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Round-Up: Wednesday February 27

Holmes and Scott advance in boys basketball tournaments; Private financing for Brent Spence Bridge project may not happen any time soon; Liberal group accused of sending racist tweets about Sen. McConnell's wife; 

Take a look at what's making news around Covington and around Kentucky:

PRIVATE FUNDING FOR BRIDGE PROJECT NOT LIKELY THIS SESSION

Chances are slim that a bill in Frankfort will pass allowing private companies to finance the $2.5 billion Brent Spence Bridge project:

The bill won’t likely get out of the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee this session, said Rep. Rick Rand, D-Bedford, chairman of the A&R committee.

“Probably not this session,” Rand said. “We may have a hearing on it, but I’ve not talked to the sponsor. That’s an important subject, but this late in the session, a bill that complex is not likely to move.”

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Scott Wartman

OHIO LEGISLATORS SHOW SUPPORT FOR NEW BRIDGE

Eighteen legislators from Southwest Ohio signed a letter in support of building a new bridge:

Our hope is that we can advance this bridge project in a way that achieves the shared regional goals of creating jobs now, saving taxpayers money, improving our business climate and building a more reliable and safer transportation system.

To reach these goals, we stand ready to discuss the state’s role in the various financing options that the community may wish to advance following the results of the Value for Money study. In addition, we will ask our partners in Washington to do the same as the federal government has historically played a major role in funding multistate transportation projects of regional and national significance. It is critical that our federal representatives remain strong advocates as the bridge clearly meets the significance threshold.

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer

FRANKFORT HEADLINES:

DEMOCRATS MAKE CHANGES TO PENSION OVERHAUL BILL Bluegrass Politics

BILL PERMITTING WIDER USE OF DRUG TO COMBAT HEROIN DEATHS CLEARS HOUSE PANEL Herald-Leader

SMOKING BAN & HEMP BILLS FACE UNCERTAINTY cn|2

HEMP HAS UNTAPPED MARKET IN BIO-FUELS Herald-Leader

LOW-PERFORMING SCHOOLS COULD BECOME CHARTER SCHOOLS UNDER SENATE BILL WFPL

SCHOOL SAFETY BILL ADVANCES TO SENATE Herald-Leader

HOUSE APPROVES ALCOHOL OVERHAUL BILL Herald-Leader

ELIMINATION OF CONSTABLES APPROVED BY HOUSE PANEL Bluegrass Politics

PUBLIC FINANCING FOR KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT ELECTIONS FAILS Herald-Leader

LIBERAL SUPER PAC CRITICIZED FOR "RACE-BAITING" IN REFERENCES TO MCCONNELL'S WIFE

Progress Kentucky, the Super PAC dedicated to defeating US Senator Mitch McConnell is under scrutiny for references made to the Minority Leader's Chinese wife:

In a Feb. 14 Twitter message, Progress says: "This woman has the ear of (Sen. McConnell)—she's his wife. May explain why your job moved to China!"

(snip)

"It’s not an official statement. It’s a Tweet. And we will remove it if it’s wrong," (the PAC's spokesman) says. "I follow Ashley Judd on Twitter and she removed a Tweet the other day, she Tweeted to you Phillip. People make mistakes in Tweets. It happens. Inferring that Elaine Chao is not a U.S. citizen was not our intention."

(snip)

Team Mitch campaign manager Jesse Benton called the comments "disgusting" and demanded an apology from the group.

"We just think this kind of race-baiting has absolutely no place in American politics. We think Progress Kentucky should really be ashamed of what’s been going out under their name. People should be fired and a public apology should be issued," he says. "I think everybody of good conscience in Kentucky should agree that these sort of attacks should be pushed to the side."

Full story: WFPL/Phillip M. Bailey

SEE ALSO: PAC also faces questions from FEC Politico

DOZENS OF DEAD ANIMALS FOUND IN KENTUCKY BARN

Gross:

"All the animals that were located are in various stages of decomposition, and some of them appear to have been dead for several months," said Sgt. Keith Broughton, with the Woodford County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff's deputies, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and Woodford County Animal Control officials tell us they are still collecting evidence in this case. 

An animal cruelty and neglect complaint to Woodford County Animal Control lead law enforcement to the site, where they found 16 horses, one donkey, and several chickens, cats, and dogs dead. "Several of the animals were in cages and/or in stalls. We did find one of the horses laying in the hallway of the barn. And we found several of the dogs and cats in trailers," said Sgt. Broughton. 

Full story: WKRC

HOLMES, SCOTT ADVANCE IN BOYS BASKETBALL REGIONAL TOURNAMENTS

The Holmes Bulldogs avenged its first loss of the season Tuesday night, eliminating top-ranked Newport Central Catholic in the opening round of the Ninth Region boys basketball tournament:

Holmes, ranked No. 2, survived a defensive struggle, beating No. 1 NewCath, 55-50 at Bank of Kentucky Center and advanced to a 1:30 p.m. Saturday semifinal against Cooper.

“Our defense was great,” said sophomore guard James Bolden, Holmes’ lone double-digit scorer with 22 points. “Quan Palmer stopped their guy by keeping a hand up.”

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Mark Hardin

The Scott Eagles also advanced to the semifinals in the Tenth Region, fighting off Augusta:

Scott (15-14) advances to the semifinals for the sixth time in the last seven seasons, but is not only looking for its first 10th Region championship, but will be seeking its first 10th Region championship game appearance when it plays Harrison County at 8:30 p.m. Friday. Harrison County (20-12) advanced with a 46-37 win over defending champion George Rogers Clark (9-21) in another first-round game Tuesday. Scott beat Harrison County, 83-79, on Dec. 4.

Full story (including details on Simon Kenton's victory in the Eighth Region): Cincinnati Enquirer/Richard Skinner

MORE HEADLINES:

SUCCESS BY SIX JUMP-STARTS YOUNGEST LEARNERS (STORY ABOUT BIGGS CENTER IN COVINGTON) Soapbox Cincinnati

BRITISH COMING TO TEACH BOURBON COUNTRY ABOUT SCOTCH (AND BRITAIN) WFPL

Compiled by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News

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