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11:32 am
Fri February 15, 2013

House Leaders Considering Instant Racing Legalization to Help Pay for Pensions

Greg Stumbo
Credit Kentucky Legislative Commission

Kentucky House leaders are considering legalizing Instant Racing across Kentucky to help plug the funding gap in the state's pensions.

Instant Racing is a slots-like game currently played at two Kentucky tracks, Ellis Park and Kentucky Downs. The legality of the game is also currently being litigated at the Kentucky Supreme Court.

But if the General Assembly passes a bill authorizing it, the court case would be moot.

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Environment
11:03 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Fatal Bat Disease Found in Two Kentucky State Parks

Marvin Moriarty USFWS

White Nose Syndrome has been found in two Kentucky state parks. State officials announced today that infected bats have turned up in caves at Carter Cave State Resort Park in Carter County and the Kingdom Come State Park Nature Preserve in Letcher County.

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Local News
8:19 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Jeffersonville's City Phone System Down

Credit Creative Commons

  According to Jeffersonville's Facebook page, "The City’s phone system went down last night and we are currently awaiting parts needed for its repair."

City officials further say, "Our AT&T representative should arrive first thing in the morning to begin work. However, repairs will not be complete until the parts arrive; hopefully at some point tomorrow. Therefore, all phones will be nonfunctional until further notice. I will notify everyone as soon as they are up and running. I appreciate your patience."

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Politics
10:25 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Insurance Tax for Affordable Housing Loses Ground as Advocates Urge Support

Affordable housing supporters fill City Hall
Credit Phillip M. Bailey

Dozens of residents and community activists filled City Hall on Thursday to urge the Louisville Metro Council to boost funding for affordable housing, but an ordinance seeking to pay for the initiative is losing support.

Several people spoke in favor of legislation that seeks to put nearly $10 million into the fund by increasing the city's tax on insurance premiums by one percentage point.

Affordable housing advocates who testified before the council spoke of skyrocketing rent and mortgage costs, the high number of homeless public school children and the need for new units.

"We can’t let school kids continue to be homeless, and let this problem go unsolved. So there are people who are in agreement that we need to do something and figure out how to fund the trust fund, and work together to figure out how to do that," Rachel Hurst, executive director of the Affordable Housing Trust Fund told WFPL.

But the prospects are grim now that a majority on the council have said they do not support the proposal.

Council President Jim King, D-10, and Councilman David Yates, D-24, have both said they will not vote for the ordinance. And after two of the original seven co-sponsors withdrew their support this week, another supporter—Councilman Brent Ackerson, D-26—announced he is also backing off the bill.

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Politics
5:36 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

University Bonding Projects Bill Steps Away from Becoming Law

Credit J. Glover/Creative Commons

A bill authorizing more than $360 million in bonds for university projects is just steps away from becoming a reality.

House Bill 7 allows six of the state's eight public universities to use bonds and other means to fund projects like building renovations, construction and renovations to Commonwealth Stadium.  And it passed the Senate budget committee unanimously Thursday.

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Local News
5:31 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Kentucky Child Abuse Review Panel Bill Passes House Committee

A bill solidifying a panel to review child death and near death cases passed Kentucky’s House Health and Welfare Committee Thursday.

Gov. Steve Beshear created an external government panel by executive order last year to review certain child abuse cases. The order—established in the summer of 2012—followed a failed attempt by the General Assembly to pass a bill that would have established a similar panel.

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Politics
5:18 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Bill Blocking Groceries from Selling Wine and Liquor Advances to House Floor

Credit Creative Commons

A bill that would effectively block grocery stores from selling wine and liquor—and ban wine and liquor sales in new pharmacies—was approved today in a state House committee.

Under the legislation, grocery stores could still sell alcohol from an adjoined structure with a separate entrance. 

Current law does not allow people younger than 21 to enter a place which sells wine and package liquor, which has prevented sales in grocery stores in the past.

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Politics
5:04 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Senate Passes Phone Deregulation Bill With Many Rural Lawmakers Opposed

Credit Creative Commons

A bill that would end requirements on phone companies to provide landline services in parts of Kentucky where other options are available has cleared the state Senate.

Nicknamed the AT&T bill because of the phone company's support, the legislation was largely opposed by rural lawmakers who argue that the bill would end landline service to their areas without proper alternatives.

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Environment
4:48 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

I Love Mountains Day Draws Hundreds to State Capitol Steps

Credit Creative Commons

Voicing environmental concerns, hundreds of activists and residents from Appalachian and beyond  rallied on the Kentucky Capitol steps for the annual I Love Mountains Day.

“We just want what all people need to survive," said organizer Sue Tallichet, chairperson for Kentuckians For The Commonwealth. "I mean, such radical things as clean water, safe and decent jobs, the chance to raise our kids in a healthy hopeful place.”

The rally drew people from far beyond Kentucky's borders.

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Arts and Humanities
4:33 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival Summer Season Moving Forward

Kentucky Shakespeare Festival

Producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway confirmed today that the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival will stage a summer season. Though the organization produces the oldest free annual Shakespeare in the Park festival in the United States, the future of the festival was uncertain at the end of last season. 

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