Archives for September 2018

Statewide Broadband Project Years Behind Schedule, Nearly $100M Over Budget

Three years ago, state officials in Kentucky signed a contract to install 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable to bring high-speed internet access to all 120 counties.

Today, the project is at least four years behind schedule because of persistent delays that have cost taxpayers a projected $96 million.

But a new report out Friday from Republican Auditor Mike Harmon says state officials ignored at least three written warnings about the contract.

Auditors said no one interviewed could explain “why the decision to proceed was made.”

PSC Approves Payment Plans for Mountain Water District Customers

The Public Service Commission has approved a request from the Mountain Water District to allow payment plans for customers.

Those payment plans are good for both sewer and water tap fees.

The PSC approved a plan that will allow customers to enter into a payment agreement once they have paid 50 percent of the total cost up front.

Judge Rules Kentucky’s Abortion Law Violates Due Process Rights

In a victory for abortion-rights supporters, a federal judge struck down a Kentucky law Friday that had put the state’s last abortion clinic at risk of closing when Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration cited it in a licensing fight with the facility.

U.S. District Judge Greg Stivers said Friday that the two-decade-old law violates constitutionally protected due process rights.

The law required Kentucky’s abortion clinics to have written agreements with a hospital and an ambulance service in case of medical emergencies.

Flooding Closes Knox County Schools, Causes Damage in Bell County

Knox County schools were closed Friday and damage was reported in Bell County late Thursday night thanks to flash flooding.

Knox County Sheriff Mike Smith told WYMT-TV that the area not only has to worry about its own rainfall, but also back water from Bell and Harlan Counties, making flooding problems even worse.

The National Weather Service reported that Pikeville picked up more than two inches of rain between 9pm Thursday and 9am yesterday.

Jobless Numbers Vary Across KY

State officials say unemployment rates fell in 115 Kentucky counties between August 2017 and August 2018.The Kentucky Center for Statistics says jobless rates rose during that period in Owen, Monroe and Metcalfe counties. The rates stayed the same in Nelson and Lyon counties.The center says the state’s lowest jobless rates were in Boone, Campbell and Woodford counties at 3.1 percent each. Next were Fayette, Kenton and Oldham counties at 3.2 percent each. Scott, Shelby and Spencer counties each had 3.3 percent rates.The state’s highest unemployment rate was in Magoffin County at 11.7 percent.

KY AG Warns About Scam

The Kentucky Attorney General’s Office is warning the public about a new scam which targets victims’ deposits. The office says scammers are trying to steal Social Security or veteran benefits. A caller will pretend to be a bank, Social Security Administration or veteran organization employee before trying to convince a victim to “reverify” their account information. When the scammer receives the information, they will make direct deposit changes. The attorney general’s office advises Kentuckians to not respond to unknown callers, avoid providing any sensitive information over the phone and make sure their computers have proper security protections.

Eastern KY Lemonade Helps Cancer Research

In Eastern KY, in London Makaylynn Swanner and her family have started Makaylynn’s Mission, a fundraiser partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand, to fund childhood cancer research. Makaylynn’s family have set up a both at the World Chicken Festival for 8 years, which is underway through Sunday. Every year, they set up a booth to sell lemonade and other items, to send all proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

Warning Against the Flu

A recent report shows nearly 80,000 people died in the U.S. from flu-related symptoms last winter, making that the highest death toll recorded in 40 years.Local doctors from Mountain Comprehensive Health Clinic (MCHC) in Whitesburg say a vaccination could not only save thousands of dollars in hospital bills but also someone’s life.Vulnerable people include children and the elderly.

McConnell Supports Kavanaugh

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a prepaed statement says he has no reason to think that Dr. Blasey Ford offered the Seante judiciary committee anything less than her sincere best recollections during her testimony to the committee regrding the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. Likewise, he says Senators have no reason to doubt the sincere and heartfelt testimony of Judge Kavanaugh. The nominee forcefully and firmly restated his complete and unequivocal disavowal of the misconduct Dr. Ford alleges. What we did not hear was any evidence whatsoever to bolster the allegation made against Judge Kavanaugh… No evidence corroborates Dr. Ford’s allegation. No evidence was presented to back it up. And all existing evidence refutes it. McConnell says the task now before the Senate is to do justice. In America, justice begins with the presumption of innocence. A committee vote confiming Kavanaugh is scheduld for today.

Eastern KY Bible School Donates to Hurricane Florence Kids

As donations continue to pour into the Carolinas, one Eastern Kentucky school is wanting to do their part. The Bible Club at Fleming-Neon Middle School assigned school supplies to homerooms hoping to collect items to send to the hurricane-ravaged states. They had just learned about hurricane Katrina in class and wanted to do something to help out the kids who have lost their school supplies.The school is home to just more than 200 students. They were asked to bring in supplies like paper, notebooks, markers, and pencils.