Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has signed into law a reduction in the state's sales tax on groceries.
Starting July 1, Tennessee shoppers will pay a 5% sales tax on retail food items. That's a reduction from the current 5.25% tax and down from 5.5% in the previous budget year. The regular sales tax is 7%, while local governments can add an additional tax of up to 2.75%.
he reduction in the sales tax on groceries was part of Haslam's legislative agenda and was approved in tandem with cuts to the state's taxes on inheritance, gifts and income from interest and dividends.
The new president of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland is F. Lynn Moore, currently the vice-president of student development and administrative services at Umpqua Community College in Oregon.
Moore's appointment was announced Thursday by Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Michael McCall.
Before going to Umpqua, Moore was dean of students and an adjunct instructor at Hill Community College District in Texas and supplemental education services director at Texas State Technical College.
Moore said in a statement from the Kentucky Community and Technical College System that she is "honored and proud" to be selected for the post. She'll begin her duties July 8th after the retirement of President Bruce Ayers, who's led the college for 26 years.
Army officials say the manager of the sexual assault response program at Ft. Campbell has been arrested in a domestic dispute and relieved of his post.
Lt. Col. Darin Haas turned himself in to police on charges of violating an order of protection and stalking. A spokesman for the post said Haas was immediately removed as manager of a program meant to prevent sexual harassment and assault and encourage equal opportunity.
MSGT Pete Mayes said Haas and his ex-wife have orders of protection against each other. Sgt. Chuck Gill of the Clarksville police department said Hass's ex-wife said he repeatedly contacted her Wednesday night despite the order.
Allegations of sexual assault in the military have triggered outrage from local commanders to Capitol Hill and the White House.
Ibrahim Jadoon will graduate with honors this weekend from Centre College in Danville. His family left Pakistan and moved to the U.S. when he was three. When Osama bin Laden was captured two years ago just blocks from Jadoon's former home, he did a lot of reflecting.
"It was disappointing because, if people don't know, Pakistan is a relatively new nation," explained Jadoon. "I realize it was the Pakastani government's poor border security, it's inability to remove extremist militant groups like the Taliban, and it's general dysfunction that enabled bin Laden to stay hidden for so long."
Jadoon often thinks about how his life would have been different had his family stayed in Pakistan.
"The United States, for all of its faults we sometime talk about in the news, unequivocally houses the best institutes of higher education in the world," said Jadoon. "I feel lucky just to be in the U.S., but in about four days when I graduate, I will join the surprisingly seven percent of the world that actually has a college degree."
The Pakistani-American spoke to Lisa Autry about how his life may have turned out had his family had not left Pakistan, and what he thinks are the prospects for a democracy in his home country.
Through a single piece of legislation, Sen. Rand Paul is hoping to cut a corporate tax and get more revenue for transportation projects.
Here's how: When American companies make money overseas and put it in foreign banks, they have to pay a tax to bring the money back to the U.S. Paul is sponsoring legislation that lowers the tax companies pay to transfer foreign profits to America from 35 percent to 5 percent. Many of those companies keep that money overseas instead of paying the 35-percent tax.
The new tax revenue generated under Paul's proposal would be put into a transportation fund, which could benefit projects including the Ohio River Bridges and the Brent Spence Bridge in Northern Kentucky.
A lot of money is sitting overseas, and a lower tax rate would entice companies to bring it home, Paul spokesman Dan Bayens said.
Governor Beshear has some strong words about the state's senior U.S. Senator. During a visit to Bowling Green Wednesday, Beshear told WKU Public Radio that he thinks Republican Mitch McConnell symbolizes the partisan bickering and obstructionism that has plagued Washington D.C. recently.
"And of course Sen. McConnell has been a part of that for the past 30 years. It's gotten worse, it hasn't gotten better. And he's gotten to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. So I think people are looking for a change," said Beshear. "We just have to give them a good alternative."
Beshear says he believes Senator McConnell would be "vulnerable" against a strong Democratic challenge next year.
McConnell has said he's ready to defend his record against any challengers during the 2014 Senate contest, and believes the majority of Kentuckians support his efforts to block key parts of President Obama's agenda.
McConnell has been amassing a campaign war chest and staffers to help his re-election efforts. Scott Jennings, a longtime Kentucky GOP operative who is working with two SuperPacs that support McConnell, says the Republican incumbent has attracted a great deal of support based on his legislative work in Washington.
"And I think that's why you're seeing such an early formation of a political apparatus designed to re-elect him, because he's done a good job and he's done right by the state of Kentucky and that's why you have some of these folks doing what they're doing," Jennings recently told Kentucky Public Radio.
Democrats have yet to land a high-profile challenger to take on McConnell next year.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear Wednesday announced a $66 million expansion at Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products in Warren County.
The move includes 100 new full-time jobs and an additional 87,000 square feet at the plant outside Bowling Green, where employees build aluminum suspension products for the automotive industry.
Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said Kobe's announcement is a shot in the arm for the region.
"Kobe has been a great corporate citizen for the past eight years, and we look forward to continuing this relationship long into the future," said Wilkerson. "We congratulate them on their decision to expand here again and send well wishes for their continued growth."
Kobe first opened its Warren County facility in 2005, and currently employs 270 full-time workers.
The Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center is bringing musician Darius Rucker to Bowling Green this summer. The pop-turned-country artist will headline The Sounds of Independence Music Festival on July 27th. SKyPAC Executive Director Tom Tomlinson believes Rucker will be a big regional draw.
"I think without a doubt he's one of the biggest names to appear here in a number of years," says Tomlinson. "He's at least one of the biggest names we've brought here since the opening night with Vince Gill."
The downtown music festival will be a fundraiser for SKYyPAC. Tickets go on sale Friday to the general public. The festival will be held outside the SKYyPAC facility and will feature a number of artists, including Justin Rivers from this season of "The Voice."