Friday, December 08, 2006
Jones Won't Run
Former Gov. Brereton Jones won't seek the Democratic nomination in next year's governor's race, he said Friday. The 67 year old Jones was governor of Kentucky from 1991 through 1995. Jones said in a statement that he had received "strong encouragement" from across the state to again seek state government's top office. Jones' decision adds to the growing list of potential gubernatorial wannabes who have announced they would not run in the 2007 governor's race. Recently, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, State Auditor Crit Luallen and U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler have all pulled their names from consideration for the post.
MSHA Issues New Rule
The federal mine safety agency on Friday published a final rule requiring mine operators to have more emergency breathing devices, better evacuation training and a quicker response during accidents. The rules were finalized after the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration held a series of public hearings on a set of temporary, yet stringent, mine safety regulations. The government adopted the temporary rules after January accidents at the Sago Mine killed 12 and the Aracoma Alma No. 1 Mine killed two in West Virginia. As the temporary rules were vetted this year, the federal MINER Act was signed into law, encompassing many of the same regulations found in MSHA's final standard. The law, backed by both the coal industry and United Mine Workers, also directed MSHA to require that new underground tracking and communication be in place within three years and revise fines for mine safety civil penalties.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Bunning Bucks President
Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning stood nearly alone Wednesday in opposing Robert Gates as defense secretary, saying President Bush's choice offered criticism but no solutions to the ongoing Iraq war. Bunning joined fellow Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania in voting against Gates, who was easily confirmed on a 95-2 vote. It was the second time this year that Bunning, a Bush ally, had parted with the president on a high-profile confirmation vote. Kentucky's other senator, soon-to-be Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, predicted that Gates would be a "strong leader" for the Pentagon and said he was "ready to hit the ground running." Bunning said he didn't view Gates as the best person to handle the Pentagon post at a time of war.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
State Looking To Reduce Costs Of Remedial Courses
Kentucky moved a step closer yesterday to adopting a statewide policy to reduce the states costly need for remedial education of students who are unprepared for college courses. A special committee appointed by the state Council on Postsecondary Education reviewed a draft version of recommendations that the panel is scheduled to approve on Jan. 8. The council's developmental education task force has come up with nearly 40 initiatives to address seven major problems in remedial education. Currently, 53 percent of first-year students at the state's public universities and community and technical colleges have to take one or more remedial courses.
Bunning Yet To Give His Endorsement Of Governor
U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning said today that he's not ready to support Gov. Ernie Fletcher's re-election bid because "not all the players are in the game." Bunning, R-Ky., said Republicans need the best candidate to hold on to the governor's mansion and it may not be Fletcher. Instead, Bunning said, he's waiting for decisions by some members of Kentucky's congressional delegation. Bunning's comments came five days after U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., also declined to offer an endorsement of Fletcher, a fellow Republican who has been embroiled in legal and political turmoil this year.
Investigators Called In After Fire Bomb Thrown At Home
Police are investigating in Letcher County after a fire bomb was allegedly thrown at a home burning it to the ground. Police say it happened in the Cowan community on highway 931. A soldier, just returning from Iraq on Tuesday, was going there to meet his newborn daughter, but the home where his parents just finished her nursery is now gone. Neighbors say they spotted a suspicious car driving slowly through the neighborhood. Jim Burnett, a Kentucky State Police Arson Investigator says that some flammable liquid did get thrown on the front porch in the area of the front door Jeff and Vivian Roberts, along with two sons were home when police say they heard something hit the front door and immediately saw flames and then they were able to escaped out the back. The family went to meet soldier Zachary Roberts at the Knoxville Airport Tuesday afternoon to bring him home. Police say there were no signs of an anti-war motive. Police are searching for more details on the car and the two guys spotted at the crime scene. If you have any information you can call Kentucky State Police at 1-888-222-5555
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Investigation Launched Into Corporal Punishment
A Johnson County principal was arrested last week after a parent obtained a warrant for assault charges against him. 43 year old Ben Hamilton principal of Central Elementary is now under investigation after the incident, in which the father of a 5th grader complained that his son had welts on his backside days after receiving the paddling at school. Roger McGuire, the boy’s father says that Hamilton crossed the line in administering the corporal punishment, even though McGuire had given his permission to have his son spanked. The incident brings corporal punishment, which is only allowed in 50 school districts in the state, back into the media spotlight. Corporal punishment in schools has been illegal in most of the world for several decades. After the Canadian Supreme Court outlawed the use of the strap by teachers, only the United States and a lone state in Australia allowed corporal punishment in the industrialized world; however most urban public school systems have banned corporal punishment. In Johnson County and most other districts that still allow it, parental permission is required and punishment must be administered in private, with a witness. Hamilton was not arrested after the incident but was summoned to appear in court on January 8th. The Johnson County School district says that they’re currently investigating.
Mining Panel Hands Down Recomendations
Coal companies must replace by-the-book compliance with a culture of prevention if they want to eliminate the underground fires and explosions that are killing miners this according to a panel of experts who released recommendations for the industry today. The Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission has studied 25 years of fires and explosions to produce more than 70 recommendations aimed at eliminating deaths and serious injuries in an industry that has had its worst year in decades. The commissions chair Larry Grayson said that Complying with state and federal regulations is insufficient because not every risk can be addressed in a rapidly changing environment. Suggestions range from investment in new breathing devices and communications technology to reality-based training scenarios for miners and rescue teams.
Officials Announce Opening of New 119
Officials with the Department of Highways delivered an early Christmas present to the people of Eastern Kentucky by opening up New US 119 to the public yesterday December 6. According to Sara George, Public information officer for Highway District 12, New 119 opened to traffic Wednesday morning at 6 o’clock, however not all the work is complete on the new road.
A press release sent out by Highway district 12 details that there are no exits at Raccoon or Winns Branch; motorists will need to get on at Burning Fork and off at the Johns Creek exit. Officials do urge caution when driving on new 119. The speed limit is posted as 55 mph and will be strictly enforced by area law enforcement agencies.
The completion of the first four of the five sections saw construction start in 2003. The route, once completed will extend from US 23 at Buckley’s Creek to across the state line joining Pikeville with Williamson, significantly reducing driving time.
Work on the final section of New 119 is scheduled to be completed sometime in 2008.
Operation UNITE Conducts Door to Door Investigation
Complaints of possible drug-related activity led law enforcement officials from Operation UNITE to conduct a day-long investigation of residences in the southern portion of Floyd County at the end of November. According to information released by UNITE’s communications office, UNITE knocked on 22 doors, conducted 12 searches and discovered small amounts of drugs from three of the locations in Floyd County. Floyd County communities targeted by police included Weeksbury, Melvin, Wheelwright, Hi Hat, McDowell and Drift. Contacts were also made in the Maytown community in Right Beaver and the Beaver community in Mud Creek. During a ³knock and talk² officers will walk up to the door, identify themselves and let the person know there have been complaints of drug-dealing activity. The value of this operation was to let the citizens of Floyd County know we are actively working in the area and are interested in helping them rid their neighborhoods of drug activity according to UNITE’s deputy law enforcement director Paul Hayes.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Pikeville Holds Annual Christmas Parade
The Theme for this year's Christmas Parade was "Home For The Holidays" as the city payed tribute to those serving in our armed focres.
The parade featured service men and women from the Kentucky National Guard.
Above: Pike County Central's JROTC
Above Right: EKB hands out candy to on lookers on Main Street
Right: Pikeville Medical Center's Float
Jenny Wiley Theatre Presents A Christmas Survival
Jenny Wiley Theatre Presented A Christmas Survival Guide To a Packed House at The Old Weddington Theatre in Downtown Pikeville on Thursday 30.
Godsmack Rocks Pikeville!
Desegregation Case Heads To Supreme Court
The ability to use race when assigning students to public schools is on the line in two cases before the Supreme Court today. The ruling could produce the most important decision on school desegregation in decades. Parents in Louisville and Seattle, Washington are challenging school assignment plans that factor in a student's race in an effort to have individual school populations approximate the racial makeup of the entire system. Federal appeals courts have upheld both programs. The school policies are designed to keep schools from segregating along the same lines as neighborhoods. In Seattle, only high school students are affected. Louisville's plan applies system wide.