Both Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam were among the guests at the White House's state dinner honoring French president Francois Hollande Tuesday night. Beshear and his wife Jane also participated in the arrival ceremony for the French president.
Beshear said it was a wonderful opportunity for the state anytime a Governor can be in the same room with so many leaders. France is the seventh-largest consumer of Kentucky products. It's the second time in recent weeks Beshear has found himself in the Washington spotlight. He was among the guests who sat with First Lady Michelle Obama at President Obama's State of the Union speech.
Haslam last month blamed scheduling conflicts for missing a planned tarmac meeting with Obama when he visited a Nashville high school for a speech, but that didn't stop the Republican Governor from being among the 350 people at last night's glitzy affair.
Funeral services have been set for a mother and eight of her children who died in a fire in western Kentucky last week.
Calvary Baptist Church pastor Tim Burden said the funeral is set for 2 p.m. CST Saturday at Felix E. Martin Jr. Hall at Muhlenberg County High School in Greenville.
He says country music trio The Band Perry has offered to pay for the funeral for Nikki Watson and the children and is also covering some lodging for family while the survivors, husband and father Chad Watson and 11-year-old daughter Kylie, are hospitalized.
Burden said an Owensboro homebuilder has offered to build a new home for the Watsons.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center spokeswoman Jennifer Wetzel said both the father and daughter remain in critical but stable condition.
Italian gun maker Beretta says it is building a new manufacturing and research facility in Gallatin, Tenn.
The $45 million plant in the Sumner County is projected to create 300 new jobs.
The family-owned company has operated in Italy since 1526. Beretta makes a variety of firearms, ranging from hunting shotguns to the U.S. Armed Forces M9 pistol.
Several states began wooing Beretta from Maryland after the company raised objections to a wide-ranging gun control measure enacted there last year. Company officials said Wednesday that have reached capacity in Maryland, requiring the expansion elsewhere.
Beretta said it plans to complete the new facility this year.
The state attorney general's office has decided there's not enough evidence to bring charges against a former official in Gov. Steve Beshear's administration following an investigation into whether cabinet employees were targeted for campaign contributions.
The Courier-Journal obtained a copy of the letter through an open records request. The letter from Attorney General Jack Conway's office to former Deputy Justice Cabinet Secretary Charles Geveden Sr.'s attorney said Conway's office "considers the matter closed."
Geveden attorney Guthrie True of Frankfort said he and his client are "very pleased."
The Executive Branch Ethics Commission has charged Geveden with violating state government's ethics code over fundraising and is scheduled to begin hearing the case Feb. 5.
True said he doesn't believe Geveden violated the state ethics code.
A group of Commercial Vehicle Enforcement employees has filed suit against the Kentucky State Police claiming wage discrimination.
The civil suit filed in Franklin Circuit Court Monday claims that vehicle enforcement officers are "compensated at a substantially lower rate of pay than Kentucky State Police troopers and cadets" despite performing similar duties. Commercial Vehicle Enforcement is a division of Kentucky State Police.
The State Journal reports that 107 plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages.
The lawsuit comes after Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer denied a grievance filed by the plaintiffs asking for higher wages.
In his response to the grievance, Brewer said troopers have different qualifications, requirements and duties than commercial vehicle enforcement officers.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear says he wants to pump more money into education and is willing to make budget cuts elsewhere to free up the money.
The governor also says he'll urge lawmakers to consider expanded gambling and a state tax overhaul in the General Assembly session that begins in January. But he won't include any assumed revenue from gambling or tax changes in the budget plan he presents to lawmakers.
Beshear talked to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday about his priorities for the upcoming legislative session.
The governor listed education as his top priority and said he's determined to put more money into education.
He says the state risks losing its progress in education unless it reinvests money in schools.
Beshear didn't mention any specifics about possible budget cuts but said "everything is on the table."