NEWS DIGEST: March 26, 2014

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By The Staff

Kindergarten registration

starts this evening

Shelby County Public Schools will have kindergarten registration from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and again from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 on April 22. Registration will be held at the student’s home school, and parents will need to bring 2 proofs of residence – like utility bills, mortgage or lease agreement – an official birth certificate, social security card, immunization certificate, current physical, eye exam and dental exam.

For any other questions or concerns, contact your home school or the Office of Student Services, 633-2375.

Republicans nix Rupp Arena funding

The Republican-controlled Senate did not include $65 million for the renovation of Rupp Arena and expansion of an attached convention center in its budget, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

The Senate voted 25-2 on Monday approved a two-year, $20 billion budget. Eleven Democrats opted to "pass" on the bill rather than vote it up or down.

Mayor Jim Gray said he would continue to fight for funding for the home of University of Kentucky men's basketball as the House and Senate begin negotiations on a compromise budget, probably this week.

"We are going to work as hard in the corridors of Frankfort as the Cats work on the basketball court because this is an idea whose time has come," Gray said. "This project will announce to the nation that Kentucky is open for business. It will create good jobs for the long term — jobs grown through elevating, amplifying, lifting up the Kentucky brand, the Lexington brand and the UK brand."

Gov. Steve Beshear and the Democratic-controlled House included $65 million for the project.

The General Assembly must pass a budget by early next week or risk not being able to override a governor's veto.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the Senate cut the bond money for Rupp Arena from the budget because the project doesn't seem ready to move during the next two years.

"It's not whether you're for it or against it," Stivers said. "It's whether you're ready to go. It's whether you have a plan that's been prepared and vetted."

Richie Farmer to report to federal prison

Former Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer was scheduled to report to a federal prison camp in northeastern West Virginia Tuesday to serve a 27-month sentence for abusing his public office.

Farmer pleaded guilty to two felonies in September related to excess gifts purchased for visiting agriculture commissioners during a 2008 conference that were claimed by Farmer, hotel rooms used by Farmer’s family during the conference and salaries for personal friends hired into the department who did little to no work on state time.

Farmer was originally scheduled to report to prison March 18, but a federal judge extended the date one week so Farmer could watch his son play in the Kentucky State High School Basketball Tournament.

Although U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove wrote in granting the motion that a move like this is not unusual.

Political signs are banned on state rights of way

The political campaign season is about to heat up, and with it, the inevitable emergence of campaign signs along streets, roads and highways.

But remember, signs placed on state highway rights of way won't be allowed to stay.

State highway officials say all campaign and other temporary advertising signs placed on state highway rights of way will be removed for safety reasons.

"Political signs can pose safety issues," said Kevin McClearn, a spokesperson for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. "The wires used to support them can create hazards for crews and the public if they are hit by mowers. In addition, temporary advertising signs can limit the view of oncoming traffic, especially near intersections and driveways."

According to the release, Kentucky law and cabinet policy prohibit the placement of political or other advertising signs on state rights of way, including signs attached to utility poles or fences within the area.

"We are asking candidates and their supporters to do the right thing now by removing signs placed on state property," he said. "Our crews will remove them, if required.

Right-of-way boundaries can vary by highway and location, and signs should be behind sidewalks or behind the ditch line and outside areas commonly mowed or maintained by highway crews. On four-lane highways with controlled access or limited access, no signs should be placed on the highway side of the fence line or on the fence itself, the release said.

Louisville police warning of contractor scam

Louisville Metro Police are warning against supposed contractors who bilk unsuspecting victims out of their money by promising to repair home damage caused by winter weather, but run once they’re paid.

“They make promises to return in the future and never do,” Detective Jeremy Smith with the force’s Crimes Against Seniors Unit told The Courier-Journal.

The phony contractors often prey on senior citizens they find working in their yards. They will approach their victims, talk their way into their homes and get unsuspecting people to fork over money in advance of the repairs.

On March 11, three men posing as contractors approached an elderly woman as she worked in her yard and told her they could repair cracks in her driveway with a special sealant, according to an LMPD report. Over two days, the three men conned the woman into handing over $11,000 and never returned to do the work.

The phony contractors are often hard to track because they often travel to cities around the country doing the same scam, Smith said.

Bevin to visit Shelby County Republicans

Matt Bevin, a candidate for U.S. Senate, will visit the Shelby County GOP meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Stratton Center, 215 Washington Street in Shelbyville. Bevin, a conservative Republican, has earned the endorsement of several Tea Party organizations across the state. The meeting is only open to members of the Republican Party.

City of Shelbyville cleanup

The City of Shelbyville’s Department of Public Works will have its citywide clean-up April 7-11. The cleanup is for city residents only and business pickups will not be permitted. To schedule a pickup, contact Public Works at 633-1094. Yard waste is allowed, but limbs must be no longer than 6-feet, no larger than 6-inches in diameter and in stacks no taller than 4-feet. Appliances, except microwaves, will be picked up but must have doors secured for safety reasons. Items that will not be included are standard household garbage or truck bodies, asbestos, propane containers, dead animals, chemicals, microwaves, hazardous waste or large quantities of material from building demolition or remodeling. Public Works reserves the right to leave any debris, if these stipulations are not met.

Cemetery clean-up and training

Friends of Grove Hill will be working at the cemetery April 12-13 and invite newcomers to join them at the chapel off Old Mount Eden Road (end of South Third Street). There will be a brief training inside the chapel April 12 at 9 a.m., at which time previously trained volunteers can begin cleaning or repairing identified stones. A donation to Friends of Grove Hill will be appreciated. “Bring your own lunch for a picnic on Saturday,” said Duanne Puckett, one of the Friends. “On Sunday, work begins at 1:30 p.m. We quit both days about 4 p.m. or whenever we are tired. Our annual efforts keep Grove Hill Cemetery’s historic monuments preserved for future generations.”

SBDM meetings

  • Shelby County High Schools SBDM will meet at 4 p.m. April 17 for its regular monthly meeting in the main office conference room.
  • Collins High School’s SBDM will meet at 4 p.m. April 16 for its regular monthly meeting in the conference room. The council set its schedule to meet on the third Wednesday of each month through June 18.

Road repairs, delays

  • Interstate 64:Lane closures and delays are possible at any time on Interstate 64 from the Welcome Center to half-mile east of KY 55 (mile points 27.9 to 32.8) because of roadway widening.
  • 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.