Bowling Green, KY – Western Kentucky University President Gary Ransdell says some programs at the university will have to be eliminated to meet significant budget cuts ordered by the Fletcher Administration. Speaking with members of the university's governing board today, Ransdell indicated that no decisions have been made at this point about what to eliminate. He stressed that one of his priorities will be to preserve funding for programs which excell at the institution.
Bowling Green, KY – U-S Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) believes the American military presence in Iraq can be significantly reduced by the end of June. Speaking with reporters by phone from Kuwait today, Bunning said U-S officials in Iraq believe progress is being made in several aspects of the re-building effort, including work on refineries and utilities. He says "the general consensus" is that U-S manpower can be reduced to about one hundred thousand by that point.
Frankfort, KY – Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher has endorsed a "fetal homicide" bill that would declare that life begins at conception. The legislation he is backing would apply homicide statutes to a fetus, from the time of conception.
Frankfort, KY – A bill directing lawmakers to fully fund Kentucky's state sponsored merit-based scholarship program has been approved by the House Education Committee. The bill deals with the KEES scholarship program, which is funded by proceeds from the Kentucky Lottery.
Funding for the program is expected to run three to five million dollars short in fiscal year 2006. The bill directs the General Assembly to make use of general fund dollars to make up for shortfalls in the funding.
Frankfort, KY – Rachel Fletcher, the Sister-in-law of Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher, has been hired by the Kentucky Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. She will be working as an executive secretary, starting Wednesday.
Frankfort, KY – Former Governor Patton's ex-labor liason is going to work for new Kentucky Attorney General Greg Stumbo. Danny Ross was unsuccessfully prosecuted by previous Attorney General Ben Chandler, after he and three other individuals were indicted. They were accused of steering labor union funds to Patton's 1995 gubernatorial campaign, in violation of fund-raising limits.
Washington, D.C. – U-S Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY) will be visiting Iraq this week to visit with members of the 101st Airborne Division and to get a first hand report on progress in the rebuilding effort in that country. The Senator from Northern Kentucky is leading a congressional delegation that includes Senator Zell Miller of Georgia.
Lexington/Bowling Green – Agriculture experts in Kentucky say the state's system for tracking cattle from farm to the grocery store could serve as an example for some other parts of the country. The Kentucky Beef Network has been installing new computer systems and equipment at livestock collection facilities and stockyards. Jim Akers, a beef expert with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture says the system has been a positive development.
Fort Campbell – Planeloads of soldiers are expected to return home to Fort Campbell in January. Officials say "Screaming Eagles" from the 101st Airborne Division have been fighting in Iraq since they were deployed to Kuwait in February.
Troops from the 101st have been involved in major combat operations, with about twenty thousand members of the air assault division fighting in Iraq. The troops settled in northern Iraq and have been helping to rebuild the country.
Bowling Green, KY – The head of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture says the fact that a case of mad cow disease was detected in Washington State is a good indication that the inspection system is working. Glenn Slack is the Chief Executive Officer of the Bowling Green-based group. He says the situation regarding the extent of mad cow disease in Washington state should become much clearer within a few days.