kentucky

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In Kentucky, about half of all the infrastructure in place for water and sewers is past its design life. 

“There’s a lot of investment that’s needed” 

That’s Deputy Cabinet Secretary Bruce Scott speaking to the to the Senate standing committee on natural resources Monday. 

“We really can’t do anything we can’t have economic development, we can’t do the things we want to quality of life if we don’t have investments in those areas,” 
 

Jim Thacker is frustrated.

The spokesperson for the Madison County, Kentucky, Health Department said there is a real threat of a Hepatitis A outbreak at the detention center right down the road in Richmond.

Built to house about 240 inmates, it holds more than 400.  

“It’s like a petri dish, they are packed so close together,” he said.

Mary Meehan

Health officials in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia say the number of overdose deaths related to the opioid crisis continued to rise in 2017 as state data began to reflect the fatalities related to the powerful drug fentanyl.

A new report from the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy found 1,565 died from drug overdoses last year, up 11.5 percent from 2016.

Fentanyl played a factor in more than half of the overdose cases in which a toxicology report was available.

Mary Meehan/Ohio Valley ReSource

The low rumble of industrial fans fills the Catholic Action Center in Lexington, a shelter that provides meals and other services for homeless people.

It’s mid-morning on a hot July day and dozens of people sit camped on couches in the entryway, or slouch at tables nearby. Despite the fans the air is stale from too many bodies too close together — ideal conditions for the spread of disease.

 

Aaron Payne/Ohio Valley ReSource

United Mine Workers President Cecil Roberts fired up a crowd of thousands of union workers in Columbus, Ohio, with a simple chant: “Fix it!”

The rally last week came on the eve of a Congressional field hearing on problems plaguing multiemployer pension programs like the one retired miners depend upon.

“When the people get to marching, the politicians get to listening,” Roberts roared.

Courtsey Kenton County Jail

Kenton County is launching a 12-step re-entry program for inmates dealing with opioid addictions.

It's a partnership with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which created the COR-12 treatment plan, and includes a 90-day residential treatment followed by six months of aftercare with job training and other services.

Pinterest

A popular restaurant and tourist destination in west Kentucky is breaking ground next month on a new building after a destructive fire in February temporarily halted operations. Patti's is an iconic attraction in the lakeside town of Grand Rivers, featuring decorative restaurants and shopping. Marketing Director Ann Martin says the new building will be more handicap accessible.

Nicole Erwin/Ohio Valley ReSource

Jimmy Tosh sells a lot of pigs. He is owner and CEO of Tosh Farms, Tosh Pork, and Bacon By Gosh, in Henry County, Tennessee, and has 84 contractedbarns in the region where farmers grow pigs for his products.

On a recent July day, Tosh craned over some 1,200 piglets and reflected on how recent market disturbances have affected his business.

 

Kentucky.com

A new report says thousands of people across the Commonwealth lost their dental and vision coverage as well as transportation assistance in the recent Medicaid expansion rollbacks .

Ky.gov

A judge has denied Gov. Matt Bevin’s request to reconsider a ruling that struck down changes to Kentucky’s pensions system. 

Franklin County Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd blocked the pension law last month, saying that lawmakers had violated the state Constitution by not following proper procedure when they passed it.

Bevin asked Shepherd to amend his ruling to determine if the pension bill violated the state’s “inviolable contract”—a provision that protects state worker benefits from being tinkered with after they’ve been hired. 
 

Roxanne Scott

More than 6,500 students from across the country — ranging from middle school age to college — are in Louisville this week as part of the annual SkillsUSA conference. It’s a showcase of skilled trades and technical education, and features contests in fields such as plumbing, masonry and carpentry.

This focus on students learning trades is also a priority of the Trump administration. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos toured some of the conference exhibits Thursday with Gov. Matt Bevin.

Kentucky.com

A federal judge on Friday struck down Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s plan to put in place “community engagement” requirements for Medicaid coverage that were set to go into effect in some parts of the state on July 1.

That also includes the entirety of the new program, premiums, co-pays, loss of automatic vision and dental benefits and lock-out periods.

PublicDomain

An annual report measuring the health and well-being of Kentucky children shows progress in nine different categories, including the teenage birth rate, children living in poverty and children with health insurance. But the state still lags behind the nation in other areas, like in the number of babies born with low-birth weights and the number of young children not enrolled in school.

University of Kentucky

As farmers are combining their grain crops an increase in some diseases could impact their bottom line. University of Kentucky Extension Plant Pathologist Carl Bradley says a number of diseases that affect the heads of crops like wheat, barley and rye, have been observed in Kentucky the last few weeks.

courtesy WKYT.TV

Kentucky’s first LGBTQ historical markers were unveiled Sunday in Lexington.

Stu Johnson

 

An early morning explosion at a Lexington UPS maintenance facility Wednesday sent eight people to the hospital and caused substantial damage to the building.  Authorities are working to pin down the cause of the blast.

Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

LaRue County, Kentucky, dairy farmer Gary Rock sits in his milking parlor, overlooking what is left of his 95 cow operation.

“Three hundred years of history is something that a lot of people in our country cannot even talk about,” Rock said.

That’s how long the farm has been in his family. While the land has turned out tobacco, soybeans and other crops over the years, since 1980 dairy has nourished the family in and out of tragedy.

Legislators grilled representatives from five major opioid distributors Tuesday on how painkillers flooded West Virginia under their watch.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce hearing came as part of an investigation into why Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, Miami-Luken and H.D. Smith failed to report suspiciously large orders of opioid painkillers at the beginning of the addiction crisis.

This week in Kentucky politics, speculation flared that Kentucky’s new education leaders would try to take over Louisville’s public school district. Plus, a judge ruled that Attorney General Andy Beshear  can sue the governor over the pension bill that was signed into law earlier this month. Capitol reporter Ryland Barton has this week’s edition of Kentucky Politics Distilled. 

FirstEnergy Emergency Request Could Be A Last Chance To

Apr 17, 2018
Glynis Board/Ohio Valley ReSource

Ohio-based utility FirstEnergy Solutions made waves last month when it asked the Department of Energy to grant it an emergency order to help keep coal and nuclear plants operating across the Ohio Valley.

The request even hit the president’s radar. Speaking earlier this month at a roundtable event in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Donald Trump said the administration was examining the utility’s request.

“We’ll be looking at that 202, you know what a 202 is, we’ll be looking at that, we’re trying,” he said.

Tobacco The Focus Of Lobbyists' Spending in 2018

Feb 28, 2018
Nicole Erwin/ Ohio Valley ReSource

 

On the heels of a record year for lobbyist spending, Kentucky businesses and organizations spent an all-time high of $2.6 t million dollars in the first portion of the current legislative session. 

After spending more than $20 million dollars in 2017, lobbyists started this year by spending 20 percent more than they spent at the beginning of last year’s session. The top spender during the first month of this year’s legislative session was the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Becca Schimmel/Ohio Valley ReSource

Fayette County Exploring Safer Schools

Feb 23, 2018
Mary Meehan

Fayette County School Superintendent Manny Caulk on has announced a community effort to insure Lexington schools are safe.

That includes exploring all options, although he didn’t endorse arming teachers, an effort floated in the General Assembly.

Penny Christian attend Caulk’s press conference as a representative of the PTA. She says most teachers, including her own daughter, are drawn to the profession because they want to help kids not to be armed guards.

Kycir.org

Gov. Matt Bevin has announced a new website for Kentuckians to find help for drug addiction and search for treatment centers. 

FindHelpNowKY.org has a search engine that allows users to find treatment centers based on location, facility type and type of treatment needed. 

 Bevin has launched an advertising campaign geared towards spreading awareness about the website and opioid addiction. 

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is suing San Francisco-based drug distributor McKesson Corporation for allegedly “flooding” the commonwealth with opioids.    

“McKesson had a duty to report when it ships large or suspicious amounts of opioids to a state or region. They knew that their shipments to Kentucky were excessive, even grossly excessive. But they simply sent them any ways and didn’t notify the authorities," Beshear said.

BGKY.org

The Los Angeles-based company American Cinema International is increasing its production in Kentucky.

The first project filmed mostly in Hart County was a Hallmark movie called “An Uncommon Grace.” It aired in February 2017.

The second project launches a three-part mini-series called “Runaway Romance.”

It was filmed in Glasgow, Horse Cave, Cave City and Munfordville and will air on January 7 on UP -TV, a small network for family-oriented movies.

When Will Jeff Hoover Officially Step Down? Soon

Dec 26, 2017
@KyHoover

Hoover announced he was stepping down from his role as speaker last month after admitting he exchanged sexually-charged text messages with a staffer. 

On WHAS radio’s Terry Meiners show, Bevin said it’s “highly unlikely” that Hoover would try to keep his leadership position when the General Assembly goes back into session. 

“I don’t know why he would do that. He’s already stated that it’s his intent to stand down. You can’t officially resign until the House is in session, which will happen when they come back in again.” 

IStock

Kentuckians are being told to take steps now to prepare for their home heating 
demands this winter. 

Inventories of U.S. heating oil and propane are lower this year than last year. Weather is the main factor in the demand for propane and colder winters both increase demand and impact deliveries. While propane production has increased in the U.S. the past several years, there are several challenges, including less storage capacity at production facilities.

From C-Span Video

Berea College

A provision that would have protected Berea College from a tax on university endowments has been removed from the tax bill passed by Congress today. 

On Tuesday evening a Senate parliamentarian ruled that the provision shielding Berea’s endowment from the tax violated the chamber’s rules. 

Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican representing the 6th Congressional district blamed the removal on Democrats, who originally challenged the provision.  

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