Government

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:

Officials with Kentucky's Medicaid managed care organizations say they're on track to resolve any problems with reimbursements to doctors and pharmacists.

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.

From the office of the Governor:

Gov. Steve Beshear today took a firsthand look at the damaged Eggners Ferry Bridge and said getting traffic restored across Kentucky Lake is among his highest priorities.

“We are keenly aware of the inconvenience for travelers and the economic hardship that has been created for many business owners because of the sudden loss of this route across Kentucky Lake,” Gov. Beshear said. “Our engineers are working non-stop on plans to get traffic safely restored.”

The owners of a cargo ship that struck and collapsed part of the Eggner’s Ferry Bridge say they were not responsible because some of the bridge's lights were not working. Delta Mariner owner Foss Maritime made the claim in a federal lawsuit seeking to remove any liability from the late January collision on Kentucky Lake. The Miller Law Firm in Paducah is representing Foss in the suit. U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Lt. Jennifer Jessee says all aspects of the wreck are being reviewed and no cause has been determined.

The Kentucky Senate approved a bill requiring patients to undergo an ultrasound before performing an abortion. The bill establishes a criminal penalty for violation of the law. A similar proposal has been introduced in the Senate before, only to lose in the House. The bill passed 32-4. 

The Marshall County Sheriff's Department and the CFSB Bank will hold a training exercise at the bank's Benton headquarters Thursday afternoon. Several area law enforcement agencies, including McCracken and Calloway counties, are expected to participate. The exercise will simulate a hostage situation and bomb threat with the goal of training responders and bank staff to deal with emergencies. The Marshall County Sheriff's Department says the exercise could cause traffic delays. Signs will be posted to indicate the training is in progress.

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