The Kentucky House is backing a significant expansion of the early child care provider rating system. It will mean hundreds more child care centers will be able to tap into the “Star Rating” program offered by the state. The expansion will necessitate training paid for by federal dollars through the “Race to the Top” grant program.
One of those supporting the measure is Louisville Representative Joni Jenkins. Jenkins works at a community college and sees many young people involved in remedial programs.
“I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is to work with students who will be in developmental math four and five semesters and I know that’s because they didn’t get what they needed at a very early age,” said Jenkins.
While the bill passed the House 77 to 13, there were a number of lawmakers who expressed concern about paying for the training long term. Bowling Green Representative Jim DeCesare says he supports boosting pre-school education for children, but still wonders about the cost.
“That doesn’t mean that I can’t ask the question where is the money going to come from after the grant runs out. Who’s going to pay for it,” said DeCesare.
Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner is moving forward with the creation of industrial hemp pilot projects in the commonwealth.
The announcement was expected after President Obama signed a Farm Bill into law last week that allows hemp to be grown in the U.S. for research purposes. Staff members in the offices of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Attorney General Jack Conway are reviewing the bill’s language regarding pilot projects to make sure whatever happens in Kentucky is within federal guidelines.
Comer, a farmer from Monroe County, says he plans to provide more details on Kentucky's pilot hemp projects at an announcement Feb. 17. He says the projects will be based throughout different parts of the state and will have research focuses with different university affiliations.
Comer wants U.S. law enforcement agencies to allow certain hemp seeds for the pilot project to be imported. That’s one of the first steps necessary to get any form of hemp farming off the ground in this country.
According to a news release from Commissioner Comer’s office, Attorney General Conway has pledged to work for a waiver from federal drug laws that would eventually allow for the expansion of industrial hemp production for commercial purposes.
A school administrator in Bowling Green says he is still in shock and hasn’t slept much this week.
What was supposed to be a school assembly on Wednesday turned into a surprise award ceremony for William King. The Freshman Class Principal of Bowling Green High School was presented with a national Milken Educator Award.
"The award isn't something you apply for, so nobody sent in anything nominating me. I'm glad I dressed up that day and wore a coat," laughed King. "All I knew was that the Commissioner of Education was coming to speak to our students that day."
The honor also comes with a $25,000 cash award.
King's roots run deep at Bowling Green High School, where he graduated in 1996. After earning his teaching degree at WKU, King returned to Bowling Green High where he taught history before moving into administration.
Kentucky State Rep. Bam Carney is praising the actions of emergency first responders for their handling of a natural gas explosion in Adair County that injured two people.
In a speech delivered on the House floor, Carney thanked firefighters and EMT workers for their efforts in responding to a Columbia Gulf gas line explosion that rocked the town of Knifely , which is in Carney’s district.
“One home that was damaged was actually my aunt’s, so it’s right there, and you know, when it hits family -- it’s always important to us but when it hits family it’s a little different. But I want to publicly thank all those folks who, by all accounts, have done an outstanding job: Columbia Gulf, first responders,” said Carney. “You know, again, sometimes we take all those folks for granted 'til when we need them, so again I want to publicly thank them for what they’re doing in my community.”
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the explosion.
Eleven-year-old Kylie Watson and father 36-year-old Chad Watson were treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for lung damage and burns following the Jan. 30 fire at their home in Muhlenberg County.
A Kentucky man who was injured in a fire that killed his wife and eight of his children has been released from the hospital. The man's daughter -- his only surviving child-- remains hospitalized.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center officials say 11-year-old Kylie Watson is still listed in stable condition. Vanderbilt spokeswoman Paula Jones said the girl's father, 36-year-old Chad Watson, was discharged on Thursday.
The two had been hospitalized since Jan. 30 after a fire swept through their home in the community of Depoy near Greenville, Ky. Police say the fire started when a combustible material fell against an electric heater in a bedroom overnight.
The blaze killed La Rae "Nikki" Watson and eight children ages 4 to 15.
Professionals in the fields of business, medicine, athletics, and education, and entertainment make up the newest class of the Warren County Public Schools Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
The school district will honor 13 graduates of Warren County high schools at its second annual induction dinner April 12 at the Sloan Convention Center.
The 2014 inductees include:
*Norah Lee Allen, a 1966 graduate of Warren County High School, has been a singer on the Grand Ole Opry stage for more than 25 years.
*Dr. Jack Britt, a 1962 graduate of Warren County High School, has fashioned an impressive career in agriculture and education. He has conducted research that has contributed to advances in veterinary medicine.
*Sam Bush, a 1970 graduate of Warren Central High School, is a legendary musician and one of the founders of the band Newgrass Revival.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo says he supports a federal judge's opinion that requires Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The Floyd County Democrat doesn't think it will affect House elections this fall, where Democrats will defend a narrow 8-seat majority over Republicans.
“Whether you like it or not, that’s what the law says. Whether you like it or not, everybody’s rights need to be recognized by the constitution in equal manner. And that’s what the court found and that’s the state of the law," Stumbo said.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway says he is awaiting a final order in the case before he issues an opinion on the ruling or decides whether to appeal.
General Motors says it will oversee the restoration process for the eight sports cars that fell into a giant sinkhole Wednesday morning at the Corvette Museum. Bowling Green Corvette plant manager Jeff LaMarche says they won’t know the exact condition of the cars until they’re recovered.
“We know that these cars represent significant milestones – not just in our history in Chevrolet and General Motors but also in the automotive history. And nobody really has a better understanding of their significance and what it takes to properly restore these than the engineers and designers at Chevrolet where they were developed," said LaMarche.
The lead engineer for the reconstruction project says it will take 2-3 weeks to stabilize the ground around the sinkhole. After that, he says it will take 4-6 days to remove the cars. Museum officials say repairs will start Friday and they hope to have everything complete by August when the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Matt Bevin thinks he is the only Republican who can beat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes in this year’s U.S. Senate election in Kentucky.
Bevin is challenging Incumbent Mitch McConnell in the GOP primary. At a meet-and-greet in Bowling Green Thursday, Bevin claimed McConnell can’t win a general election.
“There’s a fatigue for Mitch McConnell. After 30 years, there are many people who won’t vote for him again and that gives Alison Grimes the ability to essentially beat him by default," suggested Bevin. "It’s not as if those Republicans that voted for him in the past will vote for her, but what I think will happen is that they just won’t vote again.”
A Bluegrass poll conducted this month showed Bevin trailing Grimes only five percentage points in a potential November match-up. The same poll gave McConnell a 26-point lead over Bevin in the primary.