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Round-Up: Thursday March 21

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

SEN. PAUL SUGGESTS SOLUTION FOR BRENT SPENCE FUNDING

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul suggests taking money from foreign aid and energy to fund the Brent Spence Bridge project:

The Kentucky Republican plans to file an amendment to the federal budget that would redirect roughly $15 billion in foreign aid and energy funding into a new transportation fund for the replacement of bridges.

“The bridge in Northern Kentucky is as old as I am,” Paul, 50, told Northern Kentucky business leaders during a luncheon Wednesday in Washington. “And the Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville is as old as I am. So we need to have money for these things.”

Because of the federal earmark ban, the Brent Spence Bridge isn’t specifically mentioned in the bill. But the bridge would be eligible for funding if Paul’s plan become law.

That’s a big “if”:

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Amanda Van Benschoten

SEE ALSO: Five reasons Rand Paul should be taken seriously Politico

NKY CONGRESSMAN MASSIE VOTES AGAINST "RYAN BUDGET", EMBRACES "MR. NO" MONIKER

Congressman Thomas Massie, the Republican who represents Northern Kentucky, voted against the Ryan Budget Thursday in DC, issuing this statement:

“The federal government’s spending is out of control, and this plan actually increases spending,” said Rep. Massie. “Paul Ryan's proposed House budget would increase government spending at nearly twice the rate of inflation. Our country is deep in debt, and it is irresponsible to increase spending at this rate.”

The U.S. government is currently projected to spend $46 trillion over the next decade, while under the Ryan budget plan it would spend about  $41 trillion. The plan preserves the tax increase from this year’s fiscal cliff deal, and also leaves in place the Obamacare tax revenues. The Ryan budget proposal also adds over $2.5 trillion of debt before it balances. 

“I came to Washington to reduce the excessive spending of government, not to increase it,” Massie continued.

“Congress has the power of the purse but refuses to spend responsibly. In the past three weeks, House members voted to continue funding Obamacare, and voted for three separate spending bills that will increase our national debt. If Congressmen would just vote according to their campaign promises, we could fix the spending problem before it's too late.”

H.Con.Res.25 passed the House by a vote of 221 to 207.

Meanwhile, Massie is not shying away from his new moniker of "Mr. No":

“I’m OK with it, because most of what we’re voting on is not constitutional,” Massie said. “So I’m comfortable with all of the ‘no’ votes I’ve cast.”

His supporters say he’s fulfilling his campaign promises to cut spending and challenge leadership of both parties. Opponents say he’s alienated himself, and by extension this area, in Congress.

Having his party in the majority can sometimes make his votes harder to cast, Massie said.

“It is easy to be conservative when you are in the minority, is what I’ve heard,” Massie said.

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Scott Wartman

ATTORNEY STAN CHESLEY DISBARRED BY KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT

Superstar attorney Stan Chesley, a legend in class-action lawsuits, can no longer practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

The disbarment is the result of eight counts to professional misconduct, the opinion issued Thursday states.

The justices said that Chesley knew that his colleagues were taking about half of a $200 million settlement for people sickened by the diet drug fen-phen. The settlement was reached more than a decade ago in Boone County.

Chesley’s share was about $20 million, a figure Chesley's lawyers said was not excessive for a lawyer in the “league” of Chesley.

Since Kentucky has a reciprocal agreement with Ohio, Chesley could lose his law license in the Buckeye State.

Full story: Cincinnati Enquirer/Brenna Kelly & Jim Hannah

HEADLINES:

VILLA HILLS CITY COUNCIL MEETING IMPLODES OVER POLICE ISSUE WCPO

AN INTERVIEW WITH CVG AIRPORT BOARD CHAIRMAN Cincinnati Enquirer

NKU NAMES NEW DEAN FOR CHASE LAW SCHOOL The Northerner

OWNER OF KY CLINIC CHARGED WITH HEALTH CARE FRAUD Herald-Leader

COURT BACKS $1.67 MILLION FINE AGAINST KY COAL MINE Courier-Journal

LINK BETWEEN COAL & CANCER STUDIED IN EASTERN KY Courier-Journal

MINI NUCLEAR PLANTS, BIO-FUELS POSSIBLE FUTURE FOR E. KY cn|2

POLL: KENTUCKY OBLIVIOUS TO DRUG SITUATION Cincinnati Enquirer

BILL CLINTON AND DEMOCRATS HAVE BACK-UP PLAN FOR ASHLEY JUDD

If actress Ashley Judd chooses not to challenge Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) next year, President Bill Clinton and the Democrats have a back-up plan:

With fears growing in some Democratic quarters over Judd’s potential candidacy, some prominent Democrats in the Bluegrass State are beginning to set their sights on 34-year-old Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Kentucky secretary of state. Among Grimes’s attributes: She lacks political baggage since she’s served barely a year in office, and she hails from a well-connected family influential in Kentucky Democratic politics. But it’s not at all certain if she’ll jump into the race.

Grimes does have the Clintons in her corner. Earlier this month, the former president — a longtime friend of Grimes’s father — privately urged the young secretary of state to mount a Senate bid while assuring Grimes that both he and his wife, Hillary, would get behind her should she decide to take on the powerful Senate GOP leader, according to several sources familiar with the matter.

Full story: Politico

MEANWHILE, a potential challenger in a Republican primary for McConnell is reaching out to the tea party WFPL

SEE ALSO: One considered a possible Democratic candidate to challenge McConnell, Matthew Barzun has been appointed by President Barack Obama to be US Ambassador to the royal court of the United Kingdom CBS News

SEE ALSO: Pros & Cons for potential McConnell challengers WFPL

THE LATEST ON THE INDUSTRIAL HEMP DEBATE IN FRANKFORT:

COMPROMISE ON HEMP BILL IN THE WORKS cn|2

NEGOTIATIONS ON HEMP BILL CONTINUE Herald-Leader

FROM FRANKFORT:

BEING "TOTALLY DEVOID OF LEADERSHIP" COST KENTUCKY CHANCE TO PASS CASINO AMENDMENT cn|2

KENTUCKY RANKS NUMBER TWO ON LIST OF "UNHAPPIEST STATES"

Maybe because UK missed the NCAA Tournament?

Well-being index score: 62.7

 

Life expectancy: 76.2 years (7th lowest)

Obesity: 29.7% (6th highest)

Median household income: $41,141 (4th lowest)

Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 83.1% (6th lowest)

The state has one of the lowest proportions of adults with a high-school diploma, as well as the fourth-lowest median income in the country. Kentucky also ranked dead-last in terms of healthy behaviors. A mere 60.7% of respondents said they ate healthily the day before, by far the lowest of any state. Not surprisingly, Kentucky also ranked second from the bottom in terms of physical health. As many as 29% of people indicated they had health problems that prevented them from doing age-appropriate activities, a higher percentage than any state other than West Virginia. Kentucky also ranked second from the bottom in the life evaluation and emotional health categories.

See the top ten: MarketWatch

SPORTS:

KENTUCKY RECRUITS WIN STATE PLAYER OF THE YEAR HONORS Herald-Leader

HARVARD MAY NOT WIN NCAA TOURNAMENT, BUT ITS ALUMNI IS TOPS FOR SALARIES Business First

LOUISVILLE IS COLLEGE BASKETBALL'S MOST VALUABLE TEAM WFPL

MORE HEADLINES:

RECLUSIVE KENTUCKY BILLIONAIRE BUYS "LONELY PLANET" TRAVEL GUIDES WFPL

AFTER LONG BATTLE, KENTUCKY FAMILY FINALLY ADOPTS THREE CHILDREN FROM AFRICA WDRB

REVEALING YOGA PANTS RECALLED WKRC

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