A report released Friday shows that overdose deaths in Kentucky declined in 2012—the first time there has been such a drop in a decade.
But the report issued by the Office of Drug Control Policy also found that heroin deaths in the commonwealth last year increased by 550 percent over 2011.
The office’s executive director, Van Ingram, says Kentucky first started seeing an increase in heroin use and overdoses when the formulation for the painkillers Oxycontin and Opana were changed in order to make them more difficult for intravenous drug use.
The report also shows that two of the counties in the top ten for overdose deaths in 2011 and 2012 are in our listening area. Whitley County was eighth, with 56 overdose deaths per 100,000 people.
Monroe County was ninth, with 53 deaths per 100,000 people.
A letter sent to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul from the FBI says the bureau has used domestic drones for surveillance in ten cases since 2006. The letter came in response to a series of questions Sen. Paul asked the FBI regarding its drone use.
Sen. Paul says he will maintain a hold on the nomination of James Comey to be the next FBI Director. Senators can place holds on Presidential nominations, something that is often done to draw attention to a specific issue.
Paul says the FBI’s answers to his questions about domestic drone use are “insufficient”. The Bowling Green Republican has sent the bureau a follow-up letter with more questions.
Politico reports that in its response to Paul, the FBI says the agency has used domestic drones for surveillance in the U.S. in eight criminal cases and two national security cases since 2006.
The year-to-year unemployment rate has increased in 88 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet released figures Thursday comparing each county’s jobless rate from June of 2012 to June of this year.
Overall, the state’s jobless rate rose to 8.9% from 8.6%
Warren County’s jobless rate this June was up .8 of a percent to 8%.
In Daviess County, the unemployment figure increased half-a-percentage point to 7.9%.
Hardin County saw a jobless rate of 8.3% this June, up slightly from last year.
Pulaski County’s unemployment rate stood at 10.1% in June, up 0.7% from last year.
The current jobless figures in those four counties all exceed the national unemployment rate of 7.8%
A Bowling Green lawmaker says a legislative redistricting plan under consideration would not place three southern Kentucky GOP incumbents in the same district.
A plan put forth by House Democrats earlier this year would have placed Warren County's Jim DeCesare, Brownsville's Michael Meredith, and Morgantown's C.B. Embry Junior in one House district. But Democratic Representative Jody Richards told WKU Public Radio that such a plan is no longer being considered.
"Now, C.B. Embry and Jim DeCesare may well run together, but most of that district would be in Warren County," said Richards.
Kentucky lawmakers will meet in Frankfort next month for a special session to draw new legislative maps based on the latest U.S. Census data. Both Richards and Warren County Republican Senator Mike Wilson told WKU Public Radio they believe lawmakers can get a deal done over the course of five days--that's the quickest a special session can start and finish under state law.