Kenny Colston

Kentucky Public Radio Frankfort Bureau Chief

Kenny Colston is based in the state capitol and files pieces for public radio stations across the commonwealth. Before joining KPR in 2012, he covered state government for Insight CN2. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, Kenny was a four-year staff member of the Kentucky Kernel, serving as editor-in-chief in his last year. 

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Politics
11:25 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Kentucky Republicans Beef Up Campaign Army for U.S. Senate Race; Democrats on Standby

Mitch McConnell
Credit U.S. Senate

Senator Mitch McConnell's next election is a year and a half away, yet he doesn't have a serious opponent. But this hasn't stopped him from amassing significant money and personnel for his re-election.  

Each week, the effort to re-elect McConnell adds new field directors, political staff and fundraisers.

They have the same goal, but they don't have the same boss. Some of the staffers work for McConnell's campaign. Others for the Republican Party of Kentucky. And others work for SuperPACs.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sun May 5, 2013

Kentucky Democrats, Republicans Focused on Special House Election

Credit File photo

The special election for the 56th House District—covering Woodford County and portions of Fayette and Franklin county—will likely be the only election this year.

This puts added pressure on both parties to come through with a victory, as Democrats try to maintain their majority and Republicans attempt to make in-roads in taking the House. Republican nominee Lyen Crews faces defeat Democrat James Kay on June 25

Right now, Democrats have a five seat majority over Republicans.

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Politics
3:10 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Stumbo Pens Letter to Beshear Asking for Special Session for Redistricting

Greg Stumbo
Credit Legislative Research Commission

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is encouraging Gov. Steve Beshear to soon call a General Assembly special session so that lawmakers can pass new state legislative redistricting maps and end a federal lawsuit.

Last week,  several county clerks in Northern Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit claiming the state's inability to finish redistricting violated federal law. In response, Stumbo  sent a letter to the governor encouraging him to call a special session.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

Health Group Starts Ad Campaign in Support of Kentucky Medicaid Expansion

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

A leading health organization in Kentucky is putting the pressure on Gov. Steve Beshear to expand Medicaid services under the Affordable Care Act. 

Kentucky Voices for Health Executive Director Regan Hunt says her group is launching a two-week radio ad campaign pressure Beshear to expand Medicaid. The radio ad campaign will be partnered with a month long online ad campaign.

So far, the governor has delayed making a decision— although he seems to support the ideal, if fiscally possible.

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Politics
5:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Richie Farmer Pleads Not Guilty in Initial Court Appearance

Richie Farmer
Credit File photo

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer has officially answered his indictment on five federal charges, pleading not guilty to all of them.

Farmer pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance Thursday, where he was also informed of his rights.

"We're glad to finally get the initial appearance out of the way, we're going to be ready when trial time comes and the rest of the story will come out then," says Farmer's attorney, Guthrie True.


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Politics
12:39 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

State Rep. Carl Rollins' Resignation Sparks Early Campaign Battle

Carl Rollins
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky state Rep. Carl Rollins is resigning his House seat effective at the end of today, becoming the state first lawmaker to announce his retirement this cycle.

Rollins is resigning to become the executive director and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the CEO of the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.

Rollins' represents the 56th Legislative District, which covers part of Fayette and Franklin counties and all of Woodford  County.

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Politics
11:17 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Ag Commissioner James Comer Heading to Washington to Talk Hemp

James Comer
Credit File photo

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is finalizing details for an upcoming trip to Washington, D.C., to try and get a federal waiver for industrial hemp. 

Earlier this year, Kentucky lawmakers passed a bill setting up a regulatory framework for hemp growing in Kentucky. Comer promises to work at the federal level for legalization or a waiver.

And now, Comer says he'll be head to Washington the week after Derby  meeting to meet executive branch officials and others.

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Politics
1:17 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Ag Commissioner James Comer: Indictment of Richie Farmer Won't Affect Department

Richie Farmer
Credit File photo

The federal indictment of former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer won't become a problem for the Department of Agriculture, Farmer's successor said on Monday.

James Comer, who took over the office in 2011, and his office say they have helped with the multiple investigations of Farmer's tenure as agriculture commissioner—including those conducted by the state auditor, attorney general or others.

Since 2011, Comer says,  he's worked to restore public confidence in the department post-Farmer.

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Politics
1:09 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

LG&E, Charah Partner to Create New Agriculture Pellet from Coal Byproduct

Credit Erica Peterson/WFPL

A partnership between LG&E and KU and a Kentucky company could help both the energy and agriculture sectors, Kentucky leaders announced Monday.

Kentucky company Charah  is opening up a facility in Louisville that will take leftover gypsum from the Mill Creek Power Station and turn it into a sulfur product—such as fertilizers—for Kentucky farmers.

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Politics
10:00 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Beshear May Still Call Special Session for Redistricting, Tax Reform

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

Despite passing some pension and tax reforms in this year's Kentucky General Assembly session, state lawmakers aren't out of the clear when it comes to another special session.

A few big issues still remain for lawmakers—mainly redistricting and more tax reform.

Gov. Steve Beshear has the sole authority to call a special sessions and to set their agenda. And with Beshear continuing to express a need for more tax reform to pay for education, he's not ruling out calling a special session sometime this year.

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