Kentucky

Flu Widespread in KY

Dec 12, 2012
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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.

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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.

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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.

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The Kentucky Department of Revenue has been getting up to 1,000 calls a day in the final week of an amnesty offer to delinquent taxpayers. The rising interest has prompted the state department to extend operating hours at 10 field offices around the state.

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 An Eddyville, Kentucky, man will be eating his Thanksgiving dinner in the Caldwell County jail today. Kentucky State Police say 45-year-old Robert Kevin Burchett fired shots at a home in Kuttawa, then fled to the Bandana community of Ballard County where they caught up with him. They’ve charged Burchett with attempted murder.

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Smokers might have to pay more in Kentucky for cigarettes if a proposal to raise the cigarette tax passes. The Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform suggests raising the tax from $.60 a pack to $1. Governor Steve Beshear appointed the tax panel earlier this year to simplify the tax code and generate enough revenue to meet the state’s needs.

Burley tobacco farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee are seeing their best paydays since plunging into the free market. Tight leaf supplies and a quality crop that bounced back after this summer’s drought are bringing burley growers nearly $2 per pound.

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Murray State is among several Kentucky universities receiving federal grants to improve teacher quality.  The grants from the Council on Postsecondary Education total $859,000. MSU and three other lead universities will partner with high-need school districts and five colleges, including Madisonville Community College.

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The deadline is nearing for delinquent Kentucky taxpayers to take advantage of an amnesty period. Kentucky officials say this is the first amnesty period in 10 years and allows people to pay taxes that are due without paying fees or penalties and having the interest reduced by half.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Kentucky as the second highest state in the nation for job growth. From September 2011 to September of this year Kentucky’s added 47,000 jobs. Its net job growth was 2.6 percent, which is more than twice the average of competitor states. Those states include Indiana, Tennessee and Missouri. Much of Kentucky’s job growth was in the central area of the state. But Murray gained a few manufacturing jobs with the expansion of R.T. Vanderbilt in August. North Dakota edged out Kentucky in the rankings.

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