News briefs: Feb. 1, 2013

-A A +A
By The Staff

State test scores show overall gains from 2011

Kentucky students scored higher on EXPLORE and PLAN tests in 2012, registering gains in every subject tested, according to data released Wednesday by the Kentucky Department of Education. The data also show more students are on track to be ready for college coursework by the time they graduate high school.

School district-specific results won’t be released until next month, but this first broad release shows a better performance statewide.

The EXPLORE test is given to all 8th-grade public school students and the PLAN test is given to all 10th-grade public school students in Kentucky each September. The assessments, precursors to the ACT college entrance exam given to all public high school juniors in the state each March, test knowledge in English, mathematics, reading and science.

EXPLORE provides an early indicator of readiness for college, provides important information for building a high school academic plan and helps students identify careers in which they might be interested. PLAN serves as the midpoint check of academic progress in high school. It is designed to improve students’ preparation for education, training and work after high school while students still have time to adjust their high school courses.

In addition to higher scores, the data also show the percentage of students on track to be ready for credit-bearing college coursework increased up to 6 percent from 2011 – depending on grade and subject, and up to 13 percent since the tests were first given statewide in 2006.

In the September 2012 administration, 49,486 8th-grade Kentucky students in 322 public schools took the EXPLORE assessment and on a scale of 1 to 25, scored within a tenth of a point – plus or minus – of the national norm.


Shelby students get free dental care

About 38 students from Wright, Clear Creek and Heritage elementary schools will receive free dental treatment today at UofL Dental School as part of the Smile Kentucky! program.

This partnership visited the schools last fall for education and dental screenings. Today is the culmination when children receive free care.


Spencer clerk owes $73,116

An audit of former Spencer County Clerk Judy Puckett’s final 11 months in office identified $8,399 that Puckett personally owes back to the county, bringing to $73,116 the total — including amounts from prior audits — that Puckett should personally reimburse.

Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Adam H. Edelen released the audit of Puckett’s last 11 months, from Jan. 1 to Nov. 30, 2011, last Tuesday.

Auditors were unable to obtain supporting documentation to determine the amount of cash receipts during the year for notary fees and sheriff’s inspection fees, according to a news release from Edelen’s office. Therefore, the audit reports a qualified opinion on the clerk’s financial statements.

The audit will be referred to the Attorney General, the Spencer County attorney, the Kentucky Department of Revenue and the IRS.

“My only comment is that it [the audit] has problems,” Spencer County Judge-Executive Bill Karrer told magistrates during a fiscal court meeting Tuesday. “And we’ll see what happens from there.”
The audit included nine comments from Edelen’s office referencing non-compliance with laws, regulations, contracts and grants and material weaknesses involving the internal control over financial operations and reporting.

Hosparus slates volunteer training

Hosparus has scheduled training sessions in an effort to recruit volunteers who would provide patient support and assistance with its bereavement program in Shelbyville and surrounding areas.

Those sessions will be 8:30-5 Feb. 20 and March 14 at Hosparus’ main campus, 3532 Ephraim McDowell Dr. in Louisville.

To pre-register, contact Denise Stemm at 502-719-4153 or by email to dstemm@hosparus.org.

Heating assistance available

Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, Inc. continues to seek applicants for the “crisis” portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.

LIHEAP assists households that are in a home heating crisis.  The deepening of cold winter weather combined with rising utility costs leaves many households unable to fully meet heating bills or purchase sufficient bulk fuel to keep their families safe and warm. Applications will be taken between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at Multi-Purpose’s offices at 1145 Washington St. in Shelbyville. For more information, call          633-6371.


Heritage sets blood drive for former student

Heritage Elementary and The American Red Cross are hosting blood drive to “honor a Pint Size Hero, Blake” (a student at the school who is battling cancer) at 2-7 p.m. Feb. 7. If you are in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, have a photo I.D. and are at least 17 years old, you could be a blood donor.


I-64 lane closures possible

Lane closures and delays are possible on Interstate 64 from the Welcome Center to a half-mile east of KY 55 because of the roadway-widening project. Lane closures are scheduled Sunday through Friday from 7 each evening until 5 the following morning and on Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Sunday. The eastbound exit to KY 55 South (Exit 32A) is closed for several months because of ramp construction. Motorists can use Exit 32B to access both KY 55 North and South. 


The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.