The commander of the Division of Vehicle Enforcement has asked lawmakers to provide pay raises to his officers. Lt. Col. Keith Peercy said KVE officers' starting pay is some $9,000 a year less than that of state police troopers. He said that needs to be changed to prevent turnover within the agency that's charged with enforcing laws regarding commercial vehicles traveling Kentucky highways. Beginning troopers make just less than $40,000 a year.


  More than half of the cruisers now being used by Kentucky state police troopers have logged over 100,000 miles and are becoming costly to repair. State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said financial woes are preventing the department from replacing older cruisers as quickly as he'd like. The result, he told lawmakers Thursday, has been high maintenance costs that have reached about $180,000 a month. 

Sen. Rand Paul and Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer are playing a game of chicken with the federal government over the growing of industrial hemp in the state.

Encouraged by the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission, Comer and Paul plan to draft a letter to U.S. Department of Justice indicating that Kentucky will proceed with adopting regulations and issuing permits for farmers to begin planting the controversial crop as early as next February, unless they are told otherwise.

McCracken County Judge-Executive Van Newberry and Paducah Mayor Gayle Kaler were part of the McCracken County Chamber of Commerce delegation that met today with US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Washington, D.C.

The group discussed a long-term solution for private sector development and accelerating cleanup activities at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.

Illinois health officials are urging homeowners to make an emergency plan and prepare a supply kit for home during September, which is National Preparedness Month. Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck  says a supply kit, a disaster plan and staying informed about the weather can help ensure communities around the state stay safe.

The McCracken County Fiscal Court plans to hire a Webster County attorney to fix zoning map errors, according to the county’s Attorney Michael Murphy. 

Murphy said the errors come from the switch to Geographical Information System mapping, which is much more accurate. He said finding someone slightly outside McCracken County and the contentious lots is part of the Fiscal Court’s upcoming decision to hire Tommy Joe Fridy of Sebree.

Pennyrile Area Development District

Jason Vincent is the new Executive Director of the Pennyrile Area Development District.

Vincent has previously served as the agency’s Assistant Director and Projects Coordinator. Vincent is a Murray State graduate with a bachelor of science in finance degree and a master’s degree of business administration. Princeton Mayor and PADD Chairwoman Gale Cherry said Vincent is extremely dedicated to the region and the board of directors looks forward to working with him in this new capacity. 

A top adviser to Gov. Steve Beshear is reporting that General Fund receipts rose modestly in August. State Budget Director Jane Driskell says that collections were up 3.8%to more than $663 million. Driskell says the increase was due largely to a spike in revenue from the sales tax and the income tax, and robust construction activity across the state is likely responsible.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has suspended funding for future renovations at the Capitol, a pricey project that's already caused embarrassment for financially-shaky Illinois and raised questions about how it was allowed. The Chicago Democrat told reporters yesterday that he's instructed his budget director to hold up appropriations for renovations that are yet to be done.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has renewed an executive order to cover any loss of salary by state employees called to active duty by the National Guard or the Armed Forces Reserves. The measure requires government agencies and departments to extend military leave to state employees. It also requires those agencies to provide offsetting pay when the active-duty wages of their employees are less than their normal salary. Haslam had renewed the annual order twice before. Haslam's order is retroactive to August 26, when the last version expired.