A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

First-ever felony criminal charges filed against distributor, execs for illegal distribution of opioids

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ray Donovan, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”), announced Tuesday criminal charges against Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Inc. (“RDC”), one of the 10 largest pharmaceutical distributors in the United States. Berman Also charged were Laurence...

Public Pension discussion continues; actuarial consultant says systems needs another $214 million

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Public Pension Oversight Board heard from the Kentucky Retirement Systems and their actuarial consultant on recommendations for changes in the factors used to determine how much state funding will be needed for the state’s public pension systems over the next two years. 
Danny White with GRS Retiring Consultants, said Monday retirees are living longer, so the mortality...

‘I Just Didn’t Know’: KY students share what they’ve learned about dangers of e-cigarettes for youth

A Kentucky peer education campaign is designed to debunk the false beliefs held by many adolescents and teens that using e-cigarettes is either harmless or at least healthier for them than smoking. The I Just Didn’t Know campaign, developed by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, includes public service announcements featuring Kentucky students sharing what they’ve learned about the...

Earth Day is celebrating its 49th year with the theme ‘Protect our Species’ — and work for everyone to do

Staff report The first Earth Day began on April 22, 1970, activating 20 million Americans from all walks of life and launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed.  Twenty years later, Earth Day went global, according to Earth Day Network, mobilizing...

Atlas Obscura: The Easter egg tree almost became an American tradition, probably a German import

By Anne Ewbank Atlas Obscura In the Spring of 1895, Louis C. Tiffany, of stained-glass and jewelry fame, held a lavish “Mayflower Festival” to benefit a local hospital. “Among the evening’s entertainments,” writes culinary historian Cathy K. Kaufman, “was an Easter egg tree, dazzling with different colored eggs.” This wasn’t unusual at the time. In the era before plastic eggs, many...

Monday — April 22 — is last chance to register to vote in the May 21 primary election

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reminds eligible Kentuckians to register to vote by the deadline, April 22, ahead of the Commonwealth’s Primary Election on May 21.   “We’ve made it easy to register to vote in Kentucky with GoVoteKY.com, and we’ve had over 1 million people visit the online portal,” said Grimes, Kentucky’s Chief Election Official. “I...

Sen. McConnell aims to sponsor legislation making 21 the legal age to buy tobacco products in all states

By Al Cross and Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he would sponsor legislation to make 21 the legal age to buy tobacco products in every state – a change that 12 states have recently adopted, but one that failed to pass the Kentucky legislature this year. McConnell said at a Louisville news conference that his move was prompted by the epidemic...

UK student Lauren Hudson writes fourth book, working with father, grandfather

Staff report 2018 Independent Author of the Year Lauren Hudson has co-authored the second book in her Students Leading America Series with her father Rob Hudson. It is illustrated by her grandfather, Bob Hudson. In It Can Be Done – Students Leading an Exceptional America, the father and daughter offer a book with a big idea and purpose. It is published by Headline Books. Co-author Rob Hudson said...

A historic grant: UK gets four-year $87 million grant to lead HEALing Communities project on opioids

By Kristi Willett University of Kentucky In the largest grant ever awarded to the University of Kentucky, researchers from UK’s Center on Drug and Alcohol Research (CDAR) and across campus — in partnership with the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet (JPSC) — will lead a project as part of the HEALing Communities study. The four-year,...

Jim Beam Bourbon donates $5 million to UK for the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits

Jim Beam® Bourbon will donate $5 million to the University of Kentucky to establish the James B. Beam Institute for Kentucky Spirits. The institute will educate the next generation of distillers through a curriculum that covers the skills needed to succeed in the distilled spirits industry at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. Seth Debolt, UK horticulture professor, will serve as...

Beth Underwood: Some favorite Easter nuggets — chocolate bunnies, colored eggs, Peeps, and more

Do you ever find yourself curious about information, steeping yourself in nonessential facts as if you’re about to compete in a Trivial Pursuit tournament? Apparently that’s one of my superpowers — seeking out and being able to recite useless information. Just ask my kids. They’ll vouch for me.  This is one of 90 million chocolate bunnies that will be produced this Easter (Photo from Wikipedia) Anywho,...

Nearly 12,000 students headed to Rupp Arena for STLP State Championship on Thursday

Nearly 12,000 students, educators, volunteers, community members, and parents are expected to converge on Lexington for Kentucky’s annual Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP) State Championship on Thursday. P-12 students from across the state will show what they know and can do with technology in arts, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and demonstrate many career-ready...

Tyler Herro decides to stay in the NBA Draft, ending possibility of returning to UK for a second season

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tyler Herro’s college career is over. 
The Kentucky guard announced Tuesday he plans to remain in the NBA Draft instead of leaving open the possibility of returning for a second season. 
“After exploring my options a little bit more and getting some immediate feedback, I’ve decided to remain in the draft,” he said. Tyler Herro (Photo by Tammie Brown/Kentucky...

Russell Cave students ‘Touch a Vehicle’ for an interactive Career Day with community professionals

By Tammy Lane Fayette County Schools The fire truck, ambulance, police car, and news crew created quite a stir outside Russell Cave Elementary, but the excitement was all in fun as students and staff welcomed more than a dozen community professionals for the school’s “Touch a Vehicle” Career Day. “They’re still trying to figure out what ‘career’ means. It’s hard for them to understand...

Jarrett’s Joy Cart legacy remains a ritual for his family — and hospitalized children get toys and hope

By Hillary Brown University of Kentucky It’s a Tuesday evening at Kentucky Children’s Hospital, and Doug Mynear rolls a cart filled with toys down the hall. He stops outside a patient’s room and consults his list. The patient inside is a four-year-old girl named Marie. From his cart of toys, Doug selects a princess doll, Minnie Mouse and My Little Pony. Marie, who looks so small in...

University of Cincinnati hires NKU’s John Brannen as head coach; led NKU to two NCAA tournaments

John Brannen has been named the 27th head coach in University of Cincinnati men’s basketball history, UC director of athletics Mike Bohn announced Sunday. Brannen has served as Northern Kentucky University’s head coach since the 2015-16 season, taking the Norse to unprecedented success as the school’s athletics department underwent reclassification. Since earning active Division I...

Atlas Obscura: So if you are in the market for a whole town, historic Story, Indiana, is for sale again

By Evan Nicole Brown Atlas Obscura If just buying a charming rural home isn’t quite enough for you, we’ve got promising news. An entire small town in Indiana — named Story — is for sale. Fittingly, Story’s tale is one worth telling. The town began in 1851 when a doctor named George P. Story received 173 acres of land from Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the United States. Over the years,...

Teachers at Lansdowne and SCAPA to give new LEGO materials a trial run; it’s teamwork — and fun

By Tammy Lane Fayette County Public Schools Nine-year-old Jerome Taylor already knows the value of LEGO lessons in the STEAM lab at Lansdowne Elementary, pointing out how he and classmates can be really creative in their class time. “You work as a team and also have fun,” he said one day as the children built incline planes and levers to demonstrate a catapult. Jerome’s teacher, Jennifer Rodabaugh,...

Gov. Bevin, Sen. Stivers at odds over governor’s veto of public pension bill passed on last day

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two of Kentucky’s top Republican leaders, Gov. Matt Bevin and Senate President Robert Stivers, are at loggerheads over the governor’s decision to veto pension reform legislation passed on the final day of the 2019 General Assembly. 
“The rationale behind this decision is perplexing,” Stivers said.  “Just weeks ago, during the 2019 regular session, the governor...

ProPublica: Kentucky’s Secretary of State turns up the heat in fight with the elections board

By Jessica Huseman Propublica and Daniel Desrochers Lexington Herald-Leader Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes escalated her fight with the State Board of Elections this week when she removed its executive director from a national committee devoted to improving the country’s voting systems and better protecting them from cyberattacks. Grimes took the action against the executive...