A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham is stepping down on Feb. 1 after 12 years

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham announced this week that he will step down from the high court Feb. 1. Cunningham has served 12 years on that court, having been elected to represent the First Supreme Court District representing western Kentucky in November of 2006, then was re-elected in 2014. He and Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., are the two longest-serving...

AAA: Kentucky average gas price now at 30 cents less than one year ago; increases possible

Kentucky’s average gas price dropped 10 cents in the past week to land at $2.06, among the greatest price drops in the nation over the past week. The current Kentucky average gas price is 30 cents less than a year ago. Nearly 20 percent of states are currently enjoying prices below $2.00 per gallon. Nationally, retail averages have dropped ­­­83 of the past 90 days. The national average for regular...

EPA’s proposed changes to Clean Water Act could stymie Kentucky’s waste and pollution fights

By Eric Tegethoff Public News Service Some Kentuckians are concerned that proposed changes to the Clean Water Act could set back the fight against waste and pollution in their own backyards. The Environmental Protection Agency has announced a replacement for the Waters of the United States rule, lifting federal protections from water sources that are seasonal and wetlands that are not connected by...

Georgetown mom wins $1m scratch-off lottery — and aims to get new home for her growing family

Jessica Ewen, 34, celebrates Christmas with her three siblings and a cousin each year but she never expected to become a millionaire. The Georgetown resident says the group always purchases Kentucky Lottery Scratch-offs as their fun gifts. This past Sunday was no different. Jessica Ewen “We all pitch in money together for the tickets,” Jessica said. “I put together a saran wrap ball with Scratch-off...

Feeling depressed? Need help with substance abuse? Holidays can be trigger; FindHealthNowKY

Many people can experience feelings of anxiety or depression during the holiday season. Extra stress, unrealistic expectations or even sentimental memories that accompany the season can be a catalyst for the holiday blues.   The holiday season can bring out many triggers that may induce uncomfortable feelings and negative emotions such as sadness, loneliness, anger, bitterness, and anxiety. Moreover,...

Bulls, Bands and Barrels coming back to Horse Park on February 9; tickets on sale now

The long wait is over for bull riding fans, barrel racing fans, and music fans! Bulls, Bands and Barrels, now one of Lexington’s top annual events, will once again kick off their highly anticipated tour in Lexington at 7 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 at the Kentucky Horse Park Alltech Arena. The popular Nicholas Jamerson, former lead singer for Sundy Best, will be the featured act.   Featuring the...

Lexington Habitat celebrates dedication of new home for Lily Milan family, just in time for Christmas

Lexington Habitat for Humanity celebrated it last new home of the season for homebuyer Lily Milan and her three children at 1873 Costigan Drive. Lily lived in Southern California before putting roots down in Lexington and now she can make those roots grow deeper with homeownership! When asked what having a Habitat house means to her she said, “It means stability, ownership and building a foundation...

State Auditor reports results of audit of KRS financial statement; recommended three corrections

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky State Auditor’s office this week released the results of a financial statement audit of Kentucky Retirement Systems and included three findings in their report. “Our audit details issues regarding millions in overpayments by employers to KRS and the lack of policies regarding the waiver by KRS of more than $100,000 in penalties for late payments due to the...

Kentucky’s unemployment rate remains unchanged in November at 4.5 percent

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary November unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics, an agency within the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet. That was unchanged from October and the same as in November 2017. According to figures released on Thursday, Kentucky added 277 individuals to its civilian labor force, bringing the state’s...

With nine of top 10 rural counties for enrollment, Kentucky relies heavily on Medicaid expansion

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Newly crunched data reveals the growing importance of Medicaid expansion for rural Kentucky. Nine of the top 10 rural counties for Medicaid enrollment nationwide are in Kentucky, according to research from the University of North Carolina Sheps Center for Health Services Research and the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. Executive Director...

Ky. coal communities maintain hope Congress may still extend black lung fund, pass RECLAIM Act

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Congress has a chance to provide support to workers and communities in Kentucky suffering the impacts of the coal mining industry. The Black Lung Disability Trust Fund helps coal miners with black lung disease and their families cover medical costs. A tax on coal mining, which finances the fund, is slated to be cut in half by the end of the year. The RECLAIM Act...

Gov. Bevin calls special legislative session to address Kentucky’s pension issue

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin has called a special session of the General Assembly beginning Monday night in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision that unanimously held the process used to pass Senate Bill 151, the wastewater bill turned into pension reform legislation, unconstitutional. During a Capitol press conference announcing the special session, Bevin said, “Our State...

Court of Appeals allows release of records that could reveal details about marketing of Oxycontin

The state Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a Pike County judge’s ruling to release secret records about the marketing of OxyContin, the branded form of oxycodone that “has been blamed for helping to seed today’s opioid addiction epidemic,” reports Stat, the medicine-and-science publication of The Boston Globe, which fought to get the records. In the court file is a deposition of Richard...

Health department confirms hepatitis A at Lexington hotel kitchen; customers advised to get vaccination

An employee in the kitchen of the Clarion Hotel Conference Center-North, 1950 Newtown Pike, has been diagnosed with a confirmed case of hepatitis A. As a result, customers who ate at the hotel, including the Sports Page Bourbon and Bar Grill from Nov. 26-Dec. 4 may have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus and are advised to get a hepatitis A vaccination. While it is relatively uncommon for restaurant...

Kentucky State Police to begin increased drunk driving enforcement campaign efforts Friday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety and Kentucky State Police are joining together in an effort to remind motorists to be responsible behind the wheel as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” increased enforcement campaign runs Dec. 14, 2018 through Jan. 1, 2019. “While the holiday season is a special time to visit with friends and family, many of these celebrations...

Kentucky Supreme Court upholds $80m punitive damages award against Grant Thornton in Yung suit

In a landmark decision, the Kentucky Supreme Court has affirmed a trial court’s award of approximately $80,000,000 in punitive damages to the plaintiffs in a case against Grant Thornton LLP. William Yung The plaintiffs, William J. Yung, Martha A. Yung, and the 1994 William J. Yung Family Trust, participated in a tax shelter marketed by Grant Thornton, that would purportedly allow funds held in the...

Farm Bill passes both Senate, House, on way to president; includes industrial hemp production

Staff report The U.S. House passed the 2018 Farm Bill on Tuesday by a vote of 369-47, joining the U.S. Senate in approving the bill that empowers farmers to expand cultivation of industrial hemp. It now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature. He is expected to sign the bill into legislation. The hemp industry is poised to become a $20 billion industry by 2022. U.S. Senate Majority Leader...

Report suggests assertions corporate investment in state is resulting in economic revival are inaccurate

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service A new report challenges assertions from Kentucky policymakers that corporate investments are spurring an economic revival. In its new analysis, The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy said the Cabinet for Economic Development’s announcements of potential private business investment are not a reliable barometer of how the state’s economy is faring. Executive...

Kentucky attorney general Andy Beshear touts opioid manufacturer lawsuits as part of successful year

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear pointed to his nine lawsuits against opioid manufacturers and distributors, his efforts to combat human trafficking and utility rate hikes as evidence that 2018 has been a good year for his office. During an interview with reporters on Monday, Beshear said his office is the “most aggressive Attorney General’s in terms of suing opioid...

Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow set to outline troubling increase in e-cigarette use among teens

By Mary Kuhlman Public News Service Health groups in Kentucky say teens in the state have the wrong idea when it comes to the safety of e-cigarettes. Ben Chandler with Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow said 1-in-5 high school students uses e-cigarettes – also called vaping. That’s a 78 percent increase in the past year. With flavors like bubble gum and cotton candy, health experts believe...