Kentucky GOP will not seek immediate replacement for former House speaker Jeff Hoover

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Leadership of the House Republican Caucus said there will not be an election to replace Jeff Hoover as speaker when lawmakers convene either in a special session this month on pension reform, or when the regular session convenes in January. A statement was issued by Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect; Majority Leader Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster; Majority Whip Kevin...

Pitino fired following unanimous vote by University of Louisville’s Athletic Association board

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today It’s now official. Hall of Fame member Rick Pitino is no longer the coach of the University of Louisville men’s basketball team. In a move that has been expected since UofL put Pitino on unpaid administrative leave almost three weeks ago, the University of Louisville Athletic Association (ULAA) board of directors fired Pitino Monday afternoon following a 4 hour,...

Strong winds, heavy rain from remnants of Hurricane Harvey will enter Kentucky late in the week

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky will be receiving some strong winds and heavy rain from the remnants of Hurricane Harvey on Thursday and Friday. “But it’s not going to be like what Texas or Louisiana got,” said John Gordon with the National Weather Service office in Louisville. “It’s also not going to be like Hurricane Ike in 2008, with 70- to 80-mile-per-hour winds that came flying...

Kentucky Emergency Management officials preparing for ‘viewing opportunity of a lifetime’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Emergency Management officials will activate centers in Frankfort and Hopkinsville on Saturday in preparation for Monday’s total solar eclipse and what they are calling “the viewing opportunity of a lifetime.” The State Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort and a Regional Response Coordination Center in Hopkinsville are preparing for the big event. Preparations...

New coordinator Sirmon seeks to put some ‘magic’ back in Louisville’s defensive set

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today At first glance, the University of Louisville football team’s defense enjoyed a successful season in 2016. After all, the Cardinals finished No. 14 nationally among the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense, allowing 322.2 yards per game. The defense was also far above average in stripping the football and intercepting passes, forcing 25 turnovers,...

State lawmakers call for removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Capitol rotunda

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A rally in the State Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday saw bi-partisan calls to have the statue of Confederate President and Kentucky native Jefferson Davis removed. The “One People, One Commonwealth” rally included Republican state Treasurer Alison Ball, who called for Kentuckians to unite. “We love our country, we love our Commonwealth, we love all of our people in this...

Survivors of drug abuse herald new Kentucky laws aimed at opioid crisis at Capitol ceremony

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two examples of lives nearly wrecked by opioid abuse underscored the importance of three new laws aimed at the drug-abuse crisis in Kentucky. 
 Amy Compston of Ashland and Alex Elswick of Lexington shared their stories in a ceremony at the Capitol Tuesday.   One of the laws limits the prescribing of opioids to a three-day supply, with some exceptions, and increases penalties...

Louisville legislator files measure to eliminate Confederate related state holidays

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Kentucky lawmaker is filing legislation for the 2018 session aimed at removing Confederate-related holidays from the list in the state’s statute. Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, said it includes Robert E. Lee Day on Jan. 19, along with Confederate Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis Day, both of which are observed June 3. However, it does not include removing statues across...

Bevin opts out of appearance at Fancy Farm picnic, but attorney general Beshear will be on hand

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Republican Gov. Matt Bevin will not be adding any sizzle to the always fiery speeches that will be delivered in this tiny western Kentucky town next month. Bevin will skip the annual Fancy Farm picnic this year, citing a schedule conflict. But his Democratic nemesis, Attorney General Andy Beshear, will be there. The pair have been embroiled in an ongoing political tussle...

GOP health care opponents call latest Senate plan as a ‘tax cut’ for the rich during rally

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Supporters of a single-payer health care system rallied in Frankfort on Monday calling the GOP’s replacement bill for Obamacare a tax cut for the rich. About 75 people gathered at the Capitol Rotunda for a “Save Our Healthcare” rally, sponsored by Together Frankfort and other groups dissatisfied with the health care plans offered by Republicans in Washington. Dustin...

State officials gearing up for potential heavy rain, flooding due to remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT – Kentucky Emergency Management officials are gearing up for potential heavy rain and flooding due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy. The Emergency Operations Center in Frankfort has been activated, according to Emergency Management spokesperson Monica French. “We are at Level 4 staffing on a scale of 1-5,” she said. “Right now, we are monitoring...

Louisville lawmaker McGarvey pushes for legalization of marijuana for the terminally ill

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT – A Kentucky lawmaker, proposing to legalize marijuana for the terminally ill, believes longstanding moral objections are waning in the Bible belt state. State Sen. Morgan McGarvey, D-Louisville, made his case for palliative, or “end of life,” marijuana to the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Committee on Health and Welfare and Family Services on Wednesday. McGarvey...

State’s new adoption czar joins ‘hands on deck,’ rethinking whole adoption, foster care system

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky’s new adoption czar spent his first day on the job Monday in a meeting of the House Working Group on Adoption. Dan Dumas, appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin to lead an overhaul of Kentucky’s adoption and foster care programs, told lawmakers that the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the governor’s office will attack problems from all angles. “The...

Officials advise tourists coming to Kentucky for eclipse to prepare ahead; large crowds expected

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Up to a half million visitors are expected to converge on a largely rural expanse of western Kentucky for optimal viewing of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse. Kentucky Emergency Management Director Michael Dossett said his office has been working with local officials in a 21-county area to prepare for the influx of people. “Before leaving home, plan a specific destination for...

Family court judges tell legislative working group that more social workers would speed up adoptions

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Family court judges told a bipartisan working group that adding more social workers and eliminating redundancies would speed up Kentucky’s adoption process and place more abandoned children in permanent homes.

 The judges spoke at the first meeting of the House Working Group on Adoption on in Frankfort.

 Elise Spainhour, Family Court Judge for Bullitt County,...

They always wanted a big family; thanks to Sunrise Children’s Services they grew by three more children

By Brandy Crase Kentucky Today Since the beginning of their marriage 16 years ago, Bryan and Krista Grigg of Kuttawa had always wanted lots of children. Their hopes were fulfilled earlier this month with the adoption of three additional kids through Sunrise Children’s Services, the Kentucky Baptist ministry that, at last count, was serving more than 1,200 abused and neglected children. The Griggs’...

Kentucky aviation commissioner sees smaller state airports as keys to economic development

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT – The state has been sinking millions of dollars into small airports over the past year and plans to invest more next year in the name of economic development. Most Kentuckians are familiar with the state’s major airports, such as Louisville International, Bluegrass and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky, but there are nearly 60 smaller, lesser-known airports across...

State Finance Cabinet seeking proposals to tear down 28-story Capital Plaza Tower Building

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT – The tallest building in Frankfort will be demolished, bringing a major change to the capital city’s skyline, possibly as soon as February. The Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet is issuing a request for proposals to raze the 28-story Capital Plaza Tower office building constructed in 1972. Also slated for the wrecking ball are the Frankfort Civic...

State Capitol getting another $800,000 facelift as second phase of construction gets underway

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT – A second phase of renovation work is now underway at the state Capitol in Frankfort. During the fall and winter months, the front, or north facing side of the historic building’s exterior was thoroughly cleaned and repaired, with new mortar applied, and the limestone railings restored. That project, performed by Williams Restoration, based in Tennessee, cost...

Bevin ‘planning for every scenario’ with projected budget deficit of up to $133 million looming

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today FRANKFORT – Gov. Matt Bevin said Thursday he is planning for every scenario when it comes to a possible state budget deficit for the fiscal year that ends on June 30. Budget Director John Hilton is currently projecting a $133 million shortfall that he blames on lower-than-expected income tax and sales tax collections. “Sadly, this is what I inherited,” Bevin said....