Kentucky

The 2020 Kentucky Derby 'Unlike Any Other'

Sep 5, 2020

Updated 5:03 p.m. ET

The Kentucky Derby, usually the first weekend in May, was postponed this year until Saturday due to the coronavirus pandemic. There aren't any spectators in the stands for this year's race, which is taking place just after Louisville marks 100 consecutive days of protests against racism and police violence.

louisville protest
Dylan Lovan / AP

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer says it feels odd to announce the Kentucky Derby in September, but it's the reality of 2020 — a year when the "most exciting two minutes in sports" will go forward without spectators in the stands due the coronavirus pandemic, but crowds will gather outside the track to amplify calls to arrest and charge the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor.

Rupp Arena is named for Adoph Rupp, the famous University of Kentucky basketball coach whose sustained success in the mid-20th century turned the program into the powerhouse it remains today. The arena has borne Rupp's name since it opened in 1976, just a few years after his retirement.

But now at U.K., a list of demands from the school's African-American and Africana Studies faculty has brought new life to an old debate about the name of the school's basketball arena.

dawn gentry
Courtesy of The River City News

Kenton County Family Court Judge Dawn Gentry was removed from the bench following a unanimous vote by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission.

mitch mcconnell rnc
Screengrab / WFPL

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the Republican National Convention on Thursday, urging voters to reelect Republicans to the Senate and send President Donald Trump back to the White House.

A Kentucky man accused of breaking Canada's coronavirus rules — twice — could be forced to pay a $569,000 fine ($750,000 Canadian), spend up to six months in prison, or both.

John Pennington of Walton, Ky., was initially fined $910 ($1,200 Canadian) on June 25 after an employee at a Banff hotel where he was staying suspected he was violating Alberta's coronavirus regulations, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Cpl. Tammy Keibel told NPR.

mitch mcconnell
Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell used a brief appearance in Covington Monday to talk about the federal CARES Act passed earlier this year to provide economic assistance during the pandemic.

breonnacon
Elanor Klibanoff / WFPL

Saturday marked the first day of "BreonnaCon," a series of events intended to raise awareness about the police killing of Breonna Taylor in Louisville. 

Over the course of four days, there will be barbecues, food drives and empowerment events, culminating in a march on Louisville Metro Police Department's training academy on Tuesday. 

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay

Kentucky high school fall sports will move forward with the Aug. 24 start date decided on in July.

Amy McGrath has accepted Mitch McConnell’s challenge to hold “Lincoln-Douglas style” debates ahead of Kentucky’s election for U.S. Senate this year.

Courtesy Bytemarks via Creative Commons

By late April, Kentucky’s unemployment insurance office was handling more than a hundred thousand claims a week, and Gov. Andy Beshear was urging anyone who was out of work to apply during his daily briefings.

Kentucky’s top budget official says the state’s financial future is uncertain as federal programs like the $600 supplement to unemployment benefits and the Paycheck Protection Program expire during the pandemic.

Part of why Kentucky has been able to weather the financial storm is federal assistance, according to John Hicks, the state budget director in Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration.

“We’ve got many strong signals that fiscal [year] 21 will be a significant budget challenge and will have lower revenues than in fiscal 20,” Hicks said during a legislative hearing on Wednesday.

Stephanie Wolf / WFPL

Originally published on August 18, 2020 6:41 pm

Gov. Andy Beshear announced 627 new cases of coronavirus in Kentucky on Tuesday, bringing the state’s total to 40,299.

Though the state’s positivity rate for the virus has hovered around 5 or 6% (on Tuesday it was 5.48%) Beshear said over 20 counties had positivity rates exceeding 10% — what the White House has dubbed the “red zone.”

mitch mcconnell
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that if Kentucky doesn’t want to pay for a portion of a new unemployment benefit ordered by President Donald Trump, out-of-work Kentuckians can receive a smaller benefit.

Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky’s statewide police union is speaking out against a proposal to ban no-knock search warrants and penalize officers who don’t activate body cameras while executing search warrants.

'Breonna's Law' Would Ban No-Knock Warrants Statewide

Aug 17, 2020
Stephanie Wolf / WFPL

Kentucky State Rep. Attica Scott unveiled proposed legislation Sunday morning that would ban no-knock warrants statewide.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Emersion Design, hired by Covington to rejuvenate Innovation Way, says it should become both a "place and a path." And it appears big changes are in the works with a new NKU partnership, a federally funded small business coach, and hundreds of thousands of dollars for aesthetic improvements.

  Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams say they are close to a bipartisan agreement on how Kentucky’s elections will be run during the November general election.

Gov. Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Michael Adams say they are close to a bipartisan agreement on how Kentucky’s elections will be run during the November general election.

Beshear, a Democrat, has advocated for all Kentuckians to be eligible to vote by mail, as they were during this year’s primary election. Adams, a Republican, says the election system would be overwhelmed if that happened.

In an interview, Adams said that he expects the state to have “much more robust” in-person voting on Election Day than it did in the primary.

“I don’t think we’re going to have just one location in Jefferson County or Fayette County,” Adams said. “We’re not going to have hundreds and hundreds, but we’re not going to have one or two either.”

Six cases of a rare coronavirus-related inflammatory condition have been identified in Kentucky youth since March, according to public records from the state.

Case data suggest the syndrome is disproportionately impacting young people of color.

MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, has been identified in Kentuckians as young as five and as old as 19. Symptoms of the rare but serious condition include the inflammation of multiple body parts, fever, rash or vomiting. The cause of MIS-C is unknown, though it’s linked to the new coronavirus.

Pixabay.com

A Kentucky law that allows for involuntary treatment of people facing addiction is now being challenged as unconstitutional. The Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention was passed in 2004. It is being challenged on three grounds: violation of due process, equal protection and First Amendment rights.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear is calling for Kentucky schools to remain closed to in-person instruction until September 28. 

Kentucky’s Eviction Crisis Delayed, Not Averted

Aug 10, 2020

Jodie Thomas was earning $62,000 a year until she was let go from her job in December.

eric lycan
Kate Howard / WFPL

An attorney with deep ties in Kentucky Republican politics and super PACs is connected to a political scandal that saw Ohio's former Speaker of the House charged with a $60 million bribery scheme.

Eric Lycan until recently was the general counsel for Kentucky's Republican Party, and he's been at the helm of several super PACs and other nonprofits that have shaped Kentucky's politics. He's also the treasurer of Generation Now, a nonprofit and a defendant in the Ohio federal bribery case.

A new poll shows Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell leading Democratic challenger Amy McGrath by 17 points in Kentucky’s U.S. Senate race this year.

The survey of 793 likely voters in Kentucky by Washington D.C. based firm Morning Consult shows McConnell leading McGrath 53% to 36%. The poll was conducted between July 24 and Aug 2.

McConnell is running for his seventh term in the Senate, though this is the first year he is running while also serving as the majority leader, the high-profile position that allows him to set the agenda of the chamber and wield influence on which bills come up for votes.

florence y'alls
Courtesy of BLDG

Covington-based creative firm BLDG has had a hand in some high-profile local and regional campaigns of late.

kentucky civil war
Wikimedia Commons

To American slaves, Cincinnati meant freedom.

mitch mcconnell
Susan Walsh / AP

Senator Mitch McConnell is one of the most powerful politicians in America and one of Kentucky's most consequential leaders sent to Washington, D.C. But the Republican majority leader is not the only Kentuckian to rise into significant power in the U.S. Congress's upper chamber.

mother of god church covington
Wikimedia Commons

The Diocese of Covington on Friday released the names of priests, deacons, and other religious and lay employees who have been substantially accused of sexual abuse by a minor. The list, it says, "is the product of a comprehensive and independent review of thousands of diocesan records dating back to 1950."

Kentucky’s top election official says he doesn’t want all voters to be eligible for mail-in voting during the November General Election, though he still wants to allow older and more vulnerable voters to do so.

Secretary of State Michael Adams, a Republican, says he’s worried that local election officials and the Post Office will not be able to handle the influx of mail-in ballots if absentee voting is again expanded to all eligible voters, as it was during Kentucky’s primary election in June.

“I’m dubious we can fully replicate the primary election plan in all respects, as we believe turnout will be 250% higher in November than it was in June. And that was pretty high as it was,” Adams said during a legislative committee on Tuesday.

Pages