Kentucky Public Radio

Reports from public radio stations in Kentucky.  

Kentucky lawmakers are trying to figure out how the state can improve digital learning across all classrooms in the commonwealth. The General Assembly has formed a task force to review possible legislative changes that encourage using technology in schools.

Only about 20% of public school superintendents in Kentucky are women, and there’s currently only one minority in that role. Applications are being accepted through August 13th for the Kentucky Department of Education's Minority Superintendent Intern Program.

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator is delaying his call for a vote on ending American aid to Pakistan. Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul says he’s only putting off the vote because Islamabad has postponed Doctor Shakil Afridi’s appeal of the life sentence given to him by a Pakistan court.

State officials say a measure passed by the General Assembly this spring is making an impact on Kentucky's prescription drug abuse epidemic. The legislation known as House Bill 1 established tougher regulations of clinics that prescribe controlled substances such as oxycontin and other pain killers.

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator says he now has the support he needs to force a vote on ending U.S. aid to Pakistan.  Bowling Green Republican Rand Paul made the claim on the Senate floor Tuesday. Paul has been trying to sever financial assistance to the Pakistani government since it jailed Shakil Afridi, the physician who helped the U.S. find and kill Osama bin Laden.

Experts argued over fire simulation software Tuesday during the re-trial of Jerry Wayne Walker.  Now 36, Walker is on trial for allegedly starting a fatal 1998 dorm fire at Murray State University. 

Kevin Willis

The bad national economy hasn't put a dent in one of Kentucky's signature exports. In fact, bourbon production has increased 115% over the past 13 years, according to Eric Gregory, president of the Kentucky Distillers Association.

The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s board has approved a tuition increase and raises for full-time staff for next year.  The state’s Council on Post-Secondary Education still needs to grant final approval this Thursday, but the KCTCS is within the council’s 4% tuition cap. 

Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson and Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Tax Commission are seeking public comment to help develop recommendations on overhauling the state tax code. Abramson says around 100 people attended the first of six regional public hearings Tuesday night.  The commission wraps up public meetings in August and will have three months to finish the plan by a November deadline. Once complete, Abramson is hopeful the plan will pass the legislature.

Tea party candidate Thomas Massie says he likes his chances this fall after winning the GOP nomination in Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District. Massie has the backing of many national tea party groups and of U.S. Senator Rand Paul. The Lewis County Judge-Executive gathered just under half of the vote in a seven person primary, greatly out-distancing his two closest contenders.

A record breaking number of voters are registered to cast ballots in Kentucky’s May 22nd Presidential Primary.  The total number of eligible voters outdistances the previous mark by more than 35,000. The Secretary of State’s office says the vast majority of new voters registered when they got a driver’s license.

Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Georgetown  has announced it’s boosting engine production. Toyota officials along with Governor Steve Beshear are hailing the automaker's latest expansion as welcome news – both for a company recovering from highly publicized recalls starting in 2009 and the state of the economy in the Bluegrass.

The post positions and early odds are set for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.  The morning line favorite is Bodemeister, at 4 to 1, trained by three-time Derby winner Bob Baffert. Bodemeister will run from post position six.

A federal judge has ordered Eastern Kentucky’s largest healthcare provider and one of its major Medicaid operators to talk through their issues before appearing in court this week. Appalachian Regional Healthcare filed suit last month against CoventryCares, which is one of four private Medicaid operators in Kentucky. ARH says Coventry was late with reimbursement payments, and has refused to extend its contract past Friday.