July 25, 2014

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Smokeout Day ~ November 21 Print E-mail

Great American Smokeout Day is the third Thursday of November. The goal of this special day is quite obvious: to get people to quit smoking, resulting in fewer health problems, and  less cancer and emphysema deaths resulting from smoking and secondary smoke.

Quitting smoking is not an easy task. As an ex-smoker, this writer knows how hard it is to quit smoking. Often(usually), it takes repeated efforts. That's okay, as long as you keep trying until you finally succeed. The health benefits, and the prospect of a longer life are crystal clear.

The American Cancer Society encourages all smokers to give up the "butt" today. Join millions of other Americans today and take a big step to a happier, healthier, longer life.

__PUBLIC__

 
More public high school graduates are heading to college Print E-mail

Kentucky college-going rates released for Class of 2011

About three out of every five of Kentucky’s public high school Class of 2011 enrolled in college for the 2011-2012 academic year, exceeding the previous year’s enrollment, the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics (KCEWS) announced today in its release of the 2013 Kentucky High School Feedback Report.

“This report provides the best information about college going and freshman year success that we have ever seen,” said Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary Thomas O. Zawacki. “It is the perfect example of why Kentucky continues to be a national leader in data use to improve education and training.”

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Some gas pipeline questions addressed in Bracken Co. Print E-mail

By Wendy Mitchell, The Ledger Independent

Officials with Williams Corporation/Bluegrass Pipeline addressed Bracken County Fiscal Court on Wednesday, fielding questions about where, how and when the proposed natural gas liquids pipeline may impact the area.

Bill Lawson, Williams' spokesperson showed magistrates charts and maps of the proposed line and explained that it was in the acquisition phase of the project with landowners across Ohio, Kentucky and part of West Virginia.

“As of October, right of way acquisition program had acquired about 35 percent of the needed rights of way,” Lawson said.

Based on 10-year projections, Lawson estimated the project could generate about $136 million in ad valorem taxes and $30 million-$50 million in payments to property owners for right of way easements, he said.

Crossing Clermont County, Ohio, underground, the pipeline would go under the bed of the Ohio River by directional drilling, Lawson said.

In most cases the 24 inch steel line would be buried at least three feet under the ground, with consideration to farming necessities, and restrictions that trees not be planted and no structures built on the easement property, he said.

There are 184 miles of the line proposed for Kentucky, he said.

Magistrate Clark Hennessey questioned what he called an inundation of informational materials and advertising on behalf of the project.

According to Lawson, the materials were intended to counter misinformation the public may have seen from other sources on everything from what kind of pipe material was to be used and the content of the pipeline.

The court still has to look at paperwork necessary to allow the pipeline to be placed under count roads and on county property, Bracken County Judge-Executive Earl Bush said.

The decision should be made before the end of the year, he said.

According to Lawson, once easements are obtained, the project is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2015.

In other business, the court heard about a proposal to have Bracken County included as part of the Port Authority of Cincinnati, as a measure to improve the standing of the port authority in the nation and track cargo movements on the Ohio River.

The measure would not cost Bracken County anything and would not include any regulation of Bracken County activities by the authority, said Melissa Johnson, but could improve the view of the region for outside agencies for community development.

If the plan is approved by all the counties it has asked to be included in Ohio and Kentucky, the Port Authority of Cincinnati would increase from 26 miles to 205 miles and make it one of the top 10 ports in the nation, she said.

No action was taken on the request.

 
Natural gas will cost more this winter than last year Print E-mail

Natural gas costs at the start of the 2013-2014 heating season will be higher than last year, but are still well below the peak reached in 2008, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) announced on Thursday.

On average, Kentucky customers can expect to pay about 19 percent more this November than last if they consume 10,000 cubic feet of natural gas. The average total bill for 10,000 cubic feet - including base rates - is projected to be about $101.81.

That is down nearly $49 since November of 2008 - a decrease of 32 percent. The lower cost of natural gas has more than offset increases in base rates over that time.

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Dark reality: Northern Kentucky heroin plan will need millions of dollars over four years Print E-mail

By Terry DeMio, The Kentucky Enquirer

A solution to Northern Kentucky’s heroin epidemic won’t come cheap, a new study warns.

It will, in fact, cost at least $16 million over four years just to reduce and stabilize heroin usage, a report from the Leadership Team of the Northern Kentucky Heroin Impact and Response Workgroup states.

But the cost of doing nothing could be higher.

“Right now, we have no ability to manage the patients who are addicted,” said Dr. Jeremy Engel, who spearheaded the work group in September 2012. “It’s chaos.”

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Kuster files for re-election as 18th Judicial District Judge Print E-mail

Charles W. Kuster Jr.

Charles W. Kuster Jr., has filed for re-election as judge for the 18th Judicial District. Kuster, a practicing attorney in the area since 1983, was appointed to the office by Governor Steven Beshear in June 2010 and was elected to the four-year term in November 2010.

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Health exchange enrollment tops 40,000 Kentuckians Print E-mail

Kentucky’s health exchange, kynect, continues to enroll about 1,000 Kentuckians each day into new health coverage. As of Friday, 40,572 Kentuckians are enrolled in new health insurance, and 41 percent of them are under the age of 35.

Kynect has been hailed as a national model since its launch Oct. 1 for its continuous smooth operation and easy interface for users looking for affordable health coverage, according to a news release from the governor's office.

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More than 9,000 pounds of medications collected in Kentucky during National Take Back Day Print E-mail

Kentucky collected more than 9,000 pounds of unused or unneeded medications during last Saturday’s DEA National Drug Take Back Day, eliminating their risk of being diverted and abused.

A total of 9,135 pounds were collected at Take Back events, which were held in conjunction with state and local law enforcement agencies throughout Kentucky, according to the Office of Drug Control Policy.  The drugs will be properly disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

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Motorists are urged to keep a watchful eye out for deer at this time of year Print E-mail

The cool weather caused by the longer nights of November have deer feeling frisky. Mating activity peaks in mid-November and increases deer movement.

Data from the Kentucky State Police shows deer and vehicle collisions are highest in November.

Motorists must pay attention while driving during this time of year, especially those traveling rural and outer suburban roads at night. Slow down and remain alert while driving, particularly in areas where woods border the road. Deer often dart out from wooded areas onto the road before a driver realizes it.

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General Conway announces continuation of keep Kentucky kids safe campaign Print E-mail

Attorney General Conway and his Keep Kentucky Kids Safe partners today announced the continuation of an initiative created to warn Kentuckians about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and remind the public of the importance of monitoring, securing and safely disposing of unneeded prescription pills.

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