Education
12:39 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Gov. Steve Beshear Elected Chair of the Southern Regional Education Board

Gov. Steve Beshear has been elected chairman of the non-partisan Southern Regional Education Board, which aims to keep its member states focused on accountability and student achievement across the entire education pipeline.

Beshear succeeds Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose focus last year was on workforce readiness, an SREB spokeswoman says. Further, Beshear's focus will likely be on career and technical education, she says.

The following is an excerpt from a release sent out by SREB:

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Education
12:16 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Kentucky School Districts Rush To Adopt New Dropout Age, Governor Beshear Extends Grant Funding

Credit Shutterstock.com

Kentucky officials are pleased with the number of early adopters for the state's new compulsory dropout age of 18, and the Gov. Steve Beshear has extended the number of grants being offered to the first 96 school district that pass new policies. 

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Politics
11:46 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Alison Lundergan Grimes is Running for Mitch McConnell's Senate Seat

Alison Lundergan Grimes
Credit Creative Commons

Update: Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Monday that she will challenge U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. 

In May, a poll stated that Grimes—Kentucky's Secretary of State—was evenly matched against McConnell, who was first elected in 1984. 

Grimes, an attorney, was elected Secretary of State in 2011.

"I agree with thousands of Kentuckians that Kentucky is tired of 28 years of obstruction," she said in her announcement.

Grimes has been a long-rumored possibility for the Democratic primary—especially after actress/activist Ashley Judd declined to run.

WFPL is following the developing story and will have more information soon.

Earlier: Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is meeting with supporters on Monday afternoon and will make an announcement regarding the U.S. Senate race against Republican Mitch McConnell.

Since March, Grimes has been considered the best Democratic choice to run against McConnell in next year’s election at the urging of state and national party figures.

Even though she isn't in the race officially, Grimes hasn't been spared attack ads.

The McConnell campaign, national Republicans and GOP-leaning super PACs have criticized Grimes in recent weeks trying to link her to President Obama's agenda.

Grimes is meeting with a group of regional coordinators at her Frankfort campaign headquarters at 2 p.m., and will talk with the media an hour later.

"I don't know what she's leaning towards. She hasn't told me," says Jonathan Hurst, a Grimes spokesman. "I couldn't make a guess on it and be honest about it."

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Local News
11:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Historic Gatehouse at Crescent Hill Reservoir Open for Tours

The Crescent Hill Reservoir Gatehouse, built in 1879
Rick Howlett

Louisville Water Company is allowing a rare look inside one of its historic buildings.  

The Crescent Hill Reservoir gatehouse is open for tours, but just for a limited time.

The reservoir is a popular spot for runners and walkers, but most of the time the gatehouse is off-limits to the public.

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Environment
9:30 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Kentucky to Get $47,000 to Study White Nose Syndrome

Marvin Moriarty USFWS

The federal government is giving Kentucky $47,500 to study a fatal bat disease. In total, 28 states will get more than $950,000 in grants for projects designed to track and research White Nose Syndrome.

The disease has been decimating bat populations in 22 states—including Kentucky—and 5 Canadian provinces for the past seven years. Bats are essential in keeping insect populations under control, and are an important part of the ecosystem.

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Local News
8:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Labor Agreement Between JCPS and JCTA Released

Credit File photo

The agreement reached in June between Jefferson County Public Schools and the Jefferson County Teachers Association on a new labor contract has been released publicly.

You can read it here.

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Politics
8:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

House Immigration Bill Coming Early Next Week, Congressman John Yarmuth Says

Democratic Congressman John Yarmuth
Credit U.S. Congress

Kentucky  Congressman John Yarmuth says a comprehensive immigration reform bill will be introduced in the House early next week.

The Democratic-controlled Senate version of the bill passed by a comfortable bipartisan margin last Thursday after months of debate.

But Speaker John Boehner has made it clear the Senate version means nothing to the Republican-controlled House, where many lawmakers have described the pathway to citizenship provisions for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants as nothing more than amnesty.

The speaker has has also made it clear he will not bring any measure to the House floor unless it receives support from the majority of the GOP caucus.

Yarmuth, a Democrat, is a member of the a bipartisan work group crafting the bill. He says the group has finished a draft that Democratic and GOP lawmakers in the so-called ‘Gang of 7’ are reviewing.

"We still have the strong support and encouragement of Speaker Boehner as well as Leader (Nancy) Pelosi, so I think we’re all committed to perusing this process. And we think that ultimately the vehicle that we come up with will be the vehicle that ends up passing the House," he says.

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Environment
7:00 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Poll: Small Business Owners Support Clean Energy, Climate Change Initiatives

A new poll of small business owners around the country suggests that a majority support cleaner energy sources and climate change regulations.

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Arts and Humanities
6:41 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Red Feather Takes Flight: Kentucky Center Sculpture Will Be Removed for Restoration

"The Red Feather," 1975, Alexander Calder
Louisville Metro Images

The front steps of the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts will be missing a familiar figure this month. Alexander Calder’s eleven-feet-tall metal sculpture “The Red Feather” will be removed and packed for transit on July 13, where it will undergo a three-month restoration and repainting process in Virginia.

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Shots - Health News
6:35 am
Mon July 1, 2013

You Ask, We Answer: Demystifying The Affordable Care Act

Families soon will be able to sign up for new health insurance options through the Affordable Care Act. In Washington, D.C., Dr. Cheryl Focht of Mary's Center performs a checkup of Jayson Gonzalez, 16, while his mother, Elizabeth Lopez, looks on.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:25 am

The biggest changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act are set to begin less than three months from now. Oct. 1 is when people can start signing up for coverage in new state health exchanges. The policies would kick in on Jan. 1, 2014.

It can all be a little confusing, we agree. So two weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to know about the health law.

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