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Posted July 28, 2014 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Walmart workers, customers collect for Kentucky National Guard memorial
     Customers and employees of Walmart have collected more than $208,000 to be used for the Kentucky National Guard Memorial. The Guard memorial is being built at the entrance to the Boone National Guard Center along U.S. 127 in Frankfort. The memorial will include the names of Guard members who have died in the line of duty. It will also include a statue of Daniel Boone, the guard center's namesake.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Fewer high school kids smoking
     When students at Franklin-Simpson High School wanted to eliminate tobacco use in their school about three years ago, the idea first came up in a student advisory council meeting with Superintendent Jim Flynn. When the students broached the idea of a tobacco-free environment, both he and they ran with it, Flynn said. Little did they know then that this month Kentucky dropped to sixth place among surveyed states in 2013 for high school cigarette use. In 2011, Kentucky was No. 1. The statistics come from the mid-July federal Centers for Disease Control Youth Risk Behavior Survey report. FSHS is part of the only public school district in southcentral Kentucky that is 100 percent tobacco free – Simpson County Schools – according to tobaccofreeschoolsky.org.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Lost River Cave launches Kayaking in the Cave Tour
     Boat tours of Lost River Cave have been offered for years, but now people can explore the underground river in a different way with the new Kayaking in the Cave Tour that launched this past weekend. Lost River Cave received a grant from the General Motors Foundation to buy nine kayaks, and Hagan, an intern at the cave completing a recreation administration degree at Western Kentucky University, created the kayaking tour in just eight weeks.



    Posted July 28, 2014 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
Tax reform again comes to the forefront
     Every time the budgetary ax falls in Kentucky, the cries for tax reform grow a little louder. The topic has been discussed for many years, with a blue ribbon commission led by Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson proposing 54 changes in 2012 that became the basis for Gov. Steve Beshear’s tax reform plan in this year’s legislative session. But Beshear’s tax proposal was never drafted into a bill, although Abramson testified before the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee about details of the plan.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Beshear orders flags to half-staff Tuesday in honor of WW II casualty
     Gov. Steve Beshear has directed that flags at all state office buildings be lowered to half-staff on Tuesday in honor of a Kentucky Marine killed during World War II and whose remains were recently identified. Marine Pfc. Randolph Allen, of Rush, will be buried at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Rush is a community of more than 2,000 people that lies between Boyd and Carter counties.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Significant hail falls in Clay County Sunday afternoon
     Residents of Clay County's Big Creek community saw some significant hail on Sunday afternoon. According to WYMT-TV's website, hail first began falling as the size of marbles but quickly became golf ball-sized and then some residents, the station reported, witnessed hail as big as baseballs.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Paducah Sun ]
Schools getting off to early start next week
     The days of starting school after Labor Day to allow kids to help on the farm are long gone. Many schools in western Kentucky are starting classes during the first week of August. Paducah schools will begin classes next Monday, Aug. 4. The first day of classes at McCracken County and Graves County schools is Aug. 6, and Marshall County and Livingston County schools start classes on Aug. 7. The prevalence of air conditioning in schools may have contributed to the shift of starting classes in mid-August rather than September. But starting the school year in the first days of August is mainly the result of a switch to a non-traditional calendar in many Kentucky school districts about 15 years ago.



    Posted July 28, 2014 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Smoke-free advocates touring the state this week
     The Smoke-Free Kentucky Coalition will start its six-day statewide tour "Road to a Healthier Kentucky" on Monday in Ashland and stop in Owensboro at 10 a.m. Friday at Smothers Park. The tour's purpose is to promote passing a statewide smoke-free law in the 2015 General Assembly. "Each year, it gains more acceptance," said Becky Horn, tobacco control coordinator with the Green River District Health Department. "It's time."



    Posted July 28, 2014 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Death penalty abolition bill filed
     Although the next state legislative session doesn't begin until January, a number of bills relating to crime and the judicial system have already been filed in Frankfort for consideration. In particular, the bills include one that calls for a public vote on a constitutional amendment to ban the death penalty, while another bill would create a legislative task force that would study issues related to the death penalty and make recommendations to legislators. Another bill also calls for a state constitutional amendment to restore the right to vote to certain classifications of convicted felons.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ News Enterprise ]
Medicaid expansion could lead to jail savings
     A Medicaid expansion made possible by the passage of the Affordable Care Act could bring some savings to the Hardin County Detention Center. Jailer Danny Allen said county inmates soon will be eligible for coverage under the expansion, meaning those prisoners who need outside care would be treated at lower Medicaid rates. Allen said inmates could be covered as early as next month should situations arise in which they need medical assistance not provided inside the jail. Allen said he believes many counties were initially unaware jails could take advantage of the coverage for their own inmates, thinking it extended only to state prisoners.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Kentucky Enquirer ]
Toyota’s Carroll shows one person can make a big impact
     There are many ways to change a community – and in 27 years with Toyota, Helen Carroll has done just about all of them. She has been the public face of Toyota in Northern Kentucky, not only weaving the company and its people into the fabric of the community, but also channeling millions of corporate dollars into local agencies, nonprofits and schools. Carroll, 59, of Florence, will retire Friday as community relations manager for Toyota Motor Engineering North America in Erlanger, though her title doesn’t even begin to describe the impact she’s had upon the region.



    Posted July 28, 2014 [ Courier-Journal ]
You can turn off the AC this week
     It's the end of July. But instead of suffocating heat and humidity, area residents can expect weather more akin to San Diego's. How do highs in the 70s and low 80s sound? The anticipated mild weather follows wild storms that swept through Kentucky and Indiana over the weekend, triggering heat advisories in Western Kentucky, tornado warnings in Eastern Kentucky — and a spectacular dry and wet lightning over Louisville.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Courier-Journal ]
Tax incentives sought for Noah's Ark theme park
     Ark Encounter will return to Frankfort on Tuesday to seek — for a second time — state approval of tax incentives for its proposed Noah's Ark theme park in Grant County. Three years ago, the group won approval of incentives for its entire $172.5 million project, but because of funding problems it withdrew that application and now is seeking approval for a $73 million first phase of the biblical theme park. And it expects preliminary approval Tuesday from the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority and plans to break ground next month.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Storm damages homes, knocks out power to 10,000
     Charlotte Yaden sat on her front porch Sunday afternoon trying to comfort her dog Molly Rose as Yaden gazed out at the debris surrounding her Cathy Lane home. Less than four hours before, a strong storm sent her neighbor's metal carport cartwheeling into her driveway, narrowly missing her husband's truck. Her 2013 sport utility vehicle wasn't so lucky. One of its windows was knocked out — a neighbor's trash can the likely culprit. Shortly before 3 p.m., Kentucky Utilities reported that more than 10,000 customers in the Lexington area were without power. By 7 p.m., the number had dropped to less than 2,000.


Posted July 28, 2014 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Legendary UK basketball and football star 'Wah Wah' Jones dies
     Wallace "Wah Wah" Jones, widely considered the greatest all-around athlete in University of Kentucky history, died Sunday. He was 88. Jones had been the last surviving member of Fabulous Five, the team that in 1948 won the first of UK's eight national championships. With four of the Fabulous Five, including Jones, returning, the Wildcats won the 1949 national championship. A dynasty was born.


Posted July 27, 2014 [ Appalachian News-Express ]
River Trail drawing increasing numbers, resulting in river cleanup, conservation
     Floating down the Levisa, it is easy to imagine being miles away from civilization — save for the rumble of traffic on unseen U.S. 23 a few yards away. Designated as a Bluewater Trail by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, Hatfield-McCoy River Trail is a 8.5 mile trip starts at Jubilee Christian Assembly Church on U.S. 23 south and ends at the boat ramp at Thompson Road behind Texas Road House. Ronnie Hylton, director of the Trails, said the business is booming.


Posted July 27, 2014 [ Paducah Sun ]
Mid-Continent disputes former trustee's allegations
     In response to a Paducah Sun story four days ago, Mid-Continent University has released a lengthy statement on behalf of its trustees and remaining administration members. Last Wednesday's Sun story about the downfall of Mid-Continent, which has been closed since June 30, was based largely on comments by former trustee Gale Hawkins that were critical of the university. Hawkins, who had served 11 years as a trustee, was dismissed by the board two weeks ago.


Posted July 27, 2014 [ Madisonville Messenger ]
Circuit clerk disputes cause of mistrial
     County Attorney Todd P'Pool claims that "inefficiencies" in district court Thursday led to a mistrial and the loss of "thousands" spent on preparations, while Hopkins County Circuit Clerk Karen McKnight said the mistrial was a result of the prosecutor's overall "lack of communication" and a shortfall of qualified jurors. The four-day trial, which has been rescheduled to begin on Sept. 23, involves five Madisonville pawn shop employees charged with numerous counts of receiving stolen property and falsifying business records.


Posted July 27, 2014 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
KSU president asks for pay cut so some employees can get raises
     At the request of Kentucky State University Interim President Raymond Burse, 24 university employees at the lower end of the university’s pay scale will receive a pay increase out of his personal salary. After a closed session Friday, Karen Bearden, KSU Board of Regents chair, requested a motion to ratify Burse’s contract. The board approved a motion to amend Burse’s salary to $259,744.04 per year. Based upon Burse’s experience and comparable to other university presidents in Kentucky, Bearden said the board would’ve paid $349,869 “in recognition of his skills, talents and ability to make significant contributions to this institution.”



    Posted July 27, 2014 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Governor makes appointments to boards and commissions
     Gov. Steve Beshear has made numerous appointments to various Kentucky boards and commissions.


 

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