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.

Ways To Connect

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.

My Army One Source

According to the Kentucky National Guard’s Chief of Staff Colonel Steven Bullard, there’s an unintended consequence of Kentucky’s decision to raise its school dropout age to 18.

Bullard says the new law effectively eliminates the Guard’s Youth Challenge Program, which is designed for young people between the ages of 16 and 18.

CBS News

Kentucky Fairness Campaign Director Chris Hartman says he’s not surprised that same sex marriage is still a hot-button issue in the Commonwealth, even after the Supreme Court ruled that gay couples have a right to marry.

Hartman appeared Thursday (July 9) on CN2’s Pure Politics.

He says some elected officials in Kentucky believe opposing the decision is good politics. However, Hartman contends they’re ‘swimming against the tide.’


An official with the Kentucky Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control says middle and high school students in the Commonwealth are apparently obtaining electronic cigarettes, even though it’s illegal for them to purchase those products.

Matt Neal is a policy advisor for the department and is in charge of its tobacco inspection program.

Neal testified on Friday (July 10) before the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations.

The Independent

Ashland Mayor Chuck Charles says the city’s finances are in better shape than they were a year ago, unemployment is down one percent from 2014 and new initiatives promise to make Boyd County a healthier community.

Charles touted all three points on Thursday (July 9) during his “State of the City Address” in the municipal building.

Mendocino County

Kentucky Congressman Thomas Massie says new regulations the EPA is planning to implement on wood-burning stoves would prevent the sale of most of them.

The Garrison Republican says he’ll try to stop enforcement of those rules.

“That’s why I’m co-sponsoring this legislation, to stop the administration from enforcing new prohibitions on a renewable, abundant and dare I say, carbon-neutral method of heating our homes that has been with us for centuries.”

Massie’s legislation would stop the EPA from using taxpayer money to enforce the revised regulations.

Bill Peduto

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell says students in eastern Kentucky have different needs than those in southern Florida or downtown Manhattan, and that’s why the No Child Left Behind Law is being rewritten.

The Kentucky Republican says a bi-partisan bill called the Every Child Achieves Act will be debated in the Senate this week.

McConnell says the measure authored by Democrat Patty Murray and Republican Lamar Alexander would give more control over the educational process to state and local officials.


A northern Kentucky lawmaker is proposing a bill that she claims would make it clear that clergy and county judge executives could not be compelled to perform same-sex marriages.

Appearing on CN2’s Pure Politics, Republican State Representative Addia Wuchner says her legislation would permit both to excuse themselves from such ceremonies because they relate to the exercise of religious freedom and the solemnization of marriage.

Wuchner says the bill would have no bearing on county clerks, whose duties include issuing marriage licenses.


Demonstrators are still protesting outside the Rowan County courthouse, expressing different opinions on Clerk Kim Davis’s decision to withhold marriage licenses from same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Mount Sterling minister Penny Stinnett is backing the Rowan County Clerk. She says people have traveled from all over the state to support “Biblical marriage.”

Commercial Appeal

Congressman John Yarmuth thinks county clerks in Kentucky who refuse to issue marriage licenses following the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage are shirking their responsibilities.

The Louisville Democrat made the comment in an interview with CN2’s Pure Politics.

“It’s kinda like, if you were a police officer, you join the police force and then you say, oh by the way, I’m a Quaker, I don’t want to carry a gun or a baton because I don’t believe in violence. They wouldn’t remain in the police force very long.”

Education News

Kentucky high school graduates who are not considered college or career ready by the State Department of Education struggle during their first year of college.

That’s among the findings of a study conducted by the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics.

The director of the center is Dr. Kate Akers and she’s hardly surprised by those results.

Akers says the size of the disparity between grade point average and credit hours earned among students deemed “not ready” and those who are. 

The Morehead News

A member of the Rowan County school board for the past quarter century is resigning from the panel at the end of this month (June 30).

Bill Redwine says new duties he’s assuming as president of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services and major construction projects at Morehead State University next year will demand more of his time. Redwine is an assistant vice-president at MSU.

Redwine says he’s proud of his service with the Rowan schools and it’s been a time of incredible progress.

Iron Village Welders

A union official has told Kentucky lawmakers a former construction company that worked on public projects all over the Commonwealth used employees with falsified welding certificates.

Bill Woodward is president of the Iron Workers Southern Ohio and Vicinity District, which represents members in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia.

Woodward claims one of the projects done by Lamar Construction of Michigan had disastrous consequences for McCracken County High School.

Dauphin County

Rowan County Fiscal Court has approved a new budget for 2016. The budget calls for a spending plan of just over nine million dollars.

Rowan County Judge Executive Walter Blevins says the county begins the new fiscal year in better financial shape than anticipated.

“We got about a five hundred and ninety thousand dollar check that we weren’t expecting. Well, we were expecting some but this is pretty high and it’s from the payroll tax. So, it’s an additional five hundred and ninety thousand dollars that we didn’t know we were ‘gonna have this year.” –Walter Blevins

Kentucky Court Report

The Rowan County Fiscal Court has selected a location for a new regional jail. Rowan County Judge Executive Walter Blevins says the site is ideal for their needs.

“It’s the old tobacco warehouse, the one on (U.S.) 60 and it’s the one closest to town so it’s next to Caudill Seed. It’s about a six acre site. We think it’s the best location we could find. We’ve looked all over and we’ve looked at about thirty-some different locations and we’ve looked at those versus this one and we think we’ve got the best site.” –Walter Blevins

Morehead State University

Residence halls that will be constructed at Morehead State University's Derrickson Agricultural Complex during the next two years will be named after employees who dedicated much of their lives to the facility.

University President Dr. Wayne Andrews says the new buildings will honor the memories of Edward Lundergan and Michael Padula.

Lundergan managed the Derrickson Complex between 1982 and 2006. Padula was farm maintenance supervisor from 1989 until his death in 2012.


The Rowan County Fiscal Court has asked the construction firm and architect for the county’s new regional jail to present cost options for building facilities that would include 240 or 296 beds.

President of Trace Creek Construction Sam Howard says the smaller detention center would span just over 52-thousand square feet while the other option would be about nine-thousand square feet larger.