Stu Johnson (KPR)

Kentucky Public Radio Correspondent

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.

stu.johnson@eku.edu

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Business
4:17 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

More Truckers on Kentucky Roads

Nicer weather has a few more truckers traveling Kentucky’s interstates.  Overall, the trucking industry remains flat, but the head of the Kentucky Motor Transportation Association says recent figures are promising.  Jamie Fiepke says trucking tends to decline in November and pick up in March.

“From that point forward, that’s when you really start seeing the industry pick up, especially in a good economy, you’ll see it really take off and you’ll see truck everywhere.  And you’re gonna see more and more trucks,” said Fiepke.

Given such demand, he says finding find enough drivers is an ongoing challenge.  Fiepke says new safety regulations allow for a better review of drivers by trucking companies and insurance firms before they’re hired.

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Environment
11:24 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Kentucky Beekeepers Studying Hive Loss

Beekeepers from across the Commonwealth are still looking for some way to stop the loss of their hives.  The Kentucky State Beekeepers Association stages its spring meeting in Richmond this weekend.  The nation’s agriculture industry is coping with a massive die-off of the essential insect.  Besides honey production, bees are essential to the pollination of some crops.  Currently, association Vice President Jim Coss says they’re scrutinizing farm chemicals.

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Jobs
2:26 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Kentucky Toyota Plant First in Nation to Produce Lexus

Credit Lexus Pressroom

For the first time, a Lexus vehicle will be produced in the United States and it will be made at the Georgetown Toyota plant.  The formal announcement came this morning from officials in New York and Scott County.  Governor Beshear says it means 750 new Kentucky jobs at Toyota.

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Politics
2:39 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Conway Comments On U.S. Senate Gun Bill

Credit Wikimedia Commons

When conducting a background check on a person buying a gun, Kentucky’s Attorney General said they’re still limited by the information available in the system.  And, with many mental health care providers already under a financial strain, Jack Conway said inputting all that data can be a hardship.

“Not only do those agencies have to provide mental health services, they have to interface with the data bases and law enforcement and provide the information and make sure it gets captured, make certain it’s available to people that need to access the information," He said. "So, we’re in the process of looking, making certain that all of our information is getting into the system,” said Conway.

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Government
11:38 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Today Is State Tax Deadline

It’s tax day and a busy one at the Kentucky Revenue Department. State Division of Individual Income Director Bruce Nix says some 1.3 million state tax returns have already been filed, but another 400,ooo could arrive today.  For taxpayers who need more time, Nix says filing for an extension with the IRS is all that’s required in Kentucky.

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Higher Education
2:45 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama to Speak at EKU Commencement

Credit whitehouse.gov

First Lady Michelle Obama will participate in  Eastern Kentucky University's May commencement ceremony. 

EKU President Doug Whitlock says his office got a call from a member of the First Lady’s staff almost a week ago.  Eastern is receiving national attention for the help it gives Veterans working to further their education.  Whitlock says it caught the eye of Mrs. Obama.  A White House staff member asked if she could attend the University’s graduation ceremony.  Saying it was more than okay, Whitlock says the school was seeking a speaker for the third exercise. In fact, he says it was the only one her schedule would permit.

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Society
6:37 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Flu Still Around in Kentucky

The flu may not be here to stay, but it’s certainly here for a little longer.  In fact, State Epidemiologist Craig Humbaugh says the most recent report bumped influenza activity back up to the regional category.  Humbaugh says another review will be done on Tuesday.

“It’s not unusual for us to see some peaks and valleys during the flu season.  This has been a particularly long flu season cause it did start early for us in Kentucky and it’s continued on,” said Humbaugh.

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2013 KY General Assembly
10:52 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Phone Company Restriction Overhaul Stalled in House Committee

Work in Frankfort to overhaul state restrictions on phone companies appears stalled.  The so-called “AT&T Bill” was the subject of a two hour hearing in a House committee Thursday.  Franklin County resident Van Arsdall is a mother of two children and says quick internet access is both costly and essential.

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Sports
9:20 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Racers To Play Colonels In First OVC Semi-Final

Credit goracers.com

Eastern Kentucky battles Murray State in an Ohio Valley Conference semi final game tonight in Nashville.  A year ago, Murray State was a solid favorite to win the OVC.  The Racers held up to the expectations and made a good run during March Madness.  This year it’s been more difficult with Murray losing six conference games.  So, Head Coach Steve Prohm said his team has something to prove in this week’s tournament.

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Politics
8:15 am
Wed March 6, 2013

Human Trafficking Bill Adds Child Safeguards

Additional safeguards in child custody cases are now part of a bill that cracks down on human trafficking.  Some lawmakers want to create “drop-off” sites at county courthouses, so estranged parents can safely shift custody of their children.   Lexington Representative Kelly Flood persuaded fellow lawmakers a human trafficking bill should also be part of the legislation.

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