Sunday, June 19, 2011

 

EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-20-'11

 Less than 12 hours after she disappeared, police say they found 34 year old Deloris Porter, a missing Martin County woman, in the Big Creek area of Pike County a little after 11:00 Saturday night. Police say Porter had wandered away from her parents' house in the Beauty community Saturday morning.


Police are searching for a suspect who entered the Union Plaza Branch of Commercial Bank in Knox County Friday afternoon wearing a red t-shirt, khaki shorts, sunglasses and what is believed to be a black curly wig and robbed it. Police say they left in a small black car, possibly a Dodge Neon, with the money in a black gym-type bag.


Rain hit the Bluegrass pretty hard Sunday morning, but the Perryville area of Boyle County was hit especially hard. The downpour caused flash flooding in Perryville, where water got dangerously close to several homes. Severe thunderstorms carrying high winds, that peaked between 55 and 65 miles per hour in some areas, and lightning knocked out power for as many as 38,000 people at one point, mostly in the Louisville area, along with downed trees and power lines Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon, the Kentucky Public Service Commission reported about 24,000 Louisville Gas & Electric customers without power in Jefferson, Bullitt, Meade and Oldham counties.


Incoming University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto says much of what UK needs stems from more and better funding. Capilouto says he looks forward to telling lawmakers there are a lot of states starting to do some aggressive things in higher education, and we've got to remain competitive. It circles back to facilities and talent, and we've got to have that state support. Capilouto says he has recognized a number of needs at UK, and opping the list is facilities. A recent study identified $500 million in building needs on campus. He also wants to see continued recruitment and retention of the best faculty, staff and students. He says he has heard clearly that everyone at UK wants accountability, transparency and shared governance for everyone on campus.


Dozens of people rallied at the Hazard Pavilion pool Saturday in support of two gay men. Hazard officials said Saturday city employee Kim Haynes will be suspended for five days without pay after telling two disabled gay men to leave the public pool on June 10th. Haynes told investigators the two men were engaged in an excessive display of affection, and that he would have told any other couple to leave had he seen similar behavior. Haynes also acknowledged he said, "We don't tolerate that kind of activity around here" and cited the Bible in an argument with Laura Quillen, a member of the social service group Mending Hearts, which was overseeing the group. Quillen told investigators the men did nothing inappropriate. City attorney Paul R. Collins says at least one witness saw the men "standing 'man to man' or 'belly to belly' in the pool splashing each other with water and pushing each other under the water, and he observed them hugging each other on at least one occasion and giving each other a kiss. Jordan Palmer, president of the Kentucky Equality Federation, says one of them sat on the other's knee and that was it. Palmer says the men were discriminated against.


The attorney general's race promises to be one of the most-watched this fall. Attorney General Jack Conway says he's ready for a fight after keeping a low profile in recent months as Republican opponent Todd P'Pool  traveled the state, relentlessly attacking him. In Northern Kentucky three months ago, P'Pool said, "I have the opportunity to write the final chapter to Jack Conway's political career. Rand Paul knocked him down, and we're going to knock him out." Conway said in an interview last week. "I start with near-universal name ID and a 26-point lead." Conway says it's his job as attorney general, not federal issues, that will define the race. Conway intends to make the race about his record over the past three and a half years, such as cracking down on cybercrime, child pornography and prescription drug abuse.


The tax rate on gasoline in Kentucky will go from 25.9 cents a gallon to 27.8 cents on July 1st, meaning motorists will pay 1.9 cents more per gallon. Increases in the gas tax are the results of a 1980 law tying the state's gas tax to the average wholesale price of gasoline. Greg Harkenrider, acting deputy executive director for the Governor's Office for Policy Research, says an April survey showed an increase in the wholesale price of gas. Although the tax changes often, the July increase will be one of the bigger hikes. Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe says the tax increased by 0.3 cents in January.



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