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Posted February 22, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Laurel County man accused of saying he would be ‘the next school shooter’
     After days of numerous threats reportedly being made by students against Kentucky schools, a 25-year-old Laurel County man was arrested on Wednesday and accused of saying he would become “the next school shooter,” according to the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office. Jacob Lee Davenport of Girdler is charged with second-degree terroristic threatening and is being held in the Laurel County Detention Center, according to the jail’s website.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
‘Time for action.’ More metal detectors among safety changes coming to Fayette schools
     More hand-held metal detectors, more locked doors and increased emergency drills are among the new safety measures that Fayette County Schools are implementing as the nation focuses on school safety, Fayette Superintendent Manny Caulk announced Thursday.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Owl’s Head Alloys expansion to create 17 jobs in Bowling Green
     As the aluminum industry flourishes in Kentucky, Owl’s Head Alloys Inc., an aluminum recycler in Bowling Green, will create 17 jobs with a $3 million expansion, Gov. Bevin announced Thursday. The company operates three, 375-cubic-foot refractory furnaces and, to keep up with customer demand, the project will add new space to house a fourth furnace. The additional furnace will increase company’s capacity by 60 million pounds of scrap annually atop the facility’s current 240 million pounds. Owl’s Head leaders plan to hire 17 workers, bringing the company’s total employment to nearly 100.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Bowling Green Daily News ]
Educators have mixed reaction to new pension plan
     A new plan that confronts a $42 billion shortfall in Kentucky’s pension systems is drawing mixed reactions from local educators. “It still looks like punishment to teachers and state workers to me,” said Jonathan Vaughn, who teaches Advanced Placement U.S. government and political science at Bowling Green High School. Sen. Joe Bowen, an Owensboro Republican, introduced Senate Bill 1 on Tuesday. The bill departs from a controversial plan that Gov. Matt Bevin proposed last fall.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
Beshear reaches settlement with defective airbag maker Takata
     Attorney General Andy Beshear announced Thursday a settlement with TK Holdings, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Takata, over allegations that the company concealed safety issues related to defective airbags. Takata’s faulty airbags were installed in a wide variety of vehicles from 19 different automakers, which affect approximately 480,000 cars in Kentucky. At least 20 people have died worldwide and hundreds more have been injured as a result of the defective airbags, a news release said.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Kentucky Press News Service ]
PSC approves electric power restoration agreement
     The Kentucky Public Service Commission has approved an agreement that will allow participating electric utilities to respond more rapidly to power outages and other emergencies by giving them greater flexibility to transfer equipment to each other.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Kentucky college students may have to shell out hundreds more for this new fee
     A proposed fee to help Kentucky’s public universities renovate and maintain aging buildings could cost college students hundreds more each year, even as tuition payments continue their steady climb. When Gov. Matt Bevin released his two-year budget proposal last month, higher education officials were pleased to see a $300 million bond issue that would help renovate aging buildings on Kentucky’s campuses. But to tap the proposed pool of money, public universities would have to raise millions more in a dollar-for-dollar match. They’re turning to students for the money.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Boy wanted ‘squeaky voice,’ so he inhaled helium from balloon. School suspended him.
     A Fleming County mother says she’s upset because her 13-year-old son was suspended from middle school for three days because he inhaled helium from two Valentine’s Day balloons he bought at school. Robert Rodriguez, an eighth grader at Simons Middle School, told the Herald-Leader he inhaled the helium from balloons in class last week because “I wanted a squeaky voice.” His mother Tonya Miller said her son merely wanted to sound like the cartoon character Donald Duck, but school officials viewed that as huffing and he was suspended Friday afternoon.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Madisonville Messenger ]
Two-county chase ends in arrest
     A Dawson Springs man is facing a number of traffic- and drug-related charges after he allegedly led police on a lengthy, two-county chase. According to the Kentucky State Police, Trooper Stuart Recke spotted a 1992 Chevrolet pickup truck speeding along U.S. 62 west of Nortonville at around 10:55 a.m. Tuesday. Recke attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the driver, later identified as 40-year-old Shawn Blanton of Dawson Springs, but Blanton did not comply.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Messenger Inquirer ]
Crowded frequency causes issues for rural internet service
     Customers of a rural wireless internet provider in seven counties have been experiencing prolonged outages since late December, and the problem could be from their local utility cooperative. Q Wireless, the contractor for the Green River Area Development District’s rural internet service, has been alerting customers with a message on its automated help number that frequent outages over the past couple months seem to be related to interference from the automated meter reading system used by Kenergy Corp.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Paducah Sun ]
Mercy Health plans merger
     Mercy Health, a Catholic health ministry serving Ohio and Kentucky, and Bon Secours Health System, a Catholic health ministry serving residents across the East Coast, announced Wednesday their intent to merge. The merger would create one of the largest health systems in the country, spanning seven states in the eastern half of the U.S. Lourdes hospital in Paducah, one of the city's largest employers, is part of Mercy Health.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Insider Louisville ]
Louisville’s drone plan among 35 finalists for Mayors Challenge
     Thanks to its innovative proposal to use drones to respond to gunshot violence, Louisville is among 35 finalist Champion Cities in the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ 2018 Mayors Challenge, which recognizes novel ideas to tackle tough problems. Chosen from among more than 320 applications, Louisville and the other finalists will receive $100,000 to implement public prototypes of their ideas during a six-month testing phase.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Courier-Journal ]
New pension reform bill will save Kentucky taxpayers $4.8 billion, Republicans say
     Although it pulls far back from sweeping structural changes proposed last fall, a revised pension reform bill will save taxpayers about $4.8 billion over the next 30 years and put Kentucky on course to resolving its massive pension crisis. That was the message of key majority Republicans on Wednesday, less than a day after the long-awaited pension reform bill was filed in the Senate. "This can's not going to be kicked down the road anymore," said Sen. Joe Bowen, an Owensboro Republican who sponsored the measure, designated as Senate Bill 1.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Courier-Journal ]
This woman could (eventually!) be Woodford Reserve's next master distiller
     Elizabeth McCall was jobless with a master's degree in psychology when an acquaintance suggested she apply for an entry-level opening at Brown-Forman. At the time, McCall knew almost nothing about bourbon, the company's flagship product. But since landing the job in 2009, she's become adept at detecting the distinct flavors and characteristics that make up each of the company's carefully crafted spirits. The skills earned McCall her second master title: master taster at Woodford Reserve. On Thursday, she added a third to the list: assistant master distiller for the premium brand.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Teachers and state employees face big pension changes. So do lawmakers.
     When Gov. Matt Bevin and Republican leaders unveiled their proposal to overhaul Kentucky’s public pension systems in October, an outline of the plan contained five bullet points detailing major changes to the retirement system for lawmakers. Like most of the changes Bevin proposed for teachers and government workers, almost all of his proposals for lawmakers got scrapped in the ensuing months. But Republican lawmakers still treated themselves more harshly than most other public employees in the long-awaited pension overhaul bill they unveiled late Tuesday.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Teachers face big cuts in pension plan that would save state $4.8 billion
     The newly-filed Senate Bill 1 eventually would eliminate Kentucky’s unfunded public pension liabilities — estimated at $40 billion to $60 billion, depending on whom you ask — while saving the state $4.8 billion, legislative leaders said Wednesday at a Capitol news conference. Most of the savings would come at the expense of Kentucky’s teachers

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Georgetown News-Graphic ]
Georgetown man charged with unlawful imprisonment
     An 18-year-old Georgetown man is charged with unlawful imprisonment and intimidating a witness after allegedly trying to hold a woman against her will, reports show. Christopher Blake West is charged with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and intimidating a participant in a legal process, Scott County Detention Center records show.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ Frankfort State Journal ]
Japanese companies remain Kentucky’s top foreign investors
     As Frankfort continues to strengthen ties with new sister city, Shimamoto, Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun remains Kentucky’s top foreign direct investor by a wide margin. Since 1992, Japanese companies have poured $10.5 billion into what are now 191 Kentucky facilities employing 45,733 people, according to February data from Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Nationally, Japan ranks third in foreign direct investment behind the United Kingdom and Canada, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Posted February 22, 2018 [ News Enterprise ]
Couple’s estate donates $1.6M to LaRue scholarship fund
     A $1.6 million gift from a late Hodgenville couple will help LaRue County High School graduates go to college. “It’s an investment in the lives of students and the community,” said Davette Swiney, president of the Central Kentucky Com­mu­nity Foundation. Swiney announced the gift Wednesday at the LaRue County Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The couple left the bulk of their estate to the foundation to create a scholarship fund for LaRue County High School students who plan to attend Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.

Posted February 21, 2018 [ Lexington Herald Leader ]
Inmates attack corrections officers at Kentucky State Penitentiary
     Three inmates attacked two corrections officers at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville on Wednesday morning, the state Department of Corrections said. The officers received medical treatment, Gov. Matt Bevin said in his tweet. The prison in Western Kentucky remains on lockdown for the safety and security of staff and inmates, said Lisa Lamb, spokeswoman for the department.


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