Kentucky

Report: Obesity Often Keeps Kentuckians From Serving in Military

Oct 7, 2014
U.S. Army

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

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 Revenue Receipts Suggest Slow Growth

Aug 11, 2014

New data released by the state’s budget office suggest that Kentucky’s General Fund isn’t growing fast enough, and could lead to another budget shortfall.

July receipts show that Kentucky brought in about $706 million in July, a 2.2 increase over last year.

But Jason Bailey, director for the nonpartisan Kentucky Center for Economic Progress, says that the sluggish growth won’t be enough to meet official revenue projections.

“Two-point-two percent growth for July, which is better than zero, but still lower than what we need for the year which is about 3.6 percent to avoid another budget shortfall,” said Bailey.

The data show that while income and sale tax receipts grew by single digits, returns on corporate and property taxes were down 64 and 45 percent, respectively.

Gov. Steve Beshear recently plugged a $90.9 million shortfall in the previous year’s budget that was chiefly caused by a sharp decline in individual income tax receipts.

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 

Photo Gallery: The Kentucky Bourbon Trail

May 28, 2014

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.

Original Post:

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.

Final Order Expected in Kentucky Same-Sex Marriage Case

Feb 26, 2014

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.

More Snow Expected in Kentucky Saturday

Jan 24, 2014

More snow is headed for Kentucky.

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.

Yarmuth Files For Re-election in 3rd District

Jan 17, 2014

The lone Democrat in Kentucky's congressional delegation has filed for re-election to the state's 3rd District congressional seat in the Louisville area.

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth said Friday he provides an "important contrast" to what Kentucky voters hear from the Republicans who make up the rest of the state's federal delegation.

Yarmuth submitted his candidacy papers to the secretary of state's office in Frankfort on Friday.

Republican Michael Macfarlane, a Louisville urologic surgeon, has filed to challenge Yarmuth.

Yarmuth cited his work to obtain federal economic incentives that led to job growth in his urban district. 

He says he also wants to help shepherd the new veterans' hospital project through to completion in Louisville.

Yarmuth was first elected to Congress in 2006 and is running for his fifth term.

Kentucky State Fair

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.

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