Horse racing’s year-end championship will be returning to Kentucky in the fall of 2015. The Breeder’s Cup has been held at Churchill Downs eight times, but for the first time, Keeneland will be hosting the event. The awarding of the Breeder’s Cup was confirmed Tuesday by track officials. A tentative date of October 30-31 has also been penciled on the calendar.
Keeneland says it will add seven-thousand premium seats for the event. Santa Anita Park hosts the event this year and will again in 2016.
State health officials have confirmed Kentucky's first case of a nonfatal mosquito-borne virus prevalent in the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health says it has confirmed the chikungunya virus, or CHIKV, in an Anderson County man who recently traveled to Haiti. Officials expect at least nine other Kentuckians who recently traveled in the same region may also have the virus.
The virus can only spread to humans if an infected mosquito bites someone. It cannot spread human to human. Symptoms include high fever, chills, joint pain and a rash that can last up four days.
State health officials say the virus could become more prevalent in Kentucky because the state is home to both species of mosquitoes that can carry the virus.
The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office is warning consumers of a phone scam circulating through the commonwealth.
The callers claim to be representatives or officers with the Internal Revenue Service and tell victims they owe money to the IRS. Communications Director Alison Martin in the Kentucky Attorney General's Office told WKU Public Radio that she received one of the calls.
"I knew it was a scam, but I wanted to find out more information, so when I called the hotline number, the person identified himself as 'Officer Daniel,' Martin explained. "I went on to say that I was an employee of the Office of Attorney General and I knew he was operating a scam and we would be turning over the information to the Federal Trade Commission for investigation. That's about as far as the call went with me, but I know of several other people who have reported similar calls to our office."
The scammers leave voice messages stating the victim must take care of a “time-sensitive matter" and return the call, or the IRS will take legal action. The calls have originated from the 415 and 202 area codes.
“If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a representative from the IRS who is threatening to take legal action against you, that is a strong indicator that it’s not really the IRS,” Attorney General Conway said in a news release. “Additionally, when the IRS first contacts a taxpayer, they do so via postal mail, not by phone.”
Consumers are also encouraged to watch out for fake emails that look like legitimate IRS correspondence.
A pro-choice religious group says a Kentucky-based abortion counseling center is using misleading tactics to dissuade women from getting the procedure.
The Kentucky Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice led 40 protesters over the weekend in a demonstration against downtown Louisville’s “A Woman’s Choice Resource Center.” KRCRC president Caitlin Willenbrink says the counseling center is one of 100 similar faith-based anti-abortion organizations that use false science .
“They also give out a lot of information that isn’t credible, like information that draws a link between abortion and breast cancer or abortion and mental health issues,” said Willenbrink. “That’s not supported by credible science.”
Willenbrink designed the protest, she says, to draw attention to the issue in advance of the National Right-to-Life Conference, which will be held at the Kentucky International Convention Center this weekend.
Tennessee state officials say automotive components manufacturer Hatch Stamping Co. plans a new manufacturing facility in Portland, just over the Kentucky border. Officials say the Michigan-based company will invest $17 million in Robertson Co. and create 101 new jobs there.
The company will design and manufacture highly engineered metal stampings and assemblies in the 106,000 square foot manufacturing facility.
Hatch Stamping says it will produce auto parts for the southeastern market and world-wide distribution.
Over the past decade, the number of concealed carry gun permits in Kentucky has risen from 11,000 issued in 2004 to 60,000 in 2013.
The increase has happened as Kentucky's general assembly has made it easier to own and carry guns. Law changes include allowing people to have concealed guns in their cars and elimination of a six-month residency requirement for a concealed carry license.
Kentucky's gun laws have ranked consistently among the country's most lenient. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave the state and "F" rating.
Daviess County Public Schools has become the latest district to ban e-cigarette use by students. Superintendent Owens Saylor says whether or not the devices are hazardous to one’s health, they’re intended for use by adults
“We have a parents committee here called the Council of Councils and there’s been some good discussion there about what’s in the health interest of our students,” said Saylor. “So, anything that would even represent smoking or inhalants or anything like that is not appropriate for our students. That’s why we felt like this was really an addition on to our tobacco ban and it’s a way for us to keep up with what’s happening."
Saylor also says e-cigarettes became a distraction.
“I think we’ve seen them popping up – and we’re learning a couple things. They’re expensive items, to begin with. There were even situations where we had folks complaining that they were being stolen,” said Saylor. “And we’re not about to chase someone’s personal smoking device.”
Tennessee higher education officials have approved tuition hikes of close to 9 percent for some of their institutions this fall.
The finance committee of the Tennessee Board of Regents voted Thursday for a 6.9 percent tuition increase for its universities, 5.8 percent for community colleges and 8.5 percent for its technical institutions.
The Regents' full board is scheduled to vote on the increases on Friday.
The TBR oversees six state universities, 13 community colleges and 27 colleges of applied technology.
Most students in the University of Tennessee system will see a 6 percent jump after the UT Board of Trustees approved the increase on Thursday.
The increases are mostly a result of state revenue shortfalls that made it tough for the governor and the Legislature to appropriate new funds.