Jonathan Meador

Frankfort Bureau Chief

Jonathan Meador

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

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Local News
3:22 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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Politics
7:46 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Immigration Reform Would Help Kentucky, Report Says

Mammoth Cave hosts Naturalization Ceremony underground.
Credit National Parks Service

Kentucky’s economy would benefit from comprehensive immigration reform, according to a report on immigration's impact on the state.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy last week released its report on "New Americans in Kentucky."

Kentucky’s immigrant population grew faster than all but six states from 2000 to 2012, the report said. 

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Politics
3:00 pm
Fri July 4, 2014

Kentucky Lawmakers Attack Climate Change Science In Discussion on Carbon Regulations

Credit Decumanus / Wikimedia Commons

FRANKFORT — State lawmakers' discussion Thursday of the effect of new EPA carbon emission regulations on Kentucky focused more on political attacks than hard science.

While committee members railed against the Obama Administration and the EPA regulations they admittedly don’t fully understand — the document is  about 700 pages — many lawmakers saw fit to attack the science behind climate change.

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Local News
4:20 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Federal Highway Trust Fund Insolvency Threatens $185 Million in Kentucky Projects

Steve Beshear
Credit Rae Hodge/Kentucky Public Radio

FRANKFORT— Congressional inaction threatening the solvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund may cost Kentucky $185 million for projects, drastically changing how the state pays for road construction, Gov. Steve Beshear said Wednesday.

Beshear and U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who was visiting the state, criticized Congress for  inaction that will reduce the amount the highway trust fund reimburses states for roadwork by 28 percent, affecting upwards of 700,000 jobs nationwide.

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Politics
9:01 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Brent Spence Bridge Project Funding Is Washington's Responsibility, Ky. Lawmaker Says

The Brent Spence Bridge
Credit brentspencebridgecorridor.com

Northern Kentucky business and labor leaders want the $2.6 billion renovation of the Brent Spence Bridge funded in any way possible, but many state lawmakers aren’t willing to support one option—tolls—in an election year.

There's just not much money for new infrastructure, with a state highway trust fund poised to dip into the red pending federal inaction, and road receipts projected to decline in the future due to high gas prices and more fuel efficient cars.

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Politics
5:40 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Federal Grant Aims to Speed Up Broadband in Kentucky Schools

Credit Brad Flickering/Creative Commons

Kentucky is poised to receive federal grant money to improve broadband speeds in public schools.

The Federal Communication Commission’s E-rate program already provides more than $2 billion annually to schools across the U.S. to modernize Internet accessibility.

Now that the FCC has pledged an additional $2 billion for the next two years, Kentucky educators are poised to get a $22 million slice of that pie.

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Politics
5:53 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Seven Counties Court Ruling May Increase Kentucky Pension Costs

Credit Seven Counties Services

FRANKFORT — Kentucky state government could face increased pension costs if a court ruling is allowed to stand, state lawmakers were told on Wednesday.

The ruling, which is pending appeal, said quasi-governmental agencies such as Seven Counties Services can abstain from paying into the ailing state pension system.

If the appeals court agrees with the ruling, the state would have to cover $2.5 billion in unpaid pension obligations, Kentucky Retirement Systems executive director Bill Thielen said.

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Education
9:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Aerospace Investment Could Help Kentucky's Economy and Education System, Advocates Tell Lawmakers

The F-35 Joint Fighter Jet by Lockheed.
Credit Creative Commons

State investment in aerospace development could spur economic growth and improve students' math and science scores, advocates for the field's growth in Kentucky told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Mike Young, executive director of the Kentucky Aviation Council, said  Kentucky was a national leader in the field when the organization was founded in the mid-90s.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Efforts to Keep Tolls Off Northern Kentucky Bridge Draw In McConnell and Grimes

Alison Lundergan Grimes and Mitch McConnell
Credit Secretary of State's Office/U.S. Senate

The possibility of tolls to pay  for a $2.6-billion bridge replacement project in Northern Kentucky has enraged conservatives and become an issue in the U.S. Senate campaign.

 Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell and Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes have ideas—very different ideas—to keep tolls off the Brent Spence Bridge. The issue highlights the different campaign philosophies by Kentucky's major party Senate candidates.

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Politics
4:54 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

State Rep. Tom Burch: Laws Outlawing Marijuana Were 'Ill Advised'

Kentucky state Capitol building.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

A Democratic state legislator said he believes legalized medical marijuana in Kentucky is a matter of when, not if.

Still, Senate Republicans are concerned that people would use the drug for recreational purposes.

State Rep.Tom Burch said he remembers when the state outlawed marijuana—and he called it a mistake. 

“I was here when we criminalized the use of marijuana back in the '70s," said Burch, a Louisville Democrat. "It was a rush to, you know, get these criminals off the street, and all this kind of stuff that was going on.

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