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
2:06 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Most State Universities Avoiding Major Layoffs

The majority of the state's public universities are not following the University of Kentucky's lead in laying off a large number of employees to balance the budget.

UK announced this week that 140 employees will be laid off and 160 unfilled positions will be eliminated. But other public universities like Murray State, Eastern and Western Kentucky aren’t doing the same. Some schools are using hiring and pay freezes to deal with budget cuts from the state, but others, like Western, aren't using personnel to balance budgets at all.

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu June 7, 2012

After Indiana Success, Supporters Hope to Pass "Right to Work" Law in Kentucky

Groups that support so-called right to work laws are looking to pass such a measure in Kentucky.

Right to work laws prohibit the mandatory payment of union dues. Indiana passed such a law last year, and some of the same groups that lobbied for it are now focusing on the commonwealth.  

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Politics
3:00 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Former Justice O'Connor Says Direct Election of Judges Corrupts the System

Library of Congress Wikimedia Commons

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor says the money involved in direct judicial elections is corrupting the legal system.

In Kentucky, judges from the district level to the state supreme court are elected. At the Kentucky Bar Association’s annual convention in Louisville today, O’Connor—the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court—told hundreds of lawyers and judges that judicial elections are in direct conflict with the intent of American justice system. 

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Politics
4:47 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Paul Adds to Criticisms of EPA Ahead of Kentucky Meeting

U.S. Senate

U.S. Senator Rand Paul is joining the chorus of conservative voices criticizing the Environmental Protection Agency during this week's hearings on Kentucky mining permits. 

Many state officials are planning to speak out at today's meeting in Frankfort and Thursday's meeting in Pikeville. The Frankfort meeting is set to take place in a few hours and rallies for and against expanded mining are already underway.

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Politics
12:24 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Ahead of Meetings in Kentucky, McConnell Again Criticizes EPA

As the Environmental Protection Agency begins its public forums on coal mining permits in Kentucky, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is rallying for coal to be a bigger part of the nation's energy portfolio. 

McConnell has consistently criticized the EPA for its regulatory stances, saying they are harmful to Kentucky’s mining and agriculture industries. And he doubled down on that stance in remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday. 

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Politics
1:33 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Secular Group Plans to Open Chapter in Kentucky

The SCA's state chapter rollout map

A national group that promotes the separation of church and state is looking to establish a chapter in Kentucky. 

The decade-old Secular Coalition for America lobbies for the separation of church and state on the federal level, and officials now want to bring those efforts to statehouses across the country. The SCA already has two chapters in other states and it plans to create 10 more soon. 

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Politics
6:00 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Edelen Says He'll Keep Campaign Promise to Audit Education Funding

File photo

A busy schedule won’t keep Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen from digging into school board funding.

Edelen is currently planning audits into special taxing districts and Medicaid managed care. His office is also required to do hundreds of audits of local and state government agencies. But Edelen says he’ll keep his campaign pledge to look at school funding. And that could include a review of the state’s public universities, too.

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Politics
1:53 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Company's Withdrawal Restarts Battle Between Nursing Homes and Legal System

A prominent nursing home company is ending its operations in Kentucky, and the decision has reignited a battle between the nursing home industry and legal professionals.

Earlier this week, Extendicare announced plans to lease its Kentucky nursing homes. The company said too many unnecessary lawsuits were being filed for operations to continue in the state.

Kentucky has grown into a senior living hub, and many big companies like Altria and Kindred have corporate headquarters in the state. 

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Politics
1:06 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

National Progressive Group Targets Kentucky Lawmakers for ALEC Ties

 

A national progressive organization that's pressuring Democrats to drop their memberships in a conservative nonprofit is now operating in Kentucky.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has spearheaded several national campaigns, like the push to recall Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker and with Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. Senate bid.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Beshear Creates Coal Scholarship Program

 

Governor Steve Beshear has created a program lawmakers could not. The governor has released four million dollars to be given as scholarships to Eastern Kentucky college students.

Lawmakers wrestled with several scholarship proposals during the last legislative session, but an agreement was never passed.

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