Ryland Barton

In a major blow to Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration and the Republican-led legislature, the Supreme Court of Kentucky has upheld a ruling that struck down changes to the state’s pension system that passed into law earlier this year.

The pension law was challenged by Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear, who argued that the changes violated state workers’ contract rights and that lawmakers had illegally rushed the bill to passage.

Like a lower court that ruled against the law over the summer, the Supreme Court did not weigh in on whether the specific alterations to the pension system were legal, but rather ruled that the manner in which legislators passed the bill violated the state Constitution.

Colin Jackson

Kayden is an energetic five year old—though he’ll tell you he’s actually five-and-a-half. He lives in Russellville with his sister, Kaleigh, their grandmother, and her husband.

Kayden and Kaleigh are just two of the estimated 96,000 Kentucky kids living with a non-parental relative or a close-family friend--known as “fictive kin”--in the last three years. The KIDS COUNT Data Center estimates nine percent of Kentucky children has been under kinship or fictive care since 2016.

The two went to live with their grandmother, Kim Guffy, four years ago after an emergency protective order violation.


U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is applauding a decision by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring criminal justice reform to a vote by the end of the year. 

The First Step Act provides the most sweeping reforms to sentencing laws since the 1990s, including reduced prison terms for non-violent drug offenders.  Supporters of the measure say it will give judges more discretion around mandatory minimum sentences and will help reduce recidivism.

Kentucky LRC

A Kentucky Democrat elected to the state House of Representatives by one vote says a Republican's challenge of the election results should be dismissed.

Jim Glenn defeated Republican state Rep. DJ Johnson by one vote in state House District 13. Johnson is challenging the results, asking the Republican-controlled House of Representatives for a recount. He says six voters are ineligible because they did not sign the precinct voter roster. He argues local officials incorrectly rejected 17 absentee ballots.

Facing Pressure, McConnell Agrees to Criminal Justice Vote

Dec 11, 2018
NPR

Under pressure from President Donald Trump and many of his Republican colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he will bring legislation to the floor to overhaul the nation's sentencing laws.

McConnell's decision comes after more than three years of overtures from a large, bipartisan group of senators who support the criminal justice bill, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and House Speaker Paul Ryan. Trump announced his support for the legislation last month, but McConnell treaded cautiously, as a handful of members in his caucus voiced concerns that it would be too soft on violent criminals.

Rhonda J. Miller

A program called ‘Bingocize’ created by Western Kentucky University Associate Professor of Exercise Science Jason Crandall has received approval from the National Council on Aging for use in helping older adults prevent falls. Bingocize takes advantage of bingo's popularity with older adults to intergrate exercise and health education into the game. 

Bingocize has been approved for inclusion in the Evidence-Based Falls Prevention Program of the U.S. Administration for Community Living. The approval received by WKU on Dec. 10 makes Bingocize eligible for funding under the Title III-D program of the Older Americans Act, which supports healthy lifestyles and promotes healthy behaviors for adults 60 and over.


Ryland Barton

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the Trump Administration’s latest regulatory rollback for coal-fired power plants will benefit Kentucky families — despite the government’s own analysis showing it will have little to no impact.

Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency moved forward with plans to raise the limits on the amount of carbon dioxide new and reconstructed coal-fired power plants can emit. The EPA’s rollback will change Obama-era restrictions so that new coal plants can emit an extra 500 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour.

Ryland Barton

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear says he will donate more than $14,000 from his 2015 campaign account to compensate for contributions associated with a former top aide who admitted to taking bribes.

Beshear, a Democrat, promised to donate the funds more than two years ago, but said he was waiting for campaign finance officials to complete a routine audit of his account.

During a news conference on Monday, Beshear said the audit is complete and he will be donating the remaining balance of his campaign account–$14,302.79–to Common Cause, an ethics watchdog group

vaping360.com

While youth cigarette smoking has steadily declined in Kentucky, health advocates are sounding the alarm on next generation tobacco. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaping among high school students nationwide has increased 78 percent in the past year alone, putting a new generation at risk of nicotine addiction. 

Flickr/Creative Commons/401kcalculator.org

A new report says one-third of the more than $9 billion in announced investments for Kentucky last year wasn’t attached to any new jobs. The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development said the state gave away more than $361 million in tax incentives in 2017.  

According to the report from the left-leaning Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, the state no longer releases a report listing facilities that closed in the state, making it difficult to determine how many net new jobs were created.

The report identified 1,209 jobs associated with Toyota’s $1.33 billion investment in 2017. But multiple news stories indicate no new jobs were connected to this investment, and the state’s Cabinet for economic development granted $43.5 million in tax breaks for the project.

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LRS Live Replay: The Local Honeys & Barren River Ramblers

It as an evening of old time music on Nov. 10 when two Kentucky groups - The Local Honeys and Barren River Ramblers took the stage at The Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green for Lost River Sessions LIVE.

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