A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Chief Justice John Minton orders Administrative Office of the Courts to undergo biennial audits

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., with the concurrence of the other justices, has ordered the Administrative Office of the Courts to undergo an external audit every other year. 
The order, issued on Monday, calls for the biennial audits to begin with the 2020 fiscal year, which starts July 1, and to make the audit findings public. 
The order also...

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission awards $14.2 million from state’s Breeder’s Incentive Fund in 2018

The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) has announced payment of more than $14.2 million in breeder awards from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Breeders’ Incentive Fund (KTBIF). Kentucky-bred horses won over 4,000 races across the globe in 2018, which made breeders eligible for these incentive payments. KTBIF horses won in 33 states and four countries – including the Kentucky Derby. “As the Thoroughbred...

Kim Moser’s tobacco-free schools bill hits a snag, but prospects still appear favorable

By Melissa Patrick Kentucky Health News The bill to get tobacco out of all Kentucky schools has hit a snag. House Bill 11 passed unanimously out of the House Health and Family Services Committee Feb. 7 and was put on the consent calendar, for bills to pass without debate. It was moved to the regular orders, a switch that required signatures of three lawmakers. Rep. Lynn Bechler, R-Marion, said he...

Students should take FAFSA verification seriously; process is crucial to financial aid approval

The federal government requires many students who submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to verify the information on the FAFSA. The students are chosen by the U.S. Department of Education. Used to apply for most federal and many state student aid programs, the FAFSA asks detailed questions about the income and resources of students. Parents are required to provide their information...

Kentucky First Lady Glenna Bevin announces launch of 2019 Kentucky Derby Poster contest

First Lady Glenna Bevin has announced the launch of the 2019 Kentucky Derby Poster Contest for high school students in the Commonwealth. The contest is open to students in grades 9-12 across Kentucky who are invited to create the official Governor’s Derby Poster, to be displayed in the State Capitol for years to come. The theme is: “What does Derby Day look like to you?” “Matt and I are strong...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: A look back at the tackle and techniques of America’s early black bass anglers

Bass anglers today have a staggering array of tackle readily available. There’s a rod, reel, and line for every lure presentation. Casting reels, spinning reels, light, sensitive graphite rods of any length and action, and thin diameter, high-test fishing lines so clear that they literally disappear in water, can be purchased off store shelves and online. What is really amazing, is the number, and...

Bipartisan group of House, Senate members form ‘Engage and Empower’ caucus for disability causes

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A bipartisan group of House and Senate members has formed the Engage and Empower Caucus to deal with issues facing the estimated 874,000 Kentuckians who have some form of disability. 
Rep. Al Gentry, D-Louisville, says he came up with the idea because there are 39 million disabled people in the country, including 30 percent of Kentuckians, 11 percent of whom receive some...

Eastern Ky. superintendents advance education a catalyst for economic and community revitalization

By Ron Daley and John White Special to NKyTribune More than 20 superintendents and the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) presented a “call-to-action” position paper to state leaders February 12 urging them to support a set of research-based solutions and policy recommendations in order to better serve disadvantaged rural students and improve the regional economy. Citing dramatic worsening...

Kentucky’s cattle are taking a hit from the wettest year on record, show signs of stress

By Aimee Nielson University of Kentucky 2018 was Kentucky’s wettest year on record, and the new year seems to be more of the same. This means most livestock producers are dealing with less than ideal conditions, and cattle are showing signs of stress. “It is important to understand this winter has been relatively easy temperature-wise but difficult for cattle in Kentucky,” said Michelle Arnold,...

Baby Tamandua (lesser anteater) at Cincinnati Zoo gets a name — Mani, Spanish for ‘peanut’

The baby tamandua born December 20, 2018, at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has a name!  The pup, sex yet to be determined, will be called “Mani.” Baby Mani (Zoo photo provided) “We wanted to give the pup a Spanish name since Tamanduas are primarily from Spanish speaking countries and both of its parents have Spanish names. We chose the name Mani, which means “peanut,” because...

Kentucky Supreme Court Justices hear agruments on constitutionality of ‘Marsy’s Law’ ballot language

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The Kentucky Supreme Court will decide whether the ballot language for a proposed Constitutional Amendment regarding crime victims’ rights was constitutional after hearing oral arguments on Friday. 
Sixty-three percent of the voters approved the measure last November, but Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas Wingate ordered the results not to be certified by the State Board...

Spending by lobbyists in last year’s legislative session hit all-time $23.1 million high

Kentucky lobbying spending hit an all-time high of $23.1 million last year, blasting past the previous high of $20.8 million set the year before. The record spending was a ten percent increase over the previous year, and was driven by 731 lobbying businesses and organizations, the most ever registered in Kentucky. Top spender In 2018, 590 lobbyists were paid $20.4 million in compensation, which was...

Rep. Adam Koenig files legislation (HB 175) to fully legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth

Representative Adam Koenig of Erlanger has filed legislation that would fully legalize sports wagering in the Commonwealth in light of last year’s Supreme Court decision allowing states to legalize the practice.   House Bill 175 would legalize sports betting, online poker and fantasy sports. The measure includes betting on both professional and collegiate sports, with an exception for schools within...

Art Lander’s Outdoors: Evaluating Kentucky’s crappie populations, creel limits and regulations

Editor’s Note: This is the third and final article in the three-part series on crappie fishing in Kentucky. Fishery biologists have three ways of evaluating crappie fisheries to gain a better understanding of catch rates, crappie reproductive success and population trends. Creel surveys, which are usually conducted from March through October, provide angler input. Creel clerks talk with anglers...

Auditor’s reports says Kentucky’s debt amounts to more than $12,200 per person

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A report from State Auditor Mike Harmon finds Kentucky’s total debt equates to more than $12,200 for every man, woman and child in the state. 
The report, known as a data bulletin report, determined the debt, as of June 30, 2018, totals $54,615,409,616.  Of that, the vast majority, more than $43 billion, is unfunded public pension and insurance liabilities.  The...