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...

Western District of Kentucky add five federal prosecutors boosting ability to target violent crime

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Five new federal prosecutors have been added in the Western District of Kentucky, boosting their ability to tackle violent crimes through the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative and to combat fraud against taxpayers. U.S. Attorney Russell Coleman announced the hirings on Wednesday, part of what he calls a promise to crack down on violent crime in his 53 counties. U.S....

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...

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...

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...

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....

Louisville City FC soccer team gets financing in place for new stadium just east of downtown

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Financing terms are now in place so construction can begin on a new stadium for the Louisville City FC soccer team, just east of the downtown area in the Butchertown neighborhood. 
Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank will lead the syndication of the $55 million facility.  The transaction is expected to be finalized in August, allowing the project to remain on its construction...

State officials say they are working through details and plan to request re-approval of Medicaid waiver

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State officials told a legislative committee that they are working through details and will be seeking re-approval of the Medicaid waiver that a federal judge halted last month. Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Adam Meier and Deputy Secretary Kristi Putnam testified before the Medicaid Oversight and Advisory Committee on Wednesday about the status of the...

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...

Kentucky State Police say Poor People’s Campaign lacked proper permit to protest inside Capitol

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today There’s a simple explanation why teachers were allowed to protest inside the Capitol this spring and the Poor People’s Campaign was not allowed to protest inside in three separate rallies, Kentucky State Police said.   The Poor People’s Campaign only applied for a permit that let them use the front steps of the Capitol while the teachers filled out the proper paperwork...

Bipartisan panel formed to craft Kentucky’s sports wagering legislation in wake of Supreme Court ruling

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A bipartisan House and Senate panel has been formed to craft legislation to allow sports wagering in Kentucky. A decision last month by the U.S. Supreme Court to allow states to decide their own fate of sports betting means, for the first time since 1992, wagering on sports will not be limited to only Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. Lawmakers are forming a panel to...

Conn pleads guilty to new conspiracy charges before a federal court

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today An eastern Kentucky attorney, who was already facing 12 years in prison for defrauding the Social Security Administration of more than $550 million, will likely get even more time behind bars. File photo Eric Conn, 58, of Pikeville, pleaded guilty on Monday before U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves at U. S. District Court in Lexington to conspiracy to defraud the United...

Ten Kentucky counties under outbreak status for Hepatitis A; 629 cases reported since November

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Hepatitis A outbreak has become a concern for people because the virus is so rare, yet 10 counties in Kentucky are currently under outbreak status and will receive extra funds for vaccines, a state official said. 
Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Jeffrey Howard provided an update on the situation Thursday on Facebook Live with the heavily traveled Memorial Day...