A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Beshear’s transition team going full steam and by book, despite Bevin’s election recanvass request

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today While the voting results in the November General Election for Governor await the outcome of a recanvass request made by incumbent Republican Matt Bevin and certification by the State Board of Elections, work of the transition team for presumptive Democratic Governor-Elect Andy Beshear continues at the State Capitol. On Wednesday, Beshear, currently Kentucky’s attorney...

Kentuckians left in election fog as Secretary of State prepares for Nov. 14 recanvass of gubernatorial vote

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Preparations continue for the recanvass of the votes in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race, where unofficial results show Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat, captured a razor-thin win over incumbent Republican Matt Bevin. Those results showed Beshear had a margin of 5,189 out of 1.4 million votes cast, although the GOP candidates handily swept the rest of the constitutional...

U.S. Department of Agriculture rolls out proposed regulations for hemp mandated by Farm Bill

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday issued its proposed regulations on hemp production as mandated by the 2018 Farm Bill. The USDA established the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program through an interim final rule, which outlines provisions for federal agriculture officials to approve plans submitted by states for the domestic production of hemp. Kentucky was...

Two Kentuckians are among 15 selected to participate in White House Fellows Program

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two Kentuckians are among 15 who were named White House Fellows on Monday, a program that provides professionals from various backgrounds an opportunity to engage in public service for one year by serving in various roles in the Federal Government. The highly competitive selection process to become a White House Fellow is based on a record of professional accomplishment,...

Education and Workforce Development Cabinet awards $2.6 million for dislocated West Ky. workers

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet announced on Thursday that $2.6 million will be awarded to the West Kentucky Workforce Development Board to provide career and training services to employees impacted by closure of Briggs and Stratton. After three decades as the second-largest employer in Murray, Briggs and Stratton said in August that the company...

Attorney General Andy Beshear announces $40 million in settlements in two drug lawsuits

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Attorney General Andy Beshear announced settlements in lawsuits against two drug companies Wednesday that are worth nearly $40 million. “Oftentimes it takes years, sometimes it even takes almost a decade, to hold these large companies accountable for the harms they inflict on our families. Today, we have won two of those battles,” Beshear told a Capitol press conference...

Officials join area business leaders to celebrate groundbreaking of new airport in Gallatin County

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Gov. Matt Bevin joined federal, state and local officials, along with area business leaders, on Tuesday to officially break ground on the newest general aviation airport in Sparta, not far from Kentucky Speedway. The event in Gallatin County celebrated the construction launch to build Kentucky’s 58th general aviation airport and the first local airport to serve the business...

Attorney General releases Charitable Giving Guide in recognition of Charity Fraud Awareness Week

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today In observance of Charity Fraud Awareness Week, Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a charitable giving guide to help Kentuckians avoid falling victim to charity scams. According to figures from the Attorney General’s office, Americans donate approximately 2% of their disposable income to charity each year. In 2017, Americans gave $410 billion to charities. (Click...

Caution: It’s about to start — the fall deer-vehicle collision season; Kentucky ranks 15th

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is warning drivers about the start of fall deer-vehicle collision season. In a recent ranking, Kentucky was 15th in the nation for crashes involving deer. The movement of deer along Kentucky highways increases in October, as shorter days and cooler evenings serve to kick off the fall deer mating season. Increased field activity by farmers...

Republican leaders Stivers, Thayer say any casino bill presented in their chamber is ‘dead on arrival’

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Two Republican senators have weighed in on one issue in the governor’s race by pronouncing any casino bill that arrives in their chamber “dead on arrival.” Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, and Majority Leader Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, made the comment while condemning a proposal by Democrat Andy Beshear to legalize casino gaming. Beshear says the revenue...

Judge rules in favor of Democratic Party in lawsuit filed over 165,000 voters moved to inactive list

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Franklin Circuit Judge Monday afternoon ruled in favor of the Kentucky Democratic Party in their lawsuit filed over moving 165,000 registered Kentucky voters to an inactive list. The suit was filed at Franklin Circuit Court by the Kentucky Democratic Party against the State Board of Elections, and Attorney Anna Whites said following oral arguments Monday morning that while...

Early week rainfall a welcome reprieve in Central and Eastern Ky., but more is needed to bust drought

The weekly U. S. Drought Monitor shows improvement in most of the state. Rain forecast Friday into Saturday could help even more. The key to colors: White indicates no drought, yellow is abnormally dry, tan is moderate drought, orange is severe drought and red is extreme drought. By Tom Latek Kentucky Today While rain that fell Sunday and Monday in Kentucky was very welcome, it wasn’t enough to be...

Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball announces return of record $84 million in unclaimed property

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky State Treasurer Allison Ball, whose office operates what may be called the state’s Lost and Found Department, has returned $84 million in unclaimed property – more than any State Treasurer in Kentucky history in a four-year term – it was announced on Wednesday.

 Since taking office, Ball has revamped the unclaimed property process at the Treasury...

Legislation proposed for 2020 legislative session to strengthen penalties for assaulting sports officials

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Legislation proposed for the 2020 General Assembly by two House members would increase penalties for assaulting a sports official. Rep. Randy Bridges, R-Paducah, and Rep. Brandon Reed, R-Hodgenville, are the sponsors of the measure, which also adds the crime of intimidation of a sports official. Proposed legislation on tougher penalties for attacking sports officials is...

Food and Drug Administration stressing importance of vaccination in wake of measles outbreaks

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reiterating the importance of vaccinations, such as the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps and rubella. According to the FDA, the U.S. continues to experience cases and outbreaks of measles, largely due to unvaccinated or under-vaccinated segments of the population. The MMR vaccine is being stressed to protect against...

Jeff Hoover, who resigned as House Speaker after a sexual harassment settlement, won’t seek reelection

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State Rep. Jeff Hoover, the first Republican House Speaker in a century who later resigned that post after entering into a sexual harassment settlement, has decided not to seek re-election in 2020. In a statement he sent to WJRS in Russell Springs and aired on the radio station owned by his family, Hoover said: “After much thought and prayer for several months, and discussion...

U.S. Drought Monitor places parts of Kentucky in ‘severe drought’ category as dry conditions persist

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Dry conditions in Kentucky have led to part of the state being placed in the “Severe Drought” category by the U.S. Drought Monitor this week.

 The U.S Drought Monitor is jointly produced by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

 The...

Robert Stivers to introduce resolution to open investigation into 2015 Purdue Pharma settlement

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, will introduce a resolution on the first day of the 2020 General Assembly to hire an investigating counsel to look into Kentucky’s 2015 settlement with Purdue Pharma. The suit was brought in 2007 by then-Attorney General Greg Stumbo, who is seeking to return to that office in November, against the maker of OxyContin, in response...

Kentucky auditor says more transparency is needed in state’s largest public pension systems

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Changes will be made to legislation passed in 2017 requiring more transparency in investments made by the public pension systems. During a meeting of the Public Pension Oversight Board on Monday afternoon, State Auditor Mike Harmon told panel members that a 12-month special examination of Kentucky’s public pension systems found the Kentucky Retirement Systems and the Kentucky...

When you said ‘rain, rain go away,’ it worked; KY is in a drought situation and could use some now

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky experienced a lot of rain through the first half of the year, but that has reversed itself in recent weeks, with much of the state now in a drought situation.

 September is one of Kentucky’s driest months, and this year is no exception, with only widely scattered rain this month.

 Parts of Kentucky are now in a moderate drought due to our recent dry...