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3:20 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Kentucky State Senate Passes Hemp Bill

Credit Adrian Cable/Creative Commons

FRANKFORT — The state Senate has passed a bill aimed at creating a hemp industry in Kentucky, though the bill's future appears to lack the support of key government leaders.

The Senate's 31-6 approval of a bill establishing oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally comes with the release of a poll stating that most Kentuckians believe legalized hemp would create jobs.

High-profile opponents remain unmoved.

And the hemp bill's fate in the state House isn't so clear.

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Education
3:03 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

School Safety Bill Clears Indiana Senate Panel

Indiana lawmakers say they hope to improve security at schools around the state by offering grants toward hiring police officers and buying safety equipment.

A bill approved today by a state Senate committee would set up a two-year matching grant program allowing schools up to $50,000 a year. Bill sponsor Sen. Pete Miller says he hopes $10 million a year will be set aside for the program, so that 200 grants could be awarded.

"This is a first step toward school safety," Miller told the Senate Appropriations Committee.  

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Politics
1:14 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Former Wildcat Derek Anderson, Gov. Steve Beshear Join Rally for Statewide Smoking Ban

Credit Challiyil Eswaramangalath Vipin/Wikimedia Commons

FRANKFORT — Supporters of a statewide smoking ban brought high-profile help from the world of sports while rallying Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda  for their cause.

Urging Kentucky lawmakers to pass a statewide smoking ban, Gov. Steve Beshear and former University of Kentucky basketball player Derek Anderson spoke in favor of House Bill 190 at the rally. Currently more than 20 Kentucky communities have smoke-free laws, spanning across the state. And recent polls said that most Kentuckians support a ban.

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Politics
1:11 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Indiana Legislative Committee Approves Casino Bill

File photo

A bill aimed at helping Indiana’s casinos compete with new facilities popping up in neighboring states has cleared a state legislative committee.

The Senate Appropriations Committee voted 8-4 today to advance the measure.

Among other things, the bill would lower taxes on all casinos, allow riverboat casinos to move their operations inland, and permit live table games at two Indianapolis-area horse tracks.

Panel chairman Sen. Luke Kenley says lawmakers should act to help the industry, which is up against increasing competition.

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Environment
12:59 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Senators to Introduce Variation on Carbon Tax to Address Climate Change

Erica Peterson/WFPL

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) are expected to unveil their version of a carbon tax today.

But the legislation won't be like anything that's been considered before.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Called "fee and dividend," the legislation is an unusual variant on a carbon tax. It would impose a fee on carbon emissions at their source, such as coal mines, raising the price of fossil fuel energy.

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Arts and Humanities
11:35 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Frank X Walker Named Kentucky Poet Laureate

Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Gov. Steve Beshear appointed poet Frank X Walker the 2013-14  Kentucky Poet Laureate today.

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Local News
9:45 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Gay Boy Scout Leader Greg Bourke Starts Online Petition

Credit Boy Scouts of America

LOUISVILLE — A Kentucky Boy Scout leader who says he was forced to resign because he is gay is fighting back with an online petition drive reaching out to one of the Scouts' major financial backers.

Greg Bourke is urging the United Way to denounce the Boy Scouts' ban on gays as Scouts or adult leaders.

Bourke says he was an assistant scoutmaster for a Louisville Scout troop for several years until he was forced to resign after informing Scout leaders that he is gay. Bourke's son is a troop member.

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Sports
9:36 am
Thu February 14, 2013

2009 Kentucky Oaks Winner Rachel Alexandra in Serious Condition After Giving Birth

Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
Credit Creative Commons

LEXINGTON — Rachel Alexandra is in serious condition while recovering from surgery related to complications involving the birth of her filly.

The 2009 Horse of the Year had surgery Wednesday to repair an area of bruising in her small colon, which was injured during foaling, according to Stonestreet Farm.

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Arts and Humanities
7:30 am
Thu February 14, 2013

The Big Break: Surprises on Stage

On our audio diary series The Big Break, our emerging performers encounter some surprises on stage and learn that every show brings its unique challenges and opportunities. Actors Theatre of Louisville apprentice Samantha Beach receives her crew assignments from her Humana Festival "bible," Louisville Ballet trainee Claire Horrocks re-learns how to walk like "a real person" in "Romeo and Juliet" and Kentucky Opera studio artist Brad Raymond enjoys some noir-infused fun in "Don Giovanni." 

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Politics
7:30 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Bill Blocking Taxpayer Dollars in City Ethics Cases Clears House Panel

Democratic State Rep. Larry Clark of Louisville
Credit keeplarryclark.com

A bill requiring Louisville Metro officials and employees to pay for their own defense attorneys when charged with an ethics violation passed a state House committee by a unanimous vote.

State Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville, introduced the measure citing the over $180,000 in costs for two cases involving members of the Metro Council in recent years.

"I don’t think it’s fair for the taxpayers to have to pay for a lawyer for those of us in public service," Clark told WFPL earlier this week. "I think we should be held at a higher standard."

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