3:24pm

Thu February 16, 2012
Faith and Values

Ark Property in Place

The ‘Ark Encounter’ project in northern Kentucky ebbs and flows with the economy.  Plans call for the construction near Williamsburg, Kentucky of a theme park based on the bible story of Noah’s Ark.  Ark Encounter Senior Vice President Mike Zovath says the company closed this week on the last piece of land needed for the 800 acre park.

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3:08pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Salt

Yes, There's Arsenic In Your Rice. But Is That Bad?

Rice plants absorb arsenic from soil, and some if it makes it to the bowl.
iStockPhoto.com

Is there arsenic in your rice? Probably. That's the news behind a study that found surprisingly high levels of arsenic in rice-based organic toddler formula and energy bars.

One toddler formula with organic brown rice syrup as the primary ingredient had arsenic concentrations six times the federal limit of 10 parts per billion for arsenic in drinking water.

Cereal bars that contained rice products like brown rice syrup or rice flour had arsenic levels ranging from 23 to 128 parts per billion, according to researchers at Dartmouth College, who tested the products.

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3:06pm

Thu February 16, 2012
The Two-Way

Christmas Day Bomber Sentenced To Life In Prison

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 5:10 pm

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty in October to a plot to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Dec. 25, 2009.
U.S. Marshals Service, File AP

The man who tried to blow up a U.S. passenger plane three Christmases ago was sentenced to life in prison in a Detroit courtroom today. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 25, boarded Northwest Flight 253 in Amsterdam on Dec. 25, 2009, with a massive bomb hidden in his underwear. As the plane approached Detroit, he tried to detonate the explosives. They failed to go off.

Four months ago, on the second day of his criminal trial, Abdulmutallab pleaded guilty.

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2:59pm

Thu February 16, 2012
All Politics are Local

PSE Bill Narrowly Clears Committee

A bill that would make pseudoephedrine available only by prescription in Kentucky has cleared its first legislative hurdle. PSE is commonly found in cold medicines and is also used to make meth. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard another hour of testimony on the issue from law enforcement officers and former meth addicts today before passing the bill out of committee.

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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.

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