Friday, June 03, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-4-'11
- During a press conference in Bowling Green Friday, U.S. Senator Rand Paul called for Senate hearings to get answers on how two Iraqi refugees were granted asylum to live in the United States. Thirty year old Waad Ramadan Alwan and 23 year old Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, who were arrested in Bowling Green, are facing charges of plotting to send explosives, guns and missiles to Iraqi insurgents. Neither is charged with plotting to launch attacks inside the United States, and authorities said their weapons and money didn't make it to Iraq.
- Margaret Morgan, 59, of Louisville was flown to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital Thursday, where she was treated for multiple cuts after she was thrown from a boat on Herrington Lake and was then cut by the boat's propeller. The accident happened near the Ky. 34 bridge that spans the lake at the Boyle-Garrard County line. Morgan was a passenger in a 14-foot rented johnboat that was operated by Dave Wiseman, 50, of Louisville. The boaters became distracted by something, and the boat hit a tree stump or some other submerged object, throwing Wiseman and Morgan into the water. The boat circled the two, and the propeller apparently struck Morgan, cutting her in several places. Wiseman was able to pull Morgan to a private boat dock, where some nearby fishermen gave assistance.
- In an address to shareholders and associates packed in a University of Arkansa arena about 30 miles from its Bentonville headquarters Friday, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. unveiled a $15 billion share buyback program as it sought to reassure shareholders at its annual meeting that the world's largest retailer is still growing. The buyback will replace a previous $15 billion repurchase plan begun a year ago. The company bought back 244 million shares worth $12.9 billion under that program. In March, the company increased its dividend in its current 2012 fiscal year from $1.21 to $1.46 per share, an increase of 21 percent that returned $1.3 billion to shareholders. While international sales are sizzling, the company is still trying to reverse a two-year sales slump in the U.S., with no clear sign of when that will happen.
- Christopher Branum, an inmate at Eastern Kentucky Correctional Complex in West Liberty, claims that, on May 1st, he found a mouse in his soup. Prison reports show Branum complained less than a minute after being served and that Corrections Capt. Paul Fugate described the mouse as "saturated as though it had been in the soup for some time." The incident was investigated by the Department of Corrections and Aramark Correctional Services, which has a contract with the state to provide prison food. Aramark food service director Jody Sammons said in a May 12th memo that the incident appeared isolated and that it wasn't likely the mouse was cooked with the batch of soup.
- Friday, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law aimed at controlling the state's "pill mills" by penalizing doctors who overprescribe painkillers, tightening rules for operating pharmacies and authorizing a prescription-drug monitoring database. Florida is considered the epicenter of prescription drug abuse, with pain-management clinics supplying drug dealers and addicts with illicit prescription painkillers. Many of those people come from other states, including Kentucky. Scott originally opposed the prescription-drug monitoring database, calling it a waste of money and an invasion of privacy, but Attorney General Pam Bondi and several GOP legislators pushed for the database and Scott eventually agreed.
- As part of TVA's Generations Partners Program, Bowling Green should have its first large-scale solar generating facility by the end of the month. This week, workers were installing poles that will hold up some of the 7,000 solar panels planned for a 10-acre site at Scotty's Development. The poles will have a metal fulcrum that allows the panels to move with the sun and collect the maximum amount of solar energy. Business owner Jim Scott says the energy produced should be more than enough to offset the costs of powering the three warehouses on the property. Developers expect the $6 million solar farm to pay for itself in about six years by selling the energy produced to the Tennessee Valley Authority.
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