A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Andy Beshear officially files to run for governor, calls candidates to release tax returns

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Accompanied by family members, Attorney General Andy Beshear and running mate Jacqueline Coleman filed their papers at the Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday as a gubernatorial slate for the May Democratic primary. 
Speaking to reporters, Beshear called upon all slates for governor to release their income tax returns for the last two years, in the interest of transparency.  
“After...

State representative Rocky Adkins raises $620,000 in only two months toward gubernatorial campaign

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrat Rocky Adkins has proven himself a formidable gubernatorial candidate, raising more than $620,000 in the two months since he entered the race. “We’re honored and humbled to have strong support across Kentucky,” said Adkins, the longtime House Democratic floor leader from Sandy Hook. “The outcome of our fundraising effort demonstrates the strength of this...

House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins may be getting ready to run for governor, has family support

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democrat Rocky Adkins may be inching closer to a run for governor, telling reporters Wednesday that his family supports the idea. House Democratic Leader Rocky Adkins is still mulling over a run for governor in 2019. He has the full support of his family. (LRC photo) “It’s a must that they be on board, and they are,” Adkins said. “This is a statewide race, and it’s...

Rural Blog: Coal company wants to turn reclaimed Eastern Kentucky strip mine into solar farm

An Eastern Kentucky coal company on Tuesday said it wants to build Appalachia’s largest solar farm on a reclaimed mountaintop strip mine in far Eastern Kentucky. The Berkeley Energy Group said the project, which is still in the early stages, would be the first large-scale solar project in Appalachia. It didn’t say how much the project would cost; former state auditor Adam Edelen, who is...

Lexington health advocates join national effort to save medical coverage from repeal efforts

Doctors, health care advocates, patients and community members joined the National Save My Care Bus Tour Friday to stand against any action to repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away nearly 500,000 Kentuckians health care. At a press conference at the Lexington Public Library, community members sent a clear message to Washington: Don’t Take Away Our Health Care. Despite growing public opposition,...

Bill Straub: Edelen, Jones try to clean up Democrats’ mess with launch of New Kentucky Project

WASHINGTON – The late Raymond Overstreet, former Republican state representative from Liberty, a beloved figure in Frankfort, used to tell the story of Little Timmy who, while chasing a ball, fell into the privy. Timmy’s mother ran out to determine the cause of the commotion and could only spot a pair of eyes looking up at her from the muck. “Lord,’’ the mother exclaimed, looking up to...

Bluegrass ADD board resolute against sanctions that ‘plow up old ground’ about issues already resolved

By Judy Clabes KyForward editor In a specially called meeting, the Bluegrass Area Development District executive committee voted unanimously Wednesday to appeal the state’s order to repay $898,000 in “disallowed” costs for federal workforce programs from 2010-13. After hearing reports from attorneys John Gay and Jeff Walther about options related to next steps, the board also authorized BGADD’s...

Kentucky gets D+ in State Integrity investigation; toughened laws but gaps in oversight remain

By Ryan Alessi Center for Public Integrity A month after starting to investigate Kentucky’s Agriculture Department, state Auditor Adam Edelen called a meeting for his team for an update on the transgressions of ex-Ag Commissioner Richie Farmer. Auditors took turns sharing revelations at that February 2012 get-together about how Farmer, a former University of Kentucky basketball hero, ordered his...

Buck Ryan: Let’s not squander the lessons learned from Matt Bevin’s dickens of a wakeup call

A Tale of Two Young Voters: It was the left of times, it was the right of times, depending on whether you’re a future journalist or a current Honors student. The historic Kentucky election of 2015 has some people shaking their heads and others sorting their quantitative and qualitative research results. Who was The Biggest Loser on election night: Auditor Adam Edelen, the Bluegrass Poll or traditional-elite...

Auditor: Third of Ky.’s rural hospitals in poor shape; closure may be ‘unfortunate reality’

Location and financial strength of Kentucky rural hospitals (Map provided/click for larger view)   By Melissa Patrick and Al Cross Kentucky Health News   For a video of State Auditor Adam Edelen’s press conference, click here.   As many as one-third of Kentucky’s rural hospitals are in poor financial shape, and the survival of some will likely depend on their willingness...

Lawmakers say dispute over CVG airport board might require state legislative solution

Rep. Arnold Simpson, D-Covington, poses a question during the October meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Transportation in which it was suggested the CVG Airport Board governance dispute may require a legislative solution. (Photo from Ky. Legislature)   A decades-old dispute over governance of the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati airport known as CVG landed in Frankfort this week when state...

FCPS audit finds fiscal mismanagement, benefit disparities; no sign of criminal activity

Auditor Adam Edelen today released a special examination of Fayette County Public Schools, finding chronic mismanagement of the district’s budget and finances that have contributed to its financial instability.   Auditors did not find any evidence of alleged criminal activity; however, they determined that poor financial management, weak policies and failed communications culminated in a weakened...

BGADD committee OKs building purchase, will end controversial leasing arrangement

BGADD has leased the building at 699 Perimeter Drive in Lexington since 1994. (Photo by Erin Grigson)   By Judy Clabes KyForward editor   The Bluegrass Area Development District executive committee today approved the purchase of the office building the agency has been leasing from the Bluegrass Industrial Foundation since 1994. The purchase now goes to the agency’s full board of directors...

Auditor pleased with BGADD response, progress under Duttlinger’s leadership

By Judy Clabes KyForward editor   In a report to a legislative committee in Frankfort yesterday, State Auditor Adam Edelen said he was pleased with the progress being made by new leadership of the Bluegrass Area Development District on long-standing problems revealed in a scathing audit earlier this year.   Edelen said in an interview after his meeting with the committee that the BGADD’s...

Fayette school board passes budget amid discussion of alleged accounting irregularities

The Fayette County school board tentatively approved a 2014-15 budget on a 4-1 vote Thursday night, meeting a deadline for its submission to the Kentucky Department of Education. A final budget must be submitted by May 30. The tentative budget is now about $428.4 million. Cuts to the budget are about $17.5 million instead of the $19.1 million proposed to the board in April.   Board member Amanda...

State auditor takes ‘watchdog’ role seriously as he travels Kentucky keeping public trust

By Michael Monks Special to KyForward   One of the fastest-rising stars of Kentucky politics is Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen, considered in many circles to be a possible candidate for governor in 2015. In an interview from his mother’s Hebron, Ky. home, Edelen acknowledges the buzz, but says he has yet to make a decision.   If he were to run, Edelen would seek to succeed Gov....

State auditor says examination into a $700K theft by former city official will be public soon

By Michael Monks Special to KyForward   The state’s examination into a previous administration of Kentucky’s fifth-largest city is almost complete. The Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen, recently interviewed in his mother’s home in Hebron, Ky., says the results of his inquiry will be released in February.   “We are wrapping up the drafting phase of our investigation...

Richie Farmer says he’s ‘truly, truly sorry,’ gets 27 months in prison for abuse of power

Staff report   It’s 27 months in federal prison and $120,500 in restitution for Richie Farmer, the former Kentucky agriculture commissioner and University of Kentucky basketball standout.   Farmer was sentenced yesterday for abusing his power as commissioner from 2004-2011. He pleaded guilty in September to two counts of misappropriating government resources. As part of the plea agreement,...

2013 Review: What is news? Not just fires, crimes – but varied details of community life

Don’t want to wax too philosophically about “what is news?” – because we’d probably all define that differently, boiling it down to “we know it when we see it,” which translates to “that’s news to me.” We understand the tendency to classify news as “good” or “bad” and – sometimes – the tendency to blame the messenger for the latter. Perhaps – waxing philosophically...

State investigation into former Dayton school superintendent fraud ends in $511,000 back

By Michael Monks Special to KyForward   Dayton Independent Schools will recoup $511,000 after a special examination by Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen into the alleged fraud perpetrated by former Superintendent Gary Rye.   That’s nearly $300,000 more than the amount believed to have been illegally collected by Rye when the investigation was announced in March.   Details were scant...