Kentucky Press News Service

The unexpected is the everyday for emergency responders

August 23, 2018 - 12:34pm
On Aug. 8, the Prestonsburg Fire Department and other agencies were faced with something they had never seen before. A fire broke out at the boat dock at Jenny Wiley State Resort Park, forcing the firefighters to take on numerous challenges. According to Prestonsburg Fire Chief Mike Brown, the fire, which destroyed three boats, damaged two others, and damaged the boat dock, presented a challenge for the firefighters. But, that’s often the way firefighting goes. Rarely is an incident response for a “cookie-cutter” event. Each one is different and presents different challenges and different dangers. 2018-08-23T10:37:25-04:00

The meaning of the First Amendment

August 23, 2018 - 12:34pm
Free speech is a guaranteed right in this country and the First Amendment that guarantees that freedom is popular. But What does the First Amendment mean? What does it mean to have free speech? The right to free speech is often thought of incorrectly as the right to never be censored by anyone or any organization. But the First Amendment is particular: It prohibits restrictions on free speech imposed by our government. 2018-08-23T10:33:33-04:00

Why not require Kentucky's public schools to post 'In Allah We Trust'?

August 23, 2018 - 12:34pm
In Allah We Trust! Chances are if you live in Kentucky, where 76 percent of the people are Christian and a large plurality of them are evangelical Protestants, that’s not something you want posted on the door of the classroom where your child attends school. Or in Buddha We Trust. Or, even in Gilgamesh We Trust (Gilgamesh, according to legend was two-thirds god and one-third man — if you can wrap your head around that). That’s the trouble with the new bill being pushed by state Rep. Brandon Reed, an evangelical minister from Hodgenville, that would require schools to post the nation’s motto in their buildings. 2018-08-23T10:16:40-04:00

Statues honoring Kentucky women are in the works. How the #MeToo movement has helped.

August 23, 2018 - 12:34pm
A century ago, Lexington women were national leaders in the movement to secure civil rights for women, including the 19th Amendment giving them the right to vote. But there are no statues, monuments or plaques in town to honor them. In fact, while Lexington has many monuments to men and horses — and even a dog and a camel — I know of only one significant statue honoring a woman. A bronze Catherine Spalding (1793-1858), founder of the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, sits outside KentuckyOne Health St. Joseph Hospital. A non-profit group called Breaking the Bronze Ceiling hopes to change that. 2018-08-23T10:12:39-04:00

Williamsburg man arrested for sending nude picture of himself to teen

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
A Williamsburg man is being held in the Whitley County Detention Center in lieu of a $50,000 cash bond for allegedly sending a nude picture of himself to a person who he apparently thought was a teenager but was instead the girl’s mother. Robin Gobel, 39, of Letha Petrey Road, Williamsburg, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment last Thursday morning on charges of prohibited use of an electronic communication system to procure a minor person to perform a sex offense, and first-degree unlawful transaction with a minor. 2018-08-23T09:25:22-04:00

Kroger phasing out plastic shopping bags by 2025

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
If you hated Kroger’s yellow bags, take comfort: Soon you’ll never have to see any plastic Kroger bag again. As part of the Cincinnati-based company’s zero waste campaign, Kroger announced today that it will phase out the use of all single-use plastic bags by 2025. 2018-08-23T09:21:58-04:00

Federal maritime agency will open Paducah office

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, along with Maritime Administrator Mark H. Buzby, will announce today the opening of a new Gateway Office in Paducah. "Paducah's proximity to three major river confluences make it an ideal location to support stakeholders working to create a strong network on inland waterways that will advance the nation's export activities," the Maritime Administration, an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation, said in a news release. 2018-08-23T09:20:14-04:00

Wildland firefighters proud to take distant assignments

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Michael Nova makes his living running toward situations most people flee. The Murray resident and U.S. Forest Service employee has worked as a wildland firefighter for about eight years. His two weeks on assignment at the Klondike Fire, currently the largest wildfire in southern Oregon, were coming to a close Wednesday. "It takes a certain kind of personality," Nova said in a phone call after a recent shift. "The firefighters out here enjoy what they do. They like to be in a position where they serve the people, and they're here to protect and help." 2018-08-23T09:17:33-04:00

Bevin approves $192,000 in grants for victims services in Marshall County

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Gov. Matt Bevin and the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet have approved more than $192,000 in grants to provide victim services in Marshall County, where students and families are recovering from January’s tragic school shooting. The funds – available through the federal Victims of Crime Act – are part of two separate grants approved Tuesday by Bevin. 2018-08-23T09:14:31-04:00

U.S. Commerce Secretary, Gov. Bevin celebrate smelter re-opening

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, alongside Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, celebrated on Wednesday the restart of production lines at Century Aluminum's Hawesville facility, a move that is expected to return that plant to full capacity and create nearly 300 new western Kentucky jobs by early next year. At an investment of more than $150 million, Century Aluminum, which produces some of the world's purest-grade metals in Hawesville, has committed to restart three of its idled potlines there. It's a direct result, company officials say, of President Donald Trump's decision in March to apply heavy import tariffs on foreign aluminum competitors. 2018-08-23T09:06:59-04:00

Competency hearing set for arson suspect

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
A judge will decide Thursday whether a man facing arson charges is competent to stand trial or not. Billy Joe Ross, 60, has been incarcerated since the fire broke out on June 1, 2017. Winchester Police said Ross was standing outside the building when firefighters and police officers arrived around 9:40 p.m. June 1. By that time, the fire had already spread through the second floor, trapping some residents on the third floor. Three people were rescued by firefighters from a third-floor window. 2018-08-23T08:58:50-04:00

Does Bevin’s agency investigating Steve Beshear have subpoena power?

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
The investigative reach of a state agency created by Gov. Matt Bevin to examine what he says were "questionable activities " in his predecessor's administration was argued Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. The agency is the Office of Inspector General within the Bevin administration's Finance and Administration Cabinet. And arguments heard by the court Wednesday were over whether that office has the authority to compel the cooperation of an official of former Gov. Steve Beshear's administration, Frank Lassiter, in its examination of a contract awarded on the last day of Beshear's administration in 2015. 2018-08-23T08:52:15-04:00

New group offers a proposal to save Kentucky's Medicaid expansion

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Saying Kentucky's expansion of Medicaid to about 500,000 Kentuckians must be preserved, a group led by hospital executives has launched a campaign to get lawmakers to consider broadening a state tax on health care providers to help pay for it. Norton Healthcare Vice President Riggs Lewis, the group's president, said Wednesday that the plan would generate revenue to fund the expansion as Medicaid costs rise in future years. "Our group believes that conservative, comprehensive health care tax reform can make that a reality," Lewis said in a news conference at the Capitol Rotunda. 2018-08-23T08:48:35-04:00

Kentucky town won’t say why it wants to make this golf course an industrial site

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Residents near one of Kentucky’s oldest golf courses are pushing back against a secretive effort by the city of Paris to turn the course into an industrial site for an unknown business. The Bourbon County Joint Planning Commission last week denied a request by the city to turn more than 48 acres of what is now Stoner Creek Golf Course off of Main Street into industrial land, but the Paris City Commission can still vote to overturn the commission’s denial. The city has agreed to purchase the golf course for $650,000, but officials won’t say who wants to build on the site or what they would build. In an Aug. 15 news release, the city said it had not signed an agreement with any company to develop the property, but Paris City Manager Daron Jordan acknowledges the city has signed a non-disclosure agreement regarding the property. 2018-08-23T08:34:59-04:00

Where does McGrath stand on abortion? Barr attacks her ‘extreme liberal views.’

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Last April, as former fighter pilot Amy McGrath was focused on a tough Democratic primary race for Congress against Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, her interview on a local radio station turned to the topic of abortion. “You don’t think there should be any limitations at all on abortion?” asked host Larry Glover on 590 WVLK. “I don’t think government should be involved in making a decision on a woman’s body,” McGrath said. Now, as U.S. Rep. Andy Barr faces a tough reelection fight against McGrath, the exchange has become fodder for Republicans trying to make the case that McGrath’s “extreme liberal views” on abortion are out of step with a district that President Donald Trump won by 15 points in 2016. 2018-08-23T08:29:14-04:00

Two injured when car hit Henderson residence

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Two Henderson residents were injured early Wednesday morning when the vehicle they were in hit a house. No one in the residence was injured. 2018-08-23T08:19:35-04:00

Ten years after surviving a collision, a family celebrates, thrives

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
A head-on collision on U.S. 25 10 years ago today left Georgetown resident Doug McDonald with a traumatic brain injury and his wife Laura with rods placed in her body after suffering several broken bones. What could have been a life-ending tragedy for this couple, instead will be a celebration by marking their third child Bennett’s first birthday. They also have two daughters, Clarke, 7, and Sutton, 3. The family will commemorate the day by visiting Georgetown Police Department and Scott County and Georgetown Fire Departments to present them with treats to thank them for providing assistance during the accident. 2018-08-23T08:14:45-04:00

Trump cabinet member to talk here about 'critical' highway grant

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
A member of President Donald Trump's cabinet will join state and Northern Kentucky officials on Friday to tout a $67.5 million highway grant in her home state. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, who is married to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, will appear with regional officials at 2 p.m. at Gateway Community and Technical College in Florence. Under a federal program called INFRA, or Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, the grant will allow the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to invest in three major infrastructure projects along Interstate 71/75 in Boone County. 2018-08-23T08:08:36-04:00

WKU plans to keep Confucius Institute open after new law limits federal funds

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
A new military spending bill signed by President Donald Trump limits funding from the U.S. Department of Defense for Chinese language programs at universities that also host Confucius Institutes, which are Chinese government-funded nonprofits that promote Chinese language and culture. Established in 2010, Western Kentucky University’s Confucius Institute places Chinese teachers from China in K-12 schools throughout Kentucky while also serving as a regional hub for teacher training and curriculum development, according to the institute’s website. But under a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act signed into law last week, WKU will need to seek a waiver for its Chinese Language Flagship Program. 2018-08-23T08:06:09-04:00

Attorneys at odds over 30-day sentence for Boucher

August 23, 2018 - 9:34am
Rene Boucher appears to have served his time for tackling U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in the lawmaker's yard, but federal prosecutors and Boucher's attorney continue to tangle over the government's appeal of Boucher's 30-day sentence. Attorney Matt Baker, who represents Boucher, disclosed in a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit that his client has served his jail sentence and paid the $10,000 fine imposed by Special Judge Marianne Battani. Online records for the Federal Bureau of Prisons indicate that Boucher was released from custody Monday. 2018-08-23T08:02:31-04:00

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