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
6:00 am
Sat January 19, 2013

Rand Paul To Introduce Bill Directing Priorities if Debt Ceiling Not Raised

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Sen. Rand Paul plans to introduce legislation that would prevent the federal  government from defaulting if it fails to raise the debt ceiling. 

President Barack Obama and Congress are once again tussling over increasing the nation’s debt limit. The president says he won’t negotiate the issue, while the GOP wants to tie any change to spending cuts.

If an agreement isn't reached, the U.S. will be unable to pay its bills. Paul says his legislation will force the president pay debt interest, entitlements and the military before using remaining funds.

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Education
2:32 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Centre Starting New Global Leadership Program

Credit Centre College

Kentucky’s Centre College is creating a new summer program this year for Kentucky juniors and seniors to learn more about the world outside state.

The Global Leadership Academy will take place over two weeks in the middle of June this summer; the goal for Centre is to get Kentucky’s high school students more in line with global leadership and cultures.

It’s the first attempt at such a program for the private college in Danville, Ky., which is leveraging its reputation as a strong study abroad college to start the program.

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Politics
9:32 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul: Israel Trip Was to 'Cement Relationships'

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

Fresh off a trip to Israel, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul says his mission was to prove he is an ally of the Middle Eastern nation.

Many pro-Israel groups have been wary of the senator, because of his calls to reduce foreign aid. Paul’s father, Ron Paul, the former U.S. representative and Republican presidential candidate, also had a frosty relationship with pro-Israel groups.

But the senator said he learned a lot from his trip and worked to solidify his relationships with the U.S. ally.

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Politics
1:52 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Vows to Scrutinize President's Executive Actions on Guns

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said he'll examine President Obama's just-announced executive orders to see if the president has overstepped his authority — and, if he believes so, will introduce legislation to overturn the orders. 

“Executive orders can be overturned and cannot run afoul of legislation that is the current law, if he tries to create legislation, I will oppose him,” Paul said on Wednesday.

Obama on Wednesday announced 23 executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence, plus a push for new legislation.

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Education
12:59 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Kentucky Attorney General Sues Spencerian College for Alleged Job Placement Misrepresentation

Jack Conway
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has sued Spencerian College for allegedly misrepresenting job placement numbers to consumers.

Conway said Wednesday at a news conference in Frankfort that the for-profit school violated the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act by making unfair, false and deceptive statements regarding the hiring rates of its students.

Spencerian operates two Kentucky campuses — one in Lexington and one in Louisville.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

Kentucky Health Co-Op Not in Danger After Fiscal Cliff Cuts

One lesser-known aspect of the Affordable Care Act is it’s reliance on state health cooperatives —  which work separate of the state- or federally run health exchange, but are free to offer their own brand of insurance on the exchange.

But recent Congressional deal-making is putting those co-ops in danger.

While states are getting grants to fund their exchanges, co-ops were getting federal loans which had to be paid back within five years.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Spirits Sellers to Legislators: Don't Wait for Appeals Ruling For New Liquor Law

Credit Creative Commons

If a federal judge's ruling goes into effect, businesses that sell liquor in Kentucky may see increased competition — and those businesses are encouraging legislators to act before an appeals  decision comes down.

Judge John Heyburn tossed the laws last year, saying it was unconstitutional to allow places like drug stores to sell some wine and liquor, but not groceries.

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Politics
7:00 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Robert Stivers: Let's Exhaust Legal Appeals Before Reforming Liquor Laws

Credit Gabe Bullard/WFPL

Work on reforming some of Kentucky’s liquor laws may wait until a federal appeals court rules on a current challenge.

A federal circuit judge threw out state laws dealing with where wine and distilled spirits can be sold, calling them unfair. Currently only select stores — such as liquor stores and pharmacies — can sell those beverages, while others — such as groceries — can only sell beer.

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Politics
3:30 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Kentucky Chamber Joins Hemp Supporters

Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has landed a high-profile supporter for his efforts to legalize hemp in Kentucky.

The state’s largest business group, the Kentucky Chamber, has come out in support of industrial hemp for oil and fiber, provided there is a sound regulatory process.

Many of the state’s federal lawmakers support the issue as well, including Congressmen Andy Barr, John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie and Senator Rand Paul.

A bill to legalize hemp was filed in the Kentucky Senate Friday by the  agriculture committee chair.

Politics
11:17 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Kentucky Legislative Leaders Undecided On Whether to Delay Redistricting

Kentucky legislative districts approved in 2002.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

Kentucky legislative leaders say they haven't responded yet to Gov. Steve Beshear’s request to delay General Assembly redistricting in the 2013 session.

Senate President Robert Stivers says his leadership team has not yet decided on a response and that many in his chamber are conflicted on when to address redistricting.

“And we all have varying opinions on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done and one thing I don’t think we need to do is a special session,” he says.

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