Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

Local News
7:02 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Richard Hooten, the Indiana Man With Many Chances, Accepts Life Sentence in Plea

Richard Hooten in 1985
Credit Kentucky Department of Corrections

This story was written by R.G. Dunlop of the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

An Indiana man who has spent nearly half of his adult life behind bars pleaded guilty Thursday to the high-profile killing of a Clarksville teenager last year.

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Local News
3:37 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Kentucky At-Risk Youth Agency's President Resigns Following Inquiry

Credit Uspiritus

The president of the state’s largest non-profit agency for at-risk and foster children resigned late last week in the aftermath of an internal investigation of her performance. Neither she nor the organization’s board of directors would say why.

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Local News
12:46 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Kentucky Gets ‘B’ Grade In Government Transparency

Credit U.S. Public Interest Research Group

The national leader just five years ago, Kentucky is starting to fall behind other states in disclosing how state government spends the public’s money.

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Local News
3:13 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Gov. Beshear Got Hefty Donations From Power Plant Proponents

Gov. Beshear with state officials and ecoPower executives at bill signing ceremony.
ecoPower press release

Information continues to surface about a proposed biomass-burning, electricity-generating plant in eastern Kentucky, and the company trying to build it.     

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Business
12:14 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Churchill Downs Inc. Preps For Big Race, and Executives Win Big With Bonuses

Credit Jackie M. Barr/Creative Commons

The Kentucky Derby is still more than a month away, but Churchill Downs Inc. executives are already celebrating a big payday.

A lot of money passes through CDI. The Louisville-based gaming company owns five horse racetracks, six casinos and the nation’s top online wagering site, TwinSpires.com.

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Investigations
11:31 am
Mon March 24, 2014

Louisville-Based Kindred Healthcare's Chairman Snares Loaded Retirement Package

Kindred
Credit James McNair/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

At Kindred Healthcare Inc., retirement gifts have gone way beyond the farewell cake, the cheap wristwatch and the sendoff reception at the local sports bar.

Last December the Louisville-based hospital and nursing home chain announced that its chairman, Edward Kuntz, would be quitting the board of directors after its annual shareholders meeting in May. Kuntz is 68 and has been chairman since 1999. Until 2004, he was also the company’s chief executive. “

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Politics
6:57 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Louisville Metro Ethics Commission Seeks Guidance on Council Members and Zoning Decisions

Jim King
Credit Louisville Metro Council

The Louisville Metro Ethics Commission punted Thursday on an advisory opinion sought by Council President Jim King regarding whether council members have to determine who has an interest in zoning decisions.

With little discussion, the committee voted to send a letter to King’s attorney, saying the commission would seek the legislative guidance of the metro council’s government accountability and ethics committee.

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Environment
1:01 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Would the Eastern Kentucky Biomass Plant be Good for the Environment?

A concrete slab indicates the site of a projected biomass power plant.
Credit Frankie Steele/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

This story is part of a series from the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting and WFPL.  Read the other stories here.  

For decades, Eastern Kentucky has been coal country. Coal provided work for thousands, while severance taxes contributed to county budgets. And while the industry has been in a steep decline over the past few years, coal still powers almost all of the electricity for the region and the state.

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Investigations
1:00 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

How Politics, Misinformation and Money Fueled a Power Plant in Kentucky's Coal Country

View from site of projected ecoPower plant, with evidence of strip mining in the distance.
Credit Frankie Steele/Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

HAZARD, Ky.—Up a steep dirt road, atop a former strip-mine, sits a concrete slab roughly 30 feet square. It’s the only visible sign that a wood-burning, electricity-generating plant could someday occupy this remote industrial park.

Supporters say the biomass plant, 11 miles northwest of Hazard, would be an economic godsend for Perry County, creating hundreds of jobs and pumping millions of dollars into the heart of poverty-plagued Appalachian Kentucky.

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Local News
3:10 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

James McNair Joins Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting

James McNair
Credit Submitted photo

Veteran finance and business reporter James McNair is the newest addition to the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. 

McNair's nearly 30 years in journalism includes positions at the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Miami Herald, where he's done work to uncover fraud and unethical business practices.

He's worked since 2007 as an independent researcher for hedge funds, in which "he is responsible for combing through records, digging through corporate filings and assisting the company in analyzing the health of businesses," a news release said.

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