A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lexington’s Historic Courthouse restoration wins Kentucky Heritage Council preservation award

Lexington’s transformation of the Historic Courthouse on Main Street into a modern mixed-use office and event space earned one of the state’s most prestigious statewide historic preservation awards this week. The Historic Courthouse under renovation (file photo) The Kentucky Heritage Council, the state’s historic preservation office, said the rehabilitation of the Courthouse “required innovative...

Rural Blog: This is how former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath won the Democratic primary

The victory of former Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath in Tuesday’s Democratic primary in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District was based in part on a strategy of appealing to rural voters, especially through rural newspapers. That was the idea of campaign manager Mark Nickolas, who had quit political work more than a decade ago and “had never worked in a campaign in the digital era,” reports Michael...

It will be a Barr-McGrath match-up in November; Linda Gorton prevails as Lexington mayor

Staff Report In one of the most-watched primary election races Tuesday, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray lost by a surprising margin to political newcomer and retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Amy McGrath in the Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District. Republican incumbent Andy Barr won handily over challenger Chuck Eddy and will face McGrath in the fall. Gray conceded the race to McGrath...

New commission will focus on the needs of Fayette County’s military veterans and their families

Mayor Jim Gray and Councilmember James Brown have announced the creation of a new city commission that will focus on the needs of Fayette County’s military veterans and their families. The Commission on Veterans’ Affairs will evaluate and recommend programs, policies and practices to the Urban County Council designed to improve veteran benefits, opportunities and recognition. “The men and women...

Kentucky Equine Education Project welcomes Elisabeth Jensen as new executive vice president

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) has tapped lifelong horse enthusiast and Race for Education co-founder Elisabeth Jensen as its new executive vice president. Joe Clabes, KEEP’s executive director since April 2015, is leaving KEEP to become a senior consultant and strategist with the business-management consulting firm Loch Harbour Group and to pursue other business opportunities in...

Construction of MetroNet’s new fiber optic network will make Lexington nation’s largest gigabit city

Mayor Jim Gray on Tuesday announced an agreement with MetroNet to build a fiber-optic network in Lexington, making good on his promise to give citizens a new choice in television providers, and to transform Lexington into a gigabit city with ultrafast internet access that will attract high tech businesses and good jobs. Indiana-based MetroNet plans to start building its fiber-optic network in January...

Lexington Fire Department’s Station Six celebrates 100 years of service to the city

Mayor Jim Gray, Fire Chief Kristin Chilton, and the rest of the Lexington Fire Department celebrated 100 years of service at Fire Station number Six today. “I was assigned to station 6 as a firefighter and again as a lieutenant and captain,” said Chilton. “I’m very proud to have served here, and to be a small part of the service this station has given to this community.” “The...

Eight business owners graduate from Lexington Minority and Women Contractor training program

Eight business owners recently graduated from the Lexington Minority and Women Contractor Training Program. The 10-week program provided skills training to minority and women business owners who have at least 50 percent ownership in a contracting business. Eight business owners recently graduated from the Lexington Minority and Women Contractor Training Program. The 10-week program provided skills...

Kentucky Horse Park kicks off celebration of the life of Man o’ War on 100th anniversary of birth

The Kentucky Horse Park, along with state and local officials, Wednesday launched a season-long celebration honoring the 100th birthday of Thoroughbred legend, Man o’ War, who was foaled on March 29, 1917. Man o’ War went on to become one of the foremost racehorses of all time, as well as one of the most famous Kentuckians. The Man o’ War Celebration, presented by Windstream, will honor the...

Trump routs Clinton in Kentucky, keys Republican wins in Congressional races, state House

Spurred by a decisive win by Donald Trump in the presidential race Tuesday, Kentucky Republicans swept to historic wins in the 2016 election. Trump was declared the winner in the presidential race over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton barely an hour after the polls closed in western Kentucky. He was drawing 62 percent of the vote compared to 33 percent for Clinton. Kentucky’s results...

Kentucky Supreme Court invalidates minimum wage measures passed by Lexington, Louisville

The Kentucky Supreme Court Thursday voted to invalidate Louisville’s higher minimum wage ordinance, which means a similar measure adopted by the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government last November was also struck down. Lexington’s measure would have raised the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over three years. The first increase, which took effect in July, increased hourly wages to $8.20,...

Election, U.S. Senate Part II: Incumbent Rand Paul on why he should remain your U.S. Senator

KyForward invited both candidates for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky to make his case for why he deserves your vote on November 8. We are offering their responses as a public service to the voters of Kentucky. The responses are offered in alphabetical order, with Rand Paul as Part II. Jim Gray’s response appeared yesterday. RAND PAUL Dr. Rand Paul is a nationally recognized voice in the fight...

Election, U.S. Senate Part I: Lexington Mayor Jim Gray on why he should be Kentucky’s U.S. Senator

KyForward invited both candidates for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky to make his case for why he deserves your vote on November 8. We are offering their responses as a public service to the voters of Kentucky. The responses are offered in alphabetical order, with Jim Gray as Part I. Rand Paul’s response will appear tomorrow. JIM GRAY I am a seventh-generation Kentuckian, and I was born in Glasgow....

Clinton posts narrow win over Sanders in Democratic Presidential Primay; Gray to face Paul in Senate race

Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton captured Tuesday’s Kentucky Democratic Presidential Primary by less than half of one percent, topping challenger Bernie Sanders, a U.S. Senator from Vermont. With all 120 Kentucky counties reporting, Clinton had 212,550 votes compared to 210,626 for Sanders. That translated into a 46.7 percent win versus 46.3 percent for Sanders. Uncommitted...

Gray names 23-year department veteran Kristin Chilton Lexington’s first female fire chief

Mayor Jim Gray announced Thursday Kristin Chilton will be Lexington’s next fire chief. Chilton, now Assistant Chief, is a 23-year veteran of the force who has worked her way up in the Division through numerous assignments, giving her a broad range of experience. “This is an important day for our city,” Gray said. “Public safety is a top priority for our citizens, and for me. Kristin Chilton...

Toyota puts the ‘vroom’ in safety education program aimed at placing kids in the driver’s seat

Driving habits, good or bad, begin to form long before a driver can reach the gas pedal and as early as when a child’s car seat is turned to face front. So, to learn what it means to be a safe driver, passenger and pedestrian, Kentucky tots are taking the wheel. Safety City, a free, safety education program for second and third graders, combines classroom instruction with student driving experiences...

Fighting the Cold: United Way of the Bluegrass donates 200 blankets for those in need

United Way of the Bluegrass and the 2-1-1 Contact Center donated 200 blankets to the Lexington Police Department Friday. Lexington officers will help distribute the blankets to individuals and families in need, particularly during this period of severe weather. In total, United Way has shared over 1,000 blankets this winter with local and regional agencies across the Bluegrass. United Way’s 2-1-1...

Lexington’s economy is hitting on all cylinders, Gray says in annual review of city

By Jim Gray Special to KyForward Lexington Mayor Jim Gray delivered his sixth state of the city address Tuesday and said the city is “hitting on all cylinders” in terms of economic development, low unemployment, and increased home sales and new construction. Here is the text from his speech: The state of the City is this: we are firing on all cylinders! • Unemployment is historically...

New digital survey vehicle will accurately assess which Lexington roads need work

The vehicle will identify roads where short-term repairs can be made. (Photo provided)   Lexington Mayor Jim Gray joined council members and officials from the Department of Environmental Quality & Public Works Thursday to announce the start of a new technology-based process to assess road paving needs across the city. A digital survey vehicle will use lasers and cameras to measure the surface...

Mayor Jim Gray gives key to the city to new president, CEO of Hospice of the Bluegrass

Liz Fowler, Hospice of the Bluegrass President and CEO and Jim Gray, Lexington Mayor (Photo provided)   Liz Fowler recently moved to Kentucky to become president and CEO of Hospice of the Bluegrass.   Lexington Mayor Jim Gray presented her with a key to the city.   To see more on KyForward, read Hospice of the Bluegrass names public health administrator from Florida its new president.       From...