Kentucky lawmakers should seriously consider tax reform. Speaking with Dan Modlin of Western's Public Radio, the Congressman from Lexington stressed that the tax system should be updated to help promote growth in the Commonwealth.
Fletcher also called for increased efficiency in state government and pointed to healthcare as one of the key issues facing Kentucky.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – A special birthday cake celebration was among the highlights of the 50th Anniversary Corvette Celebration in Bowling Green. Thousands of Corvettes from as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska came to South Central Kentucky and Nashville, Tennessee for the multi-day celebration.
Thousands of the people who attended the event participated in caravans of the sports cars. Event organizers say the caravans helped to organize the arrival of large groups coming from various regions of the country.
Bowling Green, Kentucky – The Secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet wants lawmakers in the state to consider tougher seat belt laws. Secretary James Codell says the fatality toll on Kentucky's highways could be reduced through such legislation.
Codell says he recognizes that seat belts would not prevent all deaths on the state's roads, but he believes a primary seat belt law could save 75 to 100 lives per year in the Commonwealth. 917 people died on Kentucky's highways last year.
Fort Knox, Kentucky – A hearing officer says there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a court martial against Sergeant Hasan Akbar. Sergeant Akbar is charged in connection with an attack in Kuwait in March, in which two U.S. soldiers were killed and fourteen others were wounded.
Akbar's attorney had argued that his client had been unfairly accused of the attack because he is Muslim. However, prosecutors at the Fort Knox hearing countered that there is evidence linking Akbar to the attack against his fellow soldiers.
Washington, DC – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the Commonwealth of Kentucky more than 52 million dollars. The funding will be used for a variety of programs which include public facilities improvements, emergency relief projects, and home investment partnership programs.
More than 31 million dollars of the total will be in the form of Community Development Block Grant funds. Those dollars will be used for community projects, housing, and economic development.
Fallujah, Iraq – Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division came under grenade attack early today in an Iraqi town known as a hotbed of resistance to American forces. The U.S. military says one American soldier was killed and five were wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade. The military is conducting house-to-house searches for the assailants. The attack occurred in Fallujah, about 30 miles west of Baghdad.
Frankfort, Kentucky – The Kentucky Board of Education wants the State Legislature to pay for full-day kindergarten. It also wants to give school districts more money for students with limited proficiency in English.
Those are among the Board's funding priorities as it gears up for the 2004 General Assembly. The next legislative session is expected to set off fierce competition for funding from many interest groups. The Board may also ask the legislature to broaden the state's basic school funding formula to cover preschool education.