Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

 Jonathan Meador is the Frankfort Bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio. 

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Local News
4:39 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Federal Guilty Pleas in Large Kentucky Cockfighting Ring

Credit Creative Commons

Two eastern Kentucky men -- distant relatives of House Speaker Greg Stumbo -- have pleaded guilty to criminal charges involving an Eastern Kentucky cockfighting ring, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Walter Dale Stumbo, 52, and Joshua Stumbo, 25, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to  "conspiracy to sponsor or exhibit an animal in a fighting venture and conduct an illegal gambling business," the newspaper reported. 

From the Herald-Leader:

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Local News
5:01 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

General Burnside Island State Park to Lead Way For Park Privatization in Kentucky

General Burnside Island State Park
Credit Kentucky State Parks

The Kentucky Department of Parks is poised to allow private corporations to develop at, or even operate aspects of, state parks, and expansion of previous efforts permitting commercial activity.

Parks Commissioner Elaine Walker suggested to a state legislative committee Thursday that General Burnside State Park, a 400-acre park 10 miles south of Somerset, could serve "as a potential pilot" for the effort.

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Politics
9:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Kentucky's Medicaid Expansion Is Nearly Complete

Credit Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act is almost complete.

Lawrence Kissner, commissioner for Kentucky’s Department of Medicaid Services, told lawmakers Thursday his department is on track to fully implement the expansion, and enrollee health outcomes are improving under the new federal health care law.

“Adult preventive services increases 36.7 percent; breast cancer increases 20.6 percent; cervical cancer screenings increased 3 percent; and colorectal cancer screenings increased 16 percent," Kissner said.

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Local News
4:56 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Beshear Cuts Kentucky Budget to Balance $90.9-Million Shortfall

Gov. Steve Beshear in 2013
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear issued a pair of executive orders this week reducing state spending levels to plug a $90.9-million hole in Kentucky's budget.

The Office of the State Budget Director announced the shortfall last week, which is due largely to an unexpected $63-million decline in income related to capital gains

Beshear's cuts cover the $90.9-million gap.

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Politics
9:50 am
Wed July 16, 2014

In Lawsuit Response, Kentucky Pension System Argues Investments Were Legal

Credit Wikipedia Commons

The troubled Kentucky Retirement Systems pension is firing back at a lawsuit filed by a small Northern Kentucky town over what it alleges are “high risk investments."

In June, the city of Fort Wright — population 5,700 —filed a lawsuit against KRS over investments into Wall Street hedge funds with public money, seeking $50 million to cover the losses and to divorce its city and county employees from the state system.

Earlier: Kentucky City Sues State Pension System

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Politics
4:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

New Kentucky Laws Go Into Effect Today

Kentucky state Capitol
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

A bevy of new state laws, ranging in subjects from ethics to kutzu, passed this year by the Kentucky General Assembly go into effect Tuesday.

The state constitution stipulates that laws without an “emergency” clause go into effect 90 days after the adjournment of a legislative session. The last day of the 2014 session was April 15.

Earlier: Takeaways From the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly Session

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Politics
8:31 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Report: Kentucky Ranks 10th in U.S. For Lowest Rate of Uninsured

Credit Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

Kentucky’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act has dramatically reduced the number of uninsured people in the state, according to a report release Wednesday.

The report by the consumer advice website WalletHub said Kentucky now ranks 10th in the U.S. for the lowest rate of uninsured people—just under nine percent of the population. That number was over 17 percent before the ACA became law, reflecting an 8 percent drop in the rate in a year.

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Politics
6:44 am
Fri July 11, 2014

How the 'Fiscal Cliff' Helped Lead to Kentucky's $91-Million Budget Shortfall

The Kentucky state Capitol building.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

  A driving factor in Kentucky's $91-million budget shortfall is a decline in a form of income primarily used by the nation’s wealthiest individuals.

In 2012, the U.S. Congress was preparing to take the country over the “fiscal cliff” because of rising debt, rising healthcare costs and spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Politics
1:31 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Koch-Tied Group's Arrival Points to Increased Interest In Kentucky State-Level Races

Inside the Kentucky state Capitol building.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

FRANKFORT—The well-funded non-profit Americans for Prosperity's hiring of a Kentucky state director signals to many political observers outside donors' intense interest in this fall's state House races and beyond.

In a news  release on Tuesday, Americans for Prosperity announced that Julia Crigler, a former political director for the Kentucky House Republican Caucus, would lead its efforts in Kentucky.

Democrats maintain a narrow majority over Republicans in the state House, 54-46.

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Local News
3:22 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Beshear Announces $1.3 Million For Eastern Kentucky Revitalization

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Gov. Steve Beshear on Monday announced $1.3 million in grants for an initiative  to create jobs in the depressed coal regions of Eastern Kentucky.

The state plans to use $1 million to fund 52 full-time AmeriCorp positions  to shore up "youth engagement, education success and health and human services over the next year," according to a news release from the governor's office. About $312,000 "will support implementation and technical assistance by a consortium of nine Area Development Districts located in the region."

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