A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Report indicates Kentucky one of 19 states whose voter information being sold on the dark web

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky is one of 19 states whose voter information is being sold on the Dark Web, according to a report by a website that covers news for IT professionals and decision-makers. 
ZDNet reported Monday afternoon voter information for approximately 35 million U.S. citizens is being peddled on a popular hacking forum. A screenshot from ZDNet of the hacker’s post that is...

Sen. Whitney Westerfield plans to appeal circuit court ruling on Marsy’s Law to Kentucky Supreme Court

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today State Sen. Whitney Westerfield said he will appeal a Franklin County judge’s ruling that orders election officials in Kentucky not to certify results of a referendum on whether to change the state’s constitution to guarantee the rights of crime victims. Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ruled Monday that the measure, known as “Marsy’s Law,” was not worded...

Governor Bevin announces first-ever fish house contract to combat Asian carp in Western Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today New initiatives to solve the Asian carp situation in western Kentucky were unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Matt Bevin at a press conference. Bevin announced the award of the state’s first-ever fish house contract. Kentucky Fish Center, LLC of Wickliffe, Ky., will establish the fish house, which will expand the market for Kentucky-caught Asian carp. Angie Yu, operator of Two...

Teachers, public employees rally at State Capitol with U Hauls; dominant theme: ‘Remember in November’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today “Remember in November” was the dominant theme during a rally by teachers and other public employees, along with labor officials, at the State Capitol Saturday. 
The purpose of the rally, according to the Kentucky Public Pension Coalition, which was one of the sponsors, “was to show legislators that we haven’t forgotten about their votes against public pensions.” One...

Big Blue Madness tickets to go on sale September 28; Television schedule, game times announced

By Keith Taylor Kentucky Today Tickets for this year’s Big Blue Madness will go on sale at 10 p.m. on Sept. 28 at the Memorial Coliseum ticket off on the Avenue of Champions. Tickets also will be online at Ticketmaster. Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari and the Wildcats will meet Big Blue Nation during Big Blue Madness on Oct. 12 at Rupp Arena. (Photo by Keith Taylor, Kentucky Today) Big...

Contract review committee puts state agencies on notice about retroactive approval of contracts

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The co-chairman of the General Assembly’s government contract review committee put state agencies on notice that he doesn’t like having to approve contracts with a retroactive starting date. 
Sen. Steven Meredith, R-Leitchfield, said on Tuesday he felt many of the reasons to approve contracts already entered in to by the agencies for such things as outside legal counsel...

Brig. General Benjamin Adams, an aviator, retires from Kentucky National Guard after 40-year career

Kentucky Today A 40-year veteran took his final flight Saturday during a celebration of his retirement from the Army. 
Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Adams arrived via helicopter for his retirement as the assistant adjutant general for the Kentucky National Guard at the Army Aviation Support Facility within Boone National Guard Center, according to the State-Journal. Brigadier General Benjamin Adams speaks...

Lawmakers already preparing legislation for 2019 General Assembly; take a look at what’s in the hopper

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 2019 General Assembly doesn’t convene until January, but lawmakers have already prepared more than 30 pieces of legislation for consideration. The topics range from gun safety to sports wagering and from utility rates to tax exemptions. Here is a look at some of them: – Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, has proposed a bill dealing with unlawful storage of a firearm....

Bevin’s legal team files briefs on pension reform bill ahead of September Supreme Court hearing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin’s legal team filed briefs Monday ahead of the Kentucky Supreme Court hearing next month on their appeal of a Franklin Circuit Court ruling that declared the public pension reform bill passed by the 2018 General Assembly unconstitutional and began their paperwork with a quote from a character from the old Popeye cartoons. “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday...

Medical marijuana proponents have their say; opponents on deck for next meeting

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A legislative committee heard from proponents of medical marijuana last week with opponents to be given an opportunity at the next meeting. Proponents tried to make it clear the marijuana was in no way for recreational use or a revenue source for Kentucky. Opponents have argued that marijuana is a gateway drug that opens the door for much worse later. Sen. John Schickel,...

Construction more than three months ahead of schedule on building to replace Capital Plaza Tower

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The project to replace the 26-story Capital Plaza Tower is ahead of schedule. Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum told Kentucky Today on Tuesday construction on a new building is three to three-and-a-half months ahead of schedule. He credits a lot of that to the contractors, CRM Companies and D.W. Wilburn, who built a similar sized structure, known...

Recently created adoption and foster care reform committee holds initial meeting in Frankfort

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A new committee created as part of the adoption and foster care reform legislation passed in the spring met for the first time on Monday. The committee selected co-chairman – Sen. Julie Raque Adams and Rep. David Meade – by acclamation. Meade, who was instrumental in moving the adoption foster care reform bill through legislation, said they are there to “give recommendations...

History-making Senator Mitch McConnell tells Fancy Farm faithful he intends to run again in 2020

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Already the longest-serving Republican leader ever in the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to cement his place in history with yet another term. McConnell, 76, told GOP faithful in western Kentucky on Saturday that he will run for re-election in 2020. “I don’t like starting late,” he said. McConnell, the architect of a Republican resurgence...

Quarles says being master of ceremonies at annual Fancy Farm picnic is a ‘dream come true’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky’s annual premier political event happens this weekend in a small western Kentucky community and the man who has the job of master of ceremonies is busy preparing. 
The Fancy Farm Picnic takes place on Saturday at St. Jerome’s Church, as it has since 1880, although it did not begin serving as the fall kickoff to Kentucky’s political season until 1931, when...

Ohio Representative joins Barr in support of naming Jessamine County’s Camp Nelson a national park

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Efforts by one member of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation to have a Jessamine County historical site named a national memorial have been bolstered by another. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Ky., has been working on having Camp Nelson receive such designation from the National Park Service and co-sponsored legislation with Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, last year in the House. U.S....

Appalachian Hospitality Group playing vital role in Harlan County’s future with operation of historic inn

By Joshua Ball For Kentucky Today Travis Warf’s first job was a dishwasher at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn. Some three decades later, he runs the historic inn located in this small community in Harlan County. “I knew there was something special about this place when I worked here as a teenager,” said Warf. “The building is steeped in history and tradition, and is something that, I believe, can...

Andy Beshear makes it official: On tour around state, he announces his bid for governor’s office

Staff report Democrat Andy Beshear started a statewide tour Monday and Tuesday to talk about the “future of Kentucky” with the announcement he will run for governor. Attorney General Andy Beshear makes it official: He’s running for governor. (Kentucky Today/Tom Latek) He pledged to bring Kentuckians together to invest in public education, attract better-paying jobs, more aggressively...

Bevin issues 11 pardons over Independence Day week, including man convicted 40 years ago

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Eleven Kentuckians, including a northern Kentucky man convicted nearly 40 years ago for receiving stolen property, were granted pardons from Gov. Matt Bevin during the holiday week, just as he did last year when issuing 10 pardons during the Independence Day week. Gov. Matt Bevin issued 11 pardons this week. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today) 
Pardons were granted to...

Sixty Kentucky Air National Guardsmen return home safely after deployment to Persian Gulf

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today (Photos from Kentucky National Guard) It was an especially happy Fourth of July for the families of more than 60 Kentucky Air National Guard members who returned from their four-month Persian Gulf deployment on Wednesday. The Airmen, who arrived aboard Kentucky Air Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, had been working from an undisclosed air base, flying troops and cargo across...

Officials more optimistic about state retirement systems during oversight board appearance

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Despite studies showing they are among the worst-funded pension programs in the nation, officials with some of the state’s retirement systems gave an optimistic outlook during appearances before the Public Pension Oversight Board this week. David Eager, executive director of the Kentucky Retirement Systems or KRS, told the panel on Monday that while they forecast that...