Wednesday, June 22, 2011
EKB Capsule News...Kentucky...6-23-'11
- Pike County Democratic judge-executive Wayne Rutherford says Democratic agriculture commissioner candidate Bob Farmer is no longer welcome in Pike County because of jokes Farmer made about eastern Kentucky. Farmer issued an apology Tuesday after comments made years ago at a performance at a dinner theater in Danville, Indiana in which Farmer said eastern Kentucky was a place where the cars were on blocks and the houses were on wheels. Farmer also joked that the FBI had a hard time working in eastern Kentucky because the DNA was the same and there were no dental records. Farmer said he didn't think people in eastern Kentucky trusted him because he had all of his teeth and was wearing shoes. Rutherford says Farmer, a marketing executive who also gives performances and speeches across the country, was in Pike County in April before the May primary, and he was treated with the utmost respect." Rutherford said, "And, by the way, I don't know if he noticed but I had shoes on and all of my teeth."
- FEMA officials say assessments in Knox County will take the next week or so. Simon Chabel with FEMA says the kind of damage officials are looking for is houses off their foundation and any kind of physical damage. They are encouraging those who have any damage from Monday's flooding to contact county officials so it can be reported immediately.
- Cumberland River Coal Co. has agreed to pay Charles Scott Howard $1,753 a week, his salary for 40 regular and 20 overtime hours a week, continue other benefits and pay him retroactive to May 16th while he pursues a claim that he was fired for trying to improve safety. Howard, of Letcher County, was fired May 16th as he was preparing to return to work after being injured in a mine accident in July. A federal judge ordered the company to reinstate Howard on June 15th. Howard has filed numerous complaints about unsafe conditions and testified to a congressional panel about mine safety. He is to stay away from Cumberland River Coal's mine.
- A total of 22 Kentucky counties have now qualified for unemployment assistance due to severe weather that occurred beginning mid-April. The state Education and Workforce Development Cabinet says Floyd County is the latest county added to the list. The others are Ballard, Boyd, Carlisle, Carroll, Crittenden, Daviess, Fulton, Graves, Hardin, Henderson, Hickman, Jefferson, Johnson, Lawrence, Livingston, Marshall, McCracken, McLean, Pike, Webster and Union. People who have lost work or whose businesses were damaged due to severe weather during the period covered may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. Farmers and self-employed people are normally not eligible for unemployment benefits but may qualify for the disaster assistance. The deadline for each county is different, but the first ones are Friday. For more information, visit http://www.kyem.ky.gov/aprilsevereweather.htm.
- At least five barns were damaged and horses were running loose Wednesday at Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, after a powerful storm that spawned tornadoes blew through Louisville. The National Weather Service said radar was tracking a confirmed tornado near the track and the University of Louisville campus about 8:10 P.M. Track President Kevin Flanery says barn damage was on the backside of the track where workers live in the dorms.
- There are 590 long-term care and 101 assisted living facilities in Kentucky. Kentucky has received a $3 million federal grant to bolster background checks of those applying for jobs to care for the vulnerable and the elderly. Governor Steve Beshear's office said Wednesday the grant will be used to purchase equipment for digital fingerprint background checks. Last year, Beshear ordered the state to make changes to curb nursing home abuse after it was found that only seven of 107 serious citations issued at Kentucky nursing homes in a three-year period were prosecuted as crimes.
- During a Senate hearing, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky, squared off with Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole Wednesday over a controversial pat-down of a 6 year old girl from Bowling Green, Kentucky. Paul criticized the TSA's random searches of travelers saying, "They're still quite unhappy with you guys as well as myself and a lot of other Americans who think you've gone overboard, you're missing the boat on terrorism because you're doing these invasive searches on six-year-old girls." Pistole responded that searches help secure the nation's transportation system, but conceded that agents also need to use common sense, but unfortunately terrorists have used children under 12 years old as suicide bombers in other locations. Selena Drexel, the girl's mother, said earlier this year her daughter Anna was selected for a pat-down when they went through a New Orleans airport. She asked why but wasn't given a reason.
- Kentucky State Police say David Marshall, 43, of Grayson, has died from injuries he received in an ATV crash in Elliott County. Police say Marshall was traveling north on Ky. 409 on June 12th when he lost control of his ATV, ejecting him and causing him to land in the road, hitting his head. Marshall was airlifted to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington where he died Tuesday night.
- Eugene Burnett and his son, Kelly Burnett, both of Monticello, Kentucky, pleaded guilty earlier this month to conspiracy to grow or attempt to grow marijuana plants in Iowa. At a plea hearing in federal court in Cedar Rapids, the Burnetts admitted they were unloading marijuana to plant in a corn field in Iowa County on June 23, 2008, when a farmer drove up. The Burnetts fled, and were later arrested. Authorities seized more than 1,900 plants they said were connected to the Burnetts. No sentencing date is set. They face up to 40 years in prison.
- Jerry Helton, his wife, and the couple's four young daughters were all inside their home on Mitchell Hill Road near Corbin in Whitley County around 7:00 P.M. Tuesday afternoon when powerful storms caused a tree to crash through the roof, crashing through the bathroom where Helton's wife had been taking a bath, just seconds earlier. No one was hurt
- Sixty year old John Locke of Louisville has become the first person to sell more than a million books at Amazon/Kindle. Locke has sold his books by using Kindle Direct Publishing, which uses no publicist or agent. He also has no marketing budget, and has relied on word of mouth to sell his books. He has nine books, one of which remains one of the all-time best selling ebooks in history. According to Amazon, a John Locke novel is downloaded every 7 seconds.
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