Kentucky

 The parents of Bailey Holt and Preston Cope, two 15-year-olds killed in the Marshall County High School shooting in January, testified to a group of lawmakers Monday, urging them to make schools safer before students return to the classroom this fall.

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Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is trying to capitalize on Gov. Matt Bevin’s unpopularity with school teachers. He’s focusing his run for governor on public education and has selected a rural high school administrator as his running mate.

Nearly half a million low-income Kentuckians lost their dental and vision insurance this month after a federal judge halted Kentucky’s Medicaid waiver program.

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Death penalty supporters and opponents both say that Kentucky’s capital punishment system is too expensive, lengthy and in need of reform.

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Timothy D. Easley / AP

Gov. Matt Bevin says in order to put an end to school shootings, parents need to stop over-medicating their children and steer them away from cell phones and violent video games.

Kentucky state capitol
Alix Mattingly / WFPL, Kentucky Public Radio

After last week’s court decision that struck down Kentucky’s new pension law, a Republican state representative says he’s confident legislators will pass a new version of the measure if the decision is upheld.

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As the opioid epidemic continues and addiction experts push for more medication-assisted treatment, a controversial national nonprofit funded by drug companies is setting up shop in Kentucky.

The Kentucky Department for Public Health and the Division of Water are warning summertime swimmers to avoid areas that contain harmful algal blooms. 

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J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

Gov. Matt Bevin says the judge who struck down Kentucky’s pension law is “not a very competent attorney,” predicting that the ruling will be overturned because the legislation “doesn’t do much.”

Kentucky's First District U.S. Congressman James Comer helped to pass the house's version of the federal farm bill Thursday.

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A judge has struck down changes made to Kentucky’s pension systems earlier this year, ruling that lawmakers violated the state constitution by rushing the bill to passage in a matter of hours.

J. Tyler Franklin / WFPL

For the first time since the Civil War, a majority of Kentucky voters don’t identify as Democrats as Republicans continue to make gains in voter registrations in the state.

  Kentucky Democrats are positioning themselves for the November election cycle hoping to make gains in the Republican Controlled state legislature. House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes are leading the charge at political events including the recent Purchase Area Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.

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A bipartisan group of Kentucky lawmakers is writing a bill to legalize and regulate sports betting in the state.

Kentucky's Attorney General announced on Thursday that the state is suing the pharmacy chain Walgreens for allegedly exacerbating the "man-made" opioid crisis, by playing a dual role in in the supply chain as both the distributor and dispenser.

The lawsuit also asserts the company willfully ignored its own safeguard systems that are designed to protect consumers and monitor their drug consumption.

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Catherine Milliner’s grandson Tony died when he was four years old. Her daughter’s boyfriend was charged with murdering the toddler. And as a three-year trial unfolded, Milliner wanted to keep tabs on every step of the case, including the whereabouts of the accused.

A federal judge could decide this week if Kentucky can move forward with changes to its Medicaid program. 

Kentucky was the first state in the nation to receive a waiver from U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  The waiver sought by Governor Matt Bevin’s administration would require able-bodied adults to work or volunteer to maintain their Medicaid coverage.  Enrollees would also pay small premiums and face lockout periods for failing to renew their benefits on time.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell surpasses Bob Dole on Tuesday as the longest serving Republican leader in Senate history — and he is showing no indication he's ready to call it quits.

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Kentucky is now the first state in the country to make joint custody the "legal presumption" in divorce proceedings. The new law, signed by Governor Matt Bevin in April, goes into effect in July and requires judges to grant equal custody in all cases, unless one parent has filed a domestic violence protective order against the other within the last three years.    

Ryland Barton / WFPL

During a hearing on Thursday, the judge presiding over the lawsuit against Kentucky’s new pension law questioned why state lawmakers were able to pass the measure out of the legislature in just one day.

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The president of the National Rifle Association is speaking at Murray State University the night before one of the state’s largest political events this summer, but organizers of the August 4th Fancy Farm Picnic are unsure if he will make an appearance at their event.

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Kentucky's seen more than 600 cases of Hepatitis A and six deaths since November. The Northern Kentucky Health Department has verified only six cases locally, but it's taking steps to make sure a widespread outbreak does not occur in the area.

 The Kentucky National Guard is deploying five soldiers to the U.S. Mexico border.

The board that governs higher education in Kentucky is considering a proposal to change the minimum guidelines for admission to public colleges and universities. 

For students wanting to enter a state-supported, four-year institution, they would need a minimum high school GPA of 2.5, although schools would be allowed to set higher admission standards. 

CPE President Bob King says students with a lower GPA could be still be accepted, but they would have to enter into a learning contract with the college that would include a number of support services such as remedial classes and mentoring.

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Kentucky distillers, wineries and liquor retailers can now ship wine and spirits across state lines after the legislature passed the "bourbon without borders" bill earlier this year.

The new law will allow visitors to Kentucky to ship up to 4.5 liters of spirits or 4 cases of wine back home — as long as their home state allows it.

Kentucky has slipped to 37th place in a national ranking of states that provide a safe, secure and healthy childhood.      

The second annual report End of Childhood State Ranking 2018 by the international nonprofit Save the Children ranks states by factors that can prevent children from thriving. Those factors include violence, poverty, malnutrition, child abuse, incomplete education and homelessness. 

Kentucky has slipped four places since last year to 37th in the U.S. for states that provide consistent food, housing, prenatal care, safety from violence and abuse and access to early childhood educational opportunites. 

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Ahead of the July 1 start date for changes to Kentucky’s Medicaid program, Gov. Matt Bevin has announced a partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky to help educate enrollees on new requirements and assist some in making mandated payments to keep Medicaid insurance.

Why Kentucky's Tick Season May Be Worse Than Usual

May 30, 2018
tick
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Though Kentucky doesn’t have as big of a problem with tick-borne diseases as some areas in the northeast, a tick expert is warning residents to be on the lookout as the summer kicks off.

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A study by the United Health Foundation ranks Kentucky 48th in its annual report on senior citizens. That’s a slight improvement over the state’s ranking last year.

National Institutes of Health

Kentucky is dealing with a statewide outbreak of Hepatitis-A, which can lead to a potentially deadly liver infection. It's most often transmitted through fecal matter coming in contact with a person's mouth.

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