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NEWS DIGEST: Jan. 8, 2014

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By The Staff

Multi-Purpose expands heating assistant effort

Multi-Purpose Community Action Agency, Inc. begins Monday to operate the “crisis” portion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program is operated on a first-come, first-serve basis and will continue until March 31 or until all of the agency’s federal funds are exhausted.

LIHEAP assists households that are in a home heating crisis. Last year more than 363 residents of Shelby County received financial assistance and emergency services from LIHEAP’s crisis component.

A household is considered to be in a home heating crisis situation when it is within four  days of running out of fuel if bulk fuel (coal, fuel oil, propane, kerosene, or wood) is the heat source, the household has received a past due/disconnect notice if natural gas or electric is the heat source, or the household’s home heating costs are included as an undesignated portion of the rent, and the household has received an eviction notice for non-payment of rent from the landlord.

Pre-Paid Electric customers are eligible to receive LIHEAP assistance if they certify that they have 10 days or less of pre-paid electric remaining.          

Applications will be taken at 1145 Washington St. in Shelbyville, between 9 a.m. an 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

 

Free smoking cessation course

Jewish Hospital Shelbyville is again offering a free community Smoking Cessation class, with weekly classes 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays, beginning Jan. 15. This 12-week class will conclude in early April.

A recent assessment of Shelby County indicated that 25 percent of adults continue to use tobacco products. Smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 2 to 4 times, stroke by 2 to 4 times and lung cancer by 13 to 23 times.

Smoking is responsible for approximately one in five deaths in the U.S.

Participants will discuss a variety of science-based, proven methods to smoking cessation, which include education, skills training and social support. Relapse prevention and support is also free after the class has concluded.  For more information or to register for the program, contact Jackie Herrell, RN, facilitator at 647-4021.

“Despite the dangers of smoking, getting people to quit is no easy task,” Herrell said in a release announcing the class. That’s why it’s important to reach out for help.  Take your first step to quit by calling to register for the class.”

There is no charge for the classes, but participants are responsible for the purchase of any nicotine-replacement products which are suggested in the program.

 

Flu activity increases

Kentucky Department for Public Health officials reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week that the influenza activity level in the state has increased from regional to widespread.

Widespread activity is the highest level of flu activity, which indicates increased flu-like activity or flu outbreaks in at least half of the regions in the state. The activity levels for states are tracked weekly as part of the CDC’s national flu surveillance system.

"With current widespread flu activity being reported in Kentucky and across much of the nation, now is a good time to protect yourself and your family by getting vaccinated for flu," Dr. Stephanie Mayfield, commissioner of DPH, said in a news release. “We are strongly urging anyone who hasn’t received a flu vaccine, particularly those at high risk for complications related to the flu, to check with their health care provider, local health department or pharmacy about vaccine availability.”

The flu season can begin as early as October, which is when Kentucky reported its first cases this year, and last through May. Peak activity often comes in the early months of the year. Vaccination can be given any time during the flu season, and there is a plentiful vaccine supply this season.

State officials say the best way to protect against the flu is to receive a flu vaccination. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends flu vaccine for all individuals 6 months of age and older.

Kentuckians should receive a new flu vaccination each season for optimal protection. Influenza strains currently circulating most widely in Kentucky appear to be covered by this season’s vaccine, according to officials.

During the current flu season, CDC has received a number of reports of severe respiratory illness among young and middle-aged adults infected with the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic strain, which first emerged in 2009. Hospitalizations and some fatalities have been reported. During the H1N1 pandemic, children and young adults tended to experience more serious illness, compared to older adults, although severe illness was seen in all age groups.
 

Citizens academy canceled

Because of lack of participation, the Kentucky State Police Post 12 Citizens Police Academy has been cancelled. A new date will be announced in the spring.

School planning committee to meet

The Shelby County School Board’s Local Planning Committee has set its next meeting for 6 p.m. Monday at the SCPS central office on Main Street in Shelbyville. The meeting had been announced for Monday, but forecasts of extremely cold weather have caused the delay.

 

SBDM council meetings

  • Heritage Elementary’s Site-Based Decision-Making Council will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday for its regular monthly meeting in the conference room.
  • Wright Elementary’s SBDM will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday for its regular monthly meeting in the media center and at 4 p.m. on Feb. 11.
  • Collins High School’s SBDM will meet at 4 p.m. Wednesday for regular monthly meetings in the conference room.

 

Roadwork, closings:

  • Interstate 64:Lane closures and delays are possible from the Welcome Center to half-mile east of KY 55 (mile points 27.9 to 32.8) because of roadway widening. Lane closures are possible Sunday through Friday from 7 p.m. each evening until 5 the following morning and on Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Sundays. A 12-foot width restriction is in place for the eastbound lanes of I-64 in this work zone.
  • KY 1848:Shoulder closures and construction delays possible at the I-64 interchange (mile points 4.6 to 6.4) 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.

 

The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.