A state Senator and Representative from Hopkinsville are among a small group of lawmakers working to craft new legislation aimed at curbing the state’s rising problem with heroin.
Senate Judiciary Chair Whitney Westerfield and House Judiciary Chair John Tilley are helping to create a bill they hope can pass the 2015 General Assembly. A bill introduced in this year’s session failed because of concerns over a part of the measure that would have allowed prosecutors to charge heroin traffickers with homicide if someone they sold to died from an overdose.
Speaking to CN2’s Pure Politics, Senator Westerfield said a bipartisan group from both the House and Senate believes something needs to be done to strengthen the state’s heroin laws. The Christian County Republican says he wants to see a bill that cracks down on dealers while also increasing treatment options for addicts.
A recent report from Kentucky’s Office of Drug Control Policy showed deaths caused by heroin increased by more than 12 percent in 2013.
A bill allowing the use of cannabis oil for treatment of certain medical conditions is one step from becoming Kentucky law.
The oil, extracted from marijuana and hemp plants, is giving a Hopkinsville family hope for their infant daughter.
Six-month-old Clara Gilliam was born a healthy, nine-pound, nine-ounce baby girl. But at three months, her behavior started to baffle her parents, Jerry and Julie Gilliam.
"She started to have what appeared to just be constipation or stomach aches, but her eyes were deviating to the sides, and as a mom, you just know when something's not normal," explained Gilliam.
There was something more to the strange postures and facial movements. Baby Clara was diagnosed with Aicardi Syndrome, a rare disease affecting only 800 people in the U.S., and all of them females. It turned out that Clara was having seizures.
Julie Gilliam sat in her Hopkinsville home last week, rocking Clara and giving her a bottle. Her contentment was cut short.
"She's starting to have a seizure right now. It looks like it will be a mild cluster," Gilliam remarked. Sometimes in between the spasms she's crying and all you can do is hold her and comfort her, but it doesn't get any easier as a parent."
A company that aims to manufacture steel tubes for the energy industry is expanding its operations and employment in Hopkinsville.
PTC Seemless Tube Corporation announced Thursday that it plans to create nearly 300 jobs and invest over $100 million in a new manufacturing facility. It’s a return to the Hopkinsville area for the company, which previously closed its Christian County facility in order to move closer to its customer base.
PTC Seemless now says it wants to return to the region by retrofitting and expanding its former facility. The new manufacturing operation will involve 256,000 square feet of building area.
The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority has given preliminary approval for $12 million in tax incentives for the project.
A longtime western Kentucky senator has conceded his loss in the race for the 3rd District seat. Democratic Sen. Joey Pendleton told the Kentucky New Era that he congratulates Republican Whitney Westerfield, a Hopkinsville attorney, on his win and wishes him "the best of luck" during his service in the legislature.
Smoking will be barred citywide in Hopkinsville come January after the city council passed a ban on lighting up. The Kentucky New Era reported that Mayor Dan Kemp broke a 6-6 tie on the council at a meeting Thursday night.
Officials in another western Kentucky city have taken a preliminary vote to ban smoking. The Kentucky New Era reports the Hopkinsville City Council narrowly passed a first reading of the measure during a meeting Tuesday night in which the mayor cast the deciding vote. A second reading must be approved before the law takes effect.
Democratic State Sen. Joey Pendleton of Hopkinsville has suspended his campaign after the death of his opponent's father. Pendleton said in a written statement that he is putting politics on hold out of respect for the family.
Thousands are expected in Hopkinsville to attend the 25th anniversary of an event that remembers the Trail of Tears and celebrates Native American culture. The annual Intertribal Pow-Wow is set to be held Saturday and Sunday at Trail of Tears Commemorative Park in Hopkinsville.
The Western Kentucky town of Hopkinsville has hit the astronomical jackpot. When a total eclipse of the sun darkens skies Aug. 21, 2017, the show will last longer in a stretch of hilly country near Hopkinsville than any place on the planet. It will last two minutes and 40 seconds, not much longer than the Kentucky Derby.
An anonymous donor has given $200,000 to enable a western Kentucky public library provide free books to children every month. The Kentucky New Era reported Friday the donation will help establish a Dolly Parton Imagination Library project through the Hopkinsville-Christian County Public Library.