Attorney General Jack Conway announced Monday that Kentucky has joined other states and the federal government in reaching two independent settlements totaling $1.6 billion with Abbott Laboratories to settle civil and criminal allegations that the drug company illegally marketed the drug Depakote. “I am pleased that these settlements have been reached and that we are able to recover money for a vital state program and for taxpayers,” Conway said in a press release from his office.
The Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky business community is taking the reins of the $2.5 billion Brent Spence Bridge replacement project, business leaders announced Monday. The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Duke Energy, and the Ohio Kentucky Indiana Regional Council of Governments have formed a coalition to fast-track the project and devise a way to pay for it.
First lady Jane Beshear Monday visited West Liberty Elementary School in Morgan County to announce the overwhelming success of the Governor’s Office Tornado Relief Book Drive. To date, more than 11,000 books have been collected for schools affected by recent tornado damage, including a book contribution from Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.
Kentucky’s highway construction season moves into high gear in May. Crews are at work on I-64 in several eastern Kentucky counties. State Transportation Cabinet Spokeswoman Natasha Lacy says the moderate winter means there should be fewer road repairs. “It will be similar probably to last summer..there will be probably less pothole repair work, because we had a mild winter..therefore we don’t have as many potholes to of course give attention to in previous years when the weather was drastic,” said Lacy.
When Neil Gilreath drives streets in Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati, he sees things differently than a typical motorist. That’s because as a Covington police sergeant before his 2006 retirement, he headed the police traffic unit more than eight years. That group works to tame traffic in the Interstate 71/75 Cut in the Hill and on the overburdened Brent Spence Bridge. The Brent Spence Bridge conveys about 150,000 vehicles a day over the Ohio River, while the I-471 Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, also known as the Big Mac Bridge, carries more than 100,000 daily according to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Gilreath’s ideas, along with other alternatives such as using Newport and Covington streets or an improved Ky. 9, are among the ideas to alleviate traffic issues.
Gov. Steve Beshear and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, along with other state and local officials, broke ground Thursday morning on a long-awaited Ohio River bridge replacement linking the communities of Ironton, Ohio and Russell, Ky. “Few things promote regional growth, development and cooperation like safe, modern highways and bridges,” Beshear said in statement issued by his office. “Ironton, Ohio, and Russell, Ky., are separated by a great river.
Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the selection of a consultant team to assist his 23-member tax reform commission in studying how to better align the state’s tax code. The governor’s office has awarded the contract for the Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform to a three-person team of Dr. William Hoyt and Michael Childress, from the University of Kentucky, and Dr. William Fox, of the University of Tennessee, according to a statement from Beshear's office.
Hall Contracting of Kentucky is making progress on the Eggner Ferry Bridge repair project, and structural steel has been assembled at the Eddyville Riverport this weekend and earlier this week. That is what the Transportation Cabinet's Keith Todd said - and it should be ready to be transported to the bridge site in Aurora next week.
KSP reports that the National "Take Back" Initiative netted the agency 644 pounds of prescription drugs from those who wished to discard unwanted medications. Each of the 16 KSP post locations collected the drugs from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. on Saturday. The program, organized by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is intended to give people a safe and convenient way to part with unneeded medications. KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said he was pleased with the turnout at post locations across the state.
Despite promises of transparency by Gov. Steve Beshear, state officials are refusing to release child-protection records about a man who was convicted of beating his 3-month-old son prior to the mysterious deaths of his two infant daughters. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services won’t release records about Jesse Allison, who is charged in Caldwell County, in Western Kentucky, with murder in the 2009 asphyxiation death of his 7-monthold daughter Ariel.
When Henderson Fiscal Court meets Tuesday it will consider giving away $720,000 in coal severance tax revenues — but it will be a joint effort with Union and Webster counties. The money comes from what are known as multi-county funds, and the fiscal courts of all three fiscal courts must pass resolutions supporting the request before the funds would be released by the state Department for Local Government.
Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that Kentucky has exercised its option to increase its citizens’ access to safe, high-quality anesthesia by giving more flexibility to providers in delivering anesthesia services. In a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Beshear said Kentucky is exempting certain facilities from a federal requirement that certified nurse anesthetists be supervised by a physician. This change will give many hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers greater flexibility in the use of anesthesia providers and improve operating room efficiency without affecting quality of care.
Set up a permanent endowment to fund projects in Eastern Kentucky's coal counties. Improve access to broadband Internet service. Provide clean water to every resident. Use biomass grown on old surface mines to generate power. Those were a few of the ideas discussed Thursday at the annual East Kentucky Leadership Conference, held this year in Prestonsburg. It was an exercise in coming up with ideas to transform the economy of Eastern Kentucky, home to the largest cluster of counties in Appalachia classified as economically "distressed" by federal officials.
The Kentucky Division of Forestry is accepting grant applications for the 2012 Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant Program. The program's goal is to improve the capability of Kentucky’s rural volunteer fire departments to protect lives and property through training and by equipping local firefighters in rural areas, including communities with a population of 10,000 persons or fewer.
Gov. Steve Beshear Thursday announced Kentucky will receive a $859,793 National Emergency Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The funds will create about 65 temporary jobs for eligible dislocated workers to assist with clean-up and recovery efforts as a result of the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds and flooding that struck the state last month.
Jessamine County officials will hold a forum for the public next week to explain provisions of the county's "social host ordinance," which makes it a misdemeanor for adults to hold parties where underage drinking occurs. The Jessamine County Health Department and several other agencies are jointly holding the session, which is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at West Jessamine High School.
Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday visited the site on which workers will assemble the steel truss for a replacement span to repair and reopen the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge on Kentucky Lake. Crews from Hall Contracting of Kentucky Inc. are fabricating the steel components at the company’s yard in Louisville and shipping them to the Lyon County Riverport, outside Eddyville, for assembly.
Gov. Steve Beshear Monday encouraged Kentuckians to clear out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of old medications through a national prescription drug take-back program. The Drug Enforcement Administration National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. local time at locations throughout the state on Saturday, April 28.
The Kentucky State Police Driver Testing Branch will begin using a new rider skills test for motorcycle operator’s license applicants on May 1. Developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the new test is designed to better determine if operators possess sufficient safety skills for riding motorcycles in traffic. The new test expands Kentucky’s current motorcycle skill test from two to four exercises, which must be completed on a closed course and evaluated by a KSP driver’s license examiner, according to a state police press release.
New data from the federal government shows the amount of coal transported by rail has declined sharply this year: its’s at the lowest level since 1994. That’s partly due to low natural gas prices, increased regulations and an unseasonably warm winter, but atypical export conditions kept the data from being much worse. About 70 percent of coal produced in America is transported by rail. Most of the rest goes by truck—usually just short distances—or by barge.
Beginning this summer, four Kentucky state parks will each host a combination biking, trekking, and paddling competition. It’s called the 20-12 Unbridled Adventure Racing Series.The first of four races will be June ninth at General Butler State Resort Park in Carrolton. Gil Lawson, with the State Department of Parks, says each race includes mountain biking on trail and road, plus paddling on slow moving water.
The master of the Delta Mariner, Capt. Lloyd Patten, told a panel of investigators Thursday that the Eggners Ferry Bridge accident that destroyed a section of the bridge deck would not have happened if the navigation lights on the bridge had been operating properly. Patten and the ship’s third mate, Capt. Franklin Altany, answered questions about the cause of the incident after dark on Jan. 26, during the fourth day of public hearings in Paducah by the U. S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.
The Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges project, designed to improve cross-river mobility for the entire region, took a step forward Friday with federal approval of a new environmental impact statement. Jose Sepulveda, Kentucky division administrator for the Federal Highway Administration, signed the Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project, which involves construction of two bridges and reconstruction of the Kennedy interchange.
Kentucky State Police will partner with the Drug Enforcement Agency on Saturday, April 28 in a collaborative effort to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from home medicine cabinets. This is the fourth national DEA "Take Back" initiative the agency has participated in. KSP collected over 1,000 pounds of prescription drugs during previous programs, according to a state police press release. Collection activities will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at KSP posts across the state.
A split second of driver distraction can turn a highway work zone into a death zone. Each year, more 40,000 people in the United States are injured in highway work zones, and hundreds are killed. The average is a death every 13 hours and hundreds of injuries every 13 minutes. During the past three years in Kentucky, 16 people died and 285 people were injured in highway construction and maintenance work zones, according to a Transportation Cabinet press release.
Foss Maritime company officials and the second mate of the Delta Mariner cargo ship provided testimony Wednesday in the third day of the U. S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) public hearings in the Eggners Ferry Bridge incident investigation. The hearing is being held in Paducah. The Coast Guard and NTSB are determining which entities or individuals may be at fault for the Jan. 26 night-time crash that knocked out a 322-ft. section of the bridge near Aurora. The hearings are not a trial, but are part of a formal inquiry that could lead to sanctions if anyone is found to be in violation of proper procedure and conduct.
Keeneland President and CEO Nick Nicholson will retire from his post on September first, the track announced earlier today. He will be succeeded by current Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Bill Thomason. Nicholson has been the President and CEO of Keeneland for nearly 13 years. “Keeneland is a tradition and an entity like no other,” said Keeneland Trustee Louis Lee Haggin, III. “We understand and respect why Nick made his decision, but his daily presence and vision will be missed.
Less than 20 percent of Kentucky taxpayers must make a tax payment when they file their federal returns. I-R-S spokesman Luis Garcia says it’s not the people owing more money who wait until the last minute to file. “Well, every year we have people say well of course everyone is waiting until the last minute because they owe…that’s not the case..you would that most of the late filers are people who owe and it’s the opposite…it’s people who are getting a refund,” said Garcia.
Two teens have pleaded guilty to helping assault a Letcher County man who was targeted because he is gay. Alexis Leeann Jenkins and Mable Ashley Jenkins, both 19 and residents of Harlan County, pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping and aiding others in causing bodily injury to the victim because of his sexual orientation, according to court documents.
Two more counties are now eligible for reimbursements to county and local governments to assist in recovery from the Feb. 29 and March 2 storms and tornadoes, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Thursday. This brings the total number of counties receiving some type of storm-related federal aid to 23. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved Adair and Bath counties to receive public assistance, which provides reimbursements to county and local governments to repair public infrastructure or to remove storm debris. Bath County was previously approved for individual assistance.