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Kentucky’s bourbon industry keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Highly-anticipated numbers released Tuesday morning show the industry nearly doubled the number of jobs it supports in Kentucky, from just under 8,700 in 2012 to 15,400 this year.
The study was conducted by the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund and the Kentucky Distillers Association.
The study also shows the impact on the state’s agriculture industry. Bourbon makers buy 40 percent of the grain they use from Kentucky farmers, translating into 56 million in sales. It also means 1,360 agriculture jobs are supported by the bourbon industry.
The report also says Kentucky farmers have the capacity to provide up to 80 percent of the bourbon industry’s grains.
A new study conducted by researchers from West Virginia University and Indiana University links mountaintop removal coal mining with health problems in nearby residents.
The study took dust samples from homes near a mountaintop removal site in West Virginia, as well as a control site far from mining in the eastern part of the state.
IU professor and study co-author Michael Hendryx says researchers exposed both human lung cells and mice with tumors to the dust. They concluded that the mountaintop removal dust promotes lung cancer development and helps the disease progress quickly.
There have been other studies on health problems related to mountaintop removal mining, but Hendryx says this is the first one with direct environmental data linking the process directly with lung cancer.
“I think if you look at the body of research from this study and from others that we’ve done, the types of changes that we see and the types of chemicals that we see in the dust, if you put it all together, then I think that we’re at a point where we can say dust from mountaintop removal activity increases lung cancer among the people that live there," said Hendryx.
The results of the study were published in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Science and Technology.
Former President Bill Clinton returns to Kentucky on Tuesday to campaign with Democratic Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes two weeks before the election.
Clinton is scheduled to hold campaign rallies in Owensboro and Paducah on Tuesday. It will be Clinton's third visit to Kentucky this year, and it follows a visit last week from Hillary Clinton in Louisville in front of thousands of people.
Large crowds have also flocked to Bill Clinton's appearances, a sign the Clintons are still popular in a state that has voted for them a combined three times for president. Grimes has used her association with the Clintons to distance herself from Democratic President Barack Obama.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell is scheduled to have six campaign stops in five eastern Kentucky counties on Tuesday.
The most prolific killer in Kentucky's death row is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to allow him to reopen his case and overturn his convictions and death sentence.
Prosecutors have until Nov. 10 to respond to a petition from 58-year-old Robert Carl Foley, who is awaiting execution for killing six people in eastern Kentucky in 1989 and 1991. That's more slayings than any of the state's 34 death row inmates.
Foley lost a bid in April at the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The judges concluded that Foley failed to show he was denied a constitutional right when a federal judge turned away his efforts to continue fighting his conviction.
He had been seeking to challenge his trial attorney's handling of ballistics evidence and potential expert testimony.
Two weeks until Election Day and Kentucky's hotly-contested U.S. Senate seat appears to remain up for grabs.
Mitch McConnell re-took the lead in the latest Bluegrass Poll released Monday evening. The incumbent Republican Senator edged his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes by one point, 44-43 percent. It marks a turnaround from the previous Bluegrass Poll which showed Grimes with a slight advantage.
Both leads fell within the poll's margin of error.
Meantime, another poll released Monday by WKU's Social Science Research Center found McConnell leading the race by five points over Grimes. That survey was take between Oct. 6 and Monday and surveyed 601 likely Kentucky voters.
The Kentucky Republican Party and GOP state House candidate Jeff Jobe are calling on the attorney general to investigate the state Democratic Party and Democratic Representative Johnny Bell of Glasgow over a campaign mailer that was distributed over the weekend.
The ad focuses on Jobe’s previous DUI arrests and features a copy of a police citation that contains Jobe’s personal information, including his social security number. Jobe accuses the Democratic incumbent of identity theft.
"As a newspaper publisher, I certainly understand that providing such things would be wrong, and I contend that my opponent, as a defense attorney, would know that doing such a thing would not be ethical," Jobe told WKU Public Radio.
Jobe is challenging Bell for his seat in the 23rd district that covers Barren and a portion of Warren County.
Representative Bell claims he has only sent one mailer and it was on family values. He calls the claim an attack on him and knew nothing of the mailer.
Kentuckians will soon be able to access their personal medical records online. The patient portal called myhealthnow will eliminate the need for obtaining paper records from doctors’ offices.
"We're working with health care providers to develop the patient portal so that patients don't have to request those paper records anymore and don't have to actually go into the office," says Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services spokeswoman Beth Fisher. "They can create an account, store, and access all of their records online."
The goal is to help medical facilities improve record keeping and patient care, and help patients become more engaged in their health care. The portal should be running statewide by the end of the year.
Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in Leitchfield and Logan Family Practice in Russellville are among several healthcare facilities statewide participating in the pilot phase.
The shock of the recession still lingers in public schools across Kentucky.
The results of a recent report from the Washington D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities show that the state currently spends $561 less per student than it did in fiscal year 2008. That’s an inflation adjusted drop of about 11 percent.
But Brad Hughes, a spokesman for the Kentucky School Boards Association, says state legislators are slowly trying to turn that around.
“This underscores how critically important it was that the governor and the generally assembly put some dedicated funds for K-12 schools in the biennial budget for this year and next year,” said Hughes. “We were slipping farther behind other states because of the impact of the recession. Even though this still puts us in the lowest tier at least we are headed in the right direction.”
Hughes said it is going to take some serious work to get back to levels consistent with those prior to the recession.
“We know that public education is going to have keep going, as they did in 2014, again, again and again to the legislature to say ‘it cost more just to do the educational things that kids need to learn.”
In the report Kentucky ranked 37th out of 47 states reviewed in terms of current funding levels compared to those of 2008.