Health
5:21 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Kentucky Lawmakers Consider Ways to Help Veterans Suffering from PTSD, Including Medical Marijuana

One Kentucky lawmaker predicts that medical marijuana legalization is inevitable in the Bluegrass State.

Kentucky lawmakers have been discussing the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder in veterans, and how sexual assault in the military plays a factor.

Dr. Mary Sweeney was among a team of physicians from the Robley Rex Veterans Affairs hospital in Louisville who recently testified before a joint Committee on the Military, Veterans Affairs and Public Safety about PTSD treatment efforts.

“Fifty percent of people who experience a rape go on to get PTSD. The numbers are lower for combat. Vietnam veterans, probably about 30 percent at some point in their life. Gulf War  veterans, perhaps 10 percent. The numbers are still out in the Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.”

Many veterans have lobbied Frankfort in support of medical marijuana as a treatment for their symptoms.

About 18,500 veterans in Kentucky suffer from PTSD. Nationwide, that number is 350,000.

Medical Marijuana for Veterans?

Kentucky lawmakers also heard testimony from those advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana as a way for veterans to cope with the impact of PTSD and physical ailments related to their military service.

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Politics
5:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

New Laws Go on the Books in Kentucky July 15

Kentucky's State Capitol is located in Frankfort.

Starting Tuesday, a host of new laws approved by the 2014 General Assembly take effect in Kentucky. 

Under HB 128, anyone granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order may receive a temporary concealed carry permit in one business day.  The normal application process can take up to 60 days.  The permit would be good for up to 45 days without undergoing the complete training necessary for a full concealed carry license. 

Another law, HB 232, taking effect Tuesday requires businesses to notify consumers of a security breach in which their personal data may have been illegally accessed or stolen. 

Another measure, SB 98, creates an adult protection registry with a list of personal caregivers who have had substantiated claims of abuse or neglect toward the elderly and disabled.  The registry’s website is expected to be up and running by the end of summer.

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Regional
5:00 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Kentucky Retirement Systems Hosting Online Town Halls

Kentucky Retirement Systems, which includes accounts for state employees and teachers, will hold a series of town hall webinars this month to allow members, retirees, and other stakeholders to ask questions and voice concerns about KRS. 

The Kentucky Employees Retirement System is the worst-funded major public pension system in the country, according to Fitch Ratings. It has an unfunded liability of more than 17 billion dollars. 

The webinars will be hosted by KRS executive staff.  The Monday, July 14 webinar will feature KRS Executive Director Bill Thielen.  To register, click here.

KRS Chief Investments Officer David Peden will host a webinar on July 21.  Click here to register.

Politics
5:00 am
Sun July 13, 2014

Representative Richards Facing First Tea Party Challenge

Tea Party candidate Jenean Hampton of Bowling Green is challenging incumbent State Representative Jody Richards in the November election.
Credit Jenean Hampton

Veteran State Representative Jody Richards of Bowling Green is facing his first Tea Party challenger in the November election. Jenean Hampton is taking on the longest continuously serving state representative in Kentucky history. 

"There was much prayer involved. This wasn't my plan," said Hampton in an interview with WKU Public Radio. "Sometimes you're screaming at the TV, you see things that need to be improved, and you're screaming that someone needs do something, well sometimes that someone is you."

Hampton serves as chair of the Bowling Green-Southern Kentucky Tea Party. The 55-year-old Republican is an Air Force veteran and businesswoman who wants to use her private sector experience to spur economic development in the commonwealth.

In her first run at public office, Hampton is taking on political heavyweight Jody Richards who was first elected to the legislature in 1975 and served as House Speaker from 1995 to 2009. Over that time, he's become the recipient of several plum committee assignments, including Appropriations and Revenue.  Richards told WKU Public Radio that his influence in Frankfort could not be matched by a newcomer.

"No new person would have my committee lineup nor would they have the connections I do," he suggested. "I pride myself  in working well with both sides of the aisle."

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Politics
6:39 am
Sat July 12, 2014

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Campaign spending in the Kentucky Senate race between GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes could reach $100 million.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Sat July 12, 2014 11:14 pm

For the amount of money that's expected to be spent in the Kentucky race for U.S. Senate this year, you could buy a bottle of the state's own Maker's Mark whiskey for nearly every man, woman and child in the state.

Some observers say the election could end up as the most expensive Senate race in history, with spending topping $100 million. And why wouldn't it be? It's at the heart of the battle for control of the U.S. Senate.

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The Two-Way
3:41 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Newspaper Editor, Activist John Seigenthaler Dies At 86

Nashville Tennessean Editor John Seigenthaler testifies at a Senate Commerce Subcommittee hearing in Washington in 1969. Seigenthaler died Friday at 86.
Bob Daugherty AP

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:58 pm

John Seigenthaler, the legendary journalist who edited The Tennessean, was instrumental in shaping the editorial page of USA Today and worked as an assistant to Robert Kennedy, has died at 86.

A statement from his son, broadcast journalist John Seigenthaler Jr., said his father died "peacefully at home," where he was recovering after a recent medical treatment.

NPR's David Folkenflik says Seigenthaler was known as a crusader against corruption and for civil rights.

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Regional
3:39 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

State Looks For Proposals for Eastern Kentucky Broadband Expansion

The office of Gov. Steve Beshear announced Friday that the state is seeking a request for proposals from private companies to expand broadband Internet access to Eastern Kentucky.

In a press release, the governor’s office said it will ask for proposals from companies to expand Internet access as part of the SOAR initiative, which aims to revitalize communities in the state’s economically troubled coal regions.The initial phase of the project will place 3,000 miles of broadband cable over a period of two years.

The governor’s office states that nearly one-quarter of Kentuckians don’t have access to broadband Internet.

The project is estimated to cost about $70 million, with $30 million appropriated by the state legislature and the remainder paid for by public-private partnership.

Politics
2:03 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Rogers: President's Funding Request to Deal with Border Crisis "Too Much Money"

Rep. Hal Rogers

A Kentucky Congressman who leads the House Appropriations Committee says President Obama needs to lower the amount of funding he’s seeking to address the crisis along the country’s southern border.

Politico reports that Somerset Republican Hal Rogers told reporters Friday that the nearly $4 billion the President wants is “too much money.” The President made the request in response to the growing number of unaccompanied children who are trying to enter the country from central America.

Congressman Rogers said while members of the appropriations committee continue to look through the President’s plan, the $3.7 billion dollar price tag will have to come down in order to gain House support.

While he didn’t suggest a different number, Rogers said he hopes to make a counter-proposal  next week.

Regional
1:39 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Barren County Murder Suspect Nabbed in Ohio

John Amis

A Barren County man wanted for the murder of his wife has been arrested in another state. Glasgow Police say John Amis was taken into custody Friday by law enforcement in Clermont County, Ohio. 

Amis is charged in the death of 37-year-old Lorine LaBombard. According to police, Amis called 911 on June 16 stating that he was en route to TJ Samson Hospital with his wife who was unresponsive due to a possible drug overdose. 

LaBombard was declared dead by hospital staff. The coroner of Barren County later contacted police after discovering multiple bruises and injuries to her body that suggested possible foul play. An autopsy ruled out an overdose as the cause of death, but rather blunt force trauma.

Once Amis is returned to Barren County, his bond will be set $1 million.

Politics
12:55 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Paul Remains Second in Poll of Likely New Hampshire Republican Voters

Sen. Rand Paul

The controversy that has surrounded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hasn’t dashed his 2016 presidential aspirations – at least not according to New Hampshire Republicans. 

Christie is first in a poll of potential GOP White House candidates at 19 percent.  Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul placed second in the WMUR Granite State Poll with 14 percent. 

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is third at 11 percent. Those numbers are based on the assumption that Mitt Romney will not run again. 

Paul, for his part,  has said he won’t make a decision on whether or not to run for president until after this year’s mid-term election.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton still leads among New Hampshire Democrats, at 59 percent. But that number has edged down slightly from April.

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