A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

National report shows Kentucky is a freight leader, but underfunded transportation could hinder growth

Kentucky freight shipments are currently among the nation’s highest and are expected to increase by nearly two-thirds in the coming years. However, without adequate infrastructure funding for needed transportation improvements, Kentucky’s continued economic growth could be at risk. Kentucky’s freight system currently moves more than $578 billion worth of freight each year, the 14th highest rate...

U.S. Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments Friday related to Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., will hear oral arguments today in a case concerning Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, known as Kentucky HEALTH. Earlier this year, a federal judge blocked the new rules, which would have required Medicaid recipients to work or volunteer for 80 hours a month in order to receive...

Kentucky’s 26 member-owned nonprofit electric cooperatives part of state’s clean energy future

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service This month is National Cooperative Month, and Kentucky’s 26 electric co-ops supply power to 1.5 million Commonwealth residents in all 120 counties. Electric cooperatives are member-owned, not-for-profit utility companies, often serving rural areas. Unlike a traditional utility that is beholden to its stakeholders, said Rachel Norton, an energy specialist...

KHRC unanimously approves CDI request to purchase Turfway Park; details, renderings revealed

By Mark Hansel KyForward managing editor The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) Tuesday unanimously approved a Change of Control Request that will allow Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI) to purchase Turfway Park. The request was supported by Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK”) and Hard Rock International. The Turfway Park Grandstand as it exists today is seen in the top...

Kentucky jobs rely on Congressional leaders coming to terms on trade agreement with Canada, Mexico

By Mary Schuermann Kuhlman Public News Service Congressional leaders still are trying to hammer out a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico, and there’s a lot on the line for workers in Kentucky. The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) would replace the 1994 agreement known as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Nearly 151,000 Kentucky jobs are supported by exports...

Monday by 4 p.m. — the deadline for registering to vote in Nov. 5 election; check ‘inactive voter list’ too

Monday, October 7, is the last day to register to vote in the November 5 election. And it’s also the last day to be sure you are not one of the 175,000 Kentucky voters who have been removed from the voting lists, declared “inactive” by Kentucky’s State Board of Elections. Objections have been raised over this unilateral action but Kentucky voters must check the records to be...

Kentucky agriculture dealing with worsening drought conditions and the summer that never seems to end

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky It is the summer that never seems to end. Already into October, and much of Kentucky is still dealing with temperatures in the 90s. Coupled with the driest September since the 1800s, Kentucky farmers know something must give. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, more than half of Kentucky is in the severe drought category and some areas of southeastern Kentucky...

Churchill Downs Incorporated to acquire Turfway Park, will build $150m state-of-the-art facility onsite

*This story has been updated Churchill Downs Incorporated (“CDI” or “the Company”) (Nasdaq: CHDN) announced today that, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NKYRG, LLC (“NKYRG”), it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky from Jack Ohio LLC, an affiliate of JACK Entertainment LLC (“JACK”) and Hard Rock International for total consideration of $46...

Ahead of first gubernatorial debate, poll finds voters burdened by high prescription drug costs

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service A new poll from AARP finds 83% of Kentucky voters age 50 and older think drug companies have influence over their governor and state legislators. The findings come as incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Democratic Party challenger Andy Beshear, the state’s attorney general, gear up for the first gubernatorial debate being held Thursday night in Paducah....

Kosair Charities to host training aimed at educating Kentuckians on recognizing signs of child abuse

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Training sessions on how to recognize early signs of child abuse will be held this week in Louisville and Lexington. The events, run by Kosair Charities’s “Face It” movement, are designed to educate social workers, early-childhood educators, emergency medical service providers and concerned community members on how to spot red-flag bruising on children....

Enforcement begins in year-long campaign to cut down on speeding on stretch of I-75 in Kenton Co.

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Don’t put the pedal to the metal in Northern Kentucky, as a year-long campaign against dangerous driving on Interstate 75 begins Oct. 1 in Kenton County. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are partnering with four local law enforcement agencies to increase patrols from the Ohio River to...

Community Based Services head tells committee Ky. is a ‘model on how to transform child welfare’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A high number of children in the foster care system have caused social workers to be overburdened, the commissioner of the Department of Community Based Services told a panel Monday. Eric Clark testified before the Health, Welfare and Family Services committee, saying the issue of a large number of children entering the foster care system is a national trend, and it leads...

U.S. Drought Monitor places parts of Kentucky in ‘severe drought’ category as dry conditions persist

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Dry conditions in Kentucky have led to part of the state being placed in the “Severe Drought” category by the U.S. Drought Monitor this week.

 The U.S Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 The...

Retired Ky. Supreme Court justice Bill Cunningham honored with portrait to hang outside court chambers

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A recently retired Kentucky Supreme Court justice, who spent over 40 years in public service, was honored Friday with a portrait that will hang outside the high court’s chambers at the State Capitol. Bill Cunningham was surrounded by friends, family and other well-wishers at the unveiling, which took place in the chamber where he served on the Supreme Court for over a...

New report shows 16 percent of Kentucky’s children are growing up in concentrated poverty

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service The economy may have bounced back from the Great Recession, but that hasn’t helped the 163,000 Kentucky children living in concentrated poverty, according to a new report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Patricia Tennen, chief operating officer of Kentucky Youth Advocates, says stagnant wages, rising housing costs and lack of job opportunities for parents,...

GoVoteKy.com, the state’s first-ever online voter registration system, gets over 1.2 million visitors

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Wednesday that more than 1.2 million Kentuckians visited GoVoteKY.com, the Commonwealth’s first-ever online voter registration system. Of those visitors, over 200,000 have updated their registration with 79,448 registering to vote for the first time.   “Yesterday, on National Voter Registration Day, over 5,000 Kentuckians updated their...

Robert Stivers to introduce resolution to open investigation into 2015 Purdue Pharma settlement

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, will introduce a resolution on the first day of the 2020 General Assembly to hire an investigating counsel to look into Kentucky’s 2015 settlement with Purdue Pharma. The suit was brought in 2007 by then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo, who is seeking to return to that office in November, against the maker of OxyContin, in response...

New health rankings show Kentucky 44th in health of woman and children, but there are bright spots

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service Kentucky ranks 44th in the nation when it comes to the health of women and children, according to a new America’s Health Rankings report. Chief medical officer for women’s health at Optum, Dr. Linda Genen, said bright spots for the state include a jump in the number of insured women and in the percentage of mothers choosing to breastfeed their babies. More...

Pew Trusts: Libraries are becoming key to improving public health as hospitals shutter in rural areas

By Sarah Baird Pew Charitable Trusts It’s a sweltering Wednesday morning in Somerset, but at 9 a.m., the Pulaski County Public Library is already bustling. From the community room, the hum of sewing machines echoes into the entryway, as the “pedal pushers” club stitch up their latest creations. An elderly man in sneakers examines a sign advertising a free nutrition workshop for October, which...

Governor Matt Bevin releases log of official trips on state-owned aircraft after critical media reports

Gov. Matt Bevin on Thursday publicly released a log disclosing the purpose of his official trips using state-owned aircraft in light of recent media reports critical of him. “Since the start of our administration, we have been 100 percent committed to financial integrity and to ensuring that we are good stewards of taxpayer resources,” Bevin said. “This was, unfortunately, not the case under...