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New Veechdale Road now open for traffic
The new Veechdale Road in Simpsonville opened as scheduled on Sunday, giving motorists a bird’s eye view of the outlet mall under construction.
KY 1399 had been closed since Thursday as Kentucky Transportation Cabinet contractors finished striping and other touches to the new thoroughfare, which is about a half-mile south of its former location and around and through the Outlet Shoppes of Louisville, which is being constructed there by Horizon Group Properties.
The 374,000-square-foot outlet mall is scheduled to open in late summer of 2014, and five of its nine buildings are under way. The relocation of the road is a key step in advancing that construction.
The state will continue with its widening of KY 1848 (Buck Creek Road) from south of the new Veechdale Road intersection north across Interstate 64 to past the Shelby County Flea Market. Eventually, that widening will extend about another mile to U.S. 60.
Lanus reappointed to board
Marty Lanus, a public relations specialist from Shelbyville, has been reappointed to the state Juvenile Justice Advisory Board by Gov. Steve Beshear. She will be designated to represent parents. Lanus’ new term will expire on Sept. 15, 2017.
State system recognized
Kentucky's energy-saving computer software system, which has saved the state nearly $3 million since its implementation in 43 state buildings two years ago, has been recognized again. The Commonwealth Energy Management Control System – known as CEMCS – was featured by the National Association of Chief State Administrators as a case study at its leadership conference, and the Association of Energy Engineers chose CEMCS as the 2013 National Project of the Year.
CEMCS is an enterprise software system designed to monitor, analyze, control, and optimize energy use. Since being piloted in 2011 in 43 state buildings at 23 sites across the state, CEMCS has saved approximately $2.85 million for the state. An additional 11 buildings, representing 1.5 million additional square feet of space, were added to the system in early 2013, according to a state news release.
Kentucky is the only state to have such a system and is poised to expand its reach to more state-owned facilities over the next biennium.
Hardin church shows sign
Near the intersection of KY 86 and KY 1375 in rural Hardin County sits a large piece of wood listing the Ten Commandments. Just a few feet away, a marquee reads “Bring our lawnmower back.” Someone broke Commandment No. 8: Thou shalt not steal.
A white riding lawnmower was taken from beside a building that once housed a family and served as a worship space, until a fire May 29, for the small congregation of Franklin Crossroads United Christian Church. The sign in front of the charred building is meant to spur the recovery effort.
Scholarships for RX drugs victims
The chances of two Kentucky high school seniors who've seen their lives impacted by prescription drug abuse going to college just got better. That's thanks to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, some professional organizations and donations from individuals. Conway on Monday announced two $1,500 college scholarships will be available.
"The toll that the scourge of prescription painkiller abuse has taken on Kentucky families is alarming, and I refuse to lose another generation to this addiction. This money will help two young people get a fresh start and a chance at completing their college education," Conway said in a state news release.
The scholarships are in memory of 19-year-old Sarah Shay and 24-year-old Michael Donta. Shay, of Morehead, died of a prescription drug overdose in 2006. Donta, of Ashland, lost his battle with prescription painkiller abuse in 2010. Sarah and Michael's parents, Dr. Karen Shay and Mike Donta, now travel with Conway across the state as part of his Keep Kentucky Kids Safe initiative to warn middle and high school students about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
Completed scholarship applications must be submitted by Jan. 15. Scholarship applications and eligibility requirements are available at http://ag.ky.gov/rxabuse.
Group pushes for smoking ban
Northern Kentucky District Board of Health has endorsed a statewide smoking ban for the first time. The 32-member board, which represents Boone, Campbell, Grant and Kenton counties, voted to support the ban at its Sept. 11 meeting after Dr. Lynne Saddler, director of the Northern Kentucky Health Department, presented evidence about the dangers of second-hand smoke.
The board endorsed Smoke-Free Kentucky’s efforts for a comprehensive state law that would prohibit smoking in all worksites, including bars and restaurants. The board also authorized the health department staff to promote Smoke-Free Kentucky and its work in Northern Kentucky.
Saddler noted the surgeon general found there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. “The only way to fully protect people from exposure to secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking in indoor spaces,” she told the Kentucky Enquirer.
Road work, projects
The Kentucky Press News Service contributed to this report.