11:02am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Mild Weather Equals Savings for Governments

So far, so good. That's the feeling of Mason County Judge-Executive James L. "Buddy" Gallenstein about the mild weather seen in the region coming into 2012. Gallenstein said on Monday the county has realized a savings of about $100,000 compared to the same time last year. "The mild weather thus far has been a blessing. No salt or cinders have been used so far," said Gallenstein.

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10:58am

Tue January 3, 2012
Mountain Kentucky

Six Months after Flood, East Kentucky Struggles

Jeff and Pam Sears aren't opposed to mining, as the sign in their yard indicates, but they have joined a lawsuit against coal some companies.
Lexington Herald-Leader

Bonnie Mills had 35 years of memories in her old coal-camp house in Knox County, so she hoped she could make repairs and stay in it after it was damaged by flooding last June. Mills started clearing away gooey mud the day the water receded and kept at it for weeks while staying in a rented place nearby, but relief officials and others eventually convinced her the house couldn't be fixed. She used federal disaster aid to buy a new mobile home, 48 feet long by 14 feet wide, and had it set up a few yards from her old house.

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10:55am

Tue January 3, 2012
Environmental Watchdog

Legal Action Take Against Johnson Mining Operations

Two groups with a history of environmental activism have taken aim at an Eastern Kentucky coal mine with a lawsuit asking that a court declare the coal mine is in violation of the Clean Water Act. In addition, the lawsuit, filed by the Sierra Club and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, asks that the court force Laurel Mountain Resources to install treatment facilities, pay civil penalties and conduct monitoring and sampling to prevent pollution at its Johnson County mine.

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10:53am

Tue January 3, 2012
State Capitol

General Assembly Opens for 60-Day Session

When noon EST rolls around today, the state Capitol in Frankfort could resemble a different Kentucky icon: the starting gate at a horse race. Once the House and Senate kick off the 2012 General Assembly Tuesday, the legislature will officially have 60 days to try to address 200 bills filed ahead of the session and craft a budget that takes into account a shortfall believed to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Additionally, they’ll need to find time to fulfill their constitutional obligation of redistricting congressional and senatorial lines, a process that could hinder the regular session or require a special session.

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10:47am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Crisis Phase of Heating Assistance Program Begins

The crisis phase of the Low Income Heating Assistance Program begins tomorrow. This is the second and final phase of LIHEAP. Residents must be in danger of having their utilities cut off in order to receive assistance. The city began scheduling early appointments for assistance last week and those will continue tomorrow at government centers.

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10:46am

Tue January 3, 2012
All Politics are Local

Yarmuth Anticipates More Washington Gridlock

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., predicts the New Year will bring more partisanship to Congress as the presidential election heats up. Last year, Congress faced a possible government shutdown and a contentious debate to extend the payroll tax cuts among several other partisan debates. For most of the year the Republican-controlled House clashed with the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House until deadlines forced compromises.

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10:40am

Tue January 3, 2012
Author Interviews

Stephen Hawking: Exploring An 'Unfettered Mind'

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 12:09 pm

Palgrave Macmillan

Make a list of the world's most popular scientists, and Stephen Hawking's name will be near or at the very top of the list.

Hawking, the author of A Brief History of Time and a professor at the University of Cambridge, is known as much for his contributions to theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity as for his willingness to make science accessible for the general public, says science writer Kitty Ferguson.

"It's not dumbing down [science]; it's really making it accessible, hopefully, to a lot of people," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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10:34am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Two-Way

Construction Spending Increases, Signaling Continued Economic Growth

In yet another sign that the economy is limping forward, the Commerce Department said today that spending on construction rose 1.2 percent in November for the third time in four months.

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10:32am

Tue January 3, 2012
State Capitol

Charter School Proponents Push Hard this Session

The debate over charter schools is one Kentucky educators and legislators have heard and argued over for the last several years. But supporters of the education reform feel one party left out of those discussions is ready to be brought into the fold. A newly formed group called Kentuckians Advocating Reforms in Education(KARE) is launching TV ad buys across the commonwealth today to educate the general public about charter schools. KARE has spent $8,950 to air the ad on WLKY in Louisville. Former Metro Councilman and Republican mayoral candidate Hal Heiner is the group’s chairman.

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