News Digest, Aug. 16, 2013

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By The Staff

State unemployment

creeps up to 8.5%

Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent in July from 8.4 percent in June 2013, according to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

The preliminary July 2013 jobless rate was .1 percentage points above the 8.4 percent rate recorded for the state in July 2012. The U.S. seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped to 7.4 percent in July 2013 from 7.6 percent in June 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Labor force statistics, including the unemployment rate, are based on estimates from the Current Population Survey of households. It is designed to measure trends rather than to count the actual number of people working. It includes jobs in agriculture and those classified as self-employed.
In July 2013, Kentucky’s civilian labor force was 2,088,479, a decrease of 8,799 individuals compared to the previous month. Employment dropped by 10,708, while the number of unemployed people rose by 1,909.
In a separate federal survey of business establishments that excludes jobs in agriculture and people who are self-employed, Kentucky’s seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment rose by 9,500 jobs to 1,846,200 in July 2013 from the previous month. On an over-the-year basis, the state’s nonfarm employment has added 18,900 jobs.
“The two surveys usually move in the same direction, but sometimes, as it happened in July, the numbers diverge,: state economist Manoj Shanker said in a release announcing the statistics. “It’s important to remember that the surveys are measuring different aspects of the labor market. The population survey estimates the number of people working or not working while the business survey assesses the number of jobs. Sometimes people have more than one job, so that may explain part of the difference.”


Lincoln officials: Let’s sue railroad

Lincoln County magistrates, getting earfuls of negative comments because of Norfolk Southern trains stopping on the tracks, are talking about suing Norfolk Southern and getting a court injunction banning the railroad company from blocking the crossing for extended time periods.

If that doesn't solve the problem, officials say they may start having a judge throw Norfolk Southern executives in jail, the Interior Journal reported.

McKinney Magistrate Joe Stanley said he has waited as long as 45 minutes for a train to move from the crossing. Driving around means a 15-to-20-minute trip through Casey County and back into Lincoln, he said.
Judge-Executive Jim Adams said the county's current ordinances allow it to fine Norfolk Southern for blocking a crossing for an extended period of time but only up to a maximum of $100. That amount is laughable to a railroad titan like Norfolk Southern, Adams said.
"You can fine Norfolk Southern $1,000 three times a week and they won't care. You can fine them $10,000 three or four times a week and Norfolk Southern still won't care because what they're going to do is they're going to add 10 cents a ton to the freight they're carrying," Day told magistrates. "They're going to make more money back but they're going to blame it on us. They're such a big corporation that until you start talking millions of dollars, it really doesn't affect them that much.”


Wolf found in Hart was rare

For the first time in more than a century, a free-range wolf has been confirmed in Kentucky, according to federal wildlife experts. A DNA analysis performed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center in Colorado determined the 73-pound animal taken March 16 by a hunter near Munfordville in Hart County is a gray wolf. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory in Oregon confirmed the finding.


I-64 jams possible overnight

Frequent traffic delays on Interstate 64 in the overnight hours are possible tonight as construction crews set bridge beams for the KY 55 overpass as part of the ongoing road widening project. That includes delays on KY 55, too.

The construction project extends from just east of Simpsonville (Exit 28) to just east of KY 55 (Exit 32) and includes both road widening and the replacement of the interchange for KY 55.

That construction zone will be mired this week, officials say, with rolling road blocks that will slow and possibly stop traffic for approximately 15 minutes at intervals throughout the evening. Unlike last week’s closure that shut down all westbound traffic for lane shifting, these delays will affect traffic in both directions, although on a rotating basis.

The work will begin on Monday, but rolling road blocks only will be used in the eastbound lanes on Tuesday. The hours for these slowdowns is 10 each evening until 5 the following morning.

On KY 55, motorists should watch for construction staff, who will use flagging methods to direct them through the work zone.

Other road projects:

  • KY 1848: Shoulder closures and construction delays are possible at the I-64 interchange because of roadway widening. One lane of traffic will be maintained in each direction.  The speed limit is reduced to 35 MPH in the work zone.
  • KY 55:  Lane closures and delays between Interstate 64 and Breighton Boulevard because of roadway widening and paving. 
  • KY 1399: Construction delays possible at the intersection with KY because of roadway relocation.


Collins’ boosters to launch brick program

The Collins High School Athletic Booster Club is launching a “Legacy Brick Garden” by selling commemorative messages to be engraved onto bricks already are in place at the front of the school.

Individuals or organizations may purchase bricks for $100 and have them engraved as a support mechanism for the club and the Titans’ athletic program. This campaign will be unveiled at 5-7 p.m. Thursday during Collins’ Back To School Bash.

A brick may be engraved with a student’s name to create a lasting gift or appreciation for a teacher or even to advertise a business. For more information, call 647-1160 or send an E-mail to MLCHSboosters@gmail.com.


Wright SBDM election

Wright Elementary will accept nominations to fill one vacant spot for a parent representative on its Site-Based Decision-Making Council. Nomination forms will be sent home this week. Nomination forms need to be turned in no later than Friday. Any nomination forms returned after that date will not be accepted.

All nominees will be contacted on Monday to accept or decline nomination. Elections will be from 7:15 to 8 a.m. on Aug. 22, in the school’s front office for any family member of Wright Elementary to vote.

  • Southside Elementary will have a special called meeting of its SBDM council at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the school library.


Berg to address Rotary
Michael Berg, a representative of Hometown Manor, will speak to the Shelbyville Rotary Club on Tuesday. Rotary meets at the Centenary United Methodist Church, located at 5th and Washington streets in Shelbyville. Meetings are open to the public, but there is a charge for the lunch.

The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.