Lead Stories

Environment
4:50 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

First Lady Jane Beshear Seeks Applicants for the 2015 Commonwealth Garden Initiative

Providence Commonwealth Garden Planting 2014
Credit Ky. Governor's Garden, Flickr

The Governor's Garden program began in 2009, inspired by the 'victory garden' at the White House, as a way to encourage people to go back to Kentucky's roots as an agricultural state by growing their own gardens and eating healthier food. For the second year, First Lady Jane Beshear is opening up the Commonwealth Garden Initiative to selected schools, churches, parks and social organizations who are interested in beginning their own community gardens. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with Beshear about how to sign up for the initiative and how it provides a means for an organization to give back to its community.

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Environment
4:12 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

First of 61 Concrete Monoliths Completed at New Kentucky Dam Lock

The first of 61 concrete monoliths that will make up the new lock's walls.
Credit John Null/WKMS

A major milestone was achieved Wednesday in the completion of a new navigational lock at the Kentucky Dam.

Crews finished work on the first of 61 massive concrete monoliths that will make up the walls of the lock. Once completed, the new lock will free up the bottleneck in traffic on the Tennessee River.

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Health
3:47 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Supercenters, Warehouses May Affect Obesity Rates

A new study says economic factors such as the concentration of major grocery stores and restaurants may explain the rise in obesity. 

University of Louisville researcher Josh Pinkston helped compile data  examining 27 variables that impact body mass index.

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Business
3:30 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Eighteen Months Later, Planned Murray Hotel Remains an Empty Lot

Credit Murray Convention Visitors Bureau

A hotel originally scheduled to open in Murray this month remains a vacant lot with a sign announcing the planned Springhill Suites.

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Arts
2:31 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Paducah's Yeiser Art Center Names New Executive Director

Credit Yeiser Art Center

The Yeiser Art Center has a new executive director after a two-month search. Lindsey Maestri is taking the position after Josh White resigned from the post in November.

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Government
2:20 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Beshear Reacts to Kentucky Legislative Research Commission Audit

Credit Legislative Research Commission

A performance audit of the Legislative Research Commission has blamed poor staff morale on outdated management practices, a lack of communication and decision-making that isn't transparent.

Governor Steve Beshear says a draft report shows a need for reforms.

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Politics
12:52 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

State Rep Richard Heath on Running for Kentucky Ag Commissioner

Credit http://www.lrc.ky.gov

Kentucky’s 2nd District State Rep Richard Heath of Graves County is the third candidate to enter the race for state agriculture commissioner.

His filing this week creates a GOP primary battle against Rep. Ryan Quarles from Georgetown.  

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Arts
12:44 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Trahern Gallery Explores Sound as Art in Interactive Exhibit

Dickins and Jones in the "Sound" exhibit
Credit Austin Peay State University

Whether listening to public radio or walking down the street, we're surrounded by sound in our daily experience, but to sit and pay attention to a different kind of sound or to be introduced to a new sound in a familiar environment can be both calming and unnerving. On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte speaks with Michael Dickins, Gallery Director of Austin Peay State University's Trahern Gallery about an "Sound," which features artists from around the nation experimenting with sound as art in an interactive exhibit open through February 6.

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Government
12:17 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Report Gives Kentucky Low Marks in Teacher Pension Policy

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 10:24 am

Kentucky’s teacher pension policies are receiving near-failing grades in a new report.

The National Council of Teacher Quality gives the pension plan a D-, and points out that 48-percent of the Kentucky Teacher Retirement System consists of unfunded liabilities.

Council Vice President Sandi Jacobs says the vast majority of taxpayer funds going into the system isn’t being invested in the future retirement of current employees.

“Only 23 cents on the dollar—less than the national average—is going towards the cost of the system. About 77 cents are going toward the debt.”

KTRS currently has over $13 billion in unfunded liabilities. The state budget passed by lawmakers last year provided about half the money needed to bring KTRS into the black.

Jacobs says her group also considers the system’s five-year vesting period a negative feature.

“If you leave before five years you’re not eligible for future benefits. That’s a long time to wait.”

You can see the NCTQ’s report card on Kentucky’s teacher pension policy here.

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Business
10:35 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Warehouse Cleanup Finished, Work Continues on Clearing Soil Contamination

Credit Dylan Nichols / LATA Kentucky

LATA Environmental Services has finished cleanup at a warehouse at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant as the Department of Energy prepares to decommission the site.

The nearly 29,000 square foot space held equipment and materials from the facility. The cleanup project began in May 2014 and was accelerated after receiving additional federal funds early last year.

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