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remains steady at 8.4
Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate remained steady at 8.4 percent from September 2012 to October 2012, according to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.
The preliminary October 2012 jobless rate was .9 percentage points below the 9.3 percent rate recorded for the state in October 2011.
The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate fell to 7.9 percent in October 2012 from 7.8 percent in September 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.
In October 2012, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,084,019, an increase of 10,539 individuals compared to the previous month, and employment also grew at about the same pace with the addition of 10,310 jobs.
“Historically, this is the highest recorded monthly gain in both employment and in the labor force, but it’s important to recognize that it’s a statistical spike, an anomaly,” economist Manoj Shanker said. “When the data is averaged over three months it shows that Kentucky’s employment took a definite positive turn starting in September 2011 and continues to grow steadily.”
KentuckyOne Health. UofL partner
The University of Louisville announced a partnership with KentuckyOne Health, the entity created this year with the merger of Jewish Hospital & St. Mary's HealthCare in Louisville and Lexington-based Saint Joseph Health System – and the parent company of Jewish Hospital Shelbyville.
KentuckyOne Health was initially to have included University of Louisville Hospital, but Gov. Steve Beshear denied that request, calling the hospital a public asset that should not be controlled by the private sector.
Under the announced partnership, KentuckyOne Health "will oversee most of the day-to-day operations" of the U of L hospital, according to a statement. However, the hospital will continue to own the assets involved and will also operate its Center for Women and Infants.
Those terms address two key concerns in the past merger idea. The first was whether the merger, which would have placed the hospital under the control of Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives, would have violated the separation of church and state. The second was concern that the hospital would have no longer performed tubal ligations to prevent pregnancy because of the Catholic Church's opposition to sterilization.
In a statement Wednesday, Attorney General Jack Conway said his staff reviewed this partnership "and it appears to address the concerns raised."
Farris sues employees for libel
Former Shelby County School Superintendent Elaine Farris, who now holds the same post in Clark County, has filed a lawsuit saying she is a victim of libel, slander and harassment by an assistant principal, his wife, and another woman, all of whom have publicly criticized Farris and the Clark school system over the past several months, The Herald-Leader reported.
Filed Tuesday in Clark District Court, the lawsuit names as defendants Paul Columbia, assistant principal at George Rogers Clark High School and former football coach at Clark County High; his wife, Patricia Columbia; and Clark County resident Joan Graves.
The lawsuit says the defendants have made false oral and written statements impugning Farris' "personal and professional character and integrity," including making "false accusations" as to "Farris' character and ability to perform her duties as superintendent."
The defendants' actions constitute libel, slander and harassment, the lawsuit says.
"As a direct result ... Elaine Farris has suffered injury to her character and reputation, has been brought into public hatred, contempt and ridicule, and has suffered a loss of public confidence and respect," the suit says.
Farris became the first black superintendent in Kentucky when she took the helm of Shelby County Schools in 2004. She also has held senior posts in the Kentucky Department of Education, including serving as interim state education commissioner.
Paul and Patricia Columbia, along with Graves, have been active for several months in a citizen group calling itself Stand Up Clark County that has criticized Farris and the county schools over various issues. In May, during one of the group's first public rallies, Patricia Columbia called for Farris to resign or be fired.
Taxpayer amnesty extended
Saying it's received 25,000 phone calls and payments from more than 10,000 businesses and individuals since beginning on Oct. 1, the state's tax amnesty program will end on Nov. 30. Those who owe the state of Kentucky taxes have until the last day of November to apply for amnesty and pay their overdue taxes.
However, if taxpayers fail to take advantage of the amnesty program, penalties get more severe and the interest escalates. An additional 2 percent interest will be charged on unpaid amnesty-eligible taxes. Taxpayers taking advantage of amnesty must remain current over the next three years or face reinstated penalties, fees and interest, according to a news release from the state Finance and Administration Cabinet.
Cottongim to address Rotary
Clay Cottongim, retiring head of the Shelby County Parks system, will be the speaker at Shelbyville Rotary on Tuesday. Cottongim, who has headed the parks for 38 years, will outline the current programs and issues with the local parks system.
Rotary meets at the Centenary United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Washington and 5th streets in Shelbyville. Meetings are open to the public, but there is a charge for the luncheon.
EMA to test alert sirens at noon on Wednesdays
Shelby County Emergency Management Agency will be testing the 26 early warning sirens placed throughout the county to provide the public with early notification of severe weather and other conditions.
During a test, officials say you can expect to hear the sirens for the full 3-minute cycle as radio signals from Shelby County E911 are tested, too.
If you have any questions or concerns, visit the Emergency Management page on www.shelbycountykentucky.com or call 502-647-9001.
Holiday closings for Thanksgiving
All federal, state, county and city offices will be closed Thursday in celebration of Thanksgiving Day. That means the post office, the Shelby County Judicial Center, Shelby County Courthouse and city halls in Shelbyville and Simpsonville will be closed. The Shelby County Public Library will be closed, as will banks. Shelby County Public Schools will be closed next Wednesday through next Friday.
The library also will be closed next Friday and Nov. 24, with the latter day for library flooring maintenance. The library will reopen Nov. 26 at 9 a.m. For more information, call 633-3803, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org visit www.scplibrary.net.
I-64 widening gets busier
Lane closings and rolling lane blockages will be part of the continued widening of Interstate 64 between Simpsonville and Shelbyville.
Contract crews will be setting bridge beams at the Exit 32 overpass on Tuesday and Wednesday, which will require rolling road blocks between 8 p.m. each evening and 6 the following morning.
There also could be lane closures starting every evening at 7, Sunday through Friday, and continuing to 5 the following morning.
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.
Diabetes events scheduled for Shelby
The KIPDA Rural Diabetes Coalition will conduct a Diabetes Education Day and Food Demo, at 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today at the Shelby County Extension Office on Frankfort Road. Keynote speaker will be Genni Smith.
The KRDC exists to improve the health and welfare of adults aged 50 and older who have Type II Diabetes. KRDC's strategic plan includes initiatives for increasing exercise, healthy eating, smoking cessation, and increased self and health care.
Driving course at Collins
Collins High School Youth Services Center will host a survival defensive driving course called "Alive at 25,” which instructed by the Kentucky State Police. The program will be at 3:45-7 p.m. Nov. 26.
“This highly effective three-hour course addresses why motor vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of death among teens, and encourages young drivers to take responsibility for their driving behavior,” YSC Coordinator Leesa Stivers said. “Through interactive media segments, workbook exercise, class discussions and role playing, young drivers develop convictions and strategies that will keep them and others safe on the road.”
This program will be open to any CHS student that has a driver's permit or driver's license and is limited to the first 30 students who sign up.
To sign up or for more information, call 647- 1171 or E-mail Leesa.Stivers@shelby.kyschools.usby Nov. 20.
Multi-Purpose board meeting
Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency’s board of directors will meet at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 26 at the Spencer County Fiscal Court’s room in Taylorsville. The public is invited to attend. Multi-Purpose CAA provides services in Bullitt, Shelby and Spencer Counties.
Leaf pickup in Shelbyville
The Shelbyville Department of Public Works will offer leaf pickup through Dec. 30 within the city limits. Leaves must be bagged in strong garbage bags and tied with a 50-pound weight capacity. They should be placed on the curb, not blocking the sidewalk or street. Residents must call this department, 633-1094, to get on the list for pick-up.
The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.