Saturday, April 09, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...4-10-'11
- Kentucky freshman basketball player Enes Kanter said Friday he didn't know he was doing anything wrong when he and his family accepted excessive benefits while he played for a club basketball team in his native Turkey as a teenager. Kanter, who gave interviews after throwing the first pitch Friday at a Kentucky baseball game, was declared permanently ineligible on Jan. 7 when the NCAA ruled he accepted $33,033 more than his actual and necessary expenses while playing with the Turkish club Fenerbahce. The 6-foot-11, 262-pound center from Istanbul is still in classes at Kentucky and said he will finish his semester before going to Chicago to prepare for the NBA Draft with trainer Tim Grover. He said he's eager to play again since he hasn't played in a real game since last April's Nike Hoop Summit. Kanter says he'll stay away from baseball. He had never picked up a ball before Friday, he said, noting that Turkey "doesn't have that sport." His first pitch bounced about 10 feet from home.
- Kentucky is moving toward a statewide health care system that uses federal Medicaid dollars and puts one or more companies in charge. The initiative began with a request on Thursday for proposals from vendors, according to The Courier-Journal of Louisville. It is a quick response to a special legislative session that concluded Wednesday. The plan would put most of the state's public health care program in the hands of established providers. The newspaper reports that officials with the Cabinet for Health and Family Services declined comment, saying procurement rules limit what they can say. Records show Medicare serves more than 800,000 Kentuckians who have low incomes or are disabled. As many as 550,000 people now on Medicaid may be eligible for managed care services under the new plan.
- The U.S. Postal Service is moving more than two dozen jobs out of Bowling Green. The mail processing jobs will be sent to Nashville, Tenn., and Evansville, Ind., according to WBKO-TV in Bowling Green. Postal Service spokesman David Walton says it's a cost-cutting move forced by a reduced mail volume, but isn't a reduction in the workforce. The 26 jobs will continue, but in the other cities. While the agency says no one is being laid off, some workers might choose not to move with the jobs. Operations support clerk Dan Darrow told the station it's usually younger workers who are more likely to follow jobs to other cities. The changes are effective July 1.
- Grants totaling $400,000 have been awarded for 31 Kentucky playground projects. The funding comes from Kentucky's Waste Tire Trust Fund, which was set up by the General Assembly in 1998 to receive a $1 fee for each new tire sold in the state. The fund manages 4 million scrap tires generated in Kentucky each year and helps develop markets for recycled tire products. Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement that the playground projects will use recycled Kentucky waste tires. Crumb rubber, made from recycled scrap tires, is used for mulch on playgrounds to make them more durable and safer. The statement says the material is also used for fitness or walking tracks, landscaping and for its safety benefits and reduction in soil degradation on athletic fields
- A mother and father from Somerset, Kentucky are behind bars, charged with abusing their one-year-old and two-year-old daughters. 21-year-old Melinda Barger and 21-year-old Fred Sears were arrested after police and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services conducted an investigation. Authorities said the kids suffered numerous bruises and abrasions.
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