Ellis Park

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission approved the sale of Ellis Park racetrack on June 18, the second time in one year the Henderson facility has had new ownership. 

The new owner of the Henderson racetrack is Ellis Entertainment, a subsidiary of Laguna Development Corporation, based in Albequerque, New Mexico. Laguna Development is owned by the Laguna Pueblo tribe and operates hotels, casinos and highway travel centers.

Ellis Entertainment purchased the park from the Saratoga Casino and Hospitality Group for $11 million.


McConnell on Reparations for Slavery: Not a 'Good Idea'

12 hours ago
J. Tyler Franklin

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday rejected reparations for slavery in part because it would be hard to know whom to pay.

The Kentucky Republican spoke to reporters on the eve of a rare House hearing on what compensation, if any, the U.S. might owe for the economic and other damage done by slavery. The session Wednesday before a Democratic-led subcommittee is Congress' first on the issue in years.

Ryan Van Velzer

A green darner dragonfly buzzes over the waters emanating from the base of the knobs in the Cedar Grove wildlife corridor.

Above the spring, a millipede trudges over a mossy log teeming with mushrooms. A few feet away, in the loamy soil of the hillside, Bernheim Arboretum’s Conservation Director Andrew Berry points to the spot where they found a rare cave snail.

Then he dips his fingers into the creek.

“This water is coming out of an aquifer. You can feel it and feel how cold it is,” Berry said.


Flickr/Creative Commons/John Bratseth

An annual report measuring the health and well-being of Kentucky children shows progress in nine categories, including the number of children without health insurance, children living in poverty and children whose parents lack secure employment. But the state still lags behind the nation in these areas, including in the rate of teen births, and children living in single-parent families.

According to the annual Kids Count Data Book, the rate of children living in poverty in Kentucky is higher than the national average: about 22 percent of Kentucky kids lived below the federal poverty line in 2017. That’s compared to a nationwide average of about 18 percent. The federal poverty level in 2017 was $20,420.

J. Tyler Franklin

The drama between Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Gov. Matt Bevin continues following the firing of one of her staffers at the hands of the Bevin administration.

Hampton issued a statement on Tuesday saying Bevin’s chief of staff Blake Brickman “clearly overstepped his boundaries” when he fired her deputy chief of staff last month.

“Every Kentuckian should be concerned that an unelected bureaucrat appears to have power over the office of the Lieutenant Governor,” Hampton wrote in the statement. “I am perplexed by the vacuous decision to deprive an active, productive Lieutenant Governor of her staff.”

Webster County

The new Webster County Senior Center opens June 19 and will offer expanded services to elders in the community.

The new senior center in the town of Dixon is housed in the buildling previously used by the county ambulance service.

The completely renovated facility now includes a kitchen, community meeting rooms, exercise areas and space for crafts and other activities.

"This will be a chance for our county to show appreciation for those residents who have spent their lives making Webster County the place it is today, " said Judge Executive Steve Henry.

Owensboro Public Schools

Educators from Owensboro and Daviess County public schools are spearheading a new statewide organization to expand classroom instruction for English language learners. 

The new group is called the Kentucky Coalition for English Learners. The first conference was held June 10 and 11 at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville and  drew 250 educators. 

One of the organizers of the coalition is Matthew Constant, chief academic officer for Owensboro Public Schools. 

"The majority of people, and this was our target audience, were general education teachers," said Constant. "We have specialized English learner teachers that are trained in college to deliver specialized instruction, but many of our English learner students are in regular classrooms the majority of the day.”


Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says one of his "highest priorities" is to take on the leading cause of preventable death in the United States: smoking.

McConnell has sponsored a bill, along with Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, that would increase the tobacco purchase age from 18 to 21.

J. Tyler Franklin

The political action committee for the Kentucky Education Association, the state’s teachers’ union and largest educator member organization, has unanimously endorsed Democrat Andy Beshear for governor.

All 24 members of the committee voted for Beshear over Republican Governor Matt Bevin.

“Bevin has proven he is a failed governor who has been unable to even work with representatives from his own party. Kentucky can’t afford another four years of his incompetence,” KEA president Eddie Campbell said in a press release.

WFPL

  Even though most of Gov. Matt Bevin’s proposed changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid system are still locked in a court battle, treatment for drug addiction will be expanded under the program starting July 1.

Kentuckians on Medicaid are currently eligible for some substance use disorder treatment, but the expansion will include coverage for methadone, an addiction medication not previously covered by Medicaid, and up to 30 days at a residential drug treatment facility.

Carol Steckel, commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Medicaid Services, says the program will assist the state’s fight against the opioid crisis and other substance addictions.

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LRS Live Replay: Nikki Lane, Howlin' Brothers & Leslie Weiler Meng

The season finale of Lost River Sessions LIVE featured Nikki Lane, a Nashville singer-songwriter who blends country, rock and blues. Mike LoPinto played alongside Lane on guitar and she was also joined for part of her set by The Howlin' Brothers and Leslie Weiler Meng.

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