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.
FRANKFORT – In conjunction with National Preparedness Month, Gov. Steve Beshear has proclaimed September as Commonwealth of Kentucky Preparedness Month. “Kentuckians face challenges throughout the year, from tornadoes, flooding, winter storms to man-made hazards,” Beshear said in a statement release by his office. “During my term alone, Kentucky has endured 11 presidentially declared disasters. Every household should be prepared to face these challenges at any given time, which is why I have proclaimed September as Commonwealth of Kentucky Preparedness Month.”
FRANKFORT. – First Lady Jane Beshear and Agriculture Commissioner James Comer recently launched Ready, Set, Grow: A Kid’s Guide to Gardening - a joint initiative by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy. The project includes an interactive guide and website to promote growing and/or buying local food.
Conrado Olvera, armed with a tomahawk and a spear, moved in a decades-old rhythm. This annual farm ritual is being played out again in Kentucky tobacco fields, as farm workers like Olvera get down to the laborious job of cutting and housing the state's burley crop. It has been a long, hot and dry summer on Kentucky farms, but tobacco generally has fared better than corn and some other crops. Dry weather, however, is continuing. And burley experts say tobacco that hasn't been irrigated might need one more good rain to assure a profitable year.
A recent controversy over a Missouri Senate candidate’s comments on rape has not diminished U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell’s outlook for November. McConnell is hoping to become majority leader next year. Depending on who wins the presidency, he needs either three of four GOP Senate victories this fall to do so. He recently asked Republican Congressman Todd Akin to drop out of his race to give Republicans a better chance in Missouri, but Akin declined. McConnell says even with Missouri in question, the GOP may still have a shot at the majority.
FRANKFORT – Two Kentucky State Parks in Eastern Kentucky will offer guests a unique wildlife viewing opportunity this fall and winter – elk viewing tours. Visitors to Jenny Wiley and Buckhorn Lake State Resort Parks can choose a weekend, stay at a state park lodge or cottage and arise early to enjoy one of these unique tours, according to a parks system news release.
FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced a plan to accelerate construction of the new U.S. 60 Tennessee River Bridge between Paducah and Ledbetter, enabling motorists to begin using it more than a year ahead of schedule.
The Kentucky State Fair grand champion country ham fetched $300,000 at a charity auction today. Since 1964, the top ham has been auctioned at the close of the Kentucky Farm Bureau country ham breakfast. This year’s top bidder was Louisville optometrist Dr. Mark Lynn.
Repair work is scheduled to begin today on twin interstate 75 bridges at the Laurel-Whitley County line. During a scheduled examination in early August, a crack in one of the load bearing steel beams on each bridge was found. Both bridges were subsequently reduced to one lane of service. State transportation officials feared the work to fix the bridges might not begin until after the busy Labor Day weekend.
There may be little room at the inn when it comes to spending time as an inmate at the Scott County Detention Center, jail personnel told magistrates of the Scott County Fiscal Court recently during a meeting. Twenty-eight people were taken to the Scott County Detention Center following a drug sting earlier this month, and some of them went to other detention facilities to alleviate crowding, jail officials said.
It wasn’t the $337 million jackpot, but someone who bought a lottery ticket in Erlanger won $1 million Wednesday night, Kentucky Lottery officials said. The winning ticket sold at the Speedway at 631 Donaldson Highway matched the first five numbers but not the Powerball to win the game’s second prize.
A new smart-phone app offered by the Kentucky Historical Society allows tourists access to the history behind roadside markers. The aim is the weave a historical story. Sally Warfield, who’s a Digital Media Specialist with the Kentucky Historical Society, says the new app connects communities by demonstrating their shared history. “You can connect that story then to a larger story in the Commonwealth, because all of a sudden that historical marker is a pin that’s on the state of Kentucky on this map. And you can click on that and you can click on one a couple of counties over,” said Warfield.
The papers of Kentucky writer Wendell Berry, many of which he pulled from the University of Kentucky in late 2009 over its ties with the coal industry, have been donated to the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. The historical society said Berry's materials, which include writings, research and incoming correspondence, are being processed and will be made available to researchers by Nov. 1.
A pair of lane closures on Interstate 75 in southern Kentucky may be in effect for a month. Cracks have been discovered in load bearing beams on adjacent highway bridges. Late last week the passing lane of the northbound bridge at the Whitley-Laurel County line was closed. A subsequent inspection resulted in the shut down of the right lane southbound on the other bridge. State Transportation Department Spokesman, Jonathon Dobson says repairs may not be made until after the Labor Day holiday weekend.
FRANKFORT – As the 2012 Olympic Games in London came to a close Sunday, Gov. Steve Beshear Monday recognized the Kentucky Horse Park as an elite international equestrian facility for consistently hosting world-class and Olympic-caliber athletes. The Horse Park is also a significant economic contributor to the state, with an estimated economic impact of approximately $180 million each year, according to a statement issued by the governor's office.
Frankfort –The Kentucky Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Abandoned Mine Lands will be recognized with a regional award in mine reclamation for the Lower Rock Creek watershed restoration project from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining. The award will be presented this fall during the National Association of Abandoned Mine Land national conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
On this week's edition of Kentucky Tonight, host Bill Goodman and guests will discuss energy and the environment. The program , which airs "live" on KET at 8:00 pm Monday, will be re-broadcast on the WEKU Stastions Tuesday morning at 11:00.
Work begins next week on a long term road widening project along interstate 64 in Shelby County. The project covers about five miles from the Welcome Center to a half mile east of Kentucky 55. The interstate will be widened to three lanes in each direction. In addition to the roadway expansion, the project includes reconstruction of the interchange at Kentucky 55. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction on I-64 during the majority of the construction.
More Kentucky counties have been designated as drought disaster areas, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Wednesday. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack notified Beshear that Breckinridge and Grayson counties have been upgraded to primary disaster areas. Both were classified as contiguous areas before, Beshear's office said.
A major pattern change taking place over the next few days will take us from the dog days of summer to a fall preview. When an abrupt change of seasons occurs, thunderstorms are usually the result and that looks to be the case today.