News Digest: June 28, 2013

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By The Staff

Shelby’s unemployment spikes to 7.1 percent

Shelby County’s unemployment rank fell out of the state’s top 10 for May.

According to information released Tuesday by Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, Shelby County’s unemployment leaped to 7.1 percent, up more than 1 point from May (6.0) and even up from the 6.2 percent of May 2012.

That represented Shelby County’s highest rate in more than a year, but there was no information provided in the report that explained that spike.

Woodford County recorded the lowest jobless rate, at 5.8 percent. It was followed by Oldham County, 6.3 percent; Fayette County, 6.4; Ohio and Scott counties, 6.6; Anderson, Daviess and Hancock counties, 6.7; and Franklin and Jessamine counties, 6.8.

In addition to Oldham, Anderson and Franklin, among other counties surrounding Shelby, Spencer County was at 6.9 percent, Henry, 7.9, and Jefferson, 8.3.

Magoffin County recorded the state’s highest unemployment rate – 17.5 percent.

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.

NAACP changes meeting

The Shelbyville area NAACP has changed its meeting date for July because of the July 4th holiday. The meeting will be from 7 to 8 p.m. July 11 at Stratton Community Center, 215 Washington St.

A public welcome reception will be held at 6-7 that night for Carl Hilliard, the new director of Whitney M. Young Jr. Job Corps Center. For more information, contact Janice Harris, president, at 502-321-6896 or sisterjaniceharris@hotmail.com.

Tonini to head guard organization

Kentucky's Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Ed Tonini, was elected the President of the Adjutants General Association of the United States during the mid-June member conference held in Greenville, South Carolina. The Adjutants General Association of the United States is made up of  the 54 Adjutants General of the sovereign states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

The purpose of AGAUS is to ensure that the units within National Guard of the United States are organized, equipped, and postured to fulfill their responsibilities across the full spectrum of operations inherent in the National Military Strategy and the constitutions of the United States, states, and territories.

Tonini has been Kentucky adjutant general since December 2007. He has nearly four decades in uniform, much of it as an Air Guard public affairs officer.

Beware race traffic on I-71
The Kentucky State Police is advising all commercial motor vehicle traffic to avoid Interstate 71 in Gallatin County on Friday and Saturday. NASCAR will host races at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta on those days. A large traffic volume is expected in Gallatin County for the races.

An alternate route has been established for commercial motor vehicles both days to avoid congestion and delays on I-71. Trucks traveling between Louisville and Cincinnati are advised to use Interstates 64 and 75 instead.

Traffic traveling toward Louisville from Cincinnati is being advised to take I-75 to Lexington. At exit 118, merge onto I-64 west and take that to Louisville.

Traffic traveling toward Cincinnati from Louisville is being advised to take I-64 to Lexington. At exit 75, merge onto I-75 north. Continue I-75 north to Cincinnati.

Shelby County’s ongoing road projects, closures:

  • Eastbound Interstate 64: The right lane will be closed between mile points 25 and 26 because of shoulder and drainage work. Lane closure is possible weekdays from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. through mid-July.
  • 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.


New formula for grad rates

In addition to statewide changes raising the dropout age to 18, the measures used to count those who graduate from high school also are changing.  Through the end of the 2012-2013 school year, districts in Kentucky were measured using the Average Freshman Graduation Rate, or AFGR.

According to Nancy Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Education - the entity that gathers and computes the numbers for every district statewide — the AFGR does not track individual students, but instead averages the numbers for the ninth and 10th grade classes and would compare that to the number of graduates four years later.

Beginning this fall, the department will begin using what is known as the Cohort Rate. It will track individual students, starting with entrance into ninth grade and following up with their status four years later.
“Cohort is more accurate in that it tracks individual students over time,” Rodriguez told The Advocate Messenger in Danville. “At the end of four years, each student is accounted for, and the rate is more accurate.”

Another difference, one that works in the favor of those schools in high-transition areas of the state, is that the average method fails to account for local population shifts.
“If a factory closes and twenty-five students leave the district during the four-year span, then the school gets penalized through no fault of their own. If a factory opens and twenty-five students move into the district during the four year span, then the school shows a very high AFGR,” Rodriguez said. “AFGR is not overly accurate and can be affected by local move in and out.”

Shelby County’s graduation data for the 2012-13 school year has not been released.


Plan offered to reopen Kingdom

A group of business people, led by Ed Hart, said it now has the financing in place to reopen the long-shuttered Kentucky Kingdom amusement park adjacent to the state fairgrounds in Louisville.

Louisville radio station WFPL reports that a fair board spokesperson said the lease agreement is already in place. The group on Thursday presented its financing plan to the state fair board. The plan is to reopen Kentucky Kingdom in May 2014.

Hart opened the park in the 1990s but later sold it to Six Flags, which filed by bankruptcy and closed the facility four years ago, WFPL said.


Rabies clinic upcoming

The annual rabies vaccine clinics for 2013  will continue July 29 when Kresin Vet Clinic and Dr. Jessie Herman will host one from 10 a.m. until noon at the Shelby County Fairgrounds in Shelbyville.

Rabies vaccines are $5 each, and only cash will be accepted. County licenses will be available for $5 (normally $10).

All dogs must be on a leash, and cats and ferrets must be in carriers. Owners are responsible for the safe handling of their pets.


The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.