Eleanor Klibanoff

Screenshot courtesy KET

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Friday that he has reinstated the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, which former Governor Matt Bevin abolished in July 2018.

“This is just one step that we are going to take to make sure that when our Kentuckians leave their family in the morning and head to work, it’s in the safest environment possible and that they know that they’ve got a state government that is looking out for their safety,” Beshear told KyCIR.

J. Tyler Franklin

More than a year after a deadline has passed to process all rape kits within 90 days, the Kentucky State Police forensic laboratory is averaging a wait of 215 days.

That number has diminished only slightly since the end of 2018, when rape kits were taking an average of 220 days to process. Advocates and researchers say it is unlikely the lab will meet next summer’s legislature-imposed benchmark requiring all rape kits to be processed within 60 days. 

A KSP spokesperson declined to make the director of the lab available for an interview. But in an emailed statement, news stories and public reports, agency officials have blamed the delays on a number of factors. 

J. Tyler Franklin

When a woman walked into Baptist Health’s hospital in suburban Louisville last year and said she’d been raped, the hospital did what they usually did: started calling around to see if there was another hospital they could send her to.

Since Baptist Health didn’t have a trained sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) available, nursing director Denise Carter said the woman would need to go to another hospital to get a forensic sexual assault exam.

“Just to see the trauma and how distraught she was, and then to have to say, ‘I’m sorry, we have to send you to another hospital in the community,’ it just felt really wrong,” Carter said.

Kentucky Labor Cabinet

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet has announced plans to increase salaries, provide more training and buy more equipment for its occupational safety and health compliance officers.

The changes come on the heels of an investigative series by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ohio Valley ReSource and the Center for Public Integrity, which first publicly revealed the state’s program was under serious federal scrutiny.

Michelle Hanks

Kentucky’s occupational safety and health program has “a number of unacceptable issues” that are under internal review, according to Acting Labor Secretary David Dickerson.

Dickerson wrote in an op-ed published Tuesday in the Lexington Herald-Leader that the “hard work of turning the program around is well underway” after the agency received a critical federal audit last year.

The federal report was first publicized in November as part of Fatal Flaws, a special investigation by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, the Ohio Valley ReSource and the Center for Public Integrity.

On what would have been her 43rd wedding anniversary, Lisa Hobbs stood in the front yard of Camp Pius, the farm handed down through her husband's family for generations. She watched as the very same dump truck that killed her husband rolled down her country lane.

In December 2016, Pius "Gene" Hobbs was raking gravel with the Meade County public works crew when a dump truck backed over him. The driver then accelerated forward, hitting him a second time. Hobbs was crushed to death.

Michelle Hanks

While most of the Meade County public works crew finished their lunches, Pius “Gene” Hobbs was raking along the edge of the road, oblivious to the dump truck backing quickly towards him. 

Unbeknownst to the driver, Hobbs was knocked to the ground and crushed under the truck’s weight. When the truck accelerated forward, Hobbs’ coworker ran him over a second time. He was killed on impact. 

The only eyewitness to the December 2016 incident, a bystander named Greg Turner, said that he didn’t hear a backup beeper on the truck as it reversed. Maybe Hobbs hadn’t either. 


Public Domain

The Kentucky Labor Cabinet on Monday complied with a judge’s order to publicly name an employee who was accused of sexual harassment, but cleared by an internal investigation.

Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled this month that names of employees accused of sexual harassment should be public regardless of whether the claim was proven, and ordered the cabinet to provide the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting with the name it previously withheld.The cabinet sued KyCIR in April to keep the names of employees secret, if the allegations weren’t substantiated.

Wikimedia Commons

If your doctor, social worker or therapist has violated professional standards, you have a right to that information under the open records law. But that could change under a bill before the state Senate.

The purpose of the 269-page bill is a reorganization of Kentucky’s licensing boards. But the bill also includes new language allowing discipline to be meted out via “a public reprimand or private letter of admonishment.”

You are in a foreign country. And things are certainly looking a bit foreign.

Do you sit or squat? Can you toss toilet paper down the bowl or hole?

Let the signs guide you.

That is, if you can understand them.

Doug Lansky, author of the Signspotting series of books, knows how toilet etiquette signs can be mysterious, misleading and hilarious. His books include all types of funny warning and advice signs, but the topic of toilets is especially popular.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On the day before President Trump's inauguration, the outgoing Obama administration passed a last-minute directive banning the use of lead ammunition and fishing sinkers on federal land.

Recently, the deteriorating health of a bald eagle showed the effects of lead poisoning. Obama's regulation is intended to protect wildlife from exactly that.

But hunters are hoping Trump will soon overturn it.

Last week, an officer from the Pennsylvania Game Commission brought a bald eagle to the Carbon County Environmental Education Center in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Once the largest U.S. rail company, the Pennsylvania Railroad ceased operations nearly half a century ago. But volunteers are researching and protecting that history at the station in Lewiston, Pa.

Eleanor Klibanoff is a reporter for Keystone Crossroads, a statewide public media initiative reporting on the challenges facing Pennsylvania cities.

The U.S Advisory Council on Human Trafficking issued its first-ever report on Tuesday. This group was founded last year when President Obama appointed 11 people, all of whom are survivors of human trafficking themselves, to run the council.

Two weeks ago, Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti hard, devastating the southern end of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

It's hard to look at the photos coming out of Haiti and not be moved to action. But if you're thinking now is the time to hop on a plane and get involved in disaster relief work, groups working on the ground have one piece of advice: pump the brakes.

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