2:56pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Education

Proposal to Expand Preschool Eligibility

A preschooler works with scissors and paper at Dixie Elementary School in Lexington.

More low-income Kentucky families would be able to send their child to public preschool under a plan to expand eligibility requirements. Half-day preschool programs are currently open to 4-year-olds in families with income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. In his budget proposal, Governor Steve Beshear would raise that income cap to 160 percent of the poverty level.

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2:51pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Lexington/Richmond

Lexington Airport to Get Scanners

The current security scanning equipment at Lexington's Bluegrass Field Airport will soon be replaced with full-body scanners similar to those at the nation's largest airports."If it's going to keep everybody safe, keep the plane in the air, yeah, I wouldn't mind doing it," passenger Joe Morrison told WKYT-TV. "I got nothing to hide."

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2:48pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

School Lunch Overhaul on the Way

Audrey Rowe, USDA Administrator for the Food and Nutrition Service, talks with eighth-graders, left, Becca Penn, 14, and right, Taylor Boggs, 13, during Rowe's visit to Elkhorn Middle School Wednesday.
Hannah Reel/The State Journal

Elkhorn Middle School eighth-grader Hanna Sewell sat at the lunch table Wednesday behind a foam tray that held a hamburger and french fries. A few feet away, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Department of Education were eating lunch too. They stopped by Elkhorn Middle Wednesday to promote new federal guidelines that will cut sodium, add whole grains and provide a wider selection of fruits and vegetables on the side of school lunches nationwide. Announced just a few weeks ago, it’s the first major nutritional overhaul of school meals in more than 15 years. Some of the changes will take place when kids return to school this fall; others will be phased in over time.

2:41pm

Thu February 16, 2012
All Politics are Local

Legislators Want to Limit Constable Duties

A “compromise” bill that would allow local governments to limit duties of constables by ordinance has passed the Senate State and Local Government Committee. The legislation, Senate Bill 30, which originally sought a constitutional amendment to abolish the office, would give fiscal courts and merged governments more authority over the roles of constables. Local governments could not abolish the office outright, though, and must leave at least one duty for the elected peace officers.

2:36pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Education

Beshear Promotes Preschool Expansion Plan

Understanding the value that early childhood experiences play in the future successes of Kentucky’s youth, Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday discussed his proposal to expand preschool services across Kentucky. Surrounded by preschool students at Dixie Magnet Elementary School in Lexington, the governor called for raising the eligibility level for 4-year-olds in families whose income is at or below 160 percent of poverty level in Fiscal Year 2014 and increasing it to 200 percent by the end of his term.

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2:33pm

Thu February 16, 2012
All Politics are Local

Sponsor of Casino Bill Open to Changes

Sen. Damon Thayer

Changes may be coming to Gov. Steve Beshear's proposal for as many as seven casinos in Kentucky. Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, said he is open to revisions that address concerns raised after he introduced the constitutional amendment Tuesday. Some lawmakers were concerned that a casino might land in their district while others were upset about being excluded.

2:30pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Health and Welfare

Panel Approves Care Home Bill

Larry Lee

Six months after a brain-injured Lebanon man disappeared from a Falmouth personal care home and died, a panel of lawmakers approved a bill Wednesday aimed at preventing similar deaths. Larry Lee's family mounted an extensive search to find the 32-year-old man with a history of mental illness, but it was four weeks after his August disappearance before Lee's body was found on the banks of the Licking River not far from Falmouth Nursing Home in Pendleton County. The personal care home where he was placed by the state did not have adequate services for Lee, his family said.

2:27pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Amanda Knox Signs Book Deal Worth Millions

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 4:03 pm

Amanda Knox, the U.S. college exchange student who won an appeal to overturn her murder conviction in Italy last October, has signed a deal to write a memoir — for which she'll earn nearly $4 million, according to reports.

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2:23pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Energy Secretary to Discuss Paducah Plant

After multiple letters from Kentucky politicians, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu has agreed to meet and discuss what should be done with nuclear waste sitting at a Paducah facility. In a letter sent Tuesday from Chu to U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., Chu states he is “welcome to the opportunity” to talk about the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant and its expansive stores of depleted uranium “tails.”

2:17pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Sports

Faried Named Kentucky Sportsman of the Year

Kenneth Faried never took the easy path. Raised in Newark, N.J., Faried could have fallen into the traps — drugs, gangs — that snare too many young people who grow up in the grittiest American cities. He didn't. When he chose to leave Newark to play college basketball in small-town Kentucky at Morehead State, Faried could have given in to the homesickness that overwhelmed him at first. He didn't.

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