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Kentucky's only Democratic congressman predicts Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will run the most aggressive campaign that Republican Senator Mitch McConnell has seen from a challenger.  Grimes has kept a low profile since announcing her bid to unseat McConnell next year.  U.S. Representative John Yarmuth says Grimes will soon take the fight to McConnell in what's shaping up as Kentucky’s costliest race ever. 

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From NPR: BPA in plastics go on trial in Texas.

UK Healthcare receives NCI designation

Jul 15, 2013
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The University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center reached a long-sought after milestone Friday, with officials announcing the center has been granted National Cancer Center Institute cancer center status.  Despite being ranked at or near the top nationally for a multitude of cancers, Kentucky has been one of 16 states without an NCI-designated facility. 

Beshear Open to Dialogue On Nuclear Power

Jul 15, 2013
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Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says he supports a dialogue on the construction of nuclear power plants in Kentucky.

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Five Kentucky law enforcement agencies, including two in our region, will share nearly $33,000 worth of grants to provide essential equipment for law enforcement officers..  The grants are being awarded through the state Law Enforcement Protection Program and administered by the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security.  The money can be used to acquire body armor, weapons, ammunition and Tasers. 

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Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is urging educators to do everything they can to remove obstacles such as higher loan rates that are keeping people from finishing college.  Simon is the state government's point person on education reform.  Last week, Simon was honored with the College Changes Everything Champion Award. The recognition is given out each year by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.  In accepting the award, Simon said lower student loan rates will help older part-time students finish college. 

ky.gov

Community Early Childhood Councils in nine western Kentucky counties are among the fifty-eight across the Commonwealth that will receive almost $1.2 million in grants to promote school readiness.  Governor Steve Beshear announced the awards this week.  Calloway, Christian, Daviess, Graves, Marshall, Henderson, Hopkins, McCracken, and Muhlenberg will see a total of $160,000 in funding. 

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USEC's shutdown of operations at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant is underway; layoffs are slated to begin next month. Paducah and McCracken County will see a loss of about 12 hundred jobs, many high-skilled and high-paying.  Organizations and agencies there are addressing the problem, but it's perhaps useful to also consider the experience of another community that underwent a similar economic reverse 20 years ago. 

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From NPR: California prisoners are on a hunger strike to protest excessive use of solitary confinement.

Kentucky: Attorney General Jack Conway is the Commonwealth's first elected official to sign on to speak at this year's Fancy Farm Picnic in Graves County.

justice.gov

A Christian County man has pleaded guilty to federal gun charges, including having an Iraqi machine gun.  U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell set sentencing for 45-year-old Lawrence Bussell for October 10th in Paducah. Bussell entered his guilty plea Wednesday to charges of possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of firearms by a person convicted of a misdemeanor crime of violence.  In court, Bussell admitted having 13 firearms, including the Iraqi machine gun, which was of an unknown make and model. 

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