Monday, March 28, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...3-29-'11
- After a petition containing more than 250 signatures, voters in the city of Jenkins have a choice in May to stay dry, or allow the sale of alcoholic beverages in certain restaurants. If voters support the measure, restaurants that seat at least 50 people can apply to sell alcohol. Mayor GC Kincer says it is a positive for the city in terms of growth, and he believes it will attract businesses that pass up the city because it is dry. Kincer says a moist vote could help transform Jenkins from a "drive-by" city, to a "stop-by" city. Emmanuel Baptist Church is next door to Jenkins City Hall, and Pastor Jeff Foster says alcohol sales would cause taxes to go up because more law enforcement would be needed, and domestic violence, robberies and other problems of that nature would increase.
- According to a recording heard Monday by a Clay County jury, Clayton D. Jackson, the man on trial accused of killing a family of five in Leslie County steadfastly denied involvement when detectives interviewed him the day of the slayings. However, the story Jackson told that day didn't match details he later put in a letter. The bodies of Chris and Amanda Sturgill and their three sons, Michael, Robert and Jordan, were found in their burned-out mobile home at Roark in the early morning of February 6, 2004. On the tape, state police Detectives Johnny Griffith and Dean Craft told Jackson they'd heard he'd had a sexual affair with Amanda Sturgill, and they suggested the relationship was the motive for the killings. Jackson repeatedly denied having an affair with Amanda Sturgill. Jackson told police he and Sturgill drank together before Sturgill dropped him off at his house, where he got sick and passed out. He didn't wake up until well after the time the killings were discovered. Jackson told police in a letter in 2005, written from a federal prison where he was serving time on an unrelated weapons charge, that he thought three other men killed the Sturgills as he ran out the back door of their mobile home. An investigation cleared those three men.
- Tiffany Brook McIntire, 25, of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, has been charged with felony child neglect and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. Officers were called to Cabell Huntington Hospital around 7:00 P.M. Friday to review security footage of McIntire in the room with her four month old son who is a patient. Huntington Police officers stated McIntire was seen on surveillance video taking her son's intravenous pain medication and giving it to herself. McIntire, who told police she has a prior addiction to pain medication, was taken to the Western Regional jail and placed on a $105,000 bond.
- House minority floor leader Representative Jeff Hoover called Monday for lawmakers to reconvene on April 6th to override some provisions Governor Steve Beshear vetoed in a Medicaid budget bill passed last week. Hoover says he and other Republican lawmakers are concerned about numerous items struck from the bill. Hoover says he's particularly upset that Beshear vetoed provisions that would stop furloughs of state employees, reduce personal service contracts and limit debt restructuring. Hoover said Beshear went too far with the vetoes, and what was left after he had finished marking it up was similar to his original proposal. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo said in a statement Monday the House has no plans to return until the 2012 regular session convenes. Stumbo called for the Senate to adjourn so legislative pay could stop. Stumbo said, "By failing in this simple duty, the Senate is costing taxpayers $65,000 a day."
- Davis Sledd, a federal prosecutor credited with improving the health and safety of coal miners in eastern Kentucky retired Friday from the U.S. attorney's office in Lexington. Sledd spent 20 years litigating civil and criminal cases involving coal mine operators who violated federal mine safety and health laws. A statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Kerry B. Harvey says Sledd successfully prosecuted nearly 150 coal mine operators from around 1994 to 1998 for submitting false dust samples to authorities to avoid detection of safety violations. Retired Mine Safety and Health Administration agent Ricky Hamilton says Kentucky mining companies followed the rules regarding dust samples after the wave of prosecutions.
- Kentucky health officials are considering a move to restrict cancer medications that Medicaid patients can receive without prior approval. The move has raised questions from some, including James Sharp of the American Cancer Society, who says the organization doesn't want anything that would remotely restrict access to care. A committee of health care providers has recommended that Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Janie Miller put three drugs on Medicaid's non-preferred list. The drugs are relatively new and can be expensive. A decision is expected in the next month.
- Governor Steve Beshear, joined by Representative Mike Denham, of Maysville, and Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) Chief Executive Officer Richard L. McQuady, signed into law a bill that will help families purchase and live in homes they can afford. HB 256 enables KHC, the state housing finance agency, to create a new program for homeowners whose incomes are up to 175 percent of the area median income. Many two-income families had combined incomes that were above the income limits that KHC could serve, which disqualified them from receiving a KHC home loan and the down payment and closing costs assistance only available through KHC. Without the down payment and closing costs assistance, homeownership was out of reach for these middle-inome families.
- Republican Senate President and gubernatorial candidate David Williams has hired a Washington-based media consulting firm for his campaign. FP1 Strategies has among its founding partners GOP political operative Terry Nelson who was the 2004 national political director for the Bush-Cheney campaign. Williams faces Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw in the May 17th primary election. The winner will take on Democratic Governor Steve Beshear, who is unopposed in the primary, and independent Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith.
- The driver of a car has been killed in a collision with a deer in northern Kentucky. Kentucky State Police identified the victim as 30-year-old Trisha Sullivan of Corinth. Sullivan was driving a car on U.S. 25 in Corinth on Saturday night when it struck a deer in the road. Two juveniles in the car weren't hurt, but Sullivan was pronounced dead at the scene.
- Marshall University says it's going to host a health summit with the University of Kentucky focusing on obesity. Marshall says the one-day Appalachian Health Summit: Focus on Obesity is set for April 21st at the Lexington Convention Center. Dr. Richard Niles, Marshall medical school's associate dean, says the summit will focus on learning more on obesity, its prevalence and coming up with ways to counteract the problem. Speakers are expected to include Dr. William Dietz, director of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sessions also are planned on behaviors in Appalachia; childhood obesity, food and nutrition.
- The GED test will be free in Kentucky through June 30th. Kentuckians taking the test during that timeframe will not have to pay the usual $55 fee. Kentucky Adult Education, a unit of the Council on Postsecondary Education, will pay the fee. Free GED classes are available through local adult education programs in all 120 Kentucky counties. To be eligible to take the GED, students must first successfully complete the GED Official Practice Test to make sure they are prepared for the actual test. In 10 years, nearly 105,848 Kentuckians have earned a GED, ranking Kentucky 13th highest in the nation in the percentage of non-high school completers earning a GED.
- Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton and several state, local and elected officials will hold a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday, March 29th at 11:00 A.M. for the upcoming Route 460 Connector Phase I construction project in Buchanan County. The event will be held at Breaks Interstate Park Conference Center, located on Route 80 in Dickenson County.
The project includes design and construction of:
* Twin high-level bridges, 1700 linear feet in length, located
over Conaway Road (Route 610) and Grassy Creek. When completed the over
250-foot-high bridges will be the tallest in Virginia.
* A .8-mile four-lane divided highway (US Route 460) starting at
the Kentucky State Line.
* An access ramp to Route 80, improving access to Breaks
Interstate Park. This includes the construction of a bridge crossing
Route 768 and Hunts Creek.
Secondary connections to Routes 609 and 693 from Route 80.
The ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public.
- An effort to raise awareness about the dangers posed by prescription and over-the-counter medications kept in the home will conclude with a free “Clean Your Medicine Cabinet Out Day” program on Wednesday, March 30th. Citizens are urged to bring all unused, unwanted or out-of-date medicines to the Salyersville City Hall, 315 East Maple Street, between 11:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. There is no cost. All pills will be fed to UNITE’s “Pill Dragon,” a mobile incinerator sponsored by UNITE, Eastern Kentucky PRIDE and the Kentucky Army National Guard.
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