Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has suspended efforts to renovate the home of the University of Kentucky men's basketball team.
The proposed $351 million project to renovate Rupp Arena and build a new convention center in downtown Lexington has languished for some time.
Gray said Wednesday he suspended work on the project after UK withdrew its support for a proposed annual $10.7 million lease on Rupp, beginning in 2018. Gray said officials had designed the proposed renovation based on what the university said it needed.
Gov. Steve Beshear said he still thinks the original project is what Lexington and the university need. The governor said he hopes UK will eventually be ready to move forward with the project.
UK spokesman Jay Blanton said the university did not have any immediate comment.
The University of Kentucky is set to allow alcohol on campus with specific guidelines yet to be determined. The announcement came this afternoon from UK President Eli Capilouto. UK has been an alcohol free campus for more than a decade. UK Student Government Association President Roshan Palli served on the Student Health and Safety Workgroup which compiled the report.
"We want our students on campus when they're engaging in social activities and when they're not, so we don't want alcohol to be an issue that we choose to force off our campus,” said Palli. “Exactly where, you know, that's a good question. I think that's definitely what the implementation committee gonna be having to explore."
Palli hopes the revised alcohol policy can be implemented by the beginning of the fall semester. The report also calls for extending the Code of Student Conduct beyond the campus boundaries.
A call center opens today with five-dozen agents on hand to answer questions about Kentucky’s new health care benefit exchange. Kentucky is ramping up its effort to ensure health coverage for more than 600,000 Kentucky residents.
“They are actually taking phone calls from folks that are calling in asking questions about connect,” said Kerri Banahan, director of the exchange office. “And through connect individuals will be able to apply for Medicaid as well as premium assistance which will help them pay for part of their premium amount with a private health insurance company.”
Banahan says some 70 calls came in Thursday, a day before the official launch of the call center. Open enrollment for the new insurance program begins in October.
The head of the U.S. Department of Justice's civil rights division is heading to Lexington to talk to hundreds of high school freshmen about bullying and harassment. Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez is scheduled to give a speech and participate in a panel discussion for Fayette County freshmen on Wednesday.
Health officials in Lexington say a stomach ailment has spread from last weekend's basketball tournament at the Kentucky Basketball Academy. The Fayette County Health Department has received dozens of complaints about nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting from people who attended the event.