NEWS DIGEST: July 2, 2014

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Gov. Beshear awards $1.2 million

for early childhood education

Gov. Steve Beshear Tuesday announced more than $1 million in grants to be awarded to 64 Community Early Childhood Councils covering 88 Kentucky counties to promote school readiness for children. The announcement is part of the Governor’s continued commitment to improving early childhood outcomes for Kentucky’s youngest citizens.

OVEC – which serves Shelby and 12 other area school districts – received $60,180.

“It is imperative to the future of Kentucky that our children arrive at kindergarten ready to learn and succeed,” Gov. Beshear said. “That is why we must engage everyone, from lawmakers to families, in making sure all children in the commonwealth get the best possible start in life.”

CECCs work to develop community-level strategies for improving school readiness and early childhood outcomes. These councils are comprised of community volunteers from local school districts, public health departments, childcare providers, Head Start, local libraries, parents and interest groups.


Gays have right to marry in Kentucky, judge rules

A federal judge Tuesday ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry in Kentucky.

“In America, even sincere and long-held religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II wrote to invalidate Kentucky's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Heyburn in February had ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages performed in other states, The Courier-Journal reported.

Heyburn upheld the right to marry today, but put his ruling on hold pending a decision by a higher court. Heyburn rejected the only justification offered by lawyers for Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear — that traditional marriages contribute to a stable birth rate and the state's long-term economic stability.

“These arguments are not those of serious people,” he said.

Heyburn held that the ban on gay marriage within Kentucky violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law and that there is “no conceivable legitimate purpose for it.”

He held that the state's 2004 constitutional amendment and a similar statute enacted in 1998 deny gay couples lower income and estate taxes; leave from work under the Family and Medical Leave Act, family insurance coverage; and the ability to adopt children as a couple.

“Perhaps most importantly,” he added, the Kentucky law denies same-sex couples the "intangible and emotional benefits of civil marriage.”

Heyburn stayed the ruling until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides gay-marriage cases from Kentucky and three other states. Oral arguments are scheduled for Aug. 6.

The ruling continues an unbroken string of decisions in which federal judges have struck down rules prohibiting gay marriage, which is now legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia.


State property tax rate remains flat

The Kentucky Department of Revenue has set the 2014 State Real Property Tax Rate at 12.2 cents per $100 of assessed value. Kentucky Revised Statute 132.020 requires the Department of Revenue to set the real property rate no later than July 1 of each year.

This rate is based on the revenue generated from the increase in taxable real property assessments from 2013 to 2014. If the revenue increase is more than four percent after the exclusion of new property added to the tax roll during 2014, then the prior year rate must be reduced.  Because the assessment increase for 2014 is estimated at 1.57 percent, the state rate will remain the same as the 2013 rate, 12.2 cents per $100 of assessed value.

All of the revenue generated from the state property tax rate will go into the state’s General Fund.


Amazon looking to hire 500 in Shepherdsville

Amazon is looking to hire more than 500 full-time workers at its fulfillment centers in Shepherdsville, the company announced Monday.

Applications are being taken at amazonfulfillmentcareers.com where fulfillment associate jobs are listed as paying $11 per hour. Employees are eligible for health insurance and a 401(k) with 50 percent match right away.

Workers may be required to receive products using radio frequency scanners, relocate products using forklifts, pallet jacks and walkie-riders, according to the job posting. Other duties may include picking customer orders on all levels of a multi-level mezzanine, packing and shipping orders.


Squire Boone Day will be Oct. 4

Squire Boone Day will be from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Oct 4 2014 at Clear Creek Park.

The Squire Boone Foundation is still searching for sponsors for this year’s event, which will feature rising country music star and Taylorsville native J.D. Shelbourne. Booth space will be available for $25, and tickets will be $10. The foundation will also sponsor a Little Miss and Mr. Squire Boone contest and a Miss Squire Boone. Winners will be VIPs at all future events.

For more information about becoming a sponsor or entering a pageant, please call 502-220-9542.


Art and Author Fest

The Shelbyville Horse Show Jubilee is looking for participants for the Art and Author Fest from 4 to 8:30 p.m. on July 26. The event will give artists and authors a chance to sell arts, crafts and books and interact with the public during the Jubilee. For more information or to register for the event, contact Cheryl Van Stockum at cheryljaye@mac.com.


Road repairs, delays

  • Interstate 64:  Lane closures and delays possible from the Welcome Center to ½mile east of KY 55 (mile points 27.9 to 32.8) due to roadway widening.  Lane closures are always possible Sunday - Friday from 7:00 p.m. each evening until 5:00 a.m. the following morning and on Saturdays from 10:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. the following morning.
  • 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.