Kentucky’s only Democratic member of Congress will have a challenger next year.
Michael Macfarlane is a Louisville urologist and a Republican who is vehemently opposed to the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.” Saying the new health law will negatively impact Kentucky jobs and small businesses, Macfarlane announced he will challenge incumbent Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth during the 2014 election cycle.
According to the Courier-Journal, the 60-year-old Macfarlane has lived in Louisville since 1992 and has practiced at Jewish Hospital, Norton Healthcare, and Baptist East Hospital.
The 65-year-old Yarmuth has represented Kentucky’s Third House District since 2007, and currently stands as the only Democratic member of Kentucky’s congressional delegation.
Nearly half of Kentucky’s 173 school districts have increased local property tax rates as much as possible.
The moves come in light of education cuts at both the state and federal levels. Kentucky School Boards Association spokesman Brad Hughes told the Courier-Journal that “districts have no choice” but to turn to local taxpayers in order to find increased funding.
Eighty-one districts in the state have adopted tax rates that will increase revenue by 4 percent. Under Kentucky law, that’s the largest property taxes can be increased without being subject to voter recall.
School officials who have increased local property tax rates say they’re still coming out on the short end despite making the move. The Estill County School Board will see an additional $65,000 from a tax increase approved this year. But officials there are quick to point out that the district's primary state appropriation is down nearly $700,000 compared to 2009.
With a deal to end the debt ceiling debate and ongoing government shutdown apparently in place, a well-respected political column lists both of Kentucky’s Republican Senators as “winners” following the extended drama.
The Washington Post’s political column, “The Fix”, says both Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul come out of the battle stronger than when it began. Post reporter Chris Cillizza says Paul benefited from appearing moderate compared to another Tea Party-backed Republican Senator, Ted Cruz. Both Cruz and Paul are believed to be strongly considering 2016 presidential runs, and both would try to capture much of the same electorate.
Cillizza says that by not leading the charge against the GOP establishment, Paul could come across as a kind of hybrid Tea Party candidate with at least some establishment backing.
Senator McConnell is once again being seen as one of the preeminent dealmakers in Washington, playing a central role at the end to come up with a deal after staying in the background during much of the debate.
The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission has found probable cause that former Union County Representative John Arnold violated ethics rules three times when he allegedly harassed three female staff members.
Commission members met behind closed doors for nearly two hours Tuesday before returning to an open session and voting unanimously on sexual harassment complaints made against Arnold by legislative staffers Yolanda Costner, Cassaundra Cooper, and Gloria Morgan. The Courier-Journal reports the commission has scheduled a full hearing on the complaints for December 12.
Arnold, a Democrat from Sturgis, served in the state House from 1995 until last month, when he resigned after the sexual harassment allegations against him were made public. Arnold has denied the charges, but said he couldn’t move forward politically due to the damage done to his reputation.
The Legislative Ethics Commission said there was probable cause to believe Arnold had “inappropriate and unwanted physical contact” with the women.
Arnold’s attorney, Steve Downey of Bowling Green, didn’t comment after the commission returned its findings.
The Southeastern Conference will make a "historic announcement" Tuesday in Nashville. Music City is expected to be named the primary home of SEC basketball tournaments.
The Tennessean newspaper reports Nashville will host 12 consecutive postseason basketball tournaments, nine men’s and three women’s, starting in 2015. The venue will be Bridgestone Arena.
The SEC played this year’s men’s championship in Nashville and was already scheduled to return in 2015, 2016, and 2019.
Back in May, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said the league would explore a primary site for the basketball tournaments, noting success with other permanent sites, in Atlanta for football and Alabama for baseball.
After an hour of debate, the Republican Party of a conservative Kentucky county stopped short of endorsing the Louisville businessman who is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mitch McConnell.
Boone County is an important county for Bluegrass State Republicans. It sits across the Ohio River from Cincinnati has the fourth-highest number of registered Republicans in the state. That’s why Thursday night’s meeting of the Boone County GOP brought out both Republican Senate challenger Matt Bevin, and Mitch McConnell’s campaign manager, Jesse Benton.
The Courier-Journal reports that following an hour of discussion, the county party decided not to make an endorsement in the race. Benton told members that it would be a “poor mistake” for any county party to make a Senate endorsement.
That led Bevin to tell members that they should vote their "conscience".
Boone County GOP chairman Rick Brueggemann said while there is “significant dissatisfaction” with Senator McConnell’s voting record, he didn’t think many members were comfortable making a primary endorsement.
Governor Beshear’s Communications Director Kerri Richardson says Beshear needs more information regarding future federal reimbursement and the level at which the facilities could be reopened before deciding on reopening federal parks like Mammoth Cave and Land Between the Lakes.
There’s no word yet from Governor Steve Beshear regarding whether he will use state funds to reopen national parks that have been closed due to the government shutdown.
The Obama administration says it will allow states to use their own money to reopen some national parks.
The Governors of Arizona, Colorado, South Dakota, and Utah have asked for authority to reopen national parks within their borders because of the economic impacts caused by the park closures. The closing of parks in Kentucky, such as Mammoth Cave National Park, has sent workers home and is a drag on local economies that benefit from tourists who visit the park and other nearby attractions.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a letter Thursday to the four governors that the government will consider offers to pay for park operations, but will not surrender control of national parks to the states.
Kentucky’s Democratic governor says implementing the Affordable Care Act is “the morally right thing to do.”
Kentucky is the only southern state both expanding Medicaid and operating a state-based health exchange.
Appearing Thursday on the national radio show "The Takeaway," Governor Steve Beshear said Kentucky can’t afford not to do it.
“We have some of the worst health statistics in the country," explained Beshear. "If there’s some way I can attack that and change the course of history in Kentucky on health care, I’m going to do it, and the Affordable Care Act gives me a historic opportunity and a tool to do just that.”
A 27-year-old Army soldier based at Fort Knox has died after his unit was attacked in Afghanistan last Saturday. The military says Army Spc. Angel L. Lopez of Parma, Ohio died in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. Lopez was a wheeled vehicle mechanic. It was Lopez’s first deployment overseas.
His awards include the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Combat Star, National Defense service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, NATO medal and the Army Service Ribbon.
Police say a Pulaski County pastor has been arrested and charged with murder in the September 20th triple slaying at a Danville pawn shop.
The Advocate-Messenger reports 48-year-old Kenneth A. Keith of Burnside was arrested Wednesday afternoon and charged with three counts of murder and robbery in the shootings at ABC Gold, Games And More. Danville police Captain Robert Estill said authorities executed three search warrants at Keith's church, business and home.
Keith is pastor at Main Street Baptist Church in Burnside and has a gold buying business in Somerset.