Kentucky officials say curtailing prescription-pill abuse will suffer a major setback if a wave of generic painkillers reaches the market without safeguards. OxyContin and Opana ER patents are set to expire next year allowing for generic versions of the powerful drugs. The brand-name painkillers were popular sources for abusers until tamper-resistant formulas were added.
Kentucky hunters killed 11 black bears last weekend, including one that set a record for its size. Doug Adkins of Jenkins killed the state-record bear estimated at more than 450 pounds in Letcher County. All the bears killed came from Harlan and Letcher counties. The hunting season was scheduled to continue through Monday but wildlife officials closed it down Sunday night because hunters killed the maximum number of bears.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has upped Kentucky’s flu level from regional to widespread, the highest tier. That means at least half of all regions in the state have reported a flu outbreak. Purchase District Public Health Director Kent Koster says the best ways to stay well are getting a flu vaccination and keeping your hands clean.
“We are within the last two weeks seeing more of those being reported to the health department,” he says.
Kentucky’s latest round of tax amnesty is coming to a close and state officials say the program has been a success. Beginning last month, the state offered tax delinquents a chance to pay what they owe and a portion of the related penalties without fear of further punishment or prosecution. Lawmakers hope to collect $55 million before the program ends at 9 p.m. Friday. Department of Revenue Commissioner Thomas Miller told lawmakers Thursday that his office has recovered tax revenue from people in all 120 counties of the Commonwealth and in all 50 states.
The Kentucky Board of Education will soon reconsider its policies governing middle school athletics. A legislative task force crafted final recommendations this week, which include many policies already in place at the high school level.