Associated Press


5:39 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Beshear Says Education is Top Priority for Session

Gov. Steve Beshear

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."

2:11 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Child Panel Won't Make Recommendations to 2014 Kentucky Legislature

A panel reviewing child deaths and severe abuse cases has approved its first annual report without including recommendations on how to improve Kentucky's child protection system.

Media reported that the Child Fatality and Near Fatality Review Panel said Monday that it needs more time to review case files before recommending specific changes.

The panel was tasked by the governor with reviewing case files of children who died or nearly died from abuse or neglect and making recommendations to improve the state's child protection system.

Retired Circuit Judge Roger Crittenden, who heads the group, said statutory or regulatory revisions will likely be proposed by 2015.

3:56 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Reward Offered in Case of Missing Bourbon

Kentucky authorities are dangling a $10,000 reward for information that helps solve the disappearance of some sought-after bourbon. 

It's become a compelling mystery in a state that produces 95 percent of the world's bourbon. What happened to 65 cases of 20-year-old Pappy Van Winkle bourbon and nine cases of 13-year-old Van Winkle Family Reserve rye? The whiskey was taken from the Buffalo Trace Distillery at Frankfort in mid-October.

The missing whiskey is valued at more than $26,000.

Franklin County Sheriff Pat Melton said Monday the reward could provide "a heck of a Christmas" for someone who helps crack the case.

Melton says a crime stopper's group put up $1,000, but he declined to identify any other donor.

The sheriff says his detectives have interviewed more than 100 people.

Around the Nation
11:52 pm
Sat November 30, 2013

'Fast & Furious' Star Dies In Car Crash

Actor Paul Walker in March.
Joel Ryan AP

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

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4:21 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Limited Kentucky Whiskey Sells for Nearly $4,000 Per Bottle

A new whiskey created in Kentucky features a blend of age and scarcity that spiked demand -- and its price.

Whiskey fans including celebrities and CEOs are angling to snatch up the fewer than 300 bottles of Michter's Celebration Sour Mash Whiskey at nearly $4,000 per bottle.

Limited-edition offerings with heftier prices are common as American whiskey-makers dabble in new flavors to lure more customers. But this latest offering by Louisville-based Michter's Distillery is bringing the high end of the American whiskey business closer to the rarest bottles of Scotch, cognac and brandy.

The Michter's product reaches shelves Monday in select liquor stores, restaurants, bars and hotels in a handful of U.S. cities.

2:25 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

GE Hitachi, Energy Dept. in Talks Over Kentucky Uranium Plant

A rendering of a GE nuclear plant
Credit General Electric

The U.S. Department of Energy has started negotiations with General Electric's nuclear division on a proposal to replace Paducah's aging uranium enrichment plant with a new one.

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy wants to build a laser enrichment facility that would make use of the depleted uranium kept at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The Energy Department announced Wednesday that it has selected the company to begin exclusive negotiations for the sale of the uranium inventory.

U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, along with Rep. Ed Whitfield, said in a news release that the new plant would create hundreds of permanent jobs at the site.

The Paducah plant had been a major employer for two generations but is being mothballed. Layoffs began earlier this year.

11:15 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Judge to Rule Soon in Sexual Harassment Case

A judge could rule by the end of the month on motions to dismiss two of the defendants in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Franklin County Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate said Monday he may decide next week whether to drop the state and House Speaker Greg Stumbo as defendants in the case.

That would leave the Legislative Research Commission and former Democratic state Rep. John Arnold of Sturgis as defendants.

The case involves two legislative staffers who filed sexual harassment complaints against Arnold and later filed the lawsuit.

Arnold denied the allegations but resigned shortly after they were made.

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10:41 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Governor's Son to Run For Attorney General

Andy Beshear
Credit Stites & Harbison, PLLC

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.

6:16 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Senate Candidates Tout Gun-Rights Support

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Credit WKU PBS

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has bagged an award from the powerful National Rifle Association, giving him bragging rights for his re-election bid next year in a state where hunting is a tradition. The Republican's opponents are defending their own gun-rights stands in the campaign cross-fire.

Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes points to her NRA membership and says she'd welcome McConnell to shoot with her at a gun range.
McConnell didn't respond to a reporter's question Friday asking if he'd take Grimes up on her offer.

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9:26 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Representation Questions Arise from Redistricting in Kentucky

Kentucky lawmakers redrew state House and Senate boundaries this summer, but there are questions about who they represent.  The Lexington Herald-Leader reports top lawmakers discussed Wednesday what to tell constituents wondering who represents their districts.

The new boundaries created a problem for legislative staff when constituents ask which lawmaker represents them -- the legislator last elected by the constituent or the lawmaker who lives in the constituent's redrawn district.

Legislative staff members say they need to know how they should list lawmakers and their districts on the legislative website and in the 2014 legislative directories.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer proposed that the LRC give constituents the names of lawmakers from newly drawn districts.  But House Speaker Greg Stumbo said constituents expect their lawmakers to be the ones they elected.