Kentucky Press News Service

Vaporizing Kentucky legislature sold out public health and tobacco farmers this time

June 18, 2018 - 2:33pm
When the Kentucky legislature sells out public health, we often blame loyalty to tobacco farmers. But this year the legislature sold out farmers too. On July 1, Kentucky's excise tax on cigarettes will rise by 50 cents a pack. The excise tax on electronic cigarettes will remain the same: Zero. This is a win for tobacco giant Altria, which outspent everyone lobbying the legislature this year, and its spinoff Philip Morris International, which has ambitious plans to replace cigarettes with safer "smoke-free products." Cigarette makers are reinventing themselves as purveyors of no-burn nicotine-delivery devices, which require very little tobacco to manufacture. If PMI achieves its "future beyond cigarettes," tobacco farming's already dim future will be even dimmer. 2018-06-18T13:01:55-04:00

Has Mitch McConnell given in to President Trump to save poll ratings?

June 18, 2018 - 2:33pm
Mitch McConnell made history Tuesday when he became the U.S. Senate’s longest-serving Republican leader. But the Kentuckian’s ultimate place in history is likely to be determined by how he deals with President Trump, who continues to make history of the dubious kind. When McConnell became leader in 2006, Republican foreign policy was pretty much what it had been since World War II - for internationalism, free trade and taking on tyrants. Today, McConnell and other party leaders stand by as Trump assaults the world order, imposing bogus tariffs on our closest allies, disparaging them in language once reserved for our enemies and doubling down on his praise for brutal dictators. McConnell, for the time being at least, has capitulated. 2018-06-18T12:50:40-04:00

Five charged in theft of weapons to appear in court

June 18, 2018 - 2:33pm
Five people charged in the burglary of storage buildings that held firearms and other items are set to appear in court Monday. A Warren County grand jury indicted William Christopher Hagan, 32, Michael Scott House, 35, Scott Mitchell Johnson, 36, Mariah Shea Montgomery, 34, and Bryan Craig Wilkins, 29, on numerous criminal counts. The five defendants, all of Bowling Green, are charged in an April 24 incident at Bowling Green Self-Storage where the owner reported four storage units had been forced open by a burglar who cut the locks on the doors. 2018-06-18T12:26:34-04:00

WKU regents will consider 4 percent tuition hike, operating budget Friday

June 18, 2018 - 2:33pm
Western Kentucky University students will have to shell out more tuition dollars if the university’s Board of Regents approves a proposed 4 percent increase Friday. A proposed tuition and fees schedule said the rate for resident undergraduate students would increase from $5,101 to $5,301 per semester. The rate for nonresident undergraduate students would rise from $12,756 to $13,248. 2018-06-18T12:18:55-04:00

Multi-county economic development organization created by Lewis County businessman

June 18, 2018 - 2:33pm
Sam Howard has jump-started an organization aimed at attracting industry and employers to Northeast Kentucky, a dream he had before contracting an illness that paralyzed his body. Howard, a lifelong Lewis County resident, was the founder of Trace Creek Construction, a successful local contractor and remains as its CEO. "Rural Kentucky is a diamond in plain view but still hidden from sight. I have decided to help fix that problem in Northeast Kentucky," Howard said. "By attracting companies to our region, the AA Highway will come to be known as the Automotive and Aerospace Highway," Howard said. 2018-06-18T12:06:51-04:00

Officials look for alternatives to arming Kentucky teachers

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
The idea of arming Kentucky’s public school teachers with guns was largely rejected this week by lawmakers and experts discussing how to keep students safe in the aftermath of a January shooting at Marshall County High School that killed two teens and injured about two dozen others. An estimated 294 threats of school violence statewide followed the shooting, leading to student arrests, canceled classes, and demands for action. Lawmakers are about six months away from making recommendations, but some themes emerged at a first round of legislative meetings on school safety. 2018-06-18T10:47:48-04:00

Murder trial called off again

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
Murder suspect Lonnie Martin was supposed to start his trial Monday for the death of a Winchester woman in 2013. Montgomery Circuit Court officials said Friday the trial was not going to begin Monday as scheduled. Instead, Martin will be in Montgomery Circuit Court Friday afternoon for a status hearing. Martin, 44, of Stanton, is charged with stabbing Winchester resident Kyla Kline to death five years ago and burying her body on a Montgomery County farm. Martin’s Montgomery County case has been continued a number of times for multiple reasons including waiting for evidence to be tested, the lead prosecutor resigning her job and Martin’s own attorney retiring. 2018-06-18T10:00:32-04:00

Carroll files new bill on sports wagering

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
Kentucky Sen. Julian M. Carroll, D-Frankfort, filed legislation Friday to set the framework to allow any horse racing track or off-track wagering facility to offer sports wagering. The legislation is essentially the same bill that was filed last year in anticipation of the United States Supreme Court decision issued earlier this month. The ruling found the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, commonly known as PASPA, to be unconstitutional. PASPA, a federal law, prohibited sports wagering nationwide while excluding a few states. 2018-06-18T09:20:34-04:00

Batteries not included: Local toy maker uses talent to spread joy

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
Randall Lytle, of Beaver Dam, estimates that he has made more than 100,000 wooden toys and tools since the 1960s. While he said that he’s saving some of his creations for his grandchildren and family, he has given many away to children in Ohio County. Born in Owensboro, Lytle, 84, spent about 35 years as a lock operator and was able to retire at 55. While he and his wife were attending the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival in Indiana, Lytle says that he met some men who were making toys. Lytle, who has always been talented at woodworking and craftsmanship, decided that he would start experimenting. 2018-06-18T09:16:33-04:00

Get ready for an 'above normal' heat wave Monday

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
Summer is here with a vengeance. Central Kentucky will be swimming in sweat on Monday, with an anticipated high around 94 degrees and a heat index — what it really feels like with all that Southern humidity — that will peak around 100 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Louisville. It should reach the mid to high 90s by early afternoon. 2018-06-18T09:09:31-04:00

Cards vs. Cats: How U of L and UK measure up off the court

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
The University of Louisville's eternal rivalry with the University of Kentucky fuels endless debates over the caliber of their sports teams, but how do they compare off the court? Colleges compete in the classroom too, and Kentucky's state government is starting to base its decisions about how to fund higher education in part on the performance of these public institutions. Here's how the school you love (and the one you love to hate) stack up outside athletics. 2018-06-18T09:05:17-04:00

Their 5-year-old was killed in plastic bag, buried. Could they leave their Kentucky prisons?

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
A now estranged couple sentenced to life for murdering their 5-year-old daughter and hiding her body in a Meade County park could walk out of their Kentucky prisons if a parole board approves. Thomas Suleski and his ex-wife Roxanne Suleski, formerly of Radcliff in Hardin County, have been in prison since 1994 for their roles in the murder, burial and later disposal of 5-year-old Alex Suleski. They were married when the girl died. The case drew national attention and a widely-publicized multistate search. The remains of Alex's body have never been found. 2018-06-18T08:55:35-04:00

Will trade tariffs flatten Kentucky's bourbon boom? 'We're going to suffer'

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
All over Kentucky, you hear the same thing at almost every distillery: hammering. The state's signature bourbon industry is building like never before, adding distilling capacity and warehouses to age whiskey. The new capital investments topped $1.5 billion in 2016 with no end in sight. Will trade tariffs from the European Union, Canada and other countries become a roadblock for bourbon? It's hard to say. 2018-06-18T08:46:27-04:00

With bourbon on the line in Trump's trade war, how do Barr, McGrath respond?

June 18, 2018 - 11:32am
When U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington first won his seat in 2012, he made heavy use of a signature industry of the region: coal. Now, as Barr fends off his strongest Democratic challenger yet, another signature industry in the district is under threat: bourbon. After President Donald Trump imposed tariffs on foreign aluminum and steel, a bevy of countries responded with their own tariffs. On the list of exports being taxed: American whiskey. 2018-06-18T08:42:23-04:00

Franklin County eases restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales

June 18, 2018 - 8:32am
As early as next month, Franklin County will ease restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales. Members of the Franklin County Fiscal Court voted 3-1 on Friday to allow licensed businesses to sell alcohol — both by the package and by the drink — on Sundays starting at 11 a.m. The amendment comes amid a push by business group Downtown Frankfort Inc. DFI has called on local elected officials to lift restrictions on Sunday alcohol sales and lobbied the Chamber of Commerce and economic development board to do the same. 2018-06-18T08:23:04-04:00

WKU shakes up leadership after five deans leave posts

June 18, 2018 - 8:32am
After the departure of five college deans this year, Western Kentucky University is shaking up its leadership. When university spokesman Bob Skipper was asked if new WKU President Timothy Caboni is cleaning house, his answer was a straight “no.” Provost David Lee echoed that sentiment, adding that turnover is common with dean positions. 2018-06-18T08:16:46-04:00

WKU men's golf coach Hatchett dies in cycling accident

June 18, 2018 - 8:32am
Western Kentucky men’s golf coach Phillip Hatchett was killed early Sunday morning after being struck by a vehicle while riding his bicycle with other cyclists. He was 55. Hatchett, a 1985 graduate of WKU and four-year letterman for the men’s golf program, spent eight seasons as head coach of the program and led a resurgence in recent years since taking over in 2010. 2018-06-18T08:12:55-04:00

Fire departments making changes to mitigate firefighters' cancer risk

June 17, 2018 - 11:32am
Fire departments have always tried to reduce the on-the-job risks to firefighters by adding and improving protective gear, providing training on advances in the fire sciences and investing in lifesaving devices such as alarms that sound when a firefighter hasn't moved for more than 20 seconds. The risk of breathing in toxins from fire smoke was mitigated when firefighters started using air packs. But changes in how homes are built, and how people furnish them, has greatly increased the risk of firefighters being exposed to carcinogens, and not just by breathing in fumes. 2018-06-17T10:31:49-04:00

Pike man charged with shooting brother for second time in one year

June 17, 2018 - 11:32am
A Pike County man who previously pleaded guilty to shooting his brother last June is back in police custody after, Kentucky State Police say, he shot his brother again Thursday. According to a statement from KSP, troopers responded to a reported shooting in the Peter Fork area of McCarr around noon on Thursday. Callers reported the victim, Darrell Kevin Adkins, had been shot by his brother, David L. Adkins, 43, the statement said. Kevin Adkins was taken to a local hospital in a private vehicle, KSP said. 2018-06-17T10:27:15-04:00

'25 Again' doctor’s license on the line in attack on hormone therapy

June 17, 2018 - 11:32am
Its ads are slapped over every urinal in the KFC Yum Center, and inside the stalls of every women’s restroom. Its commercials on sports talk radio promise you'll “Look younger, become healthier and feel 25 Again." The pitch has been so successful that Body Shapes Medical, which has eight locations serving as many as 4,000 patients in Louisville, Lexington, Cincinnati and Southern Indiana, has changed its name to just that — “25 Again.” Patients swear by it — and by its medical director, Dr. Elizabeth Veeneman Bates. But the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure could revoke Bates' license or permanently bar her from practicing hormone medicine. It says her practice of so-called “hormone optimization therapy” — giving thyroid and testosterone to people with normal levels of both, to make them feel better — violates acceptable and prevailing standards of medicine. 2018-06-17T10:19:16-04:00

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