Tuesday, May 10, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...5-11-'11
- During a Pike County Fiscal Court work session Tuesday, Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford announced there were not enough magistrates that supported the his proposed occupation tax as a means to cut back on the more than $3 million budget shortfall. The magistrates are in favor of budget cuts, some of which will come in the form of layoffs, cutting county vehicles, reducing jail funds, closing swimming pools and cutting parking funds. They must come up with a balanced budget by June. The fiscal court could vote on the proposed cuts at a meeting on May 17th.
- Richmond, Va.-based James River Coal says it lost $7.6 million, or 28 cents per share, in the first quarter as costs rose and revenue declined. James River earned $23.2 million, or 84 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2010. Revenue fell 11 percent to $164.6 million, from $184.6 million in the first quarter of 2010. Costs per ton sold rose to $133.5 million, from $129.3 million a year earlier. James River also had $4.6 million in acquisition costs. The company acquired West Virginia's International Resource Partners and marketing subsidiary Logan and Kanawha Coal for $475 million in April. James River also operates mines in Kentucky and Indiana.
- Wheelwright City Commissioners have decided to tear down the old Clubhouse after declaring it a health and safety hazard. The Clubhouse, built in the 1920's, once housed a hotel, restaurant, bowling alley and even a barber shop. But for the last 30 years, the building has set empty and has become a target of vandals. City Commissioner Don Hall says the roof started to cave in, the back wall started to fall apart near the walking track and children were going in it, creating a lot of danger. When demolition is complete, city officials want to turn the land into retail space for things the community needs. City officials say the Veterans Memorial, currently located by the historic building, will be moved to a new site.
- Closing arguments were completed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in the trial of Gary Milby of Campbellsville and Bryan Coffman and his wife, Megan, of Lexington. The three have been on trial in Lexington since April 19th. Prosecutors say they bilked investors out of some $33 million in an oil- and gas-drilling scam and spent the money on cars, jewelry, yachts, lavish birthday parties and retirement accounts. Defense lawyers denied the allegations. Steve Romines, attorney for Bryan Coffman, said most investors knew investing in oil and gas wells is risky and they used the losses as tax deductions.
- Back-to-back debates revealed differences among Kentucky's three Republican gubernatorial candidates on Monday over proposals to expand gambling, ban smoking in public places, and restrict sales of some cold and allergy medications to curb meth production. State Senate President David Williams, Louisville businessman Phil Moffett and Jefferson County Clerk Bobbie Holsclaw also lashed out at President Barack Obama who is considered anti-coal, an unpopular position in a state where mining is a major employer, and the candidates stood in sharp contrast, voicing support on the campaign trail even for mountaintop removal coal mining. Polls show Williams with a substantial lead in the three-way race, but with turnout predicted at a near record low, the Burkesville lawyer is leaving nothing to chance, having spent more than $1 million so far on the primary campaign. Only about 15 percent of Kentucky's registered voters are expected to cast ballots in the May 17th primary.
- State police are investigating the discovery of human remains found in the Licking River near the Lakeville Bridge in Magoffin County Monday evening. Investigators say the body appears to have been in the Licking River for some time.
- Preliminary statistics indicate that 13 people died in nine separate crashes on Kentucky's roadways from Monday, May 2 through Sunday, May 8, 2011. Eleven of the victims were traveling in motor vehicles. Nine were not wearing seat belts. One of the fatalities was the result of a crash involving alcohol. Two of the fatalities were pedestrians. Through May 8, preliminary statistics indicate that 212 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways during 2011. This is 18 fewer than reported for this time period in 2010. A total of 30 fatalities have resulted from crashes involving the suspected use of alcohol.
- The Mississippi River crested in Memphis at nearly 48 feet Tuesday. It fell inches short of its all-time record but still soaked low-lying areas with enough water to require a massive cleanup.A National Weather Service meteorologist says the river reached 47.85 feet at 2 a.m. CDT Tuesday and is expected to stay very close to that level for the next 24 to 36 hours. Hitting the high point means things shouldn't get worse in the area, but it will take weeks for the water to recede and much longer for inundated areas to recover. In the words of meteorologist Bill Borghoff, "Pretty much the damage has been done." The crest is just shy of the record of 48.7 feet recorded during a devastating 1937 flood in Memphis.
- Secretary of State Elaine Walker, the chief elections officer of the Commonwealth, is encouraging all registered voters to cast their ballots on Primary Election Day, May 17, 2011 and is encouraging citizens to prepare before doing so. The polls close at 6:00 p.m. local time, and any voter in line to vote by that time will be allowed to cast a ballot. Additionally, Walker reminded voters that no Kentuckian should be prevented from voting in the upcoming election due to their work schedule, voters can request leave prior to the day in which they will cast their vote. The Kentucky Constitution provides “that all employers shall allow employees, under reasonable regulations, at least four hours on election days, in which to cast their votes.” Employees need to request leave from their employer prior to the day in which they will cast their ballots to be eligible for this incentive. Kentucky law provides the employer discretion as to whether the employee will be compensated for that time and at what time the employee may vote. If an employee requests leave to vote and does not do so, state law deems that he or she may be subject to disciplinary action. When voters head to the polls on Election Day, they will also be governed by electioneering laws that prohibit electioneering within 300 feet of the polling location. Bumper stickers on cars of voters at a polling location are an exception to the electioneering prohibition. Cars may not be left near polling locations all day with the intent of advocating for a particular candidate.
- Voters will have the opportunity to nominate candidates for a number of offices including the following:
• Secretary of State
• Auditor of Public Accounts (Republican Primary only)
• Treasurer (Democratic Primary only)
• Commissioner of Agriculture
Citizens with general questions about the election are encouraged to visit the Office of the Secretary of State and State Board of Elections’ Vote Kentucky! website at www.vote.ky.gov or contact their local county clerk.
- As part of the $4 million project to make safety improvements on the Hal Rogers Parkway at Exit 56, a major traffic pattern change and a road closure will be put into effect this week. Traffic in both directions on the Hal Rogers Parkway will be diverted onto the exit and entrance ramps at the KY 451 exit as work begins to relocate the overpass at the interchange. The speed limit in this area has been lowered to 35 mph, and fines for speeding or other traffic violations will be doubled when workers are present. In addition, KY 451 will be closed at the interchange underpass. Detours have been posted. Traffic heading north on KY 451 out of Hazard will be detoured onto KY 15 and the Hal Rogers Parkway at Exit 56. Drivers who cross Town Mountain and reach the interchange will be required to turn right onto the eastbound Hal Rogers Parkway. Southbound traffic on KY 451 from the Busy and Yerkes area will be required to use KY 80 east to KY 15. However, access to the westbound Hal Rogers Parkway will still be available.
- Summer is just around the corner, which means more, and more children will be playing outdoors! During the summer season, The Pike County Health Department has an increase in animal bites especially involving children.
A health concern with animal bites is the possibility of the animal being infected with
Rabies. Rabies is an acute viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of its
victim. Rabies is most often passed from animal to animal, or animal to human, though
bites. Animals that carry the rabies virus primarily in the United States includes skunks,
foxes, raccoons, bats, dogs, and cats. Most people think rabid animals can easily be
spotted because the animal will foam at the mouth. In fact, most animals will only display these symptoms in the latter stages of infection. A better way to identify animals
that pose a risk is to recognize unusual, or abnormal behavior. Rabid animals, wild or
domestic, may stagger, appear restless, be aggressive, change the tone of the barks or
growl or appears to be choking. Most importantly, all domesticated animals are required
to be vaccinated for rabies.
It is the responsibility of the Pike County Health Department to quarantine any domestic
animal when the bites occur. The quarantine period involves the animal being tied or
chained up, put in a fenced area, or kept indoors for a period of ten days. During this
10-day period the animal is observed for sickness, unusual behaviors, or death. If the
animal appears healthy at the end of the 10-day period; it is released by the Pike County Health Department. If the animal does show sickness, unusual behaviors, or dies, the
head of the animal is immediately sent to the state laboratory for rabies testing.
There is no quarantine period for any wild animals. The wild animal is to be euthanasied and sent to the state laboratory for testing immediately. If any animal must be killed, the head of the animal should not be destroyed because the brain is tested for the rabies virus. If a stray animal bites a person and cannot be quarantined, it is the recommendation of the Pike County Health Department that you speak to your family physician about the prophylactic rabies treatments. This is a series of vaccines that may be taken if the animal cannot be quarantined or cannot be tested for the rabies virus.
Remember any time a bite occurs always consult your doctor or local hospital.
- The Pike County Health Department along with the East Kentucky Animal Clinic, Pike County Humane Society, and the Pike County Animal Shelter sponsors an annual rabies vaccination clinic at different sites around the county. All dogs, cats, and ferrets are to be vaccinated by 4 months of age and are required to obtain additional boosters at intervals according to the veterinarian and the type of vaccine used. Watch for upcoming clinic dates. If you have any questions or concerns about rabies, contact the Pike County Health Department at 606 437-5500 Ext. 311
- Highway District 12's Joe Stanley announced that repairs to a section of KY 881, Brushy Road, which collapsed last month, will begin today. Right of way issues were resolved Tuesday, May 10 said Joe Stanley, Engineering Tech at Highway District 12 $B!G (Js Pikeville Section Office. Repairs will begin this morning between 7 and 8am. The pavement collapse is 2.8 miles off US 119 on Brushy Road. The road has been closed to traffic since Thursday, April 14, due to what started as an embankment failure that happened as a drilling rig was working to repair a pavement break. Repairs could not begin until additional right of way was acquired.
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