News Digest, Aug. 23, 2013

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By The Staff

Lane closures on KY 55, KY 395 during resurfacing

Get ready for some lane closures on a couple of Shelby County roads – and that’s not including Interstate 64.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet issued an alert that lanes will be closed on KY 55 during a resurfacing project between Old Brunerstown Road and U.S. 60. Work began Thursday night with contract crews installing traffic loop detectors on KY 55 at the intersections with Isaac Shelby Drive, KY 2862 (Everett Hall Road) and Brooks Industrial Road. Left turn lane closures at these intersections are possible in the evenings from 7 p.m. until 6:30 a.m. the following morning.

Milling and resurfacing of KY 55 is scheduled after the Labor Day holiday weekend.  This work will be performed in the evening and overnight hours. Asphalt paving and roadway striping is currently scheduled to be completed in mid-September.
Also, KY 395 will be resurfaced from U.S. 60 for .6 of a mile south of this intersection towards I-64. This work will take place on weekdays starting Monday.

Louisville Paving was awarded the contract for these projects for $405,166.
The actual starting date and duration of this work may be adjusted if inclement weather or other unforeseen delays occur. You can dial 511 or visit 511.ky.gov for the latest in traffic and travel information.

Other road projects under way:

  • I-64:Overnight delays and lane closures are possible between Exit 28 and just east of Exit 32 to accommodate work on the road widening project.
  • 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.

Shelby’s unemployment leaps

Shelby County’s unemployment leaped to 8.2 percent in July, well above the rate for June (7.5) and even much higher than that of July 2012 (6.8).

Shelby County’s unemployment had for the past few months been among the 10 best in the state, but the huge leap pushed it well behind Woodford County, which continues to have the state’s lowest rate (5.8 percent).

Shelby was one of 42 counties that saw unemployment rise, and 72 counties saw a year-over-year decrease, according to the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Following Woodford County with the best rates were Fayette County, 6.4 percent; Oldham County, 6.5; Scott County, 6.6; Carlisle County, 6.7;; Jessamine and Simpson counties, 6.8; Daviess and Franklin counties, 6.9; and Boone, Hancock and Owen counties, 7.

Harlan County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate – 17.2 percent.

Among other counties surrounding Shelby, Anderson County was at 7.1 percent, Spencer at 8.4 percent, Henry at 8.5, and Jefferson at 8.6. 
Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working. Civilian labor force statistics include non-military workers and unemployed Kentuckians who are actively seeking work. They do not include unemployed Kentuckians who have not looked for employment within the past four weeks. The statistics in this news release are not seasonally adjusted because of the small sample size for each county. The data should only be compared to the same month in previous years.

Big ham brings $350,000

Yum! Brands Foundation, based in Louisville, offered up $350,000 Thursday for the 13.3-pound ham produced by Harper’s Country Hams of Clinton during Kentucky Farm Bureau’s 50th annual Country Ham Breakfast & Auction. That is the equivalent of approximately $26,315 per pound of ham.

“For us, it is very, very important as a company and as a foundation that we give back to the communities where we live and work,” said Angela Osting, manager of Yum! Foundation & Global Community Investment, in a press release announcing the auction’s results.

Nearly 1,600 people gathered for KFB’s country ham Breakfast and auction in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center. Local, state and national elected officials spoke before the auction about current agricultural and political conditions in Kentucky and across the nation.

Osting announced that the donation from the Yum! Brands Foundation would be given to the Fund for the Arts. She also indicated that the grand champion ham would go to Dare to Care.

The ham has grown exponentially in recent years. The average price of the auctioned ham over the last 10 years is now nearly $545,000.

Riner decries harassment complaint
Shelbyville native and state Rep. Tom Riner (D-Louisville) took to the house chambers on Wednesday to reveal two ethics complaints filed by female legislative aides accusing Rep. John A. Arnold Jr (D-Sturgis) of sexual harassment.

Riner gave a forceful speech against sexual harassment on the House floor Wednesday, shortly after Louisville public radio station WFPL reported that veteran state employees Cassaundra Cooper and Yolanda Costner had filed complaints against Arnold on Friday with the Legislative Ethics Commission. The station said both women agreed to be identified.
The women alleged that Arnold inappropriately touched them and made lewd and vulgar comments in numerous incidents over several years, according to WFPL and The Herald-Leader of Lexington. The report said the women brought their allegations to members of the Legislative Research Commission, high-ranking Democratic representatives and a member of the Kentucky State Police.
The floor speech by Riner caught many House members by surprise. They listened attentively and several, particularly women lawmakers, gave him a standing ovation.
Arnold, who turns 69 Friday, listened to Riner's speech but left from a side door of the House chamber after the House adjourned and did not respond to questions. Arnold is a retired chiropractor and farmer and has been a member of the House since 1995.

The two women declined to comment and referred questions to their Louisville attorney, Thomas Clay. Clay did not immediately respond to calls Wednesday.
Riner, a Baptist minister who has been in the House since 1982, never mentioned Arnold by name in his floor speech but said legislators have the right to know information that would help them address sexual harassment.
"Whether you hit someone — whether on the buttocks or wherever — it's still assault," he said.

McCardwell to address Rotary

Phyllis McCardwell, English as a second language supervisor at Shelby County Adult Education, will speak to the Shelbyville Rotary Club on Tuesday. Rotary meets at the Centenary United Methodist Church on the corner of Washington and 5th streets in Shelbyville. Meetings are open to the public, but there is a charge for the meal.


The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.