Associated Press

A proposal to drug test people as a condition for receiving welfare in Tennessee is advancing in the House. The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. Julia Hurly of Lenoir City was approved on a voice vote in the House Finance Committee Monday. The companion bill is awaiting a Senate floor vote.

GM

General Motors  is announcing plans to open 600 new dealerships in China, despite a recent slowdown in sales growth.  The company is also planning to add assembly lines in that country.

LRC

The Associated Press is reporting that Kentucky lawmakers have passed a measure that's intended to curb prescription drug abuse in the state.  A compromise passed by the Senate and House would require all physicians in the state to use a prescription drug monitoring system so addicts seeking painkillers can be more easily identified.

The Kentucky Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee has approved a $4.5 billion transportation budget but not before inserting language that would restore nearly $50 million for road construction projects that had been vetoed by Gov. Steve Beshear.

The spending measure now advances to the Senate floor for a planned vote on Friday. It would provide funding to widen interstate highways, like I-65, expand airports and dredge river ports across the state.

Republican leaders in Indiana are trying to decide how they’ll handle allegations that a US Senate campaign tried to access a critical database of voter information. The dispute concerns the GOP primary race between long-time incumbent Richard Lugar and State Treasurer Richard Mourdock.

In Louisville, executives with YUM Brands say Taco Bell's US sales have increased after a slump that had lasted nearly a year. The company went to court in 2011 to counter a suit in California, that claimed the company's beef and burrito mixes contained only about 35% beef. Taco Bell executives have maintained that their beef is 100 percent USDA inspected.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville will participate in a nationwide clinical study about the use of deep brain stimulation as an intervention for patients with major depression. The stimulation uses mild pulses of current to regulate specific areas of the brain, much like a pacemaker uses pulses of current to regulate the heart.

By a vote of 29-0, the Tennessee Senate approved a bill to prevent students from being discriminated against for expressing their religious beliefs.  The measure is sponsored by Republican  Senator Kerry Roberts of Springfield, who says the bill requires school districts to treat a student's religious expression the same way they would a secular viewpoint.

NKU

The Board of Regents at Northern Kentucky University have voted unanimously to make Geoffrey Mearns the next President at NKU. Mearns, who is currently the Provost and  Senior Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Cleveland State, previously worked as Dean and Professor of Law at Cleveland State's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

The Tennessee House has approved a measure that would make it a felony to sell or manufacture synthetic drugs. The products, which are often called bath salts, imitate controlled substances. The issue has drawn increasing attention in recent months in several states.

A former University of Louisville track star won the Boston Marathon Monday. Wesley Korir won in a heat-slowed time of 2 hours, 12 minutes, 40 seconds. It was the second-slowest Boston race since 1985, as temperatures rising into the 80s slowed the leaders and may have convinced as many as 4,300 entrants to sit this one out.

Kevin Costner will be at Fort Knox this weekend for the unveiling of a memorial honoring soldiers under the 11th Aviation Command and subordinate units. The Elizabethtown News-Enterprise  says Costner will speak at the memorial Saturday morning and will dedicate a song, "The Angels Came Down," that he wrote in honor of those who have lost family members in war.

The Kentucky Senate Thursday afternoon approved an ambitious road construction plan that will next head to the House for final passage. The package includes $3.5 billion worth of construction projects over the next two years. The Senate voted 37-0 in favor of the measure.

A Fort Campbell soldier credited with saving the lives of two fellow soldiers during an attack in Afghanistan while wounded has been presented with the nation's second highest military honor. Sgt. Felipe Pereira of the 101st Airborne Division was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross by Gen. Ray Odierno, Army chief of staff, during a ceremony Thursday at the installation on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line.

The Amish are now exempt from a longstanding requirement that they attach orange signs to their horse-drawn buggies.  Governor Steve Beshear signed a bill into law Wednesday that allows the Amish to use white or silver reflective tape on their buggies rather than the traditional slow-moving-vehicle emblems that they rejected to on religious grounds. 

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