A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Lawmakers grill University of Louisville hospital representative over proposed loan in Monday hearing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Members of a legislative committee peppered a representative from University of Louisville Hospital with questions about the proposed $50 million in state funds to help U of L buy Kentucky One Health, which includes the Jewish Hospital system. 

Tom Miller, CEO of University of Louisville Health, appearing before the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee on Monday,...

Paper recycling service may return to Central Ky. communities as City of Lexington issues RFP

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Efforts to re-establish paper recycling in a dozen Central Kentucky counties has taken a step forward with the announcement last week that the City of Lexington has posted a request for proposals, or RFP, to businesses that may want to provide the service. Changes in the global marketplace for recycled materials forced the Lexington Recycle Center to temporarily suspend...

Regional university partnership offers new options for students in Southeastern Kentucky

EKU President Michael Benson and Somerset Community College President Carey Castle sign a memorandum of agreement. (EKU photo) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Three of Kentucky’s regional public universities have now joined forces to offer classes at the new University Center of Southern Kentucky, located on the campus of Somerset Community College. The University Center of Southern Kentucky, or UCSK,...

Kentucky’s gubernatorial race could determine the future of push for expanded gaming in the state

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Expanded gaming, including legalizing casinos and sports wagering, is likely to come up again during the 2020 General Assembly, but how hard it will be pushed depends on who wins the Governor’s race this November. Sen. Julian Carroll, D-Frankfort, sponsored a bill during this year’s session to legalize sports wagering, but it did not receive a committee hearing in the...

Labor secretary says 1,074 teachers violated the law during ‘sickouts’ but will not face fines, this time

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Labor Secretary David Dickerson announced Friday that no fines will be levied against teachers for protesting pension legislation considered during the 2019 General Assembly that resulted in at least 10 districts being forced to cancel classes due to teacher shortages.
 
The “sickouts” hit Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest district with...

Andy Beshear unveils economic and jobs plan; platform promotes agritech and manufacturing

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear rolled out the first part of his economic and jobs agenda during a campaign stop Wednesday in northeastern Kentucky. Accompanied by his running mate Jacqueline Coleman, House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook and Rep. Terri Branham Clark, D-Catlettsburg, Beshear unveiled what he terms the first pillar of his “Kitchen...

115th Kentucky State Fair set to open Thursday for 10 days of rides, concerts, horse shows and more

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The 115th Kentucky State Fair kicks off this week with a 10-day lineup of rides, free music concerts, a horse show and more. The fair, which annually draws 600,000 people, runs Aug. 15-25 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center. Activities begin Thursday with the Kentucky Commodity Breakfast at 7 a.m. at the Great Kentucky Cookout Tent. Kentucky Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles...

Kentucky High School Athletic Association makes changes to state’s high school football playoff rules

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Some changes are in store for the 2019 high school football season playoff system in Kentucky. Members of the Board of Control for the Kentucky High School Athletics Association earlier this year stopped the practice of having district first- and second-round playoff games being played between schools of different districts. Kentucky high school football will undergo some...

Vice President Mike Pence comes to Ky. with $9 million in federal grants to battle opioid epidemic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today More than $9 million in federal grants to combat opioids in Kentucky were delivered Thursday. Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, and Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, joined Gov. Matt Bevin in southeastern Kentucky. Pence said the grants included $750,000 in training grants for the University of Pikeville, $167,000...

Kentucky lawmakers writing of draft of ‘red flag’ legislation in advance of 2020 General Assembly

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A bipartisan group of Kentucky state senators is working on so-called red flag legislation that they hope to introduce during the 2020 session of the General Assembly. The proposal would allow people such as police, family members and mental health professionals to seek the protection order from a judge, which would keep the individual from access to weapons, and determine...

Matt Bevin, Andy Beshear fire off familiar jabs in front of rowdy crowd at annual Fancy Farm Picnic

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Both gubernatorial candidates, Republican Matt Bevin and Democrat Andy Beshear, used familiar themes during their remarks Saturday at the annual Fancy Farm Picnic and political speaking event in this small western Kentucky community. Partisans on both sides did some cheering and jeering in a typically rowdy atmosphere as the political rivals faced off. It won’t be...

Kentuckian Kelly Knight Craft confirmed as latest United States ambassador to the United Nations

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Kentuckian was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to serve as the nation’s ambassador to the United Nations. Kelly Knight Craft has been serving as Ambassador to Canada since 2017, becoming the first woman to serve in that post. In her new role, she will serve as the country’s chief representative at the U.N. General Assembly, as well as on the Security Council. She...

Fancy Farm this Saturday kicks off political season, focus on gubernatorial candidates; election Nov. 5

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Expect some fancy talking at the Fancy Farm picnic Saturday in western Kentucky as the fall political campaign season gets off to a rousing start.

 Much of the spotlight will be on the gubernatorial race with incumbent Republican Matt Bevin and Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear. They will have eight minutes apiece to bend the ears of an audience that knows how...

Governor signs pension bill into law following final approval in senate, bringing end to special session

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Senate gave final approval for a pension bill providing relief to the regional public universities and other quasi-governmental agencies on Wednesday, followed quickly by Gov. Matt Bevin signing the measure into law, and bringing an end to the special session after five days. Following two hours of floor debate, the measure passed the Senate 27-11, with two Republicans,...

After three hours of intense debate, Bevin’s pension bill narrowly makes it through house on 52-46 vote

The House approved Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension proposal by a 52-46 vote on Monday. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today) By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin’s public pension bill to provide relief to regional universities, health departments and other quasi-governmental agencies made it over a critical hurdle on Monday when lawmakers of the Kentucky House narrowly approved the measure...

House panel chooses Governor Matt Bevin’s pension plan; floor debate set to proceed Monday

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Day two of the special session of the Kentucky General Assembly saw Gov. Matt Bevin’s public pension proposal clear a House committee on Saturday, while two bills sponsored by Democrats were defeated. 
The legislation would affect 118 quasi-governmental agencies, including Kentucky’s regional public universities, local health departments, rape crisis centers and mental...

Three measures introduced as Kentucky General Assembly special session convenes in Frankfort

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky General Assembly gaveled in Friday morning on day one of a special session to address changes to the pension plan affecting the state’s regional public universities and quasi-governmental agencies. Three measures were introduced in the House, given their first of the required three readings, and referred to the House State Government Committee that is expected...

Police taking a closer look at famous missing person case that inspired ‘The Bluegrass Conspiracy’ book

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today One of Kentucky’s most famous missing persons cases, which was featured in a book and newspaper series, has gotten renewed interest and police are asking for the public’s help in ending the mystery. Melanie Flynn, a member of a prominent Lexington family that included a state senator and major league baseball player, was last seen in early 1977. Her disappearance was...

Participation numbers increasing in most Kentucky high school sports, except football, KHSAA says

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The leader of the Kentucky High School Athletics Association says student participation is increasing in most boys and girls sports with football being the exception. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett testified before the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Education Committee last week. “Last year 57,000 boys were on rosters, along with 48,000 girls,” he told lawmakers....

Gov. Matt Bevin says he has votes to pass pension legislation, trying to find best time for special session

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin says he has the votes to pass a pension reform plan for Kentucky’s regional universities and other quasi-governmental agencies, but the summer vacation season has kept him from calling a special session. During a Wednesday appearance on WKCT Radio in Bowling Green, the governor said, “It is the responsibility of legislators, even part-time legislators,...