News in Brief

Work requirement in place for food stamps in 8 Ky. counties

LEXINGTON (AP) — Over 17,000 food stamp recipients in eight Kentucky counties must begin part-time work, education or volunteer activities in order to keep their benefits under a newly reinstated requirement.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the rule had been waived since March 2009 because of the recession, but the waiver expired Jan. 1 after the federal government opted not to extend it for a subset of people in some counties.

Able-bodied adults between the ages of 18 to 50 now have to document that they spend an average of 20 hours a week at a job, doing volunteer work or taking classes in order to receive the food stamps as part of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

The rule only applies to Fayette, Jefferson, Bullitt, Daviess, Henderson, Hardin, Warren and McCracken counties.


‘Second chance’ bill clears Ky. House, yet hurdles remain

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky House of Representatives has approved a bill that would let some convicted felons clear their records.

The House voted 80-11 to allow people convicted of class D felonies to have their records expunged five years after they have completed their sentence or probation. A class D felony is the lowest level felony in Kentucky, punishable by up to five years on prison.

The bill does not apply to people convicted of sex crimes, child pornography, human trafficking or abuse of public corruption.

Similar bills have passed the House in the past, but have died in the Republican-controlled Senate. But this year, Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce have backed the bill, giving advocates hope it has enough support to pass.


Carney withdraws bill on posts from life-threatening events

FRANKFORT (AP) — A Kentucky lawmaker has withdrawn his bill that would have barred people from posting information identifying people involved in life-threatening events on social media for one hour.

State Rep. Bam Carney said Thursday he wanted to start a conversation about people using social media to quickly share news of tragic events they witnessed.

Carney says that was accomplished with media attention of his bill. He says that too often, people find out about tragedies involving loved ones through social media before hearing from authorities.

First Amendment expert and Louisville lawyer Jon Fleischaker had told the Lexington Herald-Leader the bill amounted to “prior restraint” and was unconstitutional.

The bill proposed fines for violators. It would have made exceptions for news media, victims of the event and emergency responders at the event.


Agency looking for volunteers to count state’s homeless

FRANKFORT (AP) — The Kentucky Housing Corp. is looking for volunteers to help count Kentucky’s homeless population.

The count will begin at sunrise on Jan. 27 and continue for 24 hours. The point-in-time count is known as the K-Count.

The count is used to monitor the scope of the homeless population in Kentucky. Housing Contract Administration Managing Director Davey King says an annual count allows the agency to better serve people in Kentucky.

The results of K-Count demonstrate the need for resources for housing and services for homeless people in each community and help determine how much federal funding will be awarded. It also helps assess progress in the state’s plan to end homelessness.

To volunteer, contact Shaye Rabold at 800-633-8896 or 502-564-7630, extension 415; TTY 711; or email [email protected]


Full closure of Ohio River bridge to begin next week

LOUISVILLE (AP) — Officials are preparing for the complete closure of an Ohio River bridge at Louisville to allow construction crews to make improvements to the 52-year-old bridge.

One lane of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge is currently open to traffic, but officials say that lane is expected to close overnight Monday.

Full closure of the bridge is expected to last about six months.

Crews are installing a new floor system to the bridge.

Work started in December after the Abraham Lincoln Bridge opened to traffic. As the project continues, the Lincoln Bridge will continue to carry both northbound and southbound traffic on Interstate 65.

Officials say one lane of the Kennedy Bridge is expected to reopen in late July. They say the bridge’s remaining lanes will be closed until late 2016.


Leslie Co. receives $46,678 for slide repair

MANCHESTER — The Leslie County Fiscal Court has been granted $46,678 by the Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.

The money will be used to for a slide repair in Leslie County on Grassy Branch Road (CR-1270) located 0.9 miles south of KY 406 (mile point 0.9) extending south to mile point 1.1 south of KY 406. Leslie County crews will be responsible for all phases of the work.

The Department of Rural and Municipal Aid frequently dispatches funds directly to city and county governments in an effort to improve routes which are not state-owned but tie into the state system.

“We are pleased to partner with local governments to improve highway access for the citizens of Leslie County, and all of District 11,” said Sherri Chappell, chief district engineer for the Department of Highways District 11, which includes Bell, Clay, Harlan, Jackson, Knox, Laurel, Leslie and Whitley counties.


Ohio River flooding downsizes W.Ky. deer hunt

PADUCAH (AP) — An upcoming late season open deer hunt at West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area near Paducah will go on as scheduled, but will be slightly downsized because of flooding along the Ohio River.

The Paducah Sun reports that because floodwaters are covering part of the river-flanking wildlife area, the number of hunter openings for the Saturday-through-Monday hunt will be reduced from 140 to 125.

The first 125 hunters at the management area’s check station between 4:30 and 8 p.m. Friday will be allowed to participate in the three-day hunt.

The annual open hunt is scheduled to help control deer numbers on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources-managed area. It allows the use of only slug-loaded shotguns and muzzleloading firearms.

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