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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Local News
6:00 pm
Fri May 17, 2013

Kentucky's Tourism Secretary Is Retiring

Marcheta Sparrow
Credit KY.gov

Marcheta Sparrow will retire at the end of this month as the Secretary of Tourism, Arts and Heritage. Sparrow was named secretary in 2007 and was one of the original members of Gov. Steve Beshear's cabinet.

In a statement, Beshear praised Sparrow for the recent growth in tourism, which was up 4.4 percent last year.

The secretary oversees many departments in addition to tourism, including parks, fish and wildlife and others related to the humanities.

Beshear says he will name a new secretary soon. 

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Politics
11:38 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Coalition Forms to Oppose Electricity Rate Increase in Western Ky. from Smelter Deal

Credit Doug Wilson / Environmental Protection Agency

A coalition of western Kentucky businesses and residents has formed in hopes of minimizing the fallout of an electricity rates deal between Big Rivers Electric Co-Op and western Kentucky aluminum smelters.

The coalition is worried the deal will lead to higher utility bills for residents and businesses. 

Aluminum prices have been low in the past few years, and across Kentucky, aluminum smelters have sought to save money on their electricity bills.

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Politics
12:58 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

Rand Paul Seeks to Cuts Corporate Tax, Fund Transportation

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Through a single piece of legislation, Sen. Rand Paul is hoping to cut a corporate tax and get more revenue for transportation projects.

Here's how: When American companies make money overseas and put it in foreign banks, they have to pay a tax to bring the money back to the U.S.  Paul is sponsoring legislation that lowers the tax companies pay to transfer foreign profits to America from 35 percent to 5 percent. Many of those companies keep that money overseas instead of paying the 35-percent tax.

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Politics
1:24 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Kentucky's Insurance Exchange Is Named, 'Similar to Travelocity or Expedia' Experience

Credit Shutterstock.com

Kentucky's new exchange for people on the market for healthcare now has a name and  a website.

It'll be called Kynect—pronounced "connect." People can access it at kynect.ky.gov. A phone line will be running in August.

Kynect will be fully operational in time for October open health insurance enrollment.

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Politics
2:57 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

As IRS Scandal Endures, Kentucky Tea Party Activist Split on Mitch McConnell

Credit Shutterstock

As the scandal surrounding the targeting of tea party groups by the IRS continues, some Kentucky tea party activists are upset with Senator Mitch McConnell's role in the process—even as the state party is asking them to support him.

In Kentucky, only the statewide 9/12 project has come forward to acknowledge that they were targeted and that they were rejecting the IRS' apology on the matter.

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Politics
3:19 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Poll Shows Major Support for Medical Marijuana in Kentucky

A new poll shows 78 percent of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana, while others would be fine with widespread legalization. 

The Kentucky Health Issues Poll has conducted polling on a wide array of issues for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky over the past few months, from a statewide smoking ban to health insurance coverage. 

Its latest poll  shows overwhelming support for medical marijuana in Kentucky. It also shows roughly one in four Kentuckians would be okay with legalizing pot even for recreational use.

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Politics
6:59 am
Sun May 12, 2013

Ag Commissioner James Comer Says Hemp-Promoting Trip to Washington Was A Success

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

A trio of Kentuckians who favor the legalization of hemp says a trip to Washington D.C. to meet with lawmakers and executive branch officials was beneficial.

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Politics
2:49 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Ben Chandler to Lead Kentucky Humanities Council, Doesn't Rule Out Return to Politics

Former Congressman Ben Chandler will be the new executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council.  

The non-profit group is not affiliated with the state, but works closely with state tourism and arts organizations. It is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Politics
4:13 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Democrats, Health Groups Praise Beshear's Decision to Expand Medicaid

Credit Shutterstock.com

After months of deliberations, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has decided to expand Medicaid in Kentucky under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare—a move that's won praise from Democrats and health advocacy groups.

Beshear said Thursday that expansion benefits Kentucky in many ways.

"This move makes sense not only for our health but also for our pocketbook. More important it makes sense for our future," he says.

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Politics
2:06 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Jack Conway, Hal Rogers Protest Urban Outfitters' Prescription Bottle Merchandise

Two Kentucky elected leaders are joining their peers in asking a national clothing retailer to stop selling questionable pint and shot glasses.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers are asking retailer Urban Outfitters to stop selling an array of pint glasses, shot glasses and flasks that are made to look like prescription pill bottles.

The two men have consistently fought for laws to reduce Kentucky's prescription pill epidemic on both the state and federal levels.

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