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The Week in Frankfort: Final gavel falls, legislation soon to impact Kentuckians’ lives

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When the final gavel falls on a legislative session, it’s often seen as a time to start looking back – a chance to review what passed, what failed, who won and who lost.   We’ve had a few days for …

First meeting of 10 SOAR working groups convenes in conjunction with conference

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The Shaping our Appalachian Region Initiative will convene the first official meeting of its 10 working groups on April 24 from 1-4 p.m., and in conjunction with East Kentucky Leadership Conference at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.   …

Candidate forums for primary races available on YouTube, Lexington library channel 20

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Candidate forums for 2014 primary races are now available for viewing on YouTube and on the Lexington Public Library Cable Channel 20. The schedule for Channel 20 between April 17 and May 19 follows.   AIRTIMES   Monday, Wednesday and …

State seeking private sector help to build the ‘Super I-way’ for more high-speed broadband

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Kentucky companies, particularly municipal utilities and electric cooperatives, are needed by Frankfort to help high-speed broadband Internet access get to all homes and businesses in the Eastern portion of the state.   The Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet has released …

Bellevue’s city clerk named ‘Clerk of the Year’ by Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association

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Bellevue City Clerk Mary Scott was named the Kentucky Municipal Clerks Association “Clerk of the Year” during the organization’s spring meeting at Lake Cumberland.   Scott has been Bellevue’s city clerk and treasurer since 1991 but has been employed by …

Unemployment in state goes up in 47 percent of counties, goes down or nowhere in rest

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Annual unemployment rates were lower in 51 Kentucky counties in 2013 than in 2012, while 57 county rates went up and 12 counties had the same annual rate for both years, according to the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training, …

State auditor: tolls truth, heroin help, airport board and need for businesspeople in politics

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By Michael Monks Special to KyForward   Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen returned to the Northern Kentucky region on yesterday as the featured speaker of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce’s monthly Eggs n Issues forum.   The first-term Democrat …

Legislature’s 2014 session comes to an end; most new laws will go into effect in 90 days

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  The Kentucky General Assembly’s 2014 regular session ended last night, capping off a session in which lawmakers approved the state’s next two-year budget and measures that will impact people throughout the state.   Since the session’s start in early …

Bill giving distilleries relief from taxes on aging bourbon barrels signed into law today

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It’s fairly common knowledge that there are more barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky right now than there are people living in the Bluegrass state. But what many people might not know is that every one of those barrels has …

Rep. Mike Denham: General Assembly again used its last day in session to wrap things up

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Traditionally, the last day of a legislative session is set aside just to consider any vetoes the governor may make. Recently, however, the General Assembly has also used the time to wrap up a few lingering issues, and this year …

Beshear signs bill banning e-cigarette sales, sees it as another step to healthier Kentucky

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Calling the measure a big win for efforts to reduce tobacco use in the state and particularly among young people, Gov. Steve Beshear signed Senate Bill 109 into law, banning the sale of all types of e-cigarettes to minors.   …

Capitol Notes: Juvenile justice bill passes General Assembly, now goes to governor

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The General Assembly has passed a measure that would update the state’s juvenile justice system.   Senate Bill 200, sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Whitney Westerfield, R-Hopkinsville, is the result of work by the bipartisan Unified Juvenile Code Task …

State approves funding for plan to convert Glasgow landfill methane gas into electricity

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  An environmentally friendly methane gas recovery system purported to save taxpayers money is being funded in the city of Glasgow, state officials announced. The new system will harness the gas emitted from the Glasgow Regional Landfill and turn it …

New homelessness chief hopes Lexington
will be ‘more livable city for most vulnerable’

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Charlie Lanter, the director of planning, communications and advancement for the Community Action Council, has been named the city’s first director of the newly created Office of Homelessness Prevention and Intervention.   “Homelessness is a complex issue with no cookie-cutter …

Traffic Report April 14-18:
A road work heads up for the week

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Work done between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., unless otherwise noted   Special notes:   Daily blasting at the CentrePointe construction site has started, requiring pedestrian and vehicle traffic to stop briefly about 10 a.m. each day. Blasting is expected …

East Kentucky Leadership Foundation takes on Appalachian issues for 28th year in a row

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Southern and Eastern Kentucky leaders will discuss critical issues facing the Appalachian region at the 27th annual East Kentucky Leadership Conference on April 24-25 at The Center for Rural Development in Somerset.   Interactive sessions will explore in-depth topics such …

Emergency training exercise at Blue Grass Airport will evaluate emergency response

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A full-scale emergency training exercise will be held at Blue Grass Airport on Tuesday, April 8, at 6:30 pm. Approximately 200 people will gather to participate in the exercise, which is designed to test the capabilities of airport and community …

State’s auto industry joining forces to create Kentucky Automotive Industry Association

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  Kentucky auto manufacturers, suppliers and supporting entities are joining forces to create the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association.   “The goal of the Kentucky Automotive Industry Association is to create a unified voice for an industry sector that is profoundly …

Those who grow specialty crops encouraged to apply for block grant; June 2 is deadline

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Eligible Kentucky entities are encouraged to apply for funding from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.   “This sector of Kentucky agriculture has enormous potential for growth,” said Agriculture Commissioner James Comer. “This funding will help us to realize that …

Ethics Reporter: Health care lobbying tops spending list first two months of 2014 session

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Special to KyForward   In the first two months of the 2014 Kentucky General Assembly, 661 businesses and organizations spent about $4.3 million lobbying the Legislature. The largest spending industry sectors include health care, education, insurance, energy, tobacco, local governments, …