A new report says the number of homeless veterans in Kentucky has increased in recent years.
Numbers released by the Kentucky Housing Corporation show the number of homeless veterans jumped 37 percent in the last four years. The report indicates that the higher numbers are in part a result of troop withdrawals in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The proportion of veterans in the overall homeless population in Kentucky increased this year as well, to over 10 percent.
Of all the college campuses across the United States, only 75 can officially be called “Bike Friendly Universities” and WKU is now among them.
The League of American Bicyclists praised Western Kentucky for the leading the way to a healthier, more sustainable future. For the university’s Parking and Transportation director Dr. Jennifer Tougas, that’s the whole point.
“Bicycling is a very economical way to get around on short trips around town and it saves students who are strapped on cash a lot of money," said Tougas. "It also has a lot of health benefits as well.”
She says the addition of bike lanes along Chestnut Street and over 600 bike rack spots has been worth the investment.
"From the university’s point of view, if we can reduce parking demand that reduces the need to build more parking decks which are extremely costly or to build additional parking lots which have additional environmental effects."
The Tennessee Valley Authority has decided not to close a coal-fired power plant in western Kentucky. The nation’s largest utility was facing congressional pressure to keep open the Paradise Fossil Plant.
In a vote Thusday, the TVA's Board of Directors decided that one of the three units at the plant in Drakesboro will continue burning coal, while the other units will be converted to natural gas.
“It’s unnecessary and tragic that the Obama administration’s actions have forced utilities to discontinue coal operations at any of these units,” U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a statement. “I fought hard to prevent these changes and fortunately one of the units will continue to burn coal, saving hundreds of jobs."
In his statement, McConnell also vowed to continue fighting what he called the Obama administration’s anti-coal agenda that threatens the livelihood of Kentuckians.
In a meeting last month with McConnell, TVA President Bill Johnson said several factors, including the current regulatory environment, forced the utility to review the future of the Paradise Fossil Plant. McConnell responded that Muhlenberg County couldn’t take anymore hits, given the upcoming retirement of Kentucky Utilities’ Green River plant in 2016.
The Kentucky Supreme Court is considering a case that could have a major impact on criminal investigations in the commonwealth.
Floyd Grover Johnson was sentenced to 10 years in prison on multiple drug trafficking charges in Powell County.
But in his appeal, Floyd successfully argued that because the investigation leading to his indictment was conducted solely by uninvited law enforcement agencies outside of Powell County—including detectives from the Kentucky Attorney General's Office and officers working for Operation UNITE, an anti-drug enforcement non-profit founded by U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers—then his 2009 indictment should be moot.
In oral arguments before the Kentucky Supreme Court on Thursday, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway said that if Floyd's appeal is upheld, it could have severe implications for his office's ability to investigate a wide range of cases, from drug trafficking to child pornography.
"What is particularly concerning to the office of the Attorney General is to accept the ... argument would be to make the office of the Attorney General nothing more than a clerk for your local prosecutors, your local city council," Conway said. "I guess someone working at Walmart would have more investigative authority than the office of the Attorney General who’s given peace officer status.”
The nation's largest public utility has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two more in Kentucky with a new natural gas plant.
At a Thursday meeting, Tennessee Valley Authority CEO Bill Johnson said increasingly stringent environmental regulations and flat power demand have made it necessary to rethink how the utility generates power.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Johnson last month to seek continued operation of the coal-burning Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky. One coal-fired unit will remain there.
The board also voted to close all five units at the Colbert plant in northwest Alabama and one of two remaining units at the Widow's Creek plant in northeast Alabama.
Board members from Alabama and Kentucky said the closures were difficult but necessary.
The next WKU men’s basketball recruiting class features players from three different parts of the country.
WKU head basketball coach Ray Harper announced today that the school has received national letters of intent from Justin Johnson of Hazard, Kentucky; Derrick Clayton from Castro Valley, California; and Avery Patterson of Decatur, Georgia.
Johnson is a 6'7" forward who averaged over 16 points and 10 rebounds a game as a junior at Perry County Central High School last season.
Clayton is a 6'5" guard who scored 17 points a game as a junior in California.
Patterson is from the same high school in Georgia that produced current Hilltopper Niger Snipes. Coach Harper says he believes the 6'1" guard can compete for playing time as a freshman next season.
Since the beginning of the 1990's, the percentage of Kentucky's population comprised of immigrants has soared by more than 300%. While their overall number is still small, WKU economics professor Dr. Brian Strow says their effect is being felt and it's a net plus.
Strow's study shows immigrants locally have a higher employment percentage than native born people and a higher mean income. There's also a higher number who are self-employed.
Joe Corcoran spoke with Dr. Strow about the benefits of immigrant entrepreneurs.
Gov. Steve Beshear's son has filed paperwork with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to begin raising money for his candidacy for attorney general.
Andy Beshear, a Louisville attorney, filed the paperwork on Thursday. He becomes the first Democrat to formally announce his candidacy in an election that's still two years away.
The younger Beshear said in a statement that, if elected, he would work to make Kentucky safe and prosperous.
The current attorney general, Louisville Democrat Jack Conway, is nearly half way through his second four-year term. Because of a two-term limit, Conway can't seek re-election. He instead is considering a run for governor.
Andy Beshear is seeking a job once held by his father, who was attorney general from 1980-1983. Steve Beshear has been governor since 2007.
WKU senior Antonio Andrews has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation’s best college running back.
Andrews leads the nation in all-purpose yardage with nearly 2,200 yards and ranks second nationally in total rushing yards.
Andrews is one of ten semifinalists being considered for the award. Members of the Doak Walker Award National Selection Committee will next cast their votes for three finalists, who will be named November 25.
The winner of the award will be announced December 12.