Kentucky Press News Service

Mammoth Cave lost more than $100K during shutdown

February 5, 2019 - 11:28am
Mammoth Cave National Park was closed for five full weeks during the partial federal government shutdown, and the economic consequences were significant. Mammoth Cave officials estimate a $132,000 direct revenue loss from not being able to provide the cave tours that had been reserved between Dec. 22 and Jan. 25. The park will not be able to recoup the lost money. 2019-02-05T11:15:02-05:00

Put the keyboard down, back away slowly!

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Words — and the weight of what they actually mean — seem to be forgotten in our world of tweets, posts, status updates and sound bites. As a society, we seem to have purged from our memory the old adage to “think before you speak” — or to update it for the 21st Century — before you type. Many of the individuals who have the biggest platforms open their mouths far too quickly and come across as tone deaf on important issues facing our communities and our citizens. 2019-02-04T13:52:05-05:00

Veterans homes need new operating model

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Kentucky cares deeply about the military and, of course, our veterans. One of the many ways love and concern is demonstrated is through the four veterans nursing homes operated by Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs. The newest and perhaps most impressive of these center’s is the Carl M. Brashear Radcliff Vete­rans Center. Since it opened, the Radcliff center has struggled with a problem common to these state-run facilities. It is underutilized because it is understaffed. In the highly competitive world of skilled nursing and medical care, the pay falls short of private industry. 2019-02-04T13:47:56-05:00

Bevin’s school comments show disregard for children’s safety

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Gov. Matt Bevin has once again made national headlines for some of his public remarks about public education in Kentucky. After many schools districts around the state canceled classes Wednesday because of expected extremely cold temperatures, Bevin had some choice words. The Louisville Courier-Journal reported that while speaking to 840 WHAS radio host Terry Meiners Tuesday, Bevin said schools closing because of frigid temperatures is a sign Americans are getting soft. 2019-02-04T13:45:36-05:00

Programs at Warren, Simpson jails do more than help inmates

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
At the Simpson County Detention Center in Franklin, inmates have the opportunity to connect with their families through a reading program called Stories from the Heart. At the Warren County Regional Jail, inmates will soon have the chance to learn the communication, critical thinking and teamwork skills that are taught routinely at many local businesses. If your idea of incarceration has been formed by watching “The Shawshank Redemption” or “Cool Hand Luke,” think again. Faced with overcrowding and the high cost of incarceration, jails and prisons are taking steps to better prepare inmates for re-entry into society. As they should. 2019-02-04T13:42:26-05:00

Where GOP and Democrats stand on Kentucky governor, attorney general races

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
The filing deadline has passed, so let’s make up the scorecard for this year’s statewide elections, starting with the party labels and the top job on the ballots. Republicans are at real risk of losing the governorship, mainly due to Gov. Matt Bevin’s self-inflicted wounds. But the Kentucky Democratic Party, after decades of decline, risks being shut out of statewide office. Its best hope may be former Miss America Heather French Henry’s bid for secretary of state. Meanwhile, state Republicans’ real chief, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, keeps playing his long game, setting up a former aide to be attorney general and climb politics’ ladder. But they have an unusual intraparty fight on their hands. 2019-02-04T13:39:34-05:00

Rand Paul won big in court, but he doesn't think you should

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Whew, buddy. I’m betting Rand Paul has never been happier to have Democrats around than he was Wednesday afternoon. That’s when a jury in Bowling Green ordered his neighbor and archenemy to pay him $580,000 for the blindside tackle that broke six of his ribs and collapsed his lung. If not for those litigious, leftist, liberal lawmakers who have for years kept Kentucky from passing legislation that would limit how much money people can collect when they sue somebody, Rene Boucher might owe Paul a heck of a lot less. 2019-02-04T13:35:34-05:00

Sandmann lawyer: Letters sent to New York Times, Today Show, 50 others may precede suits

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
The lawyers representing Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann and his family said Friday they have sent letters to media outlets, individual journalists, celebrities and Catholic organizations as the first step in possible libel and defamation lawsuits. The list includes 50-plus names of organizations or individuals: from presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren to actress Alyssa Milano; individual journalists including Maggie Haberman, Ana Cabrera and David Brooks; national media outlets like the The New York Times, CNN, GQ and TMZ; and the dioceses of Covington and Lexington as well as the archdioceses of Louisville and Baltimore. Nick, as well as his school, faced threats from those angered by video showing him, his classmates and Native Americans engaged in a much-debated confrontation. 2019-02-04T13:22:02-05:00

McConnell is preaching states’ rights, sounds as if he’s scared of voters

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Kentuckians should ask: Why is our senior senator so afraid of his constituents turning out to vote in greater numbers? Legislation that would make it both easier to vote and harder for states to suppress the vote has thrown Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell into a tizzy. Flushed out by Democrats who newly control the House, McConnell increasingly sounds like one of those segregationist lions of yore who roamed the Senate, cloaking their political self-interest in pious bluster about states’ rights and an oppressive federal government. 2019-02-04T13:09:26-05:00

Remains confirmed as missing Clark woman

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
A body found Thursday in Madison County has been confirmed as that of a missing Clark County woman. The Madison County Coroner’s office confirmed Friday the remains were those of 26-year-old Amanda Bailey, according to published reports. 2019-02-04T13:02:04-05:00

Paducah remains state's top-ranked micropolitan area

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Paducah's micropolitan statistical area continues to be the highest-ranked in Kentucky, and is in the top 8 percent of the 551 micropolitans nationwide, according to a Florida company which analyzes local and state economies. The 2019 Economic Strength Rankings, compiled by Policom Corp., list Paducah's micropolitan area 41st nationally, up from its 79th ranking the previous year. Kentucky's top 10 micropolitans for 2019 include: Paducah, 41; Madisonville, 100; Frankfort, 139; Bardstown, 150; Richmond-Berea, 196; Somerset, 355; Maysville, 387; London, 389; Campbellsville, 401; Central City, 409; Murray, 414; Danville, 427; Mount Sterling, 476; Glasglow, 492; Mayfield, 499; Union City (Tennessee-Kentucky), 501; and Middlesborough, 544. 2019-02-04T12:57:57-05:00

Service call solves health mystery

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Carol Fristoe's health was so bad she once passed out seven times in a single day. "I'd be walking and just pass out," she said. She was so weak she would wobble when she tried to walk. She couldn't get food to stay down. The whites of her eyes had turned red. "Every hospital I've been in the last 10 years said we have no doubt you're sick, but every test we run comes back normal," said Fristoe, 67, of Mayfield. 2019-02-04T12:52:43-05:00

Recount results in a tie in legislative race

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Saturday morning, the Daviess County board of elections recounted the ballots in the 13th District House race between Jim Glenn and DJ Johnson. When the all-day recount ended Saturday evening, the result was unexpected, with Glenn and Johnson tied with 6,323 votes each. "This was not a scenario I'd anticipated whatsoever," Johnson said, after the final results were announced. The tied vote means the House of Representatives' election contest board will determine what happens next in the election. Daviess County Attorney Claud Porter said local officials will send a report on the recount to the contest board by Tuesday, the day the General Assembly returns to Frankfort to resume the 2019 session. 2019-02-04T12:48:02-05:00

Planned Parenthood makes big money move to fight right-wing attacks

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
To better fend off attacks from conservative lawmakers and governors, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is joining forces with its far larger and richer counterpart that serves the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. The CEO of the combined alliance said it will have more money and legal muscle to fight “unrelenting attempts to undo constitutionally protected rights.” The alliance will have a combined annual budget of as much as $90 million and serve 164,000 patients at 45 health centers in six states. 2019-02-04T12:37:00-05:00

Person with mental illness ordered to get treatment under 'Tim's Law'

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
For the first time in Kentucky, a judge has ordered a patient with a mental illness to receive outpatient treatment under what is known as “Tim’s Law,” which was enacted in 2017 to provide help to people who might end up homeless, hospitalized or jailed without it. The patient had been involuntarily hospitalized more than 40 times, according to Jefferson District Judge Stephanie Pearce Burke, who on Monday ordered what is known as assisted outpatient treatment. Tim’s Law is named for Tim Morton, a Lexington man with schizophrenia whose family was unable to force him to undergo treatment and who died in 2014 at age 56 from neglected health problems. 2019-02-04T12:31:06-05:00

Murder, deception and revenge: The fall of a Louisville drug ring

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
On a frosty winter afternoon, a gunman stepped out of a getaway car and crept beside a maroon Chevy pickup, raised his arm and fired. Again and again. Vicente Rodriguez Ramirez, struck by several bullets, stomped on the gas pedal and sped toward a Valero gas station in southern Jefferson County to find help. But he crashed in the parking lot and never got out. The 24-year-old's murder on Jan. 20, 2018, is now the linchpin of a federal investigation that could topple a large-scale drug-trafficking organization blamed for pumping millions of dollars' worth of heroin, cocaine and meth into the Louisville area. 2019-02-04T12:22:46-05:00

Papa John’s finds partner to invest $200 million

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Papa John’s International and Starboard Value, a New York investment adviser, have sealed a deal that will give the Louisville-based pizza chain a minimum of a $200 million cash infusion and the firm a seat on Papa John’s board of directors, the company announced Monday morning. 2019-02-04T12:20:18-05:00

City takes action against Lexington bar that allegedly served wrong-way driver in DUI crash

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Lexington city regulators have taken the first step toward punishing a bar accused of serving alcohol to a man who drove drunk earlier this month, causing a crash that killed himself and five members of a Michigan family. Horseshoes Kentucky Grill & Saloon, at 1987 North Broadway, was issued a show cause order Thursday by the Lexington Alcoholic Beverage Control Office, which alleges the bar sold alcoholic beverages to a patron who was under the influence. Joey Lee Bailey, 41, of Georgetown, had apparently been drinking at Horseshoes and another bar outside Lexington before he got on Interstate 75 driving south in the northbound lanes, the city’s police department said in a news release. 2019-02-04T12:11:02-05:00

Reality TV’s ‘Banjo Man’ Neal James, friend of ‘Turtleman,’ dies in Kentucky

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
Neal James, better known as “The Banjo Man” and friend of “The Turtleman” on Animal Planet’s “The Call of the Wildman” died Friday, according to the Washington County coroner. James, 55, died at the Isaiah House in Willisburg, where he had been helping people battling substance abuse, according to Coroner Len Benedict. Prior to his death, James has been in and out of the hospital with cardiac issues, Benedict said. Originally from Stanford, James died from natural causes, according to the coroner. 2019-02-04T12:04:02-05:00

Snow days can mean no food for many Kentucky students. One county solves that.

February 4, 2019 - 2:27pm
When many public school systems in the state were closed for snow days Jan. 30 and 31, Letcher County Schools Food Service Director Nancy Banks opened West Whitesburg Elementary to provide food. She decided to serve students free lunches on both days and free breakfast on Thursday in Whitesburg in southeastern Kentucky. The students’ families could eat for $3.50. With one in five Kentucky children not having enough to eat at home, many school staffs in the state are taking steps to feed them beyond breakfast and lunch and beyond days when schools are open. 2019-02-04T11:56:52-05:00

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