Proposal would change timing for Ky. elections

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A proposed ballot measure to switch elections for Kentucky governor and other statewide constitutional offices to even-numbered years has cleared the state Senate.

Republican Sen. Christian McDaniel of Taylor Mill said the goal is to raise voter turnout and reduce election-related costs by consolidating more elections.

But Democratic Sen. Ray Jones II of Pikeville said Republicans want the change to improve the GOP's chances of winning constitutional offices.

The proposed constitutional amendment cleared the GOP-run Senate on a 25-12 vote Wednesday.

Currently, elections for governor and other constitutional offices are held in odd-numbered years. The next election for those jobs is set for 2015.

The proposed ballot measure would shift those elections to even-numbered years every four years, beginning in 2016. The proposal now goes to the House.


Ky. Senate votes to update informed consent law

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The Kentucky Senate has passed a bill to require any woman seeking an abortion to have a "face-to-face" meeting with a medical professional before the procedure.

The measure seeks to update the state's informed consent law. It requires women to receive counseling and then wait at least 24 hours before having an abortion.

The bill passed the Senate on a 33-5 vote Wednesday and now goes to the House.

Sen. Sara Beth Gregory, the bill's lead sponsor, says abortion providers have "found a way around" the law's intent by providing the information through recorded telephone messages.

Gregory, R-Monticello, says in-person meetings would ensure women are fully informed before making a potential "life-ending decision."

Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington, says the bill is intended to cause a "guilt trip" for women seeking abortions.


Rogers touts plan to expand Internet in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers says the federal government should have a role in spreading high-speed Internet access to the region's struggling coalfields.

The Kentucky Republican said Wednesday that the spending bill passed by Congress last week included $10 million to expand broadband access to distressed areas of central Appalachia.

Rogers said he hopes that's the start of federal investments for broadband access in hard-hit coal regions. As chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, Rogers will have an influential voice in that debate.

Rogers was at the Kentucky Capitol to support a plan outlined by Gov. Steve Beshear in his budget speech to lawmakers Tuesday night. Beshear is proposing a $100 million project to expand broadband access in Kentucky. The proposal would be supported by $60 million in state bonds.


Budget seeks $65M in bonds for Rupp renovation

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Gov. Steve Beshear is asking the state to provide $65 million in bonds for a renovation of Rupp Arena as part of his proposed two-year state budget.

The proposal is part of nearly $1 billion in General Fund bonds for construction projects included in Beshear's budget.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that Beshear says the total price tag to renovate the home of the University of Kentucky men's basketball team would be about $310 million.

The renovation plan would also include a relocation of the Lexington Convention Center. Beshear said the remaining funds would be provided by local and private sources.

In July, a contractor and architects were hired for initial design work, but final designs and a plan to finance the renovation have not yet been released.


Attorney warns of problems with 2 casino bills

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — An expanded gambling opponent says Kentucky lawmakers would violate their oath to uphold the Constitution if they passed two casino-related measures at the same time.

Attorney Stan Cave, representing The Family Foundation, told a House committee on Wednesday that such action would likely spur a court challenge.

His comments provided a new twist to a perennial debate.

House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark has introduced two gambling proposals. One is a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize casinos. The other specifies how many casinos to allow, how the industry would be regulated and how the state's share of revenue would be distributed.

Clark says if a proposed constitutional change reaches the ballot, Kentuckians should know such specifics.

Cave says lawmakers can't pass casino-related legislation when casinos are prohibited by the Constitution.


Sharpton, Lewis to speak at U of L event series on civil rights movement

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton and U.S. Rep. John Lewis are among the speakers during a series of events at the University of Louisville early this year focusing on the American civil rights movement during the 1960s.

The two civil rights leaders speak at an event March 6 to 8 looking at where the movement goes 50 years later.

Two events are scheduled this week. On Thursday, Matthew Whitaker of Arizona State University's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy speaks at 5:30 p.m. EST at Ekstrom Library. And Saturday will feature a panel discussion on trends in black electoral politics and legislation at 11 a.m. at DuValle Education Center.

Other events feature a presentation Feb. 5 on resistance in the civil rights movement and a symposium on Feb. 14 on issues including university leadership, curriculum development and ethnic studies.


Nashville Opera singer claims botched surgery

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Nashville Opera Company singer is suing the federal government over a childbirth operation at a military post, which she says caused problems that threaten her career.

Amy Herbst and her husband, former Army Staff Sgt. James Herbst, say a nurse-midwife at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital at Fort Campbell, Ky., caused her injuries during the birth of her son in February 2012 when the nurse performed an episiotomy.

The couple claims a nurse made the incision without consent. During a follow-up, another nurse told Herbst attempts to repair the incision failed.

Herbst alleges she is now unable to work as a professional opera singer because of "incontinence and excessive flatulence"

A hospital spokeswoman did not immediately return a message Wednesday.

The couple filed the suit Jan. 16 in Cincinnati.


Man convicted of plotting to kill former biker

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A jury has convicted a man charged with plotting to kill a gate company employee who was gunned down while working in central Kentucky.

The Advocate Messenger reports jurors deliberated for just more than an hour Tuesday before returning with their verdict against David Salyers.

Salyers was one of five people charged in connection to the 2012 death of Wendall "Gleason" Pyles, who was found shot to death at Tarter Gate Co. in Casey County.

Prosecutors said during the trial that Salyers wanted Pyles dead because he owed him money for a motorcycle and didn't show him the proper respect before quitting the Iron Horse Motorcycle Club.

Jurors recommended a 20-year prison sentence. Formal sentencing was set for March 7.


Sub-freezing temperatures blanket Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — First came the snow, and then came the frigid temperatures.

A blast of Arctic air moved into Kentucky Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, dropping temperatures below freezing, where they are expected to stay for the next few days.

It's the second helping of winter weather in the state in the last three weeks.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in Louisville Wednesday morning was 6 degrees while Paducah reported a temperature of 16 and Jackson reported a temperature of zero.

Several school districts remained closed on Wednesday, though some were operating on a delayed schedule.

Catlettsburg city officials say crews have had multiple issues with water main breaks since the first cold snap.


Louisville begins ACC era on Sept. 1 vs. Miami

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Bobby Petrino will make his 2014 Louisville coaching debut in a Labor Day matchup against Miami that also kicks off the Cardinals' participation in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The nationally-televised prime-time matchup is among several marquee games for the Cardinals, who will also host defending national champion Florida State on Oct. 30 and travel to Notre Dame on Nov. 22.

Louisville's ACC road schedule includes an Oct. 3 game against former Big East foe Syracuse, followed eight days later by a matchup at Clemson. The Cardinals also visit Boston College on Nov. 8.

Petrino will begin his second stint with Louisville against the Hurricanes in a rematch of last season's Russell Athletic Bowl won by the Cardinals 36-9. The season concludes with a Nov. 29 home game against rival Kentucky.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

More From WOMI-AM