Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate dropped to a three-year low of 9.1 percent in December from 9.4 percent in November, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training. The preliminary December jobless rate was 1.2 percentage points below the 10.3 percent rate recorded for the state in the same month a year earlier. The state’s December 2011 jobless rate is the lowest since the December 2008, when it was 8.5 percent.
Saying that "recent events" have raised questions, but that "there is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced that there won't be a vote in his chamber next Tuesday on the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
That's the Senate's version of controversial legislation that supporters say would cut down on Internet piracy — but that opponents say would amount to censorship.
There is still a lot of work to do, but the Florida Attorney General says the "pill pipeline" between her state and Kentucky has been significantly reduced thanks to tougher regulations and the launch of a prescription monitoring program. Pam Bondi spoke in Lexington Thursday at a conference on prescription drug abuse. "We've been going around the state training law enforcement in what to look for in these drug cases, and you wouldn't believe the number of doctors and nurses who are showing up to our training sessions. So there are so many responsible doctors and dentists who want to know what to look for and want to do the right thing.
Some of the Department of Agriculture’s unaccounted for state property has turned up, including equipment issued to former commissioner Richie Farmer. It was previously reported that nearly $500,000 worth of state property was either missing or unaccounted for. This was partly blamed on poor record keeping by the department, but certain records showed Farmer still had several pieces of equipment, including laptop computers and GPS units.
New Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made industrial hemp his first legislative priority. Comer, a Republican, has enlisted the help of two Democratic representatives and one Democratic senator to file a bill to legalize the crop in each chamber. A former state representative himself, Comer says many myths about industrial hemp are starting to fade, and farmers are looking to it as a replacement for tobacco, which is waning.
While others analyze what Thursday's GOP presidential debate does or doesn't tell us about what may or may not happen Saturday when South Carolina Republicans hold their primary, here's the top news from that four-man clash in Charleston:
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement faced accusations that a breathalyzer was giving inaccurate readings. So it commissioned a study. Fifteen employees consumed more than $300 worth of whiskey, mixers and Doritos, and then used the breathalyzer. Judges are considering whether the study was legitimate.