Round-Up: Sunday January 13
Here's what is making news locally and across the Commonwealth:
MAYOR CARRAN: NOT A POLITICIAN
Covington's new mayor is profiled in the Cincinnati Enquirer:
“I began to realize that our elected officials really didn’t have a handle on a lot of issues they were voting on,” she said. “I always say, there are two things that affect people on a daily basis: land use issues, and politics. Land use issues, I was already dealing with. And I decided with the politics, you have to deal with it one way or another, so I decided to run for city office in 2006.”
During her time in politics, the 67-year-old resident of Covington’s Botany Hills neighborhood has earned a reputation as a thoughtful public servant who cares deeply about her community and about improving the quality of life for its residents. She still doesn’t consider herself a politician, though.
“I started out as a community activist, and I’m still a community activist,” she said. “I’ve never seen myself as a politician. Technically I am, but I’ve never seen myself as a politician, and I don’t believe I’ve ever acted as a politician.”
Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Amanda Van Benschoten
AAA ADDS TO BRENT SPENCE TOLLS DEBATE
The nation's largest organization for motorists is asking for feedback from local members on the prospect of tolls being placed on the Brent Spence Bridge:
AAA e-mailed a survey to 70,000 members across Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky on Friday asking motorists where they stand on the $2.5 billion project, including whether they support tolls as a way to raise revenue to pay for the new bridge.
“We just want to make sure that as decisions are being made surrounding the funding of the Brent Spence Bridge, our members’ and motorists’ voices are heard,” AAA spokeswoman Cheryl Parker said. “We want to know how our members feel about the project.”
Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Jason Williams
SEE ALSO: BRENT SPENCE BRIDGE TOLLS DEBATE PITS POLITICIANS AGAINST POLITICIAN
“My guess is that’s a bit down the road,” said Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg. “I know there’s movement from some of the groups that talk about it, and Governor Beshear’s been involved, but I would suspect that is just in the preliminary stages of that conversation.”
Brent Cooper said he understood why people don’t want tolls, and, up until 2012, agreed with them. Cooper owns Covington information technology firm C-Forward and initially had concerns about the cost of tolls on his business and employees.
After five years of traveling to Washington, D.C., with other members of the chamber, though, he’s come to the conclusion the federal government won’t pay for the entire project, and he feels the bridge needs to be built as soon as possible. Cooper said traffic backup and safety concerns on the Brent Spence cost his business and customers.
“A Democratic governor and Republican senators say the exact same thing,” Cooper said. “I’ve talked to Thomas Massie and to Rand Paul. While they’re not saying tolls, they say you’ve got to come up with a match.
Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Scott Wartman
PENSION REFORM BILL COULD BE SECOND BILL IN STATE SENATE
State Senator Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown) plans to bring the bill through quickly when the General Assmebly returns to Frankfort on February 5:
Thayer, the Senate Republican floor leader, co-chaired the task force that looked into ways to stabilize the finances of the Kentucky Retirement System, which oversees retirement for city, county and state workers and state police. The group suggested changing the benefits for future hire to individual investment accounts that guarantee 4 percent interest, as well as making the full payment the state owes into the system each year, starting in fiscal year 2015. That would mean finding more than $300 million more.
More with video: cn|2/Nick Storm
SEE ALSO: Four key facts about the public pension system in Kentucky KY Center on Economic Policy
SEE ALSO: Reaction from retirees to task force recommendations Public Pension Coalition
KY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SUPPORTS INDUSTRIAL HEMP Chamber
EXPIRING OXYCONTIN PATENT CREATES WORRIES ABOUT GENERICS Courier-Journal
STATE SUPREME COURT TO HEAR INSTANT RACING CASE Courier-Journal
KENTON CO. MOM CHARGED WITH THREATENING TO BLOW UP SCHOOL Cincinnati Enquier
BABY DIES FROM DRINKING DRAIN CLEANER, METH CHARGE AGAINST FATHER DISMISSED WKYT
NKY CONGRESSMAN EXPLAINS VOTE AGAINST HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF
US Congressman Thomas Massie (R-Lewis Co.) was one of many Republicans to oppose a relief package for the eastern states hit by Hurricane Sandy last year. WFPL got a statement from Massie's office:
"With $16 trillion dollars of debt, and in the absence of a budget to guide spending, I believe that unscheduled spending should be offset by equal cuts elsewhere. This bill recklessly increases the national debt because it contains no spending offsets.
The intention of H.R. 41 was to temporarily bail out a government insurance program that has been financially insolvent for several years. Rather than simply patch the problem with an open checkbook, the bill should have included reforms to make the program solvent... either by raising premiums or, preferably, by transitioning this insurance program to the private sector."
KY SHERIFF: FEDERAL GUN LAWS WON'T APPLY IN MY COUNTY
The Jackson Co. Sheriff says he has more authority than the president there because Kentucky is a Commonwealth and should the federal government come for the guns of his people, he'll be prepared:
"I'm an elected official just like the president of the nation is, only he doesn't live in Jackson County, I do. He doesn't know these people here and what threats they live with daily, you know, I do," Peyman said.
When asked what steps he would take to keep any new federal gun regulations from being enforced in Jackson County Peyman said "We'll see when push comes to shove. It's going to have to go into the courtrooms. It's not going to be, I mean we don't want a bloodbath in our community when they come in to take guns. It's going to have to be taken care of in a court room before it gets to that point."
Full story: WKYT
HOLMES STAYS UNDEFEATED, HOLDS OFF COOPER
The Bulldogs are now 19-0 after beating Cooper 50-44 Friday:
The Bulldogs are good because they have good talent, but they’re the No. 1 team in the area because of their attention to detail and the way they do the small things. While they didn’t have their “A”-game on Friday against Cooper, they defended well enough to hold the Jags to just 44 points, took care of the ball and sank 7-of-8 free-throws in the final minutes to seal the win. While Cooper slowed the game down, and didn’t allow Holmes to get easy transition buckets or run-outs off of turnovers, the Bulldogs shared the ball on offense and found ways to score in the half-court, showing patience while working for a good shot.
Full story: NKY Fan
SCOTT GIRLS' LEADING SCORES IS SEVENTH GRADER Cincinnati Enquirer