News

Humane Society of Henderson County

The Humane Society of Henderson County has made such dramatic progress in finding homes for animals that it has not had to euthanize any adoptable pets in the past five years.

Animals have been euthanized only if they were too aggressive to be adopted or so extremely injured that the cost of medical treatment would be too high.

Humane Society Executive Director Angela Hagedorn says using an Internet pet adoption site has been a key element in the plan.

PetFinder.com was able to put the animals out onto the Internet, so that a broader audience could see the animals. Also we decided to contact various rescues, some of them are breed-specific rescues, to try to get more animals out of the shelter.”

Creative Commons

An aluminum company says it will build a $1.3 billion facility near the border of Kentucky and West Virginia, pledging to hire 550 employees earning average salaries of $70,000 in an area devastated by the loss of coal and manufacturing jobs.

Braidy Industries Inc. says the 2.5 million-square-foot facility in Greenup County, Kentucky, will produce 370,000 tons of aluminum for the automotive and aerospace industries, two of Kentucky's largest manufacturing sectors. The company says it expects 1,000 workers will be needed to build the plant next year, with construction to be completed in 2020.

"Braidy Industries' decision to locate in Eastern Kentucky has the potential to be as significant as any economic deal ever made in the history of Kentucky," Republican Gov. Matt Bevin said in a news release.

Chronical of Higher Education

Western Kentucky University is asking a court to put its lawsuit against the student newspaper on hold.  WKU is suing the College Heights Herald over an open records request into the school’s sexual misconduct investigations. 

A motion filed in Warren Circuit Court requests a stay on WKU’s lawsuit until similar litigation is resolved between the University of Kentucky and its campus newspaper.  Tom Kerrick, the attorney representing WKU, says in the motion that a stay would save time and reduce legal expenses.  

"These are novel issues of national magnitude for Kentucky courts, and it only makes economic sense for this action to be held in abeyance until these legal issues, which affect the University of Kentucky, Western Kentucky University, and other universities in Kentucky (if not the nation), are resolved," Kerrick stated.

Manchin Says U.S. Senate Backing Retired Miners' Benefits

5 hours ago
Flickr/Creative Commons/John Karwoski

West Virginia's Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin says the Senate backs permanently extending health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire after April.

Manchin says Wednesday the permanent fix will be included in the Senate measure to continue government funding with a vote likely Friday.

He says it will cost $1.3 billion.

Republican U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito says she's confident the Senate will back a long-term fix.

Thomas Galvez/Creative Commons

Public schools would be in a financial pinch if Congressional Republicans are successful in changing the way Medicaid is funded.

The federal Individuals with Disabilities Act requires public schools pay for health care services for students with disabilities — including services like school nurses, speech and mental health therapists. Kentucky schools received $34 million in 2015 toward those costs. Over half of the funds came from Medicaid — the rest came from the state.

That money could be in jeopardy if the American Health Care Act – also referred to as Trumpcare – is revived. The GOP plan proposes cutting $839 billion in Medicaid spending to states over 10 years.

Vanderbilt University

A Kentuckian nominated by President Donald Trump to a federal appeals court will be questioned during a confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on the confirmation of Judge Amul Thapar to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which considers appeals from federal cases originating in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Michigan.

Thapar serves in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Kentucky and previously as a U.S. attorney for the Eastern District; both appointments were made by President George W. Bush.

Trump included Thapar on a shortlist of potential U.S. Supreme Court nominees released during the presidential campaign. He was one of four candidates interviewed for the position.

There are 20 vacancies in the federal appeals courts and 100 more in federal district courts. The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has had a vacancy since 2013, when Judge Boyce Martin retired.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

A public meeting is being held Wednesday evening about the next step in repairing Rough River Lake Dam. The 132-foot-high earthen dam helps regulate the reservoir in Breckinridge, Grayson, and Hardin counties.

The dam was installed to reduce flood damage downstream, and is more than 50 years old. Workers are finishing up exploratory grouting along the dam, which confirmed that a cutoff wall needs to be constructed.

“Every year we meet with the public once a year in March or April and we inform them about where we're at with the dam remediation process and what the next step is going to be,” said Diane Stratton, who is the project manager at Rough River Lake and is with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Wikimedia Commons

Kentucky officials say annual unemployment rates fell in 86 of the state’s counties in 2016 compared to 2015. Annual rates rose in 26 counties and stayed the same in eight.

The Kentucky Office of Employment and Training says Woodford County had the state’s lowest annual jobless rate in 2016 at 3.2 percent.

It was followed by Oldham County at 3.4 percent; Fayette and Shelby counties at 3.5 percent each; and Scott County at 3.7 percent.

Officials say Magoffin County had the state’s highest annual unemployment rate in 2016 at 18.8 percent. It was followed by Leslie County at 13 percent; Harlan County at 12.1 percent; Letcher County at 11.9 percent; Knott County at 11.2 percent.

They say Russell County had the state’s largest drop in its annual jobless rate.

Creative Commons

Kentucky State Police officers are teaming up with the federal government to collect unused and outdated prescription medications.

Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and drop-off locations will be set up at locations across the commonwealth.

State Police spokesman Josh Brashears says it’s opportunity to get rid of medications that could be accidentally ingested by children, stolen, or misused.

“Any kind of solid dosage units—pills or liquid cough syrup, anything like that, we can accept and safely dispose of that.”

Park Place Recovery Center for Women

Kentucky’s opioid addiction epidemic sometimes takes its toll on the most vulnerable in society – babies.

Now the healthcare services company LifeSkills is opening a new substance abuse treatment center in Scottsville. It will accept pregnant women, as well women with  infants up to 10 months old.

Geneva Bradshaw is program manager for Park Place Recovery Center for Women.

"We believe the addition of being able to bring their infants will definitely increase their motivation for wanting to get assistance and the help that they need.”

Bradshaw says pregnant women pose a major risk to their babies when use they opioids.

Rogerd/WikimediaCommons

Indiana state lawmakers have returned to their districts after adjourning the 2017 General Assembly early Saturday.

The Republican-led legislature met a goal set by GOP leaders to pass an ambitious plan to improve Indiana’s roads and bridges.

Indiana Public Broadcasting Statehouse reporter Brandon Smith said the plan will eventually raise $1.2 billion annually through an increase in the fuel tax and motor vehicle fees.

J. Tyler Franklin

Attorney General Andy Beshear still hasn’t returned contributions made to his 2015 campaign by a former top aide who admitted to taking bribes and is now serving time in federal prison.

Beshear announced last year that he would donate the funds to political watchdog group Common Cause once a routine audit of his campaign account is complete.

The Kentucky Registry for Election Finance confirmed Monday that the audit is still not complete.

Tim Longmeyer was Beshear’s deputy attorney general and last year admitted taking more than $212,000 from a consulting firm in exchange for awarding state contracts to the firm.

Chronicle of Higher Education

A conference on the evolution and current state of immigration to be held on the Western Kentucky University campus April 25 will feature a graduate of the college who’s now at Harvard Law School and working with teenage refugees from Central America.

Mario Nguyen sees the refugee crisis first-hand in his work with Harvard Legal Aid. He says some people mistakenly think of the wave of immigrants from Central America as people coming to take American jobs.

“In reality these are 14-year-old children I’ve been face-to-face with, 13-year-olds, 12-year-olds, 16-year-olds, who had to literally cross a few countries on their own on foot. A lot of them have been sexually abused or physically abused.”

Nguyen says he’s been aware of immigration issues from an early age. His father was a refugee from Vietnam and his mother was an undocumented immigrant from Mexico.

Lawyer: Doctor Dragged From Flight Plans to File Lawsuit

Apr 24, 2017
Wikimedia Commons

A lawyer for the Kentucky doctor who was dragged from a United Express flight says it's too late for the airline's CEO to apologize face-to-face and that his client intends to file a lawsuit.

Attorney Thomas Demetrio, who represents 69-year-old Dr. David Dao of Elizabethtown, made the comments Monday during an appearance on NBC's "Today" show.

Demetrio said United CEO Oscar Munoz had the opportunity to apologize and didn't, called Dao belligerent, and then finally issued an apology. Demetrio has said previously that he and his client accepted the airline CEO's public apology but think it was insincere.

Dao was dragged off a flight in Chicago April 9 by airport police after he refused to give up his seat on the full plane to make room for crew members.

Coal-State Lawmakers Push To Extend Retired Miners’ Benefits

Apr 24, 2017
Creative Commons

Lawmakers from coal-mining states are pushing to extend health benefits for more than 22,000 retired miners and widows whose medical coverage is set to expire at the end of April.

West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and other coal-state Democrats threatened to shut down the government over the issue in December, but they retreated after winning a four-month extension that preserves benefits through April 30.

As lawmakers return to the Capitol following a two-week recess, Manchin says the time for extensions is over.

“We will use every vehicle we can, every pathway we can, to make sure we do not leave here … until we have our miners protected,” he said in a speech on the Senate floor before the break.

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