News Digest: March 1, 2013

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By The Staff

New power substation

doesn’t need PSC approval


The Eastern Kentucky Power Cooperative’s 69-kilovolt lines and power substation, planned for construction between the substation on Brunerstown Road near Brighton Circle and in the vicinity of Exit 28 on Interstate 64 in Simpsonville, does not need approval from the Public Service Commission.

“Unless it’s just a huge project, it wouldn’t come up for review by the PSC,” said Andrew Melnykovych, public information officer for the commission. “And the reason for that is, if it doesn’t affect the utilities rates or the bottom line, then it falls under the Ordinance Cause of Business exception.

Melnykovych said that if the lines were larger, 120-kilovolt or higher, the PSC would be involved with site approval, but not on 69-kilovolt lines.

He also noted that the PSC would not become involved if a right-away issue came down to the utility company needing to exercise its right of eminent domain.

“We don’t have jurisdiction over that,” he said. “If there is a problem there, it could go directly to the courts, which would be the circuit court in the county where the acquisition is taking place.”


Mooneyhan in hall of fame

Shelbyville resident Leon Mooneyhan is one of four members of the first class of the Franklin-Simpson High School Hall of Fame.

Mooneyhan, who heads the Ohio Valley Educational Cooperative and formerly was superintendent of Shelby County Public Schools, joined in the class by PGA golfer Kenny Perry, Franklin Mayor Ronnie Clark and Dr. David Patterson, the chief resident of the George Washington University Internal Medicine unit.

An induction ceremony was conducted Thursday afternoon.

Mooneyhan graduated from Franklin-Simpson in 1965 and received a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College. He served as the director of vocational education and assistant superintendent for Simpson County Schools before becoming superintendent in Fulton County and Shelby County.

“Franklin-Simpson High School and the Simpson County Schools have a rich history, and many alumni have distinguished themselves, as well as many others who have made significant contributions to our school system,” said Simpson County Superintendent Jim Flynn, formerly a principal at Shelby County High School.


Rotary speech contest is Saturday

The Shelbyville Rotary Club announces its annual high school speech contest. The theme for the contest is “Peace Through Service.” All interested high school students in Shelby County are encouraged to talk with their speech teachers or English teachers to secure additional information about the contest. Material regarding the contest has been delivered to all county high schools.

Competition will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at First Christian Church in Shelbyville. There are cash prizes of $300 for first place, $200 for second and $100 for third. Plus the winner will compete for sectional, regional and district prizes ranging up to $2,200.

The speech must address the topic and be 5 to 8 minutes in duration. No notes are allowed. Judges will consider delivery, originality and content.

For more information, contact J. Howard Griffith at 633-2763.


Special districts bill review

A bill aimed at improving oversight of special taxing districts may be amended to give local fiscal courts more authority over districts’ tax rates and budgets.

The Senate State and Local Government Committee discussed House Bill 1, sponsored by House Speaker Greg Stumbo and based on recommendations from a sweeping audit by Auditor Adam Edelen, for more than 30 minutes Wednesday. But it did not come to a vote because Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer is drafting a committee substitute.

The bill would create an online registry for Kentucky’s more than 1,200 special taxing districts, which spend $2.7 billion per year and hold another $1.3 billion in reserves, in the Department for Local Government.

HB 1 would also target noncompliant taxing districts for a state audit, modernize laws governing taxing districts and mandate they operate under an ethics code.
Thayer said he supports efforts to improve transparency in special taxing districts, but HB 1 does not go far enough. He is working on an amendment that would give fiscal courts the authority to approve proposed tax increases by the districts or the districts’ budgets, he said.
“I think there needs to be more oversight by elected officials, and I’m trying to figure out a way forward on that before this bill moves to a committee vote and perhaps to the floor in the Senate,” Thayer told The State Journal.

“I’m also troubled by the centralization of power and influence for special districts with the Department for Local Government.”
Edelen said giving fiscal courts authority over special taxing districts’ tax rates and budgets would “essentially double the size of county government.”

Jailing of children declines

The number of children jailed in Kentucky decreased 21 percent from 1997 to 2010, but Kentucky is still confining too many youths who aren't a risk to the public, an official from Kentucky Youth Advocates said in a release Wednesday.
Kentucky was below the national average for youths who were incarcerated in 2010, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a Maryland-based private charitable foundation dedicated to helping disadvantaged children.
In 1997, Kentucky had 1,080 youths in confinement (a rate of 235 per 100,000 ages 10 to 17) compared with 852 in confinement (a rate of 186 per 100,000) in 2010, the report said.
Nationally, there were 105,055 youths in confinement in 1997 (a rate of 356 per 100,000 ages 10 to 17) compared with 70,792 in confinement (a rate of 225 per 100,000) in 2010.
In 2010, Kentucky had the 18th-lowest rate in the nation of jailing children, the Kentucky Youth Advocate's news release said. Tara Grieshop-Goodwin, chief policy officer at Kentucky Youth Advocates, praised Kentucky juvenile justice officials for reducing the number of children incarcerated, but she said there is more work to be done.


Kindergarten registration set

Kindergarten Registration and Screening for Shelby County Public Schools will be March 27 from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and again April 17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the six elementary schools. Parents should bring their child for an assessment while they complete required paperwork.

To enroll in Kindergarten, the child must be 5 years of age on or before Oct. 1 as verified by a state-certified birth certificate.

Shelby County Public Schools’ Kindergarten Program focuses on building learning skills in a climate that enhances each child and working closely with families to meet the academic and social needs.

Certain documents that are needed for registration include state-certified birth certificate, child’s social security card, current immunization records on Kentucky form, physical exam, eye exam, dental exam, proof of residence and student registration form.

Proof of current immunizations (vaccines) is required by the Kentucky State Department of Health is required to be presented at the time of registration. The registration process is not complete until all immunizations are current. 

Proof of residency is required at the time of new student registration. {roof of residence is the child’s home address verified with a copy of a current utility bill. Two proofs of residence are needed. A parent/guardian driver’s license will not be accepted.

Bus transportation is available for all students as well as breakfast and lunch.

Shelby County elementary schools operate on a regular schedule beginning Aug. 7. The regular school day is 7:40 a.m. to 2:25 p.m.

If you have questions, contact 633-2375.


Community grant deadline set

The Shelby County Community Foundation Partnership Grants Committee has announced that all grant applications for 2013 must be submitted no later than June 28.

Organizations that qualify for grants  are 501 (3) non-profits, Ecumenical religious organizations (two or more different denominations), and governmental organizations.  

Application forms can be downloaded from the Foundation Website at shelbyccf.org.


I-64 lane closures possible

Lane closures and delays are possible on Interstate 64 from the Welcome Center to a half-mile east of KY 55 because of the roadway-widening project. Lane closures are scheduled Sunday through Friday from 7 each evening until 5 the following morning and on Saturdays from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. Sunday. The eastbound exit to KY 55 South (Exit 32A) is closed for several months because of ramp construction. Motorists can use Exit 32B to access both KY 55 North and South. 


The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.