McCracken County's Joint Consolidation Study Commission held the last of its four scheduled public meetings Thursday to present its draft plan to merge Paducah and McCracken County governments. More than 175 people attended the event at Lone Oak Middle School. They voiced concerns over such issues as the number of representatives on the proposed government's council. Commission Vice Chairman Tom Garrett says they'll meet soon to discuss the public's concerns and possibly adjust the draft.
Governor Steve Beshear is urging state lawmakers to approve a budget proposal that would raise the income eligibility level for public preschool to 160 percent of the federal poverty rate. Preschool in Kentucky is currently offered to 4-year-olds whose family income is 150 percent of the federal poverty level or less. Children with developmental delays or disabilities are also eligible. Beshear says more kids need to get an early start in school:
The fourth and final public forum discussing a possible merger for McCracken County and Paducah governments is tonight at Lone Oak High School at 6:30 p.m. The Charter County Government Merger Committee has worked on the merger plan since 2009 before presenting it to the public in January. After tonight’s forum, the committee will meet to discuss concerns voiced by residents before finalizing the plan and deciding if the issue belongs on the ballot in November.
A bill that would make pseudoephedrine available only by prescription in Kentucky has cleared its first legislative hurdle.
PSE is commonly found in cold medicines and is also used to make meth. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard another hour of testimony on the issue from law enforcement officers and former meth addicts today before passing the bill out of committee.
Before the vote, sponsor Robert Stivers promised to continue pushing the measure regardless of its eventual fate.
Metropolis, Illinois has a new Police Chief. At Monday's City Council meeting, Mayor Billy McDaniel appointed Harry Masse to take over following Chief Mike Worthen's retirement. Masse served with the Illinois State Police for 27 years. He's also a US Army veteran, and a graduate of the FBI police executive academy. Mayor McDaniel says since Masse already receives benefits from the State Police, his appointment will save the city money and help save jobs. The Paducah Sun reports Masse is set to transition into the position this week before taking over March 2nd.
Senator Rand Paul is blocking presidential Energy Department nominees until he hears from Secretary Steven Chu on a compromise to save 1200 jobs at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The plant is likely to end operations in the coming months if the government fails to allow the re-enrichment of spent uranium stored at the plant. On the Senate floor he said he would like to hear a response from letters he sent Secretary Chu seeking the DOE’s approval.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says state officials are aggressively searching for options to accommodate traffic at the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge. The Governor says he expects inspection reports to be ready within the next couple of weeks to help clearly layout a timeline for whichever options are deemed best. He says though, at this point, it looks like one of the quickest options may be establishing a ferry service at the site:
Kentucky lawmakers are backing away from a measure that would eliminate the office of constable in every county.
Every county has an elected constable. But in the last year, many constables have been accused of being either unnecessary or corrupt. Originally, Senate Bill 30 was a constitutional amendment to eliminate constables. But the bill was unlikely to pass due to a gentlemen’s agreement in the legislature that each chamber would only push one amendment each session.