Dan Conti

Assistant News Director

Dan Conti is a longtime broadcast journalist in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. A graduate of Miami University in Ohio, Conti was an instructor of broadcast journalism at his alma mater for 12 years. He also taught high school for two years, worked in public relations for the American Cancer Society and U.S. Employment and Training Agency and authored his first book in 2006. "POWs: Stories from America's Wars" is a collection of remembrances from veterans of World World II, Korea and Vietnam. Dan serves as host of "Mountain Edition," a weekday afternoon regional news program.

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How Stuff Works

Food sold in vending machines in Kentucky should not be subject to the state sales tax, so says the Kentucky Automatic Merchandising Council. Ron White is president of the industry trade group.

White says bakery items like bread, rolls, donuts and tortillas are exempt from the sales tax if purchased in a store. However, he says, Kentucky has been taxing those items when the sale is from a vending machine since 1972.

White says back then there was no way of distinguishing between the products purchased from a machine but that’s no longer the case.


Kentucky collects millions of dollars in taxes from legalized gambling every year but has no programs to help people with a gambling addiction, that’s according to State Representative Terry Mills who says the state should do something about that.

Mills is a Democrat from Lebanon and says he’s not opposed to gambling. He just thinks the Commonwealth should set aside a small part of its gaming revenues to assist those who have a problem.


Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says it’s hard to tell if the controversy over same sex marriage and the role Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis played in it had a significant impact on the November 3rd election.

That’s one of the issues the Democrat discussed with reporters on Tuesday during a wide-ranging interview on his two terms in office.

There’s been speculation that Kentucky voters turned against Democrats in the election for constitutional officers because of the way the Governor handled the matter.

Jason In Hollywood

The director of Scenic Kentucky is calling on the state legislature to block new administrative regulations on highway billboards from the State Transportation Cabinet.

Paul Bergman is especially concerned about rules that allow use of brighter, LED light fixtures on the signs.

Bergman says he’s offended by new regulations that permit the pruning of trees and other vegetation near billboards. He says brighter, LED lighting on billboards is dangerous and could cause accidents.

The Horse

The Kentucky Equine Education Project wants the state legislature to change the way it taxes the horse industry.

Pennbrook Farm owner Frank Penn chairs KEEP’s Tax Equity Task Force.

Penn says horses should be taxed like other Kentucky livestock. He says it’s not right for equine owners to have to pay a six percent sales tax on products they need to raise horses.

Kentucky Sports Radio

Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers says Governor-elect Matt Bevin and Republicans in the General Assembly are likely to move soon on alternatives to Kynect, the state health insurance exchange created through executive order by outgoing Democratic Governor Steve Beshear.

Bevin campaigned on eliminating Kynect and Stivers says keeping it would be a drain on the state budget.

U.S. House of Representatives

Kentucky Congressman John Yarmuth says there were no fundamental flaws in the Affordable Care Act that caused the Kentucky Health Co-operative and others around the country to fail in their initial phase of operations.

The Louisville Democrat says it’s common for new business ventures to struggle in their first few years and the co-operatives created after the ACA entered health care markets without much information about them.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Driver's licenses in Kentucky would be issued every eight years, instead of four, and the cost would go from 20-dollars to 50-dollars.

That’s the recommendation from the commissioner of the State’s Department of Motor Vehicle Regulation Randy Kuhl. He says other states are switching to an eight-year license period.

Kuhl says the price increase would be to help his department recover more of the cost for processing the license card.

Green Car Reports

U.S. Representative Thomas Massie is calling on Congress to permit the General Services Administration to build, install and operate charging stations for electric vehicles.

The Lewis County (Kentucky) Republican says those stations would be established at federal facilities and could be used by private vehicles.


Ohioans are deciding a Constitutional Amendment in Tuesday’s election that, if approved, would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

Tonya Davis is with Responsible Ohioans for Cannabis and she’s been campaigning for the issue. She says state lawmakers have repeatedly ignored her appeals for a medical marijuana law.

However, Dr. Gary LeRoy with the Wright State University School of Medicine says allowing recreational consumption of marijuana could be harmful to children.

Arizona Capitol Times

Democrat Jack Conway is expressing confidence heading into Tuesday’s gubernatorial election in Kentucky.

Most polls show him with a lead of about five points over Republican Matt Bevin. Conway says the polls look good but it’s important to get supporters to actually cast their ballots.

Both candidates are campaigning aggressively in the final hours of the contest. Conway spoke with CN2’s Pure Politics.

Matt Bevin is doing the same thing.

Outside The Beltway

Kentucky’s senior senator is praising outgoing House Speaker John Boehner.

Republican Mitch McConnell says the Ohio congressman who retires Friday (October 30) after 25 years in the House of Representatives will be a tough act to follow.

“I think he’s done an outstanding job, not only for our party, but for our country, and I think the way in which he has handled his leaving the congress has been a class act.”                   


Kentucky Congressman Andy Barr is pointing to the collapse of the Kentucky Health Cooperative and the failure of co-ops in other states as evidence that a new approach is needed to expand access and lower health care costs.

The Lexington Republican was among those who voted Friday (October 23) for a bill that would repeal key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate, the employer mandate and the medical device tax.

Barr says the ACA promised things it has not delivered.


Sen. Mitch McConnell says the Kentucky Health Cooperative’s decision not to offer policies next year to its more than 51-thousand customers is reflective of the overall state of health care in the United States since passage of the Affordable Care Act.

McConnell says the co-op was planning to hike premiums another 25 percent had it decided to continue operating next year.

The Kentucky Republican says Kentucky Health lost 50-million dollars last year and that was the biggest loss of any co-op in the country.

Feature: Westboro Rally

Oct 20, 2015
John Flavell

Members of the controversial Westboro Baptist Church picketed against gay marriage and adultery Monday on the Morehead State University campus. MSPR’s Dan Conti reports…

The Town Dish

The Kentucky Distillers Association is serving notice that it will seek regulatory relief from state lawmakers when the General Assembly convenes for its 2016 session.

The organization’s director of governmental affairs made that clear during a hearing Thursday (October 15) before a panel of House and Senate members.

Kristin Meadors says other states have taken steps to boost the industry and help the tourist trade.

Morehead News / John Flavell

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis says she continues to oppose the issuance of same sex marriage licenses on religious grounds but she will not prevent her deputy clerks from giving them out. Davis spoke to the media prior to the opening of her office this morning...

Davis says the validity of any license issued by her deputy clerks is in question since she is not authorizing them. However, Attorney General Jack Conway and County Attorney Cecil Watkins say the permits are valid.


Marriage licenses are still not available in Rowan County, a day after a stay of a federal judge’s order compelling the county clerk to grant them to same sex couples expired. MSPR’s Dan Conti reports from the Rowan County courthouse…

LGBTQ Nation

There’s a civil rights rally in Morehead on Saturday (August 29) at 9AM.

The event is sponsored by the Rowan County Rights Coalition and is taking place outside the county administration building, where Clerk Kim Davis has her offices.

Coordinator Mary Hargis says groups like the National Organization for Women, AllYance (alliance), various faith groups and others will take part in the event.

Hargis says the rally is a reaction to the continued denial of marriage licenses to same sex couples in Rowan County.

Childrens Advocate

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer doesn’t think school should start in Kentucky until late August.

The Georgetown Republican is co-sponsoring legislation with Senator Chris Girdler of Somerset mandating a later opening.

Their bill says the new school year could not begin before the Monday closest to August 26th. Thayer discussed the proposal on CN2’s Pure Politics.



Crews from the American Red Cross were in Morehead, Olive Hill and Paintsville over the weekend helping flood victims with damage assessment and cleanup, and they’re going to have a presence in all three communities for some time.

That’s the word from the executive director of the Eastern Kentucky Chapter Joanna King.

“We will be continuing to be in every area that’s affected. Most of the volunteers that are out working right now are local volunteers, as well as we have a lot from other states and other counties that have come in to help.”

Think Progress

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he respects the religious convictions of county clerks who say they can’t issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. However, the Democrat says, now that the Supreme Court has declared that gay marriage is legal across the country, the issue has been decided.

Speaking at a press conference in Frankfort on Tuesday (July 21), Beshear says clerks who won’t comply with the law should resign.

Daily Mail

Volunteers from the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief organization are working in northern Rowan County to help clear flood-damaged furniture and debris from homes.

Bruce Bay is coordinating the effort in the Hayes Crossing area.

Red Dot Buildings

Tracy Williams, Director of the Morehead/Rowan County Chamber of Commerce says contributions to “Operation Donation: Rowan County Cares” have been a little slow coming in since the effort to help local flood victims began last Friday (July 17).

Williams says the needs are great because the flood damaged more than just homes.

Fabricating & Metal Working

The president of the Ashland Alliance is hoping to get Boyd and Greenup Counties certified soon as “Kentucky Work Ready Communities”. 

Tim Gibbs heads the business organization that promotes commerce in the two communities.

Gibbs says the step is critical in sending a message that the region is committed to producing the skilled workforce that companies need.


Cleanup and recovery efforts are likely to be ongoing in Johnson County for several months. At least three people have died in this week’s flash flooding and more than a hundred have lost their homes.

Judge Executive Tucker Daniel says the assistance being provided to his community from state and federal agencies is much appreciated.


Kentucky Congressman Hal Rogers says a bill approved in the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday (July 14) fully funds the disaster relief request from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The Somerset Republican chairs the panel and says that’s one of the reasons he supports the measure that allocates nearly 40-billion dollars in discretionary funding to the Department of Homeland Security.

Kentucky Power hopes to have more than 300 line mechanics in the field by Wednesday (July 15) to restore electricity to areas that lost service during recent storm activity this week.

Spokeswoman Allison Barker says the utility has requested help from at other states, including Indiana and South Carolina.

Because of the extent of damage and difficulties in reaching trouble spots in mountainous terrain, Barker says it could take a couple of days to get everyone’s power back on.

City of Chicago

The analysis of data for an initiative designed to improve education and workforce development in Kentucky is nearly 70 percent finished, so says a group of educators and business leaders who testified before state lawmakers in Frankfort on Monday about Kentucky Rising.