Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

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

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Local News
3:52 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Kentucky's Percentage of Uninsured Drops to Second-Lowest in the U.S., Gallup Says

File photo
Credit Phalinn Ooi/Creative Commons

The percentage of people in Kentucky without health insurance has dropped to the second-lowest rate in the U.S.

According to a Gallup poll released this week, the number of uninsured dropped from over 20 percent in 2013 to about 12 percent as of July 2014, reflecting an 8.5 percent decline since the federal Affordable Care Act took effect. The only other state to experience a sharper decline was Arkansas, where the uninsured rate dropped about 10 percent.

The states rounding out the top five after Kentucky are Delaware, Washington and Colorado.

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Local News
6:37 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Cases From Kentucky and 3 Other States Get Unprecendented Appeals Hearing

Timothy Love, left, and Larry Ysunza are one of the couples from Kentucky challenging the state's same-sex marriage ban.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

CINCINNATI—In oral arguments Wednesday before a federal appeals court, Gov. Steve Beshear's attorney re-emphasized a stance that same-sex should not be allowed because the couples cannot procreate, raising issues for Kentucky's population growth and economy.

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Local News
6:47 am
Tue August 5, 2014

Kentucky's Same-Sex Marriage Ban Goes Before a Federal Appeals Court on Wednesday

Kentucky plaintiff Greg Bourke, center, discussing the lawsuit earlier this year.
Credit Joseph Lord/WFPL News

The federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear oral arguments Wednesday in same-sex marriage cases from four states, including Kentucky.

The lawsuits each challenge aspects of laws banning same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky. Kentucky's case challenges the state's 2004 constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"What's at stake here are marriage equality rights," said Laura Landenwich, an attorney for plaintiffs.

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Politics
12:49 am
Sun August 3, 2014

Fancy Farm: Ag Commissioner James Comer Officially Enters 2015 Governor's Race

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer beside his wife, T.J., as he announces his bid for governor.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

  FANCY FARM—Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer officially announced his bid for governor Saturday at the 134th annual Fancy Farm political picnic. He's the third candidate to launch an gubernatorial bid in the 2015 race.

"It's been my dream come true to be your commissioner of agriculture," Comer said before a packed audience at the St. Jerome Church picnic grounds. "And I view the people of Western Kentucky as our family. So [my wife] T.J. and I have chosen this time, and this place, to say to all of you, I will be a candidate for governor in 2015."

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Politics
11:51 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Fancy Farm: Alison Lundergan Grimes Throws Red Meat to Bean Supper Crowd

U.S. Senate Candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes addresses the crowd at the 19th Annual Marshall County Bean Supper on Fri., Aug. 1.
Credit Jake Ryan / WFPL

GILBERTSVILLE—At an annual event known for its bean dish, Kentucky Secretary of State and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes offered some red meat to a Democratic audience.

Grimes once again challenged her opponent, incumbent GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, to a public debate, drawing cheers from a friendly crowd.

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Local News
12:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

On the Eve of Fancy Farm, Remembering Gatewood Galbraith and an Old Kentucky Oratory Tradition

Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley during their campaign for governor and lieutenant governor.
Credit File photo

It’s Fancy Farm, 2011. Gatewood Galbraith, clad in his trademark fedora, takes the stage. 

“Thank you very much folks," he tells the applauding crowd. "Gatewood Galbraith here. First of all, I’m gonna go away from my regular speech for just a second and tell you Gov. Beshear, that was the worst darn speech I ever heard anybody give!”

The audience cheers.

Dubbed by many Kentucky political observers as one of the best stump speakers in recent history, Galbraith’s populist oratory style and steely resolve was a perfect match for the event.

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Local News
9:22 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Kentucky Tourism Board OKs $18 Million In Tax Incentives for Ark Encounter

A model of the Ark Encounter park.
Credit arkencounter.com

FRANKFORT— The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Board has approved $18 million in tax breaks for a controversial Christian theme park in Northern Kentucky.

The board unanimously voted on Tuesday to approve sales tax incentives for the Ark Encounter, a religious theme park to be built in Williamstown. The theme park is controlled by Answers in Genesis, a conservative Christian non-profit that also operates the Creation Museum.

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Local News
4:56 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

State Rep. Ben Waide Indicted For Alleged Campaign Finance Violations

Ben Waide
Credit Legislative Research Commission

FRANKFORT — State Rep. Ben Waide was indicted Tuesday on felony charges of violating state campaign finance law.

A Franklin County grand jury indicted Waide on two counts of misappropriation of campaign funds, according to a news release from the state Attorney General's Office, which is prosecuting the case. Waide, a Madisonville Republican, could face up to 10 years in prison and up to $20,000 in fines if convicted.

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Politics
6:39 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Dainty: A Democratic Pit Stop In Louisville on the Road to Fancy Farm

Attorney General Jack Conway played Dainty on Monday.
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

On the road to this weekend's Fancy Farm political picnic, there are detours.

One is the Dainty contest, a unique annual sports event in Louisville’s Schnitzelburg neighborhood that draws local and statewide politicians.

In the run up to Fancy Farm, the Dainty has served as a kind of roadside attraction. Candidates rub elbows with prospective voters in an attempt to energize the base in one of Kentucky's most solidly working-class Democratic strongholds.

Monday night's Dainty, with maybe 4oo people in attendance, was no different.

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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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