A new report shows that many young adults in Kentucky are ineligible for military service due to obesity.
Retired Army Major Gen. Allen Youngman presented the report, "Retreat is not an option for Kentucky," during the Southern Obesity Summit Monday in Louisville.
Youngman says being overweight is the leading medical disqualifier for military service in Kentucky.
Combined with factors like lack of education and having a criminal background, Kentucky’s disqualification rate is 73 percent, three points higher than the national average.
"They don't have to be in perfect shape when they come in but to pass a certain point it's been demonstrated over and over again that it would be doing them a disservice and a disservice to the military to put them into uniform and expect them to meet the standards," said Youngman.
Obesity doesn't just affect potential recruits. Youngman says there was a 61 percent increase in obesity among active duty members between 2002 and 2011.
ACT test scores for high school graduates in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana all saw improvement this year.
The company that administers the test is calling the gains in Kentucky and Tennessee particularly promising.
Every high school graduate in Kentucky and Tennessee and nine other states takes the ACT as part of statewide assessment. This year, both Tennessee and Kentucky saw a 0.3 percent gain in composite score as compared to 2013.
The composite score in Kentucky was 19.9, while Tennessee students scored a 19.8.
Meantime, Indiana’s average composite score was 21.7, but only 40 percent of Indiana students took the test.
Kentucky ranks next to the last in the nation when it comes to average Internet speed. A report compiled by the technology company Akamai showed Kentucky with an average transfer speed of 7.3 megabits per second. Only Alaska’s average Internet speed is slower.
Indiana and Tennessee are both in the middle of the pack, with 10.7 and 9.9 megabits per second, respectively. Virginia tops the list at 13.7
Nearly 2.5 million people from around the world visit distilleries across the Kentucky Bourbon Trail each year. WKU Public Radio photojournalist Abbey Oldham photographed three distilleries including the oldest, Woodford Reserve, and one of the youngest, Wilderness Trace.
She also photographed Wild Turkey, where Master Distiller Jimmy Russel taught her how to taste corn mash and remove a bung hole by hand.
The bourbon distilleries are one of the things that makes Kentucky a special place, with a rich history and a bright future of keeping bourbon making alive and well in the Bluegrass State.
Abbey was in Bourbon Country to document the production of Mainstreet "Kentucky Spirits", which will air on WKU PBS this Saturday (May 30) at 7 pm, Sunday (June 1) at 1:30 pm, Monday (June 2) at 8 pm, and Friday (June 6) at 9:30 pm.
Update: 7:09 p.m. The Tornado Watch has been extended through 8 p.m. central/9 p.m. eastern. Bowling Green and Somerset are now under a Flash Flood Watch.
Update: 5:50 p.m.
The National Weather Service in Paducah says a line of strong storms in Muhlenberg and Todd counties is expected to move out around 6:30 p.m. or so. Also, a Flood Advisory has been issued for the greater Owensboro area.
Update 4:44 p.m.
A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Muhlenberg and Todd Counties until 5:30 p.m. CDT. Forecasters say the storm could contain 60 mph winds and quarter-sized hail.
Update 4:38 p.m.
The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for parts of Allen, Barren, Green, Hart, Metcalfe and Monroe counties until 7 p.m. CDT tonight.
The possibility of strong to severe storms, possibly even tornadoes exists for Wednesday afternoon and evening for much of Kentucky. The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch until 7 p.m. central/8 p.m. eastern. The watch means atmospheric conditions could produce a tornado.
Showers and thunderstorms are expected to continue throughout the night and into Thursday morning. Rain chances are forecast to taper off as we head toward the weekend.
Attorneys for gay couples seeking formal recognition of their out-of-state marriages say a federal judge is expected to sign a final order in the case by the end of the week.
U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II earlier this month threw part of the state's ban on gay marriages. The ruling only applies to couples married in other states or countries.
A final order would mean same-sex couples may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits of a married couple in Kentucky. But Heyburn's ruling doesn't affect a related lawsuit seeking to force the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Kentucky attorney general's office has not sought to delay the ruling as of Wednesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service is forecasting up to 4 inches of accumulation on Saturday for a portion of the state.
The weather service says up a system is expected to hit the state early Saturday and could bring up to 4 inches of snow in central and eastern Kentucky. Northern Kentucky is expected to see up to three inches of accumulation and south-central parts of the state could see up to an inch of snow.
It comes on the heels of another system that dropped 3-5 inches of snow over a large section of the state earlier in the week.
The weather service is also warning of high winds and frigid temperatures. Wind chill readings could have some areas seeing subzero temperatures.
The Kentucky State Fair finished its 11-day run with a flourish. The final day of the fair drew 9,000 more fairgoers than the last day in 2012. That helped push attendance for this year’s fair to 615,648, a slight increase from last year.
“The response we heard was tremendous,” said Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, the president and CEO of the State Fair board. “We introduced some positive changes to the Fair this year and heard encouraging feedback to build on.”
Changes this year in Louisville included free weekend parking at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium and concerts on the field at Old Cardinal Stadium.