Some targets of critical news stories and state audits from recent years could avoid scrutiny under changes that lawmakers are proposing to the Kentucky Open Records Act. Presently, any organization that gets at least 25 percent of its revenue from local or state government must share most of its records under the act, which is meant to bring transparency to public spending. But House Bill 496, set to be heard next week in committee, would change the act to exempt from disclosure any money awarded by a government "for goods or services that are provided by a contract obtained through a public procurement process."
Two legislative bills that would legalize industrial hemp could offer a transition crop for farmers in Nelson County. Central Kentucky was the largest producer of hemp during World War II for rope production, but state officials say it isn’t legislation but law enforcement that will decide hemp’s future in the state or Nelson County. Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. Given its low THC content, it would not be attractive as a recreational drug like marijuana, but the stigma has helped stop its legalization.
Three private companies that took over management of Kentucky’s Medicaid system in November have become a clogged channel between payments from the state and the hospitals and doctors who need the money. Jennie Stuart Medical Center, the Christian and Todd County health departments and Pennyroyal Mental Health Center are awaiting months’ worth of back payments, causing major budget shortfalls.
More than $30,000 is being offered for information leading to arrests in a string of unsolved arsons in four Kentucky counties. On Thursday, investigators from Fayette, Jessamine, Lincoln and Pulaski counties met at the Lexington Division of Fire's Station 1 on Third Street to discuss the fires — 25 of them, which were set purposely in cars, homes, barns and businesses. The fires have caused millions of dollars in property damage.
Marie Colvin believed in telling real people’s stories, said Bill Mulligan, Murray State University history professor. Colvin was killed Feb. 22, in Homs, Syria, on a reporting assignment for the London Sunday Times. Colvin was a veteran war correspondent with 25 years with the newspaper reporting on conflicts around the world, and most recently in the Middle East. The bombing that took her life also killed French reporter Remi Ochlik. Colvin was Mulligan’s first cousin, younger by eight years.
Among the reports of more deadly violence in Pakistan today — about 70 people were killed in three incidents, DAWN reports — is word that about 20 of the deaths were the result of one militant group attacking another.
The National Weather Service office has issued tornado watches for central and western Kentucky and stresses there is a significant threat for severe and tornadic thunderstorms this afternoon and evening for Central Kentucky. A flash flood watch has also been issued for southeast Kentucky. Strong storms are expected to erupt around the I-65 corridor during the early afternoon hours - from 2-4 p.m. EST. These storms will produce large hail, damaging winds and some tornadoes. Some could stay on the ground for long periods. The situation could worsen from 4-5 p.m. EST with storms moving east from along the I-65 corridor toward the Bluegrass Region and Southcentral Kentucky. For the latest storm and flood warnings from the National Weather Service, click here.
President Obama tells both Israel and Iran through an interview with The Atlantic that "as president of the United States, I don't bluff," when he leaves open the possibility of a U.S. military strike against Iran's nuclear program.