Kentucky

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order on Tuesday recommending that all school districts offer some type of in-person learning starting March 1 or within a week of vaccinations for school personnel. The order recommends that classes resume seven days after teachers and staff have received their second COVID-19 vaccinations, though the decision is being left to districts. 

The order also states that masks must be worn at all times in schools and during transportation to and from schools.  

“This is one of the number one ways that we can keep everybody in that school safe,” Beshear said. “And it’s going to be incredibly important, especially for districts that may go back for the first time, that this is strictly enforced as all of the studies that suggest there is low transmission are of districts that had and enforced a strong mask mandate.”

The Republican president of the Kentucky Senate filed a bill that would restrict “no-knock” search warrants, the type of warrant used in the Louisville police raid that killed Breonna Taylor last year.

Senate Bill 4 would still allow no-knock warrants to be issued in cases where someone allegedly committed a violent crime, or if giving prior notice would endanger someone’s life or result in the loss of evidence related to a violent crime.

Senate President Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, said the Breonna Taylor raid wouldn’t have happened under his proposal.

“You’re not going to have a situation that occurred here that you’re going to create a no-knock search warrant to search for papers, stolen items, drugs, anything like that,” Stivers said.

Kentucky To Open Vaccine Access To Phase 1C In March

Feb 23, 2021

More than a million Kentuckians will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 1 when Gov. Andy Beshear says regional distribution centers will enter distribution phase 1C.

The state is expanding access to the vaccine following a sixth week of declining cases. Residents over the age of 60, those with high-risk health conditions and essential workers all fall under phase 1C — marking the single largest increase in access to date in the commonwealth.

Beshear said it’s an exciting moment, but with vaccine supplies still limited the state will first prioritize Kentuckians between the ages of 60 and 70.

“Understand there’s a lot of people in 1C,” Beshear said. “It means it may be challenging to get signed up in the beginning, but remember a lot of vaccine is on its way.”

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Kentucky legislature would require the governor to replace a departing U.S. senator with someone from the same political party.

The proposal is supported by Kentucky’s 78-year-old U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell and comes as state lawmakers continue to try and chip away at Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s powers.

Senate Bill 228 would be a big change from how Kentucky governors currently fill senate vacancies — picking whomever they want.

Instead, the governor would have to pick a replacement from a list of three nominees selected by the state party of the departing senator.

Republican state lawmakers and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul are rallying around a yet-to-be-revealed bill that would make changes to Kentucky’s election laws, though it’s unclear what exactly the bill would do.

Rep. Jennifer Decker, a Republican from Waddy and the bill’s sponsor, said Thursday she won’t unveil the contents of the bill to the public or Democratic lawmakers until the day before the bill receives its first vote.

Decker said she has received input from county clerks, the State Board of Elections and current and former GOP officials.

“We combined our list and we’re paring it down in an attempt to include only those ideas that would help advance the goal of enhancing the integrity and trust in our election system,” Decker said.

kentucky state capitol building
Peter Fitzgerald / Wikimedia

The Kentucky House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would raise the bar for what counts as felony theft in the state.

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Ohio State University

Kentucky has surpassed another grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic. Saturday Gov. Andy Beshear reported the state's death toll from COVID-19 has now reached more than 4,000 people. Beshear reported 49 new deaths, bringing total deaths to 4,020. 

Gov. Andy Beshear is asking a legislative committee to dismiss an impeachment petition against him. Petitioners say Beshear violated the Kentucky Constitution when he imposed restrictions during the pandemic, including mandatory closures of non-essential businesses.

In a 45-page response to the petition, Beshear notes that the courts have upheld many of his restrictions, and describes the petitioners as “political activists ostensibly unhappy with the Governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and their lack of success in court.”

“The Petition cites no facts and little law in a last-ditch effort to upend our constitutional separation of powers, hoping the General Assembly will ignore the judgments of the judicial branch as well as the will of the people in electing their chief executive,” the response reads.

  Three grand jurors from the Breonna Taylor case have filed an impeachment petition against Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, alleging he misled the public about the case and misrepresented the grand jury’s actions.

brent spence bridge
Al Behrman / AP

Four local lawmakers who participated in a Northern Kentucky Chamber event Tuesday all expressed doubt the federal government would help pay for a new Brent Spence Bridge. They did talk about the possibility of tolls and other local funding.

curtis galloway
Courtesy of Curtis Galloway

Conversion therapy is a common term for a practice that uses counseling, psychology and often abusive methods as part of an effort to change a person's sexuality from gay to straight.

The practice is banned in more and more jurisdictions and new legislation would add the Commonwealth of Kentucky to that list.

Lots Of Police And Media But No Demonstrations Yet At Kentucky Capitol

Jan 17, 2021
kentucky armed protest
Jared Bennett / WFPL

State capitals nationwide boosted security Sunday after the FBI warned of armed protests planned in all 50 states. But the Capitol building in Frankfort was all quiet Sunday afternoon, with media and law enforcement vastly outnumbering a few people who tried to enter the grounds and were turned away.

Ryan Van Velzer / WFPL

Kentucky’s Republican House Speaker David Osborne says a committee will be formed to determine whether Gov. Andy Beshear should be impeached, after four citizens submitted a petition asking for it.


sdi water shutoff
Pixabay

A Northern Kentucky utility company suspended penalties and disconnections earlier this year because of the pandemic. That grace period is about to end. Sanitation District 1 spokesman Chris Cole says Governor Andy Beshear ordered the statewide suspension as customers faced COVID-related hardships.

Photos proved by Elsmere PD

For Crystal Madaris, walking through Mary E. Smith Memorial Cemetery in Elsmere, Ky., is like visiting with old friends and loved ones. Four generations of her family are buried there.

Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET

Republican attorneys general from 10 states sued Google on Wednesday, accusing it of wielding its might in digital advertising to crush competitors, in the second major legal challenge to the tech giant's power this fall.

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Pixabay

School districts and private schools are planning for a massive statewide COVID-19 vaccination effort of teachers and other school staff. Districts have been asked to submit a roster to the Kentucky Department of Public Health by the end of the month of employees to be vaccinated.

Gravity Diagnostics

It wasn't aerospace manufacturing that provided the boost in jobs and economic development this year for Northern Kentucky. It was instead health care, labs, clinical technology and food and flavor manufacturing. Tri-Ed says the future looks even brighter.

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Pixabay

Kentucky spent $78 million of CARES Act funding to set up a contact tracing program to track the spread of the coronavirus. Now, some Republicans in the Kentucky legislature are unsatisfied with the program's results and are calling for it to be defunded.

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Wikimedia Commons

Covington could see 100 jobs created after Protective Life sets up shop in the RiverCenter.

If flu vaccination rates are any predictor, not nearly enough Kentuckians will get the COVID-19 vaccine to achieve herd immunity. 

Herd immunity happens when a virus can't spread because it keeps encountering people who are protected against the infection. 

According to CDC data, Kentucky’s flu vaccination rates among counties ranged from 19 to 53 percent last year.  The statewide average, historically, is around 40 percent.  Dr. Dale Toney, president of the Kentucky Medical Association, says he hope that’s not a harbinger for COVID-19 immunizations. 

“Sixty to 70 percent is what’s estimated to achieve herd immunity for the COVID infection," said Toney in an interview with WKU Public Radio.


Kentucky is in the midst of a third, and by far the most deadly, wave of coronavirus infection since the outbreak of the pandemic. The state has averaged 25 COVID-deaths per day over the last week.

Since the first confirmed case on March 6th, Kentucky recorded 2,072 COVID-19 deaths as of Monday afternoon ahead of the state’s daily briefing.

A ceremony Monday included a prayer from Rev. Jack Brewer, a speech from Gov. Andy Beshear, and a performance from a hand bell ensemble from the First United Methodist Church in Frankfort.

“Today we honor those we’ve lost, and we recommit to protecting our fellow human beings in what will be the final months of this battle,” Beshear said.

Courtesy of Vent Haven

Northern Kentucky's Vent Haven Museum, the world's only museum dedicated to the art of ventriloquism, is busy cleaning its collection, adding to it and preparing to re-open in May 2021.

Gov. Andy Beshear announced Thursday how the first shipments of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine will be dispersed throughout Kentucky.

At his briefing, Beshear said he expects the vaccine to be available as early as Dec. 15. The first shipment will include about 38,000 vaccinations.

Two-thirds of the shipment will go to long-term care facilities through a program operated by CVS and Walgreens. The rest will go to hospitals for frontline healthcare workers.

“We’re going to make sure that those most vulnerable in long-term care, that make up about 66% of all deaths, have first priority, along with our healthcare workers that are in there caring for COVID patients right now,” Beshear said.

Only 11 Kentucky hospitals will be included in the first shipment. They include The Medical Center in Bowling Green, multiple Baptist Health sites, including the hospital in Madisonville, Norton Healthcare, University of Louisville and University of Kentucky.

With the conclusion of the 2020 Census, Kentucky and states across the nation will soon begin the process of redistricting—redrawing the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts to account for shifts in population since the last census.

Even though it's been a difficult year with the coronavirus pandemic, a politically-divided country and social unrest, there is a bright spot in one Kentucky town.

Two young girls are encouraging people to come together — using two words "Be kind."

feral cat
Pixabay

Feral cats — whether you love them or hate them, someone in your neighborhood is bound to feed them. In the city of Covington, officials passed a new ordinance Tuesday that's meant to find a middle ground between feral cat lovers and haters.

Courtesy of Maslow's Army

The organization that compiles yearly homeless numbers for Greater Cincinnati says we haven't seen the worst of it. The effects of the pandemic could linger into 2022.

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Pixabay

Private religious K-12 schools will be expected to close Monday, along with public ones, under a ruling from the U.S Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down on Sunday. The panel of judges overturned a lower court decision that blocked Beshear’s executive order from affecting private religious schools.

breonna taylor protest
Timothy D. Easley / AP

Louisville police detective Joshua Jaynes, who obtained the search warrant for Breonna Taylor’s apartment, admitted some language is “incorrect” in the affidavit for that search warrant, according to a filing submitted Friday.

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