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News anchor on indefinite leave

WTVQ-36 morning anchor Tom Kenny is on indefinite medical leave from the ABC affiliate following complications from what was to have been a routine knee surgery.

Kenny was last on the air June 13 and planned to be off for a week and a half because of arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

Kenny's athletic background in basketball, baseball, and track and field had worn out the knee over the years, he said, causing a torn meniscus that necessitated the procedure.

Six days after the surgery, though, symptoms began that resulted in doctors diagnosing him with a staph infection.

”The next thing I know I'm in the hospital and I have infectious disease specialists coming in and saying, "We're going to try to save your leg,'“ he said last week.

With the help of another surgery and powerful antibiotics, Kenny is now home recovering, leg intact.

”It's just been one issue after another,“ he said. ”It has been horribly painful, horribly frustrating and much longer than anybody would have ever anticipated.“

New weatherman

WTVQ has hired an interim replacement for meteorologist Brad James, who retired last month after more than 30 years in the Lexington television news business.

Justin Logan, a spring graduate from Western Kentucky University, will fill James' shifts until a permanent replacement is hired before the November ratings sweeps, said General Manager Chris Aldridge.

Comings and goings

Viewers may have noticed a number of changes recently at NBC affiliate WLEX-18.

Reporters Sarah Lane and Leigh Searcy have been off on maternity leave.

Lane, who has since returned, gave birth to her first child, a boy, said news director Bruce Carter. Searcy has given birth to her second child, a girl. She also has a son.

Helping fill in for the two is former reporter John McGary. McGary had been teaching at the University of Kentucky but will continue at the station through mid-September when Searcy is expected to return.

The station has also hired a new reporter, Nicole Pence, who most recently worked for a station in Fort Wayne, Ind. She takes the place of Amanda Iler, who left the station recently to return to Georgia.

One thing that won't be changing at WLEX is morning weatherman Tom Ackerman.

Ackerman recently agreed to a new contract with the station.

Carter declined to release the length of the contract. .