Associated Press

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Agriculture
1:09 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Tobacco Farmers Notch Legislative Victory

Federal subsidies to tobacco farmers in Kentucky and elsewhere will continue next year, even though a majority of U.S. Senators believe they should not.  The Senate voted Thursday 52-44 to cut off the payments, but the measure required 60 votes for passage. 

California Senator.  Diane Feinstein led the effort to end taxpayer subsidies, suggesting that tobacco farmers, particularly in Kentucky, have done quite well over the past decade.

"A 2012 University of Illinois study found that productivity on Kentucky tobacco farms increased by 44% in the last ten years," asserted Feinstein.  "At the same time, tobacco farmers are seeing some of their best pay days since the 2004 buyout began."

Feinstein argued the payments need to stop because tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the nation.  Other critics claim the payments are too generous.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky called the measure’s defeat a big victory for tobacco growers.  The commonwealth is the nation’s top burley tobacco producer.

Regional
9:41 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Kentucky Needs More Doctors Ahead of Medicaid Expansion

The planned expansion of Kentucky's Medicaid program coupled with a push to help the uninsured obtain health coverage could exacerbate the state's shortage of physicians, according to a report released Wednesday.

Deloitte Consulting, a technology firm that's helping to set up the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, unveiled the report showing Kentucky's 10,475 primary care physicians and specialists are far short of the actual need.

However, the firm concluded that Kentucky would need to find ways to increase the number of doctors and other medical professionals even if it didn't expand medical coverage to more than 600,000 new patients.

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Regional
4:03 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

NTSB: Ship's Crew Ignored Warnings Before Western Kentucky Bridge Collapse

Federal investigators have concluded that the crew of a cargo ship ignored radioed and visual warnings about lights being out on a western Kentucky bridge in the moments leading up to a wreck. 

National Transportation Safety Board investigators said on Tuesday that the crew of the Delta Mariner used only visual cues and went under the wrong span of the Eggner's Ferry Bridge near Aurora, Ky., in January 2012.  The wreck tore down a 322-foot span of the bridge over the Tennessee River. 

Investigators also concluded that white warning lights on the bridge had been out for several years and other lights shorted out before the wreck.  The missing span halted traffic on U.S. 68 between the western shore of Kentucky Lake and the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. 

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Regional
1:02 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Survivors of Infamous Drunk Driving Crash to Attend Anniversary Service

Survivors of the nation's deadliest alcohol-related highway crash are expected to attend a public memorial service in a central Kentucky town on the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.
   
The service is set for Tuesday evening at North Hardin High School at Radcliff.
   
Twenty-seven people died when the church bus they were in was hit by a drunken driver on May 14, 1988, along a rural stretch of Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Ky.
   
Forty people, mostly youngsters, escaped the burning bus. The group had spent the day at Kings Island amusement park in Ohio and was headed home to Radcliff when their bus was hit by a pickup truck driven by Larry Mahoney.
   
Mahoney survived and was convicted of assault, manslaughter and wanton endangerment. He was released from prison in 1999.

Business
12:14 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Glass Door Maker Opening Facility in Todd County, Adding 100 Jobs

A company that makes glass doors will create 100 full-time jobs when it opens its manufacturing plant in western Kentucky.

Glass Door Solutions LLC is a new company that plans to lease a facility in Elkton in Todd County with an investment of $3.5 million.

The state has given preliminary approval to tax incentives of up to $1.95 million for the project.

Gov. Steve Beshear helped announce the plan on Monday.

Beshear's office said Glass Door Solutions will make glass doors for display cases in grocery and convenience stores.

Regional
1:41 pm
Sun April 28, 2013

Trial Starts Monday for Barren County Sheriff, Others Accused of Using Excessive Force

Barren County Sheriff Chris Eaton, a deputy sheriff, and a detective go on trial Monday on charges of civil rights violations and lying to federal investigators.  The case stems from a 2010 arrest in which the three officers were accused of using excessive force. 

Jury selection begins Monday at 9:00am in U.S. District Court in Bowling Green for Sheriff Chris Eaton, Deputy Aaron Bennett, and Barren-Edmonson County Drug Task Force Detective Eric Guffey. 

According to the federal indictment, a 13-year old girl was at a Glasgow church on the night of February 24, 2010, when she looked out the window and saw suspect Billy Randall Stinnett struggling with the local sheriff and several deputies. 

In testimony to the FBI, the girl and four other teenagers present say they saw Eaton and the deputies beating Stinnett to the point where they thought he was being murdered. 

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Politics
9:48 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Environmental Attorney Considers U.S. Senate Bid

Environmental attorney Tom FitzGerald says he may seek the Democratic nomination to run for U.S. Senate next year but perhaps not if Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes gets in the race.

FitzGerald said he's not sure a costly Democratic primary would be a good idea considering the huge amount of money that the Republican incumbent, Mitch McConnell, has raised.

McConnell has banked $13 million.

The Courier-Journal first reported FitzGerald's plans.

FitzGerald said if he runs, he will give up his job as executive director of the non-profit Kentucky Resources Council, which has put him at the center of environmental debates for nearly three decades.

The 58-year-old said he will talk with Grimes before he decides in the next couple of weeks. Grimes said Tuesday she still hasn't decided.

Education
10:01 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Kentucky's Largest School System Votes to Increase Dropout Age

The Jefferson County Board of Education has voted in favor of a resolution calling for an increase in the dropout age.

The Courier-Journal reports the board voted on the measure that supports raising the dropout age to 18 despite concerns from member Linda Duncan that it wouldn't "cure out-of-control kids and keep them in school."

A formal vote on the issue won't come until July, and the policy wouldn't go into effect until the 2015-16 school year.

Duncan says she hopes that is enough time to address her concerns.

According to district officials, 768 JCPS students dropped out of this school year as of January, including 188 who were 17.

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Regional
9:57 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Pulaski County Student Charged with Bringing Gun to School

Police say an 11-year-old southern Kentucky boy has been charged after he told his teacher he accidently brought a loaded gun to school.

The Commonwealth Journal reports police decided to charge the child even though they believe he had no intent to harm anyone.

Police say the boy told a teacher at Southern Elementary School that he had the gun in his pants pocket soon after he arrived at school on Monday morning. Police say the boy and his father said they had been sport shooting on Sunday and the boy apparently left the gun in his pants and wore them to school the next day.

A district official says the boy has been removed from the school. Police continue to investigate.

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Politics
4:39 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Senator Paul: Justice System Can Handle Bombing Case

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he believes the federal justice system is ‘‘fully capable of prosecuting’’ a 19-year-old man suspected of detonating deadly bombs at the Boston Marathon.

The Obama administration has indicated it plans to build a criminal case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who remains in serious condition in a hospital.

Some of Paul’s congressional Republican colleagues have said Tsarnaev’s rights should be more restricted than the administration intends.

Paul said after an appearance at a Louisville power plant Monday that he hopes Tsarnaev is ‘‘prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and I hope he’s ashamed and (is) punished for killing innocents.’’

The most serious charge available to prosecutors would be the use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill, which carries a possible death sentence.

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