FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear joined public safety and business leaders Wednesday to announce a campaign to encourage Kentuckians to pledge to abstain from texting while driving. The initiative is a partnership among the Governor’s Office, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentuckians for Better Transportation and AT&T.
The Commonwealth is moving steadily toward posting more public records on the internet. Many states already offer digitalized government records via the internet. Mark Meyers, who’s an electronic records archivist for the Commonwealth, says many are already available on state websites. “I mean the general public uses our records quite a bit from family history research to legal documents providing birth, death, and marriage records. More and more records are being created electronically and being stored electronically,” said Meyers.
Governor Beshear is hoping media representatives from all around the world will spread the word about Kentucky initiatives. The governor is hosting a media reception Thursday night just prior to the vice presidential debate at Centre College. More than three thousand media reps from the United States and 40 other countries have received credentials for the debate.
FRANKFORT - State Librarian and Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives Commissioner Wayne Onkst has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Kentucky Library Association. The award is given to an individual who has shown continuous, sustained support of the library profession through his or her life.
Patchy to widespread frost is expected late tonight through daybreak on Tuesday in Eastern Kentucky, according to the National Weather Service office at Jackson. Light winds and clear skies over Eastern Kentucky will cause temperatures tonight to drop to between 32 and 37 degrees. Frost will develop tonight over most of Eastern Kentucky and continue through early Tuesday morning.
Danville recently won accolades from a website for being among the Top 10 Mayberry-like towns in America, and it’s not too difficult to see the parallels that connect that bucolic TV town of the 1960s to our fair city’s station in 2012. Mayberry had its town band and its pie-eating contests and Danville has its Great American Brass Band and BBQ festivals. In both locations, friendly crowds gather to hob-nob with their neighbors and guests, there’s hardly a hint of trouble, and a good time is had by all. Mayberry, however, never hosted a vice presidential debate.
Judicial centers will be closed statewide and all court services will be unavailable Monday, Oct. 15, as the Kentucky Judicial Branch shuts down for the third of three furlough days in 2012. The furloughs will affect only non-elected court personnel, who will be off work without pay as part of the Judicial Branch’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Reduction Plan. This includes the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, District Court, Offices of Circuit Court Clerk, the Administrative Office of the Courts and all court services, including Pretrial Services, Drug Court, the Court Designated Worker Program, Court Interpreting Services, the State Law Library and driver license branches.
FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has awarded nearly $41 million in contracts for projects to repave, rehabilitate and repair roads across the state. Most are for state routes, but they include repairs for interstate highways in Jefferson, Carroll, Gallatin and Livingston counties.
FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Public Service Commission has accepted a settlement regarding a proposed environmental compliance plan and associated environmental surcharge request submitted by Big Rivers Electric Corp. Under the settlement, Big Rivers will not construct the most costly emission control projects it proposed in its original plan, thus reducing the total cost by about 80 percent. The modified plan will cost $58.5 million - $225 million less than Big Rivers originally proposed.
Frankfort - In an effort to collect tens of millions of dollars owed to the state in back taxes, Gov. Steve Beshear Monday announced the kick-off of Kentucky’s Tax Amnesty program. Through the end of November, most people and businesses that owe overdue taxes to the state can apply for amnesty. This means they can pay up without facing penalties or fees and owe only half the interest due.
By Ivy Brashear, Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
Kentucky leads the U.S. in pursuing pharmaceutical fraud, according to a report by the Washington, D.C.-based consumer group, Public Citizen. Since 1991, the state has pursued the most claims against pharmaceutical companies and reached more than 30 settlements. It pursued 17 single-state settlements, the most of any state.
A piece of World War Two history can be spotted in the skies over the Louisville area this weekend. Kentucky Public Radio’s Rick Howlett took a ride on the restored B-17 Bomber that’s on its first national tour. The Boeing B-17 is better known as the Flying Fortress. More than 12-thousand were produced starting in 1935. Many of them took part in missions over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War Two. Only a dozen are still flying today.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday announced that Kentucky will again take part in a national prescription drug take-back program to safely dispose of unused, unneeded or expired medications. The Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday at locations throughout the state.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced the 17 members of a panel that will help ensure that state agencies meet the policies and standards expected in cases of child abuse and neglect. Created by an executive order in July, the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel will conduct comprehensive reviews of child fatalities and near fatalities that are determined to be the result of child abuse or neglect.
Military veterans across Kentucky can now secure a driver’s license with a new ‘veteran’ designation. The new license option was approved during the 2012 general assembly session. The word ‘veteran’ will be printed vertically and in capital letters along the right border of the license holder’s photo. To obtain the license, a veteran must present a Department of Defense form that verifies service at the local circuit court clerk’s office. Representative Tanya Pullin says the designation will help veterans receive benefits they have earned.
FRANKFORT – Kentucky is launching a tax amnesty program allowing people or businesses who owe back taxes to the state to pay with no fees or penalties. The threat of prosecution will be waived, and only half the interest owed will be due.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway Wednesday announced that under the terms of the national mortgage settlement, two million postcard notices have been mailed this week to U.S. homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011.
In rural counties, state-run prisons are often major employers. And, after state budget cuts and reforms in the penal code, they remain an important part of the local economy. Some 12 state operated prisons are situated in relatively small towns. There’s a maximum security prison in Eddyville and the others are either community or medium security complexes. Kentucky Department of Corrections Commissioner Ladonna Thompson says they’re a state agency that’s hiring.
A cracked runway is not something a pilot wants to see when landing at a Kentucky airport. But, rough runways have aviation officials here worried. Winn Turney, who’s commissioner of Kentucky’s Department of Aviation, says maintenance funds have been short. “We have a lot of runways that are cracking and stuff like that.Most of the time, with the funds we have, we doing we call crack and seal repair.We’ve had some runways where if you went down the center line of it, actually a nose wheel of an aircraft could almost fall into one of them.We’ve taken care of that particular area,” said Turney.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. – After decades of discussion, the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project is officially underway. At a ceremony Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and a host of federal, state and local officials broke ground on the first construction phase of the major project – a 3,000-foot extension of Old Salem Road.
As Hurricane Isaac spins into southern states, emergency officials to the north are making preparations. Buddy Rogers, who’s with Kentucky Emergency Management, says they’re not expecting high winds or heavy rains. “We don’t foresee Kentucky being impacted by this hurricane. Hopefully, it’s gonna’ bring much needed rain to the far western part of the state. But, we don’t see any type of hazardous risk developing in Kentucky,” said Rogers.