Kevin's interview with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner and Monroe County native James Comer
Kentucky's agriculture commissioner says last week's setback shouldn't cause hemp supporters to give up hopes of getting the crop legalized. James Comer told WKU Public Radio he's not surprised language legalizing industrial hemp failed to get added to the first drafts of farm bills in the U.S. House and Senate.
Last week, a group of Kentucky U.S. Senators and House members tried--and failed--to get that language included in the legislation.
Comer says the federal farm bill has a long way to go before it gets passed, and a lot of things will be added and taken out in the next few months.
"And I learned during this last session in Kentucky, when I read in the papers that (House Speaker) Greg Stumbo would say my bill was dead, that it's not over until the very last day, so we're still holding out hope on it," said Comer, a farmer from Monroe County.
Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer's "unwarranted sense of entitlement" goes beyond what he's been charged with, federal prosecutors said in a court filing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Taylor said in a notice filed in court late Friday that the government intends to introduce testimony and other evidence that Farmer misappropriated and misused public resources before 2008, the last year listed in an indictment.
Because of a five-year statute of limitations, Taylor said Farmer could not be charged with anything that may have happened before 2008.
Farmer is a former University of Kentucky basketball player who was elected agriculture commissioner in 2003 and 2007. He has pleaded not guilty to four counts of misappropriating government funds for the benefit of himself, his family and friends.
Kentucky Tea Party groups are planning rallies Tuesday to protest the IRS targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups for extra review.
Two of Kentucky's largest Tea Party groups will protests outside IRS offices in their respective areas: the Northern Kentucky Tea Party will protest in Cincinnati and Louisville's group will join southern Indiana groups to protest in Louisville.
Louisville Tea Party President Sarah Durand says the protests show that Tea Party groups won't stand by quietly while the controversy unfolds.
"So this is our way of saying something needs to be done, there needs to be more action taken and that we refuse to be silenced," she says.
The Justice Department is opening an investigation into the IRS reviews.
Owensboro police reported clearing 77.1% of violent crimes and nearly 39% of property crimes in 2012. Those figures put them above the national averages of 48% for violent crime and 19% for property crimes.
Police chief Art Ealum says the clearance rate comes from the department's efforts to build close ties with the community. Ealum says the city's relatively small size allows patrol officers to interact with the public in a way an officer in a large metro area can't.
In 2012, the department had 101 full-time officers and five reserve officers.
Kentucky law enforcement officers are beginning a week of traffic patrols for the Memorial Day holiday focusing on making sure motorists are wearing seat belts. The 2013 "Click It or Ticket" campaign begins Monday and runs through June 2nd.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety says Kentucky has an 83% seat belt usage rate. The national rate is 86%. The office says fatalities on Kentucky roadways last year totaled 746, up from 721 in 2011. It says more than half of those killed were not wearing a seat belt.