Local News

UK Police “Disappointed” In High Court Gun Ruling

From Alan Lytle, Kentucky Public Radio

The University of Kentucky’s chief of police says he’s disappointed in yesterday’s ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court that students and staff members at UK and the commonwealth’s other universities may legally store guns and other deadly weapons in a car’s glove compartment, but that the schools may continue to regulate them elsewhere on campus.

The decision came in the case of University of Kentucky graduate student and anesthesia technician Michael Mitchell, who lost his job in 2009 after campus police found a semi-automatic pistol in his car.

Mitchell, who has a concealed weapons permit, sued the university, claiming he was wrongfully fired for having the gun in his car.

Fayette County Commonwealth’s Attorney Ray Larson says the ruling is a clear example of state law, which allows a law-abiding gun owner to store a firearm in a car’s glove compartment, trumping a university’s safety policy.

“There are some very, very strong feelings in support of the second amendment that allows people to own and possess firearms around the country.  So does this surprise me?  No, because the legislature made, you know, they said that that was an exemption from any university regulations and that was that you can have it on university property so long as it was in the glove box,” Larson said.

“Our top priority is to protect the safety of students, faculty and staff at UK,” said UK Police Chief Joe Monroe in a statement. “We are concerned about anything that potentially limits the options police have in safeguarding the campus. In the coming days, we will be reviewing the ruling in greater detail to determine the legal and policy options at our disposal in addressing this serious issue.”

Fayette Circuit Judge Pamela Goodwine ruled in favor of the university. The high court reinstated Mitchell’s suit and sent it back to Fayette Circuit Court for further proceedings.

Local News

Police Make Arrests as Fans Celebrate Kentucky Victory

From the Associated Press

One man was wounded by gunfire early Tuesday in Lexington, numerous small fires were set and dozens were arrested as thousands celebrated Kentucky’s win over Kansas to claim another NCAA title, authorities reported.

Battalion Chief Ed Davis of the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services said he saw the shooting as he was filling out paperwork on a wreck involving a fire engine. Davis said he heard yelling about 25 feet away, and one man started shooting at another. He said the gun was fired “quite a few times.”

Police Lt. Clayton Roberts said no arrests had been made in the shooting, which happened shortly after 2 a.m. EDT. The gunman disappeared into the crowd and behind some buildings and police could not locate him, Roberts said.

The wounded man, who is in his 30s, was taken to University of Kentucky Medical Center with serious injuries that weren’t believed to be life-threatening, Roberts said.

State of the News

Sports Writers Predict Outcome of Dream Game and Its Effect on City

Tonight, men’s basketball teams from the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky will meet in a Final Four game. On Friday’s State of the News, we were joined by sports journalists Bill Doolittle and Eric Crawford (the latter joining us from UofL’s warm-up session in New Orleans), who talked about how the rest of the tournament might play out. Chris Otts also joined us with a look at how Louisville bars and restaurants have prepared for the big game.

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Local News

Kentucky Advances to Final Four, Will Face Louisville

For the first time in nearly 30 years, the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky men’s basketball teams will play each other in the NCAA tournament.

Yesterday, Louisville beat Florida to secure the West Region title. Today, UK topped Baylor to win the South Region. The Cardinals and Wildcats will face each other Saturday in New Orleans for a shot at the championship.

The two teams last met in tournament play in 1984.  U of L coach Rick Pitino said Saturday that while he knows the next game will mean a lot for many fans, he doesn’t put much stock in the rivalry.

“The way I look at Kentucky and the way I look at their coaching staff…I marvel at excellence. I respect excellence. But I don’t get into these petty things, Kentucky, Louisville. For me it’s nonsense. I never got into the Yankees-Red Sox or that sort of stuff. I just appreciated being a Yankees fan,” he said. “There’ll be people in Kentucky that will have a nervous breakdown if they lose to us. You gotta watch, they gotta put the fences up on bridges. And there’ll be people consumed by it in Louisville. I think it’s a great honor to play a great team.”

“They have a great program, they’re well-coached and they’re talented,” said UK coach John Calipari Sunday about the Cardinals. “I’m not worried about who we’re playing.”

On the other side of the bracket, Ohio State and the winner of today’s Kansas-North Carolina will compete to play in the championship game.

Local News

U of L Advances To Big East Semifinals With Win Over Marquette

The Louisville Cards have advanced to the semifinal round of the men’s Big East basketball tournament with an 84-71 victory over Marquette tonight. Kyle Kuric led U of L with 20 points; Peyton Siva added 18.

The seventh-seeded Cards will take on Notre Dame at 9:00pm tomorrow at Madison Square Garden.

In other action, Indiana advanced to the second round of the Big Ten Tournament with a victory over Penn State. The Hoosiers take on Wisconsin tomorrow in Indianapolis.

Kentucky opens play tomorrow in the Southeastern Conference Tournament against Louisiana State.

Local News

College Basketball: Road Games for U of L, UK; MSU Tries To Recover From First Loss

In college basketball, the Louisville Cards return to action tomorrow at West Virginia. U of L is riding a five-game winning streak and is hoping to improve its position in the Big East Confererence, where the Cards are tied for fifth place.

Tipoff at Morgantown, West Virginia is at noon.

The Kentucky Wildcats take their 24-1 record to Nashville for a showdown with Vanderbilt tomorrow night. UK is 10-0 in Southeastern Conference play. Tipoff is 9:00pm.

Murray State is no longer undefeated after losing to Tennessee State last night. The Racers return to action tomorrow evening, hosting Austin Peay.

Indiana is idle this weekend. The Hoosiers return to the court Wednesday against Northwestern.

Frankfort Local News

UK, U of L Presidents Say Sixth Straight Year of Budget Cuts May Lead to Drastic Measures

Kentucky’s two largest universities are facing grim futures with more budget cuts planned for the coming years. But the schools’ presidents say they can survive

University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto and University of Louisville President James Ramsey addressed the Senate Education Committee today.

They did not attempt to talk their way out of proposed 6.4 percent budget cuts. Instead, both men talked highly of their current programs and their ability to survive past budget cuts.

Kentucky’s universities have been cut 11 times in the last decade. And Capilouto says UK’s top priority is to protect students as much as possible.

“And that’s going to be our guidepost as we go through these tough choices and they will be tough choices,” he said.

Frankfort Local News

Shaughnessy Uses Basketball to Create Discussion Over Higher Ed Graduation Rates

A state Senator from Louisville has come under fire for trying to legislate that the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville play each other in basketball and football.

Democratic Senator Tim Shaughnessy has filed a bill that includes language that requires UK and U of L to play each other every year. But Shaughnessy says that’s not the point of his bill.

Instead, the senator points to the other language in the bill, which requires Kentucky’s eight public universities to track graduation rates and  then improve on those rates. It also holds university presidents and trustees accountable.

“There is a trend going across the nation of where state by state is stepping forward to require their state universities to graduate students on time and at a lower cost,” Shaughnessy said in a floor speech this week.  “And that is a trend that has not come to Kentucky.”

Local News

University of Kentucky Hosting Conference on Elder Abuse

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

A center at the University of Kentucky is taking a multi-disciplinary approach to preventing elder financial abuse.

The Justice Center for Elderly and Vulnerable Adults, which is hosting its inaugural conference today in Lexington.

“Older adults have the lion’s share of the wealth in the country. They are targets for somebody else who wants it. Secondly, elders are wired even by theory to be me more trusting of others. So that may open us up to vulnerability,” says center director Pamela Teaster. “It’s different when you lose money at age 30 or 40 as opposed to losing money at age 80 or 70 because what do you have to recoup that? You no longer have the working years you had and if you had to rely on the stock market, good luck.”

Teaster says senior citizens are also vulnerable to financial abuse because their memory and decision-making abilities may be challenged as they age. Actor Mickey Rooney is the keynote speaker for the Justice Center’s conference. He has filed a lawsuit against his stepson for allegedly defrauding him. Rooney has testified about elder abuse before Congress.

Environment Local News

Work Has Begun on New Energy Research Facility at UK

by Brenna Angel, Kentucky Public Radio

The University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research has begun work on a facility that could someday lead to changes in where and how the U.S. fuels transportation needs. Center director Rodney Andrews says the $5.7 million building will serve as a process development unit.

“It’s a facility that’s designed and built around doing more larger demonstration-scale work on some of the chemical processes involved in converting coal and coal-biomass mixtures into alternative fuels,” he said.

Andrews says the large box-like structure will allow researchers to demonstrate gasification and gas cleanup on an industrial scale.

“What this can change is development of these technologies in a more efficient way and a way they have a smaller environmental footprint could allow the United States, and in particular Kentucky, to reduce the amount of fuels we’re importing,” he said.

Kentucky Congressmen Hal Rogers and Geoff Davis spoke at the facility’s groundbreaking ceremony today, saying the country needs to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. The facility is funded largely by the U.S. Department of Energy with additional financial support from the state Energy and Environment Cabinet and UK.