A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lauren Mink earns spot on ‘American Idol,’ impresses judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj

Lauren Mink receives "golden ticket" to Hollywood on American Idol for the second time. (Photo from americanidol.com)   On her 26th birthday, Lauren Mink received one present that will be hard to top — an American Idol “golden ticket” to Hollywood.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] The Winchester native first gained attention when she was featured on Idol in January...

Endow Kentucky tax credits for community foundation gifts have run out for fiscal year

As of Dec. 19, $1 million in tax credits for gifts to endowments at Kentucky community foundations have officially run out in a fiscal year that runs through June 30, 2013. The tax credits were designated as part of the Endow Kentucky legislation, which also created an Endow Kentucky Commission in an effort to increase philanthropic giving statewide.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] “There...

Ethel Gilligan celebrates 103rd birthday with
a splash — a surprise celebration at the YMCA

Ethel Gilligan and her daughter, Pat Burns, celebrated Ethel's 103rd birthday at a surprise party at the Beaumont YMCA. (Photo from the YMCA)   Lexington’s Ethel Gilligan planned to spend her 103rd birthday much like she spends most weekdays — going to a water aerobics class with her daughter at the Beaumont YMCA.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] Little did she know...

Attendance back to normal at Landsdowne Elementary after stomach bug outbreak

Attendance is back up today at Landsdowne Elementary after a stomach bug caused more than 130 students and staff absences last week, said Michelle Marra, district health coordinator for Fayette County Schools.   The bug, which was “a run-of-the-mill stomach virus,” not a flu, kept about 120 students and a dozen staff members out of school on Friday, Sept. 21, Marra said. [widgets_on_pages...

Fundraising campaign aims to raise up to
$1.5 million for Kentucky Theater renovations

(Photos by Jill Seelmeyer)   The historic Kentucky Theater — which celebrates its 90th birthday this October — has received an early gift in the form of a fundraising campaign for needed renovations and upgrades.   Friends of the Kentucky Theater, nonprofit citizens group, has joined together with a goal to raise at least $1 million for renovations from donations through a charitable...

Jubilo Festival offers three days of music
to raise Appalachian scholarship funds

Music lovers can add a new stop on their summer festival itinerary as the first-ever Jubilo Festival gets under way in Richmond this weekend.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] The three-day Jubilo Festival offers a mix of local and national acts, as well as music from genres across the board, said Jubilo director Robyn Baker.   “It’s not just a rock and roll crowd or a bluegrass...

Pertussis cases still on the rise, vaccinations, boosters can protect children from virus

While children are required to be up-to-date on the highly infectious pertussis, or whooping cough, vaccine before beginning school, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is still urging parents to make sure their children are fully protected.   “Now that school is back in session, you have a lot of children in close quarters. It’s easily spread like flu viruses,” said Lois...

West Nile virus reported in one person in Henry County, 1,118 cases nationwide

West Nile virus activity reported to ArboNET, by state (as of August 21, 2012). (Graphic from the CDC)   While no human cases have been reported in the Central Kentucky area, 47 states— including Kentucky— have reported 1,118 cases of West Nile virus infections in people, birds and mosquitoes, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention as of Aug. 21. This year, 41 deaths have...

Little Free Libraries open to encourage literacy in Lexington, ‘grand opening’ Aug. 7

Book lovers and casual readers alike now have a new way to share and recycle old books, while picking up new titles for free.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] The YMCA of Central Kentucky has opened three Little Free Library book exchange donation sites in Lexington and is encouraging community members to start their own donation sites in their neighborhoods, businesses or any place...

‘Aquabots’ camp provides girls hands-on engineering, programming experience

In the midst of the summer heat, one Lexington swimming pool has become more than a place to cool off, but instead, part of a week-long “Aquabots” engineering and computer programming summer camp for girls.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] Twenty girls, mostly from Central Kentucky, are taking part in the University of Kentucky’s first-ever Aquabots Summer Camp, during which...

‘Run with all your Hart’ run/walk will honor life of Sarah Hart, raise funds for scholarships

The "Run with all your Hart" logo is made up of Sarah Hart's children's handprints and footprint.   Family and friends of Sarah Roberts Hart have come together to create an event to remember and honor Sarah’s life, which was tragically taken from her when she was attacked and killed on June 14 during her morning jog in Russell County.   To reflect her love for running...

Recycling center officials open facility
to public for an inside look at process

  What happens to glass, plastics, aluminum and paper products once you place them in your recycling “Rosie”?   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] Officials at the Lexington-Fayette County Urban County Government Recycling Center on Thompson Road are answering this question by opening the center doors for tours. Tours are typically offered about four times a year but can be scheduled...

Health department, HealthFirst will work together to lessen impact of budget cuts

  Facing a $2 million budget cut for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department has had to trim both staff and services. But to lessen the impact, the health department is working with HealthFirst Bluegrass to preserve some of its programs and adjust to the changes.   Dr. Rice Leach, Lexington’s health commissioner, said that this new relationship will...

Natural Bridge State Park offers beautiful scenery, fun-filled activities for whole family

With summer officially in full swing, many Kentucky families are heading out of town for vacation. However, what some of them often don’t realize is that they can enjoy a reasonably priced vacation inside state lines at one of the Kentucky’s 50 state parks. [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] To get a glimpse of what the state parks have to offer, I, along with my more outdoor-savvy boyfriend,...

Hatfield-McCoy author gets lucky on timing, ancestry as interest propels due to miniseries

When best-selling author Lisa Alther decided to write a book about the Hatfield-McCoy feud, she had no idea that the storied dispute would be at the center of a nation-wide frenzy — fueled by the History Channel’s miniseries—by the time “Blood Feud” was released.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] Alther, a native of Kingsport, Tenn., initially did not want to write a book...

Ballard Street mural furthers beautification efforts in Western Suburb Neighborhood

With help from the community, Lexington artist Christine Kuhn is transforming an “unattractive” warehouse in the Western Suburb Neighborhood into a work of art by painting a large mural on one side of the building.   As part of the neighborhood’s Ballard Street Beautification Project, Kuhn and her helpers are painting the 14-by-88-foot mural on a warehouse on Ballard Street, behind Stella’s...

Stay-at-home mom reduces environmental
footprint, spending with ‘zero-waste’ lifestyle

Cloth diapering has become popular these days, but cloth toilet paper may be where some people draw the line.   Not Christena Little.   Little decided to transition her lifestyle to “zero-waste” nearly a year ago, and hasn’t looked back since.   While she hasn’t made the plunge to cloth toilet paper just yet, it is one of the next steps she plans to take to move closer...

Georgetown Toyota plant to expand engine
assembly by 100,000, create 86 new jobs

Toyota announced today it will increase annual engine assembly capacity of 4-cylinder engines by more than 100,000 at its plant in Georgetown. Starting August 2013, the approximately $30 million project will create 86 new jobs.   Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky (TMMK) currently assembles engines for the Avalon, Camry and Venza, all built at TMMK. The capacity increase will supply engines...

Trip to Trader Joe’s doesn’t disappoint, fuels excitement for Lexington store opening

As many of our readers know, specialty grocery store Trader Joe’s will open a much-anticipated Lexington location sometime this summer.   For those who have somehow managed to avoid the hype surrounding the Lexington store, here’s a little update – the store will be about 12,000 square-feet, with a separate 3,000-square-foot wine shop. The store’s Nicholasville Road location...

Pres. Clinton encourages students to continue
their sustainability efforts on the environment

Former President Bill Clinton addressed a crowd of about 6,000 at Rupp Arena Monday, congratulating Fayette County students on their sustainability efforts and encouraging them to continue their environmental work.   [widgets_on_pages id=”Jill”] The crowd was primarily made up of middle and high schools students from Fayette County public and private schools.   Clinton’s...