11:42 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Madisonville Stocks Up on 1,200 Tons of Road Salt to Prevent Winter Shortage

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 5:27 pm

The city of Madisonville isn’t taking any chances this winter by stocking up on extra salt in preparation for icy roads and it's costing extra. 

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4:45 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Kentucky Lawmakers Object To Military Base Reductions at Ft. Knox and Ft. Campbell

Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Heather French Henry (right) and Deputy Commissioner Margaret Plattner (left)
Credit Jonathan Meador

FRANKFORT—A group of state lawmakers are calling for the U.S. Department of Defense to abandon its plan to reduce personnel at military bases in Kentucky and across the country.

The reductions would mean a loss of 16,000 positions at Ft. Campbell and 7,605 spots at Ft. Knox, as well a combined income loss of $1.29 billion in Kentucky, according to data from from the U.S. Army's 2020 Force Structure Realignment report, which was provided to the state committee by the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs.

The state's Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Safety wants intends to fight the reductions and voted Thursday to send a resolution to the U.S. Department of Defense.

David Thompson, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs, said the $1.29 billion figure only includes income, thus the total economic effect of the base reductions could be much greater.

"It's definitely fodder for a letter to the Army," Thompson said. "If we think they're going low on their estimates of economic impact, it's up to us to illuminate that to them and say 'hey, it's a much bigger impact than you're indicating.'"

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3:14 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

In Time Op-Ed Sen. Paul Decries 'Militarization of Local Police'

Sen. Rand Paul

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, reacting to the unfolding unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, says there is a “systematic problem with today’s law enforcement."

In an op-ed for Time magazine, Paul writes that most police officers are “good cops and good people” and face an “unquestionably difficult job."  But, Paul also accuses the federal government of “incentivizing the militarization of local the name of fighting the war on drugs and terrorism."

He also says the disparity in the criminal justice system when it comes to race can make African Americans feel like they are being targeted.

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2:38 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Two Counties Join List of Kentucky 'Work Ready' Communities


Pulaski and Nelson counties have joined Daviess, Henderson, Warren and seven other counties as Kentucky "Work Ready Communities”.

The governor’s office says the designation “assures employers that a local work force has the talent and skills necessary” to staff new and existing jobs .

Qualification is based on six criteria including high school graduation rate.  Additionally, Marion County has been named a “Work Ready Community in Progress”.

11:41 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Over Records Fight

The Kentucky Supreme Court has heard arguments in a records dispute between the Council on Developmental Disabilities and the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

The advocacy group is asking to review the records of two disabled men who died in state care in 2009 shortly after being moved to new homes.

The Courier-Journal reports justices heard arguments on Wednesday in the case.

David Tachau, a Louisville attorney who represents the Council on Developmental Disabilities, argued the agency should have to release the records under the state's Open Records Act.

Cabinet attorney D. Brent Irvin argued that a different state law calls for records in such cases to be released only to government agencies with a legitimate interest in the case.

Lower courts have sided with the cabinet.

8:49 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Ford Family Makes Financial Commitment to Owensboro Convention Center

The Cascade art piece hangs in the Owensboro Convention Center.
Credit Owensboro Convention Center

A family with deep roots in Owensboro is giving $30,000 to the city's newly built convention center. 

In a news conference Wednesday, the E.M. Ford Company was announced as a lifetime sponsor of the Cascade art piece located in the lobby. 

Convention Center Manager Dean Dennis says the artwork, created by Henderson native Dan Neil Barnes, is a real focal point of the facility.

"It hangs from the ceiling with these large windows at the front of the building," explains Dennis.  "There are these fused blue and green stained glass pieces that are curved to offer a contrasting compliment to the more angular lines of the center's architecture.  It's really a very stunning piece."

The E.M. Ford Company is an insurance agency in Owensboro that opened in 1925 by the father of former U.S. Senator Wendell Ford.  A fourth generation of the Ford family now runs the company.

The Owensboro Convention Center opened in January and showcases various works of art inside the lobby.  The E.M. Ford Company stepped up with the first sponsorship.  Dennis says the convention center is looking for additional sponsors for the remaining pieces of art. 

8:34 am
Thu August 14, 2014

FEMA Releases Disaster Aid for Tennessee

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says Tennessee has been approved to receive disaster aid to help in recovery efforts from storms that swept over the state in early June.

The severe weather included tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding, and it was blamed for two deaths in the state.

According to a statement from the agency, the approval makes federal funding available to state and municipal officials and some nonprofit organizations for emergency work to repair or replace damaged structures.

Along with the state, these counties are eligible for funding: Anderson, Bledsoe, Carroll, Decatur, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Lawrence, Lewis, Madison, Marion, Maury, McNairy, Moore, Perry, Roane, Sequatchie and Tipton.

5:27 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Kentucky State Fair Opens in Louisville

Credit Kentucky State Fair

Kentucky's annual showcase of its people's work, hobbies and talents gets underway Thursday morning when the gates open for the 2014 Kentucky State Fair.

Things begin at 7:00 a.m. EDT with the traditional Kentucky ham breakfast where the grand champion ham will be auctioned off for charity.

Animals from rabbits to lambs to cows and pigs will be on display, concerts will be held throughout the Fair's 11 day run and cakes, pies, baskets and embroidery will be judges and enjoyed by the public. The world's championship horse show is also held during the fair.

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10:52 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Most of Kentucky's Under-Performing Schools Making Gains

Thirty Kentucky high schools have been identified over the past three years as persistently low achieving.  State lawmakers learned this week that many of the schools are on the right track toward improving. 

State Senator David Givens, a member of the Interim Joint Committee on Education, told WKU Public Radio that he’s especially proud of Franklin-Simpson High School.

"The school district there has made significant improvements to the point they're considered a hub school," explained Givens.  "As a hub school, they mentor others schools struggling with improvement."

The state conducts reviews of the targeted schools every two years.  Nineteen reviews were conducted this spring, and all but six were making progress. 

The Greensburg Republican says a common denominator among improving schools was strong leadership at the district level and at the principal position. 

"It matters so much because we have children whose futures are determined by their educational outcomes, added Givens.  "As painful as it sometimes is to see change happen in a school district, it's got to be done for the sake of these kids."

Districts have the authority to change leaders, which has happened at some schools not showing progress.  If leadership changes aren’t made by school districts, the state Department of Education can replace leaders.

Capital Punishment in KY
10:41 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Kentucky Latest State to Renew Debate Over Death Penalty

Concerns over the drugs used to administer lethal injections have led to a renewed debate over capital punishment in Kentucky.
Credit istock photos

Allen Ault admits to being a murderer.

But Ault isn’t behind bars, nor was he tried for his “crimes." He’s currently dean of Criminal Justice Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. But as Ault told an interim joint committee on the judiciary earlier this month, he considers his actions as a director of corrections akin to premeditated murder.

“I have murdered five people as an agent of the state,” he said.

Ault said that many of his former colleagues have committed suicide or retreated into drugs to cope with their actions

“Corrections officials are expected to commit the most premeditated murder possible,” he said. “I mean, I had a policy book that thick. We rehearsed it. How premeditated could it be?”

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