By Drew Franklin on ©May 01st, 2019 @ 12:30pm
A self-proclaimed “Gool ol’ Kentucky boy” has a horse in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Chester Thomas from Madisonville, Ky., my hometown, is taking his Louisiana Derby-winning horse, “By My Standards,” to Churchill Downs this Saturday for the Run For The Roses. “By My Standards” went off at 22-1 in the Louisiana Derby, only to win the race and a spot in the first leg of the Triple Crown.
Julie Dolan of WLKY has a great story on Thomas’ Western Kentucky roots and how he and “By My Standards” will make their Derby debut on Saturday. He told her, “I really can’t put it in words, man. It’s a pretty special feeling, lot of excitement, lot of emotion to win a race like that.”
As for the big one ahead, “I don’t know how I’ll deal with winning the Kentucky Derby if we get there,” Thomas said. “I hope somebody puts a rein on me or a leash on me because they’re going to need one.”
Watch the story of Muhlenberg-born and Madisonville-raised Chester Thomas and “By My Standards”:
By Drew Franklin on ©May 01st, 2019 @ 11:30am
A Kentucky man lost his truck while being reminded of one of life’s most important lessons: Don’t solicit sex from a hitchhiker. I thought we all learned that at a young age, but apparently this 71-year-old man forgot.
The Laurel County man faces a charge of solicitation after Clay County deputies say he picked up a hitchhiker on I-75 and offered the hitchhiker money in return for sex. The hitchhiker, who is from Ohio, agreed and the two drove off to a nearby Old Town Road to complete the transaction. Once they parked and stepped out of the truck, the hitchhiker removed his clothing and then — Plot twist! — jumped in the driver’s seat and took off.
The truck is still missing, the identity of the thief is unknown, and the truck’s owner was escorted off to jail after reporting it stolen.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 30th, 2019 @ 10:27pm
Sports gambling will soon be legal in Tennessee.
On Tuesday, the Tennessee Senate passed legislation that will permit online-only sports gambling statewide. Tennesseans will be placing wagers as soon as July 1 of this year. Congratulations to my friends south of the border. You will be seeing me a lot more often now.
Meanwhile, in Kentucky, legislators missed an enormous opportunity. Rather than embracing sports gambling in a state that already celebrates betting on horses, and getting out in front of the sports gambling boom before it is legal nationwide, Kentucky decided to sit back, do nothing, and let its neighbors capitalize instead. Before long, people like me and just about everyone I know will be making regular trips to Tennessee, Indiana or West Virginia to place our wagers on sports. We will stay in their hotels, eat at their restaurants, drink at their bars, lose our money to their sports books, and assist their economy, not our own. We would much rather stay home to do all of that, which would really help fund the whole pension crisis we’ve got going on here, but our leadership in Frankfort said, “Nah, go ahead and cross the state line in any direction to spend your disposable income somewhere else on something that millions of people are already doing anyway. Your money is no good here. We’ll just keep complaining about how underfunded we are while you’re gone.” (Not a direct quote but pretty accurate.)
It’s a shame. Not because Kentuckians like me are missing out on the fun (there are plenty of ways for us to bet on sports) but because it is yet another example of Kentucky being left behind. With places like Churchill Downs and Red Mile with the infrastructure already in place when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of sports gambling last year, Kentucky screwed around and dropped the ball. I want to be surprised but I’m not.
But this coming Saturday, 150,000-plus people will go to Churchill Downs to watch horses run in a circle and almost all of them will have money on the line. That’s OK, though. There is nothing wrong with gambling on ponies or on numbered ping-pong balls or on random numbers popping up on a TV at the local bar or on whatever new game the Kentucky Lottery will come out with next. But bet on Game 2 of the NBA Western Conference semifinals? Not up in here. Not up in here!
Oh well. The hypocrisy is nothing new. Kentuckians have been traveling out of state to visit casinos for years. We’ll only be making more trips now that our border states are adding sports gambling in the very near future.
Can’t wait to give you my money, Tennessee! Maybe I can help build you a new road, West Virginia! Public schools need a little more money? I got you, Indiana! I’d hate to keep it here in Kentucky!
By Nick Roush on ©April 27th, 2019 @ 11:00am
An angler from Evarts, Kentucky is the state’s new largemouth bass record-holder.
Mark Ward’s Good Friday was actually a Great Friday. While casting a line on Highsplint Lake in Harlan County, Ward reeled in a 14-pound, 9.5-ounce largemouth bass.
“I pitched a lizard in there and the 4-pounder showed interest,” Ward said. “Then, another came in and looked like a big log. The 4-pound fish triggered her to pick it up. I set the hook and it was on.”
A Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife said “it would look like a shark if you saw it in the water.” It officially measured in at 26.8-inches long with a girth of 22.5 inches.
Ward’s fish surpassed the previous record of 13-pound, 10-ounce set by Dale Wilson in 1984.
By Nick Roush on ©April 16th, 2019 @ 6:00pm
You see that? It’s the look of a man who knows the winners before the race. Some people say that after a victory you should act like you’ve been there before. Obviously, those people are losers.
Just before Tiger slid into a green jacket to retake his crown atop the world of golf, Omaha Beach fought through the slop to win the Arkansas Derby, and more importantly, give me the title, “Best Derby Prep Race Handicapper Ever.” Most would typically only use Tiger Woods and Nick Roush’s name in the same sentence to describe male pattern baldness, but not anymore.
Over the last three months, I spent $10 imaginary dollars on each of the 22 Derby Prep Races. Nine wins later, 58 others must bow to me, their Derby Prep Race Picking King.
Now that I’ve finished my boasting (just on this blog; believe me, my friends are going to be hearing about this for at least a year), here’s where each horse stands after the 22-race circuit.
The inaugural year of our homemade fantasy league was also the first year I’ve completely kept up with every single prep races. The points system adds some juice to Derby season and can turn a casual fan into a crazy person (see: me). It also has given me a good idea where the ponies stand before the fastest two minutes in sports. These three will certainly be in my five-horse trifecta:
1. Tacitus — Don’t fact-check me, but I believe since they instituted the points system the leader has won every single Kentucky Derby. Regardless of playing favorites, it’s a Tapit with an extra gear down the stretch who might have the best W of the season with the victory in the Wood.
2. Long Range Toddy — I was actually pumped LRT lost in the slop this weekend. Now the closer that took down Improbable will be somewhere around 20-1. Give me all of that.
3. Omaha Beach — Just when you thought he couldn’t get any better, Omaha Beach was absolutely incredible in the Arkansas Derby. I’ll be shocked if he isn’t the ML favorite.
Thanks for letting me brag and an even bigger thanks to Harvey Wallbanger. I would not be here if it wasn’t for the Holly Bull.
18 days till Derby.
By Jack Pilgrim on ©April 16th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
One Kentucky substitute teacher had a rough day at work on Monday.
Brook Ellen West, a 32-year-old substitute at Royal Springs Middle School, was arrested yesterday morning after she admitted to authorities she took four shots of vodka around 11:00 a.m. while on the job.
According to the arrest citation, West blew a .317 on a breathalyzer test, smelled like alcohol, and was heard yelling and cursing at students.
In a statement given to WKYT, Scott Count Schools said:
“On Monday, April 15, 2019, a substitute reported to Royal Spring Middle School to fill a half-day opening in the afternoon. The substitute demonstrated erratic behavior. School staff acted immediately upon learning of this behavior. Scott County Sheriff’s Department escorted the substitute off school grounds later charging her with alcohol intoxication. The individual is no longer employed by Scott County Schools in any capacity.”
West has been charged with alcohol intoxication in a public place and endangering the welfare of a minor.
Matt Jones hosted Kentucky Congressman Jamie Comer on Monday night’s Hey Kentucky. In an eight-minute discussion the two talked about the latest political developments from Washington D.C., from the Mueller report to the problems with partisanship.
Congressman Comer and Matt Jones talked about a lot more than politics. Click here to see tonight’s entire episode.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©April 12th, 2019 @ 12:00pm
What does Bill Murray do on a Thursday? Some distillery day drinking followed by some bar hopping in Lexington, apparently. The actor was spotted around town yesterday, enjoying the Bluegrass’ finest beverages.
Murray started his day at Woodford Reserve:
He also stopped by Castle & Key Distillery:
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From there, he went to Bourbon on Rye:
Bill Murray came to hang at Bourbon on Rye last night. ??
And Parlay Social, where one patron said he acted liked a “big jerk,” according to the Herald-Leader. Judging by this picture, he may have been feeling the effects of a long day by that point:
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Any good night out isn’t complete without some grease, so Murray polished it off with some fried chicken and biscuits from Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites:
In possibly the weirdest pop up turn of events ever, Bill Murray housed a to go order of my fried chicken and biscuits.
— Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites (@tuktuklex) April 12, 2019
Murray has been spotted at several Louisville games since Chris Mack took over (Murray’s son Luke is an assistant coach for the Cards), but it’s nice to see him spreading some of that fun to Lexington.
By Drew Franklin on ©April 04th, 2019 @ 11:55am
An Eastern Kentucky furniture store is currently holding a mega sale, all because Duke failed to make the Final Four.
Hazard Furniture in Hazard, Ky., is offering special deals as part of its “Duke Got The Hell Beat Out Of Them” Sale.
Listen to the radio ad that plays in the area:
— Shawn Burkett (@ttekrubs) April 4, 2019
I don’t even need new furniture but I’ll buy a couch to support the cause.
By Maggie Davis on ©April 01st, 2019 @ 10:00pm
If you were brave enough to listen to Kentucky Sports Radio Monday morning, you heard our good friend Harold tell the gang about Marshall County’s annual Tater Day. Believe it or not, the first Monday of April is always celebrated in Benton with tater-related activities – in recent years, the event has spanned multiple days. This year marked the 176th celebration of Tater Day.
The festivities actually began Friday, held alongside the Marshall County A and I Fair. This year, Tater Day(s) included carnival rides, food trucks, a demolition Derby, specialty vendors and a parade.
“The first Monday in April is our unofficial start of spring with the Tater Day Festival,” Marshall County Tourism Executive Director Randy Newcomb told the Western Kentucky Star. “Tater Day brings people from all over to enjoy great food, entertainment and family fun.”
Herold said there were 20,000 people in town ready to celebrate Tater Day. I’m not sure if these pictures show that many tater-goers, but it definitely looks like a busy Monday on the streets of Benton.
The annual Tater Day Parade will start around 11:00 a.m. on Main Street in Benton, Kentucky. ? Are you heading out to get your spot? pic.twitter.com/uHxAcf5hAq
— WPSD Local 6 (@WPSDLocal6) April 1, 2019
Benton, Kentucky is the place to be. People are lining up for this morning’s Tater Day Parade. This marks the 176th tater day. Such fun! Did you make it out this year? You still have time to make it to the parade. The parade will start at 11. pic.twitter.com/cKKDxkhkoo
— Stefanie Martinez (@SMartinezWPSD) April 1, 2019
Apparently, local businesses even close for the day:
No April Fool’s joke here!
All of our libraries really are closed due to Tater Day festivities happening today.
We hope to see everyone visiting us this week for some Spring Break fun! https://t.co/8hdJ3aJrE6 pic.twitter.com/NFPW4Ovs39
— Marshall Co Library (@MarshallCPL) April 1, 2019
Reminder: Our Benton Office will be closed today due to the Tater Day festivities; however, our Draffenville Office is open for business.
Thank you! Happy Tater Day 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Aur5shFrsa
— First Kentucky Bank (@FirstKentucky) April 1, 2019
No fooling… On Monday, April 1, our Benton office will be closed to celebrate Tater Day! Even though it started as trading, today it is full-family event! It’s worth the short drive to Benton to get in on the fun! Will we see you there? #heritagebankusa #taterday #benton #ky pic.twitter.com/OR0fFvSTmN
— Heritage Bank (@heritagebankusa) March 28, 2019
Can we please petition to make Tater Day a statewide holiday? I think the BBN could have used a day off to celebrate taters in peace.
By Nick Roush on ©March 28th, 2019 @ 2:25pm
The Hazard Hampton Inn’s job requirements are…unusual.
An Eastern Kentucky man has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the hotel and its manager, Sharon Lindon. According to WDRB, Jason White claims he was harassed by Lindon once the front desk clerk revealed he was getting a divorce. Blaming his marital problems on “demons,” Lindon allegedly asked White to get an exorcism to continue working at the hotel.
The suit, which names Lindon and Hampton Inn as defendants, alleges Fields was told if he was going to work for Lindon, he had to be “cleansed.”
In addition, Fields was given a form to fill out with questions about his religious background, if he had lustful thoughts, whether he was conceived out of wedlock or had been sexually abused and if he had ever “made a pact with the devil,” among other questions.
The form White refused to complete is bizarre, to say the least.
The lawsuit also claims that members of Lindon’s church came to the lobby of the hotel to pray for him while he was on duty at the front desk. White eventually quit his job and filed the lawsuit March 21.
If you thought your work was hell, think again.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 26th, 2019 @ 10:47pm
In a few days, Kentucky will compete for a spot in the Final Four in Kansas City; Georgetown College just blazed the trail. The Tigers beat Carroll College 68-48 for the NAIA National Championship in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, only a few blocks away from the Sprint Center, where the Cats will play Friday night. Good omen? I sure hope so.
This is Georgetown College’s third title, and the second for Chris Briggs, a former Kentucky Basketball manager under Tubby Smith. The Tigers also won it in 2013 and 1998.
By Drew Franklin on ©March 25th, 2019 @ 5:00pm
Stop getting drunk and buying things online, Kentucky. You’re out of control.
According to a study by The Hustle, Kentuckians spend an average of $742 a year while drunk shopping online. This number was found by polling 2,174 people, although those people don’t exactly represent the average Kentuckian:
First, a quick note on methodology: The information presented here is based on a survey of 2,174 alcohol-consuming readers of The Hustle between March 11-18, 2019. Our average respondent is 36 years old, has an income of $92k (more than double the national average), and skews a bit more male (53%) than female (47%). The data presented here is by no means definitive or conclusive; nonetheless, it still provides an interesting snapshot of the drunk shopping market.
Still, Kentucky is No. 1 nationwide in money spent on purchases while under the influence.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 25th, 2019 @ 11:11am
What do you do if your wedding is at the same time as Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament second round game? If you’re this couple from Somerset, you let your guests watch it during the ceremony.
Scheduling your wedding during the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is still frowned upon, but shoutout to Devan and Randall Smith for making the most of the situation.
By Mrs. Tyler Thompson on ©March 14th, 2019 @ 4:30pm
We’re very proud of the work our friend Ramel Bradley is doing with AppHarvest, and on Sunday night, they’ll both be featured on 60 Minutes.
The famous CBS News show recently spent a week in Eastern Kentucky to learn more about the high-tech agricultural company that’s building giant greenhouses to grow produce and create jobs in a region that desperately needs them. The “Rise of the Rest” Fund recently invested in AppHarvest as part of its focus on working with entrepreneurs outside of Silicon Valley and other coastal tech hubs. The fund is managed by AOL Co-Founder Steve Case and best-selling author J.D. Vance (“Hillbilly Elegy”) and is backed by more than 30 iconic business leaders, including Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos and former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt.
As part of the feature, 60 Minutes crews filmed Ramel leading the agricultural entrepreneurs class at Shelby Valley High School in Pike County. Talk about must-see TV.
Here’s a preview:
“75% of venture capital money went to three states: California, New York and Massachusetts… not in the middle of the country and we just have to change that.” Billionaire investor Steve Case looks to bring that change, Sunday on 60 Minutes https://t.co/S0GbKt3Kb1 pic.twitter.com/276DZh4Pig
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) March 13, 2019
Sunday night, 7 p.m. ET. Set the DVR.