Kentucky

In Kentucky, running away from home or constantly skipping school could get a kid locked up in a juvenile hall for days. Those acts, called status offenses, aren't serious crimes, but for years Kentucky and other states treated them as though they were.

That first brush with the juvenile justice system can often lead to more trouble if authorities focus on punishment, not the underlying reasons for the bad behavior.

But there's growing evidence that the tough approach doesn't work. Kentucky has joined many other states that are trying something different.

kentucky abortion
Ann Thompson / WVXU

A three-judge panel must now decide if it will uphold a decision keeping Kentucky's only abortion clinic open. EMW Women's Surgical Center and the the administration of Gov. Matt Bevin presented oral arguments in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Thursday.

On the first day of August, just two weeks before most Kentucky schools start class, there were 2,974 vacancies posted for public school educators across the state. Kentucky Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis says that’s a serious problem. 

“We see more districts, that begin the academic year — where kids are showing up in classrooms — and they have not filled positions,” Lewis said.

And in some cases, he says students may even finish the school year with a long term substitute or a teacher who is not fully certified.


Four Midwestern states have infant mortality rates “significantly higher” than the U.S. average, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control says.


john g carlisle school
Courtesy of The River City News

Covington Independent Public Schools announced Tuesday that the district is delaying its return for the new school year. Superintendent Alvin Garrison noted multiple problems with facilities as the reason. School will now start on September 3.

point trees
Courtesy of The River City News

The Point/Arc of Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati is constructing a brand new building on Washington Street directly to the north of its longtime home on Pike Street.

As part of its expansion, three trees on Washington Street should come down, executive director Judy Gerding said.

75/275 interchange
WCPO / Google

The Brent Spence Bridge isn't the only piece of local infrastructure that's carrying more than it was built to handle. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the I-75/275 interchange is carrying more than twice the level of traffic it was designed for.

Pixabay

Dayton, Ky., City Council is voting on a fairness ordinance that could extend protections to people in the LGBT community.

fancy farm
Michael Monks/The River City News

It's barely a spot on the map at all, but every time the first Saturday in August rolls around, the tiny community of Fancy Farm becomes the center of Kentucky politics. A small covered stage placed in the middle of the St. Jerome Parish Festival in the far western reaches of the commonwealth is traipsed by Kentucky’s most influential political names as they hurl jokes and not-so-veiled insults at one another, all while being heckled by the virulently partisan crowds.

Updated 6:06 PM (Eastern)

At this year’s Fancy Farm picnic, Kentucky politicians tried to sandbag their opponents by tying them to national issues.

About 48,000 Kentuckians wouldn’t have met the community engagement requirements — otherwise known as work requirements — if Gov. Matt Bevin’s changes to Medicaid had gone into effect as planned last year. That’s a smaller number than the 95,000 people over five years that were originally estimated by the state to be at risk of losing coverage.

The new estimate comes from a study from the University of Pennsylvania released last month. Those proposed community engagement requirements include making some enrollees work, volunteer, take GED courses or other activities for 80 hours a month to keep Medicaid insurance.

Throughout his career, Mitch McConnell has relished insults like “Grim Reaper,” “Darth Vader” and “Cocaine Mitch,” neutralizing the nicknames by embracing them.

But after he blocked two bills that sought to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections last week and the moniker “Moscow Mitch” started floating around the internet, McConnell took to the Senate floor to denounce the insult in a lengthy speech.

 


Some coal miners left without pay by the bankruptcy of coal company Blackjewel LLC are protesting by blocking a coal train in eastern Kentucky.

The stand-off began early Monday when five miners blocked the train from leaving the Cumberland, Kentucky, plant. Despite police asking them to leave, miners spent the night blocking the railroad to protest Blackjewel moving coal while miners have yet to be paid.


dayton kentucky
Michael Monks / The River City News

In June, the Dayton, Ky., city council heard a first reading of what is commonly referred to as a fairness, or human rights, ordinance, and the issue will receive a final reading and official vote next Tuesday. If adopted, the small river city would become the 12th in Kentucky to expand its protections in cases of housing, employment, and other areas to people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

Kentucky voters head to the polls this November to choose the state's next set of constitutional officers, including the position of governor. While most are familiar with Republican incumbent Matt Bevin and Democratic challenger, Attorney General Andy Beshear, some may not be aware of a third option: Libertarian candidate, business consultant John Hicks. 

Most Kentucky schools will kick off a new academic year next month with 5,000 fewer teachers than what the commonwealth needs. 

Kentucky is experiencing a teacher shortage created by educators leaving the profession and fewer college students majoring in education. 

While there have traditionally been shortages in foreign languages and special education, some districts have open positions in the most popular disciplines. 


covington vietnam war memorial
Courtesy of The River City News

Young men from Covington answered the call when the Vietnam War draft reached them.

"These were boys from Holy Cross, Holmes, Covington Catholic, and Covington Latin," said Chuck Wills, who served in the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry during the fighting.

More than 30 men from Covington died in the war.

Come next year, Kentucky lawmakers will be asked to enact an excise tax on electronic cigarettes. The proposal calls for a tax on vaping products and e-cigs at the same level as traditional cigarettes.

uc health stadium
Courtesy of Florence Freedom

The Florence Freedom are staying in Florence. The team has been purchased by a consortium of four business partners, who say the Freedom will continue to play at UC Health Stadium.

newport hampton inn
The River City News

Recent gatherings of motorcyclists who may even be racing across the Taylor Southgate Bridge are starting to annoy guests at the Hampton Inn along Newport's riverfront.

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