News Digest: July 26, 2013

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By The Staff

Shelby’s unemployment

rises, remains among best

Shelby County’s unemployment took bit of a bigger bounce up in June, growing by .4 of a percent to 7.5 percent, part of a statewide climb, the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet reported.

Shelby County moved up for the second consecutive month and was back above 2012. The rating for May was 7.1 percent, and in June 2012 it was 6.9.

But that rate remained tied for the 10th best in the state, because 88 counties saw increases.

Woodford County recording the lowest jobless rate, 6.5 percent, and was followed by Boone and Oldham, 6.9 each; Fayette and Scott, 7.1 each; Anderson, 7.3; Kenton and Simpson, 7.4 percent each; and Shelby was tied with Campbell, Hancock, La Rue and Spencer.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate, at 18.5.

Among other counties around Shelby, Franklin was at 7.6 percent, Henry at 8.3 and Jefferson at 8.9.

Unemployment statistics are based on estimates and are compiled to measure trends rather than actually to count people working.

OVEC earns $50,800 grant
The Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative’s Community Early Childhood Council received a $50,800 boost this week as part of its share in nearly $1.2 million for 58 Community Early Childhood Councils in 91 Kentucky counties to promote school readiness for children. The grant will help students in Shelby and neighboring counties.

OVEC’s grant will focus on preparing children birth to 5 years for a successful transition into kindergarten. They will work closely with private child care providers in each county as well as with the public preschool programs and Head Start programs.

A lending library will be established in each county with screening and instructional materials designed for young children. Professional learning experiences for child care providers and teaching staff will be provided along with parent and community awareness training of what is needed to prepare children for a positive school experience.

OVEC in Shelby County will interconnect with the school district’s work in one of the nation’s largest District-Race to the Top grants. Shelby County is one of 22 Kentucky school districts that will launch a 4-year effort to close the Kindergarten readiness gap as part of Race to the Top this fall.

Cooler and wetter

The summer of 2013 is continuing a recent pattern of weather extremes, so far wetter and cooler than 2012, said Stuart Foster, director of the Kentucky Climate Center and the Kentucky Mesonet at Western Kentucky University.

Last summer, a dry and hot June and early July brought extreme drought conditions to parts of western Kentucky. The drought came one year after heavy rainfall caused widespread flooding across the region in April and May 2011.

Since 1895, 2011 ranks as the wettest year in Kentucky with an average of 63.12 inches of precipitation across the state, which is 14.22 inches above normal, based on data from the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. The 2012 total of 42.98 inches ranked as 91st in the past 118 years, according to a news release from WKU.

The statewide precipitation average for 2013 based on the Kentucky Mesonet is running about 10 inches above 2012’s average year-to-date, with June and July’s rainfall above last year’s average, he said. The statewide average in June 2013 was 6.04 inches compared to 1.13 in 2012, while the July 2013 average (through July 23) was 5.84 compared to 5.26 in 2012.

NAACP to award scholarships

The Shelbyville Area NAACP Branch will award college scholarships at 6 p.m. Thursday at Stratton Center. The branch will give two scholarships this year in the amount of $250 each. A reception will be held in honor of the two student recipients and is open to the public. The general membership meeting will follow the reception at 7 p.m.

Drug improvement

One year after legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse took effect, Gov. Steve Beshear is crediting the bill with closing non-compliant pain management clinics and reducing the number of prescriptions for heavily-abused controlled substances. Plus, for the first time in a decade, the number of deaths blamed on prescription overdoses has declined, according to a state news release.
Kentucky overdose deaths declined in 2012, according to a report issued this week by the Office of Drug Control Policy. Of the 1,004 overdose fatalities in 2012, 888 were found to be unintentional, 59 were suicides and 57 remain undetermined, according to the report. In 2011, there were 1,023 overdose deaths in Kentucky. 

Summer reading reminder

Parents of students in first through sixth grades at Shelby County Public Schools are reminded that each student left last school year with a book that will be used in the first reading unit to be taught in the upcoming school year.

Those books are: first grade – Biscuit Goes to School; second grade – Chrysanthemum; third grade – A Chair for my Mother; fourth grade – Hotel for Dogs; fifth grade – Frindle; and sixth grade – My Life in Dog Years.

Students are expected to have read the appropriate books by the start of school on Aug. 7.

Road projects and closures

  •  I-64:Lane closures and delays are possible between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Friday, between the Welcome Center and a half-mile east of KY 55 because of roadway widening. On Saturdays the hours are 10 p.m.-5 a.m. The eastbound exit to KY 55 South (Exit 32A) is closed due to ramp construction. Motorists can use Exit 32B to access both KY 55 North and South.
  • 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.


The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.